I usually alternate my runs with yoga classes, but this week my husband is out of town, so it’s up to me to exercise the dogs every morning. Just like me, they need to get their wiggles out to be calm and focused the rest of the day. By Thursday, I had missed two of my classes and my body and soul were feeling it. One of my dogs did not want to get out of bed and I was cranky. You ungrateful canine, it is 5:45am and I am missing yoga again because of you. I could be doing downward dog, so don’t give me that downcast dog face. I had to turn my attitude around or I was going to be angry and resentful and it was not going to be pretty.
We got out the door and the crisp spring air hit me as the fragrance of jasmine wafted from the garden wall. An early bird chirped. It’s going to be a glorious day, I told myself. A walk to the corner turned into a slow jog (lots of sniffing to do) and I noticed all of the azaleas, petunias, roses, and other plants I couldn’t even name in full bloom. More birds awoke and the chirps gave way to full songs, with trills, calls, and responses. We picked up the pace a bit and the sky began to turn pink. And then orange. It was indeed a magnificent morning.
My heart began to swell (not just from running) and my gratitude was immense. I am so grateful to be outside to witness this beautiful morning, so grateful to have my health, my canine companions, so grateful to have this fabulous weather, this nice neighborhood, my family, my friends, my freedom. I am so fortunate to be here! By turning my unpleasant task into a reward, I could enjoy every second of it. Better yet, I can look forward to tomorrow’s run yet again. It was no longer a punishment, but a privilege. Being able to reframe the unwanted circumstance as a desired gift made all the difference in the world.
Try it and see. Look at your challenging task with lenses of gratitude. See if you can redefine it as a reward, something that you have the privilege of accomplishing. Lucky you!