By: Lauren Freier, Regular Contributor
Lately I find myself more frequently contemplating the power of perspective, the idea that altering a person’s frame of mind can help rewrite his/her entire world. As I begin creating more tangible goals to succeed in addressing this mental shift, I am continuously drawn to the concept of gratitude and the weight of its impact.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Thankfulness. What an enlightened philosophy to live by; but is it always fully genuine?
The wannabe yogi in me is perpetually intrigued by the notion of leading a mindful existence. However the girl wincing her way into a beginner’s downward dog pose is struggling to put this philosophy into practice. How can a person successfully be both present-focused and goal-oriented? How does one fully embrace today and make sure that tomorrow still runs smoothly? And how on earth can someone be content with each moment and also constantly strive for more? Perhaps the answer is hidden in the way the people on their yoga mats around me effortlessly kick their way up into a handstand as I barely get one foot off the floor—determination, focus, and balance.
I am learning that gratitude is not just some hippie concept written on kitschy jewelry, an overused social media hashtag, or a Thanksgiving platitude. Rather “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” (Melody Beattie). It is absolutely authentic—so long as you make it so.
If I commit to opening my eyes to the world around me instead of skeptically rolling them, I can grow to find my own unique balance. The more I fill my soul with gratitude, the more positive energy I will radiate outward, and thus the more alive I become. Plus who knows, maybe I will even gain more advanced skills on the mat in the process.
Gratitude IS transformative: heart, body, mind, and soul. What's your gratitude attitude?
- A daily gratitude practice is a great way to focus on the many gifts you have at your finger tips. Write it down in a journal, jot it on a post-it note and throw it in a Gratitude Jar, or take a few quiet moments to voice out loud what you're thankful for. Watch the amazing results that follow!
Lauren is a passionate writer, Beatles fanatic, celebrity gossip junkie, therapist, and mental health advocate. Her personal and professional experiences in both LA and Chicago have inspired her dedication to emotional wellness, resiliency, and self-acceptance. She holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a therapist at InnerVoice Psychotherapy and Consultation, a Chicago-based private practice, as well as a social-emotional health educator at a non-profit organization.
image via benaustinblog.com