3116d8436050d994fd201f219c9a9041 Today I welcome Bindu Manoj to share a real secret with you. Bindu and I connected via a Facebook group and found that we had a lot in common besides being bloggers. We’ve had some great chats on books, food, relationships and religion!

Do read Bindu’s blog on life and travel – Wanderlust At Home and her book review blog – Reminiscing the Reads. When she’s is not busy at her corporate job, spending time with her family or reading, Bindu is conjuring up some great food and uploading pictures of it to The Weekend Kitchen on Facebook.

Thank you, for sharing your very personal experience of gratitude here, Bindu.

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The Real Secret is part of the Living Gratitude Series

A few years ago, I read Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book ‘The Secret’ while going through a really rough patch in life. It was a time when even if someone held out a tiny straw, I would have clutched on to it, hoping that it would pull me out of the abyss that I was falling into. Most of what was written in the book seemed to be too materialistic, but there was a chapter on ‘The Powerful Process of Gratitude’ that somehow stayed back. As with nature, life’s seasons changed and I was back in the rut and rote that normal life is for most of us.

The message of gratitude was stored somewhere in the deep recesses of consciousness and would come up to the fore whenever I was upset or wanted something. And it seemed to work, almost always. The feeling of guilt persisted though, that I was being selfish and thankful for the wrong reasons and the nagging question persisted, “Am I really being grateful for what I have or am I using gratitude for getting what I want?”

Life went on, and then one day I just decided to take it up as a project and announce it to the world. Doing something on your own without letting anyone know is pretty easy. You can give it up any time you want, no one would know. But once, you make a public announcement, your ego nags you to see it through. For the first few days, it was more of a ritual that I had to attend to. The first reactions came from a few close friends, “You are a lot thankful these days.” And I answered, “Yes, I am trying to focus on what is good in my life, for a change.” Then a few of them started thanking me for forcing them to be aware of the blessings in their life.

The real change though, happened within. All of us are human beings with the associated failings and weaknesses, not to forget the egos. So when I was saying out aloud that I am thankful for every little thing in my life, the ego refuses to let me act otherwise. The awareness started creeping in. I have so many blessings, more importantly, most of what I had wished and prayed for years back, is there in my life now. So, why waste time thinking about what is to be, rather focus on the real blessings that I have now.

The attitude to people in my life, specially my most loved ones, was the next focus. One of the quotes that I found in my daily search really caught my attention, “What you take for granted the most are the ones that you should be really thankful for.” You are thrilled when you meet your old friends, you relive the funny moments that you spend with your workmates, but when it comes to the ones that you live with, how many of us take the effort for accepting them for what they are? We go along through life as if they are a given, constant part of your life, that you don’t even notice them. Rather, the only time you acknowledge their presence is when something goes wrong or they act contrary to our expectations.

As I started being truly aware of my loved ones and of the other aspects in my life, a sense of acceptance started enveloping me. That all is as it should be, in fact, that nothing could have been better. This, I feel is when I started feeling honestly happy about who and where I am. There was a shift in my reactions to the trivial irritants in daily life. After all, you have to be what you profess to be to the whole world. Jokes apart, the change is subtle, but sure.

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Sharing my path in life through gratitude, I would love to invite you on a similar journey. Be assured, you will most definitely not have everything you had longed for till then. The world around you will still be the same, the people and how they behave, more so. What you will have though is a fresh awareness of the simple and large blessings in your life, a change in your attitude to it and a feeling of acceptance that you are at the right place at the right time. You come alive with a sense of contentment that you had never before, a feeling of joy starts permeating your whole being, that spreads to those around you. Your soul and your very being becomes alert to the smell of the flowers around you, the rustle of breeze on the leaves, the shine of the sun on the dewdrops, the wonder in your child’s eyes as she reads her favorite book and in the genuine care that you can sense in the touch of your loved one. That, I feel is the real secret and the real magic.

Bindu

PS from Corinne – Do remember to send your gratitude stories here together with your links to help me create a collaborative post on the 18th.