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3 Beliefs That Can Help You Find Gratitude in Life’s Disruptions

By: Natalie Viglione

· Soul-based Living
We can believe in and learn how to have gratitude even during times of chaos!

I’m finding unexpected things that I’m grateful for right now. And, let me start by saying that I don’t even know how this all started, nor do I know when exactly, but a large portion of a major challenge I face currently goes back to my birth. Sadly, we can’t really change how we’re born, can we?

Gradually over the past few years, I went from a super healthy weight for my athletic body of 150-160, perfect for my muscle-bound body type as I am a runner and general athlete, and shot up to 214 pounds! The biggest shocker? The majority of the pounds hit me in about one year! That was my 40th birthday present. Isn’t that just spiffy? Such a kind gift. (I hope my sarcasm is oozing from your screen right now.)

And, no, I’m not a closet eater. (That’s something traditional medical doctors love to push onto women having weight issues, by the way.) Quite the opposite, my “closet secret” is that I’ll always be a recovering anorexic because I was anorexic for a couple of years in high school. So I’m NOT an overeater by any means.

This situation happened even though I worked out harder than ever and ate healthier than ever as I aged. I had thought I was eating healthy anyway, until now. I’ve had wine for dinner in my younger days, I’ve had loads of fun, but I’ve worked out my body every week since I was 25 because I knew how important it was. Why? Because every traditional medical practitioner says that women’s bodies change dramatically at about 40 years of age, and I thought I was just one of those.

That couldn’t be farther from the REAL truth! Our bodies don’t “just change,” but that’s a story for another day. I must admit that this has been one of the most significant disruptions in my life. Despite the fact, I’ve had a whole lot of other ones. Divorce, an abortion, both of which took place in my early 20’s, and other things as I’ve experienced life fully that felt like the Universe was taking my life and shaking it upside down, then leaving me thinking WTF JUST HAPPENED?!

I’ll bet if you’re reading this, you know exactly what I mean.

Through this time in the past year and three months, I’ve lost 20 lbs, then all of a sudden it went back up, and right now as I write this it’s going back down. Even though for a year I’ve cut out almost everything under the sun, be it dairy, meat, gluten, sugar, etc. etc. etc. Confusion is pretty much the name of the game.

I’m not one to shy away from disruptions. My courageous soul was born in a tiny little town in nowheresville, Nevada, and in my 20+ years on this planet since the age of 17, I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York City, and other places in the United States. I’ve made it to VP levels in the corporate land and then started my own business at around 38 years of age.

I’m open about these accomplishments because it’s important to state that disruption isn’t something I cower from, but instead, it’s something I seek. I love change, I love growing personally, and most of all, I love seeking out new and exciting things! With all of these fantastic things, there have been a lot of hardships that created duality in life.

But, with this situation right now, I feel like a load of bricks has hit me. Gaining quite a bit of weight for me in almost no time, regardless of how hard I work out every week or how healthy I eat, this situation has shaken me to the very core of my being. The pure confusion as to WHY this is happening is the hardest part. A person that works out and eats healthy should NEVER have issues, right?! I’m learning this is very wrong, but that’s another story for another day, too.

I’ve been in this for a little over a year, trying to get to the root of the issue. We’ve spent quite a bit of dough out of pocket (because healthcare is a joke!) hiring different experts to help me, and I’ve had so many tests I’ve turned into a pincushion. While I have some answers, it still requires more. Even though I’m still in the fixing it stage, I have adopted belief systems that are helping me immensely. These belief systems are solutions to the grief, pain, and all the other things that come with being in hard times.

I have to admit that I’m tired of all of the pretty before-after stories out there in the internet land. I feel like no one’s talking enough about how to get THROUGH something in a way that’s relatable. It’s like we want to snap a photo on Instagram, and then we’re all healed. That is NOT how this goes. It can be YEARS before a pretty after “snapshot” can be taken, so why aren’t people more open about the things we can do while in a situation?

