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How a Gratitude Practice Can Heal

Gratitude…. such a “buzz-word” these days, right?


Well, I don’t care.  There is good reason.  Paying attention to what we are grateful for and honoring those things is powerful shit.  I feel like I’ve read it in so many places that I’m not even going to go through the brain-damage of trying to look up references for how it works.  Try it.  That’s what I finally did.  And then I fell away from the habit…. and then felt like my life was falling apart, so I got back into it.  And that little cycle has probably repeated itself a thousand times in the last 5 years, alone.


So I know it works.  When you do it.  You can do your own research and let someone convince you, or you can just take my word for it and start working the cycle now.  You’re welcome.


In my last post, I talked about my recent intention of really finding (and listening to) my intuition.  (What’s with the buzz-words??). I’ve made up a process to help myself get there, because I’m tired of searching outwardly for what I know I already possess.  I think “Ms. Intuition” has just taken a little sabbatical without a specific end date, and I’m not sure how to seduce her back. I could go into all kinds of cliche sayings about why I feel so detached from her, (mommy-brain, burnt-out, rode hard and hung up wet, etc.) but I’m happier to just pretend that she found herself a sweet young/mature man wherever she fleeted off to.  I hope she’s just having a hard time interrupting the undivided attention, cocktails and passionate love-making to make enough time to drop me a line and let me know she’s alright.  Is a postcard too much to ask for?


Dear Rather, things are so awesome on this island!

Ha!  But seriously…. Where did she go? (One of my toddlers favorite expressions recently, complete with hands raised and cocked head – so cute!) And how in the world do I get her back?  These are the two questions I’ve been asking myself lately (2-3 years?) and the work I’ve been doing recently as a developing woman/mother/entrepreneur has led me exactly where it needed to.  “Try this Rather – make up your own damn method.”  So I did.

Step 1 – honor where you’ve been (constantly growing list).

Step 2 – get specific about what you’re grateful for (always something).

Step 3 – get clear on what you want (changing your mind is okay – we’re evolving).

Step 4 – outline the small steps it takes to get there (don’t be too rigid, focus on flow).

This may sound “hokey” or even too vague for some, but for me, at this point in my life, it’s exactly the type of instruction manual I need.  Last week I highlighted some of the greater things I’ve accomplished recently (Step 1 – you can read it here) and today I’m going to get specific on what I’m grateful for.  How perfect/divine the timing, don’t you think?  Just a few days before Thanksgiving…


Here’s the thing about gratitude, though.  As I mentioned before, it can be a bit cyclical/on-again-off-again, and while it has a huge affect on so many parts of my life, I’ve found that the practice of it is always the key.  So, today I’m shouting to the stars some of the greater things I have to be grateful for – the all-encompassing life-hips (no, not shoulders, this mama is supported by her hips!) I have supporting me on this journey.  As a practice, going forward, I’ll think about the smaller stuff each and every day…always something to be grateful for.  Sometimes before bed, and sometimes in my morning ritual, I’ll write down a few things I’m grateful for.  They may seem meaningless and obvious, but it’s the practice that makes all the difference, I promise.


