Strength and grace

I don’t just own a share of this company — I am actually a person who lives and breathes its message. Long before I ever worked for the company or signed one official business document, I was someone who owned every flower. 

Much like so many of you, ever since finding this company, I have always run with a flower — every race no matter the distance, you’ll find me with a flower. I even slip flowers in my hair for training runs, whether outside or on my treadmill. I need intention for my steps even as those very steps have turned more to walking over the years. 

Interestingly, as I reflect over my years of flower wearing, I realized I have only run with the Gratitude flower one time, and that run was for someone else. I have never chosen pink for myself. 

So, when the idea of moving on to Gratitude was presented in a Mantra Series planning meeting, I have to admit, I found myself pushing back. Generally speaking, I am an agreeable person, and when it comes to editorial decisions, I usually leave those decisions to Katie, so this resistance was interesting for me. And then when Katie and Mel were so perfectly aligned in next steps, I knew I needed to step back and self-examine. 

I believe myself to be a deeply grateful person. So why did I find myself so against moving forward with Gratitude as our next flower in the Mantra Series?

The more our team talked, the more I realized that behind almost everything I’m most grateful for, there is a challenging story. 

For instance, I’m immensely grateful for my three wildly talented and unique children. And yet layered with that story are the words endometriosis, fertility treatments, NICU, postpartum depression, miscarriage and hysterectomy.  Words that cut to heartache and many tears.

I know that my gratitude runs deep. And, hand in hand with that is the need to acknowledge that the story of my gratitude is something that I hold very close. It’s never been easy for me to share and I know, after years of self-examination, much of that story is linked to worthiness and self-doubt rather than an unwillingness to be open.

And so as I have worked on myself and how I show up in my story, the reframe of strength and grace is something I find quite powerful. 

Strength to stand in what got me here. Grace to be assured that it is okay to hold that story close and guard it fiercely. 

I also LOVE this new quote Mel has given us regarding Gratitude.

“Gratitude is found in the footprints of what we walk through and in the stories we carry with us.” 

Being a very visual person, I can’t help but see footprints along the beach. Sometimes there are just mine, sometimes there are others walking next me, sometimes I’m being carried, but each one holds a story, and put together they have made a life — my life. 

And that is something worthy of gratitude. 

I hope as we continue our celebration of Gratitude, you too will be noticing the ways this beautiful, subtle and oh-so-powerful message shows up in your story.

– Jen Patterson

Jen is the chief business and operations officer of Her Whole Story.

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