Naomi's story - A Book, An App, A Practice

"It's not about the idea of changing as a person. It's about the idea of changing your perspective. So you can be the best person for yourself and radiate that beauty from the inside to the outside world because eventually, someone's going to see it."

Illustration of a pink flower

Naomi: Before I found gratitude and started expressing it in my daily life, I was dealing with alcoholism, drug use, just really toxic people, really toxic environments. I was in and out of family drama, and I was trying to fix things that I didn't break, to begin with.

And it was just this constant berating of "I need to be this. I need to be that." I was in college. I was trying to be some form of success that I felt society would be happy about, without even thinking about what I would be happy about.

Because at that point, I didn't understand that my life had value beyond what I gave back. And now with gratitude, it's a whole different story. Oh, Lord, it's, it's been a change.

Aarushi: I can understand how you might have felt that all that you were was what you gave to others, and not just how you were as a person. So, yes, what brought the change? What made you look for gratitude?

Naomi: Actually, funnily enough, I was in a relationship where I wasn't happy. It was very abusive, it was codependent, based on our mutual drug abuse. And it was just not okay, in any form.

And I just woke up one morning, and I was just like, "Do I really want to stay here for the rest of my life?" And then the day after that, I found out I was pregnant.

And then I was like, "I don't want to be here. I don't want to be in this situation. I don't want to be worrying. I cannot raise a child right now." And then after that I miscarried.

And I see it as a blessing, even though it was awful at the time. Because after that, I realized that I have this amazing gift to give life and why would I ruin my life when I can make it better for those that I decide to bring into the world?

After you go through something like that you're just like, "I'm fully aware of the fact that I need to change. It's not the world that needs to change." And that really just pushed me towards gratitude. Because as soon as I realized that it was on my social media, all of a sudden, it was gratitude.

But I was like, what's that? What should I be grateful for? What matters in that sense? And then it just kept leading on where I started getting these messages on my YouTube or my Facebook or Instagram, just from nowhere.

Just gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. And then I was just like, "This might be a start. Let's start. How can I be grateful to be alive right now?" And that's where it started. And it just went on a rollercoaster.

Aarushi: Alright, then, tell me about the roller coaster. How did you start practicing gratitude? What changes did you start seeing? How did you even begin, just let me know about the whole journey?

Naomi: I didn't actually practice it the moment I found it. It was like the universe was planting a seed saying, "We're gonna get you to practice this. We'll get you there." And then I saw this Tarot reading video on my YouTube.

And the entire Tarot reading was about how I need to embrace gratitude, and then it will open doorways for my life to grow and blossom, and I will have the life that I want. The only thing I have to do is take a leap of faith.

I was just like, "No, thank you. I'll stay exactly where I'm at. I don't want any change. I don't want to be better anymore, because now I don't know if I am worthy of having better. And there were many pitfalls before there were rises.

I got back into another abusive relationship. I became homeless because I dropped out of college because I was like, why not? I have no plan. The Universe told me to take a leap of faith. But the entire time I took that leap of faith now once did I ever believe that I was wrong.

And eventually, it turned out that I was right. It wasn't the wrong thing to do at all, I found the love of my life from it, actually. I currently live with him. I'm happy as can be. I'm at a job that I genuinely enjoy.

And I'm shedding all these parts of myself that have told me that I don't deserve what I give to the world. And I realized that I give to the world because I have so much to give.

But if I just gave some to myself, then I could begin to wonder what impact I can make on the world. And even with this grand realization, I said, "No, that's change. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to heal. I'm not going to take care of myself."

Even in my dream life. Even when I was happiest, I still did not want to change parts of myself. And then we talked about this where how we just kept not getting to the call, just kept rescheduling.

And during those points of rescheduling, I got to a point where finally, I reached that realization that I was living my dream life and that it's okay for me to make these mistakes because I'm human.

And that it comes down to the fact of "Oh, wow, no, I have to disintegrate this entire system." And gratitude's just sitting there like, "We told you. We told you you could live the life of your dreams, if only you believed in gratitude. Just express it every single day."

Right now I'm boggled by the fact that gratitude has gotten me this far. It does not make sense. Like the span of all that change, I told you about - being homeless, dropping out of school, miscarrying, and an abusive relationship, all of that, even finding my soulmate now, took less than two years. That is a lot of change.

And I have no one to thank but myself because I had to make those changes. Even when I really didn't want to, I had to be the one to say, "I'll practice gratitude because I deserve it."

Even when I felt like I didn't deserve it because I knew the voice in me, was right. And even though everyone else around me did not believe me, friends, family, people I don't even have in my life anymore.

I realize I'm so grateful to not have them in my life anymore because they have taught me that it's okay to beat myself up. And for once I'm teaching myself that it's okay to love myself, even when I think I'm failing. And that's enough. Like, how did I get here? It's amazing.

Aarushi: Yeah, it is. I mean, just in the span of two years, it's incredible. It's so incredible that I'm thinking about how did these switches happen? What was happening there?

Naomi: There was so much! So much! But I'm grateful because all of it made me uncomfortable. Every single part of it was like, "You want to be comfortable, you want to stay here, but you're not gonna stay here."

And even where I'm at now, I'm not going to stay here either. And I'm starting to get more comfortable with this idea of I'm going to move, I'm going to evolve, I'm going to grow.

It's not about the idea of changing as a person. It's about the idea of changing your perspective. So you can be the best person for yourself and radiate that beauty from the inside to the outside world because eventually, someone's going to see it.

And you don't know how many people you can inspire or help with that little bit of light. And I'm grateful I found that now because of gratitude.

Aarushi: So, during this time, were you expressing gratitude? Were you feeling gratitude for things?

Naomi: Not always, there were times when the world was beautiful. I could see every butterfly, every leaf, I could understand the meaning of the world. And there were other times where I told myself that I deserved absolutely nothing.

There's nothing to be happy about in the real world. There is nothing to be happy about in death and living. Nothing. Because that's all I had been taught.

So even while practicing gratitude, I'm realizing that there are these gaps in my consciousness that are just holding in all this negative energy.

And I may be unlocking negative energy for the rest of my life. There's gonna be days where I'm never gonna feel gratitude even if I write down 300 times, "I'm grateful".

And there's gonna be days where just thinking of the smell of a flower can make me grateful. And I just got to be okay with no matter how it is.

Aarushi: At the end, what would you say is the importance of gratitude in your life?

Naomi: The importance of it is actually the realization that I'm important.

Gratitude is not expressed for the person next to you, it is expressed for being alive to even be in the presence of this person who just happens to be alive with you right now. And when it comes that way, it's hard to understand because we weren't taught that.

And so for me, it's just this weird realization where I'm unlocking this idea of gratitude in my life, and realizing that essentially, I am that energy, so why not harness it within myself?

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