As a young mother in Sydney, Australia, KARISHMA DESAI was diagnosed with a serious illness and went through life-saving surgery. Here she shares how this changed her attitude toward life and her appreciation of the simple daily things she previously took for granted.

A few years ago, I had to unexpectedly undergo a serious surgery. My life changed completely during the recovery process. I realised how much I had taken everything for granted.

I valued the first time I was able to get up by myself from my bed. The first time in days being able to walk up to the bathroom without support was like a blessing. I started to be grateful for even the slightest reduction in pain. I started appreciating having my loved ones around me more now. Each day and each moment towards my recovery filled my heart and soul with immense gratitude.

It is a shame that I had to lose it all to feel this gratitude in what I always had. But it surely brought a renewed appreciation for all the mundane things, events and persons in my life now.

There is something magical about cultivating gratitude in our lives. It connected me with the present moment as each moment became a blessing for me. I stopped complaining about little things and in really low times I reminded myself of this gift of life I had. I honestly found the joy back in the littlest of things. The quality of my life is so much more refined just by cultivating this attitude.

I find myself in this joyful, content, positive and peaceful space more than ever.

Gratitude is more than indebtedness. When you feel indebted there is a desperation to return the favour. But in gratitude you know that no matter how much you try, you cannot even out the deal. So, we do not maintain the account. In gratitude you feel positivity, contentment, peace and thankfulness and that transforms everything. With the attitude of gratitude even the smallest things in life give you joy.

And what fascinates me about this development of gratitude is that even though it starts out by being thankful to all that you have in life, it eventually leads one to being grateful to the One who gave you all.

It is therefore not a wonder for me to often read about research which concludes that people with the attitude of gratitude are happier beings in general.

Below are some of the things that helped me cultivate the attitude of gratitude:

prayerBedtime conversation with yourself, also known as prayer,
expressing your heartfelt gratitude to the Source of your life.

diaryMaintain a diary or gratitude journal and fill it up
with all the positive things in your life that you are grateful for.

hugGive a hug to your dear ones or simply tell them
how lucky you are to have them in your life.

serviceOffer your service to the ones who need it
without any expectation in return.

meditationMeditation and other such calming practices help
in connecting us deeply with the present moment
and deepen our understanding of gratitude.

So, cultivate gratitude and see how your life unfolds.

Illustrations by ARATI SHEDDE

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