A few days ago, I quietly achieved a significant goal. 

On February 26 of last year, I finally decided to start practicing yoga, two years after my physiotherapist suggested it*. I started with a 7-day commitment to myself, which I met. Then I committed to a month, which I again met. A few days ago, I completed my 365th practice, with 3 weeks to spare in my aspirational goal of averaging one class a day for an entire year.

My flexibility has dramatically increased, my core is stronger, my balance is better, and I have more control over my breath. I did the work, but there’s no way I could have lived up to that commitment without the warm welcome and patient teaching of my studio community. I’m full of gratitude, but when I’ve thought to express that gratitude to my classmates and instructors in a heartfelt way, I freeze.

It’s not that I’m not grateful. I am. I just, for whatever reason, feel awkward expressing it. To this day, I cannot take a compliment, and my awkwardness with receiving praise affects how I offer it as well. I’m grateful for someone or something every single day, but I typically express it in ways so subtle they may go unnoticed. 

We are all creatures of habit, and part of what my yoga practice has taught me is that I can implement and honor good habits if I set my mind to them. 

And so, I’ve decided to start writing a series of “Thank Yous” to both internally process & externally express gratitude to people who have impacted my life. I believe this practice will force me to reflect, keep an open mind, and maybe confront some demons I’ve been pretending don’t exist for my whole life. 

It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy, and I’m hopeful that as I become comfortable writing my appreciation, I’ll start to become comfortable expressing it in the moment as well. 

Be on the lookout, because soon I may be writing about you.

*I’ve experienced few things so humbling as having a physiotherapist half my size demonstrate that my hip flexors were about as strong as a 5-year-old’s.