Since 2020 has been among the absolute roughest years we've ever collectively experienced, I'm guessing that for some, centering gratitude may leave you feeling like you're grasping for straws. Even so, with the knowledge that remaining in a state of gratitude is beneficial to our overall state of well-being, it's important to look for the good, look for the learning, to mine our lives and experiences for the gold that they provide us with.
When I look back on everything that's happened this year, I'm most thankful that 2020 provided me with the opportunity to slow it way down, evaluate what was important and valuable, and allow what wasn't to fall away. Yes, I also saw my mental health suffer tremendously (you can read about that here) but it was part of the process and I feel stronger for having endured.
I'm not one of those people who believe that suffering is necessary for growth, but I do know from my own life experience that it's a powerful catalyst. In this season of gratitude I encourage you explore the paradox, to look for the good in what may seem not-so-good on the surface.
- This year I expected myself to operate "business as usual" amid a pandemic, and then I learned to put down the extremely high expectations I held for myself and other people, and in turn am learning to love better, without all the conditions.
- This year I pushed my boundaries by trying to juggle too much at once, and then I wised up and learned to be present with one. thing. at. a. time.
- This year I yelled at my kids more than ever, and then I learned to soften and have more patience with myself and others.
- This year I was embarrassed and heartbroken to be a Louisville, KY native as our police department made national headlines as a shining example that racism is still very much alive, and I've been inspired by the many people who show up tirelessly to fight for justice, and have been able to teach my children the importance of seeing injustice and working to absolve it.
- This year I was driven to the depths of anxiety and depression, and I learned the real importance of my physical body as it relates to mental health and (finally!) successfully established an exercise routine. **This is a huge deal for me, because I’ve never been consistent in exercise. I'm hard headed, folks, and my personality is such that I love to swim in the depths of ideas rather than pay attention to the limitations of being human and having to exist within a physical body.
- This year I walked away from a business investment equivalent to the cost of a small house (ouch!) and I positioned myself for greater success and reclaimed my peace of mind in the process.
My point in sharing all of this is to say, when you reflect on what you're thankful for this year don't just scratch the surface; dig a little deeper to acknowledge what's truly been meaningful to you and why. God knows that 2020 has been a challenge, bringing many of us to our knees, but it's also presented us with glorious opportunities for expansion of our hearts and minds, and an epic rearrangement of priorities.
All the best,
|Jessica Hill Powell, NBC-HWC, RYT-200|
Founder + Health Coach at Meridian Integrative Wellness
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Blog post from the desk of Meridian Integrative Wellness founder, Jessica Hill Powell
NBC-HWC, RYT-200, Integrative Health Coach
Hi, I'm Jessica. My professional expertise centers around health and behavior change. I have a degree in Psychology from Bellarmine University, am a certified Integrative Health Coach by Duke University, as well as nationally board certified. I'm also a trained yoga instructor and an aromatherapy wellness advocate. Many modalities, one goal: physical and emotional well-being.
All of my impressive health-related credentials might have you assuming I'm always on my A-game, I workout consistently, eat one raspberry on Sundays as a treat and am basically in perfect health and am here to show you how to be perfect too. My friend, that would set us both up for failure.
Here's what may surprise you: I deal with depression and anxiety and also have psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes my immune system to ramp up and attack my joints and skin. Learning to live fully with these experiences is why I do this work; because feeling good in your own skin can require some extra work for some of us, whether it's chronic disease, situational stress, or something else.
I am healthy and resilient because I've spent the last decade learning how to care for my physical and emotional body. I can help you learn to do the same, in your own unique way, considering your own unique life circumstances; there are no one-size-fits-all answers, after all.
Me in a nut-shell: Mama x4. INFJ. Yogi. Foodie. Feminist. Plant Lover. Creative. Forever Student. Wellness Advocate.