  1.  I’m grateful that my parents moved me to Colorado when I was eight years old.  I’m grateful for the adventurous and inclusive upbringing that they provided.  I’m grateful for the sacrifice they obviously made in their own lives in order to raise 3 kids the way they did.  I’m grateful that they took an opportunity to get their kids out of the city and into the mountains.  And then, that they actually took full advantage of living in the mountains and encouraged us to explore all of the adventures they offer.  I’ve often looked back on the little 4 or 5 year-old girl (me) sitting at a stoplight staring at the glamorous woman in the red convertible in the next lane.  With her ruby red nails, and lips to match, platinum blonde curls and shiny sunglasses, probably a couple blinged out rings and bangles catching the Dallas sunlight just right to keep me mesmerized.  When the light turned green and my dad managed to pull me back to earth I said to him, all dreamy eyed and spaced out, “I want to be like that when I grow up…”.  (Yikes!) Two years later we were living in the country, and a year after that it was the foothills between the ski slopes and Denver that I would get to call home for… well, I still get to call that “home”.  I am grateful for that opportunity, mom and dad.  Thanks for recognizing that the world didn’t necessarily need another glamour-shot-woman and that your kids had more opportunity to be kids in a different environment.
  2. I’m grateful for the push to go to college and to stay the course.  I’m glad my parents let me make the choice, and even offered the “year off” and that I knew enough about myself to say no to.  I’m grateful to my dad for encouraging me (but not forcing me) to go back after the first semester.  I’m grateful that they let me move home that first summer and pretend that I was going to transfer to a closer school.  I’m grateful they were patient with my longing for things to be the way they had been in high school and didn’t force me to get over it and start all over again.  I’m grateful they let me pretend to be an art major.  I’m grateful they encouraged my entrepreneurial desires and supported a business right after graduation instead of more experience or more school.  I’m grateful that they patiently watched as I fell in love with my college town/valley and recognized down the road how happy I was (am) there.
  3. I’m grateful for all of the heartbreak I’ve had in my life.  And I’m grateful for how little trauma, death and tragedy I’ve experienced.  Of course, when the first love of your life breaks your heart it’s devastating.  I’m grateful to have experienced it at a young age and to have moved past it.  I’m grateful for every romantic relationship I’ve ever had – each and every one of you has taught me something special about myself and my ability to give.  I’m even grateful for the ones I can’t even call “romantic” but that happened anyway.  Seriously – this path was laid out for me long before I set foot on it.  Each of them played their part and helped me shine a small piece of my soul for the future.  So much of it was a struggle and confusing, but I’m forever grateful for every single person who touched my soul beyond friendship.
  4. And of course, I am grateful for my friends!  Old, young, new and forever friends… I can’t imagine life without you.  I’ve been blessed with a wide array and vast amounts of friends in my lifetime.  From people I grew up with, who our parents being friends is the only reason we even know each other, to the soul mates I met in college days that I can’t wait to catch up with at weddings, bachelorettes and birthdays.  Even if we are only friends on Facebook anymore, I still value our connection and know in my heart that my friends have helped shape who I am.  I am so grateful for your place in my life.  Thank you for being patient with me, for listening to me, for showing me your way, and for witnessing my life unfold as I did/do yours.  As a good friend wrote in an aptly named song “All I know is I love my friends, and they’ll be there up until the end”. I love my friends!!
  5. I’m grateful for my body.  This vessel that has taken so much criticism, abuse and neglect from me.  I’m grateful that she hasn’t given up on me and instead continues to show up in health and strength.  I’m grateful for being one of those people who “doesn’t get sick” and for healing quickly when I do actually get sick.  I’m grateful for recovering quickly and fully from injuries.  I’m grateful for my athleticism, for my heart that races and agile reflexes that get me through intense athletic moments.  I’m grateful for my reproductive system, for growing babies and being patient with my younger desires to not want to do so.  I’m grateful for my cycle – this inherrent rhythm I am finally learning to listen to, respect and allow to guide me.  I’m grateful for my digestive system, for not failing me completely and being patient while I figured out how to tune in, listen and heal.  I’m grateful to my mind for never giving up on me, even when I did and went against my instinct and numbed your signals with medication.  I’m grateful to my liver and detox systems for putting up with the libations, experiments, lack of sleep, and poor food choices.
  6. I am grateful for my partner – in business, family, love and life.  I am grateful that you still love to grow and learn.  I’m grateful that you are patient and kind, even when I am not in return.  I’m grateful that you see my inherent super powers even when I don’t and you encourage me to tune in and listen to them.  I’m grateful that you also know what a supportive, loving family looks like and you openly share yours with me.  I’m grateful that you accept my family as they are as well.  I am grateful that we decided to start a family, even though neither of us thought we would.  I’m grateful that you love live music, and good friends, and adventures, and good food, and exploring new things.  I’m grateful that you respect rest and aren’t trying to go-go-go all of the time.  I’m grateful for your eagerness to be a good dad to our little girls and to let them teach us along the way.  I’m grateful that you are willing to have tough conversations with me about life – where it’s been, where it’s headed and how we get there and still be in love.


So, there are six amazing things I am grateful for.  Yes, they are broad.  Yes, there is so much more to be grateful for.  But as I said before, this is a practice.  I purposely kept these six things general and vague because gratitude is one of those things that can be intimate and I want to keep parts of it that way.  I could also spend days writing out all of the things but… who would still be reading my own brag-list?  I truly believe the magic of gratitude is in the consistency, not the publication, so this practice will continue and will be my own.  It’s always nice to get it out there and hold myself accountable by publishing, so if you’ve read this far along, I thank you for being part of my support system.  I’m excited to call back Ms. Intuition and discover all that she’s learned on her travels.  I hope this process works!

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