In our darkest of days, it’s difficult to have a positive attitude and to be grateful when the world around us feels like it’s crumbling. I personally know this feeling all too well from when I lost my father to a sudden heart attack when I was just 11-years-old, and it took me years to find what would help me cope and bring more positivity and gratitude back into my life as an adult. Ironically, writing about it in my book Authentic Power has been a huge part of my healing journey, but healing required much more than that.
I had a recent conversation with former Nardi Media client Sameer Bhide, author of One Fine Day, and I wanted to share it with you because his story is incredibly inspiring. He has found hope and positivity even after suffering a rare catastrophic hemorrhagic stroke, which he calls his One Fine Day that completely changed his life.
Read his advice for bringing more positivity and gratitude into your life, especially as we continue through the ongoing pandemic. Here’s a recap of our conversation:
- Ashley: How can we find positivity, gratitude, and grace in these difficult times?
- Sameer: First, I want everyone to know that having a positive attitude, gratitude, and grace is a choice. There is no magic pill that can make you more compassionate, more positive, and more grateful, but there are several things that have helped me along my healing journey. Daily meditation keeps me more grounded. It’s not easy to do but the sooner you start doing it, the better you’ll feel. And all you need is 10-15 minutes. Yoga breathing exercises are another. I’ve always thought of yoga as having difficult poses, but there are also a lot of helpful breathing exercises in yoga that help you calm down and think more positively. Volunteering on a regular basis has also helped me immensely. Before my stroke, I only volunteered here and there, but now, I make it routine to volunteer with the hospital that has saved me and stroke support groups. Volunteering your time makes you feel grateful for the things you have and it helps you become more grateful and appreciative. I also listen to a lot of spiritual recordings, from Christian, Hindu, and Muslim recordings, and while they are technically religious, 90% of these recordings are actually spiritual, and they all preach the same messaging. I do this first thing in the morning so I can fill my day with positivity from the beginning. The last thing that has helped me is listening to a lot of music because it has universal healing powers.
- Ashley: I agree with all of those things! I want to talk about volunteering. If someone isn’t sure where to start with volunteering, where do you recommend they go?
- Sameer: Whatever you’re doing in your day-to-day life there’s always an opportunity to volunteer, whether it’s a neighbor or within your community. You don’t have to find some fancy volunteering group – it can fit into your day-to-day life, whether you read to a blind person, or help your neighbor with her computer. That’s still volunteering.
- Ashley: I love that! You also hit on something important earlier, which is you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual! Where do you find these spiritual recordings in case anyone is curious?
- Sameer: I listen to Joel Osteen, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra. Some of them like Joel are controversial, but their overall messages are uplifting. They have their own podcasts and YouTube Channels, and every morning without fail I listen to them. The routine I have is, I do my yoga breathing exercises, and then right after that, I listen to these spiritual recordings. I’ve actually also stopped watching TV in the morning and that has been a big change for me. I was having a lot of hallucinations when I had my stroke and that was a direct correlation to me watching too much TV. Instead, I listen to these recordings and it starts my day on a positive note.
- Ashley: Yes, TV is stressful! I used to also watch TV first in the morning, but now I do something similar. I meditate, journal, and move my body in any way I feel called to. I myself am spiritual, but I want to point out that if that’s not for you, there are so many different motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Mel Robbins.
- Sameer: I totally agree, and I wish I had this morning routine before I had my stroke and I wish they taught these lessons in school, but I’m happy I’ve incorporated them into my routine now.
- Ashley: Before my health crisis, I was a completely different person compared to who I am today. Who was the Sameer before and after your health crisis?
- Sameer: I’ve become much more compassionate since having my stroke. Before my stroke, I was a very competitive person, and I never thought that spiritual things were the right things to look for, or that meditation and yoga would fit into my life. I discounted all of that I was a very cut-throat person. But I was so thankful I survived over 5 years ago, and I started to realize that I’ve become much more compassionate, appreciative, and grateful. You also mentioned that you journal as part of your healing, I do the same. Before I only ever journaled my to-do list, but I had never expressed my feelings on paper and it helped me heal and give me strength.
- Ashley: Yes, I love journaling, but it’s also a spiritual experience for me. I feel like I’m tapping into the innate wisdom within me, and I call that my authentic power. I really get insights into my life when I just let my thoughts flow on the paper. Everything that’s in my brain comes out and I get so much clarity. Do you feel the same way?
- Sameer: Yes, definitely. It’s been really cathartic for me. I had the same experience writing my book. At first, I was overwhelmed by getting personal in my book, but I found the writing process really healing.
- Ashley: Any final parting thoughts you wanted to share?
- Sameer: Whatever your new normal is – the pandemic, a divorce, a layoff, etc. – don’t take it for granted. It will change. That’s the only constant you should always have in mind. Also, consistently remind yourself that it is what it is. That’s my new mantra and it will be easier to keep going.
- Ashley: I love that. My mantra is “tomorrow is not promised”. That’s something that has changed deep within me since my health crisis and I’m sure that has changed for you in some capacity, too.
- Sameer: Yes, and by the way, I started reading your book and it’s incredible!
- Ashley: Thank you, Sameer! Everyone, go read Sameer’s book, One Fine Day, because it’s incredible, too!
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