One Hundred Gratitudes

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I am sitting at my mother’s dining room table as I write this, awake before everyone else so that I can listen to Christmas carols and get a good cup of joe in before the Laughing Lotus Thanksgiving special (no, that’s not a TV show, it’s an incredibly sold-out yoga class with their founder, DTF). The theme over there at Lotus, at Harlem Yoga Studio where I teach, and on the Third Grade at the prep school I teach at, is gratitude. When I was teaching Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) to my young ones this week, I had them make gratitude lists in their Health Notebooks (this is making me realize we all should really have health notebooks). Anyways, when I taught them about the gratitude list practice, I told them that it is helpful, when generating ideas for what we are thankful for, to make it a combination of silly and serious (i.e. I am grateful both for the dress I got at Anthro this week and for my family; one is clearly more serious than the other). Without further ado, here are my 100 gratitudes this Thanksgiving. So grateful for a forum with which to share them out.

I am thankful for…

  1. a few days off to focus on gratitude, slow down, and decompress,
  2. having strategies for stress-relief built into my life,
  3. my job as a teacher of little kids, being able to see growth,
  4. my job as a yoga teacher, being able to see growth in adults who maybe thought they were done growing,
  5. the Union Square Holiday Market,
  6. the makeup case my sister got me for my birthday that says, “I AM FUELED BY A STRONG DESIRE TO SUCCEED AND WAY TOO MUCH CAFFEINE.” #truedat,
  7. my dad who is a lifelong learner,
  8. my stepmom who continues to be a professional mentor for me,
  9. my mom whose generosity of spirit and heart never ceases to amaze me,
  10. my sister E who I’ve watched grow into a beautiful young woman and my best friend,
  11. my much younger sister E who never ceases to make me laugh and who I get to watch grow up,
  12. holiday music,
  13. the feeling of safety I get in all my homes,
  14. my move to West Harlem earlier this year,
  15. the turbulent year I had in Portland last year, which taught me so much,
  16. EB, the school I served at with AmeriCorps, which is a space that embodies my values (and we all need that!),
  17. Laughing Lotus,
  18. Harlem Yoga Studio,
  19. Metta Lovingkindness Meditation,
  20. a moral compass,
  21. pressing up into my first free-standing forearm stand post-injury,
  22. my healing team in Portland,
  23. dear friends in PDX that I get to see next weekend,
  24. the kiddos I have the privilege of teaching + who I learn so much from,
  25. texts that say “I love you!,”
  26. exclamation points, question marks, commas, parentheticals,
  27. enthusiasm,
  28. travel,
  29. the family I saw walking the streets of the upper east side this morning, talking about Harry Potter,
  30. friends’ families that have become like second families to me,
  31. holiday season,
  32. my alma mater – all I learned there + all the people I met,
  33. glitter,
  34. programs that emphasize spirituality in a very DIY way,
  35. Three Sisters Yoga, where I first learned how to teach,
  36. A + J, my Portland roommates + family,
  37. young adult literature,
  38. excitement for graduate school,
  39. the book Sweat Your Prayers and how I really want to read it,
  40. the new pants / leggings I bought at Athleta,
  41. my current roommates,
  42. coffeeshops,
  43. therapy,
  44. physical therapy + all I learned from it as a yoga teacher,
  45. subways,
  46. New York City,
  47. all the places I’ve traveled to,
  48. all the places I’ve yet to go,
  49. Pinterest,
  50. Tumblr,
  51. creative writing,
  52. museums,
  53. feminist theory,
  54. coconut water,
  55. kombucha,
  56. Jivamuktea spicy tempeh,
  57. my dining room table,
  58. beautiful clothes,
  59. the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,
  60. people who honestly work on making themselves more connected to the world around them,
  61. the holiday season,
  62. gratitude email groups,
  63. lesson planning,
  64. parents who teach their kids about philanthropy + important causes,
  65. good graphic design,
  66. various articles + magazines,
  67. knowing what I need to relax,
  68. sleeping in,
  69. big plush comforters,
  70. a comfortable bed,
  71. spotify + yoga class playlists,
  72. all the yoga students I’ve ever had,
  73. all the yoga teachers I’ve ever had, including
  74. Alanna Kaivalya,
  75. Sheri Celantano,
  76. Keith Borden, and
  77. Jasmine Tarkeshi,
  78. digging my teeth into a good book to read,
  79. blogs + bloggers,
  80. a desire to go out to a cafe to continue working on this list,
  81. traditions,
  82. OM,
  83. the chakra system,
  84. people who are working a Recovery,
  85. indie Christmas music,
  86. West Harlem,
  87. Union Square,
  88. studentship, and how that is always part of embracing the path of the teacher,
  89. e-courses,
  90. feminism,
  91. BITCH magazine,
  92. BUST magazine,
  93. my legs!,
  94. movement practices,
  95. Lotus Flow,
  96. Ashtanga,
  97. a clear blue sky,
  98. Central Park,
  99. readers of this blog,
  100. this day, may I use it well in love + service!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

