moment of gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

blessing“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” The million dollar question these days is, “How do you make it through each day?” The million dollar answer…I count my blessings. I am grateful for the beautiful life I had with Gregger, for the memories, and the family we created together. I am grateful for the strength he gave me to move forward. Gratitude truly unlocks so many treasures. It allows sadness to melt away. It forges its way to forgiveness. It creates a sense of well-being. It makes simple seem abundant.

gratitude (1)It took me a long time to have an attitude of gratitude. Basically, I was a little bit of a “downer.” I thought the world was against me. I think I had a fairly negative outlook on life. Even if things were going well, I was waiting for the ball to drop. I didn’t know how to enjoy the “ups” because I was too busy anticipating the coming of the “downs.” Gregger was different. He was the “up” guy. He didn’t get my negativity. While he wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and lollipops, he smiled through the tough stuff and knew something better was on the other side. I would go to sleep at night and tell myself, “I am going to wake up in the morning and be positive. I am going to be grateful and happy.” It didn’t work that way. It wasn’t in my soul. Not yet.

yoga (2)About 10 years ago I made a significant change in my life. I retired from the fitness industry after 17 years. My body had taken a pretty good pounding after teaching 10-15 classes a week of old school high impact and step aerobics. I needed something different. My mom had tried to convince me to give yoga a whirl, but I wasn’t ready for something so “slow” and, quite frankly, boring. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It just seemed too quiet, monotonous, no sweat, no pain, and a waste of my time. But I needed something NEW. One day, on a whim, I dropped into a free hot yoga class. I was a bit intimidated, but decided it was worth a second shot. The challenges were unfamiliar but fresh and inspiring.  Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. I had to focus. I had to stare face to face in the mirror, accept “me” whether I balanced, faltered, or fell flat on my face. Several classes in and I was hooked. At first it was about the positions. Being the “perfectionist” I am, I challenged myself to get them right. Over and over again and again. I took class after class, sweating like a pig, challenging my body to hold without wavering, bend to the max. I knew I could do it. Somedays were better than others. It was all about focus and mind games. When it came time for savasana (corpse pose) I did not know how to surrender.  What did I need at the grocery store? What was I going to make for dinner? What errands did I need to get done? My mind was everywhere but in the present moment.  Blank. Empty. Surrendered. And then I began to listen.

yoga (3)I had spent so much of my life looking outside of myself to be happy. I always believed that other people and things would provide fulfillment. But what I was missing was that the happiness needed to come from within. I was so busy “doing” that I wasn’t just being. The peace and silence made me “aware” for the first time. I saw the beautiful blessings in my life. I felt happiness and joy within because I was grateful. Grateful for life, my family, friends, and every blessed day. Yoga became so much more than poses in a hot room. I can’t even physically practice anymore due to unfortunate back surgery. But I still practice yoga everyday. I do yoga when I’m walking. I do yoga when I’m having a difficult moment. I do yoga when I feel the need to reconnect with myself. I breathe. I feel grateful. I recognize my blessings.

This past year has given me a greater appreciation for my blessings. I wake up each day grateful for what I have, what I had, and what the day may bring. Even the crappiest days (and there are many) have “light.” I can take a breath. I can open my eyes. I can see what is right in front of me. I can feel blessed. I can be grateful. I can be happy in the worst of times because life itself is a gift. Thank you yoga for opening my eyes, for allowing me to find peace and happiness within. So the million dollar question, “How do you make it through each day?” I breathe. I count my blessings. And I am grateful.

gratitude 2

Mikki Eveloff

I am certainly no princess, but I did marry my Prince Charming. We had the once upon a time and the “almost” happily ever after until August 30th, 2014 when my Prince Gregger died tragically on the beach in Maui. I believe in fairytales. I believe in fate. I believe that “everything happens for a reason.” We planned a lifetime together…75 years to be exact. Someone or something changed our plans and gave us a new “ever after.” So here I am. I am still a wife, but now they call me a widow. I am a mom and grandma…three children, two in-laws, and two grandchildren. Life has changed and it’s time to move forward. It doesn’t stop, it keeps on going, so I do too. It’s my choice. Be happy, be grateful. It’s the only choice. I have a treasure trove of memories to’s how I keep the happily ever after alive. A True Love Fairytale is 40 years of memories…it’s the essence of our happily ever after. It’s the imperfections of our perfect marriage. And it’s what makes today beautiful.

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