For this week’s Release your Resistance episode, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite coaches together and we recorded our book club for You to listen to.
In today’s episode you will:
📚 Meet a few amazing coaches and listen in to our “coachy” book club
📚 Hear some great quotes to think about gratitude
📚 Learn how gratitude can fuel abundance
📚 Get an example of what to do when we notice we wish others would thank us
📚 Hear why it is important to model gratitude for children (and everyone else)
📚 Get a surprising twist from Chapter 11
Get Marilynn’s Affirmation poster here: https://www.successwithmrs.com/affirmations
(Lightly Edited Transcript of our Conversation)
Okay, today’s episode is a little bit different. It’s a Coachy Book Club.
I’ve met some amazing coaches recently, and I just thought it would be so fun to have them join me in a discussion today.
The topic -because we’re in Thanksgiving time- is to talk about gratitude.
We each read the book: The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan.
The premise of this book is that on New Year’s Eve, this journalist and former editor-in-chief of a magazine decided to make a promise to be grateful and to look on the bright side of whatever happens. She turned this year-long experiment into a book called The Gratitude Diaries that we can all read or listen to.
Now the three of us coaches are going to discuss it together. So first question:what did you think about the book? How did you like it?
Marilynn Reis Sonier:
Oh, my gosh, I thought it was just wonderful. As a mindset coach, I kept going through the book thinking, wow, how funny that gratitude just ties into all of the principles, so many principles, core principles of mindset, through gratitude, you’re doing so many things beyond just being thankful. I thought that was so powerful to see.
I am a business success coach, and so much of what we do when we are starting our business is to visualize and manifest what we want our business to be. So much of it is tied to being grateful in all areas of our lives, what we already have, and looking towards what we want to see come into our lives. Gratitude is a huge part of that process.
Yes, and you each reminded me of something that I was going to do at the beginning and then forgot.
I know each of you. I’ve had great conversations with you. But of course, our audience doesn’t know who you are. So, I guess I should back up and ask each of you to just introduce what your business is, what your coaching practice is all about, and who you work with.
My name is Della Wicklund. My company is Best You Academy. I work with aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners to really jumpstart or take their business to the next level. I do a series of trainings and am launching a boot camp in the Spring. I am also coaching and working with entrepreneurs to help them manifest and achieve their highest aspirations.
My name is Marilynn Reis Sonier. My mindset coaching businesses is Success with Mrs. I work with mompreneurs that want to break through to new levels in their business, and also find a better work life balance. Because we tend to get lost in motherhood. Finding that balance that we deserve is so important. I empower them to take a stand for their health and happiness, so that they can achieve that breakthrough and achieve their goals in their business without missing out on the magic of childhood.
I love it. Yes. And in case anyone’s joining Release your Resistance right now and hasn’t heard any of my prior episodes. I’m Bex. I’m a resistance coach, I help people recognize and release the resistance that holds us back. I love using gratitude as a tool because I think gratitude definitely helps us see things from a different perspective.
So, that was actually going to be the first question that I wanted to bring up in our Coachy book club: Do you think gratitude can or even has already transformed your life?
Oh, absolutely. I firmly believe that gratitude fuels abundance, when we are looking at life with the lens of what we don’t have, then of course, it’s not going to look good. It’s not going to feel good. We’re not going to bring into it what we want. We have to be looking for all the amazing things that we have and accepting things that we want to change for just what they are too much. We want to change the things around us when, like you just said, if we simply changed our own perspective, we might already have what we see.
Della, Do you think gratitude can transform?
Oh, absolutely. I’m totally on board with everything Marilynn said. In thinking about this podcast and in reading the book, it reminded me of a quote I came across. “Remember that what you have now was once among the things you only hope for.”
By practicing gratitude, those things come to us. I think reading this book brings awareness to our day-to-day activities and really looking around. “Oh, everything I now have is what I wished for before.” I’m right with you, Marilynn, and thinking that once we recognize and express it more comes to us on our journey.
