The news coverage is so harrowing. I remember watching all of the coverage on Hurricane Katrina, and what I am seeing currently on the news reminds me so much of that time, except now it’s my own state, my own community, the same shore I laid out on just a few short months ago. I never grew up going to a house at the shore regularly, but we did make multiple annual pilgrimages. I can’t believe it has all been washed away.
I know that so many people are suffering, and it is a horrible time. For those of us who have not lost our lives, or homes, however, this is a great opportunity to truly experience and practice gratitude. I feel like I have been really in tune with the universe lately, meeting a different symbol or sign at every turn to feel so grateful for my life.
I just recently read Eat Pray Love, my third time reading it, because Elizabeth Gilbert’s tale inspires me in countless ways. Every time I read it I underline meaningful sentences, and by now almost the entire thing has marks and lines all over it. I love my battered copy of Eat Pray Love, and I imagine I will read it at least another three times in the future.
The major component that I was inspired by this time around was the portion of the book that takes place in India, on Gilbert’s spiritual journey, which definitely goes hand in hand with gratitude. I am not a religious person, but I definitely would like to deepen my spiritual understanding of the world through yoga and meditation. I think it’s a practice I can really get into, expressing gratitude and oneness with the world is really important to me. I am a person that deeply believes the universe is all connected, and we get out of life what we put in.
Recently I saw Cloud Atlas, an amazing, beautiful film about the oneness of the universe, and how we are all connected. Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, and Jim Sturgess are incredible in the film, and though it does run almost three hours long, I was riveted the entire time. The whole movie is a big flashing red sign that says, “Karma.” I loved every second.
All of this had led me to enroll in Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day online Guided Meditation Series. The theme of the meditation is abundance, one big expression of the things we can be grateful for. I love being able to wade into meditation with Chopra, one of the most enlightened spiritual masters second only to the Dalai Lama. I hope it’s an enriching journey.
The silly travel planning posts and fashion will resume shortly. Until then, take this time to experience some gratitude, for even the littlest things. And, as Oprah has so eloquently said in the past, if you really cannot find a single thing in your life to be grateful for, close your eyes, pause, and feel grateful for the very breath in your lungs.
‘The yogic path is about disentangling the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment. Somewhere inside us all there does exist eternal peace.”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love