Fulfilled: Better By Monday

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.” – Melodie Beattie

The practice of gratitude is externally focused with deep internal rewards. It requires something outside of ourselves to be thankful for, a gesture, act of service, and the sharing of knowledge or perspective. We can be grateful for a sunset, but we may point that gratitude towards the maker of the sunset or the person who took us to see it.

“Gratitude is by definition antiheroic. It does not depend on courage or strength or talent. It is based on our incompleteness.” – Piero Ferrucci

In his book, The Power of Kindness, Ferrucci continues to explain that gratitude is recognition that we cannot manage life alone. We can stop over-functioning and let others help us. We have permission to take off the cape and keep our feet on the ground because we were never supposed to be a superhero.

Gratitude is affirming. It is the absence of walls which keep us afraid and isolated. It is the melting of chilly my-way-ness which stops people from learning the power of we. It cracks the rigid barrier that anger requires to stay overheated. It allows our softer self to emerge.

Once our gentleness enters the story – our narrative about our whole self can change. We can use the gentility towards what is broken within us and stop fighting against others because we are afraid they will break more of our fragile things.

Ferrucci believed in gratitude as an important change agent for his clients. He said, “For me, it is the single most certain criterion for knowing how well a person is. It shows that her channels of communication are open, that she neither overestimates herself (as she knows she needs others) not underestimates herself (as she knows she deserves what she receives).”

One Thing to Do: Remember every good thing which has come to you.

When we think about the things/people, we are grateful for we begin to realize that everything we enjoy has come to us through someone else.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Better By Monday: Feeling Better

Better By MondayEvery client I work with wants to feel better. Better is usually at least one step of improvement and rarely the sense of being “all better” or perfect. It is amazing how just one step in the right direction can make a counseling client feel better. This feeling is desirable, it can also be motivational. One step into feeling better creates the promise of more promising steps.

Counseling is intended to make things better but not every session provides that result. Such as the case of a client of mine experiencing depression several years ago. The young woman was mentally and emotionally “Stuck,” in her words. She couldn’t move through her daily routine with any motivation.

After a few sessions I asked her, “Is this depression fact based or fear based?” She pondered the question and responded that she had thought she would say it was fact based but that on further quiet investigation she said, “…it’s really fear based.”

We were then able to push through the fear holding her hostage in her own home using just one step out of the prison her depression had become. I had her consider which chore in her home is easiest for her. The one task she decided on was to unload the dishwasher and only unload it with no additional cleaning. We agreed that this is one step she could take and that no other steps were required right now.

On her next session she reported having done the dishes (both unloading and loading) and then she paused. “I had forgotten what it felt like to just get something done.” She said with a calm and resolute tone of voice. A psychiatrist shared this equation with me: Suffering = Pain X Fear. “All resistance is fear.” He said.

We can control our fear but we can’t always control the pain we have. We can take one step away from what we are afraid of and feel the distance that gives us from our suffering.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., L.P.C.

Better By Monday is a blog about one thing you can do, try or practice over the weekend to feel a little bit better by Monday