Panduranga Jay Jay from 2019 Fall Back Retreat

This one is a slow burn, so give it some time. I promise it will be worth the wait. 😉

I remember it was a few years ago that I started feeling overwhelming gratitude at being able to gather as a spiritual community. Whether it was in one of my many weekly yoga classes in town, or it was on a retreat like this one, something inside told me how magical and special it was and to enjoy it while it lasted. 

Looking back, I am very grateful that spirit pointed that out to me so I would not take those moments for granted. Now here we are in a situation that would make a gathering like the one captured on this video an impossibility. 

Will we be able to gather like this again? If so, when? For me, these are the wrong questions. The real question is, what am I taking for granted right now that I should instead be feeling gratitude for? We can always be grateful. And studies show that gratitude journaling is one way that we can become happy. 

You see, happiness does not come from what we think. It does not come from money or getting what we want. It comes from things like gratitude, compassion, loving-kindness. These are like muscles that we can exercise, and the more we use them, the stronger they become. Then when a global pandemic comes along, our ’emotional muscles’ are healthy and ready for the heavy lifting. 

So is this a video of the “good times” that we are waiting to return so we can feel grateful again? Or is this very moment the ‘good times’ we will long for when things get worse? Don’t wait. Feel gratitude now. Gratitude for what? This computer or phone you are reading this on. For your relative health. For the vision with which you are reading these words. Are you starving to death right now? Then for the food in your belly. For this next breath. 

You see, the human mind can be trained. We have all been taught to focus on lack instead of abundance. The profound spiritual truth is that there is no lack. I don’t expect you to understand this right away, but if you do the work eventually, all you see is abundance. How can you begin to see this? Practice gratitude starting right now. 

May your Spirit be victorious!

-Douglas Johnson E-RYT 500, YACEP

Sounds of Summer - A Yoga Retreat

July 19th-21st