This is a blog about gratitude. The title is an Entourage quote, classic mixup.
I was reminiscing about how I never liked being told to be grateful. In my head I would always say back: “I am grateful!” And so there’s where my mind went.
But yes, gratitude, I’ve never liked the word.
Every coach with an instagram page is preaching the importance of gratitude. Must have gratitude practice, buy a journal, write three things EVERY DAY or you’re doomed.
It irritates me for many reasons.
One, the people who are sharing this are often pandering about what having gratitude can “get” you.
Two, it reminds me of my early Catholic school programming where gratitude was used to guilt and shame children who were trying to find their voice.
“I don’t care if you don’t understand, be grateful I’m even teaching you!” – Direct quote from my second grade teacher, probably.
Three, just mind your own business? I don’t even like you.
Okay that last one is just me being bitter at some of these self-help people.
Despite this frustration, I still gave a “gratitude practice” a go for some time. I bought the journal and tried to remember to be thankful each day. This usually resulted in me berating me for not being thankful each day. Or sad that all that I could think to be thankful for was coffee and my bed…
I’ll skip my ah – ha realization moment and get to it: THIS IS NOT THE POINT.
A self help tool/instruction that only leaves you feeling worse is not the way. It took me some time to realize that gratitude is not something you DO, it is something you FEEL.
And this can be expressed in many ways. Just being and enjoying is expressing gratitude in itself. Pausing to admire nature, laughing with a friend or at an entertaining show and yes for sure enjoying that cup of coffee.
The point of recalling these moments in a journal is to redevelop the positive feelings, which helps us to rewire our organically negative disposition. (We are more inclined towards negative, this is science, there’s a study somewhere but this isn’t a scientific journal it’s the blog of a 36 yr old life coach gallivanting through Asia)
If you don’t feel it don’t force it. And if all you have is coffee, it still works. Most importantly, the next time someone tells you to be grateful, remember that you are Queens Boulevard. 😉