Burdened or Blessed? Mat Music by Kelynn

Burdened or Blessed?

I have been so swept up in the to-do lists and checking things off the lists that I continuously forgot to pause these last few weeks. Does that sound familiar to you?

I’d hit the mat, thinking, “Yes, I’m here! This will restore me,” but would only get frustrated with fighting my thoughts and the accumulation of plans. I’d skip my practice because I “had” to be so many other places, and then my shoulders would begin to scrunch up, my neck weighing heavy from the physical build up of stress.

I felt no “right” balance could be found.

The irony didn’t hit me until this morning, as I began a search for synonyms for the word “appreciation.” ‘Appreciation‘ is a synonym to the word ‘obliged,’indebted.’ With the holidays flashing before me everywhere, it occurred to me that I have felt indebted to my loved ones, wanting to prove my appreciation. I even felt pressured by creating this playlist, wanting to create a grouping of songs that would draw gratefulness out of others, wanting to be a writer who inspires and bestows the spirit of gratitude.

I never noticed the thin line between wanting to give back and breaking my back to give. The weight of a debt is so much heavier to carry than the freedom found in a mere ounce of authentic love.

After these last few weeks, I think there is sometimes the want to prove ourselves so much that we get lost. We forget why we want to prove our love and gratitude, and begin to work at it so hard that we only radiate tension, pressure, and anxiety.

What makes you happy to wake up? What brings warmth to your heart and a smile to your face?  Who picks you up when you’re down?

I am ashamed to admit that all the while I forgot my own answers. Not because I wasn’t thankful, but because I got caught up in the weight of figuring out how to show
my appreciation. I didn’t realize that this urge to “please” others was coloring my ability
to pause and enjoy each moment with them. I was making myself overwhelmingly busy;
I didn’t notice that being grateful isn’t always having to get it “just right.”

As I slowed down this morning, it occurred to me that being thankful is as simple as taking the time to be thankful…pausing to meditate on what and who makes me blessed. Being thankful is
as effortless as taking the time to exude my appreciation through a smile, through
squeezing a loved one’s hand, through the simple, yet powerful moments of eye-contact
and heartfelt conversation.

So here’s to a playlist that reminds me of a “few of my favorite things.” It’s a
playlist that I plan to use over and over to pull me back to ease when I start to cross the
thin line. I hope it inspires you to create a playlist of your own, not just for the holidays,
but for any day when you start to feel burdened by the ‘how’s’ and to ‘do’s,’ instead of
blessed by the ‘what’s’ and the ‘who’s.’

Kelynn GiornoGypsy soul, Kelynn Giorno, has been blessed to call many places home, but currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her beloved pup, Anika. Career-wise, Kelynn is program analyst by day, yoga teacher and writer by night. Her lifelong passion for music has landed her the role of “Resident Mixologist” for GatherYoga. Check out her bi-monthly articles, complete with playlists, to infuse your yoga practice with tunes guaranteed to open your mind and speak to your heart! 

Featured image: creative commons by Celine Nadeau

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