Yeah. And what you said about recognizing the day to day, in the book, the author tells about, like, the first morning that she decided to do this project, and she was in the kitchen, and she was telling her husband, so they had this quick little discussion about gratitude. And she had made this plan. Then in the next moment, he put a spatula down on the countertop and made a little mess. She was about to say something like, you know, why are you making a mess or don’t make that or whatever she was about to say. Then she remembered, hold on, I’m supposed to be grateful for right now.
The way that she described that story, I thought that could be a story of my own marriage. Here I have these great plans about showing gratitude and expressing gratitude and being grateful. But then I notice some little annoying thing and I immediately want to jump to criticize, instead of thinking, wow, look at this person preparing food for me, or being a partner for me or whatever. I totally agree that the book shines a light on different ways that we can use it.
I think it’s kind of human nature to want to attach something to that gratitude or that thank you. We always want to say, but you could have done that better, or I wish you’d done it this way.
I think the point you make there so well too Bex is that over and over in the book, she has a lot of honest and transparent circumstances in her life, whether it comes to her children, her husband, her work, her health.
It’s so easy to see what we don’t have. It’s the little things on a daily basis that stack up without us even noticing the the practice of gratitude is what made her aware that she was going to miss out on the great experience she was having just because of that little mess, you know. It’s these little things that add, not necessarily our big goals that we don’t have. But it’s these little things too, that really fuel how we get to those bigger goals by focusing on the good stuff. It brings more good except, you know, like in that example, we are focusing on the spatula.
Yeah. talk about transforming your life. I mean, of course, we can have major transformations that happen, because something major happens. But I think the day-to-day transformations that happen, then we look back and realize, Wow, I used to be that or I used to think that and now I think this instead does happen because of consistent tiny changes.
That’s exactly what she is recommending. I think everyone knows that I make journals, and one of the journals that I promote is a gratitude journal. The whole idea of it is just to write down three new things every day that you’re grateful for. A friend of mine started using it. She did say “I feel so much better. My brain is on the lookout for things to be grateful for.”
You create that habit of gratitude, right? You create the expectation of something to be grateful for. You do it consistently.
I think we spend so much time wishing someone else would thank us for things. When really, if we take the first step and say thank you, they will do that, in turn, rightfully so.
I think about in the book where she tells her husband, she says, you know, thank you, you’re so handsome. You’re right. He comes over and gives her a kiss before he goes to work. Sometimes we get so caught up in I wish you would do that, that we don’t think about maybe the other person’s thinking the same thing. Gosh, I wish they acknowledged how great I look today, or I wish she thanked me for taking out the garbage. Right? I think it’s a two way street, we get what we give.
To tag on to that point, I love that she was talking to one of her friends who was going to text her daughter who had that interview. She was going to give some advice and said, “just just text her something positive, don’t tell her what to do, and just text her and say, Hey.” She reminded her friend, that sending that gratitude was just as much for her for the friend as it was for the daughter.
We have a big misconception in generosity and in sending out gratitude that that is allowed to give ourselves something to ourselves. That is something for us too. I think we feel guilty or selfish if we do that. But no gratitude and expressing and giving. It is okay for that to give us good feelings and do something for ourselves.
What I think about is what does gratitude mean to you?
Marilynn just touched on this about how you feel when someone tells you thank you. Sometimes, someone gives you a compliment, or thanks you for something, we kind of brush it off like maybe we’re not so deserving of that. I’m curious to hear how you feel when someone tells you thank you? What does that gratitude or that thank you mean to you?
You know, Della , I really love that you said that and ask that.
I have two children, 3 and 1. I feel like gratitude is very different from just thank you. We’re in this place where I’m teaching my kids manners, right? So that somebody does something I’m saying, “Say thank you say thank you.” Yeah, I’m going to do it. It’s good to have those good manners and be polite and appreciative.
But actually, teaching gratitude to our children is much different from teaching them these systematic thank yous than teaching manners. Instilling in them real gratitude, real appreciation is different.
That comes from modeling it, you know, ourselves. That, to me, feels wonderful. I’m always paying attention to how I react to a situation. If I react to it from a lack perspective, or from a gratitude perspective, I know that I’m teaching my kids that and for me, that feels amazing. I am showing them how to be appreciative in a situation. I am showing them how to look for the good and see the silver lining. That practice of showing and building gratitude in them, that has been so rewarding for me. It keeps me very aware of how I’m looking at everything.
