Pause and look around you. Take a moment to pause and reflect on everything around you. Your situation may not be what you want it to be or may not be ideal, but I guarantee someone somewhere would love to have the problems you have. By pausing and reflecting, you often can take in those moments of life that get lost in the everyday hustle.
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 LaWann Moses.
LaWann Moses is a Personal Growth and Empowerment Strategist who helps working mompreneurs master their mindset and own their time, so they create space in their busy lives for their dreams and goals. Through speaking, coaching, and guided self-discovery practices, she helps her clients strengthen their sense of self and reclaim their time so they can find the freedom to do more of the things they love and enjoy without feeling guilt or overwhelm.
LaWann is also the Creator and Host of the More Than A Mother podcast where she uplifts, educates, and empowers moms on their motherhood and business ventures. At More Than a Mother, we believe you can pursue your dreams and be a great mom at the same time. LaWann believes love is the greatest gift of all and she strives to do everything in love.
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?
My journey to becoming a Personal Growth and Empowerment Strategist started many years ago when I became pregnant a few months before graduating high school. As a teenage girl with plans to go to college, I found my college dreams thwarted by this unplanned pregnancy. While my friends were preparing to go to college, I was preparing for motherhood. I had to grow up, get a job, and overnight I went from being a child with no responsibilities to someone’s mother.
From there I was thrust into the world of teenage motherhood, lack, and poverty and soon depression took over my life. I lost all motivation for everything and found myself emotionally unavailable to my son and withdrawing from life altogether. One day I decided I was going to end my life, however through what I call “divine intervention”, my life did not end that day.
Instead, that day became the beginning of my transformational journey which led me to where I am today. It wasn’t easy and I encountered many setbacks over the years, but that day I became determined to live and achieve success no matter the odds.
I have built my business on the foundation and actionable steps I took to cultivate my own personal growth and empower myself to achieve each goal I set forth no matter the obstacle. I now work every day to empower my clients to master their mindset and reclaim their time so they can pursue their dreams and goals and live their best lives without feeling bad about it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
One thing I love about my business is the work I do with moms. In mom life, there is never a dull moment, so I am full of remarkably interesting stories. I will say some of my favorite involve the kids who know “mommy” is “working” but still bust in with an “emergency”. From wanting a snack to saying hi or even the children that do have a potty accident and need mom’s attention, there is never a dull moment when it comes to motherhood and business.
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?
“The time is going to pass regardless. It’s all about how you spend it.” This was told to me by my mom when I found I was pregnant just before high school graduation. I told her how I would wait to go to college, but she insisted I keep going. She said the above words to me, and they have stuck with me over the years.
I feel this quote demonstrates that there will never be a perfect time, the only time we have is now. If we sit around waiting on the perfect time then our dreams, goals, and ambitions will pass us by.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story about why that resonated with you?
Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson made a significant impact on my life. This book talks about the importance of prayer and circling. It shows answered prayers, gives daily scriptures and prayer prompts. It encourages you to implement prayer into your daily life and watch God work.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I have two projects in the works right now. One is a course designed to help moms go from overwhelmed to organized so they can create the space they desire in life for their dreams and goals.
The other is a “how-to” course on podcasting. As a successful podcaster, I have many moms who want to start a podcaster and don’t know where to start or what to do.
I feel both projects will help moms get a jumpstart on their dreams and goals and find something that fits within their busy lives.
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?
It is so incredibly hard for me to just pick one person. Looking back over my life, I am grateful for the love and support of my parents and partner over the years. I would not be who I am today without the love and support of my parents and partner. I have so many stories I can share, but I will say they have been the foundation for my success. No matter the choices I made, the crazy things I did, all of them were there to support me along the way. My parents are the epitome of unconditional love and support. My partner who worked (and continues to work) countless to help support me and my dreams. No matter, what ideas I have, he is always in my corner, supporting in any way he can.
Over the years, I have had had an entire village of support which I call my “support squad”. Whether I needed a babysitter while I attended school or transportation to and from events, my support squad was there. This extended beyond my parents and partner; however, they have been my foundation throughout the years. They are always there to support and help me on my journey towards success and achieving each goal set forth.
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?
To me, gratitude is taking inventory of the things around you and being appreciative of all that you have. In life, it is so easy to complain about the things you don’t have or the things that go wrong, but when you adopt a spirit of gratitude you learn to be thankful in all situations and for all experiences.
