Gratitude practice is a common teaching in spiritual and personal growth communities. Let’s look at how gratitude practice can *stop* you from having the health, love and financial success that you desire.
I’m Christel Arcucci you’re listening to the Soul Purpose Podcast the place to learn the lightning path of embodied spiritual awakening with shadow and light integration in order to quit people-pleasing, reclaim power and create your soul purpose legacy.
This podcast is informational it’s also a transmission of power using hypnotic rhythm and energetic healing, which will include a variety in the intensity and speed of my speech. You may move into a trance state… so be mindful about what you’re doing while you listen.
Hey have you heard that gratitude practice is the ultimate technique to get you out of survival mode and into thriving mode and a life of abundance.
While I do agree that gratitude practice and appreciating what you have by keeping a gratitude journal is a powerful practice to shift your awareness out of survival mode.
Yet what I don’t hear teachers talking about how Gratitude practice can EASILY be a tool for gaslighting yourself, shaming and making yourself wrong which pushes what you want further out of reach.
“Woah, Christel did you really just say that?”
Oh, yes I did.
What is gaslighting?
Gaslighting is psychological manipulation that makes your question your sanity and yes you can do this to yourself although it’s most commonly spoken about in dysfunctional relationships with other humans.
To clarify gratitude practice CAN BE harmful but doesn’t have to be when you understand how gratitude practice can be gaslighting.
Have you ever finished a gratitude journal entry and felt worst? Did your practice make you think you’re crazy because you have so much to be grateful for yet you feel stuck and unhappy so you must be broken?
If gratitude practice is creating internal conflict then stay tuned to understand how to avoid a harmful gratitude practice and into move into gratitude gone wild.
If you only focus on gratitude practice by saying, “I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for the food in my fridge. I’m grateful for freshwater coming into my house. I’m grateful for heat. I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful for my friends.” If those are all true and your genuinely feel thankful for them, that’s awesome.
BUT if you have all these things you “should be” grateful for yet you’re not also acknowledging that you’re also unhappy or stuck that’s were it can turn toxic in a flash.
If you focus on appreciation without acknowledging conflicting thoughts, emotions and beliefs then your gratitude practice can become a subtle yet destructive form of gaslighting, shaming, blaming, making yourself wrong, bad or broken.
The shame of having so much to be grateful for yet still being unhappy, anxious, ill, depressed, guilty because others don’t have what you have or not being ecstatically happy can be rooted in trauma from your childhood and or the cultural program of destructive consumerism.
I’m not suggesting you ditch feeling grateful for what you have in your life, what I am suggesting is to practice gratitude and also recognize your shadow desires, beliefs, and emotions around what you have and what you want.
Let’s take a slight detour to the common teaching in the new age and law of attraction circles that “wanting” is bad and just leaves you wanting without receiving. It’s hard for me not to rant on that topic but let’s just say that teachings that wanting and desire are bad are a trap to keep you stuck and powerless. I talked about the ‘power over’ dynamic in episode 1.
Desire is pure power. The fire of your desire needs to be put into inspired and aligned action in order to actually create what you want. Your desire unlocks your power.
Putting on blinders on that only allow you to look at what is good in your life without integrating the challenging feelings will keep you stuck.
It is good to put the MAJORITY of your energy and attention on creating momentum and focusing on what is going well and what you appreciate.
BUT If you fail to validate the challenging feelings, you separate yourself from what is really happening and how it’s impacting you. Pretending it’s all fine with only gratitude practice is spiritual bypass by putting frosting on poop and calling it a cupcake.
Yes gratitude practice has INCREDIBLE power to create change yet if you don’t rip out the foundation by resetting your limiting beliefs and resolving trauma gratitude practice can be harmful.
The common pop culture phrase that “it’s all good” can be harmful especially if you experienced trauma in early childhood that demanded you “put on a happy face” or you had to walk on eggshells to feel safe.
It is essential that to learn to be comfortable with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
Being present with challenging emotions from the past or in the present trains your body and mind to experience intensity not as something to be avoided but as a source of pure power.
