One of my yoga students asked me last night in class how he can help his mind. He realized his body had its own issues, but keenly he knew that the center of his problems was his head-the stinking thinking.

How can one shift from being stuck in negative energy, from having a bad day? I responded, “Think of two things you are grateful for.” It’s our conditioning and patterning that keep us in the negative… what’s wrong- with everything, our looks, our bodies, our jobs, our lack of balance in our life, our employer, our spouse, etc…Imagine being programmed to think of all the positive first? Some people are-most kids are.

Change happens with awareness. He was aware that he was feeling lousy and that the main issue was stemming from his head. And one negative thought is breeding ground for more to come very quickly until the thought streams unite into a vortex of darkness. Having the awareness is key.

Second step is to re-train the mind by shifting the thoughts from negative to positive. One powerful and effective way to do this is by taking inventory of what’s good in our life…, whether it be something simple, like fresh air to breathe, a roof over our head, food on the table, our health, etc. What we are doing is changing our energetic vibration; our energy will become lighter, and we will start to feel better.

The best part about this whole process is that you start to feel your heart opening. Pay attention to your heart center when you are doing your gratitude list in your head. Feeeeeel your heart start to soften, then open and being filled with warm loving energy. That is love. That is the most potent force on the planet; that’s the stuff that heals. IT’S TANGIBLE. LOVE IS NOT SOME AIRY FAIRY EMOTION. IT IS A TANGIBLE POWERFUL FORCE FOR GOOD.

Take time to sit and reflect and feel into your heart this holiday. You can do this anytime, driving, walking, sitting at your computer. Today I was driving across the north shore of the island and instead of feeling the stressful traffic crankiness, I was having a heart opening experience as I was admiring the colorful autumn trees and the beauty of the leaves with the sun light shining down on them. I felt overcome with gratitude for the simple majesty and beauty of nature all around us. How blessed are we to live in such a magnificent place.

Align your mind with your heart and you will feel better instantly. It’s simple but powerful practice. And yes, it’s something we have to practice, it doesn’t come naturally to us, for the most part. And when we can practice gratitude even in the worst scenarios-that’s when we become a master of our emotions and a master of our lives.

I have transformed my body many times- from skinny girl to body builder to fitness competitor to yogi to triathlete to swimmer…that pales in comparison to transforming my mind. But retraining our mind is the key to a happy life! It’s simple but not easy. However, we must remain relentless, awake and aware. Positive mind, happy heart! Be grateful, write your list and watch your heart bloom in love. Happy Thanksgiving from my heart to yours. Namaste.