Why do you think so many people do not feel gratitude? How would you articulate why a simple emotion can be so elusive?
I feel gratitude takes a conscious effort so many people miss out on experiencing it. To be grateful and express gratitude you must willingly look at all situations and try to find a positive outcome. In good situations, it’s easy to see the positive. However, when something bad happens, often you only see what has happened on the surface. Gratitude requires you to look past the surface and see “okay, there is some good that can come out of this”.
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?
Have you ever heard the saying “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”? That is how I think of gratitude. I feel increasing gratitude will not only help you see the good in any situation, but it will also help shift your perspective on life. Many times, in life we focus on things we cannot change and get frustrated in the process. What if instead we changed our mindset and perception regarding things. When you switch up your perspective, the situation may not change but how you look at it will. That right there is the secret sauce. You can feel a little better on the inside and enjoy life because no longer are you focused on the negative of the situation. By focusing on the positive, you are freeing your mindset and you can invite in more opportunities and areas for growth.
Let’s talk about mental wellness in particular. Can you share with us a few examples of how gratitude can help improve mental wellness?
When you practice gratitude, you gain mental clarity and peace of mind. A positive mindset and gratitude practices are so freeing. To me, mental wellness is improved because you are replacing negative self-talk and thoughts with positive messages. You are looking for the good in situations instead of focusing on the bad, which naturally leave you feeling down. When you practice gratitude, you can uplift yourself in some of the hardest situations and realize that you will make it through, and things will be okay.
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?
- Pause and look around you. Take a moment to pause and reflect on everything around you. Your situation may not be what you want it to be or may not be ideal, but I guarantee someone somewhere would love to have the problems you have. By pausing and reflecting, you often can take in those moments of life that get lost in the everyday hustle.
- Journaling is a great way to achieve mental clarity and take steps towards mental wellness. By implementing journaling, you can write down the day-to-day happenings in your life. This gives you an outlet instead of holding everything on the inside all the time. What I like about journaling is being able to look back and see how much progress I’ve made over time or just how I made it out of a situation I once those was never going to end.
- Find joy in the things you have. You may not have all you want but you have all you need. Focus on what you have and how you can cultivate, nurture, and grow the things you have.
- Establish a morning and/or evening routine. Starting and ending your day off with gratitude can improve your overall mental wellness. When you take the time out of you day to intentionally focus on those things which you must be grateful that can have a positive impact on your mindset and overall mental wellness.
- Have regular conversations about and express gratitude to others. Often, we wait until holidays, such as Thanksgiving to express our gratitude. Instead of waiting until a special occasion practice telling others around you what you are grateful for and encourage them to do the same.
Is there a particular practice that can be used during a time when one is feeling really down, really vulnerable, or really sensitive?
One practice I recommend when you are feeling down or vulnerable is prayer and/or meditation. Implementing prayer or meditation when times get tough (or even on a daily basis) can help you center yourself and remember the things are good and those that matter in life.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that you would recommend to our readers to help them to live with gratitude?
Here are a few of my favorite podcasts: Slaying Self Doubt by Philicia Wallace,
Living Her Truth by LaKitia Woodard, and of course my own mom empowerment podcast- More Than a Mother
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. 🙂
On my podcast, I empower moms to pursue their dreams and be great moms at the same time. Through this podcast, I hope to start a motherhood movement. I hope to empower moms to flip the script on motherhood. For too long, moms have sacrificed everything for their families and loved ones. Moms seem to lose their identity in motherhood and roles and feel guilty when we take steps to do things outside of mothering and caretaking. However, the More Than A Mother movement is saying goodbye to mom guilt and hello to our dreams and goals. No longer does motherhood mean losing oneself.
When I last checked, there are 2 billion mothers in the world (85.4 million in the US). Imagine how impactful such a move would be. I hope to inspire nations of mothers to rise up, reclaim their power, and proudly say “I am more than a mother”. They can proclaim, “I have dreams, goals and I’m going after everything I want and more. That doesn’t make me any less of a mother or take anything away from my other roles. I was a woman before I was a mother, and I have every right to have joy and be content in all areas of life”. We give accolades and pay homage to our moms and those that came before us. We understand they did what worked for them, however, now is our time moms, and we can have it all.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!