“Every living entity, especially persons in the human race, must feel grateful for the benedictions offered by the grace of the Supreme Lord.” – Srila Prabhupada (purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.19.36)
4. Gratitude journal
A one week experiment would reveal to you the incredible power of gratitude journal.
Write your inner most desires and don’t worry if it’s not socially acceptable. Just pour your heart out; what would you love to be or do, if time and money were no constraints? Once you have answered this question, forget it for one week.
For the next seven days, commit to a daily gratitude journal for ten minutes.
Each morning write expressions of gratitude to people, things, God etc for whatever blessings has come your way in life or in the last year, month, week or twenty four hours.
If it gets clichéd, try ‘fresh gratitude’ – recall the most moving experience in the last one or two days and express gratitude for the same. It could be something as silly as thanks for enjoying a lovely feast of your favourite pizzas or for receiving love from a friend. Don’t worry if you feel grateful for seemingly ordinary things in life. Remember it’s better to remember God or express gratitude for the ‘ordinary’ than to forget God in pursuit of the extraordinary. It’s the inner wealth of gratitude and appreciation that softens your heart, and not your lofty and abstract aspirations. Get real and thank with feeling.
After a week of daily journaling, go back to the question you answered on day zero – about your inner most desires. Answer the same question now candidly.
You’d see your desires have changed. Exactly what has changed is personal and varies for each individual. But you’ll surely get more clarity, and if writing is supplemented with regular study of wisdom literature, you rise to a reality beyond the mind.
5. The awareness journal – the ‘Now Writing’
This is the best way to break the jinx in writing. Sometimes you may go blank and feel uninspired to write. At such times, just pen down what the mind is saying, at this very moment. This is the most simple and effective way to puncture the mind’s rant, and also separate yourself from your mind.
For example your reluctance to write could be because you are feeling tired. Just write that down: “I don’t want to write now because my mind is telling me that I am tired.” You’d realize that by the time you complete the sentence, the mind has given you some more instructions. Just dutifully, without judging any of these proposals, put them down. In fact, you’d be amazed at the alacrity with which the mind jumps from one subject to another; you’ll not be able to keep pace with its ‘most important’ suggestions. But in no time you’ll realize that the mind’s never satiated, and more importantly, it’s not you!
This separating ourselves from our mind helps improve our self-awareness.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your own heart.” – William Wordsworth
To be continued….