Weekend fix for the soul: The power of gratitude
THANK YOU. These two simple, unassuming words carry so much of weight and have the capacity to create profound changes in our lives.lifestyle Updated: Oct 17, 2014 18:48 IST
THANK YOU. These two simple, unassuming words carry so much of weight and have the capacity to create profound changes in our lives. These words allow us to experience everyday miracles, which otherwise we would overlook; these words inculcate in our attitudes, a certain sense of reverence - the knowledge that eventually, these miracle-moments are what life is all about.
Gratitude begets more of what we are grateful for, injecting a huge dose of positivity, joy and clarity into our lives. A grateful mind is always focussed on the best, always manifesting the best. Being grateful for small and daily pleasures automatically opens doors and opportunities in our lives. It helps our minds to focus on what we have, rather than what we don't - and what we focus on, happens, converting whatever we have, into enough.
Gratitude is a matter of choice. The Oxford Clinical Psychologist Mark Williams suggests the 'ten finger gratitude exercise' in which once a day you list ten things that you are grateful for and count them on your fingers. The idea is 'intentionally bringing to awareness the tiny previously unnoticed elements of the day'.
However, Gratitude is not just being grateful for all we have and all that has happened in our lives, but also what we don't have and has not happened in our lives - for all those disasters, pain and diseases that we don't have. But, sometimes, these disasters do happen, accompanied by pain that leaves us broken.
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For me, one such moment was the loss of my child. I thought my second pregnancy would be a welcome diversion to the marital problems I was already facing. Sadly, I miscarried. My baby died in my womb before it was born.
Women don't only carry babies in their wombs. They carry their babies in their souls. I was broken in more ways than one. I had known pain before - broken relationships, deaths of loved ones, illnesses. But this pain was something I had never experienced before. My marriage inevitably broke down. I was all alone and in despair, with a two year old daughter.
I had so many unanswered questions, feelings of guilt, of what I could have done or should have done. Finally, post a few sessions of Hypnotherapy, I was determined to let this tragedy lead to something positive. It was perspective, I kept telling myself. I could not let the memory of this baby fade away in the history of my life.
There is certain wisdom and stoic strength that comes as the pain goes drop-by-drop. I was intrigued by the positive effects of hypnotherapy in my life. I began to formally study to become a Clinical Hypnotherapist. I was grateful for the avenues it opened for me.
I learned to be grateful for the one child I still had. I began appreciating and learning to forgive myself easily. I learnt that my first relationship is with myself, and how I treated myself, is the way others would treat me. I realised that life was just a journey where you meet people along the way, create memories - some staying longer than others. My practice gave me a certain sense of fulfilment and contentment, a kind I had never known before. I realised gratefully that I was so much better off than most people.
As the 8th century Sufi, Iman Al-Shafi'i said - 'My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and what misses me was never meant for me'.
There is always, always something to be thankful for.
(Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. She's intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list)