Just be grateful

“God won’t take you to the next level until you master this one.”

-Mom

My name is Amanda and I am a Yoga and Stress Management Teacher. I am also human, and I know a lot about feeling stressed and the importance of managing it. I wanted to create a space for people to come and learn about stress: what it is, why we have it, and how to manage it through yoga, mindfulness, faith, and meditation. You will learn that, stress can’t go away. It is actually something that is hardwired into us and necessary for survival but we can become more resilient to it. I’m going to teach you how to bounce back quicker, learn to let things go, and use optimism to find peace in every facet of your life.

Diving right in, I want to talk to you about gratitude. It can be really hard to feel grateful when your world is crumbling apart, adulting is eating you alive, and you realize that college prepared you for none of this real world stuff. Then, you log onto social media and find someone to compare every area of your life to: they seem to have a better car, job, relationship, body, and are just living out their dreams. Oh, then to top it off you have a page like mine screaming happiness at you with affirmations, optimism. and positivity. The little voice in your head is like SHUT UUUUP AND LET ME DROWN IN MY SORROWS - if that's you, keep reading. If that's not you, keep reading. I've been there before too, stuck in a job I hated and feeling salty towards anyone radiating black joy and I can tell you it has gotten me nowhere. - except I suppose I can blog about it to help someone else?.. *perspective*

Gratitude is simply the act of being thankful, appreciative, and kind. When my mom told me that quote.. “God won’t take you to the next level until you master this one” everything began to make sense. Why should I be blessed with more if I can’t appreciate where I am now? I am blessed beyond measure to have a job I like, a dream I love, a roof over my head, a phone to call my loved ones, shoes on my feet, a car with at least a quarter tank of gas, friends that uplift me - I could seriously go on all day. Any one of those blessings is seemingly more than the people I see sleeping under the bridge across the street from my fully furnished and air conditioned apartment. And, sleeping under that bridge has to be a little better than trying to find shelter in a war zone. It’s not ideal, but do you see where I’m going with this? It's all in our perspective. We focus SO MUCH on the bad that we fail to recognize ALL THIS GOOD.

Gratitude is life-changing. I mentioned a word a bit ago that you are going to hear me talk about a lot. PERSPECTIVE. Gratitude can help us to put things into perspective and see the good that comes with the bad. Hate your job? Be grateful it allowed you to eat cheetos and water for dinner. Coworker trying you like a free sample? Be grateful that you’re learning to work with a different personality, it’s going to come in handy one day. Relationship not working out? Okay, stray from those qualities that aren’t a good fit. I’m pretty sure breakups are cheaper than divorce. Find something good to pull from Every. Single. Situation.

Gratitude helps us to realize everything that we already have. We are some GREEDY people. We always want more, more, more. This is far from saying that you aren’t worthy of abundance. Abundance is real cool. What I want to get you away from is a mindset of lack. Desiring things all the time because you feel like what you have isn’t good enough. I NEED you to understand that being aware and appreciative of all these things you have now is what will PROPEL you into abundance and having more. So, chill, be grateful, know what you want (and work hard for it), but let things manifest in your providers timing. Flow, don’t force.

Lastly, gratitude makes us happier. Gratitude strengthens our relationships, improves our health, reduces stress, and helps us make peace with where we are in our lives. Gratitude will put you in a better mood because you are focusing on things that naturally will make you happy and give you an optimistic outlook. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle, and I love it.

So, next time you feel yourself frustrated, ready to give up on something, and wondering if God forgot about you.. assess your gratitude efforts. When’s the last time you genuinely felt grateful for everything you have been blessed with?

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Don’t know where to start? Stay tuned for more tips and tools on initiating a gratitude practice and check out my new eBook Mako Mindfulness: The Little Book of Prayers. Prayer allows you to recognize God intensely, and to have an intimate conversation with your creator about the matters closest to your heart. Prayer raises our vibration and allows us to attract more things to be grateful for.

#MINDFULMOMENT - What are 5 things you’re grateful for right now?