Gratitude – As a Lifestyle, not a “Practice”.

IMG_0714So, I’m 18 months into this mom-preneur thing. And there’s definitely never a shortage of things on my plate (as all you moms and women out there know). In life, in motherhood, in our careers, in our relationships, we all wear many hats. It’s hard not to be everything to everyone, hard not to want to “do it all” (even though we can’t – if we’re being honest). It’s hard not to be upset with myself for this being my first blog post in months – even though I have a million lessons, thoughts and life+game-changing things to share with you that I’m learning, breathing and creating, but just can’t seem to get to paper. #idigress

But there’s one practice that has made all the difference in the level of ease and joy in my life these past 18 months. A concept so simple, yet so impactful that it can flip overwhelm into immediate happiness, self-wallowing into smiling and the pity party of feeling like a workhorse into a heart that melts with love. It’s gratitude, friends – and it’s a #gamechanger.

Having a “gratitude practice” isn’t a new concept – for me, or probably your uber-hip self. In fact, before Will, I used to write down at least 3 things {almost} daily that I was grateful for in a journal. Yeah, that’s right, I’ve got years of things I’m grateful for. But, until recently, I didn’t *truly* implement this practice into a lifestyle. And doing versus living are two very different things.

LIVING gratitude means choosing to be grateful… for everything. Every thing. Failures, setbacks, sleepless nights, disagreements with Regan, overwhelm, a dirty house, my “to do” list. All those things. The things that usually weigh us down, make us feel sorry for ourselves and send us into fill the hole/void/problem with food + guilt + shame cycle. I know what you’re thinking – “no one is grateful for those things” – and you’re right. But that’s where this whole living gratitude thing is different than practicing. When I look around and see things that aren’t optimal, are stress-inducing or have blood-pressure-rising potential, I can see that they are all glaring signs that my life is being lived, not practiced. Not an act of “going through the motions” or being on autopilot. Living gratitude means being able to actively step back and see life for what it is – a beautiful, chaotic and lovely mess. One where things aren’t perfect and they never will be {duh}.

13653479_693036198646_897276604293597774_oLiving gratitude means that I accept most things are out of my control, except for my reactions to those things, to life. And I’ve found it’s literally impossible to be remain in a state of overwhelm or self-wallowing of “all I do” or need to do if I take a deep breath, close my eyes and instead think of the things I’m grateful for within that same realm versus what’s got me in a tizzy. This suboptimal state – of being in my head, seeing everything that’s wrong {or how I’ve been wronged}, viewing things that don’t go my way or as planned as negative – essentially blocks out the ability to experience joy and be present in the moment, it inhibits the ability to connect and be compassionate and limits the soul’s ability to grow and be open for love. Ultimately, it affects my perceived reality, health and happiness. All those last few things are where the goodness of life lives. And it’s also the root of being fulfilled or empty in this life. The root of why we turn to food to fill the void {consciously or not}, why we can’t stick with any “diet” or exercise program for the long haul, why we find ourselves either on or off the wagon or don’t understand why we’re irritable, unhappy or dragging for “no reason”.

Every moment has the potential to expand our lives or shrink them. Every moment – both the gut-wrenching, challenging moments AND the amazing, joyful moments – are essential for soul growth and really living life. You can’t have one without the other. And so we are left with two choices: to be grateful for both or to fight both. Because you can’t fully experience joy if you’re fighting life’s challenges. We can’t numb or avoid one and not impact the other; it’s just not how this beautiful life works. So next time you’re in a state of overwhelm, caught up in all you “have” to do {or do do}, step back and choose to live gratitude. To slow down, smile and know that we’re all doing our best. And we could all use a little more grace, a little more patience and a LOT more love. Life is good, God is good and you’ll find me being grateful for it all. #allthethings

Because as it turns out, I can choose that life. And that life is where it’s at.

About Whitney Mack of Macks Mo

Whitney Mack is a holistic nutrition health coach, fitness + movement specialist, feel good fanatic and founder of Macks Mo - a healthy living business that empowers busy women and mommas to connect to their desires and they want to feel daily in order to macks-imize joy, freedom, vibrancy, energy and ease. Through her programs + services, she uses real food, movement and signature health coaching strategies to guide clients in creating a more meaningful and fulfilled life (soulful, joyful, healthful) through nourishment and love. And turns out, as their love grows (for their life, themselves, their spirit), their body intuitively sheds the mental + physical weight holding them back from a life and body they're excited about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: