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By BaliniSports Guest Blogger, Kimi Marin www.kimimarinyoga.com

The goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity who bestows abundance.  She does not care what you look like, your socioeconomic status, or your age. She appears to those people who cultivate gratitude. Her gift of prosperity is available for anyone willing to acknowledge the beauty around them.

In this world it is easy to forget the beauty surrounding us every day. We can easily get distracted by the bustle of trying to succeed, get depressed by world events, or feel inadequate by the images of unattainable perfection constantly displayed on television, social media, and billboards. Yet, real beauty lives around us constantly. Blooming trees, the smile of a stranger, and the taste of fresh garden vegetables are ways beauty touches our lives daily.

To cultivate gratitude in your daily life is akin to cultivating inner and outer beauty. Here are five ways to notice beauty, abundance, and richness in your own life.

Greet the day

The sun rises each day, birds come out, and the air feels fresh. In yoga, sun salutations are movements to honor the continuous rising of the sun – the great energy of life on Earth. No matter the weather, go outside, hear the birds, feel the breeze, and openly greet the day. Notice how the sunlight bounces off clouds or hear the emotion in bird songs. Recognize the bounty of miracles and gifts around you.

Be Present

Pay attention to the people in your life. For many people it has become habit to get distracted by our phones and the online world. We get lost in emails and social media and forget to talk to the people beside us. Graciously give your time and energy to those around you by listening to them, honoring what they have to say, and spending time with them—not your phone, not the online world.

Spoil Yourself

Recognize the ritual of getting ready for the day (and going to sleep) as an act honoring both your inner and outer beauty. Wash your body, place lotion on your skin, put on your make-up, and get dressed with mindfulness. Be grateful for your skin, your freckles, moles, lines, and scars. Focus on what you are enhancing, not what you are hiding.

Surround Yourself with People You Enjoy

Too often people will spend time with others who make them feel inadequate. Surround yourself with people you like and people who like you. Give yourself permission to release the people who no longer lift you up. You deserve to be surrounded by people who support and love you.

Speak your Truth

Support the causes you believe in wholeheartedly. Inaction often causes people to feel insignificant. Donate your time, your voice, or money to charities that you believe make a difference in this world. There is a myth that the goddess Lakshmi sat beside Indra, King of the Gods. One day he was offered a garland of flowers which he casually dismissed. Appalled at Indra’s disregard for his gift, Lakshmi disappeared from the world.  When she left, so did all compassion, light, and grace. Without gratitude we live in a lusterless world. Just as growth and wisdom arise from our setbacks, we must be able to appreciate a cloudy day as well as a sunny one.

To have gratitude for every situation is hard, yet honoring the beauty around us is about allowing our inner light to shine.

Kimi Marin is a Portland-base yoga teacher who helps people find clarity in their mind, body and spirit. She guides students through their practice by riding the waves of breath, energetically aligning breath and body. Kimi has a master’s degree in literature, and loves to combine the power of stories with yoga. She often weaves the myths and stories about various poses into the class. Her transformative Yogic Lore Flow workshops are a fun combination of stories, asana, meditation, and mantra. Kimi was featured in Origin Magazine’s Inspire Series, was the featured ambassador for Ahnu Footwear June 2013, and her writing is published on several blog sites. www.kimimarinyoga.com

Kimi Marin 

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