The practice of developing emotional resilience is life changing and a core element of transforming trauma.
You may have heard people talk about feeling truly grateful for the greatest trauma or life challenges they have faced like cancer, death of a child, or other intense tragedy., generally after the situation is resolved. You may have been through this yourself.
Feeling grateful for tragedy, catastrophe or crisis may sound outrageous and radical yet clarity happens during a crisis because it gets to the core of what matters.
A life reset demands clarity about who you are, your priorities and where you are going in your life.
So let’s talk about the epic 2020-21 global reset.
This challenge has collective and individual impact and many people are also having significant personal challenges on top of it.
If you force yourself to only focus on what is good in your life and not make space for challenging emotions, the shame, blame and make-wrong can make the whole situation wildly more difficult that it already is.
The improvisation practice of “yes and” is a powerful remedy to acknowledge what is good while making space for shadow emotions. For example, “I am grateful for my beautiful, safe, and clean home and I feel afraid of what will happen next.” I am grateful for the food in my fridge and I am worried about my business income decreasing and not having enough money to pay the bills.”
Practice feeling grateful and turning towards challenging emotions. Turn towards unwanted, unlovable and undesirable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
I predominately see people teaching gratitude practice by glorifying what is good, right and going well in your life while demonizing the challenges. Like somehow you’re failing if your life isn’t Instagram perfect.
This “it’s all good” spiritual bypass creates a problem for most people by reinforcing the pattern that you’re not good enough and you are broken that keeps you from experiencing more of what you want in your life. Because it fuels the inner conflict, “if it’s all good why do I feel bad?”
It can be a good and helpful practice to recognize and appreciate the good emotions and positive aspects in your life YES AND let’s take time to befriend and be with the fucking hard messy reality of being human.
Let’s not put frosting on poop and call it a cupcake. Note: I am not a poop talk girl but this one gets be fired up and saying it thins way gets the point across with greater potency and this is the lightning path so…..
it is really all good and I should feel “I am grateful that I lost my job or I’m grateful that I’m in the hospital with Covid” or whatever whatever.
What I am suggesting is if you’re in a really really hard place and feeling stuck is to start by speaking the TRUTH. “I’m having a really hard time right now. I’m really feeling alone and afraid and uncertain and unlovable.”
If you go deep enough into the shadow you may access anger, “life is fucking hard right now and I feel desperate. I am afraid and I hate this feeling!”
Turn towards and be with you depth, darkness and fear. This may be one of the only safe spaces you will find to be real and fully feel yourself.
Turn you attention towards the uncomfortable and be grateful for truth and honesty.
Say to yourself, “thank you for telling me the truth. Thank you for trusting me.”
Be with the feelings and discomfort and getting out of spiritual bypass aka “it’s all good” or the gaslighting that you can’t be yourself, do your best to avoid “should”ing on yourself and demand that you feel grateful when you don’t.
Once you have confessed the truth and thanked yourself you will likely more authentically be able to feel grateful for the food in my fridge, or the air you breathe.
Be present with that intensity because the power of your truth and life force is power and so I continues to suggest that gratitude practice when it only focuses on what is good and right and going well in your life it cut you off from the Power of the fact that being human is fucking hard and that you were going to lose people and possessions that you love.
Devastating things are gonna happen in your community and in the world. You’re going to get sick and people you love are going to get sick and terrible things will happen.
I Imagine a diehard law of attraction practitioner out there is clutching there pearls right now….. look life on earth is both heaven and hell… let’s be honest about that so we can stop the spiritual bypass and gaslighting that is keeping good people stuck and struggling.
Excuse me while I get down from my soapbox… no actually this podcast IS MY SOAPBOX!
Gratitude practice is not focus on ONLY good things. Yes I agree that the majority of you time, energy and attention is best invested in creating momentum in the direction you want to go… but if you are bullshitting yourself about the truth of struggle you will not get the results you desire!
Move in and embrace the light and shadow, Intensity and ecstasy of being human and move out of this illusion that glorifies only good and perfect and pleasing being success.
