How Might You Reframe Gratitude?

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October 23, 2021
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As Thanksgiving creeps upon us, the discussion around being thankful is at an all time high - be grateful for this, give thanks for that. But with all that we continue to endure globally, nationally, and personally, it's not always ideal to hear "look at the bright side!" What is helpful is taking a moment to take a look at what surrounds you, feel what you feel, and decide from there how you will proceed. At Inner Workout, our goal is not to highlight the culture of positivity but to allow you space to reflect, process, and take care of you, whatever that may look like.

Mentioned In The Episode

How Gratitude Changes You And Your Brain

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Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, I'm the founder of Inner Workout and you, as always, our our expert guest. Thanks for being here today. Let's get things started with a quick exercise. Going to give you a few seconds and what I want you to do is to come up with three things that you're grateful for. Ready?

Okay, so we're starting our episode about gratitude with a gratitude practice. For those of you in the States, you know that Thanksgiving happens in November. The way it's been culturally framed is that Thanksgiving is a time of coming together and of gratitude, not going to get into the problematic actual roots of Thanksgiving in this episode, I think many of us are well aware. And kind of stemming from this celebration of thanksgiving, it also happens to be national gratitude month. And I personally am a huge fan of gratitude and integrating it into our lives. I'm going to link in the show notes to some of the research on gratitude. But what we're starting to see is that gratitude can change how we handle emotions. Gratitude can literally change our brains and how we experience our lives. It's really powerful. I find the research to be interesting and to be exciting because it's free to be grateful. You just thought of three things that you are grateful for. It cost you $0 to do that.

And also, as much as I love gratitude, I think it's really important to approach the conversation with care and with nuance, surprise, surprise. You know I love nuanced conversations and I think that kind of nuance is especially important now, in this moment. Because here's our reality, right now, we are still in a pandemic. Depending on where you're listening, it may feel less like a pandemic than in other places but there are places who still do not have access to vaccines, still a global crisis that's happening right now. There are, kind of stemming from the pandemic, a lot of personal and professional transitions that are happening. I have people that I know who have moved, who have lost jobs, who have gotten new jobs, who are navigating going back to the office, or having hybrid work situations, there is a lot of change that's happening. And then we're on the heels of that global climate summit that just happened, having really hard conversations about the fact that our world is still getting warmer, and there are changes that need to be made. And those are just off the top of my head, a few of the major hard things that are happening that most people listening to this are somewhat impacted by, without getting into the nitty gritty of your personal experience and what's going on for you underneath the surface. And so what I think can be dangerous in this conversation is if we just say "be grateful" and we ignore everything that's going on behind the scenes, that conversation starts to look a lot more like spiritual bypassing.

When you are experiencing the amount of upheaval that we have endured collectively and individually in the past couple of years being grateful can feel trivial at best, right? Like, I am worried about getting a job. I am worried about my employment checks running out, or my unemployment checks running out. Like I don't have time to be grateful. I have other real world concerns to deal with. And at worst, it can feel like spiritual bypassing or it's like sunshine and rainbows and just be grateful there's always good in everything, which I do find that even in the hardest moments of my life, there are bits of good, but there's a difference between me acknowledging that for myself, and learning to acknowledge that for myself, rather than other people doing that for me, and trying to force me into this feeling of gratitude.

Here's the thing, true gratitude is not about ignoring the bad. It's not putting our hands over our eyes and our ears, and just being like la, la, la, la, la, everything is good, I can't see anything bad that's going on. That's that's not what gratitude is about. Gratitude asks us to see the full picture, to hold the hard, the difficult, the uncomfortable, the places where we're grieving, the places where we can't see a light at the end of the tunnel, with the gifts that we still have in our lives,
Being able to hold the fact that something didn't work out the way that you wanted it to and also know that it was a huge privilege and gift to be even considered for the opportunity. Gratitude gives you, I picture of like this panoramic, this 360 view, where you can say yeah, this really feels crappy and also, my entire life isn't bad.

Our life is never just one thing and I think gratitude is a great way to step into seeing the fullness of our lives. So with that being said, that's why the question that I have for you today is how might you reframe gratitude because normally, we just talk about being grateful. And talk about listing your three gratitudes, like we did at the beginning of the episode, and why that's important. And we don't ask you how you're feeling with regards to being grateful or not feeling particularly grateful. We don't ask you if you have been in environments or practice gratitude in ways in the past that might have been harmful. So yes, I think gratitude is valuable. The research shows us that it's valuable, but you're not going to get the full benefits out of it if you're practicing it in a way that doesn't feel aligned, that doesn't feel like it's looking at the full picture. So that's my question for you. How might you reframe gratitude?

How might you reframe gratitude in your life, and if you're listening, and you're like, Taylor, I feel great with how I relate to gratitude, there, isn't there anything there that I need to unpack? I'm so happy for you, and just use this time to practice gratitude. But I'm curious, and I wonder if for many of the people here listening, it might be worthwhile to spend a couple of minutes and just check in to see how you're feeling about gratitude how you've approached it in the past. And if there are any shifts that you need to take so that you can really experience gratitude, rather than use it as a way to block out the reality of your situation. Okay, I'll give you a couple minutes to reflect. How might you reframe gratitude?

Thanks for taking that time to reflect with me. If there's anything that came up that you want to share, feel free to DM Inner Workout on Instagram, we always love to hear from you. And I want to remind you that this episode is part of the Honest Holidays series. We're really trying to create space for you to have honest conversations with yourself in a season that wants you to be merry and bright and says this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year. We've also got some cool things going on. We have 15% off the website for the entire month of November if you're a newsletter subscriber, so go ahead and make sure that you subscribe so you can get that code. We're also doing a pop up in our first in person event in early December. We'd love to have you there. If you go to inner workout.co/holiday You can get all the details. We'll make sure that this is in the show notes too. Thank you for your time. Thank you as always for your expertise and take care!

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