My Husband has been drumming for longer than I’ve known him and I’ve always watched him and others. I have even hosted one or two circles. I just never actively participated. Last summer, I had my first drumming experience when the Monks from the Drepung Gomang monastery were here.
I’m going to be honest with you…I have never felt comfortable enough to just lose myself so completely in front others. Do you know what I mean? I watch my Husband go away when he drums. I have seen people completely give themselves over to the drum and its beat.
But last year, when I was beating the drum mallet against a huge drum along with 6 other people, including two of the monks, I finally understood what that felt like. The vibration just kind of soaked into my soul. It was as if every beat against the drum was in synch with my heart.
So awesome was it then when I read this article on drumming and its effect on health and stress. Check out the videos of the people dancing to the drumming with such abandon! Oh, to be that free! Watch the drummers. There is no stress on their faces. These people are feeling pure joy.
When I hear this kind of music, it does make me want to get up and move! Stomping my feet! Waving my hands! Feeling the beat of my heart and the drum stamping out whatever stress I may be feeling! And, it can be any kind of music. Last week, during my workout, the song, Footloose came on and I just stopped what I was doing and danced. What an amazing experience!
Do you dance?
It has been a long, cold winter. I’m not one to complain about Mother Nature. My Husband always says, “There’s no such thing as bad weather; only inappropriate clothing.” That is not to say that I haven’t been hibernating. I have never been a cold weather athlete. Every year I think about it but it is just so easy to stay home, where it’s warm and cozy. I walk but not nearly as much as I do when it’s 30 or above. And, with all the snow we have in my area, even walking a mile takes an hour. I get a bit complacent with my workouts.
After spending some time psyching myself up to do circuit training this morning, I finally took a deep breath in. A deep breath in of gratitude. Gratitude for the bright sun shining through my windows. Gratitude for my body that feels like it’s been waking up after being in a dark cave. Once the gratitude soaked in, I was allowed to do a kick ass workout. With each jump squat, lunge, and push up, I felt the winter begin to flow out of me. I swear I even smelled spring.
And with this feeling of gratitude, spreading through every pore, came the release of all the stress I put upon myself just minutes before. Feeling gratitude allows me to accept the present moment as being exactly perfect just the way it is. By the time I got to the second set of circuits, I was sweating and smiling and feeling pretty damn good. I was grateful.
Here are just a few ways to experience gratitude:
- Be aware of all the wonderfully small things in life.
- Keep a gratitude journal (I don’t write in mine. I make collages).
- Change the negatives to positives.
- Give compliments or share your appreciation with someone.
- Avoid gossip, complaining, and/or criticism for a few days and see what happens.
- Sound happy when you speak with others and notice how they respond.
- Do something for others.
What are you grateful for today?