“Throughout the twentieth-century, feminist writers began to see themselves as defending their sex precisely through their attempts to homogenize the gender polarity. No longer was it considered uplifting to emphasize the womanliness of women, as Elizabeth Wordsworth or Abigail Adams had done; but neither was it uplifting to explicitly praise women for being like men. Rather, under the feminist androgyny and egalitarianism of the twentieth-century, the greatest gift we can give women is to question the very category of womanliness.”
The Taylor Study Method has now published the next installment in my ongoing series about peace of mind. Although this article is directed towards psychologists seeking to become licensed, the principles apply to anyone. In this article I explain that gratitude isn’t about telling yourself you’re happy when you’re really not. It also isn’t about blind optimism. On the contrary, research shows that artificial optimism actually makes people feel worse, especially people who are already prone to low self-esteem. Rather, gratitude is about learning to see life in a new way. It’s about learning to reframe challenges as opportunities and to see setbacks as occasions for growth. It’s about learning to find something to be thankful for in the midst of the most trying difficulties. It’s about choosing to focus on what is really good in your life. Anyway, here’s a link to my article:
Those who follow my blog know that I go through stages of posting about different subjects. Last year I wrote a lot about gratitude and positive thinking. Then I began posting about mindfulness. Recently I’m writing about the role struggle plays in the Christian life. These three themes are actually all related. Here’s why.
To develop the skill of gratitude, you need to practice mindfulness/watchfulness to retrain your brain to move from the negative to the positive, from anxiety to peace. But in order to get really good at mindfulness, you need to struggle. Nothing worthwhile in life comes easily, let alone gratitude and mindfulness. In my article ‘How Peace of Mind is a Skill That Can Be Developed With Practice’ I outlined six specific ways a person can struggle to become more positive and at peace. I’d like to take the opportunity now to expand on this and give a specific exercises you can do to become more mindful, more grateful and more at peace with yourself and the world.
But before I begin, I just want to say one more time: gratitude and inner-peace are not gifts. That is, they aren’t personality traits that you’ve either been given or deprived of. Rather, gratitude and inner-peace are skills that can be developed with practice. Today I’m going to explain how you can begin practicing these skills right now. The exercise I’m going to present only takes 10 minutes each day, yet it has the potential to transform your life.