Seriously, this isn't a Thanksgiving gratitude thing. This is how my whole life changed.
Back when I was traveling fulltime and living the hotel and business dinner 5- days-a-week life, I was… I don’t even know how to describe it… not as stable as I am now. Yes, I was financially stable, and I had all the stuff that goes with that, but internally – I was a mess. My mind was constantly telling me I wasn’t good enough and I needed to do and be more, more, more! The mean voice in my head was absolutely punishing.
I can’t remember how it came into my awareness, but I heard somewhere that if you start a gratitude journal you can literally rewire your brain. So, I started doing it and the effect was quick and powerful.
And that tiny decision I made that one not-special day changed my whole life.
A gratitude practice led to meditation and meditation led to yoga and now I own a yoga studio and develop and lead courses in women’s transformation!
It all started with gratitude.
And it wasn’t hard. Even a simple gratitude practice builds lasting neural sensitivity to more positive thinking. That means the more you practice gratitude, the more you default to positivity instead of negativity. Study after study shows that simple gratitude exercises, like keeping a journal or sharing daily wins with friends or family, can make you happier, more positive, and more emotionally open after just two weeks!
I feel like we need this now more than ever.
We live in a culture that emphasizes acquisition. As we become more fearful of not having enough, not being able to acquire enough, or being under threat from viruses and terrorists, we become more chronically stressed and less connected with the goodness in this world. This leads to hopelessness, despair, and a persistent and excessive drive to act—believing that the more we do to attack or defend against threat, the less vulnerable we are to it.
Here's what I’ve learned about myself from practicing gratitude:
My heart no longer feels enveloped in fear. In an instant, it’s like I flip a switch and the essence of my life comes into focus.
In that space, nothing matters as much as the bird sitting on the ledge and her remarkable array of miraculously assembled feathers. It may be fleeting, but I have observed that those moments of grace add up, and I become more focused on what is there than what is not. I no longer feel stressed and overwhelmed — just grateful.