While in Target the other day I came across several cool journals. The cover of one had OKAY FINE, I’M GRATEFUL! with a run on paragraph in ever smaller type size. It was SO spot on.
“A journal to catapult me from my default position of griping and negativity to the long-resisted stance of counting my blessings, because it turns out that focusing on the positive actually might be better for my mind, body, and spirit, in no small part because unhappiness is the gap between expectations and reality, so even though this whole gratitude thing feels like a bandwagon on the woo-woo train, the fact is that deep down I’m ready to start looking at the roses rather than the thorns, and if you absolutely force me to admit it, I will say that in all actuality I do have so very much to be grateful for.
When introducing myself as a transformational life coach I love people who lean in respond “Awesome.” or “Cool!” They have not only heard about personal development they are on board. Sometimes people get that you’re-speaking-a foreign-language look. They ask “What is that?” Either leaning in or stepping back. They possibly are among those who have a this-is-woo-woo opposition to some of the personal development concepts.
What is fun for me, about the journal cover, is the straight up admission of our natural resistance. We have push back when it comes to starting any new practice that might help us have something better. Meditation, journaling, gratitude, affirmations, getting up 15 minutes earlier. In my experience it does not seem to matter what a person is taking up, there is usually a small hump to get over. First it takes repetition for anything to become a practice and naturally involves some false starts and choppy execution before consistency is achieved. Second we’re stepping into an unknown with desired outcomes. We do not know what to expect and yet, sometimes, we desire a practice to solve all that ails us.
I recently had a client come into a session highly agitated. She is fed up with the struggle of business and continually getting the short end of the stick. She professes to listen to motivational talks, pray and do affirmations. She was adamant in wanting to break the cycle and does not understand why “people take advantage of her”. There is deep work to do and she has agreed to do the work. (Champion!) In her case the supporting practices have not bridged her need for approval from others. A need that drives her to light a match igniting the torch for others to burn her with.
The beauty and blessing of any practice, gratitude journal or other, is the inherent gift of the practice. When we come in deep down ready to see the roses. Ready to clear the fog. Ready to find peace. The practice provides. It can feel like we are finally exhaling. The veil can lift. Some inner soul need is met. We realize we are good with the woo woo stuff. We realize we actually have so much to be grateful for. And, that can change change everything.
For Your Best Possible Self
Coach Christine Clark