Meditations from the Polls :: Women's Right to Vote

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This morning I woke up, gathered my paperwork and headed off the the polls to cast my vote on 12 Amendments (one in particular having a very special meaning to me) and 13 places of office for the state of Florida. This is something I have done every 2 years since I was 18 years old. This is something I just do because I can and because I know it means something. But it wasn’t until recently that I really stopped to think about what exactly it means, and just how far we have come in this county.

My right to vote as a women is not even a century old!!! I can hardly wrap my mind around what life had to be like in the early 1900s. The women’s suffrage movement was a decade-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy. This fight started before the Civil War and continued on for many many years to follow. During this time we were seen as property to ether our fathers or our husbands. They had the legal ability to do with us what they pleased.

We owe it to women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Lucy Stone, and Ida B. Wells. These women spent the better part of their lives fighting for our right as women to be heard, or right to let our opinions known, our right to stand up for what we believe in. These women are my heroes and today I honor them by going to the polls and casting my vote!

I challenge you to do the same. Go vote for something you believe in. Go vote for the change you want to see in your community and in your country. Honor the women all over the world who have fought for the rights we have today. No matter where you are in this world, there are people who have come before you, people that have fought for the rights you have today! Honor these people by not taking your rights for granted. GO VOTE!!!

With all my love!

xoxo,

G

Meditations from the Mat :: Attitude of Gratitude

I have this friend who, no matter what he is going through, has the amazing ability of remaining in an attitude of gratitude. It blows my mind because he has been through some really difficult stuff, yet he stays grateful for all of his daily blessings; from a roof over his head, to the health of his family. I on the other hand, have the amazing ability to get all caught up in my shit and throw, hands down, the best pity party in town!

So why is this? I know how blessed I am. I write my gratitude list and spent time mediating on my daily blessings. I watch the news and know how easy I have it as a middle class American. Yet, when shit goes south, I tend to curl up into a ball and act as if the whole world is coming to an end. This is something I struggle with because I want to live in this space of gratitude. So… just like self love… how do I make this happen? What steps do I need to take to pull myself up by the boot straps, put on my big girl panties, and not just remember how truly blessed I am, but to live that truth?

Here is what I have come up with so far.

Don’t just write a list, read the list.

Writing a gratitude list is important but going back to it every day and reading over it is so important. It keeps our blessings in the forefront of our minds. Read your list out loud so you also hear all the amazing blessings you have been given. Do this as many times as you need to throughout your day.

Get moving!

When you find yourself in this down and out mindset, stop what you are doing and get your body moving. Go for a walk, play with your kids or puppies, practice yoga, hit the gym, or just dance it out in your living room. Do what you need to do to get out of your head and back into your body because that is were your true and grateful soul resides.

Head out into nature.

I don’t know about you but when I surround myself with nature whether it’s heading into the woods, or putting my feet into the ocean, I am reminded of just how small I really am! There is this insanely large word out there and past that there is a universe larger than our minds can even comprehend. Getting back into this mindset helps me see things much clearer and remember that while my situation may be big in my world, it is very small when compared to the BIG picture.

This too shall pass.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is definitely much easier said than done but when you really have the ability to remind yourself that this is just a season and it will pass just like the last one did, it can really help pull you back into that attitude of gratitude. Even if you are just grateful for the fact that this season will eventually pass. Haha. Hey man, whatever works!

So why is it so important to remain in this attitude of gratitude? To me, it’s important because as long as I can remember where I came from, what I have been given, and how unbelievably blessed I truly am… I can show up and do the work I was put on this earth to do. I can help others and be a light in such a dark world. We are all called to serve with a unique purpose and it’s only when we can step outside the bullshit and see clearly that we can really make a difference and live our lives to the fullest!

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

xoxo,

G

Meditations from the Mat :: Self Love

Self Love!

What is self love, what does it look like, how does it act, how do you acquire it? These are all questions that have been jumping around in my mind for some time now. I even spent a week away in the mountains of North Georgia meditating on these exact questions. However, to be honest, I haven’t found any answers quite yet. Why is that? Why is it so hard to wrap my mind around the idea of truly 100% loving myself, flaws and all?

I can’t blame it on my up bringing. I was raised by two wonderful parents and three amazing sisters who would do anything for me. They would lay down their life for me. They have always accepted me for who I am and loved me unconditionally. I also an amazing husband who has been my best friend for 17 years. He has seen every side of me and yet, unconditional love is all I receive from him. So why can’t I offer it to myself?

The only thing I have been able to come up with is that it is a life long practice. I am human, I am flawed, I try to put by best foot forward but it doesn’t always happen. I have thoughts I would never share with anyone else, and have done things I am not proud of but I STILL DESERVE MY OWN LOVE! I do! I know I do. So I need to wake up every day and tell myself how much I love me. Not just with my words but with my actions. By preparing a wholesome breakfast that nourishes my body, by spending time moving i.e walking, yoga, the gym, by sitting in meditation, by bathing and literally showering myself with love, by setting aside time to do something that makes me happy. These are all things that only I can do for myself. My parents, and siblings, and husband, and best friend can’t show me that kind of love. Only I can!

As humans we are flawed but we are also capable of immense chance. We can actually change the whole world but we have to start with ourself. With loving ourselves just the way we are today, right at this exact moment because we are enough and beautiful and worthy of love. I am and you are! You are enough, you are beautiful, you are worthy of love!

Please, I beg of you… go do something right now that shows yourself just how much you love you!

With all my love to you!

-G

The Bodhisattva Vow

May I be a guard for those who are protectorless, A guard for those who journey on the road; For those who wish to go across the water, May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge. 

May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall, and a lamp for those who long for light; For those who need a resting place a bed, For all who need a servant, may I be a slave. 

May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of plenty, a word of power, and the supreme remedy. May I be the trees miracles, and for every being, the abundant cow. 

Like the great earth and the other elements, enduring as the sky itself endures, for the boundless multitude of living beings, may I be the ground and vessel of their life. 

Thus, for every single thing that lives, in number like the boundless reaches of the sky, may I be their sustenance and nourishment until they pass beyond the bounds of suffering.