I love that Marilynn. I was thinking this morning about how it’s automatic when strangers or someone we encounter during the day opens the door for us, and we say thank you. Someone waits on us and brings us our food and we say thank you.
It feels different when we do it with people we work with and live with that are part of our family.
I have six granddaughters and one grandson and my granddaughters are teenagers now. And it’s interesting, because I’m very mindful now, especially since reading this book about practicing gratitude with them, thanking them. It’s interesting how their reaction is when you say something, you know, thank you for that, or I really appreciate it when you do that. It’s interesting to see their responses.
So it feels different than just a thank you to a stranger. I think sometimes it’s easier to thank a stranger than it is to thank someone we live with, work with or we encounter on a regular basis.
Yeah, totally. The question that you brought up is just so interesting, because I do think about how often do I attach a “But” to either when I want to be grateful to someone or when someone is showing gratitude to me.
If I want to tell my husband or family member or friend, “well, thanks for doing this for me, but I really wanted it like that”, or I really… Okay, first, I want to be aware of that and cut that in half. But then when someone tells me “Oh, Bex , thank you so much for doing something for me” I often want to say, but “Well, it wasn’t that big of a deal, or I would have done it anyhow, or no need to thank me” or something that’s almost like diminishing their ability to share gratitude that feeling that they get from being grateful and appreciative. I don’t want to diminish that either.
Right. I think our response to them encourages them to acknowledge being grateful.
yes, rewarding that behavior.
A lot of my clients come to me because, honestly, they just don’t feel happy. I always tell them that I know you’re not gonna like the answer, because it’s so simple, but I tell them, but just choose to be.
I noticed a few times in there, that she talks about how easy it can be. How it’s a change of perspective and how it is a choice. So I wonder, do you believe after reading the book, and through your experience, as coaches that it is that easy to create happiness in your life?
That’s something I’m really trying to practice. Now, I do a lot of yoga. Part of that practice is choosing happiness and looking inside for that happiness. And that it sounds so easy to just say, “well, it’s all inside of you.” That’s your perspective and you draw on that. But it’s a constant awareness to be mindful of choosing happy, right?
We can’t choose it once, right? We have to choose it over and over over and over again.
You work that muscle not just in yoga, but in that practice of awareness. So absolutely. I love that just constant reminder of choosing happy and that to acknowledge that we have a choice in everything in our lives. So do I want to choose to be unhappy today or happy? And then things just seem to go well when you’re happy, right?
I think she said what you just said, Della , I thought her first chapter is so powerful. I mean, tell me that you’re not going to walk away with something, if you don’t just read the first chapter of this book.
She tells you that if you just take it, the power of your thoughts, the power to choose gives you control over your life. She just lays it out there right in that first chapter, whether she intended to do so or not, but she tells you just take control.
In theory, we can all understand it logically and think, okay, yeah, I totally get it. I, you know, I’ve read the book, or I’ve followed other teachers or coaches, I get it, I hear that I understand it.
But, in practice, if we don’t have the gratitude habit, and we don’t have the tools and the ability, or the background to manage our minds, it doesn’t feel easy at all. It doesn’t feel like something that we can just switch on. Depending on what’s going on in our lives, we might be in a really tough or hard or disappointing or difficult situation, we might, in those cases, not want to be happy, because it’s it’s not appropriate.
It doesn’t feel aligning in any way.
It is helpful to put things in perspective. And if we have this in our back pocket to pull it out, when we are ready to take control and say okay, about this situation that I would have never chosen, what can I be grateful for? Or what is the bright side of this thing that I really am not interested in? Often that can shift. So it is helpful to have.
In business, so many of my clients come to me, and want to first point out or tell me all the things that are wrong with their business, what’s not working, what doesn’t work, what they’ve tried. If you can get them to turn that perspective around and look at what is good, what they’re grateful for, and what they’ve accomplished. That’s really the biggest shift you can make in the success of your business.
Absolutely. I mean, one thought perpetuates the next. So if they come to you, and you’re there thinking about all the things that haven’t worked, they’ll keep going along that road, along that track until you stopped them or something. Then if you can shift that focus, you know, one thought of something you’ve accomplished can lead to the memory of something else.
