Friday, February 22, 2013

Developing gratitude in India

i have been living and traveling in India for the last two months. That is the reason i have made no new blog entries in that time. i was very pleased to find yesterday that  that this blog is still getting 700 readers per month even with no new activity.

There will be many new entries about this period in the coming month, with what i think are some amazing photos and lessons and insights that are, for me, new and helpful. There will also be some stories from my experiences here and travel info for India. But for now what i want to share is very simple: the power of gratefulness and how a temporary lack of comfort can be really helpful in the long term for cultivating gratitude, and how that gratitude can be a powerful medicine for body, mind and soul.

Here are a few things India taught me in this, my 3rd visit:

- The saying, "Your health is your wealth," is no joke. Every day that passes without either debilitating sickness or injury is a prize. Enjoy it and be grateful.
- Every day without explosive diarrhea is a gift from your body to be thankful for.
- Warm, comfortable places to sleep are luxuries that most people in the world cannot assume. If you presume to have both a mattress and warmth (by either climate or blanket) every night, you are a rock star of luck and should ooze gratitude.
- The smile is one of the most effective tools and defensive weapons known to mankind. Use it, and be grateful it works so universally.
- Temporarily leaving your comfort zone, in any sense, makes you stronger, richer, and less vulnerable to the world. Treasure those experiences.
- Having a comfortable place to shit is to be treasured as gold.
- A hot shower, though never necessary, is liquid wealth. Don't forget how lucky you are every time you have one.
- Having clean, comfortable clothes to wear is one of the most under appreciated and wonderful luxuries possible. Learning this, i was amazed i'd never really really noticed the wonderfulness of it before, and i promised myself to never again stop being grateful for it.
- The comfort and thrill of having ready cash available is huge. Never forget how easily this can be lost, through atm problems, loss or theft or whatever. Be grateful whenever you have cash in your pocket.
- Having friends and family that will help you is a key luxury. Thank them, thank the universe.
- Strangers will usually help you. Very often they are glad to do so. Feel lucky and grateful when they do, and pass it forward!

Yes, this trip taught me all of this the hard way, and i am very grateful. My hope is that this blog entry, as always an open letter to myself, will help me to always remember these important lessons.

i have found that in moments of despair or distress, if WPP are getting you down, thinking about whatever basic comforts or luxuries that you DO have and stating to yourself your gratefulness for them literally can make you feel better, in every sense. Start with the most basic, assumed things. If you have to start with, "i am thankful that i am not on fire right now" or "i am thankful i have a home" and work up to more luxurious things. In my experience, it truly is effective medicine for your entire being.

Hari om, and thank you for reading:-)
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