Stop and Think.Have you heardthe quote about the shoes? My mom would remind me of it when I was a kid and feeling sorry for myself. “I cried when I had no shoes until I saw the person who had no feet.”
As we all know, times are tough right now. In addition to the acute medical crisis caused by the Pandemic, in our post COVID world, we are also experiencing what some have called a “mental health pandemic”.
What can each of us do to get out of this “Pandemic Induced Mental and Emotional Funk”?
One tool that each of us has access to is the simple power of daily gratitude. As a part of our series about the “How Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude To Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness ” I had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine Lenard.
Catherine is the author and founder of Catherine’s Divine Riches Project: Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™ and her From Fear to Freedom Accelerated Self-Discovery Breakthrough Process™. She’s committed to helping people empower themselves to create a better life.
She’s traveled to points around the globe to research, experience, and find common ground between varied cultural beliefs related to personal development and spirituality, which are incorporated into her work.
Based in a resort village near Lake Michigan wine country, Catherine enjoys hiking and cycling.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about you and about what brought you to your specific career path?
From early on, I wanted to change my life. Because things felt chaotic and didn’t make sense, I had a keen desire to understand the behind-the-scenes of how life worked.
When I started my professional career, a lot of stress and anxiety-related stuff hit the fan.
That provided further motivation for what would become a second career track in personal development. A lifetime of work about how to change your life from the inside out has evolved into a simple system to help make the path easier for others.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Yes. One summer afternoon, quite a while ago when I was living in Chicago, I was walking home from the grocery store thinking about the usual at that time — relationships and my business.
On the way home, arms straining with the weight of heavy plastic grocery bags — out of nowhere — I felt what I can only describe as the physical sensation of light going through the front of my chest, out my back and back through my chest.
In that moment, standing freeze-frame-frozen on the street, it felt like a matchstick was struck into the sun. I was overcome with an overwhelming feeling of — Love — that no words can describe.
It lasted only seconds, but when it was over, everyday life felt like I’d been plunged into a room without light.
It’s one thing to hear or read about extraordinary experiences. It’s quite another to have one for yourself that lets you know in no uncertain terms that Something Much Grander exists.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why do you think that resonates with you? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
With regard to quotes, there is no one favorite. Many have been meaningful at a particular time, depending on whatever challenges I was going through. And that changes as you move forward in your life.
I recently read one that I’d never heard before; no author listed. Here it is: “I don’t know one successful person who leaves their [shopping] cart in the middle of a parking lot.”
It’s a quote we can all relate to that made me stop and think. Yes, I return my cart to the cart corral or if there isn’t one available, walk it back to the store. I think it comes down to common courtesy and respect. Self-respect in knowing you’re doing the right thing andrespect for others.
I’m going to momentarily jump on my soapbox and expand that idea of respect to encompass land, water, and space litter.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story about why that resonated with you?
Apart from personal development-related subjects, I enjoy reading about influential people’s lives. What challenges they faced, what was going on in the world at that time, what they accomplished, what can be learned from them.
If I’m challenged by something, sometimes I’ll ask myself, “What would so and so do if they were in this situation?” In reading about people from all over the world in different periods of time, you begin to pick up on cycles and similarities. It’s fun to find common threads from book to book.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’m focused on bringing Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™ out into the world. To help people empower themselves to create a better life.
Have you ever walked through fresh deep snow or sand at the beach and after a while started getting tired of trudging because it’s hard work to cut your own path? Stepping into the footsteps of someone who’s walked the walk and can lead the way saves a lifetime of frustration, time, and wasted life potential.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve learned from many people. From some who could provide business-related insight at a critical time. From others who provided inspiration at times of low ebb when discouragement became hard to bear.
Without a doubt, my mom has been the most constant and significant, a silent partner who has provided encouragement in every way possible.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now that we are on the topic of gratitude, let’s move to the main focus of our interview. As you know, the collective mental health of our country is facing extreme pressure. We would like to explore together how every one of us can use gratitude to improve our mental wellness. Let’s start with a basic definition of terms. How do you define the concept of Gratitude? Can you explain what you mean?
