Positivity in Your Personal Catalyst

Dancing Elephants Book Project Positivity (Group2)

Anjali Joshi
Dancing Elephants Press
5 min readMar 1, 2022


A black cat with its paw extending to touch a human’s index finger
Photo by Humberto Arellano on Unsplash

Ever had a life moment where you looked at someone or something and went, “Oh, I don’t know what I’d do if it weren’t for you”? That right there is something that clearly makes you happy. I can’t talk about how easy it is to attain positivity or how to be positive simply because I believe that different people have different things that work for them. So here’s the story of a little something that made a massive difference in my life.

My dad is quite the old-fashioned man. He doesn’t believe in expressing affection in simple everyday gestures. He rarely uses affectionate nicknames with his loved ones. At the dinner table, he never passes around plates and bowls of food — he’d rather we help ourselves because we’re all old enough to know what we want and get them on our own. I believe these habits made him stiff and rigid inside.

As social beings, these little gestures of affection matter greatly to us. We love it when a loved one pampers us every now and then. There is something very fulfilling about being affectionate to one another. Thus, as social beings, I believe we even need to express affection to help us stay connected to everyone around us. My father’s closed nature made him appear distant, cold and inexpressive though he never meant any of those things. When you don’t exude warmth, the people around you eventually stop being warm around you too. Thus, he remained distant and aloof.

Dad looking lonely and dejected was the norm for me, and I simply didn’t know how to reach out to him or if he needed reaching out. He doesn’t even realise his mental health is not in the best place and that he ought to do something about it. So he remains sad, existing in his silent monotony, waiting for something engaging to divert his attention. But things changed when a cat walked into our house one fine day.

We politely asked her to leave, but she stayed put. She demanded shelter and promised warmth in return. My parents finally adopted her, and when she affectionately rubbed against Dad, out of the blue, he lovingly christened her “Chakki”. The name stayed, and over the next few months, Chakki and he became companions.

Chakki interrupting work with her love.

She loved being stuck to Dad, and he was constantly doing things to keep her happy. For the first time, my father looked like he was making efforts to express warmth and affection to another being. The man who was committed to maintaining a resting poker face easily broke into laughter and smiled more often when Chakki was around.

It was a delightful radiance and energy. I don’t think he sees how endearing it is to watch him that way. I don’t think he even notices that he needed this emotional release as a human being. We used to wait hours, even days, for him to get over bad mood swings on his own, and now, Chakki easily lights up any dark day.

Watching their relationship, I realised that positivity isn’t something you force upon yourself. As someone who deals with depressive episodes occasionally, toxic positivity often makes appearances through acquaintances and family. It was hurtful and counterproductive. You really cannot ask yourself to just “be happy” after a breath of fresh air when it’s all black and white on the inside. At times, that much-needed positivity comes from unexpected places, people, things, or even that furry friend you never thought you needed.

There could be an insignificant yet crucial catalyst lying around somewhere out there, waiting for you to discover it. However, it is ultimately up to you to look for it and find the positive energy within. It might sound like a lot of work, but it might just be worth the effort.

For Dad, positivity came as Chakki and her loud meows, demanding scratches and attention. For me, positivity came when my father’s disposition lightened up. Suddenly home felt warm most days with the sound of him coddling Chakki, spoiling her with treats. She is much more than an emotional support animal. She reached out in a language and form that we never knew, keeping him company in his moments of quiet loneliness.

Chakki modelling her new cat-wear.

Dad holds on to that energy our cat emanates. It probably feels warm and feeds his brain happy juices. Similarly, the best way to ensure a positive aura around you could be to hold on to that something that comforts you and makes you want to get out of bed. Be it a house plant, an animal that needs feeding, or a journal that needs filling.

Chakki walked into our lives without us actively looking out for her. But that little change proved to be worth a lot. Path-breaking lifestyle changes work for some. Spending on life coaches and self-help books may work, too. However, there is something innately passionate about finding your catalyst, and giving your time and mind to it. Before you know it, you’ll start finding a little peace within yourself. Chakki purrs satisfactorily and became our unexpected personal catalyst. Have you found yours?

This is my first entry for the Dancing Elephants Press Book Project. A huge amount of thanks goes to Lady Dr. Gabriella Korosi, Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles and Sharing Randomly without whom this venture would have been impossible.

Do check out what our wonderful co-author Libby Shively McAvoy has been up to with the prompt in her story Why Inner Engineering is the Key to Positive Results in Life and Love.



Anjali Joshi
Dancing Elephants Press

Indian. Lazy English major and part-time book hoarder |Currently grappling with my student and writer alter-egos.