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The power of practicing gratitude: a beacon of light for navigating dark waters

Live with intention

Your Magenta Monday Magic.

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Practicing gratitude is more than just saying ‘thank you’. More than that, it’s a way of being.

Here’s what I mean: Once you start practicing gratitude on a regular basis – much like you would playing the piano, for instance – you become skilled at seeking out the good in almost any situation.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t experience any pain, difficulty, or loss, including midlife crisis in women. Far from it. But something changes when you meet your challenges and your losses with gratitude. I’m not talking about glossing over your pain by plastering a smile on your face, either.

I’m talking about feeling it all. 😊💔

Something beautiful happens when you realize that there is room for all of it – the pain and the joy, the hurt and the love, the grief and the sadness, and yes, even the anger. And knowing this allows you to meet your pain from a place where you are centered and balanced; where you can experience any and all of your emotions without getting sucked down the drain and staying there.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff. 

For those of you who have lost a loved one, it might feel like a stretch to think about feeling grateful in the midst of grief – especially in those early moments when your emotions are raw and you’re floating through them in a surrealistic haze. But as the days slip past and the ‘firsts’ come and go, you may be able to find some space for practicing gratitude.

You may be able to feel grateful for having known a love so deep, and for having had someone you loved so profoundly be a part of your life for any period of time. You may be able to feel grateful for it all – the good, the bad, and the ugliness of loss.

This brings to mind the story of a good friend of mine who just memorialized the first anniversary of her husband’s death. I’ve witnessed her journey through the past few years as she dedicated her life to saving his. There were doctor’s appointments, treatments, caregiving at home, hospital visits when he was too weak to be home, and carrying him to the bathroom when he could no longer walk – all while working full-time outside of the house. Her strength was unlike anything I had ever seen before – she was nothing short of superhuman.

In the year since he passed, I’ve witnessed her ride waves of grief while also shepherding her children through theirs. She was always honest about how she was feeling – how at times she had to drag herself out of bed and force herself to see friends. She knows it's better to be with people who love her than to sit alone with her grief. She also knows how to take space to feel her grief on her own when she needs to.

While balancing all that, she is strengthened by her faith and the love of her family, friends, and the community as a whole.

And yes, she gets angry. Theirs was a love story she expected to last forever. They were married for over three decades when he died. She often tells the story of how she saw him from across a bar on Cinco de Mayo and declared, ‘that’s the man I’m going to marry.’ And she did. Their story wasn’t supposed to unfold this way. They had so much more to do together. They planned to travel, and to live out their lives side by side.

Yet in a relatively short period of time, he was gone.

When I asked her if practicing gratitude plays a role in her journey she replied, ‘When I feel like I’m in the middle of the vast, dark ocean of grief and loss, with endless waves washing over me, and it feels like I’ll never find steady ground again, gratitude is the lighthouse on a distant shore that keeps me going.’


Practicing gratitude in the face of all-encompassing grief and midlife crisis in women – is such a beautiful way to honor those we’ve lost. It cracks our hearts wide open, rather than shutting them down or hardening them in anger.

From that place, it is easier for our hearts to receive. 

To receive love, and joy, and connection, and compassion. 🌺🌈💕


Monday Mindshift

It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.

Brené Brown reports some surprising findings on joy and practicing gratitude:

“The relationship between joy and gratitude was one of the important things I found in my research. I wasn’t expecting it. In my 12 years of research on 11,000 pieces of data, I did not interview one person who had described themselves as joyful, who also did not actively practice gratitude.”

For more, watch her video: On joy and gratitude.

Whether you have experienced a profound loss or you are simply looking to enhance your level of life satisfaction, practicing gratitude is a powerful way to cultivate joy. Try some of these ideas to develop your own practice of gratitude:

  1. Start using a gratitude journal and every day, write down 3 things you feel grateful for.

  2. Fill a gratitude jar – each day, take a slip of paper and write down 1 or 2 things you’re grateful for, and then pop it into your jar. Some people like to read their gratitude slips during the New Year as a way to remind them of all the good in their lives.

  3. When the clock strikes a certain time – my friend does this at 12:34 every day –stop what you are doing and say out loud whatever it is that you feel grateful for.

It’s amazing how we can shift our emotions when we take the time to develop a practice of gratitude – one that we attend to on both our happiest days and our darkest ones.



Living BRIGHTer is...

B - Be Brave

R - Cultivate Relationships

I - Live with Intention

G - Practice Gratitude

H - Prioritize Health

T - Live your Truth

What is Magenta?

The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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