Megha's Story - Days of Gratitude

Here is an enriching and inspiring story of gratitude by Megha to look at life from different perspectives.

Illustration of two colourful trees behind bushes

Megha: I got to know about the Buddhist practice when I was doing my final year and it was 2011 and I came back and started practicing it. So that also talks about a lot of Gratitude. But, to have that in every moment is not easy. So, I came back and started my label. I'm still working, right now, in my studio.

There were a lot of changes that happened at work. I was learning everything on my own. And, in that part of my life, there were so many changes happening. It's been 10 years, and in these 10 years, I've seen very high highs and very low lows.

Life was really moving in a very, very big or, you know, at a roller coaster speed. And I think there was not like a touchpoint, and at that point when too much is happening, you don't know where do you want to ground yourself?

You know, there's no grounding point, but you want to understand what life is throwing at you. If it's good, it's good. If it's not good, that's the time you start questioning as to what is going wrong and what can I do more?

So I had been practicing and the practice went down. And, of course, when that goes down, the gratitude feeling also goes down, you know, everything starts to look negative. And, I think I got back to the practices 2018 towards, but it was just like a year and a half.

I think that is how I think I saw the app in January 2019. I thought this is what I want to do every single day, at least make an effort to write down what I'm good at, what I'm grateful for, even for the things which are not working. Like even I know it's not okay, especially when things are not okay. So I decided that. And, by the end of 2019, I started realizing that my year was going really well.

I felt amazing, but I didn't think of it. Now when I look at it, I understand that one small habit, once we pick up, we don't know what is changing, you know.  That one small habit of appreciating even what is not going right.

So that happened in the post-2020 period. All of it was a struggle. But I think I sailed through because of this thing which was slowly getting built. I wasn't very regular, it wasn't so easy, but by the year 2020, I think I kind of got hooked onto it, especially because of those gratitude challenges.

And since then I was doing it consistently, in fact, until the fourth of August this year, I had a journal entry for each and every day, a total of 230 days.

And,  it's somehow become a habit. Even if I'm not going to the app and not writing it, the more important thing is at some point, even when I'm not okay, I just want to go back and say thank you to whatever's happening.

So I think that's a big change. Once you realize that, you can say thank you to things that are not happening instead of complaining about them. That's a huge change that happens at the deeper level. And that's exactly what you want. Nott, everything's going to be the way we want it to be.

And, I've been reading a lot of gratitude stories and they're really powerful. Those are really powerful ones where I see that you change. That happens, you know, once we are grateful for something that really changes.

I've started applying that for my work, like even small things that I see, even if I'm signing something or maybe if I'm just putting a paper in a place and I'm being thankful that I'm being able to do that much work also, you know, I have, I'm getting that much from that. I'm being able to do that.

And it's so amazing that it's such a simple thing, but hardly people practice it, hardly people understand, hardly people know what this is. I've also shared this with so many friends of mine because we keep talking and they said we want to get into journaling.

I think I've been very lucky to get that and have been able to do it also. A lot of times it's there, but to be able to open the app and write it down, it's not so easy to write down your thoughts. Recently, I also started writing on my own before I go to sleep because the older habits of writing are way more powerful for all of us. We tend to write more.

So this app is a place where I just put in everything. And even if I don't have any thoughts, I'll just look at the pictures on my vision board four, five, whatever they are or probably, affirmations, they work so well. Even when you're not grateful, you can come back on track and then be grateful for things that I'm okay with right now. So that has been the journey.

There's been so much more. And I think if I would have spoken in 2019, I would have been talking more about the problems. I would've completely been going about what is not going right in my life. And now after two years, I can't even think of what is not right. This is so amazing that I've been able to do that. That is what I want to talk about. Whatever didn't happen, didn't happen. Whatever is not right, is not right.

So, that's the change in how we become. Majority of our life doesn't revolve around what's not happening. Small things give us happiness In fact, what I've started doing is, my daughter's five years old right now, so before she goes to sleep I always tell her to pick up two things and say, thank you for those two things before she goes to bed.

So I'm trying to get that habit into her. She's can't read and write fully on her own right now, but at least she can say it so that she has this habit of being grateful by the end of the day, for two things, two good things that she'd been able to see throughout the day. Especially from the cues which I keep getting from the app, I've been able to ask the same question from her and tell her that this is what you can be grateful for.

Aarushi: Yeah, that's quite an incredible journey that you've had.
What is the most interesting thing to me about your story is that you express gratitude for the things that are not going right. So, for people who are trying to do gratitude journaling, there come times when they're not doing so well and fail to write. They just didn't have the motivation to do that. So what would you say about this? Even during the bad times, how do you find gratitude in your heart?

Megha: So, I think that's the only way. I am very spiritual as a person. That's how I think I picked up Buddhism also and I understand that this practice is all about cause and effect. So until and unless you're doing something and not getting an effect.

And I believe that anything which is happening in our life is to teach something or maybe make us understand, maybe because stronger, maybe evolve us into a different person. So, whatever is happening has a reason to it.

So I have to be grateful for it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe 10 years down the line, but at least be grateful for that at the moment. For example, I said 2020 was so difficult and I'm a business owner, I'm the only person who's taking care of it.

So for me, it was so difficult last year, to even come to work because, you know, even with the COVID times, to even take the Uber, sometimes I used to think I'm the only person going to work. I would question myself what's the meaning, it's not working out and it's not happening.

It was such a huge struggle. But even if I used to come to work, I remember by the time I was leaving, I was just grateful that I was able to come to work. So I would leave with this thought that thank God, thank you so much that at least I have work that I can come to, at least I've been able to come to it and I didn't close it.

