My Sanity Secret? A Spirit of Gratitude!

27 Mar

IMG_8371Morning, Y’all!

This is one of those posts that I’ve been wanting to do for a minute now. I didn’t want to rush it though, and with so much going on lately, I felt more comfortable putting it off until I could really dedicate the energy to expressing my thoughts the right way. Moving to New York for grad school was one of the biggest and undoubtedly the most spontaneous decisions I’ve ever made. I absolutely love Georgia and all the things that make it good, like peaches, buttery biscuits and my mommy’s sweet potato pie, but I knew for me to really have the career and life I wanted there was no way that I could stay there. So, I left. I left to pursue this big dream, even though at the time I didn’t really know what all that dream entailed. Fast forward four years, I’m still up here (in Jerz now) making more sense of my dreams each and every day and working my tail off to make them a reality.

It has been an interesting journey and one heck of a joyride! In the midst of all the glam events, celeb encounters, and smell of brick oven pizza in the air though, it has been soooooooooooooooo freakiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn’ haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrddddddddddd! And I don’t write that lightly! There’s so much to balance. In addition to accepting the fact that my family is approximately 800 miles away, there’s the stress that comes with not just having a dream but actually chasing it. It strains you physically and mentally, as you work yourself far past normal business hours while simultaneously trying to silence the voices of fear and worry that pop in your head unannounced. I remember one event in particular where I had to cover the red carpet. That day I woke up exhausted and delirious because between prepping notes and getting my outfit together the night before, I probably got about 3 hours of sleep. In that moment it didn’t really matter to me that Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and all these other stars who I adored were going to be there. I simply didn’t want to go. But I had to pull myself together, chug a Red Bull, get my tushy on that red carpet, and ask those questions with a bright smile on my face and pep in my voice. When I finally got home around 2am, my toes were barking and my head was throbbing because I didn’t really have time to eat properly during the event. It would be one thing if that kind of experience was a rare occurrence, but it’s not. It’s pretty much the norm for any event until you earn a big enough name and can afford a glam squad and team of assistants.

There have been times where I literally felt insane due to lack of sleep, isolation from my family and then just the typical stressors that we all have to deal with. Determined to not let this blessed journey be a hellish one, though, I made up in my mind that I was going to put my sanity first and start incorporating a more spiritual approach to handling it all. I made a few small and obvious changes, like eating better, light workouts and simply ignoring negativity. But one of the biggest changes I made, and what has proven to be the most effective, is adopting a spirit of gratitude. I start my day off with a big Thank You to my Creator. I go to God every morning and my conversations with Him are usually something like, “I don’t want to ask You for anything. I thank You for everything You’ve done, everything You’re doing, and everything You’re going to do. I thank You for the blessings that I don’t even realize are present, and I thank You for those that I am very much aware of. I thank You for everything.” Depending on the day, it may be more specific but that’s the general idea. Before, I would thank God, but I would also make it very clear to Him what I wanted and needed, as if He didn’t already know. I do believe that we should ask for those things we want, but I also think that when we spend a lot of time asking, we subconsciously keep focusing on what we don’t yet have. Every single time you ask for a car, you’re reminded that you don’t have a car. Every single time you ask for a pay raise, you’re reminded that you don’t have enough money. Going to God with a spirit of gratitude, though, not only honors Him, but it also puts you in a more peaceful headspace. The worry and anxiety are eliminated because instead of being reminded of what you’re lacking, you’re ever so grateful for everything that you have. Wouldn’t you much rather start your day with a feeling of peace and thanksgiving instead of worry and lack?

When you’re in that constant space of gratitude, everything that you need just starts coming your way. Your mind is clearer and healthier, and you can better envision the steps you need to take to get what it is you need. When you trust God enough to thank Him not just for what He’s done, but what you believe He’s going to do, you start setting yourself up to receive. Whether you believe in my God or another one or none at all, you can adopt the spirit of gratitude. Just speak out loud, “I am thankful for victory. I am thankful for failure. I am thankful for every piece of my life because I know that I have the power to transform every experience into something good.” These spoken Thank You’s keep you calm in situations where you may ordinarily lose your cool. I kid you not that when I’m just really out of my element and sluggish, it’s usually because I’m not in a good spiritual place. My focus is on something negative instead of the positive. As soon as I snap out of it and get back in my thankful flow, my peace restores. For at least one week, try speaking your Thank You’s out loud in the morning and at least two to three times throughout the day. You’ll feel so much better and more at peace.

Love you much and Happy Thursday!

Be grateful!

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One Response to “My Sanity Secret? A Spirit of Gratitude!”

  1. Christi March 28, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    This is such a great “secret” to keeping one’s sanity! I know I often overlook and forget about not only being thankful but openly expressing my gratitude for my many blessings. You’re right, it makes it so much easier to get through the day when starting the morning with a heart filled with gratitude and thankfulness and not dwelling on needs and problems. Thanks for this great reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

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