Friday, August 4, 2017

Cheesy Gratfulness

See how that title works in two ways? All of you, stop rolling your eyes. Foodies, please keep reading even though this post has nothing to do with cheese, or the grating thereof.

Yesterday I went to a really good yoga class. (Maybe I should have titled this post Cliche Gratefulness.) And after class, I did a brave thing (for me) and told the instructor how much I had enjoyed a certain, non-conventional, aspect of her class. And it was nice. I talked to a stranger, and didn't say anything awkward, or feel like she thought I was weird or annoying. So really, my day had two great things at the end of it.

Later, while I was trying really hard to let go of the rest of my day and JUST FALL ASLEEP, I tried focusing on more about what was good and not all the crazy my brain zeroes in on during any silent period. And what did it go back to? My yoga class. And that yoga instructor. And my crazy tired brain thought, "What a great feeling it must be to bring happiness to the lives of others in that way." And I realized that, I'm *really* thankful for the people who teach yoga. Then I realized that this was in the same vein as being thankful for all the people who touch your life that we hear platitudes about: your garbage person, your cleaning lady, even your grumpy neighbor. I mean of course I'm thankful that I don't have to take all my trash to the dump myself every week. But am I thankful for my garbage person?

Then my mind wandered into why it had only just occurred to me to be thankful for my yoga instructors. Maybe being a yoga instructor had always seemed to me like such an easy thing to do with one's life? Ouch, me. But that sounds like me alright.

I find my attitudes softening more, the more life throws at me. Years ago I sat on an airplane next to someone from the design firm who was responsible for the Gonda building at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  As she told me about why their firm did what they did in that building, it hit me that maybe design wasn't just a fluffy, superfluous thing we had needlessly celebrated in our society.

Now here I am realizing the same thing about yoga instructors. They're not just a nicety that I have in my life. I have benefited from their hard work, skill and compassion in tangible ways -- ways that affect my mental and physical health. Yoga has been there for me in tough times, but it couldn't have been there without the people who made the commitment, went through the hours of training, chose to be there, and bring us all yoga.

These people don't just show up and take us through a series of movements. They share their wisdom and insight. They share their own personal struggles and encourage us all. They make sure that each one of us leaves having gained something.

They're pretty incredible, when you think about it.

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