Gratitude is important to our wellbeing all year, but this time of year we stop to consider and share the parts of our lives that makes us truly grateful. Recently I listened to a Super Soul Sunday where Oprah interviewed Brene Brown, a researcher on shame and courage.
Joy Needs Gratitude
In the interview Brown mentioned that everyone has thoughts that are killjoys. She used the example of looking at your children sleeping and being so in love and then envisioning a catastrophe that takes them away from you. I don’t have children, but I’ve had that thought process in a multitude of scenarios. (I’ve always presumed it is some mild OCD.) According to Brown people who lean into that negative thought are less happy than those who notice the thought, stop it, and instead recognize how grateful they are for the moment and what they have now.
Gratitude is truly imperative to our happiness.
Ease of movement also boosts our happy meter. In a New Yorker article, “Can We Live Longer But Stay Younger,” by Adam Gopnick, he writes about having the opportunity to wear a suit that mimics aging—creating impaired movement, reduced dexterity, and less sensory responses. After a brief encounter with the suit, he concludes that in our search for happiness we take for granted ease of movement.
I often catch myself enjoying movement and then slipping into the dark place Brown describes and thinking of the many disasters that could impede my ability to move with ease from general aging, to slipping, or a car accident. I fear losing my ability to move. It is one of the many loves in my life. Fear almost always impedes our joy.
Fear or Gratitude
In connecting the dots between Brown and Gopnick’s research, I want to catch myself when fear replaces gratitude. The future is coming. Whether what awaits us on the horizon is predestined or not, our fear of what is to come won’t stop the reality that comes our way. Best to enjoy and be grateful for those things we have now. Luckily, we have a time of year to stop and give thanks.
What I’m Grateful For
I’m beyond lucky to have many people and experiences to be grateful for. Every year, it goes without saying that I’m grateful for Matt, my family, and my friends. I’m grateful for the team at Personal Euphoria and our clients. Pilates and travel bring me joy year after year. I try hard not to take any of those items for granted. Because the items on that list are my core. They are what I turn to for the courage to override the fear life sometimes brings. Those of you that I am privileged enough to see every week, share movement and stories with, laugh with, talk through problems with—it is you that enables me to have such a fulfilled life. I hope my family knows this. But if you take one of my classes (private or group) you should know that too. You matter greatly to me.
Keep Reading Maggie’s Blogs
Read a previous Thanksgiving Gratitude Blog.
The truth about my eating habits...it’s not great!
Six food tips that might aid in a healthier Thanksgiving and holiday season.
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