I Yam Lucky: Count your blessings each day

Written by Chantal Berot on February 29th 2016.

Anyone who has taken my Yoga classes knows that I often speak about gratitude and how important it is to remind ourselves each day of all the blessings we have in our lives. Gratitude is what keeps us humble, what makes us happy, and what helps us live a more satisfying and simple life.

We live in a world where it is easy to get lost in anger, frustration and stress. Taking time for ourselves is considered a luxury. Often, we take care of others first, giving us little time to find stillness and reflect. We are not always programmed to live such a busy and hectic lifestyle, which can lead to a disconnection from yourself, your environment and those around you.

Not many people know this, but I used to be immersed in a very hectic world. Right after college, I worked at a successful, large advertising agency in Dublin, Ireland. After just two years, I was ready to blow. If you had asked me then what I was grateful for, I probably would have said “the open bar at events on Thursday nights!”

Living such a fast-pace lifestyle was exhilarating at times, but it wasn’t for me. I had a thirst to travel and discover the world – by myself. So off I went on a one-way flight to Brazil on my own. Needless to say, my mother wasn’t very grateful, but I can’t tell you how much I grew as a person during that time. I travelled throughout Latin America, lived in New Zealand and met the man of my dreams. I am truly grateful for that time of growth and learning in my life. There were so many people who made that experience what it was, but I am most grateful to myself for taking a leap of faith and doing it.

My family and friends are the ones for whom I am most grateful. Once my parents got over the initial shock of “you’re going to South America? On your own? For an unknown length of time? Ah Jaysus Chantal!,” they started to understand my seemingly irrational decisions. They have stuck by me through thick and thin, supported me in my times of need and showed me unconditional love. I know many of us live far from family, whether they are in another country, state or deceased; they are always close to our hearts.

I met Mike (my significant other) during my travels in Bolivia. We were both volunteering at an animal refuge in the middle of the jungle. It was a four- week romance that neither of us were able to forget. We chased each other all over the world for seven years, sacrificing family, friendships and careers to be together. We have often spent long periods of time apart, but we have finally found our new home here in the North Carolina mountains.

But my journey since moving here has probably been my most challenging yet. It is not quite what you would think. I am used to moving around and living in foreign cultures. The people here and the area are amazing. I feel blessed every day to be living here. Actually, Western North Carolina reminds me of home a lot (but with nicer weather).

I went through a long, complicated and costly process to get my Visa. In that time, I wasn’t allowed to leave. It took almost a year! There were so many things that I missed in that time, like my best friend’s wedding, my uncle’s passing and my godfather’s coma. I never got to share the joy, the tears and the heartache with the people who matter most to me. Finding gratitude in that time was so hard. I was really angry at the government, at the stupid immigration laws, at the robots I kept getting on the phone who didn’t seem to have any sympathy. That was hard. I still get a little teary thinking about it.

If I had not had Mike, yoga, the YAM family and the community, I might not have stuck around. This last year, ALL of my gratitude goes to you guys! Thank you for being my family, my support and letting me cry and share a bottle of wine when I needed it most. You all played a big part in helping me through that difficult time.

Guiding you through your Yogi journeys has been such an honor and pleasure. I am exploding with gratitude for the YAM family. Thank you!

I am also very grateful for the opportunity to start my own business this year. I am opening a mobile coffee trailer with the best coffee, tea and croissants you’ve ever tasted. You’ll have to come to Asheville to visit me, but I promise it will be worth it. Unfortunately, though, it means spending my early mornings serving coffee instead of sweating it out with some vinyasas.

It is with a heavy heart that I leave the breakfast club 6 a.m. Yammies to embark on my new journey, but I’m grateful to be able to continue the Wednesday evening Slow Flow classes and look forward to seeing you there.

So for this month, let I YAM Lucky be your Mantra, and reflect deeply on what blessings your life holds. Spend some quiet moments each day remembering them, whether it be in the Yoga room or at home, and let gratitude fill you and those around you.


Posted in YAM Teacher Profiles

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