So, with that said, I want to share with you how my beliefs through this trauma have helped immensely. Regardless of what your something is, by changing mindset and beliefs, we can dramatically lessen the pain. I want to help you transform your trajectory, especially if you’re still in the shit like I am.

Here are three belief systems that you can adopt RIGHT NOW:

1) Believe in the reality that we have options when going through shit. It’s imperative to BELIEVE that you can choose something other than grief. What this means is that you can look at your situation and realize that you can sort of separate yourself from the pain.

When meditating, for example, thoughts can become images just passing by on a screen. You’re not going into the thought, but you see it, watch it, and then let it pass by. You don’t engage with it. That’s the same thing that you can do when dealing with the waves of emotion that inevitably come during times of hardship. Feel the emotion, see it, but try to practice not engaging fully in it, and slowly let it go by as if you’re watching yourself as a character in a play. It takes practice so it has to be something you’re incredibly mindful of doing.
2) Believe that you’re allowed to feel emotion. Accepting the fact that we’re supposed to feel and can feel is an essential factor. A belief system that says you’re not supposed to feel emotion is a belief system that’s setting you up for failure. So, all men out there reading this, please know that you can drop the load of BS your dad dropped on you when he said “man up” because that’s a load of crap!
I want people to know that you are free to feel anger, grief; you’re allowed to feel any emotion that you desire! Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. It may require you telling people around you to kindly F off for a bit. You can choose better wording than that if you like, but I very much like the flexibility of the F word so I like to use that one. And, it’s with love (not anger) that you ask. Sometimes we need to be left alone to go through the process of that feeling. I don’t care who you are, man or woman, you’re allowed not to be OK some days!
3) Believe that this chaos you’re in has positive things about it that you can latch onto, and having gratitude for the chaos you’re in can change everything! I call these disrUPtions because the situations we’re dealing with are forcing us UP and out of a current path. They force us onto a new path or push us to grow personally into a version of ourselves that’s going to be much better than the version before.
The situation you’re dealing with will also open doors to new knowledge you can take in, it will teach and share with you growth opportunities, and it will show you new doors that you never thought you’d be able to open.
Take some time to sit and think about what’s going on. Breathe it all in. If you sit there long enough, you will find that there’s a depth and truth to it that you know is preparing you for something MORE. Something better. Something that’s going to offer you a chance to open new doors that you never even knew existed. That provides hope and a base of excitement that can turn things around.

Let me share a reality for me during this hardship. I may still be in the dark about precisely what the end game is, but here’s what I know with every ounce of who I am. I have gotten shown a dark side of our traditional medical and healthcare system, and I have found out truths about health and wellness that have been kept out of our educational systems because there are powers that be that don’t want the masses to be healthy. If we can prevent disease, how would there be tons and tons of money made in the pharma/medical industries without loads of sick people?

With this insight, I’m opening a whole new door. I have wisdom in areas that I never thought I’d know or even dare to know. Because of all this insanity, I’m moving into nutrition and functional medicine, two things that I didn’t even think about before this stuff happened. And while it’s a lot to take in, I let myself feel, grow, and be OPEN-MINDED during this time. Don’t get me wrong, though; there are times that I kick and scream through it and I don’t punish myself for those times.

There’s an incredible amount of power in opening up and embracing the disrUPtions. Having the desire to get UP and out of tricky spots requires courage. And courage is not being without fear; it’s being able to embrace fear, breathe into it, and keep going despite it.

You can feel the SAME THINGS by adopting the three belief systems listed above. If you need someone else to shine a light on those things, well, that’s where life and business guides come in (and, yes, that is a plug for what I do). I don’t say “coaching” because it’s all about guidance and shining light into dark areas. I promise you that adopting these three new belief systems above will help you experience shitty situations with more ease.

And, feeling more ease and having less pain are things that we all desire, right?!

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