Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hello everyone
It's official, I have a new 'blog' website! My hope is to impact even more people with a better site, easier to navigate, 'follow' me etc.

Please wind your way over to and 'follow' me there.  Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gratitude as a Healing Tool

I've been thinking about gratitude as a healing tool a lot recently. Mostly because I've been struggling with my depression as my doctor adjusts my meds (going off one pill) and we are monitoring to see if a higher dose of a single prescription will do the trick and not have the side effects of the one I am being weaned from.

So.  Gratitude.  It's not a natural state of being; it's not an easy place to be in when the kids are screaming, traffic is snarled, bills have to be paid, and work pressure is off the charts.  Gratitude is an emotional state of mind that can so easily be buried or shunted aside by the frenetic pace of life nowadays.

I find it so easy to be angry and stressed, and forget to be grateful for what I have. And anger and stress for me is the 'victim' state of mind.  it's a habit I had for over 40 years, so the roots go deep in my psyche.  I've dug out a lot of the roots, added a lot of fertilizer (love and forgiveness), but it's like one of those weeds where, if you leave one little section of root in the soil, it can pop up again and start crowing out healthy plants (thoughts) so very quickly.

So I use gratitude as a way to kill the poisonous roots of anger and pain.  Gratitude is like one of those non-toxic weed killers you can get in the garden center nowadays.  it's harmful to weeds but doesn't kill the plants you want to nurture, nor the pets or children you have in your life.  Gratitude is something that spills over onto your family, friends, colleagues.  Used properly and in healthy doses, gratitude spreads to the world around you.

However, it's so easy to disdain gratitude, so easy to say "what do I have to be grateful for?"  That knee-jerk reaction takes very little effort on the part of your mind.  Gratitude takes work and awareness.  And many times it can seem so much easier to not be aware, not be conscious.  At least, easier at this moment.  But many moments of anger and stress and ingratitude can gather up into a lifetime of bitterness.

So I"m sitting here, waiting on my husband to finish helping one of our friends with their computer, so we can get to the office, and my thoughts were sliding downhill fast.  I didn't want to work today; I was frustrated with myself. My thoughts were playing tricks on me, trying to trip me up, take me down a well-travelled "woe is me" route that I can travel blindfolded.  It's like driving you ever get there and think....did I stop at all the stop signs?  it's so much easier to be unconscious.  Consciousness takes effort.

However, as part of the healing process, I have learned over time that I can control my thoughts, if I just kick them out of their subconscious litany and into awareness.One of the most powerful tools in my healing arsenal is gratitude. 

What can you be grateful for today?  Take 3 minutes and jot down a list. It doesn't matter if you never look at the list again, if it gets lost in that pile of paperwork on your desk or gets tossed out into the recycle bin.  Just the act of writing it out will change your mental course.  Just the act of writing it down will kick you into awareness.  And that's enough to start the healing process.

Will you lose track and make a 'wrong turn' back into unconsciousness and negativity? Sure.  but you can write another list, even if there's only one or two things on it.  You could call a friend and have a discussion about what you're grateful for.  You can turn off the TV (is there really anything positive on TV?) and take a moment for gratitude.  Respond to this post here on the blog and let me know what you're grateful for.

Gratitude heals you.  it shifts your perspective to a positive slant, even if only for a moment.  But that moment is a little bit of fertilizer for your brain, and the roots of happiness will drink them up.  They are parched right now; they haven't been watered or fertilized in a long time.  And the roots of happiness get stronger if you will consciously feed them.  once you've learned that you can be grateful, even if it's just that you're alive and above ground, and hey, you must have access to computer or you couldn't be reading this...think of how many people in the world don't have that, and be grateful for it....but once you've learned that you can be grateful, you've taken the first step towards healing.

Today I am grateful that the sun is shining.  That I have a husband and friends who love me. That I have the eyes to see the beauty in nature.  That I have a car that works, a roof over my head, a choice in clothing to wear. I'm grateful for dark chocolate and pita chips. Oh, and I'm also very grateful for spellcheck. :0)

What are you grateful for today?