I hope you’re all doing alright & loving yourselves accordingly. I haven’t done anything like this in a long time- I think the last feature blog that I posted was a skin condition post, actually. And as far as I remember, it went down well. I love posts like this because it allows you to identify with not only me, as the medium, but the feature blogger. It also allows them to meet all of you wonderful readers & maybe share some experiences with you, too.
Today is World Gratitude Day. And when I ask myself what exactly that means I get a little bit irritable. Why do we need a day to appreciate what we have? Or to say thank you to the people that love us- just for being who they are? Or for being healthy? Or for being unhealthy and still alive? Shouldn’t we be doing that everyday? I suppose it works as a reminder. And I definitely need a reminder. It’s not easy to do. We live in a society that tells us constantly that we need more, we need something else, we’re not good enough, our lives aren’t good enough. We are conditioned. And we all have problems in our lives, in our minds. And as much as I love sharing with you my deepest, darkest… I’d like to start shining the light a bit more, looking at the silver linings.
I met Karen out in TV3 when she appeared on The Elaine Show to talk about her new book, The Gratitude Attitude Journal. I can’t give a background on her because it is so much more powerful coming from her- so just scroll down. But I know you’re going to love her. But sure come visit me on Snapchat (jademccannx) and let me know what you thought of this feature post! I also post daily vlogs over there, so if you’re in anyway interested in following me on adventures & stalking my life… that’s where it’s at!
Oh & before I forget: Karen has taken time out of her busy schedule to pop by and say hello to us, gracing us with some home-hitting wisdoms so if you’ve got a second, her links are down below. Head back over and say thank you!
Ever look around and know that you should be having a great time, but you are just not feeling it? Like an outsider, like you shouldn’t be there, feel like there is something wrong but you can’t figure out what? I have been that solider! If I could have given myself the tips I’m about to give you back then, I would have been so grateful! This is one of the many reasons I am publishing ‘My Gratitude Attitude Journal’. It can be easy to fall out of love with oneself, never mind life. I spent so many years disconnected from myself, living the life I thought I ought to have been living. Saying yes to people, situations, jobs I should definitely have said no to.
By practicing gratitude, I learned how to say ‘yes’ to myself and put myself first unapologetically. By taking the time everyday to make note of what really makes me happy, I started to learn about myself more. Sounds a little stupid but it’s true. I got so caught up in living up to other peoples expectations on how my life should be lived that I didn’t think to question or change it.
My wake up call came in 2012 in the emergency room of The Beacon Hospital when the ER doctor uttered the words “If you were 80 years of age, the number of lesions on your brain and spine would be normal…..”- I was 31 years old. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis that very day. Fear and relief were the prevailing emotions that pervaded me that day. Fear that I wasn’t exactly sure what Multiple Sclerosis was and how it would affect me and relief that I finally had a name to put on the symptoms I was experiencing. The next 4 years were spent fighting my way through what can only be described as a very challenging period. Sick, fat, tired and angry is a good description. I spent the majority of my ‘feeling good’ time in work, with my career getting the best of me then arriving home reluctantly to take injections.
To an outsider, I was happy, bright & positive, yet I had such inner turmoil. I was trying to keep up a façade of being ok, because I actually couldn’t admit to myself I wasn’t.
My mental health was at an all time low and the only way I was finding solace was through eating my emotions. As I’m sure you can imagine, this didn’t work out too well. Dec 2014 came along, medications were having a detrimental effect on my health and I decided to give up the only identity I was proud of in order to look after my health, my job as a Media Sales & Marketing Manager. I had to try something different. I could no longer cope with the side effects of the medication so I stopped taking all of it against the wishes of my neurologist and family. What should have been a joy staying at home with my kids and not having to work was the polar opposite. I resented giving up my career and relying on someone else financially.
After a break up, a house move, and a visit to see Tony Robbins – I made a decision I was going to be happy no matter what I had to do and face my health issues head on. I started to put myself first, finally. I said no to people or events I didn’t feel were in my best interests, even cutting out some gossipy friends and generally anyone negative. I practiced gratitude every single day, meditated even more, studied a Mindfulness Diploma & invested in personal development as well as facing inner demons.
The results were astounding, as soon as I started respecting myself, my body started to mirror that. I felt like a better person. I was at peace and my body and illness finally followed suit. I started doing things that I wanted to do. I learned to know when my body and mind where getting stressed and I knew how to calm it and take control again. By cultivating an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis, it scientifically strengthens your brain and fires up cells that ordinarily might not be in use. It’s the same as going to the gym and working on whatever muscle group. According to a Harvard University study “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships”.
I’m living proof that a daily practice of writing what your grateful for, whether its past, present or for an optimistic future, has monumentally positive effects. In January of this year I got incredible news that my MS had in fact ‘burned out’ i.e.: gone!
You can invest in your own mental health and gift yourself or someone you are grateful for by buying ‘My Gratitude Attitude Journal’ from today on World Gratitude Day: www.mygratitudeattitudejournal.com
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