Gratitude is a word that gets thrown around in the last few decades and it has become synonymous
with the self-help movement, which is a billion dollar industry in this country.
Why do Americans consume so much self-help? This trend is connected to mental health in our country.
At the core is triggered by an absence of meaning in our lives which is replaced with capitalistic pursuits
that prove to leave us increasingly less peaceful and more at odds with ourselves and the world we live
For those in the mental health community, including clients, family and friends, we know gratitude is far
more than a sales pitch, platitude or mantra. For many of us gratitude is the path to peace of mind in
world that continually pointing us “outside” of ourselves to discover happiness.
As Americans, we live and have our existences in a nation where nothing is as it seems, and this is more
pronounced in minority communities where mental health highly stigmatized. Take our current political
circus for instance. For many Americans what we’re witnessing many appear as a new phenomenon but
many of us in minority communities have always seen our political system just as it is. We know it hasn't
worked well for people of color for ages and have been saying so for as long as we can recall. But the
privilege within other communities has insulated them for decades from the terrors of this country
which include the sanctioned murders of black and brown people through our police and prison system
to the count of millions. The scarcity of adequate education is another issue we face daily.
There are countless systems in the nation that communicate to people in minority communities that we
are not safe. These systems are built to keep some “in”, while also keeping others “out.” This creates a
deep and sincere experience of trauma at the emotional levels that makes one feel insecure and without
Here’s where a sincere and dedicated practice of gratitude can make the difference.
Gratitude is the willingness to put one’s trust in themselves and revoking it from the idea that
something or someone outside of you can save or harm you. Gratitude is the place where we accept our
power as humans while also opening to our divine nature beyond ourselves. Gratitude has the power to
open our closed and fear based selves into appreciation. And lastly gratitude is the mental practice of
seeing the good or the possibilities of good throughout our lives.
For the month of November, NAMI Urban LA will be running a gratitude campaign. Our intention is to
assist the community we serve in opening up to the good that is already present. We are a resilient
community. We are a loving community. We have more than we know if we are willing to see it and be
Please join us for the month of November as we turn our attention to practicing gratitude each and every day.
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