The myth that when life is hard, push it away because you are somehow failing… is ridiculous. Struggle, challenge and heartbreak is part of the game you signed up for when you came to earth school.
You can try aversion as much as you want yet it’s almost guaranteed to keep you stuck in the cycle of suffering.
Can you practice being with what is?
Take a gentle breath now without pushing or pulling.
Can you be with what is?
The more you practice the easier it becomes.
A consistent gratitude practice can be super helpful but it’s not the antidote for being in a hard place, First embrace and land in the challenge. Feel it, be with it, befriend it. This will help you to be honest with yourself and when you truly become intimate with the truth of your experience no matter how ugly, awful, painful, disgraceful it is…. You will meet your truth and yourself and from there you will be authentically grateful.
If you are in a deep state of suffering and struggle then FORCING gratitude practice could be poisonous.
Be with what is. Recognize your wounds. Then choose to focus on the present and future you want to create.
When you can peel back all the should and land in truth then you will find the ecstatic power of gratitude in the simplest things:
The sun is shining and I’m grateful for the sunshine on my face right now and like is really fucking hard but right now there’s a crack so I let it in.
That is the gratitude gone wild practice of yes and….
Yes, life can be beautiful and it’s fucking hard too.
Yes, I’m having a really hard time. I’m going to be with intensity. Be with the energy. I am turning towards lonely. Feeling depressed, hopeless or powerless.
I will not push it away.
I refuse to resist.
I turn my full attention towards the challenging aspects of being human.
I will be with the hard things.
I not pushing them away.
I name my experience what it is.
I move out of this shiny object syndrome that clings to, chase after and glorifies that which appears good to our ego and cultural agreements.
Spirit is designed to thrive in all settings.
There are countless stories throughout history of people that survived and thrived in extraordinarily terrible, awful, devastating situations.
What made this possible?
How did they do that?
Being with their experience as much as possible.
Not pushing away the hard stuff and force trying to be grateful.
I imagine it came down to the exquisite simplicity of present moment awareness with “yes and” with no denial of pain and suffering.
“I’m grateful for this breath, yes and I am present with the pain in my body.”
“I love the way the light shines in the window, yes and or I feel afraid.”
Each moment you are FULL present with what is, you will feel grateful.
You can look for and celebrate what anchors you into the present moment.
Awakening and enlightened are being fully with what is. So simple yet not easy.
My issue with the gratitude teachings is it can just is another way of striving, another way of disconnecting you from the struggles of be human on earth now, another way of making you wrong for being human.
Embody the light and shadow.
it’s not using gratitude practice as a spiritual bypass or gaslighting tool to keep only focus on what is deemed good and therefore keeping you from feeling bad things.
Pay attention to hard things.
Utilize your gratitude practice to bring you into the Present moment.
Gratitude Gone Wild Practice: “Even though I’m in pain right now I appreciate that my breath is moving in and out of my body without effort.”
When your gratitude practice is truly anchored in your physical experience, in the present moment instead of in the mind and the list of things that we should be grateful for… That’s where you can unlock the greatest power of bringing ourselves into the present moment.
Bring yourself deeper into the human experience of light and shadow, amazing and challenging things, love and loss, fear and fortitude.
Let your gratitude practice bring you more deeply into the present moment.
Feel your experience to find what you appreciate in your feelings rather what the ego wants which often speaks through our mind to say “I should be grateful there’s so much that I should feel good about.”
Recognize and feeling the challenges that you experience of being human.
True, honest and uninhabitedwillingnessto FEEL is the most potent pathway to heal.
Thank you for being here, and I look forward to walking the soul purpose path with you.
‘Yes and’ your way to your deepest truth, power, pleasure and purpose.
You’re listening to the soul purpose podcast filled with teachings and resources for the lightning path of embodied spiritual awakening with shadow and light integration in order to quit people-pleasing reclaim power and create your soul purpose legacy.
You can access the Free Soul Success Journal & meditation and all of the episodes of the podcast at soulpurposepodcast.com
I believe in you and the magic power of your soul.
I am sending you so much love!