Why does naming what works, what is doing well, and what is celebration-worthy feel like it requires us to go out of our way? And even when we do have something great happening, there is always someone, and that someone is often ourselves, reminding us of the flip side of that beautiful coin.

This was true for me.

I was born into a family of laborers – hard-working people. They woke early and worked physically hard for long hours. Generations of builders and makers with broken backs and rough hands led to me sitting comfortably at my desk on a cozy chair, listening to soothing music and a warm coffee beside me – while I produce animated films for a living.

How is this fair?

So my reaction was to offer my happiness as a sacrifice. Because I felt it was unfair that I could work in such remarkable conditions. I had to pay the price.

  • Being busy.
  • Overwhelmed.
  • Stressed out.
  • Dealing with “problems.”

Every piece of hardship added to my coat of pride like badges of honor. 

“My hand may be smooth, but I have neck pain from sitting all day and stress-induced heartburns. My ancestors should be proud!”

So I suppressed expressing genuine gratitude for my life and life at work. I felt it was taboo. For me, gratitude was a mere afterthought, pseudo-psychology mumbo-jumbo.

I was transfixed when I first witnessed Virginie’s gift for gratitude!

“I am connected to the magic of life!”

Virginie Lavallée

And it’s true! She turned every frown downside up! Seen from my stoic point-of-view, the kind of celebratory magic Virginie spreads around, that magic she provides herself and shares with others, was not something accessible to me. I thought Gratitude was some new-age trend I could never teach myself to do.

Virginie made me realize expressing gratitude is not a trendy personality trait. It is a powerful behavior.

I then started my journey to include Gratitude in my everyday life. 

  • I started a journal.
  • I meditate, thinking of the marvels of my life, big and small.
  • I tell others how I appreciate them.
  • I tell myself, too!
  • When I feel overwhelmed, I pause to look at how much I get done and give myself compassion for feeling tired. I am grateful for that!

And magic happened once I had been practicing these behaviors long enough – I started FEELing grateful!

By expressing Gratitude, we create a place of balance. There is hardship, but there is beauty. And what is beautiful deserves a celebration! That is Gratitude!

Expressing gratitude is fundamental to nurturing a happy and healthy psychological environment!

Do you want to learn more about expressing gratitude and developing other fundamental human skills? Check out our Animation Production Mindset Booster course.