This piece was written by Kathleen Hannah, writer, yogi, moonchild, and enthusiastic karmi at TYB. She is a lover of learning, sunshine, good vibes, large bodies of water, wine, reading, and hugs.
As we get older does time speed up? How did the year since last Thanksgiving go by so fast? As I write my 2017 Gratitude list I think back to the year I first learned that these were a thing. It was 2014, and I was living in Washington State. I was going through a rough patch, and I was goofing off on Facebook with a glass of wine when I saw various TYB squad listing their gratitudes for the year. Not feeling particularly grateful myself at that time, I wallowed in nostalgia for Cincinnati, more specifically for the sense of belonging I feel here. It feels divinely orchestrated that I find myself back.
By no means has 2016 been an easy year- I’ve referred to it as a giant dumpster fire and meant it on several occasions. However, just as the gratitude lists I read in 2016 from women who certainly had grievances as well as gratitudes, I can see everything I have to be grateful for, despite my grievances. In yoga we have a text called the sutras, which is a collections of short verses that make up the principles of our practice. One sutra speaks to abundance (aparigraha in Sanskrit). It states: “Acknowledging abundance (aparigraha) we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose for our worldly existence." I interpret this to mean that we must become aware to the blessings all around us, become aware of the abundance even when things are not as we would wish. If we focus on what we lack, we suffer. I want my mind to see the abundance around me and within me, and the best way to perceive abundance is by being grateful! It is always around Thanksgiving that I think about my blessings, but really- in terms of gratitude lists, I could do one every day :)
So, as I type with my cat snuggled next to me and Spotify on shuffle (reggae), among incalculable other gratitudes for moments, smiles, sleeps, afternoons, sunsets, yoga classes, conversations, kisses, cups of tea, and glasses of wine that have made up this past year, I am GRATEFUL for…
- My people. In all the shit that has gone down over the past year, I always had my people show up for me. My family, friends, strangers who later became friends, sometimes even I showed up for myself… the point it I have had precious support from the people around me and that’s been huge for me believing in myself, pushing forward when I started to sink, balancing out when I felt myself flooded, and reaching new levels of bad-assery. My people have loved me, supported me, held me up, laughed at my jokes, and overall made everything good and beautiful. I’m grateful for you.
- My work. In my first grown up, 9-5 job I get to help refugees. It is challenging, and inspiring, and I love it. Service is a value I grew up with, and I am privileged to serve this community of new Americans (sidebar: I am also grateful to mom and dad for helping me make rent those first few months <3)
- The Yoga Bar. Coming back to Cincinnati was made a million times more amazing by getting to karmi at the Yoga Bar. I get to learn from some of the best teachers in Cincinnati, and practice at one of the best fucking yoga studios. Yoga has become very important to me over the past few years, and being a part of this sangha, this community, is one of the great blessings of my present.
- My tribe. I bow to the sisterhood. There have been many things over the past several months that I leaned on my sisters to get through. It is impossible to hide from them, as I often would when I was struggling with something. I used to try to keep things inside, thinking that my struggles with anxiety or self-harm made me someone that people wouldn’t like. I tried my best to bury my imperfections, and the consequence of that was I started to believe that I was someone I didn’t like. The women I’ve met this year have, like archeologists, dug up that which I was ashamed of and loved the broken pieces, just as they love the rest of me. They’ve taught me to love myself, and I can never say thank you enough to the women that have helped me get to where I am now.
- Writing. I started writing articles for different forums this year, and as a creative outlet it couldn’t be better for me. I’m learning to exercise my voice. I’m horrible with confrontation, and was never great at engaging confidently, and so I just became quiet, or funny, or sexy. But I’ve got a voice, and I’ve got to use it. Writing has become my platform for authenticity, and confidence. It’s helped toughen me up- I can handle criticism now; I don’t scare as easily. I don’t mind not being liked- I still feel like I’m shining inside. I’m grateful <3
- My cat Nala. I’ve fostered different cats in the past, but she is mine- I’m a cat momma. She is curious, and fucking adorable, and sometimes annoying, and learning boundaries, and a little, chubby, snuggle muffin. She licks your face like she’s a dog. She comes down three flights of stairs when she hears I’m home. She walks on my back to wake me up in the morning when she wants breakfast. She is a wonderful pet- I’m grateful :)
- My home. Bellevue manor is the eighth house I’ve lived in over the course of 2 years. I could never really get settled anywhere, maybe because I wasn’t settled myself, but no house was really right until this one. I grew up sharing a bathroom with five other people- now I’ve got my own :) There’s a yoga space, and not just netflix, but hulu as well. Yeah. Having a comfortable, safe space to call home is something I don’t take for granted. I love my freaking house.
- My roommates- see above. They’re pretty cool.
- The Globe. I’ve never grown with a business from the beginning, and I feel a sense of pride and ownership in participating in the success of our little bar. I’ve learned so much in just the few short months since we’ve been open. Team Globe is the shit.
- Other gratitudes in no particular order: Spotify, almond milk, autumn leaves, Eden park, the fountains at Washington Park, Salazar and JP, hugs, Chris Evans’ biceps, Jess Meyer’s head rubs, white chocolate covered pretzels, kisses, duvets, live music, podcasts, Google, HIllary Clinton, UberEats, journaling, incense, massages from Mattie, sweet handwritten notes from my mom, lunch, Sam for leaving the Britta when she moved to NYC, yoga pants, Audible, Amazon, snow, themed playlists, Logan and Brad for helping me find Ayurveda, Chelsea for making my hair look good, Darren’s cherry sours, ugg slippers, and my giant old navy scarf.