It does go in that direction. One thought creates another. I really agree with what you both said. I don’t think it is easy to choose happiness over and over until you’ve done it repeatedly. I think it is still a simple thing. I think it is down to the simplicity of a choice.
Just like gratitude comes to the simplicity of am I looking for something to be grateful for, or I’m really looking for what’s missing?
That’s why we’re all here in this industry to help people get through that repetition to choose that happiness when it’s not easy, so that it becomes that habit and that general state of being. I wouldn’t say it is easy, but I would say,I feel firmly that it is simple and that it’s a choice.
Part of what goes along with both what you just said and also Della, what you were saying about your clients who come to you about their businesses, I think a missing piece maybe that we haven’t expressly discussed here yet is the idea of self appreciation. Gratitude for ourselves, our own actions, our own abilities, our own explorations.
I think so many times we’re willing to be grateful to others, and we’re willing to express gratitude to others and in general, like I’m so grateful for this wonderful weather or I’m so thankful for technology.
How often do we say to ourselves (and I like to say thanks past self), thank you, Past Self for setting up this podcast interview so that we could all meet together. Thanks past self! I’m grateful to myself to have learned this or to have invested the time or money into that. I think that’s a really helpful gratitude practice to to get ourselves thinking those good habitual thoughts that put us to the next good habitual thought
Today, especially, it’s so easy to compare yourself to someone else. So you forget how far you’ve come and the work you’ve done, that moves you along your path and your journey. That competitiveness rather than looking internally and grateful for the work we’ve done on ourselves and in our business.
I couldn’t agree more. I think that one thing that we lose a sense of how to do is appreciate ourselves.
We are conditioned through school for those main foundational years of our lives. We’ve got the report card syndrome, right? Something every so often -tests report cards- constantly and consistently telling us Good job. Good job.
So now we think when I hear good job, I am good, right? But you are not your results. We have to understand we’re also the only one that knows truly what we’re capable of and truly, if we’ve given enough energy or enough of ourselves to something.
We have to overcome this rampant sense of inadequacy that I’m seeing so much in the workplace, especially for high achievers and ambitious people.
Especially if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s no one sitting here telling you Good job. There’s no one reinforcing whether you’ve done enough. It’s hard for us to say, Have I done enough?
If we can sit there and appreciate ourselves and look at the work that we’ve done in a day or a month or a year and say, “Hey, good job.” That’s what we need to propel us our own opinion and not needing to hear it from someone else, because it’s not their responsibility,
We can just keep on talking about this forever! But we don’t want to make this too long. So what we can do is wrap up. Does anyone have any last thoughts or examples or shout outs from the book that we didn’t bring up that you want to make sure people hear?
I love that the author took us into every area of our lives, and really pointed out and gave us examples to be grateful for?
You just take those and apply them to your own life. I’ll say within the last couple of weeks, I’ll tell you personally, it’s made a huge difference for me. Your comments, Marilynn, about happiness. It feels so good. When someone expresses gratitude to you and when you recognize it. So I think the book is tremendous in pointing out how to apply them to every area of your life.
I’d like to take the opportunity, because there’s one thing we didn’t talk about today that I, as a parent, think is so important.
We talked about systematic gratitude, right? I love the chapter where she talks about children helping them to be grateful, because we so often forget what she superbly pointed out that they haven’t had the experiences in life to understand why they’re so lucky.
We tell our kids all the time to understand how lucky they are. How could they possibly understand that? That whole journey that she talked about with Matt Damon, and how he does his charity work in Africa. He showed his daughter. He didn’t have to tell her anything. He just had to let her see it. Because we want these kids to be grateful. We haven’t given them the perspective to know why they should have that gratitude.
Then if we’re not modeling it ourselves, and we haven’t given them the perspective, but we just want these little perfect human beings that are so grateful. We’ve got to help them and instill this lifestyle of gratitude, this habit of gratitude for them,
That actually reminds me, so thank you for bringing it up. As I was listening to the chapter, maybe that same chapter about kids, I remembered an incident. I’m not a parent. So I am not trying to teach younger humans how to be grateful, maybe just model it in general.
