Tag Archives: monday meditation

365 Days of Gratitude

12 Nov

November is in full swing and that also means social media feeds are chock full of posts professing daily thanks for the length of the month. This is a great practice, but to this I say:

Why not 365 days of thanks?

Any day is a good day to practice gratitude. We don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving creeps up on us to start acknowledging blessings big or small. Here is a post I wrote a little while back about running with gratitude that I thought would be great to recycle.

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Often, we talk about the stress relieving benefits of running. A long run or an intense workout can be just what we need to work through frustration, anxiety, or grief. It’s true that running is a (cheaper) form of therapy, but it’s not all about the endorphins or distraction. Sometimes that therapy comes in the powerful form of positive affirmation that the act of running can magnify. Acknowledgement of life’s simple pleasures and abundant gifts can lift the spirits and make our hearts (and legs) feel lighter.

(Source)

Without question, running has helped me release many burdens. Even more so, it has encouraged me to count my blessings, appreciate my body, and lift my spirit. When I run with a grateful heart, my whole experience changes. On days where blessings seems to multiply, I hold my head up higher, feel lighter on my feet, and seem to move through the miles with greater ease.

There doesn’t need to be a major celebration or event to be able to acknowledge the things we are thankful for. If I asked you to list 3 things you are grateful for in this moment, what would you say? Go ahead, do it. I’ll wait.

It can come in the form of a sunny day, a snuggle from a pet, hitting all of the green lights on the way to work, a kind gesture, coming home to your family, being in good health. It could even be a smile from another runner on the road, tip you learned from a pro athlete, a new personal record, a congratulatory handshake from a competitor at the finish line. Or maybe it’s the first run back from an injury, your feet tapping beneath you, your legs carrying you forward, the gift of mobility.

Gratitude can transform the way we run, much in the same way that it transforms our lives. When we run with gratitude, there is no such thing as a bad run. We are no longer held back by negativity or weighed down with burdens. We are light, fast, free. We become one with the road or trail, our footsteps drumming a steady beat as the miles fall away. Run with a heart of gratitude and you’ll travel further than you ever thought you could.

runwithgratitude

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Now, I challenge you to consider starting a daily practice of gratitude where you name at least one thing you are grateful for in that day. Just one. That’s all it takes.

 

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Monday Meditation: Clear your soul

16 Sep

As I was flipping through the October issue of Runner’s World, I came across this little pearl of running wisdom and had an instantaneous reaction of, “YES!”

“When you’ve had the perfect run, you’ve cleared your soul.”

– Pat Monahan, lead singer of Train

You know those kinds of runs. The kind where you head out with so much weighing on you that you feel heavy and anxious but return radiating light and peace. Somehow the run smoothed out the worry lines on your forehead, eased the tension in your body, and shed the burdens from your core. You are cleansed through your physical efforts, freed.

Running can take you on so many journeys, but the most important is the one within yourself. A run (especially a long one) can become a confessional where your truths are revealed in every step and through every breath. That suffering naturally releases as the miles tick away and you simply let go.

Yes, that is the perfect run.

Happy running!

Run and reflect

11 Sep

When I woke up this morning, one of the first things I thought about was what today means. September 11th, a day forever etched in the minds and hearts of all Americans. Today we remember the tragedy of lives lost, the service men and women who fearlessly took action, lives forever altered, and a nation finding resolve in its collective grief.

Take a moment tonight to pause and reflect on this day and keep in mind this poignant message:

“For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.” 

-Deepak Chopra, M.D.

The second thought that passed through me this morning was this: I have to run. I need to run. I have my life, two healthy legs, and above all – the freedom to run safely whenever or wherever I want.

The fog was too thick to run safely in the darkness before sunrise this morning, so I knew I’d have to postpone until the evening. Severe thunderstorms forced me to go to my Plan Z…the dreadmill.

Treadmill time

Treadmill time

Today, that didn’t matter. I was going to run no matter what. I set aside my loathing for the treadmill and I sweated out 4 miles while reflecting on all that I am grateful for.

Sending thoughts of healing to those that continue to grieve and prayers of peace to keep our country safe and free.