With the lockdown this past year and generally with the chaotic lifestyles we now lead, I genuinely felt the need to put forth the notions that changed the course of my life. I feel like an evolved person and a better version of myself, though I am still work in progress.
It never hurt to attempt transforming lives of others alongside your own. Maybe along the way we find each other, sometimes blooming, sometimes stumbling, yet trudging on towards this gateway of humanity to create a better world around us.
I intend to share 6 simple (mostly known concepts) to sustain a happy and healthy mind. I truly believe that often the same thing said in different words, maybe simpler words can have a lasting impact. Infact many a times, its even just the timing of when it’s really read or heard, that may cause us to alter our ways of life.
I, by no means am a saint and falter enough on my own but have grown enough spiritually to course correct before its too late.
So here it goes:
1. Practice Positivity
There is an angel and a devil in all of us and so every time life doles out a situation or a person in your face that leaves you either blindsided or with a mindless urge to claw on something, remind yourself to listen to the angel in you.
Feed the angel, starve the devil !
It is all about the intention and of how you actually decide you want to feel and how you decide to react to a situation or person. The positivity resides within you, you only have to ensure that from time to time, you cull it out till it becomes the very essence of you. Practice positivity, practice happiness, practice peace and become so good at it that you make yourself proud.
2. Bring Gratitude into your life
A word we hear ever so often but is more underrated than I could have ever imagined.
Gratitude for the people that serve/help you
We were all born equal and alike. Some were fortunate with better homes, some not so much. But nothing ever gave us the right to make anyone feel less able. Be it the waiter at a restaurant or a help in our house, a shopkeeper in the shop next door or a fruit vendor toiling in the summer heat to make ends meet. We need to show gratitude for all those that help make our life better and more comfortable. Maybe you wouldn’t be able to relish the chilled and juicy mangoes with cream on a Sunday afternoon while binging on some addictive web series, if it weren’t for your neighborhood fruit vendor that labored to bring you the choicest mangoes at your doorstep.
Gratitude for the people who challenge you
We cross paths with many people in our lives. We may instantly connect with some, others may take time to spark the right chord with you and there may be a section that you would rather steer clear off but unfortunately no matter how much we try, they keep coming back in our lives.
Ask yourselves what is the lesson, you are missing there. Trust me, there is something. Pull the strings of your mind harder and delve deeper. There will be something you need to learn. So show them gratitude, they have come into your lives to teach you a lesson, maybe even experience something that wouldn’t have been possible but for the realization that such a person brings in your life. They have come to make you evolve.
Keep a daily diary of gratitude
I understand if you may not have the time to write journals. All I suggest is that at the end of the day, you take a deep breath (a minute of your time), and think what can you be thankful for today. It could be the smallest of things, a great meal, a word of appreciation from a colleague, your daughter or son’s adorable antic, a loving smile from your spouse, a dress that you had been looking for a month, the thought of a Friday (we call it FriYAY in our banana family). So really, just anything. Once you know, just write it in your diary in one line — that is it !!
Believe me, a year later when you go through those little nothings, you will realize that on a day to day basis we really need just that much to keep that smile alive and the positivity to thrive.
3. Embrace the concept of Acceptance
Acceptance of people
We all have a different upbringing, diverse values that mold our personalities. Our varied life experiences shape our character in unique ways and that’s what sets our journey apart from the one next to us. So its unfair to judge others based on the sensibilities you have developed.
Though, I do think that there are things that may be categorically decided/judged in black and white and then there are also the greys. But it’s not your responsibility to make someone’s black, look a little grey or spend your energy attempting to make it pristine white. It is not your voyage. If the angel in you doesn’t accept their black, stick to your white. What maybe black for you maybe grey for them or even white for that matter. The world is made of all sorts of people — whether they choose to feed their angel or devil within, is not your cross to bear. Your responsibility is your conscious, your peace and sanity. View people with a lens of acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you need to love them but it also doesn’t mean that you need to harbor negativity towards them. Live and let live !
Acceptance of situations
Like I said before, our life experiences are what shape us into the people we are today and they will continue to mold us till the last day. Ask yourself:
Can you change/control the situation? If not, then what can you learn from it ? If yes, then pour all of your positive energies into your attempts to better the situation. Your sheer faith will bring it to fruition. If amazingly, your positive efforts don’t fructify, then you are meant for bigger and better things that will cross your path when the time is right.
Sometimes it is also about knowing when to walk away from a situation. That too is a learning. The courage and the strength to reign yourself in and walk away, takes more nerve than confronting and venting.
The key is the wisdom of knowing. This may come from practice and growing to be more self-aware, understanding your instincts, building faith in your own gut feelings. But once you have it, the empowerment that it manifests is gratifying.
4. Make Forgiveness a virtue
This is a big one. If you can master this, all others will automatically and organically come to you without trying too hard.
This does stem from acceptance of people. Their journeys are different. Don’t try to steer them onto your path and you are not expected to join or follow their lead if you don’t believe in their ideals. But let them be ! forgive them. Let it go. Your animosity towards them is only festering your soul, your being. And anything that depletes your energies is not worth it. Life is too short to spend days and days on end replenishing your positive energies (that you are needlessly sapping) over someone else. Wish them well in your heart, don’t harbor ill will and move on.
We need to EVOLVE as people not REVOLVE
Ask for forgiveness
You can never be entitled to seek forgiveness of others if you don’t learn to forgive yourself. Make space in your heart (its bottomless and limitless) to forgive first and then ask for forgiveness (this is part of your prayers, you really don’t need to approach one & all. Thoughts follow energy) for all that you may have done or said or sometimes even not said, intentionally or unintentionally.
Have faith, it’s the closest to magic I would say — if you genuinely would like to improve your relationship with anyone.
Be compassionate and forgiving towards yourself too. It’s a tough life and we all have our own struggle. Life tests us each day in some way or the other. Sometimes, we manage to sail through them, and sometimes we stumble and fall. But that’s ok. We tried and that is important. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger ! So give yourself a pat on your back for trying each day.
5. Live in the present
Don’t make your happiness conditional. You will end up chasing this fictitious version of happiness that you will at some point realize doesn’t exist. Happiness may come momentarily from your next car purchase or an upcoming promotion but it will desert you also, just as quickly. The only way to sustain happiness in your life is CARPE DIEM. Cherish the day to day moments. Celebrate the nothings and laugh for no reason. Enjoy your treasures today. Don’t wait for the big dinner party to pull out your fine china or even use your fancy napkins. Use them today, enjoy them today. Breathe in the moment, smile for today and be thankful for life today.
6. Acknowledge the Power of the subconscious mind
Another undervalued superpower we all own is our subconscious mind. You don’t need to be super man or wonder woman. Its all in your mind. And let me let you in on a little secret — it is the most powerful when you are just about fall asleep and when you are about to wake up from your morning stupor.
Visualize the change and positivity you wish to see in your life at these 2 times with sheer honesty and faith, you will see your superpower unfold its riches.
If these steps help even one life to take a course for the better, I will deem my efforts worth the time.
Would love to hear your thoughts !