Attitude/Gratitude, backbending and other stories (plus playlist)

So, it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Rather arrogantly, i wanted to ignore that this day had come about and kept it as low-key as possible, to the point of denying it to anyone who happened to know (Facebook has a lot to answer for). Thankfully, i got a good kick up the backside from friends and family, and a reality attitude/gratitude check. So apologies to anyone affected by my selfishness. I realise of course that every day of life is FREAKING AWESOME, including birth days/new year’s eve/insert any dodgy high-pressured, vomit-worthy occasion here. So i have to get real. And grateful.

Oh but it felt so easy hiding under a duvet, stuck in my lack/homesickness/whatever, rather than counting the blessings – which is much more fun AND productive. We get what we put out. If it’s transmitting a positive, grateful frequency, we can expect more of the same, conversely, we can choose to remain stuck in a grump and the cycle continues.

So can we be grateful for just a minute?

There’s this bit in Into the Wild, (if you haven’t seen it, grab tissues), where the main character is just getting off on his apple. In a very clean and respectful way. I can get with that.

We too can harvest these moments of gratitude. Complete absorption. Inspired, i started a gratitude list. It keeps me in check, particularly on those days when drama wants to strut around and take all the attention away from the other wonderful stuff. And by appreciating the bigger picture, more often than not, we realise the need for each experience, whether labelled good/bad/irritating/etc,  if only for a comparative study so we can really appreciate the blessings that are loaded onto us at every moment.

So each night I attempt to list all the great things that happened in the day. In the morning, I ask the universe to surprise me with something amazing. And hope for the best. Juvenile and starry-eyed perhaps, but so far, it’s working. I’m less stuck in seeing myself carted along behind this lorry of a life, instead i’m slowly clambouring my way along the roof and slipping into the driver’s seat with a Greggs pasty.

In class, cocktails of backbends were order of the day. Most of us inhabit postures of sitting at desks and computers for epic amounts of time (guilty). So backbends are super useful in strengthening weak upper back muscles from possible rounding, plus they relieve tightness around the chest and the front of the shoulders. As a bonus, we are opening up the area that lies beneath the sternum, and metaphysically we tap into heart chakra territory (more on that here), which is a pretty great way of awakening compassion and gratitude. It can also be terrifying for many of us, challenging us to step outside of our comfort zone, which can trigger reaction as we confront our deepest emotions. It’s not unusual to feel waves of feelings, and this is good: if it comes up, it’s usually because it needs to. So we emphasised the core integrity of the postures, to create a sense of security and self-support. That it’s ok to feel “off”, and that we can always cultivate a sense of safety that will support us through the rocky times. The list works for me in the same way. It provides a bigger picture and that much needed kick up the backside when i’m failing to see the big picture. Who’s joining me for the ride?

Here’s a playlist via Spotify, in the name of gratitude, taken from one of this week’s classes.

Delicate Steve – Attitude / Gratitude
Broadcast – Chord Simple
Nitin Sawhney – Sunset
Ohm-G – Time Is On My Side
Houses – Soak It Up
Sbtrkt – Hold On (feat. Sampha)
Speech Debelle – Searching – Instrumental
Grimes – Genesis
Zero 7 – Swing
El Perro Del Mar – It’s All Good
Cass McCombs – County Line
Caribou – Crayon
M83 – You Appearing
Sébastien Tellier – Roche
Casiokids – Elefantenes hemmelige gravplass
The Microphones – I Want Wind to Blow
Richard James – Tir A Mor
Nico – I’ll Be Your Mirror
Al Green – Simply Beautiful
Cate le Bon – Oh Am Gariad
Kings Of Convenience – 24-25
Little Dragon – Twice
MC Yogi – Shanti (Peace Out)

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