Community//

“Adopt more gratitude on a daily basis” With Tyler Gallagher & Kelli Miller

We are very conditioned to want to fix discomfort immediately. We want to rush through the hurt, the pain, the uncomfortable feelings because it’s painful. Sometimes because of wanting to move through the pain quickly we force a solution. But the only way out is through. Through the pain, through the feelings, through the discomfort […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

We are very conditioned to want to fix discomfort immediately. We want to rush through the hurt, the pain, the uncomfortable feelings because it’s painful. Sometimes because of wanting to move through the pain quickly we force a solution. But the only way out is through. Through the pain, through the feelings, through the discomfort in order and to let things settle on their own. Once we can let go, things eventually settle on their own.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelli Miller, a licensed psychotherapist, radio host, and author. She has written “Thriving with ADHD: A Workbook for Kids” and “Professor Kelli’s Guide to Finding a Husband.” She currently has her own private psychotherapy practice and is the mother of 3, including her husband. Her website is: www.kellimillertherapy.com


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m not the type that goes from point A to point B. I may go from point A to point C, then back to D, then circle around a few times, then eventually get point B. And I’m horrible with directions so you can only imagine navigating my route! I’ve learned I need to explore, discover, and learn by trial and error. So my therapy practice took me a bit to arrive but by no accident. I know I needed to do a lot of careers before I settled into this one. I always had this pull/push between between the creative and the altruistic. I did a lot of work in acting/hosting and writing to fulfill my creative side and then did teaching and other helping professions to fulfill my compassionate and nurturing side. I believe as I felt more connected to who I and accepted the challenges in my life, I felt more called to focus on helping others.

What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?

I truly believe everything happens in our lives to teach us something. So to me living “on purpose” means making meaning from our lives. The trivial things, the larger things, in all of it we can ask ourselves: “What is this trying to teach me and how can I apply this situation to help me going forward?” I believe one achieves living “on purpose” by looking at every life event or obstacle as opportunity for growth and discovery.

Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?

I had a very intense birth with my first son. After 33 hours of natural labor, it was determined my baby was posterior and I needed an emergency c-section. An artery was nicked during surgery and I lost 9 pints of blood. The doctors weren’t sure I was going to make it. I did survive of course, but because of the intense scarring in my uterus, I wasn’t able to carry any more children. My eggs were still viable so my husband and I decided to use a surrogate to carry our second child. The surrogate developed Fifth’s Disease during her pregnancy and our baby got extremely anemic. If a baby is anemic in utero there is a very high risk of miscarriage. Every day I lived in fear she’d miscarry. I felt completely powerless, especially because I wasn’t carrying the child and she lived over 5 hours away from me. This experience enabled me to slow down and stay really really present. If I focused on the future, I’d get anxious. If I focused on the now and used my mantra “everything is OK at this moment” I was able to surrender. I realized not long after that, I wanted to help others during their times of crisis and start my own psychotherapy practice.

As of 2020, The United States is rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?

I believe we focus so much on what we lack, rather than what we have. We need to adopt more gratitude on a daily basis. We need these daily reminders of what we do have in our lives because it’s so easy to overlook. Even if it’s as basic as I’m breathing or I am able to walk today, we can be grateful. I also think we can focus so much on the next achievable goal, we forget to focus on what we’re currently achieving each and every day.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Every single person wants to feel special. I try and do that to each and every person I meet. In my therapy practice, I try and make people feel comfortable in a nonjudgmental way. We already carry so much shame with us, we each need a safe place to unload and to not feel condemned. A place for all of us, even if it’s only 50 minutes, to be seen and heard.

What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance & “Joie De Vivre”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

  1. Humor. You have to laugh at yourself and situation. Perfect example is I had to present a work/life balance seminar and I ended up being late to it due to traffic. Look at the irony. I was late to my work/life balance presentation! That was the perfect opening to the start of the seminar.
  2. Doing service. I have a very loud Itty Bitty Sh*tty Committee in my head. It’s those negative voices that sometimes overtake us. I find that if I do service for someone else, that voice quiets down. If that is offering to help someone, being kind, or just going out of my way to smile for someone. It’s a win-win for everyone.
  3. Meditation. I learned to meditate in 2007 by a suggestion of a friend. I do it twice a day imperfectly. I’m calmer, more focused, and overall a better human being. “Half hour’s meditation is essential except when you are very busy. Then a full hour is needed.” — Francis de Sales
  4. Music. People can forget music can be extremely therapeutic. I’ll play dance music while I’m getting ready in the morning, instrumental music while I’m taking a bath, or 80s if I want to feel nostalgic. It makes me happy!
  5. Being Social. I’m a true extrovert. To me, that means I get fueled when I’m around people. So it’s a necessity for me to be around others. Don’t get me wrong, I like my alone time, but I am the most lit up when I’m around others. So I make sure to include being social throughout the week.
  6. Exercise. I’m one of the lucky ones who likes to exercise. I feel good during and after physical challenges. I hike, do yoga, weight training, and recently started boxing lessons! It gives me a great start to the day and endorphins to boot!
  7. (Yes, I know you asked for 6 but I have to give one more!) Do the Action, Don’t Wait for the Feeling. A lot of times my depressed patients will tell me they will exercise when they feel better. Or they say they will do a hobby when they feel happier. I advise, do the opposite. Do the action and then the feeling will come. Walk and then you will feel better. Nourish your hobby and then you will feel happier.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?

Some of my favorite books are:

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Dr. Wendy Model. This book reminds me of the importance of resilience for both adults and children.

How to Be Happy, Dammit: A Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Happiness by Karen Salmansohn. This is a quick but powerful read about life.

Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss. This was one of the first books that made me realize there is more to this life than the one we are living currently.

The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose by Dan Millman. This is a beautiful book on why each one of us is put on this earth.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.” by Lao Tzu.

We are very conditioned to want to fix discomfort immediately. We want to rush through the hurt, the pain, the uncomfortable feelings because it’s painful. Sometimes because of wanting to move through the pain quickly we force a solution. But the only way out is through. Through the pain, through the feelings, through the discomfort in order and to let things settle on their own. Once we can let go, things eventually settle on their own.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’ve been doing speaking engagements on relationships as well as stress reduction. As kids, we aren’t taught healthy communication skills nor lessons on how to cope with stress in an appropriate way. I’m hoping to help people with more tools to feel more balanced whether it be in their relationships or dealing with anxiety. My future goal is to write another relationship book and be a host on a national radio show.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂

I love random acts of kindness. I used to pay for the person’s toll behind me when toll booths were around! So now I’ll try and pay for someone’s coffee or even compliment someone on something I feel makes them special. It changes the person’s day and then maybe even subconsciously enables them to pay it forward to someone else.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Kelli Miller: “Listen don’t just hear”

by Ben Ari
Community//

“Humor. You have to laugh at yourself and situation.” With Beau Henderson & Kelli Miller

by Beau Henderson
Community//

Want to Support Your Grieving Friend? 5 Truths About What REALLY Helps

by Candyce Ossefort-Russell

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.