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Living With Gratitude

by Vidya Sury December 24, 2015 20 comments
Living With Gratitude. Vidya Sury

Gratitude. Showing appreciation. A mindful acknowledgment for every little thing we’re blessed with. Focusing on the abundance in our lives, as we cultivate the attitude of generosity and happiness.

Most of us have grown up hearing this, learning this in various forms – stories, experiences, activities.

Nothing is more rewarding that expressing gratitude. It opens up our hearts to cherish every little gift we receive. It performs the miracle of setting us free from what weighs us down. Most of all, it allows us to celebrate the present moment, rather than waiting for “someday”. Truly, gratitude gives us a number of reasons to feel happy.

Gratitude vidya sury

Even though I’ve been living with gratitude, over the years, my gratitude practices have evolved. One thing I’ve always been encouraged to do by my Mom was maintaining a gratitude journal. When my son was little, I got him started with a “happiness jar” which we made from a large clear container with a big smiley stuck on it. He would write what made him happy on little chits of paper and drop them in the jar. Just watching it fill up was such a joy – reminding us always that there was much to be grateful for. Reading them was even more fun, especially some years down the line.

gratitude vidya sury

Today, I am grateful for:

  • The air I breathe
  • My cozy home
  • The food I eat
  • A kitchen to cook in
  • The means to buy my basic needs
  • Family and friends to share my life, my joy, my happiness
  • Healthcare when I need it
  • Kindness of strangers
  • Universe, which actively listens
  • The ability to exercise
  • Eyes to see
  • Compassion
  • The privilege to give and make a difference in lives. I chose child sponsorship and you can too! What joy to see a life/lives transformed!

As the year is coming to a close, I am taking stock of all the good things and not so good. There have been many ups and downs and emotional upheavals. The learning has been immense, for which I am deeply grateful.

More than anything else, the year has been a constant reminder to grateful for the things we take for granted, to focus on those who love us and not worry about those who don’t.

living in gratitude vidya sury

Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of a wonderful TED talk by Louie Schwartzberg

You think this is just another day in your life?
It’s not just another day.
It’s the one day that is given to you today.
It’s given to you. It’s a gift.
It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.
If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment.

Look at the sky.

We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment, with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, and even with the weather, we don’t think of all the many nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather.

This day, right now, has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again. That formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same as it is right now. Open your eyes. Look at that.

Look at the faces of people whom you meet.

Each one has an incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never fully fathom, not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors. We all go back so far, and in this present moment, on this day, all the people you meet, all that life from generations and from so many places all over the world flows together and meets you here like a life-giving water, if you only open your heart and drink.

Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us.

You flip a switch and there is electric light.
You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water, and drinkable water.
It’s a gift that millions and millions in the world will never experience.

So these are just a few of an enormous number of gifts to which we can open your heart.
And so I wish you that you will open your heart to all these blessings, and let them flow through you, that everyone whom you will meet on this day will be blessed by you, just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch, just by your presence.

Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you, and then it will really be a good day.

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

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Darla M Sands December 25, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Lovely list! Interestingly, I do look up at the sky on a daily basis. We joke that I’m easily amused, but I take pride in enjoying the little day to day blessings. Best wishes to you. And enjoy your son’s visit!
Darla M Sands recently posted…Ten Blatant Workout Myths Debunked, by Yuri Elkhaim

Vidya Sury December 25, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Me too, Darla! One of the things I really love is sky watching. Absolutely enthralling, because it always includes a bit of nostalgia over times I’ve spent with people I love. Hugs! Merry Christmas! 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…The curious case of Mr.Forgetful. Solved by Goldilocks

Obsessivemom December 25, 2015 at 11:35 pm

This is something that has been on my mind of late – this trying to feel grateful. And I was struggling to find some ‘special’ things to write about, struggling to think of things that made me smile. Your post reminded me that there are blessings I don’t even notice. Thank You.

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:20 am

Thank you Tulika! Gratitude seems tough when we’re upset or even busy. But once we get started, it becomes a wonderful way to get through tough situations! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Can Natural Supplements Actually Improve Energy?

