Today we had the pleasure of having Pamela Smith join me on the podcast of Attitude of Gratitude. She was invited by NASA to speak about mental health. That is some amazing accomplishment!

I feel that having an attitude of gratitude can flip a person’s anxiety on its head and see the positive and bring calm and acceptance in its wake.

I was raised by my parents to declare gratitude to G-d every morning. It is comprised of twelve words that express my appreciation that my soul was returned to me to live another day. These twelve words set up my focus for the remainder of the day, to see the good in my life. There are many other affirmations which I pronounce during the course of the day which open up the flow of positive energy from Above.

Pamela shared that she also was raised with the habit of beginning her day announcing her gratitude for the gift of a new day to be lived. At night she thanked G-d for the day which was. Pamela believes that beginning and ending with an emphasis on gratitude invests all that happens in between with a positive energy.

Getting ready for the conference Pamela found she was running quite late. Twenty minutes after she was supposed to have left for the airport she was still at home packing. “I was so strung out. I told myself ‘I don’t want to go. I don’t want to do this.’ Then I stopped and took a moment to reflect on how grateful I was for the opportunity to attend the conference. A serenity came over me. I thought to myself, ‘ I’m going to make the best of it. Even if I have one black shoe and one brown shoe. I’ll start a new trend.’ Once my perspective changed everything just fell into place.

I also experienced a similar scenario before leaving for the conference. I was agonizing if it was the right thing to leave my baby and come. What increased my tension was that my older children were away at camp and that my baby wouldn’t have his mother or his older siblings. Yet I knew that this was a great opportunity for me which I didn’t want to miss. I took a deep breath and realized how lucky I was that the opportunity had presented itself. I verbally expressed this gratitude and the anxiety that had caught me in its web just melted away.

I believe that when we are in tune with the positive in our lives, we open the vessel to receive goodness. I see it as a pyramid that one can build on. At the beginning is the thought. Thinking something positive. Then it can increase the positivity by speaking the thought. If no one is around just go to a mirror and tell yourself. Then writing it down creates an even greater energy and I believe the highest is when we do something positive.

Pamela’s form of gratitude is giving back. Through the organization she works for which gives out scholarships and services she is giving back to the community. It spills over into her personal business as a licensed professional counselor. “Insurance companies often just cover a session of 45 or 50 minutes. But I always give my clients a full 60 minutes. The clients feel the extra care that I invest in them. Those who are financially struggling pay on a sliding payscale.”

When one is aware of the good it invites more good and helps relieve some of the pain. Pamela shared that when someone reframes their situation, instead of focusing on the bad, they concentrate on seeing good, this is a game changer. If you change the mindset, you change the behaviors as well as the actions.”

Gratitude is free. Think of things to be grateful for. I am so grateful to Pamela for joining us and sharing her insights.

You can listen to her on her podcast: It’s All Mental. I am looking forward to being a guest on her podcast and discussing my journey with mental health.

Next Thursday I wish to invite someone from the community to share something about gratitude, something they learned or heard.
I learn from you. Please let me hear from you.