It may not come as a surprise that Gratitude is one of our core values. But what does that mean and how can practicing being grateful benefit you? Cafe Gratitude Founder, Terces Engelhart, shares a bit about her personal journey and inspires you to take on being unreasonably grateful as a way of making the most out of life.
Recently I was inspired to share a bit about my journey that led to healthy eating and ultimately to being the founder of Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre alongside my husband, Matthew. My journey began in my late 30s after struggling with an eating disorder for 20 years, a not-so-uncommon coping mechanism for sexual abuse.
One morning, years ago, I realized that I was passing on to my daughter what had been passed on to me, teaching her to mistrust her inner guidance. I will never forget the clarity of that moment and the power that led me to recovery.
That was 38 years ago, and today I have come to realize that while we might think our outer circumstances will lead to our being more grateful, I suggest that we can actually come from gratitude rather than get to gratitude. What does that mean?
Gratitude is a state of mind, a way of being, and you and I can CHOOSE to be grateful no matter what our circumstances are.
My experience and the experience of many people I have coached is that when you begin with a grateful attitude or outlook, you experience even more to give thanks for. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak. Try it out for yourself. Think, speak, and act in ways that express your appreciation, and watch what happens.
Cafe Gratitude was my way of giving back and sharing the power of practicing gratitude with the community. After years of making healthy choices, I decided to support others on their journey. It may seem odd to intentionally practice something like “being grateful”, but once you start doing it, the benefits will actually surprise you.
What Are You Grateful For?
There are several ways we incorporate practicing gratitude into the cafes. The menu is filled with affirmations that invite both the customers and staff to affirm qualities that bring out their best. They are a great way to counter self-criticism and negative thoughts about ourselves and others.
We also make time for the staff to get clear with one another before their shift, a short process where you identify what is in the way of being completely present and then shift your attention to the fullness and beauty of your life, right here, right now.
While we started the business with one question that we would ask daily, “What are you grateful for?” We now alternate the question of the day (our version of the soup of the day) and ask our customers and staff something that invites them to focus on being grateful as well.
My invitation to you is that you experiment with practicing gratitude and notice if it shifts anything for you. Being grateful is a perfect way to make the most of every moment in life. Gratitude and healthy eating go hand-in-hand.
I recently realized that we have all spent too much time believing there is something wrong with us. What if we gave that up, then what? We might begin to experience ourselves as the amazing, capable, and inspiring individuals that we truly are. Cafe Gratitude was created to help us all remember that, so that we can all make the biggest difference we can in the world.
I have written a book about my recovery journey as well as offer a 15-second, daily snippet of encouragement, called "Ok, Great" on Instagram (@terces and @UnreasonablyGrateful). I also have a weekly Podcast of wisdom shared through my journey called Unreasonably Grateful, living in Grace by Choice. I hope you will stay connected with me.
Here is to your own health and wellness journey. See you on the path.