Submitted by Keerti Garg
Have you been able to touch happiness, I mean really touch it instead of just feeling it?
I have been doing it daily since earlier this year.
Let me backtrack.
I was at a crossroads, both professionally and personally in February 2016. I didn’t know what to do with my life, so I was just standing still.
That’s when my mother introduced me to gratitude meditation. Daily meditation for around 10 minutes a day, helped me get through that time.
And just when I was beginning to walk on solid ground again, postpartum depression hit me in July 2017.
I lost all desire to live.
Again, I turned to meditation. I also started regular physical exercise, yoga and changed my eating habits. Additionally, I used daily affirmations while exercising, working, cooking to regain my focus, determination, and the will to live.
Some of the affirmations I used were-
I will survive. (in the depths of PPD)
I am beautiful.
I am happy.
I am grateful.
I do everything I put my mind to.
I am worthy.
I am strong.
The universe has my back.
I am focused. (my current affirmation)
Slowly, almost like moving underwater, I began to see the sunlight. But something still felt missing two years later.
In July 2019, a friend of mine told me about gratitude journaling. But I didn’t heed her advice. Not completely. I didn’t physically write anything down (even though I am a writer), but spent five minutes each day, in the morning and night, reflecting on all that I was grateful for during the day.
Just a few weeks ago, in December 2020, an Instagram friend of mine started sharing daily quotes on gratitude. During the day, I found myself thinking about them and changing my thought pattern based on what I had read that morning on her stories.
I did that throughout December 2020. Finally, since these words just crept into my life, like a whisper- changing me, making me happier, I asked her about them. She guided me towards the gratitude app.
What a blessed day that was!
When I downloaded the app in January 2021, it was like all the things I was doing in silos came together- affirmations, quotations (I collect quotes), and once again, a tug towards gratitude journaling instead of just gratitude thinking.
It was fun to put my personal pictures on the affirmations I had used for many years. It empowered me.
And this time, since January 11, 2021, I started gratitude journaling in a diary. I started writing actual moments from my day instead of just broad categories.
My entry on January 17, 2021 reads-
I am grateful for-
1) Feeling Mili’s (my toddler) soft curled cold toes in the blanket at night when we are trying to sleep
2) Sunlight in the sunroom
3) A cup of tea while writing this journal
4) My discipline in doing daily yoga since March 2020
5) When I saw Mili copying me while doing pranayama today, I knew I must be doing something right.
6) Being able to talk to A about my dream last night
7) Seeing his car arrive outside the window and park under the bare tree
8) Talking to mummy even though I can’t physically go and meet her right now
So you see, the actual act of writing down (and not just thinking in my mind) has changed my life in just three short weeks.
That thing- that I felt was missing – but didn’t know what it was or how to find it, I have it now.
I touch happiness with my hands every single day now.
The simple act of noting the moments I am grateful for during the day, helps me fly through my days.
I wake up smiling, eager to start the day, and accomplish all the things from my to-do list- work, exercise, cook, run, play the guitar, finish the first draft of my 4th book, gratitude journal and read.
I use the gratitude app every single day. It’s like breathing for me.
I have recommended it to all my friends and family and share the daily gratitude quotes on my Instagram stories.
Gratitude app is something every single person with a pulse NEEDS, NOW. Period.