Gratitude in Tough Times | Three Steps to a Grateful Life

Dr. Marisol holding sign that says she needed a hero so that's what she became

Gratitude is a practice that although may seem intuitive, is something that so many of us are out of practice with. So often we struggle with gratitude, we fall into the mindset, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” 

But it wasn’t always this way. Gratefulness was how we survived! If you look at scriptures, the bible, religious and historical texts… Even the practice of saying grace before a meal, or being polite and using your manners with a ‘thank you’, ‘gracias’, ‘merci’! it is embedded into our psyche. Deep into our primordial brains, just like our cravings for food and sugar. 

The Most Powerful Health Strategy

This means it is a natural flow (not force as is commonly said) of habit, that just may be buried in your life. BUT, what we can do is reconnect easily to those patterns of thinking in the brain. Let me tell you, gratitude delivers more benefit than any other health strategy you can imagine, well, along with castor oil packs, they too fit into the Royal Road to Richness.  

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Why does it get buried? We struggle because we aren’t present, our mind is always somewhere else. Why do you think they say, ‘take time to stop and smell the roses’? But we don’t because we are so dang busy! Busy busy busy, like a busy bee. Though the bee may be busy, it is still focused, its full attention is on creating the hive.

It is part of the natural laws, to be grateful and focus on where you are going. Putting yourself in the energy of the ‘you’ that you want to be everyday. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be negative, depressed, unhappy, not living your true self. Quite the opposite – you want to feel good, feel better, love and adore yourself. You want to be at peace; you want to be you. 

So if you WANT that, then you have to put yourself into that energy. The gateway to self love is GRATEFULNESS. 

Allow grace in today. When you do, your outlook changes from one that is…

Negative to Positive

Half Empty to Half Full 

Fear to Wonder

Sadness to Happiness 

It’s super transformative and once you delve into this you will never go back. 

Gratitude in the Tough Times

For me in my life right now, it can sometimes feels like a deep, dark sink hole. I’ve been spending much of my time at my father’s bedside in the hospital. I came across this old photo of us together and my heart feels very heavy. 

Marisol and her father when she was a kid

You see, he had a stroke, close to the one year anniversary of my mother’s sudden death by a stroke. I’m working all of my magic, and it’s working… physically, he’s improving! I’m even helping him work on his mindset and trying to keep him focused on being grateful and in the moment. So appropriate, but he doesn’t want it. He can’t see the grace in his small gains. He doesn’t see a purpose in his future without my mom, so why live? 

I get it. It’s hard to lose your life partner. The issue is the impression he has in his brain. 

He thinks within a year of your partner passing, you should die, too. I asked him, “Who told you that? He said “well ‘they’ did… it’s written somewhere”. So I broke that paradigm down. 

He thinks he is doing worse every day… mentally, yes. But physically, hell no! He has reversed his diabetes. He can walk again, every time a little better, minus his balance and a bit of dementia. 

If I can shift his thought process he will be saved, but for him, maybe being saved is floating up into my mothers arms. 

Marisol and her father in the hospital

I respect that, I understand… but while he is in his physical body, I appreciate all of my knowledge, because if there is anyone that can fix a system and mind the garden of the mind, it’s me… 

My dad has been the very best coach without even knowing it… Hey, he birthed me! 

Three Steps to a Grateful Life

So I have a three step formula to help get a gratitude practice started in your life that will last you a lifetime and benefit you in ways you couldn’t even imagine.

Step 1: Smell the roses and notice what you are noticing – presence is truly step one when it comes to gratitude. This is one of the teachings of the Benedictine Monk, Brother David.

Step 2: Do the Grateful Dining Practice – before each meal hold onto your Grateful Dung™ Bracelet and recite three things you are grateful for. The reason I love implementing gratitude  practices before meals is two fold:

  1. It calms your nervous system down before you have a meal. This helps with your digestion, inner nourishment and even elimination – all major keys to the wealth of health. 
  2. Creation of a habit – there is no greater habit that eating. We must eat, instinctively we are drawn to it. So if we piggy back a habit onto one that is already firmly established, it becomes that much easier to adapt it into your daily life. You will start with doing it before you dine. For must of us this will be 2-3 times per day. If you snack and eat all day long, you will do it before every time!
    *** SIDE BENEFIT*** You will get more in touch with your body and realize you don’t need to be munching and snacking all day! 
Marisol holding a salad and Grateful Dung Bracelet

Step 3: Roll with it – make it a game, Life should truly be laughed at and don’t take yourself so seriously, just flow with it. Bring that childlike wonder back into your life. Over the 7 days – don’t repeat the same things that you are grateful for, it needs to be real and different every time (trust me, you might think you’ll run out of things to be grateful for… I promise you, you will not!) Actually you will be amazed at how many things there are to be grateful for.

So instead of forcing a new habit… Let’s just flow into this habit of gratefulness that benefits us by embracing us with grace, joy and happiness. 

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