Liberation from fear grants happiness…that’s what I got tattooed on my side. They’re words that are fundamental to my view on life and something that I always want to be reminded of. I believe that pure happiness is not something that is achieved, but something that already exists in all of us. Often times it is just masked by layers of different limiting factors, one of the most common ones being fear. We hold ourselves back so often because we are afraid to fail, afraid to be judged, afraid to let someone down, afraid to be hurt, afraid to hurt someone else, the list is endless. All of these things that we are afraid of dim the inner core of happiness, fulfillment and love that exists in all of us and prevents us from living up to the potential of the amazing humans that we really are. One of the easiest ways I have found to stoke my fire of happiness and contentedness is to remind myself just how many amazing things I have in my life and how much there is that I can be grateful for.
So as you can probably guess one of the newest additions to my life and one of my biggest sources of love and gratitude is our new baby Luke. What you might not know is that I was absolutely terrified at the idea of having a kid to the point where I almost chose not to. I was afraid I wouldn’t be a good mom, afraid to have my world rocked by and turned completely upside down, afraid to lose my independence, afraid of all that unknown. Without ever directly telling me what I should do, my amazing husband encouraged me to think about those simple words that I had chosen to put on my body and remember why I had chosen them and what they meant to me. Obviously, I chose to go for it…and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
We welcomed baby Luke, officially Lucas Tyler Waiton, into the world on October 1st at 11:28pm. I could never have imagined that that much more love existed inside of me. Sometimes at night when I rock him to sleep, I can’t help but break down in tears just looking at him feeling overwhelmed with love. When I put him down in his crib, I like to close my eyes and silently tell him just how grateful I am that I get to be his mama and how excited I am for this amazing journey that we get to share together. This alone, even on the roughest days, is enough to make me feel so full and happy.
There is a quote by Buddha that goes, “Thousands of candles can be lit by a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened, happiness never decreases by being shared.” If we take this idea and relate it to appreciation within our own life, it suggests that the more we recognize all the amazing things in our life the more we find that we can be grateful for. Furthermore, sharing this gratitude and appreciation with the world around us can, in turn, inspire others to do the same. The positive energy and happiness around us all and in all of our hearts only continue to grow.
So here is my challenge to you. Starting today, pick one of the many things in your life that you are grateful for and share it with your community on your Instagram and/or Facebook and do this for seven days. That means that your last post will be on Christmas Day. For every one of you that successfully completes this challenge, I will give you a super stylish NAKOA shirt of your choice as well as a shiny black gift card for one month of unlimited classes that you can give to any non-NAKOA friend. Here are the rules…
- You must tag NAKOA (@nakoafitness) and me (@biancawaiton) in each of your posts
- Hashtag #gratitudechallenge and #luckywelivenakoa
- Include at least a sentence or two of explanation and elaboration for each post (no “I love lamp” kinda thing).
Trust me. The juice is worth the squeeze here. I promise that it will only make you feel amazing inside. Just give it a try. And if you’re a person who thinks that all this is invaluable or too mushy and sentimental for you, think a bit about why you feel like that. What do you have to lose? Is there something that you are afraid of, say being judged, that’s holding you back? If so, just remember, “liberation from fear grants happiness.”
With love and gratitude,