A friend from India is spreading the joy and power of gratitude through workshops
This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to gratitude for the blessings in our lives. As luck would have it, last week I visited with a Vibha, a friend from India who is devoting her life to spreading gratitude as a way to encourage people to live healthier, happier lives.
In the last five years, Vibha has been putting on workshops called the “joy of gratitude” that are focused on the mental health, physical and spiritual benefits of having a regular gratitude practice. Brain research has shown that gratitude is positively correlated with greater social and emotional well being. She has met with Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis and other experts who are doing research on how gratitude impacts the brain. Gratitude is a core part of the teachings of the Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders.
In the busy, frenetic world that we now live in, Vibha sees gratitude as a way for individuals to stay in the present moment and view life from a perspective of abundance rather than scarcity. The beauty of this approach is that it is exquisitely simple and can be practiced by people of all ages and faiths.
Vibha identifies herself as a socially caring person on a joyful journey of self– empowerment and mindful living. She said she feels connected with her inner self, resulting in alignment in her thoughts and actions in the outer world. Vibha said gratitude has transformed her own life. She kept a journal in which she captured five things she was grateful for each day. She has been doing this so long that it has become a way of being for her. Rather than write in a journal, she finds herself constantly finding joy and gratitude in everyday moments of life. “It has been mainstreamed in my system,” Vibha told me.
One of the benefits of gratitude practice is that she has overcome worries about the future and concerns about the past and lives more in the present moment. She told me she gets a surge of gratitude regularly as she focuses her on being thankful for everything that happens throughout the day, even the difficulties.
Vibha, who grew up in Lucknow and now lives outside of New Delhi, has been taking road trips to spread joy of gratitude. She will be embark on a trip throughout India next year offering the “joyshop” and recruiting gratitude champions. At the moment, she’s facilitating gratitude workshops on the East Coast. The message and benefits of practicing gratitude are universal and she sees the potential for this to become a global movement.
I have known Vibha for nearly a decade and her commitment to making the world a better place is an inspiration. She’s also working on a book called “Gratitude: The missing piece and the missing peace.” For more information on her project, visit gcspace.org/gratitude/.
If anyone is interested in having Vibha visit our area and share her message of gratitude, contact me at [email protected] Perhaps we could find a way to bring her to North Central Washington.