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Actitud De Gratitud

Clare Desmelik | Brevard, NC

Every day I drive into our beautiful school campus, I can’t help but feel grateful. I get to work with amazing children and colleagues and I get to teach and share two of my passions: Yoga AND Spanish! This month I am overflowing with gratitude, on the heels of the amazing fall color and leading up to my personal favorite holiday of all: Thanksgiving. A day we slow down to celebrate presence, family, and friends; a day to count our blessings. It is natural and easy to integrate gratitude into our Yoga lessons, as well as Spanish. Giving thanks is cross-cultural, and I believe it to be contagious.

In our yoga practices, we always try to bring ourselves into the present moment. We set intentions or dedications, and we try to slow down to pause and reflect on the things we deeply acknowledge as our truest blessings. When we start thinking about the things in our lives we are thankful for, we seem to think of more and more. Some of the things shared recently by the Acorns were immense yet straightforward and essential: “Family, the sun, thankful people, love, laughing, my cats, shelter, peace, food, getting to be together, feeling safe, school, the seasons, music, nature.” Out of the mouths of babes.

Children keep it so simple. The little things are actually the biggest things of all. As we grow up and live through more complexity and tougher times, we learn to appreciate the more ‘normal’ times. Adversity and struggle actually open us up to more gratitude. If we allow ourselves to embrace changes and hardships, we soon realize they have taught us beauty through a lens of perspective. We grow through what we go through. When we go through emotionally challenging phases, we realize the value of being empathetic to others. Difficult times and tribulations bring us back to our core. They teach us not to take life for granted. They bring us back to appreciating our fundamental basic needs. They bring us back to valuing what the kids at Mountain Sun seamlessly and effortlessly acknowledged as what they felt most grateful for. Expressing our appreciations in a community circle at the beginning or end of a yoga practice is humbling AND exalting.

Every opportunity is the perfect opportunity to recycle our kind words and phrases during la clase de espanol. During Noviembre phrases such as “GRACIAS!, amor, Somos amigos, Nos queremos” seem to flow. We are beginning to study our family vocabulary, quite appropriate, as we all seem to easily agree that family and friends are our greatest treasures. A student asked me if Latinos celebrate Thanksgiving… a great segue into how, although it is not an actual ‘holiday’ across borders, gratitude is universally beloved. It was also a fabulous segue into how there is actually nothing more American than the blending of cultures. Our Latino neighbors love any reason to celebrate with family and amigos…togetherness while sharing a big meal is a custom ingrained in their heritage. Sharing, combining, integrating, honoring new friendships, connecting with community, coming together with our loved ones and nurturing one another…these are also the roots or raices of the Thanksgiving tradition we recognize and celebrate every November in the United States.

Feeling grateful is not something to be taught, but something to be lived. Here at Mountain Sun Community School, this perspective is woven into everything these children are acquiring through their exploration and curiosity. Celebramos una actitud de gratitud todos los dias! Feliz dia de acción de gracias.

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