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Gratitude at the full moon

The full moon is a time when we are invited to "shine a light" on all that we have. As the moon is at her fullest gifting us with abundant light it is traditionally a time when we take some time to appreciate the abundance in our life. Reflecting upon all that we have to be grateful for.

Research shows that if we practice gratitude - regularly listing three things for which we are grateful - we can begin to change the plasticity of our brains and move away from an inherent negativity bias. Click below for more details

Wanting the best for my family during the hideous time of lockdown I enthusiastically introduced a nightly bedtime ritual of practising gratitude. It started off reasonably well with my son expressing love for his PS4 and his favourite Netflix show for a few days but then it quickly deteriorated into a war zone. While my stepsons were grateful for the As in their french tests and the food on their plate I found my anger rising at my son’s surly reluctance to participate. Night after night his stubborn refusal led to me forcing him to see the good things around him and then exploding in anger when he wouldn’t. The evening he smacked his head against the headboard and said he was grateful for having an extremely hard skull was when I decided I had to throw the towel in - did I want to be happy or did I want to be right ?

In the early days of lockdown I was so reactive, days spent focusing on what I didn’t want or have rather than appreciating what I did. A perpetual mantra of “poor me, poor me”. One of my heroes Gabor Mate says our kids experience not what we say but who we are when we’re saying it. Ooops not sure I’d been great at practising what I preach with the wisdom of hindsight.

I realised that it was time for ME to embody gratitude for all the good stuff - my loving partner, my new home, new family, good health, food on my plate, pink studio (then on its way) all way beyond my wildest dreams once yet there were so many days when poor me still wasn’t happy.

Sure shit happens and it’s so easy to focus on that but so much good happens too if we take some time to look for it. I still miss London and my friends some days but so much good has happened to me in Southampton as I’ve started a new life in a blended family running my home studio. I'm so grateful for the students who are coming - it brings me so much joy. If I’m not embodying gratitude how on earth can I expect my son to? Bless him for his free spirit, for his courage to say no and for his authenticity. (No idea where he gets it from but I’m so grateful for it.

If you can sit quietly after difficult news;

if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm;

if you can see your neighbours travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy;

if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate;

if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill;

if you can always find contentment just where you are:

you are probably a dog.

Jack Kornfield

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