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For the Love of Gratitude by Sheri Celentano

November 13, 2013

Sheri's Mom and Dad When it came time for the Gratitude Blogs for November, the first thing I did was look at my calendar to check when I might have some time to write. While I LOVE to write, it takes some time for me to get rolling with it. What jumped out at me in November was “mom and dad’s anniversary dinner” on November 10th… I immediately asked for November 11 as my day to hand in a blog as I feel so truly grateful for being born into the relationship of Sandy and Richie!

When I think about the fact that my parents have married for 45 years it kinda blows my mind. I am sure many of us can agree that it must take some MAJOR WORK to have a full on healthy, loving relationship for that long. The desire to jump ship when the flames burn high on deck is quite tempting. Why stay in the flames and burn when you can abandon ship and jump onto the next seemingly beautiful, sparkly clean boat a few yards up the river??? I joke, but not really. I have been blessed to witness the beauty of a super long term marriage. A marriage that seems to have found the balance between effort and ease!

So I decided to ask them last night as my dad was “making his moves” through traffic on the BQE what it was they were most grateful for in their marriage. My fathers immediate reply was “that’s a no brainer, you and your brother,” my mom said “he can still make me laugh.” Then there was a pause for some fancy driving as my mom was asking him for more… more answers please, but Dad was making his moves and made her wait. He then said… “that she puts up with me, I’m not easy.” She then replied that “ we just get each other, we’re soul mates.” SIGH!

In this practice of yoga we talk about relationships, how we try to let the meeting of the opposites, the union, the friction of two things coming together create something whole. Two parts to one. We have relationships with ourselves, our practice, our friends, our pets, our neighbors, the earth… you get it, relationships are everywhere. Sometimes our relationships fall apart, sometimes they grow stronger through the rough patches and deepen and mature into what is no longer breakable. I remember reading in Harish Johari’s Chakra book that once a person can pierce the field of the 6th Chakra, there is no falling back off the ladder of spirituality, you have arrived.

At Laughing Lotus we talk a lot about the chakras, it is the baseline for all that we do. There is longing to move deeper, to allow our potential energy to rise up and to make space for happiness, union and freedom from the trappings of the mind. This energy (kundalini), rises up through the Chakras, it’s element is fire. The lower chakras are earth bound, fun and pleasurable and at times of course extremely painful. They are young and juicy, they are learning, they fail and fall and try again to move up. When I write “they”, I mean we, because it is us who must live and fail and keep on keeping on. But, the beauty of reading the 6th Chakra person does not fall back, reminds me of my parents. Yes, they are fun and silly and quite youthful in how they act, and yes there are fights and arguments, but they are definitely a 6th Chakra Couple. The are in it. Unified. Whole. There is no falling back. I was worried when they both retired within a year of each other that all of a sudden there would be all of this time, what would they do? They have, if anything grown closer. They travel, they spend time with friends, they babysit my niece and nephew often, they have alone time yes, but probably spend more time together now than they had in the first 43 years of marriage! I am almost scared to say it, as it may sound odd, but they are like a great Vinyasa class… they have consistently been able to find the FLOW in their relationship, knowing when to push and fire through and knowing where to back off. SO there is a grace and ease surround all of the effort it takes to be in a committed relationship got 45 years. They have found the Sthiram Sukham Asanam. This is Sutra II:46 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, sthira means either firm, steady, fixed, steadfast or unchanging and sukham translates as either easeful, happiness, delight or joy. asanam is the plural form of asana, meaning posture, pose or seat. We can think of it as finding strength and grace or balancing effort and ease in every seat, posture, or relationship that we take.

What can we take from this solid example of relationship? Well, I feel it may be this: Laugh a lot, accept each other with flaws (perfection is boring anyway), give each other space when needed, and work together, add a good dash of honesty without aiming to hurt and keep it juicy!! I would love to add that it is not only romantic relationships I am talking about. We can apply this formula to all relationships, go ahead, read it again and imagine it is a long term friend, imagine it is you. Are you grateful for the relationship you have with yourself? Your friends? For the strong, beautiful relationships you have been blessed to witness? My suggestion is this: tonight before sleep take a moment, light a candle, or sit quietly and just find gratitude in your heart for long lasting, beautiful relationships. Find strength there, it may be your relationship to this practice of yoga, to a family member to a friend, it may be someone you know that has a relationship you admire. As Anne Lamott says in HELP, THANKS, WOW… “Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into our behavior.”

My parents know that they are blessed, and they have gratitude for life, family and friends. I also know I am blessed to have been a part, wow, a product of this love.

Thanks MOM and DAD for being a sixth chakra couple and thank you Universe for birthing me to this family. I am eternally grateful.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ali permalink
    November 13, 2013 10:16 am

    I am eternally grateful to your parents for giving YOU to this world! Beautiful tribute! Let them be inspiration to us all for the longggg relationship to our Practice and our community. Love you xoxo

  2. November 13, 2013 11:33 am

    such an inspiration to read, sheri…thank you for sharing…what a wonderful, witty & clever way to make an analogy between human relationships & the chakra system…and i think that is of equal note to mention that you being born out of a sixth chakra relationship is really a testament to who & what YOU are…it is so obvious, knowing you, that you come from a place of love, of loyalty, of devotion & that, as a product of a sixth chakra couple, you are a sixth chakra yogi…thank you, sheri!!! love you!!! with peace & positive energy, * v

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