Expressing gratitude is as important as your daily run

Last week, I spent a few days in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for my cousin’s wedding. I told myself one of the days here, I would see the sunrise and meditate on the beach. I got a chance to do that on the last day.

It was important to me that I spent some to sit back and reflect because of my family history rooting back in DR. My mother was born and pretty much raised there. Thankfully due to my grandfather’s work ethic and determination to raise his family in better conditions, they immigrated to America.

It was also important to me that I express gratitude because I had put together the first community event for Zen Compass and flew directly to DR that next morning for the wedding festivities. I wanted to slow everything around me a bit to pause, be thankful for the opportunity to be able to make an impact on others, and be proud of myself for the accomplishments so far.

When I sat there and closed my eyes to tune out the sounds of the waves crashing, I focused on my breath. Sometimes my mind would wander to all the errands I had to do when I returned to NYC, but then I returned my attention to the breath.

After, I visualized my grandparents in front of me and thanked them for all that they did to provide my mother the opportunity to go to Baruch college and meet my father. I visualized a lot of other family members and thanked them as well for helping my mother along her journey.

I also remembered that nervousness I felt before the community gathering. The anxiety of getting up in front of people to talk about my journey into meditation. Then I remembered the feeling I had after and all the positive feedback I received. I told myself I was proud of my accomplishment and even smirked a bit.

I tell you after doing this, there is an unexplainable intense positive feeling that I wish I could feel the entire day. Expressing gratitude helps slows the chaos around me and focus on the macro. Not the small things that stress me or make me nervous. This allows me to focus on what is important right now and allow me to reach my full potential as someone who is present.

Try this for yourself right now:

  • Close your eyes and count to 10 with each breath 5 times
  • Then, think about something your thankful for and visualize who is part of that (even if its yourself).
  • Thank those involved internally and focus on the feeling that arises
  • For an additional positivity boost, try smiling during the visualization part