I want to start by wishing everyone here a year filled with happiness, success, good health and gratitude.

I spent Dec 31st with a small group of close friends, like everyone out there who is not in the same city as their family. As we approached midnight, a couple of my friends started saying, “Good riddance to this year; it’s been so hard.” After this statement was repeated for the fourth time, I could not contain myself. I said, “Good riddance to this year; it’s been so hard? All we need to do is take one good look around, we are surrounded by people who love us, have good food on our table, a family that truly loves us, health and security that so many lack today.”

To make them realise the year was not all that bad I asked each of them to state five to ten things that they were grateful for in 2020. Reluctant at first, they started listing these things, and we saw a remarkable shift in energy. I felt like I was having a first-hand experience of the beauty of gratitude and spreading positivity. I saw how our thoughts and actions create an “energy vortex” that draws in the necessary ingredients for our life.

I completely agree with the sentiment that 2020 has been very difficult for most of us. Everyone had to part with something very dear to them, be it a job, mental health, a loved one to the pandemic, or all of the above. For one, I moved to New York City with the hopes and dreams and a massive checklist of things I wanted to explore and discover. Not even a month after I moved, the world was under lockdown; I lost my job, my self-confidence… (honestly, the list can go on) and I was on the verge of a terrible mental breakdown.

But as I write this post today, I don’t want to point out all the terrible things that happened to us this year, instead how this year helped us turn inward. I go to bed a little bit stronger and happier when I read a kindness post by one of you or read one of your articles here. I have realised that belief alone results in the self-empowering attitude that sets the stage for recovery.

Here are a few of the million things that I am grateful for this year:

  • I did lose my job, but that gave me the opportunity to add a new member to our family, my dog
  • I am grateful to have friends and family that genuinely stood by me through my difficult times
  • My anxiety was off the charts, and my love was not reciprocated, but that led me here (I couldn’t have asked for a better way of reciprocation)
  • I am grateful that I ended up getting employed again
  • I am grateful that everything is on the internet, now I have the opportunity to sit in New York and teach underprivileged children in India (for anyone who’s interested, these kids are amazing; the experience will change your life)
  • But most importantly, I am grateful for having found this community.

In this post, I guess I am just reiterating what all of us hear and practice every day when we meditate using our favourite app. But I just had to put it out there that I don’t know how I would have made it through 2020 had a friend not shown me this haven.

Let’s start this year being grateful for everything we have been blessed with.

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Shanaya Girdharlal

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