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The Road to Joy

First of all, THANK YOU to all of the beautiful ladies who showed up for the Great Big YES yoga event! It made my heart so happy to see all of you and the energy in the room was        amazing…or as Giuliana Rancic says and I will be saying from now on…”Amaze-balls!”

gratitude gby2 I’ve been thinking about this new year and new beginnings and old sloppy crap that I want to get rid of.  I don’t just mean the junk in my closet and my cabinets and the 10 lbs in my butt, I mean the sloppy stuff that sometimes sneaks into my head and my heart.  I just want it gone.

In yoga, at the end, there is this position you end up in after Savasana and before sitting up for the final “Namaste”.  You are laying on your right side in the fetal position.  Often times the teacher says that this position signifies new beginnings.  To stay there for a minute, rest, think about how you want to use your new beginning.

Who do you want to be when you begin again?

What will I choose?

It’s my choice in that moment.  And it will be my choice the next moment too and every moment after that. One of the reasons I love yoga so much is because it helps me to be aware when those moments present themselves.  Both on the mat and off.

I have decided for myself this year, I am choosing Gratitude.  This will be my intention when I practice yoga and when I pray and I’m hoping it will permeate the way I live.

“It is not the joy that makes us grateful, it is the gratitude that                             makes us joyful”                              – Brother David Steindl-Rast

I love this quote because I know I want to be joyful but I don’t always know how to get there.  Or sometimes I get in a funk.  I can feel like a pretty joyful person most of the time and then BAM! I feel sad and down and gloomy.  I like that I can turn that around with gratitude.  Turns out the road to joy is paved with “thank you’s”.  I can do that.  I can thank.

Ann Voskamp wrote a book about Gratitude.  It’s called One Thousand Gifts and it’s amazing.  It is raw and heartachingly beautiful.  It’s the kind of book you have to stop reading and just breathe because what you just read is soooooooo profound.  It stops you in your tracks. She keeps a list of things she is grateful for and she calls it her “gift list”.  I’ll be doing that this year.  Maybe you can too?

We can share.  We can call it “The Road to Joy” and we can build it together, brick by brick.

Here’s my first brick:  Dear God…(because that’s how I have started my prayers every day since I can remember) Thank you for new beginnings.  All of them everywhere.  The new beginnings I’ve known and the new beginnings my friends have known and the new beginnings yet to come (there are some we can’t even imagine yet).  In all places…on my yoga mat, in church, on a mountain, at the wedding altar, in the birthing room, on the first day of school, on new year’s day, in a new home, on the first page of a journal, with a new box of crayons, when meeting a new friend, when leaving home for college or work or traveling, and when returning home.  Thank you for hard beginnings like rehab and AA and Doctors and hospitals and funerals.  It seems weird to thank you for the tough stuff but that’s part of it too because endings are also beginnings.  Thank you for the sunrise every day and my breath every day and thank you for miracles like babies and love and rainbows which all signify fresh starts and hope.  Thank you for the beginnings that come from being sorry and being forgiven and realizing that messy is okay.  Thank you that I can begin again even if I just began again yesterday.  Thank you for new beginnings.

Will you add a brick?

All you have to do is write a thank you in the comment section…or if you don’t want to put it out there for the world to see, maybe you can write it in a journal or just think about it in your heart.  What’s your “thank you” today?

One brick at a time…I can feel it…we are paving the Road to Joy…all of us…together.

thank you bricks

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved