With this year being as unpredictable as the clearing shower of yesterday afternoon, I can only hope to continue being positive (while practising deliberate gratitude) about whatever comes my way.
Blogging has come to a standstill, owing to the crisis that kept me off writing, reading to the bare minimum and squirming in anguish through February with a sprained wrist and a very sick child at home.
As things are slowly beginning to look up, I wanted to get back to writing, in my quest to gain some clarity on my life. What better than blogging about it all at first opportunity.
Writing straight after a workout, I am loving the sense of urgency in my typing. The depleted glucose levels might be the prime cause, but the effervescence of the thoughts in my mind, competing like the bubbles in the coffee foam, to find permanence in words is the real reason why I’m here at this hour.
Sticking to the routine of writing the gratitude journal is one of the many things that have been put off in the past month.
Some days I have been too tired to scribble more than the date of the day.
On others, I had the journal in hand, a blank page staring at me, many thoughts singing of how grateful I was for my life, but I just couldn’t put them in the journal for the sheer lack of will. On any other occasion in life, I would have ruthlessly called it laziness, but today is different.
On more than two occasions, postponing writing in the journal has gifted me with a reason to reflect better and end up with unexpected answers during the walk, the following morning.
The odd benefit of regular journal writing has been, I am back to writing beautifully like I did in my earlier years. This made me realize, that when I had thought that with age and time, I had lost my ability to write beautifully formed letters it was all just a lack of my effort to write regularly.
I recently discovered the newfound realization of the abundant life (with its due inadequacies) I lead. Gratitude has helped me see problems as possibilities, obstacles as opportunities waiting to be tapped upon.
I am now more eager to check out, what more I can do to change the course of events. There is a sudden surge in my curiosity. I have started questioning everything. Something I always wanted to do but had strangely not been able to practice.
The more I read, the more I want to write. The more I experiment with life, the more grateful I feel. The more I recall positive moments of life that I had missed noting earlier. This is the first time in my life, I have felt that way.
In hindsight, around a decade back, something inside me had suddenly turned on the strong need to read more than I was reading at that time (which was around 3 to 4 books a year). Until recently, I had never thought of that change as anything significant. But today is different.
Today, I see it as my life’s preparation for the future that is now my reality. Come to think of it, maybe, I am heading in the right direction, perhaps I succeeded in deciphering the clues, life kept giving me. The daily reflection in my gratitude journal has given me hope, that maybe, I am not as lost as I sometimes feel about myself. Maybe, one day, I will be at a place in life where I can look back and feel proud of myself of having achieved something worthwhile.
The boost in my self-esteem has been the gift of the feeling of abundance I have embraced lately. This shift in my perspective has empowered me with the ability to celebrate other people’s successes without feeling inadequate or lacking in their comparison.
The inner peace and better sleep I get with the regular practice of investing 15 minutes in writing in my gratitude journal have been a godsend. I feel energised, refreshed and optimistic every day to face life in its real form.
Besides, for a rather asocial, introvert like yours truly practice of gratitude has helped foster new relationships. I have been able to nurture those relationships to see new friendships bloom in places I never knew possible. This has been quite a game changer for me.
There have been mornings when I felt so quiet inside that I was left wondering, what do I think about in my hour-long walk. That is something outright absurd for an overthinker like me.
I am usually never short of things to worry about, but recurrence of such episodes are perhaps a healthy marker of the fact, that my attempts at blocking out unwanted worries, contemplating them all before hitting the sack are beginning to bear fruit.
I can feel calmness fill my system, replacing aggression and anger with peace.
I am beginning to wake up with a clear mind and to look at each day as a clean slate.
A beautiful thought struck my mind this morning;
“As life always makes better sense in hindsight, to gain clarity, we must strive to move on.” ~ My Era
One of the most surprising benefits of practising gratitude on a daily basis has been that with my new found inner peace has returned my resolve to be thankful for my life and being.
And in doing so, I stay motivated to be regular at everything that pertains to my well-being. This involves exercising regularly, seeking medical advice without many delays and more to stay healthy.
Among the books that I read, is Party Time in Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond. The book is a collection of short stories loaded with Bond’s simple yet supple writing that helped me swim through the rather rough patch of life with its wry humour and a generous dose of wit.
Having read many titles by Ruskin Bond in the past year, I have come to feel as if I know the author personally. This feeling is fuelled by the fact that every book by him has a repetition of a story or anecdote from his earlier works, that warms up my heart with the knowledge of reconnecting where I left before.
Though there are many favourites in this anthology that inspires the reader to see the funny, sunny side of life, I was enchanted by ‘Simple Living’ the most because it comprises of the excerpts from the author’s personal diary. I read this part of the book at a time when I had started doubting the relevance of writing a journal when I already have a personal blog to do so.
And today, am confident that writing a gratitude journal in ink is one of the best decisions I have made in favour of my wellbeing. The other being, stepping out of the confined life I had been leading until December 2016.
I do not claim to be all sorted.
I am far from have found answers to all the questions but the practice of constant reflection during morning walks with the firm foundation laid by the immense feeling of abundance and gratitude the gratitude journal has been providing me, I feel calmer, alive and healthier than I have felt in a long time.
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The song on my mind: Tum agar saath dene ka wada karo ~ Hamraaz (1967)