I remember an incident where I was spending time with someone, a young person. I had done what I thought was something gratitude-worthy. And at the end of our time together, she just left. There was no thank you. There was no anything. And I, as the adult, was kind of upset. I just spent all this time and money and it was all about her. She got everything that she wanted. “Where was the Thank you, you know?”
I remembered that incident when I heard that chapter. I thought: she doesn’t need to thank me. I don’t know if she realized that it was something that was nice, or that was an effort on my part. I should have just managed my own thoughts in the first place, of course. But I think that’s a really good reminder that I had this expectation that she should express gratitude. That was certainly none of my business.
Especially now that we (maybe the three of us) are more in tune to expressing gratitude and feeling grateful, we can very much notice when someone else is not. When someone else is looking at the negative side or complaining. I want to remind myself that everyone is on their own pace. I can just think,” oh, maybe she just hasn’t learned it yet. Maybe he’s just not in that mind frame right now.” It’s no problem.
We’re grateful for the awareness that you express gratitude that shows you their lack of gratitude is just a great reminder for you that you’re always looking for the better side, right?
So we’ve got to always be practicing gratitude even when somebody else doesn’t, right? We get to stay in control.
My biggest surprise, I’ll just throw this out. You know, I was listening to the book and going through it and enjoying it and loving all the stories. And then there’s a chapter which I was not expecting called Losing Weight on the Gratitude Diet. Again, just like Della said, she went into basically 12 different areas of our lives. And she talked about gratitude and relationships, and she interviewed experts. And so in chapter 11, on the gratitude diet, she gives four rules.
- Take a minute to appreciate your meal before starting.
- Sit down to eat no matter what.
- Fill up on gratitude, rather than food.
- Eat only food that makes me grateful.
I thought those are good metaphors for anything in life. Of course, “watch only shows that make me grateful” or “only spend my time doing what makes me grateful.” But that was a really unexpected and fun twist on how to practice gratitude in our lives now,
I love gratitude. But I agree, Bex , I thought this book surpassed my expectations.
To be honest, I was like, Okay, here’s someone else talking a little bit more about gratitude. But this was very easy to read.
Like Della said, it is very easy to apply this to your life. We’re right around the corner from New Year’s here. We’re in this period of gratitude and reflection,
I would highly recommend this book to anyone before they start the next year, and use it to just totally change your lives. It blew me away. It was very good.
I agree completely. I think we’ve touched on it in a few different ways. We always want more and more and more, but we have to take a minute and just look around at what we do have, what we have accomplished and where we are in our life.
There are always a lot of things we can be grateful for. It’s just your perspective.
I’m a quote person, and I have one more to share. So it’s about perspective.
The rosebush has thorns. Be happy the thorn bush has roses.
Love it. Yes. Well, this has been so fun and interesting. I’ve really enjoyed hearing everyone else’s perspectives and what you all picked up on things that I might have just glided over in the book.
Thank you for making the time and coming today.
Let’s just end with letting everybody know how they can find us and what if anything we have coming up that people might be interested in.
Find me on bestyouacademy.com
Although I’m constantly working with my clients in coaching, I’m also releasing -on January 1- Best You Academy Bootcamp.
It really takes all the things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur in working with clients, and puts it into six modules that are easy to go through from start to finish. If you’re thinking about starting a business, you get all the tools and tips to do that and how they learn how to be successful.
Great. I can’t wait for that.
I have a beautifully branded affirmation poster. That’s great for your office or your bathrooms. You can see it every morning. You can just go to successwithmrs.com/affirmations and you can download and print that out.
Lovely. So we will link to the Best You Academy and Success with Mrs. Affirmations on the show notes for this episode so that everyone can check all of us out. And if you want to know what’s coming up for me next week is my 100th episode of this podcast. So make sure you are subscribed. And tune in next Friday to hear all of my reflections about recording 100 episodes of the release your resistance podcast for you.
Thank you all for joining today. I hope everyone who’s listening enjoyed our discussion and I think this is a three out of three recommendation for the book. Is that right?
Marilynn and Della:
Thank you so much, Marilynn and Della for joining the podcast today.
Thank you for joining our Coachy book club. I hope you enjoyed reading all of our perspectives