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Rediscovering Gratitude with Derik Lawlis

Founder of Mindbliss |  Ottawa, Canada

Derik Lawlis grew up around the outdoors and on weekends, he’d visit a lakeside cabin in the woods. “It shaped my childhood in a beautiful way. It’s so peaceful and engrained in who I am now.” Later in life, Derik made the switch from biology and health sciences to business, and began working towards his goal of reaching financial freedom. Eventually, Derik began to feel tired and unfulfilled, which led him on a mission to rediscover gratitude. His mindfulness journey allowed him to gain a new perspective on life, leading him to create Mindbliss, a meditation app for spiritual exploration.


“I lost touch of myself… I got sidetracked from what made me happy.”


Rediscovering Gratitude

After years of working in real estate, hedge funds, and commodities trading, Derik began to feel drained and worn out. It wasn’t until later that he realized the reason for feeling lost and tired was a lack of gratitude, not his job. “I was discounting the people surrounding me and the wonderful experiences I was having.” Derik became self-destructive, causing both his health and personal relationships to suffer. When a close friend pointed out that he was living in a toxic environment, Derik realized he needed a change.


“It was the lack of gratitude that made me so tired.”


At the time, Derik’s lack of gratitude was causing pain in many areas. “I didn’t appreciate anything I had. I needed to learn that again and reconnect with nature, adventure, fun, and playfulness.” Thankfully, he had an opportunity to move to Thailand for almost a year, allowing him to take a break and “reevaluate what was most important” to him.


A New Perspective

During his year abroad, Derik rediscovered gratitude, became more self-aware, and gained a more positive outlook on life. Derik explained that he used to think of the world as a mess, but now views the world as amazing, beautiful, and full of opportunities to help, serve, create, and play. With practicing mindfulness, meditation, and journaling, he also began to live more from his heart, rather than being stuck in his mind.


“I gained amazing clarity on how I wanted to live in the world.”


With a new perspective and an appreciation for gratitude and meditation, Derik began Mindbliss, an app focused on helping others relax, let go, and bring awareness into their lives.


Nurturing Joy

Derik recognizes that we are constantly bombarded by media and information. He believes that we need to be more aware of our “media diets” because “we are what we consume.” To combat the constant influx of information and addiction to technology, Derik looks for opportunities to get outdoors and play. Sometimes he will play in a park and swing around the bars, dance, or do yoga. Meditation has of course been a huge staple in his mental fitness routine and he encourages others to do the same. Finding the right balance with technology and using it for good, Derik can help others nurture both short and long term joy.


How Do You Meditate?

Meditation is different for everybody. It’s all about remembering “the basic need of taking some time for yourself.” Some people sit and breathe, others run or go fishing. For Derik, he returns to the lake from his childhood. Whatever it may be, if it brings you peace and helps you to exist “right now” in the moment, then it’s important to make time for.


Derik’s Questions for KYŌ:

  • What am I most grateful for right now?
  • How am I being of service right now?
  • How can I be more self-expressive right now?

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