Giving Yourself Permission and Showing Gratitude
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How to give yourself space and express gratitude for all you do

This guest post on giving yourself permission is from Gillian Goerzen, BSc (kin), BCRPA PT, GF, YFL

Giving yourself gratitude

I talk a lot about giving yourself permission, grace and space. It’s a topic I’ve written about before. But I think it bears repeating for a few reasons.

Sound familiar? 

Why is it so important?

Because in this world of highlight reels and high expectations there is a lot of “should-ing” going on. I “should” do this. I “should” have that. I “should” ______ (fill in the blank whatever you’re feeling guilt about). And it all adds up to a lot of pressure to do more, have more, and be more.

Permission slips is a beautiful antidote to all this pressure. When you give yourself permission, you give yourself permission to show up, exactly as you are and give yourself room to breathe! And here’s what’s cool. When you give yourself space to breathe, sometimes the thing you were “shoulding” yourself about? It doesn’t matter quite so much. The intensity you feel around it dissipates. Or in an ironic twist of fate, becomes much easier to make happen.

Manifest more Grace + Space with Permission Slips:

One of the strategies I use with clients to help them create more grace and space is permission slips. The concept of a Permission Slip is something I borrowed from Brene Brown. The concept is to take something you’re struggling with and give yourself permission around it. It can be about setting an intention around how you want to feel or act (but without the intensity or pressure) or about getting clear about your objectives. For me, and many of my clients, this practice has been very empowering.

Here are some of my favourite general permission slips:


  • I give myself permission to say no to others (and yes to myself)
  • I give myself permission to be imperfect.
  • I give myself permission to be kind to myself.
  • I give myself permission to adjust course minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
  • I give myself permission to press the reset button any time I choose!

Sometimes a permission slip is more specific. Sometimes setting up really clear objectives can be incredibly helpful in difficult situations! This might be a point of struggle you have OR a specific situation you’re going into. Say, like working from home during a pandemic, or helping your kids learn at home, or finding “new normal” health habits when all your routines got obliterated. Or maybe when all those things are happening at once!


  • I give myself permission to get the job done – progress is perfection.
  • I give myself permission to be an adequate mom and teacher.
  • I give myself permission to let go of the “plan” and simply move daily in ways that inspire me.
  • I give myself permission to have a nap or go to bed early if I’m tired.
  • I give myself permission to take 5 minutes each day to take care of my needs.

Try creating more space and grace in your life right now. Notice how it shifts your lens and experience. Why not try taking a few minutes to do this simple breathing exercise and show gratitude for your body and all it does.

3 Breaths of Gratitude

giving permission self care yoga

Sometimes we just need to remember just how awesome our bodies are and re-connect to that feeling of appreciation.We live in a culture that colours our perspective to focus on what is wrong with our body. Tone this, shape this, fix this, tighten this, colour this, refine this, plump this…I could go on, but you get it.

But here’s the thing. Your body. It does a lot of GOOD stuff.

Cool stuff your body does:

  • it transforms your food into fuel the cells can use!
  • and takes the air you breathe and transfers the molecules of oxygen your cells!
  • it processes toxins and waste products.
  • it heals from injury and fights infection.
  • it does all of this without you even knowing.
  • it can move – in so many awesome ways!
  • it can feel and provide you with sensory feedback!
  • it can help you communicate with others.

One of the strategies I use to thank my body is 3 breaths of gratitude. I like to do it at the completion of a workout, but you can do it as part of a wake up routine, or to help you settle before going to sleep as well.


Here’s how you do it:


  • Breath one is for what my body just did.
  • Breath two is for everything my body did all day.
  • Breath three is for everything my body does for me every single day.


Simple. Powerful.

Try this strategy next time you move your awesome body!

Looking for more articles related to self-love and giving yourself permission?  Check out this previous article on our blog:
Self-compassion: why kindness is key when you are trying to improve your health

Gillian Goerzen

Gillian Goerzen is a Body Positive Health and Fitness Coach with a passion for helping women create a healthy lifestyle they love free from guilt and shame. Grounded in the HAES® (Health at Every Size) philosophy Gillian helps clients rediscover their JOY for movement and genuine enthusiasm for building health habits that stick – for good! You can learn more about Gillian and her online Body Positive Fitness Studio and Community at www.superyoustudio.com

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