December 21, 2020

Gratitude or Contentment…and why this might be important for you

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears”
(Tony Robbins). 


You and I know that gratitude is the key to blessings in our lives, and that it does change our energy.

But… have you been in a situation where you feel empty, sad, alone, and exhausted? Sometimes life’s energy demand is just over your energy budget.    

Even in those times, it might be easy for you to feel grateful for the food in the fridge, or the beautiful tree in front of your house… however, in order for you to feel better, and have more energy, you need something that nurtures your body, mind, and heart.

Feeling content is different from feeling grateful. Yes, they are connected, and yet different.

Being content is more like being nurtured. You have what you need in the present moment, you are not starving for something; right here and right now life is gentle and good.

Being content is way more difficult than being grateful. Being grateful is a choice. In order to feel content you need to have your needs met.

Now you could say “Well, having my needs met is a choice too”, and yes, that is true. However, in reality, you need to work much harder to FEEL that way. We suffer when we need nourishment, and don’t have resources that renew our energy.

If there are moments where you feel this way, let me assure you, nothing is wrong with you! It is just that your nervous system has been working very very hard to help you cope with your life experiences.

Let’s take a moment and see what is happening: Based on Dr. Stephen W. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, your nervous system (NS) that is running through your body to regulate your bodily functions, like your heart rate, digestion, breathing rate etc., has over time developed into 3 different “platforms” (ventral vagus, sympathetic nervous system, dorsal vagus) which each one being most active depending on whether your nervous system perceives your environment as…

  1. safe… you feel connected, nurtured, and at peace (green, the ventral vagus is engaged)
  2. dangerous… you feel angry, or frustrated, and have energy to fight or flight (yellow, the sympathetic nervous system is engaged)
  3. life threatening (survival)… you feel hopeless, lonely, and have no energy left (red, the dorsal vagus is engaged)

Most of the time you are not aware of your state until you experience symptoms. That is your nervous system telling you “Pay attention, there is a part of you that needs care”.

To become conscious of your state is important to shift towards safety on a more regular basis.

Why is this relevant? Because, if your nervous system perceives safety, your body is in a state of energy renewal, recuperation, a strong immune system, hormonal balance, and a healthy metabolism.

If you feel hopeless, sad, and really down in the trenches (red, dorsal vagus), the first thing you need is a big bag of compassion for yourself. You need nourishment, nourishment, nourishment.

To fill up your energy bucket you might…

  • connect with someone you love and feel safe with (a gentle foot massage is nurturing and brings back energy into your body)
  • lay down and imagine/ visualize things that make you feel loved and grounded
  • listen to soothing music
  • watch a heartwarming movie
  • be in a cozy place
  • eat warm, comforting, and healthy food
  • go to a place you love
  • go for a slow walk in nature, and connect with trees, and ground
  • connect to God, the Universe, Love…
  • strengthen your spleen meridian which is all about nurture and love
  • put one hand on your heart and the other one on your 2nd chakra, breathe into your nose, and out of your mouth to ground yourself
  • get an energy treatment, or a massage

Every little thing that makes you feel nurtured counts… and what else is needed? Patience.

Why? Because this part (red, dorsal vagus) of the nervous system is slow.

So keep in mind, nothing is wrong with you, it is just your nervous system needing more time to send signals to the brain that you are ok.

Once you feel better, you might even feel anger (yellow) coming up… Celebrate it! YES!

That means you are shifting, you have gained more energy which you can use now to change your state even further towards safety. To shift your anger, or frustration, you can use tapping, gratitude exercises, meditation, body work, dance, energy work,… whatever speaks to you.

This is the WORK of being content. Your outer circumstances might not be the way you’d like them to be but inside of you, you came to a place of feeling safe and nurtured.


This work is not easy, so please reach out… I am here for you.

With love,