What I’m Listening To

I spend a lot of time on this blog sharing what I’m reading: links, articles, books, etc. I rarely reveal that a lot of the media I consume (and if you’ve seen my Twitter, you know I love – and am proud of – consciously consuming media!) is through my Urban Ears headphones. This year in particular, through having a commute to work that is half-walking and desperately wanting to enjoy that time, I have taken all my friends up on their podcasts suggestions to the point where I now always have something to listen to. So, without further adieu, here’s what’s been playing in my ears:

Tranquility Du Jour

This is definitely the podcast I’ve been listening to the longest. I believe I discovered it during the summer I spent in San Francisco. I walked the streets of the Mission listening to every single missed episode (and I believe Wilson was on episode 77 at that point). I’ve listened to some twice and adore the early ones. I highly recommend this fueling every single commute!

Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race

My friend K recommended I listen to this podcast. She was an American Studies major at our alma mater with a focus on education and race relations. I think that one of the core reasons I listen to podcasts is because I want to be able to continue learning in that vibrant, theoretical, big-words and relevant way outside the classroom. The Ph. D’s, authors, and all around cool speakers on this podcasts talk about that which is relevant in race relations and it’s just awesome.

This American Life

I grew up listening to my dad listening to This American Life while he cooked. I grew up with all the adults in my life referencing the latest episodes during dinner party conversations. Well, folks, it looks like I’m an adult(ish) now because I find myself doing the same thing. My favorite episode, which I cried to as I walked from Northwest Portland to a writing class one day this summer? This one on discipline in schools.

Writing in Real Life (WiRL)

My high school writing mentor and her hubby started this podcast because they’re coupling is the cutest thing ever when it comes to writing and literature: they’re both YA authors and she’s also a social media expert in the publishing world…at the publishing company that published his books. You know how it goes…first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, and THEN comes podcast!

On Being (Speaking of Faith) with Krista Tippet

Another NPR fave of my father’s, Krista Tippet broadens the definition of spirituality by interviewing physicists, rabbis, priests, poets and more. Her voice is calming and questions intellectually stimulating. My favorite episode? Mary Oliver, of course!

Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham

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This podcast just came out about a week ago and I am LOVING it. I began, like most have, as a fan of GIRLS. I can now say that I understand why I love GIRLS: I just totally adore Lena and find her perspective on so many key issues of womanhood to be so refreshing. But this podcast is most definitely not only her perspective. Many people who only know Lena through GIRLS call her narcissistic (I mean, Hannah, her character, is), but this podcast shows that she is anything but. She interviews a comprehensive bunch of women from all walks of the media. It is this effort to listen to a wide range of perspectives that I appreciate most during my morning Harlem coffee runs.

Alright, folks, happy listening / commuting / doing dishes / bragging to your friends about how much new random knowledge you have thanks to podcasts!

Namaste,

Shira