When I first started my own personal coaching journey four years ago, I began a practice of daily gratitude. This practice was something I took very seriously. It was also something that I quickly began to resent.
Yep, that is right, I began hating my gratitude practice. I quickly lost the joy in it. I began to list the same thing over and over. Writing everything down day after day became exhausting.
And so I stopped. And then my flow of abundance stopped. And my life was a total mess.
This last week I was doing a reading with a new client and she told me she was trying to be grateful for a woman that had yelled at her on the phone. I literally heard the screeching of tires in my head when all my thoughts screeched to a halt. #ToxicGratitude
Forcing gratitude where the situation doesn’t actually call for it is toxic. Gratitude isn’t a force, it is a practice. Sometimes you write it down, sometimes you meditate about it, sometimes you totally forget about it.
You don’t have to be grateful when people are mean to you. Identifying the distinction between the lesson and the person is really important.
Here are 3 ways to flow (instead of force) your gratitude:
Look to the little things. The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. The little things the Universe and Mother Earth made just for us. Thank them for being as often as you are called to do so.
Know the difference between opportunity and abuse. We don’t have to be grateful to narcissists and gaslighters. Be grateful for what you learn -- abuse is never ok.
Find what works for you and do that. Find your regular rhythm of gratitude and make it work for you. You aren’t failing if you don’t do it like anyone else. Experiment and do you boo. Just do it consistently.
Today, I have a very rich gratitude practice. It is so good, I can identify toxic gratitude a mile away. If it feels gross, that means you are out of alignment with gratitude. If it feels like the best kiss you have ever had, that my friends is gratitude. ❤️
Sending you all the love.
Dr. Melissa Bird