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I’m Grateful

A grateful life takes work, doesn’t it? Even in the face of so much to be grateful for.

The stresses and traumas of life can tether our focus to what upsets us, needs to be fixed, or has to be done. It’s how our brains were designed—to keep us alive. It’s so easy to forget what makes us blessed and lucky, though our lives are filled to the brim with these things when we look hard enough.

I am grateful to the late beautiful Louise Hay for teaching me that gratitude is a practice, not just a spontaneous state of being belonging to just an enlightened few. It’s for all of us.

She taught me to intentionally shift my awareness to what is good, away from the bad (not pretending it doesn’t exist), punctuating it with a statement of personal gratitude. She advised ten “gratitudes” per day, no matter what. There’s always something to be grateful for, even when it’s been a crappy day:

I’m grateful for my warm home.

I’m grateful for my running water and indoor plumbing.

I’m grateful for the nourishing food to eat.

You get the picture.

This practice has helped me expand mind space for what’s good, creating much needed balance to my “worst-case-scenario” brain. My world has become a much lighter and more magical place as a result.

This is not just a hippie’s fantasy. This is real stuff. Science-y stuff: neural networks, mind pathways, epigenetics. Our thoughts create our reality. It’s real.

For that I am beyond grateful.

And I’m grateful for you. Thanks for being a seeker of truth and wisdom like me, and for sharing this journey of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!


p.s. From my archives:

Gratitude: the Decision to Be Happy. 2016.

Karyn Shanks MD


Karyn Shanks, MD, is a physician who lives and practices in Iowa City. Her work is inspired by the revolutionary science of Functional Medicine, body-mind wisdom, and the transformational journeys of thousands of clients over her twenty-eight year career. She believes that the bones of healing are in what we do for ourselves.

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