As a life coach, I regularly work with clients to set clearer goals, take action, and deepen their personal and professional development. Often times I find that people stand in a perspective that says satisfaction, fulfillment, and ultimately, happiness are things to be achieved “out there”. We believe if we take the right steps, say the right things, or be the right way, then this happiness will be ours to grasp, at last.
The truth is that today, we are privy to so much information and have access to a startling amount of choice, yet we don’t always know how to best handle or choose. We are pushed to chase an extraordinary life, one that looks incredible to others, at the expense of appreciating the meaningful ordinary that is satisfying to self. We are influenced to meticulously design our futures, to have them planned and predicted and controlled, but forget we don’t need to know our futures -- we’re going to live them anyway.
What we need is to be here, now.
This is where a gratitude practice can make the biggest difference between waiting for happiness from “out there”, versus discovering its already blooming existence right here.
Be curious about what makes you feel grateful. And perhaps more importantly, be curious about where it may be possible to expand this energy into the neglected cracks and corners of our busy lives.
Can we be grateful all of the time? No, of course not. Life is full of difficult experiences ranging from the mildly unpleasant to the excruciatingly crippling. But, even in the midst of great pain, we can be grateful for our raw vulnerability.
“Be vulnerable. Let yourself be deeply seen, love with your whole heart, practice gratitude and joy…be able to say ‘I am thankful to feel this vulnerable because it means I am alive’, and believe ‘I am enough.’ You are worthy of love & belonging.” - Brene Brown
Sometimes this kind of gratitude can only be recognized from the other side of pain -- from the place where we can say “I could have never gotten through it without my friends”, or “I know this lead me to where I am now, and to know what I know.” And truly, that’s OK. While gratitude appreciates a timely acknowledgment, it also has an endless amount of patience. It is never too late to be grateful for your life.
We can practice gratitude as presence, in order not to miss the moments and meetings that cannot possibly be replicated. We can practice gratitude vocally, spiritually, professionally, casually; in gestures, words, or energy. There are no rules to how it must be expressed, or embodied. It just asks that you keep it alive in your heart in whatever way feels right. It asks that you consider working to fill the tank regularly, so that when life does, inevitably, present challenges, you have a reserve to sustain you into healing.
The idea is to really live, deeply and genuinely, versus trying to convince anyone else you have a life. The idea is to not let ourselves miss where we are, and to generously allow for satisfaction in what we have. And if we really don’t like the where and what? We can allow ourselves permission to make changes and be thankful change is the very basis of our human nature.
With gratitude, the Universe is eternally abundant, and is truly yours to experience with great joy and fulfillment. But, my darlings, you have to say yes. And, you have to say thank you.
Love and Light,
This essay was originally written for a wellness program within a Bay Area tech company.
For a personalized wellness or coaching essay of your own, contact me here!