It’s Thanksgiving! Time for celebrating family, friends, food, and all the many other blessings in life. I think it’s really a beautiful thing that we Americans have a holiday that is - at least in its origins - wholly devoted to expressing gratitude. For many, this is the only time during the year when they really consciously shift their focus to the things that are working well in their lives. This is such a powerful practice! And, thankfully (ha!, punny!), the practice doesn’t need to be exclusively relegated to this holiday. We can practice gratitude anytime and anywhere!
This holiday is feeling especially powerful for me this year. I have been immersing myself in mindset work and refocusing my awareness for the past two years. And I finally feel like I have transformed my thoughts in such a way that my life has totally, completely, and beautifully transformed. I feel like I have been reborn - which may sound a little melodramatic - but it’s the best way I can find to describe how changing my mindset has changed my life.
For most of my life, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog and Facebook posts, I was a Negative Nellie. I gave more of my attention to the things I didn’t want, the things that were going wrong, than toward the things that were working well. All I could see were the flaws in the fabric of my life and I saw them ruining the whole tapestry. As a result, I spent a lot of time drowning in depression - deep, black, hopeless depression. It was debilitating. I had no confidence, no drive, no ambition. I self-medicated and escaped into any distraction I could find to try to ‘cope’ with the desperation I was feeling in every moment.
Even when I was laughing and having fun on the outside, the depression was still there running the show … just waiting to come and taunt me when things got a little quieter.
It never occurred to me that I had created this monster with my thoughts. It never occurred to me that I had the power to defeat it just by changing my perspective. And when friends, family members, or even books would suggest that I might be able to do things differently, I would view it as either a personal attack (“Why can’t you love me as I am?”), or as a complete lack of understanding who I was (“This is not something I’m doing. It’s a disease. It’s who I am.”). I was completely closed off to the idea that life could be any different. And so, life never got any different.
Things started slowly changing two years ago during my stint living on a cooperative fruit farm in Hawaii. It was a slow and revelatory transition that was due in large part to the study of Nonviolent Communication with the other folks living in the community there. I won’t say it was easy for me. The theories made sense when I read about them, but the practices and techniques were really challenging and triggering for me. I would practice and fail and practice and fail and each time I would feel huge swells of anger, resentment, and frustration that would almost knock me to the ground. But, I kept on practicing. I kept on studying. And each day got a little easier and I learned a little more about different ways of being and speaking, doing and expecting. It was hugely transformational.
But it was just the beginning.
The progress I made in Hawaii was powerful enough to keep me motivated to seek out more information on how I could participate more in creating a better life experience for myself - and, therefore, for others. As I traveled the world I researched different theories and practices online. I talked with anyone who would listen about these kinds of transformational experiences and soaked in any recommendations and testimonials they had to share like a thirsty sponge. I would try things, fail, and try again, and/or try different things. Admittedly, it wasn’t as easy as when I had the support of the community in Hawaii, but I was determined to build on this foundation of positive change I had begun on that farm.
Eventually, after much moving about the globe, I found myself settling in Asheville (NC). I wasn’t really all that psyched about being here - Asheville was not my first choice of places to settle after my travels - but I was super stoked to be living so close to my sister and new baby niece. It felt extra important for me to try to deepen my exploration of this kind of transformational personal work so that I would continue to lift myself higher rather than falling back into old depression patterns. The last thing I wanted was to be a negative influence on my niece.
I wasn’t sure what was next, but I was doing my best to be open so maybe the Universe would send me whatever would be of the most help for me. (It sounds like it was easy, but it was not. I had glimpses of those old dark thoughts that I wrestled with for decades. They felt strong and familiar and weirdly easy. And it was terrifying. But I used my niece as my motivation and powered through to the other side of those thoughts.)
That’s when I found my coach. It was a seemingly random event. I had signed up for an online summit that was centered around social media for small businesses. There was absolutely no indication that I would find my next life-changing opportunity here. Most of the participants had a lot of value to offer in regards to life and business, and even mindset, but none of it was really earth-shattering for me. But there was this one woman who caught my attention. Something about the way she said the things she said really struck me. I don’t even think I recognized how powerful that spark was in the moment. But it was powerful enough to motivate me to take her up on her invitation to a strategy session. I had no idea what I would discuss during this session. I wasn’t feeling particularly focused on my business at the time. I just felt a little urge within to explore this woman’s work further. And it was magickal. We talked for about an hour, and during that time, she reflected to me how I had been sabotaging my life with my thoughts. And she offered me insight into what it would take to transform my life by shifting my perspective.
This was exactly what I had been looking for. This was exactly what I wanted and needed to continue to grow and shift and to reclaim my power to create the life I wanted. This was the next step to building a life that matched my dreams and desires rather than continuing to drown in a life of mediocrity, boredom, and dissatisfaction.
By the end of the call, I had made an investment in myself. I had made a commitment to myself. I had made a decision. I was determined to show up, do the work, and change my life. And that’s what I did. And I continue to do it every day.
And my life is amazing now.
I am making changes that I once thought impossible. I am enjoying all the moments, little and big. I am no longer giving power to the failures, challenges, and obstacles, but am choosing to see them for the powerful gifts they are. I am focusing on what works, what feels good, and what I want, and I am creating more of that in every moment.
I found my way to focus on gratitude every day. This is really the secret to life. Be thankful for what is wonderful. Be thankful for what is difficult because it allows you to get clearer on what you want, which allows you to create more of what you want. Let every day be Thanksgiving day, and you will live an awesome life.
As always, if you need any support along your own journey … if I can do for you what my coach did for me … please reach out to me. There is no better investment that the one you make in yourself. It will always pay amazing dividends.
Here’s to a life for which we can all be thankful. Here’s to a world in which we are all working toward more bliss, more love, and more light. Because what we create for the self is magnified out to the world, at large.
I am so thankful for YOU, blissmaker. Keep shining your light! Keep sharing your magick! The world needs you.