Things I am grateful for: Reason #1

It happened somewhere last year. The shift in my personality, the change in the pattern of my thoughts and the ensuing peace of mind. I stopped struggling with my thoughts and I tried to see things in a new positive light. Whatever-happens-happens-for-good kind of way. There were times in life, not too long ago from now, when I was at the lowest pit, angry with myself more than anyone else for poor choices I made, the consequences that followed, for things that didn’t go as I planned and for general directionless. Not anymore.

So what changed? Nothing really, but I consciously decided to change the way I think. If you have read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, you will know what I mean. It is an outstanding book, not your run-of-the-mill kind of self help book. It’s a must read. Because it doesn’t say anything out of ordinary or undoable. It gives a simple yet powerful message that our thoughts become our reality. So in order to change our life, we need to change our thoughts. For example, if we keep thinking that life is miserable, guess what, life will be miserable.  It says that if we are grateful about things that we have, the person we are, the life we live, the things we enjoy then those wonderful things will multiply. And if not anything else, being grateful makes you happy and content deep within. This has worked for me. I am sure it will work for you also.

If we ever sit back and think how many things we take for granted, we will realize there are indeed thousands of things we could be grateful for. I have started doing that. And this has changed me as a person. I am now more grateful for little things that life brings forward. I crib less; I am trying to be happy in every new situation. I am happy living alone for 10 hours every day in a new country, in a new big home, in a home that is on the hill, away from the city, where there is absolute silence and no one to talk to until the husband comes home. Oddly, I am at peace. If I was in this situation 2 years ago, I would have most certainly been crying or cribbing or complaining. But this new me is happy and content.

With this, I am starting a new column on my blog, “Things I am grateful for”. As often as possible, I will come here and list things that I am absolutely grateful for.

Reason #1:

I am so grateful for this new day. Thank God for this new beautiful day. A bright, promising day. I am grateful that I got to live another splendid day. That means you have a big plan. That means there is a purpose why I am here. That means that I am meant to do something good and contribute in some way. That means my questions will be answered soon, my fears will be cast away soon and my doubts will be cleared some day. That also means I will get a chance to make new mistakes, and learn from them.  May be today I am not in a position to understand why some things are happening the way they are, but eventually everything will fall in place, and when I will look back in retrospect I will realize everything happened for a bigger reason.  I might meet someone new today, make a new friend, learn something new, do something silly. And all this is possible only because you gifted me this new day. Thank you so much.

Here’s a short video on gratitude from “The Secret”

From The Secret Daily Teachings

When a big change occurs in your life it forces you to change direction. Sometimes the new path may not be easy, but you can be absolutely certain that there is magnificence for you on the new path. You can be absolutely certain that the new path contains things that you could not have experienced otherwise.

When we look back at a negative event that occurred in the past, we often see how in fact it transformed our life. We see how that event directed us toward a life that we would not change for anything.

 May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret… bringing joy to billions

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Acute Guilt Syndrome

It happens to me very often me. It happens to me almost every time, unfailingly. It grips me tightly and its tentacles suffocate me sometimes. I wonder if it happens to me and only me or if it is a constant companion of others like me also. I seem to be having this acute guilt syndrome.  I feel guilty for things normal people don’t care two hoots about. I feel guilty about feeling pleasure and being happy. I don’t know how this whole thing started. But little moments of pleasure always come with accompanying bouts of guilt.

I feel guilty about enjoying a piece of cake. I feel like I am cheating somehow on my self-imposed diet vow.

I feel guilty about missing my workout.

I feel guilty about eating rice
P.S. I love rice, but I feel it will make me fat almost immediately.

I feel guilty about being vain, about spending some insane amount on a cosmetic product. My mind immediately goes into a calculation mode and calculates how that much money could easily have been some poor family’s food budget for a week. Last week, I felt like pampering myself and thought that I deserved a hair spa. Now, I work hard and I am sincere and I earn my own money. So if I decide to spend some not-so-small amount on pampering myself once in a long while, its rational right? It doesn’t harm right? After all, I am not that vain. I spend judiciously. I think wisely. I prioritize. The hair spa should have given me a high. And high, it did. But almost next moment, I felt a pang of guilt. I immediately thought that I could have bought a dozen poor kids a nice meal with that money. Wouldn’t that have been a better thing to do with money? Such thoughts leave me high and dry. Is it really bad to spend money on vain things? Why does this always happen with me?

Then I also feel guilty sometimes about doing hardly anything for a social cause, thinking beyond self and family. Sometimes I wonder am I really shallow? Am I really indifferent to pains and poverty around me? Isn’t it everyone’s moral obligation to do something for the society? To give back to the society in someway? To have a higher cause? But, then immediately on the other hand, i realize that unless it comes from within its useless. If I don’t enjoy what I am doing, it wont take me too long.

Okay moving on, another example.

I feel guilty about not reading newspapers daily. Ya, I am silly that way. Now this may be due to the mental conditioning. Our teachers in school imbibed this habit of reading papers every day. So this guilt finds its roots in that school time habit.

I feel guilty about not finding enough time to read. Read enough. As much as I would like to.

I feel guilty about having that occasional scoop of ice cream on a whim. Ya, ya that same calorie-calculation mode in my brain gets activated. And I am not even fat really. Sigh

I feel guilty about not spending enough time with parents, due to work, and gym and many other commitments. I feel i am failing my responsibilities as a daughter.

I feel guilty about sleeping in the afternoon on weekends. I think how many pending things I could have ticked off my never ending to-do list if I wouldn’t have slept.  Now tell me, is this abnormal? Who doesn’t enjoy lazying? Who doesn’t enjoy a good afternoon siesta?

So you get a drift of what I am trying to say right? I feel guilty about almost everything that brings pleasure. Be it those two pieces of chocolate that give me a high; be it an occasional expensive thing I buy myself, be it things like lazying and sleeping. Not wholly, but this feeling is somewhat similar to survivor’s guilt. I feel guilty about enjoying too much, because I quickly think that some other less fortunate people are living in misery.

And now to add to my guilt list, there is one more. I feel guilty about not finding enough time to write my blogs. Sigh!

Everything that I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening 😛

Do I need to see a shrink? What you think? Such things happen with you? Do you suppose this is an unusual case?

I feel like I want to take care of everyone and I also feel this terrible guilt if I am unable to. And I have felt this way ever since all this success started.
– Jim Carrey