Count your blessings!!

grateful

A simple, yet profound statement. But the question is Do We?

 The Buddhists have known for years that gratitude has been scientifically proven to strengthen your immune system and make you happier and more optimistic.

Human nature is to want what we don’t have and to dwell on the negatives—instead of celebrating what we do have and focusing on what’s going well.

I am guilty too of the same for a while now. Being a naturally free spirited person, I am uncomfortable with any kind of bondage that traps my mind, body and soul. My soul just starts rejecting it. So it is a battle of wits between what I want and what I have.

But sometimes circumstances in your life bring you to a point where despite your best efforts things are not as happening as you would like them to be.

Of late there have been some situations at home which have been draining me completely of all energy and positivity.  It has left me exhausted and completely in a rotten mood. I am blaming not only the circumstances but also the other people in my life to an extent.

And recently all the pent up frustration was lashed out to my son who was on a long distance phone call.

On the other side he was bearing the brunt of my vile vomit of words. Not saying a word, he listened.

I went on and on for about 15 minutes till he found a pause in my words and then he spoke, as gently and calmly, as he naturally is.

His words not honey coated but real. Understanding me and making me understand.

Once the poison left my body I apologized to him, for bearing with an overly emotional mother and for saying things to him which he wasn’t even responsible for.

“I am so so sorry” I texted, again and again.

And he texted back, “its better the poison was thrown towards me, rather than anyone else, I know it wasn’t meant for me so it did not affect me, but I am glad it is out of your system”.

And every day, after that dreadful conversation, looking back, I wonder how your children suddenly become so mature enough that they take on the role of your protector.

And then you have your entire life pass by before your eyes, and all the teachings, and life lessons you taught your kids come back to you in multitude ways.

You are in awe of the universe and grateful to have such blessed souls around you to take care of you and remind you of things which you may have forgotten but they remember.

My point here is this. It can be easy to get swept away in the fast lane and forget to stop and show your appreciation for what you do have.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. Being grateful everyday for waking up healthy, for having food on the table and clean home and clothes on your back is equally important. Gratitude is your partner understanding your moods.

Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. In fact, sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.

Gratitude is being very very thankful for those handful people in your life who find it a blessing to have you in theirs.

Gratitude is to give back to others what they lack. Volunteering for the purpose of helping others increases our own well-being, and thus our ability to have more gratitude.

With so many bad things happening around the world, if you can find just one moment in your life that you are grateful about, then enjoy it and…….

Count your blessings!

 

grateful 2

Madhavi

 

 

PC: Google

 

Live your life in ‘Awe’

awe life

Have you ever wondered about your life and the direction it’s headed? Do you find yourself wondering how to make your life less mundane and more meaningful? Do you find the popular notion that ‘meaning’ is mysterious and hard, and it feels big and scary?  Yeah, right?

So what does this ‘meaningful life’ look like to you?

Do you picture wise sages cloistered in remote caves meditating on the deepest questions of the universe, or larger than life crusaders changing the world with their heroic acts of will.

It’s no wonder that so many of us worry that perhaps our smaller scale lives don’t measure up to a ‘meaningful life’. And to top it off it seems like every self-help blog harps on the idea of finding ones purpose. Without it, life seems pretty meaningless.

When you were younger you enjoyed the freedom to have a lot more fun. You enjoyed your work life and found time to enjoy with your friends. Agreed, that fewer responsibilities earlier allowed you to make the most of your time and your life. Nobody in their youth ever gave much thought to this pertinent question on the meaningfulness of life.

But as you matured, the responsibilities also took on a whole new level; not only are you looking after your children but some of you are also faced with the additional responsibility of taking care of your aged parents who are now unable to take care of themselves. This makes it rather impossible for you to take time off at will and enjoy your life to the fullest, like you did when you were younger.

But come to think of it rationally, isn’t whatever you are doing everyday valuable to someone? Whether it is for your children or for your parents? Don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the day when you retire for bed, as you see your family completely at ease and contented?

It is the values that you have imbibed from the previous generation, the values of Authenticity, Dependability, Integrity, Selflessness and Reliability that make your life exceptionally priceless and meaningful.

Don’t forget to recognize the fact that your life is already way more meaningful than you give yourself credit for. Rather than focus on the questions to live a more meaningful life, you should stop and reflect to recognize the many moments that already give you a sense of direction and accomplishment.

Simply having a lot to do around the home while you are a stay-at-home parent such as indulging in some hobby to tap on your creativity can keep you and your mind busy. Occasionally, meeting old friends or even chatting with neighbours can cause people to feel their lives are much more meaningful.

Sitting in nature and enjoying the beauty of the trees changing colour, watching flowers of different hues or even people-watching can relieve the stress of the day to day life and boosts peoples’ sense of meaning.

Stop trying to find yourself. Life itself is trying to teach you something.

The meaning of life is to find the moments of awe.

What is awe, you ask?

It’s the pauses you take between sentences. It’s the moments of silence when you’re watching the rain outside. It’s the moments where you breathe. It’s the moments where you can be human.

When life get too overpowering and you feel lost, all you have to do is stand still, watch and listen to the world around you. There is awe everywhere.

Awe is the spark you feel when you meet a lover.

Awe is the conversation between long lost friends.

Awe is holding your newborn baby.

Awe is the piping hot food on your table after a hard days’ work.

Awe is the feeling of restfulness after a good nights’ sleep.

Awe is your dog wagging his tail when you return from work.

Awe is the exhilaration of screaming “Yes!!” after you’ve completed a challenging task.

Awe is looking out at nature and cherishing its raw beauty.

Awe is being grateful.

Awe is whatever you want it to be.

So if you frequently fret about the meaning of your life, rather than worry about finding a grand purpose, spend some time to look for the moments of ‘awe’ that already exist all around you. Simply noticing them is all you need for a much greater sense of meaning.

Life does give you many moments to be and more importantly feel beautiful.

madhavi:)

 

My Soul has a Hat

I came across this beautiful poem by Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945) Poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist and one of the founders of Brazilian modernism.

It was a poignant reminder, of how we miss out on living life in its glory and intensity. It also reminds us that although so much is outside of our control, there is a lot that isn’t as well.

Sharing it below:-

 

 My Soul Has A Hat

I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by, than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.

My time is too short: I want the essence; my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions.

 In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.