At least I had the courage to keep it going no matter what is happening and finding that hope. So I just used to be grateful for that. I remember being grateful for just having a place, like the smallest of things, you know, even the smallest of things I used to be grateful for.

And now, I've overcome that. And, it's amazing how beautifully it has changed. Some memories remain, you know, these are one of the most powerful memories, the most difficult times.

I'm really grateful, even if it is going to be ending or I don't know what's going to happen, but if I've been able to do it for these many years, I'm grateful for that. It's very powerful. Once you experience the power of gratitude, we know what we are doing.

Aarushi: Right. Absolutely. So I think people would really like to know what you do every day to sustain this. Now I see that it's become your behavior, but when it was not, what did you do to come to this point and to be regular?

Megha: Yeah. So, I open the app to be very honest, which became a stick to guide me when I'm not able to walk. I made it my invisible friend that I would go and talk to and share my thing without picking.

It's such an amazing space to be where you can just write your heart out, it's there. And sometimes it's asking questions also, so it's almost like a person. I think it was made with the right intention and it didn't come across as a money-making scheme like there's a subscription coming.

So it wasn't that, it wasn't any of that. It was very personal. It started as a personal journey. And I could see that it's just built up on its own. So, you know, you could relate to it, be more comfortable and you also wanted to go through that journey. And I think it just happened like that. So, this is easier than to actually go to another person and speak that and get different views.

Aarushi: I'm sure that you've told us this a lot of times, but I still want you to really talk about what you think is the importance of gratitude in life. Not just your life, but just generally all of life.

Megha: Yeah. So, you know, each person and everything, not just a person, everything, if you even look at an object. Everything is connected with each other and we never know what is supporting us.

If you look at it, you might feel like you're a bridge and you don't need support, but you don't know which small stone is holding the entire bridge. So once that concept becomes very clear that everything that is touching our life, you must be grateful for because we don't know what's really holding it.

So, once we have that kind of an approach towards life to understand that we are not all-encompassing. We are not the end of the world or the beginning and not the center. Everything which is coming our way is helping us.

So I think gratitude comes from there. I think because of this two and a half year of being on this journey of gratitude, this is my understanding standing of how things are happening. I can't feel like it's not something that is not touching my life.

So everything which is there touching my life, I must at least be able to be grateful for it from my heart. That's all I can do, if not more. So that is a small thing which you can give.

I remember I don't know from where it came, I started writing letters to all the people who are related to my work from the majority to like even the smallest person, I've written.

I wrote thank you to each person. And I sent it out to them because it just came to me. This was a long time ago, I think 2018 or something. And, I actually saw the energy shift for me at my work. So, that was something I had done once.

When you keep doing certain things and you understand that this is what's happening, then you, then that really becomes a lens and your philosophy in life, and in your entire being, something resonates.

Aarushi: So from the people that you wrote these letters to, what was the response that you got?

Megha: It's amazing. Some people were like, we didn't think that you knew us because I sent it out to everyone that I thought was touching our work, indirectly also. From a professional approach, it became a very personal approach.

It became more friendly than just a professional call and just finishing that. So it became like a more friendly approach. So now whenever I'm sending out something to my customer, I try and send out a thank you note for choosing to pick a product that has this kind of philosophy or this kind of value, to make them understand what I am building and for giving their time. And so that is coming out of habits. I think this is becoming a habit right now.

Aarushi: Including more people into your gratitude practice or this grateful life, how has this impacted this whole journey for you?

Megha: I cannot see it as a single job. I cannot be a single person. With the more people that I'm grateful for, I think my entire life force increase. If we think we have a universe, and my universe is this small, with gratitude, it gets bigger. So I think with the more people we include, it gets bigger and grander.

Aarushi: So in a nutshell, how would you describe this two-and-a-half-year phase from the starting point of this point? How have you evolved and how does it feel to have this behavior in you where you find gratitude in everything, even if it's something bad or if it's the tiniest thing, how do you feel now?

Megha: I think people have been telling me that you've changed so much. They didn't think I could handle things and now they think that I can handle anything. So, you know, that shift is huge.

Not even just people observing, I can handle it, give me anything and I think I'll be okay. And it only changes at a very deeper level, when you are okay with things and what you're dealing with. Once we know ourselves, I think we'll be able to deal with anything. So I think that has helped me to understand myself better.

Aarushi: Why do you say that once you understand yourself you'll be better able to handle things? How does that happen for you?

Megha: So, we come from a space of either reacting to things or accept things. So for everything, we don't know what going to come out of us. So every situation's going to become like a surprise because we don't know what we're going to react to, or maybe accept, not accept, but when we know that we're centered, we're going to take our time to understand things.

And we become that person who might always be looking at the positive side or analyze it. So, it's a huge change, right? It's like teaching a kid how to read and then the books don't look alien to them and they can read and understand what's written.

It's like going on the streets and not be able to read the signs, you'll be lost, but if you know how to read the signs or you've learned the language, then it's easy for you to navigate through it. So it's just that, you know, I just feel it's just that you've learned the language. So, life comes a little easier.

Aarushi: That was quite insightful, I'm going to think about that. So would you like to say something at the end to complete your story before departing, any parting words to the people who are going to listen to this?

Megha: Oh, I always believe follow your heart. Trust it, trust it. This is how I reached this place. I mean, I stumbled upon the app and that's it.

If you'd like to share your story too, send an email to stories@gratefulness.me, and we'll schedule a call.

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