Gratitude Gives Life

As the cooler temperature and the darkness nudge me inside more often, I find myself spending more time with my family. My three kids are incredibly good playmates with one another, which means there is rarely a dull moment in our home. My husband and I recently had a morning at home without our kids and I was struck by the quiet. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the time alone with my husband, I felt a deep longing for my children that I normally don’t feel because I spend so much time with them. That longing sparked an appreciation that feels like a good reminder to me to be grateful to my children for spending the beginning of their lives with me. I have been told forever that the phase of raising children goes quickly, but I had a hard time believing it during those long, sleepless nights or hours of inconsolable crying. But now that my children are all school-aged and old enough to be opinionated and articulate, I can see that I’m enjoying them on borrowed time. Their focus is shifting more and more to the outside world and I’m learning to really treasure the time we spend together. I know they would rather be riding their bikes or climbing trees outside, but I’m grateful for the shorter days so they are forced to come inside and slow down just enough for a hug, a joke, a board game, a quick conversation. These are the stolen treasures that I value more than anything else on these long, cold nights. I am so grateful for the mundane act of brushing my teeth next to my children or the more delicious extended snuggles that they allow only right before sleep. Sometimes the noise and the chaos can feel like too much and I wish for quiet. But when I had that quiet morning recently I realized how grateful I am for the chaos. There will be plenty of time for quiet in years to come.

I spend a lot of time feeling grateful in my life. I think gratitude is a great antidote to most of the ailments that make us feel “off” in our lives. I prescribe gratitude to many of my clients because it helps to shift how we use our life energy. Negative thoughts and their resulting negative emotions can drain our life energy. On the flip side, gratitude can make our life energy feel abundant…even over-flowing. Another way of saying this is that gratitude gives us life.

I hope that you’re able to take time at this holiday-filled time of year to contemplate and express your gratitude. In addition to feeling grateful for our family and friends I find it hugely important in my life to be grateful to the earth. The earth holds everything I have ever cared about on her breast. She is also the only reason that I am alive as the food that I eat comes from her flesh and the water that I drink flows from her veins. I am so grateful for the abundance of water and food that my family and I have in our lives. There are places on earth where it’s unimaginable to have drinkable, running water in one’s home and a refrigerator and pantry full of food. Sometimes I experiment with allowing myself to feel hungry or thirsty just so that I can become even better at remembering to be grateful for the abundance of food and water that I have in my life. It’s such a luxury to experiment with feeling hunger or thirst when there are so many people who don’t have such a choice.

I am also grateful for my work as a therapist and for the wonderful clients I have worked with through the years. There are times in our lives where gratitude can feel elusive because we are carrying too many emotional blocks to feel it. I love working with people to release those blocks, to find the missing pieces of the puzzle, to learn new ways of being and thinking… My goal is always to help each person that I work with to achieve his or her highest potential for feeling emotionally, physically, and spiritually clear, healthy and happy. I hold total faith that every human being can reach their full potential…sometimes we just need a little help along the way. Thank you for trusting me with that powerful work.

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