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Practicing gratitude: Never too late to giving thanks again

Gratitude is a practice that gets forgotten. We say grace before mindful Thanksgiving, thanking our food, family and friends — but what about time?

Sunset
Sunset

Taking the time

Magic Island, Hawai'i

I grew up on the Pacific Ocean. The sunsets in particular were the most gorgeous displays of ice cream sherbet reflected in the clear, warm water. I loved to go for a jog every once in a while, with my mom power-walking behind me along the shoreline, the low glow tanning my bronze skin. I should’ve done it every day: the sunbathing. There was something so peaceful about the colors changing, like the leaves do now, except fall is much less fleeting. 

When I came back from college on the grey east coast for winter break, a slightly paler me would make it a point to schedule a beach day or two. Even back then, I had to make time to remember. I was so busy doing things, I forgot to witness the transitions. 

This year, as I walking down 3rd Avenue in New York City, I realized I never simply sat down to watch the rays slip over the horizon or slide down for the moon to take over the night sky. Summer, and every weekends has flown by. I got out of bed or out of an event too late. I would catch glimpses of the sun behind skyscrapers while I was walking somewhere on an early morning, but not stopping for the full spectrum. I take time for granted. Time, which we can never get back, complain we don’t have enough of, but something we have everyday. Right now. 

After I awoke from a deep sleep from daylight savings time during a yoga festival in upstate New York, I reflected on the lack of gratitude for time. What did I do with that extra hour in November while at Hunter Mountain? Well, I stayed up as if I were at an adult sleepover with much-needed girl talk, and enjoyed that morning walk up and down the dry ski slopes alone. But still, I missed the sun rise and also the sun set over the mountain.

Gratitude is a practice that gets forgotten. We say grace before mindful Thanksgiving, thanking our food, family and friends — but what about time? Or even acknowledging our silver linings? Whenever we start to complain, we can shift our attitude back. During a kirtan (a call-and-response yoga music concert) at Ahimsa Yoga and Music Festival, music leader Krishna Das recently motioned to observe when you stopped listening to the music as your mind wandered, and then remind yourself to come back to enjoying what’s playing in front of you. That time in between would be the mindfulness. And perhaps meditation helps shorten that time, depending on how busy you or your mind are. Because when we immerse ourselves in the moment, it becomes timeless. We can carve out time like a pumpkin, then light the candle of awareness, allowing the glow of life flow throughout us. 

Every day is a new day to begin again. 

This post originally appeared on konakafe.com 

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