Obsessivemom December 25, 2015 at 11:36 pm

PS: I love the illustrations in your post.
Obsessivemom recently posted…A gratitude post

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:21 am

Thank you! 🙂 So cheerful, right?
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Madras Affair by @SundariVenkat

Pratikshya Mishra December 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

We have so much to be grateful about… loved reading about the ‘happiness jar’ .. i’m planning to do one like that.. feeling inspired and grateful.. thanks.. 🙂 Happy festive season

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:33 am

Thank you Pratikshya! Happy 2016 to you too!
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Madras Affair by @SundariVenkat

Beloo Mehra December 26, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Indeed there is so much in life to be grateful for. But we keep forgetting that in our mad rush to get to our ‘priorities’ and ‘to-do lists’ etc. To be fully with a certain experience and yet be a witness to it, to feel, truly ‘live’ the moment to moment experience of life and yet be out of it in a detached way — may be that’s what we need to truly be in a state of gratitude. Because then we will not be caught up in the positive or negative feelings, sadness or happiness, joy or pleasure, or other such fleeting emotions caused by experiences, but simply be present. In a state of gratefulness for the universe.
Hope you had a good Christmas. Best wishes for the new year!

Vidya Sury December 26, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Such wise words, Beloo! Learning to let go is very hard. I am actively practicing living in each moment. I won’t say it is easy, but it is worth the effort. 🙂 Slowing down is something I am working on, but am not sure when I’ll actually get into that flow. In the meantime, I am grateful for every little thing. I am so happy to see you here today! Hugs! And wishing you a wonderful 2016, too!
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Aditi December 27, 2015 at 5:41 am

I starting keeping a gratitude journal in 2014 and life has been blessed since. It sometimes is a challenge to stop and be grateful for the little things in life but once you start doing so, life changes for the better.
Lovely, warm post as usually Vidya! 🙂

Here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!
Aditi recently posted…#SaturdayWordplay 12 – Aquiver

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:19 am

You’re absolutely right, Aditi. I started my son off early with the gratitude journal, mostly because we went through some difficult times and I couldn’t think of a better person to buddy up with than him. I am thrilled to hear you started off with yours and what a difference it has made!. Hugs and happy New Year to you too!
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Madras Affair by @SundariVenkat

Susan Scott December 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Lovely post Vidya thank you! I too love looking up at the sky whether (weather 🙂 ) during the day or night. There is so much to be grateful for and in this way we are reminded how others in dire circumstances and there is a need and necessity to help out when we can.

Blessed everything to you and your family Vidya, may your 2016 be blessed with love, joy, peace, good health and compassion in even greater abundance.
Susan Scott recently posted…Solstice, Christmas, New Year

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:35 am

Hugs, Susan! Thank you for the lovely wish, which I heartily reciprocate! Special thanks to you for your continued support. I appreciate it very much. By the way, as you know, I am still unable to open your blog as I get the “blocked” message. I thought somehow it must be because of my ISP and tried to visit your blog while traveling, from another city. Still got the same message, so not sure why. I want you to know I am very grateful for our connection! Looking forward to a wonderful 2016!
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Madras Affair by @SundariVenkat

Mercury December 27, 2015 at 7:47 pm

The sky has to be one of the most universally taken for granted things that exists. There’s nothing greater than staring at the night sky and pondering the universe, and being reminded of how truly small we are within it.
Mercury recently posted…14 Tips On How To Relax Quickly After A Stressful Day

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:41 am

Indeed! 🙂 I love sky watching at all times. What fascinates me is how it is in the same place every day, but ever changing! I am also excited that my friends across the world are all looking at the same sky – and that brings such a wonderful sense of connection! Thank you for your presence here today!
Vidya Sury recently posted…The curious case of Mr.Forgetful. Solved by Goldilocks

Amin Shah December 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm

A great article of life experiences, I love it and enjoy reading it. Your posts are always amazing!!!!
Amin Shah recently posted…Trekking to Broghil over Darkot and Zindikhram passes(4575m).

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:48 am

Thank you so much Amin! 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…Should you say yes to that sleepover?

My Inner Chick December 29, 2015 at 12:24 am

**Each one has an incredible story behind their face**

such a beautiful, relevant, significant post, Vidya.

Sometimes my prayer is just ‘THANK YOU.” And that’s enough.

Love you more than my fluffy cat ornament on my Christmas Tree. xxxx

Vidya Sury December 30, 2015 at 11:52 am

You are right, Kim! And it is so very easy to do that! Thank YOU for being in my life. Love you more than the jasmine garlands in my flowerlady’s basket!
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Madras Affair by @SundariVenkat


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