“Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.” -Maltbie D. Babcock
As children, we’re taught that “please” is the magic word. But the words “thank you,” when not just said but truly felt and lived, can produce truly magical results in your life.
The concept of gratitude really comes down to acknowledging the good in your life, and it’s not something that’s easy for humans to do. The human brain is wired to concentrate on the negative and overlook the positive. To overcome this built-in negativity bias, we must intentionally look for ways to cultivate gratitude.
The good news is, you can have a lot of fun doing so--and the payoff is enormous! Gratitude has the power to improve your mental and physical health, strengthen your relationships, increase your happiness and self-esteem, ease anxiety, and improve your sleep (and that’s just the short list). Plus, it can be instrumental in reviving that sense of joy and wonder you felt during the holiday season as a child.
There’s no one “right way” to boost the gratitude in your life. At Hudson Healing Arts, our practitioners enjoy a diverse variety of simple practices, and it’s our sincere hope that you find inspiration in the ideas below. We encourage you to experiment and discover what works for you. And, as a holiday treat to express our gratitude to you, we’re also offering special discounts below!
Cristina Maria Hummingbird Medicine:
The Season of Gratitude & Giving is upon us. Deeply resounding hollowing trees and spiraling leaves in the changing winds of autumn. It reminds me of a beautiful excerpt taken from Rose Red Elk Medicine Stories, Red Feather Woman Series, Book 1, The Hawk and The Four Directions. It reads:
“The direction of the East replied, “Your nourishment comes with breath. Your breath gives you your existence. Every breath is precious. As you speak, it is your voice that directs, teaches and gives hope to all those who listen. Every breath brings new enlightenment to Mother Earth, for it is she who gives you the air to breathe. Remember this and be thankful. Do not forget to remind all to be thankful. Every day is a new beginning.""
Here are 3 simple ways to give thanks:
As the Wise Woman Tradition reminds us, "Keep it simple. Keep it true. Keep it nature. Keep it you." The connection with our breath (externally known as the natural element air/wind) is our life force. Through it we can create calm, peace and grounding, as well as demonstrate love, care and gratitude for all things.
Visit Hudson Healing Arts Events/What's New page for information on seasonal specials on Spirit Medicine Healing, Shamanic Earth Spirit Teachings and More!
May this season be filled with warm love, sweet joy and magickal blessings and may the divine light of your spirit shine eternally true!
Carla San Diego:
Here’s a beautiful passage from the Tao Te Ching:
See the world as yourself.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as yourself;
then you can care for all things.
My interpretation: show up for yourself first, then you can show up for others and actually be there for them.
A gratitude practice, like any new habit, can take time to cultivate. Regularity is
important in developing any new pattern, so choose a consistent time or a few times
during the day for it.
You might begin your day with gratitude – always a wonderful way to set the tone for the day to come! Take a few moments to feel thankful for a new opportunity to have a fresh start. The best way to create a happy life is to first accept where you are and be grateful for what you do have.
Ending the day with gratitude is also a good practice. Think of 5 things you’re grateful for today. If it’s been a challenging day, say thank you for getting through it and for being able to start over tomorrow.
Remember the things we tend to take for granted all too easily: a place of shelter, food to nourish you, family and friends, good health. How about the senses that let you delight in the smell of a fresh cup of coffee, the sight of twinkling lights and the miracle of snowflakes, the feel of a warm sweater or a cozy scarf around your neck?
When you’re making out your gift list, think about adding a donation to a charity. You’ll feel better for it and it will enrich another life in ways you may not even imagine. Volunteering is also a great way to pay it forward and remind yourself of the blessings in your own life. Take time to smile and say ‘thank you’ to sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, your local barista. Their good service makes your life easier and they deserve acknowledgement and a kind word – especially during the holiday season!
What did you delight in as a child at this time of year? Chances are it will still enchant you! Instead of coffee, have a cup of hot chocolate or spiced tea. Take a few moments and breathe in the aroma, savor a sip, and remind yourself of life’s blessings.
The holidays bring a time of wonder, kind hearts, and special moments with loved ones, but the busyness and pressure to fit everything in can mask the beauty of the season! Please remember to take care of you during the season, to be consistent with what is important to you in your every day, and to set small, achievable goals for making this season memorable, enjoyable, and peaceful. A possible tool for your toolbox:
Sunday morning 20-minute retreat:
On Sunday or before the start of your week, do the following short exercises. You can do them more often than once per week, but starting with this achievable goal can make a world of difference!
1. Take 3-5 minutes in a tranquil space. Do slow, methodical breathing, inhaling for 10 counts, with the 8, 9, and 10 count being as deep an inhale of fresh air as possible, then exhaling for 10 counts until your belly and lungs have expelled the air from your core. Visualize an inhalation of clean, pure air, and the exhale of toxins, stress, and worry. This breathing can help re-center and give you a sense of calm and gratitude to let the joy and wonder of the season take shape.
2. After these 3-5 minutes of breathing and tranquility, ask yourself what you want your week to look like - note, not what you NEED to do, but what you WANT it to look like. Do you want it to be productive, peaceful, joyful, chaotic, predictable, surprising, quiet, social?...There is no right or wrong here, but identifying the tone you want for yourself can be a guiding force to build your
week and remind yourself that you are in the driver’s seat of your day and week.
3. Then, start to make a list of the few essentials that you need to fit in - work, childcare, committed responsibilities - try to keep these to no more than a few if you can. You are only one person!
4. After the few big essentials are down, then fill in the remainder of your list with what you might want to do - buy gifts, see a movie, call a friend, make holiday cards.....recognizing that you will get to some of these, but in order to keep the tone that is most important to you, some of these may have to be moved to another week....and that is okay.
5. What is one act of kindness that you can add to this list? It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment - but rather phoning a relative, buying a coffee for someone who you think could use one, making a small donation to a charity of your choosing, giving a compliment to someone you work with...these small acts can remind yourself to be grateful for what you have and that you have the capacity to give. Add this somewhere on the list too.
5. That is it! Look at your list, remind yourself that you are in the driver’s seat, and that to find joy, peace, or whatever tone you want, at least to some degree, starts with you. Yes there are so many external factors that can change things in a split second. However, to start with what is important to you can give you greater navigation and a direction to return to when busyness and pressure try to take hold.
Wishing you a healing and meaningful holiday season!
There's no better time to treat yourself to a Raindrop Aromatherapy Treatment then when you're feeling tired and frazzled. Enjoy the soothing and restorative benefits at a $15.00 discount during the month of December. Or take advantage of this treatment after the holidays when you pre-pay through December 31, 2018.
Use code: "Raindrop15" when paying through our website, or mention this blog post when calling to book your treatment.
Don't have time to stop in for a session? We've got you covered! Purchase one AshWork Energy Clearing session and receive the second session for 50% off when using the code 'AshBogo50'.This energy clearing is done remotely by phone, which means you can relax and enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. Sessions can be scheduled any day except Sunday. For more information on AshWork, please see our Tele-Sessions page.
Joe Del Giodice is offering $15.00 off your first acupuncture treatment through December 31, 2018. He hasn't forgotten about existing patients - just ask Joe for your holiday discount when scheduling your session! Call Joe at (201) 653-7700 ext.3 to schedule your session.
Cristina Maria has a very special offer for you this month - details are below:
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.