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One of the simplest way to bring more happiness into your life is to be grateful for everything you have. Have a Gratitude Jar. And see it attract happiness.
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder” ~E.B. White
The moment is here, now. The moment I’m alive–tasting the bittersweet coffee, watering my plants, being licked on the face by my dog, even while cooking a meal. Every moment matters. Every moment you get is a gift. There’s nothing more, nothing less. It might sound a bit Zen like but truly, do we have control over any other time than the present moment? Then why not make the most of the present (gift) we get? Why not fill it with our fullest being, our truest presence? One of the ways I started appreciating the little moments more than ever was through the creation of a Gratitude Jar.
Well it’s nothing fancy, really. Just a big mason jar which you can decorate according to your whims and creative prowess, and use as a source of happiness. Really? A Jar and Happiness?
Allow me to explain further.
I read this somewhere. “Rather than being thankful because we are happy, being thankful itself will make us happy.” However, most of the times we have it upside down in our minds, you see. Still not convinced? Well, watch this beautiful video on Gratitude and Happiness.
Ok, so my Gratitude Jar. How does this glass jar help me?
It helps me in appreciating those little moments and in turn be grateful for it.
And it reinforces the happiness within.
I learned about the concept of this Gratitude Jar from one of my favourite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert. You can read what she says about the Gratitude Jar in this post.
At the end of each day, just write down one thing that made you happy. It can be as simple as the sun on a winter’s afternoon. Just one happy memory. Or maybe two. Or even three! Though Gilbert talks about one happy moment, some days I feel so grateful that I write about more than one thing. The more here literally means the merrier, right
Essentially, no matter how crappy your day, just write about one thing that lifted your spirit, something as simple as a cup of good coffee in between a day jam packed with meetings or household chores. As long as it just gave you that tiny bit of warmth or made you feel “Oh, how awesome is it to be alive!” Even while having to deal with so many things, I feel grateful that I have the CAPACITY to feel both the good and the bad.
That is the Magic. The magic lies in nobody else, but in You.
Collect all those magical moments, and look at them at the end of a period of time. And feel all that you have worth being happy about.
(Please excuse my childish handwriting, these are the two sides of my gratitude jar)
I created the Gratitude Jar this January and I’m going to empty the jar at the end of the year. Imagine how nice it would be to see those little moments in retrospect. Also, whenever I feel a bit low I just open a few of those chits and read them. Some of the things I’d written so far are as follows:
“Today, I made notun gurer payesh (a Bengali dessert made with jaggery, rice, and milk) for the first time and it tasted almost as good as grandmom’s.”
“Today, I sat on the terrace with the evening sun and the flowers, while listening to Ravi Shankar and sipping on mint tea.”
“Today, though my cat got bitten by dogs, the vet said that his injuries were not too serious.”
It takes that little to be grateful and appreciate the life we’ve been given. So go ahead, enjoy every moment. It won’t be back again. And yes, don’t forget to add your happy moments into your own jar!
Published earlier here.
Image source: gratitude word cluster by Shutterstock.
Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by Half Baked Beans Publishers.
She won the Runner Up Position in the Orange Flower Awards 2021 for Short Fiction.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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