“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”- Holocaust Survivor, psychiatrist, philosopher, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Viktor Frankl
My name is Lauren and I am so glad you’re here!
I refer to myself as a “gratitude addict,” because that’s absolutely what I AM – an addict of GRATITUDE!
For the past decade, I have made it my passion and mission to share with the entire world how a regular GRATITUDE practice when paired with CONNECTION can help us to live lives of exquisite joy and wholehearted GRATITUDE…..even through life’s devastating roadblocks and plot twists.
I have lived with chronic pain/illness for over 20 years, so my main focus is sharing my message and experience with others who live with chronic physical and emotional conditions. The lessons I teach, however, are for anyone who wants to ‘up their game’ in order to deal with life’s inevitable struggles and come to a place of joy and purpose! Pain is pain, whether emotional, physical, or mental.
GRATITUDE and CONNECTION are the ingredients for the ‘secret sauce’ of joy and purpose while living with chronic physical and emotional pain.
9 years ago, I hit rock bottom after losing myself emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually to the effects of chronic pain. I turned to alcohol as a way to shut out the world and numb myself from my physical and emotional pain. It ended up taking me down a dangerous and destructive path-a path I am so GRATEFUL to have pivoted off of!
I was fortunate enough to get sober and immediately immersed myself in studying the ways we can reframe things and take control of the emotional suffering that goes along with chronic physical pain. In over 22 years, I have never had a single doctor or specialist advise me about the emotional debilitation that goes along with living with a chronic condition. It is not something that is EVER addressed or acknowledged, and that is where MY work comes in!
A passionate student of the human experience, I have made it my life’s work to study and pass on the knowledge that I have accrued so we can all live our best lives despite our struggles. I knew I needed to connect and share with others, so after a year of coming up empty while searching for a chronic pain group that was uplifting, inspiring, and helpful rather than dark and depressing, I created the Facebook community “Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain” in 2015. Our main focus is on coming to a place of acceptance and moving forward with GRATITUDE to reduce the suffering we once endured. We want to move on with our lives and live them in the most fulfilling and wholehearted way possible! Listening to each other complain without working on a solution is NOT helpful if we want to move forward and find joy in the midst of our struggles.
“AoG” (as we lovingly call it) is a solution-based group and a complaining-free zone of learning and bettering ourselves by using daily tools such as intentions, mindfulness, journaling, community, and connection, as well as practicing GRATITUDE! Our “little” group has now grown to over 10,000 members and spans 82 countries! We offer six sister groups open exclusively to members of AoG that feature other solution-based positive tools such as journaling, affirmations, creativity, a book club, and more!
We walk through our pain and intentionally become an active participant in our own life by utilizing these tools in order to find a new life that isn’t steeped in misery and despair. I wholeheartedly invite you to join us whether your pain is physical, emotional, mental, or all of the above!
I host a weekly live broadcast on Thursdays at 8pm EST (5pm PST) called “Gratefully Living the Chronic Life” featuring expert guests offering helpful wisdom and strategies to live our best lives despite our struggles. Streaming live on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter, our interactive town-hall format welcomes live viewers to join the conversation. All episodes are recorded and available to watch here on the site or on my YouTube channel. Also on the YouTube channel you can find my video blog called “Gratefully Living MY Chronic Life” which features wisdom from my own life and how I personally apply the tools I teach.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness (physical or mental) or becoming injured does NOT need to mean “game over” for a life of joy and fulfillment. If we want to live happily and find meaning in our lives again, we simply have to adjust things to suit our unique and ever-changing situations, and that includes adjusting the lens we see life through. The lens of GRATITUDE, through steady and regular practice and paired with connection, is the single most effective treatment I have EVER used in dealing with the emotional pain that the physical has caused me for the past 22 years.
My second chance at life (I call it “Lauren 2.0!”) has brought me to a place of becoming a teacher and a carrier of the light that was so tenderly and generously carried for me. The wisdom that I share is simply gathered from my personal experience and learning-I am a seeker and forever student who is always looking for physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental breakthroughs and ways to ease our path to one of healing and wholeness.
My message for those wishing to recover from their emotional “suffering” with chronic pain is one deeply rooted in GRATITUDE and connection. I also mix in other teachings such as Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), “The Four Agreements”, Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness, and even some 12-Step strategies.
Make a conscious decision to love your life more than you hate your pain…..and let’s get our GRATITUDE on!
The 2022 World GRATITUDE Day event, “The Women of GRATITUDE,” was a HUGE success!
Thank you to all who registered and participated in this powerful and celebratory discussion showcasing the power of GRATITUDE for our overall health and well-being!
A HUGE thank you to “The Women of GRATITUDE” 2022!
- Julie Boyer of “The Wake Up with GRATITUDE” Podcast, creator of 2023 “Wake Up with GRATITUDE” sunrise calendar
- Dr. Peggy Doherty DeLong, “The GRATITUDE Psychologist,” author of “I Can See Clearly Now: A Memoir of Love, Grief, and GRATITUDE“
- Dr. Kerry Howells, author of “Untangling You: How Can I Be GRATEFUL When I Feel so Resentful?“
- I.J. McIntyre, author of “The GRATEFUL Way”
- Farhana Sadek, MD, “Doctor GRATITUDE,” founder of the video journaling app Gratitube
- Sharon Saraga Walters of Graticise 365, author of “Graticise 365: 4 Steps to Exercising GRATITUDE Daily”
Click below to enjoy “The Women of GRATITUDE” Live Virtual Roundtable 2022!
Latest blog posts!
- 3,116 Days and my First Book Release!!!
- “The Art of the Unplug” – Finding GRATITUDE on my Week Long “Staycation!”
- Gratitude and Grieving
I am now on Substack!
Subscribe to my VERY infrequent Gratitude Addict newsletter for exclusive content along with my musings on living a life of intention, joy, hope, and GRATITUDE! I‘m a perfectly imperfect hot mess who is GRATEFUL for each breath I take! Join me on my journey to loving my life more than I hate my pain and learning how to thrive rather than simply survive with chronic pain by using GRATITUDE as my guide!