Did you know why I picked ‘abundance’ as my theme for February’s gratitude post? Last night, I started writing down my listΒ  of things to be grateful for this past month and what do you know?Β  I couldn’t stop!

When January ended, I wrote a gratitude post listing how my month was, in relation to my vision board. Just the act of writing the post filled me with such joy that I wondered if I would have anything similar to that in February. Being a shorter month, I assumed there would be lesser to be thankful for. Oh how wrong I was! If anything, February has given me far more than I ever anticipated.

I started writing it all down and I have 17 things to be grateful for. 17! I figured I should stop there before it turns into some sort of an epic like the Ulysses or the Mahabharata!

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Gratitude, abundance, journal, coffee cup

Family

February marks 17 years since I met V. I’ve written a couple of times about what this relationship means to me and I am always, always grateful that we have made this work for over a decade and a half. If it weren’t for him, I’d still be this screaming banshee and life at home would be a miserable, stressful zone!

Gy has been in a theatre hobby group at school for the past year. It’s something she valiantly resisted joining at first but with a bit of coaxing, decided to give it a go. Earlier this month, she performed a role play of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at school, in the lead role as Dorothy and was appreciated for her dialogue delivery and expression! Then later, her whole team performed a street play on stage where they absolutely knocked the audience for a six. My heart is filled to bursting today.

Health/Food

Still not managing a regular routine on this front, although it was slightly better than January. However, there is one thing I have observed. My approach to exercise should be for health, not weight loss. It’s been such an eye opener.

Being mindful about what I eat and how many steps I get in daily on my FitBit (which has stopped syncing again!) have both helped in changing my view of health. More to come in the months to follow. Extremely grateful for the forces that help this happen.

Speaking of food, we discovered a couple of new places to eat out, as a family, in Bangalore and I loved everything about them! The food, the ambience, the service- all top notch. So gratifying to see the commitment people pour into their passion.

And still speaking of food, I learnt something very interesting. Stay with me while I explore this. Cooking isn’t my passion. As in, it’s not the first thing I turn to when I am worried or stressed. I usually clean and like a fanatic! But this month, I began to view food with interest. I’ve always loved working with recipes because the precision calms my brain. I also love planning so I learnt to plan my weekly menus. This shifted my approach to food! Did I say I was grateful?

Writing

Although I cut back on daily writing on Medium, I never stopped writing this month. I was either writing in my diary or on the notes app on my phone daily. At some level, I wanted to go back to writing for the joy it brought me and that happened beautifully this month.

The good news? I got ideas a-plenty for blog posts, a novel, newsletter content and even social media posts. Who knew that writing would trigger other aspects of creativity too?

*Psst: My newsletter goes out on the first of each month. Sign up here: Shailaja’s Newsletter. You will LOVE it. (At least I think you will).

Reading

I finished one book this month, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine’ and absolutely LOVED it! This book is a debut by the author and you wouldn’t know it if you read it. Each word is so beautifully crafted and so eloquently expressed! I was in love! (Kindle version here)

The other book, which I began in January and continue to read daily, is ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Kindle version here)

Writers, creative people, artists: GO BUY THIS BOOK! NOW!

All that feeling about being blocked, unable to write, wondering if the creative life is for you? You NEED this book to break the shackles on your mind. I have highlighted so many parts of the text that my Kindle may start frowning at me soon. Nice Kindle, good Kindle, don’t do that, okay?

Friendship

February was fantastic on the friend front. I managed to meet 4 people, one each week and caught up with a few over long, beautiful phone calls too.

Each meeting reinforced in my heart, why I am friends with these folks. They are each, in their own way, kind, understanding, compassionate and supportive. I grew up with very few, close friends and today, when I look around me, I am blessed to know so many friends, thanks to my work online.

If this isn’t a sign of goodness and humanity, I don’t know what is.

Personal Growth

A crucial habit I began this month, was leaving my phone outside my room at night. It gets charged in the study while I sleep without disturbance. Therefore, it’s not the first thing I see in the morning or the last thing I see before bed. For me, this was a big step and I am so happy to have made this happen!

If I learnt one important thing from February, it was my ability to grow up and let go. I was telling a friend that I have stopped taking offence at what people say. She snorted in disbelief. And I don’t blame her, because it’s hard. It’s very, very, very hard.

But it happened.

What I may perceive as a slight/curt reaction from a person only shows me that fraction of a second of their day. I have no idea what triggered it. I have no clue what battles they are fighting. How can I then, take offence at what may have been a mis-directed bit of anger?

A lot of reading and speaking with my dad on this topic has helped me grow on a personal level. The one thing I have the power to give is love. Love, compassion and understanding. Why should I deny anyone that, even the ones who disagree with me?

Life is short. It’s important to focus on the things that matter. Don’t you agree?

Blogging and Social Media

 

I’ve left the best for last, because, honestly, I love my blog and what it’s been doing for me these last few months.

I took a deep breath and plunged into the idea of doing Live videos to answer blogging-related questions and oh my goodness, people loved it! The success of that pushed me to start my own YouTube Channel to post blogging tips and right now I am wondering if I am crazy or stupid, or both.

You can subscribe to my videos here, if you want: Shailaja V on YouTubeΒ 

Tailwind’s Plus plan, which I migrated to at the end of January, has done wonders for my blog’s traffic as well as my productivity, since it frees up my time to focus on other things. Oh and I landed my first-ever referral through the site just yesterday! yay!

I also broke through a huge mental block and created my first-ever PDF for my e-mail subscribers in February and now I am all set to work on more in the coming months!

A couple of people have reached out to discuss blog/social media related opportunities and I am so excited at what’s in store!

A very dear friend told me something about how my strengths appear to lie in the way I connect with people and that, for me, was probably the best gift from February.


