10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 4

Guidepost Four

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

This is the 4th in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.

These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  Given the current state of the world and the unease that you may be experiencing as a result, I hope you find this timely. And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.



Guidepost 4 Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

In this unprecedented time of social distancing and a health pandemic, we certainly have a reason to live with a scarcity mindset and fear of what is to come. It magnifies the scarcity culture we seem to live in naturally. A culture in which there is never enough ________: certainty, safety, money, sleep, time, sex, food, exercise, profits, etc. Living with a scarcity mindset, without a  practice of gratitude robs us of our ability to feel joy. To be grateful and experience the feeling of “enough” demands us to make  a shift in our mindset, a mindset of sufficiency, practicing the ability to be grateful and be satisfied with what you do have. Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. It is the act of acknowledging that there are good things in the world that have been given to us or have happened to us. When we are truly grateful for something (or someone) our brains reward us by giving us a natural high. Because this feeling is so good, we are motivated to feel it again and become more inclined to give thanks, and also to do good for others.

In the spirit of gratitude, know that I am grateful for the space to share these monthly guideposts with you and appreciate your wholehearted connection with me! I hope that each Guidepost nudges you towards a new way of thinking, being, seeing and embracing.

Here are a few suggestions to start a practice of gratitude:

  1. Pick a time of the day- brushing your teeth, as you lay your head on the pillow before sleep, while you have yourself locked in the bathroom, on a walk, with your morning coffee- that you can commit to listing 5 things you are grateful for.  Quick and simple.  They might be small things like I managed to shower today before my Zoom call.

  2. This daily practice will change the way you see your circumstances.  Once that feels manageable, consider the next step.

  3. Begin listing 10 things daily in a journal or notebook that you are grateful for.  This deepens your practice and is a wonderful visual to look back on across time.

  4. Next, how about a Growth Journal?  Use the prompt, “Before COVID-19, I _______, now I ____________. Example: “Before COVID-19 I would dread planning and preparing meals , now I am noticing the value of a “pause” to spend quality time with my husband as we cook together.

  5. Or, handwrite a thank you note to someone who has positively impacted you. Express your gratitude. Be specific. Provide some joy for someone else.

Having a gratitude practice will help you feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve your health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Super powerful!  I invite you to give it a try.

Join me next month for Guidepost 5:  Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith – Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

And if you feel the need to connect, please reach out.