Gratitude requires a lot from us sometimes! As a bereaved mom, it took me years to rethink gratitude and how I could and wanted to incorporate it into my life in my bereavement.
In this coaching episode, learn how gratitude can instantly enrich your life in every way and how to start feeling it again or start with a gratitude practice.
0:13 We've been conditioned to feel gratitude
1:02 What gratitude is
1:40 When you can't feel it
2:47 Why we can't feel gratitude
3:08 Loss and pain traps us
4:07 4 practices to feel gratitude
5:03 What gratitude means to you
7:19 Making room for happiness
7:31 Key Takeaway
BOOKS (by Vonne Solis)
“Lessons in Surviving Suicide – A Letter to My Daughter”
“Divine Healing Transforming Pain into Personal Power – A Guide to Heal Pain From Child Loss, Suicide and Other Grief”
“The Power of Change”
RESOURCES (Blog, Course & Meditations)
Personal JOURNAL (free download)
Vonne Solis 0:00
Welcome to another Grief Talk Coffee Chat episode. I'm your host, Vonne Solis.
Vonne Solis 0:13
Welcome to Coaching 12. Gratitude = Joy = More Gratitude. Now, what's a little bit different in this coaching episode is that I'm going to be talking about something that we've been conditioned we must have, which is gratitude, in order to have a successful and really abundant life. So for those of you who are struggling to feel gratitude, or maybe have never even thought about working with gratitude as a practice in your life, this coaching episode is all about teaching you how to begin to feel some gratitude. And what the significance of gratitude is when you can feel it in your life. In other words, what changes you can expect just from having a little gratitude. So stick around.
Vonne Solis 1:02
Gratitude is the quality that we have a feeling deeply thankful or appreciative of something that we have or is about to come into our lives. But what do you do when you can't honestly feel grateful for any one or any thing? It's easy to feel gratitude when things are going really well in our life. We can, you know, find anything to be thankful for and maybe even feel a little bit lucky. But when things are going bad? Or you've never been able to feel gratitude, or you've lost your ability to feel gratitude because of something that's happened in your life, how do you stop punishing yourself for something you can't do?
Vonne Solis 1:40
The reason I'm saying this is when I lost my daughter to suicide in 2005, I was absolutely unable for a number of years to feel grateful for anyone or anything in my life, except really my surviving son. Before my daughter had died, there was a period in time, and actually shortly after she died, which was in the mid 2000s. So she passed away in 2005. So around 2007, The Secret came out. There were some people that were working heavily in the gratitude space. And I was really struggling, and probably beating myself up somewhat mentally and emotionally, because what I should be feeling and certainly as a practitioner of spirituality and metaphysics for many, many years, even before my daughter had died. For 23 years before she had died, I knew what gratitude was all about. I had felt it. So what was wrong with me that I couldn't feel it again? And what did it mean that I couldn't feel it again? And would I ever be able to feel grateful for anything?
Vonne Solis 2:47
This led me to develop some steps that I'm about to show you exactly how you can get in touch with feeling grateful, despite whatever's happened in your past. And what you can expect when you do start feeling grateful for people and things in your life again. But first, a few key points to remember.
Vonne Solis 3:08
Loss, pain and struggle can trap us in emotions that make it really hard for us to get out of a negative cycle of thinking and being a certain way. Secondly, we are all vulnerable to being caught in this type of negative cycle. Succumbing to that darker side of us when we feel trapped by anyone or anything that we feel we can't escape.
Vonne Solis 3:33
So going back to the story of when my daughter Janaya died, and me not feeling grateful for anything, or anyone except my son like I said, one of the biggest challenges for me that I was contemplating at that time, was if we need to have gratitude for everything in our life, including all of the bad that has happened. And while that was really easy for me to think about, for just about everything, feeling gratitude for my bereavement was way beyond me at the time. And still challenges me a little bit today.
Vonne Solis 4:07
So if you're in a similar situation, and cannot feel grateful for anything or anyone today, or you can't feel gratitude for the things in your life, the people in your life, the situations and so on, to the degree that you want to, here are a few things that you can do to start. Number one, is just simply admit to yourself that you can't feel grateful for anything today, or at least not to the degree that you want to. Number two, understand that when you can start to appreciate all of your life, including the difficulties, you will naturally start to be able to feel gratitude. Number three, don't try to force yourself to think or act in a certain way just because you think you should do it that way. You won't be able to feel the benefits of anything that you practice or believe unless you authentically practice and believe them.
Vonne Solis 5:03
Gratitude comes from deep within us. You must take the time, when you're first learning to feel gratitude again, or you're coming to a practice of gratitude for the first time, to think about what gratitude means for you. What you can and want to appreciate in your life today. You do this by deciding what you can and want to accept as part or all of your life experiences that have brought you where you are today and can take you to your future. The loss of my daughter has been the most difficult experience I've had to go through in my entire life. And there were a number of repercussions as a result of this loss. I've had to dig really deep to decide what it is I want to and can feel grateful for on a daily basis.
Vonne Solis 5:51
You can and only should dig as deep within as you trust yourself to go to accept whatever has happened in your life in order to feel gratitude. Here are some simple practices to get you started. And just remember, the decision to even want to feel gratitude is a huge first step in being able to actually feel it. So number one, draw on a few good memories when life felt good. And if it didn't feel good, imagine what it is that would make you feel good, and how you can go about starting to make that happen. Even if it's only dreaming about it right now. Number two, decide what's working in your life right now and why! Find at least one thing. It could be as simple as having food on the table. A shelter over your head. Not having debt. You're in a good relationship. Whatever it is, find at least one thing and make a commitment to do this every single day. Number three. Pay attention to any resistance you may be feeling when it comes to thinking about feeling gratitude. This may be negative thinking that's trapping you in a cycle of habitual negative behavior and thinking. Number four. Decide how you want to feel and experience life today. We don't want to go way down the road. We just want to know how you want to feel and experience life today. In the moment even.
Vonne Solis 7:19
Whatever room you make for happiness to reside within you leaves an opening for more good to come in. The more this space opens, the more gratitude you'll be able to feel.
Vonne Solis 7:31
Your key takeaway for this lesson is that anything that you can try and understand differently about your past and current circumstances will help you eventually feel gratitude for them. Thinking about how your lessons changed you and what you've learned from any difficult situation will help you decide what you feel ready to release.
Vonne Solis 7:54
Remembering who you are your core is essential to helping you let go and welcome in the new. And that is you are loving, worthy and lovable being deserving of everything you want. And you have the power to create it.
Vonne Solis 8:08
Thanks for joining. Until next time.