By Stephanie Allen
Owner of Fields of Gold and member of EOWA
Grounded in Gratitude
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been on a gratitude journey. As an anxiety warrior, grounding myself in gratitude has helped to rid my brain of the unwanted anxious thoughts that plagued it on a daily basis. Gratitude is one of the simplest practices, and one of the most effective ways to focus on the good rather than dwelling on the negatives.
Growing up, my mom always wanted me to practice gratitude. Before there was a formal diagnosis of anxiety, lots of therapy and some additional medication added to the morning roster, gratitude was something she encouraged me to practice to help me focus on the good. At the time, I was not interested in this daily ritual. I thought it was silly and unhelpful. So, the anxiety continued.
The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 was one of my most challenging times, personally, professionally, and as a recently married woman. During this time, my husband Jakob and I were newly married, considering selling the farm, and navigating a global pandemic. Stress levels were high and anxiety was through the roof. It was during this time that I dove headfirst into personal development. I was reading books, listening to podcasts, and following positive, influential people on social media. The number one thing that each and every one of these folks addressed was a solid morning routine and a gratitude practice.
I figured that while the world was shut down and there was so much uncertainty, I would start and see what the “hype” was all about. Enter day 1: with a brand new journal, and an eagerness to flip my mindset around, I wrote down 3 things for which I was grateful. On many days during the pandemic, I wrote down that I was grateful to live in the country and to be able to get outside to go for walks, that I was grateful that both Jakob and I were able to continue working, and for the extra snuggles I was able to have with Cooper, our dog.
Gratitude gave me a new focus in life. The more I practiced, the easier it was to find gratitude in even the smallest things. I continued on my personal development journey and soon I was incorporating a workout into my day, positive affirmations, and I finally allowed myself to dream big.
This small morning routine changed my entire life. I wasn’t relying on medication to help ease the burden of anxiety. Collectively, we decided to keep the farm and turn it into Fields of Gold, a gorgeous sunflower farm. I finished taking additional qualification courses so that I am now on track to become a principal, and Jakob and I found that we were a stronger team and better equipped to handle the unknown when I was focused on myself for an hour in the morning.
This is where “Growing into Your Best Self” comes into play. Throughout the development of my morning routine and learning more about how gratitude can positively impact your life both personally and professionally, I decided that it was time I take all of the small daily practices and turn them into a journal for the rest of the world to use. It’s my hope that people who pick up the journal will take 10 minutes to themselves before they start their day and just before they end their day to remind themselves of the wonderful blessings that surround them on a daily basis, even when the days seem long and hard.
“Growing into Your Best Self” can be found on Amazon, as well as at the farm this summer. Please do try this at home and I hope that through these small daily practices you, too, will be able to grow into your best self.
Much love, Stephanie