• aliciaw shared a letter in the Group logo of Mental HealthMental Health group 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    We Are All a Work in Progress

    Dear whoever needs a reminder,

    At this point in time, you’ve probably heard the term “Gratitude Practice” in pop culture. It centers on looking at the things in your life through a lens of appreciation. It requires an ability to shift your focus and play up the parts of life that we often overlook. Gratitude practice for me has been a long developing perspective shift, but the benefits have been unparalleled. Practicing gratitude in my daily life allows me to stay present, but it also helps me reflect on bigger moments with an appreciation for the work I’ve done. From a bird’s-eye view, I am able to solidify the reality of all I have to be grateful for.

    Graduating with my bachelor’s in psychology at the beginning of the pandemic scared me into thinking that I would never get to do the type of work I had been dreaming of. Schools were closed. Volunteer programs halted. And I felt that I would be stuck working in restaurants for the rest of my life.

    It’s hard to see the path forward when your head is down.

    But being grateful for all that I did have around me, recognizing the efforts I put in to get there, being coupled with people assuring me that my degree wasn’t going to waste helped me see that a bump in the road or a change of plans doesn’t mean you should throw your life course out the window. So as soon as I could, I started substituting in classrooms again. And during one of my subbing escapades, I stumbled upon an open position in a classroom that felt like exactly what I had been working towards.

    Now Monday through Friday, for 7 hours a day, I get to connect with a small group of high school students in an Emotional Disturbance class.

    I get to teach them in ways no one ever took the time to. I get to expose them to ways of thinking and opportunities that they don’t typically have access to. I get to be a witness to real growth. And I get to learn more about myself through their own special personalities. I have never woken up consistently excited to go to work until this past year. I feel gratitude every day I drive to work, every time I see my students faces, and every time I think of how much I wanted this.

    “Stop and smell the roses.” It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Certainly not every day with my students is a magical transformation. Some days feel like quite the opposite. But in the grand scheme of things, I know that I am exactly where I want to be. Connecting and guiding. At the intersection of growth and patience.

    My students remind me that life is not an uphill battle, as much as it may feel that way sometimes. By being grateful for your progress, you can acknowledge that what you have now is what you once wanted. Use this as fuel for the present as much as you use it as fuel for your future.

    Alicia Sophia Marie

    Subscribe  or  log in  and join the group to reply

    • I’ve never heard of gratitude practice. I’m glad I’m hearing about it now. Changing your perspective on things and shifting your thoughts from stress to gratitude can’t be extremely beneficial. Just like the saying “stop and smell the roses” there’s also “look at the bright side.” Thank you for sharing.

      Write me back 

      Subscribe  or  log in  and join the topic to reply

    • Thanks for sharing Alicia. This is such an important thing to practice and I needed this reminder. It’s sooo important to practice this during the good times too! When you don’t “need” it. Then it becomes habit and when you’re feeling down you have this tool that is so easily tangible. This reminder to practice gratitude was something that I truly needed. I appreciate you.

      Write me back 

      Subscribe  or  log in  and join the topic to reply