So now, it’s your turn. How was your February? Did you find good things to be grateful for? I certainly hope so. Let me know.

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle

*Featured and pin images courtesy: Shutterstock

Note: This post contains affiliate links to the Amazon Affiliate programme. What that means is if you buy an item on the site through this link, I will get a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. I recommend all items only after reviewing/ using them myself.Β  If you do buy through this link, I thank you for your support.
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17 thoughts on “Gratitude for February: A month of abundance

  1. Glad to hear your February was so full of good things. Great work on the blogging and writing front as well as the personal growth. Happy 17 years! πŸ™‚ And that’s amazing that Gy has been doing drama.

    Hope March is just as fab! πŸ™‚

  2. Every time I read about all the things you do for the blog, apart from your full time job and being a great mother to Gy, I am in awe. You are inspiring!

    Workouts – for me it’s for health too and the more you do, the more addicted you become. So keep at it. It’s important and you will reap the benefits.
    Congrats on Gy’s performance. We should meet soon. Been long!
    Big one with V! 17 years is amazing. πŸ™‚ Wishing you both love and togetherness.
    Have a lovely new March ahead!
    Parul Thakur recently penned this post Gratitude List – February 2018My Profile

  3. This is such a happy, satisfying post. You’re turning more zen by each day and I love the way you embrace change to make your life happier, your relationship with food and cooking being case in point.
    Congratulations on Gy. It’s just wonderful when the children make us proud.
    Loved your videos. And I love how comfortable you are – the warmth of your personality comes through so clearly, not to say how helpful your videos are for tech challenged people like me.
    Obsessivemom recently penned this post Happily, gratefully busy this FebruaryMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Tulika. It’s been a good month. Or maybe I’ve learnt to look at the good in life. Either way, I’m glad. Thanks for all your love. It means a lot.

  4. ‘ABUNDANCE’, you call it. Such a beautiful soul you are, Shy.

    I’m so glad that you’re placing health in your priorities. I love the personality so meticulous & organized that you are. That makes you my inspiration.

    As you discussed health, I could not help recommending regular Yoga apart from the walks & mindful eating. Yoga has always helped me approach a healthier & positive living. It comes across as stagnant or easy but, it is the most underrated way of working out. You could start with simple Pranayama. I’m sure you’ll love it!

    And OH! Sleeping without the phone at your side table at night seems a challenge to everybody from us. The last time you mentioned how you cut Facebook inessentials from your life, that was a huge ‘go-ahead’ pat for me. I realized that if an established blogger can switch the social media off conveniently, why can’t I? I wasn’t even blogging then. THIS will be another inspiration to me. I’m getting started from today.

    Thank you!

  5. Wow, Shy. Such a wonderfully read that was. Definitely, there were some days where I planned on a page and wrote one extra and smiled at how grateful to have these moments.

    I was part of the dramatics(the modern theatre) team at school. I remembered those good times as I read Gy’s role in plays. I am sure she is having a wonderful time.

    I am glad the YouTube videos will help me a great deal as I get less time in the mornings to spend on social media. Subscribed!

    Have a great March ahead. 😘

  6. February was a good month! I’m down to my last few months on a cancer med and I took a trip to California. Sounds like a good one for you too! Exercise is all about health for me. I’m heading to the gym in an hour!

  7. May this abundance never give up on you Shy- so very happy to hear about change in your approach towards so many things. These mind shifts are surely the signs of maturity and will go a long way in ensuring a peaceful and happy life.
    Wish you a ever prosperous and abundant March ahead!!! Much love

  8. What a positive post. I bought Eleanor Oliphant the other day – can’t wait to get started. And I’ll look out for Big Magic.
    I love all the positive things you are doing on blogging.

  9. Abundance is a great attitude, besides being a word that makes you feel full. We learn to recognize all the good stuff only when we open ourselves to doing so–that was one of the first loving lessons my Mom fed me. It is great to see your list of 17, Shailaja. May you always be blessed, doing all the things that make you happy.

    Special hug to Gy. Drama is an excellent way to personal growth–it builds an individual and am sure she will benefit, while enjoying the process.

    Great reading choices! Nothing like a good book, eh?

    Congratulations on the blogging/writing/youtubing–for the kind of work you put in, you deserve every accolade.

    Of course, time spent with friends is the best.

    Wishing you all sorts of happiness with excellent health!

    Thank you for participating in the Gratitude Circle.
    Vidya Sury recently penned this post The Cookie Thief #WednesdayWisdomMy Profile

  10. So happy to read this, Shailaja. I have always admired how organized and clear you are in your thinking and so very hard working and talented as well. I wish you success with all your endeavours. I am sure you will rock them.

    Please continue to be regular with your workout. Nothing less than 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.

    I am adding Big Magic to my TBR list after your recommendation. I hope that with all the writing that you are doing, we will get to see that memoir soon. πŸ™‚ Nothing like meeting friends! I make the effort to speak/meet more people these days too.

    Yay on that referral. And isn’t it fun creating your PDF. I created one too last month. And it got a pretty good reception too. πŸ™‚

    Hope March is as wonderful as February was for you.

  11. SO so so happy for you, Shy! See…(am I saying it again?) my prayers for you are coming true! The one-award-per-month thing I wished for you….these things that you are grateful for are your awards, dear!
    God bless you!

    Reading the book, ‘Big Magic’ and learning so much from it! Thank you so much! <3

  12. I’m so glad you came from your planet to mine to meet me, Shy. This clearly was one of the highlights of the month for me.

    Thank you for another wonderful book recommendation. I’ll be picking it up soon.

    You started the YouTube channel? Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Subscribing right away!
    Soumya recently penned this post Action Replay + Gratitude List: February 2018My Profile

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