• I’m sitting at my kitchen table taking a time out from day-to-day thoughts so I can focus on your interview questions
• I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand that smells great
• It feels good to hold the cup
• And even better to take that first sip
• It’s quiet except for the sound of the ticking wall clock
• I’m writing with a pen that feels good in my hand
• The ink is flowing smoothly from the pen onto a piece of blue-lined notebook paper
• I’m appreciating these moments
• This is my definition of gratitude
• Appreciating the right now good
Why do you think so many people do not feel gratitude? How would you articulate why a simple emotion can be so elusive?
Gratitude is an acquired practice. A person may not have a background that fosters it. Or the self-awareness or spiritual awareness to put it into practice for themselves.
It can be learned. It is being learned. Social media can be a good barometer for what’s on peoples’ minds. There are a ton of social media posts that at least share or state the idea of gratitude, even if people aren’t quite sure about all it entails.
This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be constructive to help spell it out. Can you share with us a few ways that increased gratitude can benefit and enhance our life?
Think about it this way from a human perspective. It you’re giving everything you can to a friend or family member, whether it’s kids or your Aunt Sophie, and all they do is complain or tell you they want more, and they’re not even noticing all the wonderful things you’re doing for them already, how would you feel about giving them more?
Opening yourself to seeing, feeling, acknowledging the good that’s already present in your life puts you in the flow of receiving more.
Let’s talk about mental wellness in particular. Can you share with us a few examples of how gratitude can help improve mental wellness?
It can be deliberately used as a tool to help you uplift yourself. And when you uplift yourself, you’re going to feel better. I’m happy to explain more about this as we go along.
Ok wonderful. Now here is the main question of our discussion. From your experience or research, what are “Five Ways That Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude To Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness”. Can you please share a story or example for each?
Sure. Here they are from personal experience:
1.Stop and Think.Have you heardthe quote about the shoes? My mom would remind me of it when I was a kid and feeling sorry for myself. “I cried when I had no shoes until I saw the person who had no feet.”
Gratitude shifts your thoughts away from what you think of as lacking or negative. You deliberately shift your thoughts toward the positives in your life that you may not realize you already have. Unless you make the time to stop and think about it.
2.Change Your Energy.Have you ever been around someone who complains about or finds fault with everything? Do you want to run away from them after a while?
There’s an unseen part of gratitude. It interrupts the negative spiral that only goes deeper unless you interrupt that pattern. That in turn begins to shift the energy you put out into the world.
3.Watch the Flow.When you continue to feed your mind with thoughts of gratitude, positive experiences begin to flow back to you.
Think about sitting on a beach and watching the waves. They go out toward the horizon and come back in to the shore. What you put out is what you get back.
4.Remember Love.Gratitude, at its essence, is a form of Love. Love is the highest energy, the strongest force in the universe. And it eventually always wins.
5. Write Your List. When you want to feel better, even if you don’t feel like it, think of what you’re grateful for or appreciate in your life. Start by writing a few things. Add more. Do it every day or a few times a day until you feel better. Then keep doing it.
So there you have it: Catherine’s 5 Ways Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude so you can feel better.
You can view the video version here: https://youtu.be/khraxNQisgw
Is there a particular practice that can be used during a time when one is feeling really down, really vulnerable, or really sensitive?
Don’t run from those feelings. Feel really down, vulnerable, or sensitive. Allowing yourself to feel is a gateway to change.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that you would recommend to our readers to help them to live with gratitude?
Because we’re all at different levels of consciousness and what speaks to one person may not speak to another, I have the following suggestion. There’s a lot of information about gratitude on the web. Start with an internet search. Trust yourself to find what best speaks to you. You’ll know.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™ because it can free people to move beyond what’s holding them back while discovering how to create a better, happier life. Gratitude is a component.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
To keep in touch, visit my website and sign up for newsletter updates at https://www.divineriches.com.
Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
For the privilege of this opportunity, thank you.