Words are only a medium to convey what the mind thinks. Don’t you think thoughts are more effective than words ? Thoughts are versatile. Words are limited. Thoughts can travel faster whereas words take time to get formed.
The mystic Rumi had said that the longing of the human soul comes from separation from its source. Our soul keeps on pining for novelty, freedom from the daily hassles of life and trying to change things from status quo to avoid sheer boredom.
Tell me something, are you happy in this modern world ?? These are lyrics from a song I have listening to in the replay mode quite often as it speaker directly to my soul.
The world which makes things so mundane, compulsive, you can get caught up in the cycle of emptiness and makes you feel that being shallow is totally fine. Shallow as in when you are afraid to dive deep into emotions, into yourself or others. You are ok with just passing by life and not really living it.
During the good times, one usually finds himself longing for change while in the bad times, one just feels the terrible things.
Have you ever noticed that its easy to say ‘be alive’ than actually ‘being’. Its easy to exist than live to be honest. Living requires an expansion of one’s consciousness which we are all aiming at.
I live everyday but not to the extent I wish to yet small steps are better than not living at all.
What if our existence itself is all about learning to live than rushing through life ? The purpose of life is to understand how to live than creating a destination that one ought to reach before dying.
Irony of human existence
Man’s inherent state of being is one involving anxiety and hopelessness. Yes, it’s possible to overcome this sense of isolation and not feel alienated by finding a purpose.
As we strive to become free, unique individuals we still feel the need to be in the company of others. Hence we seek out the comfort of conforming to a group to not feel left out.
They are a part of our existence. I can’t imagine a life without possessing a certain set of habits that defines my lifestyle. I usually associate habits with repetition and something that is inevitable to living.
There are normally two stages of habits:
Acquisition – This is the stage where learning takes place and usually one can see the learning curve as steep since there is immense scope to go one imbibing new things related to any skill or habit you want to cultivate in the future. You shape habits at this stage. Let us say you want to learn to the art of Origami, you have to start small in liking the craft of playing with paper and imagining objects out of them. You need to learn the sleight of hand.
Practice – Habits are harder to change at this level as they become static and ingrained deep within you. Change is hard to make as it is becomes a practice and you feel out of sync with your sense of self if a certain habit ceases to exist. You form an identity around habits and associate yourself with them. Whether they add value to your life or not is secondary. You know some habits are unproductive and not meaningful yet you stick to them as it takes lot of effort to change them.
Don’t let any habit become a part of your life unless it contributes to your growth and beware of those habits that seem irreplaceable like a sedentary lifestyle where exercise becomes a choice more than a necessity.
Habits aren’t just a default part of your life rather they serve as a tool to assist us in doing things in a more efficient way. How do you deal with changes in everyday life? Habits come into the picture in making you adjust to the requirements in a given scenario. Let us say, you start waking up at 6:30 every morning to cope up with the lethargy in you that sets in motion over the course of the day. You figure out that waking up early keeps you up on your toes and fills you with more enthusiasm. You have this ‘bring it on’ spirit that seems like a desirable outcome. The habit of being up early in the morning becomes regularity. Habits help you deal with changes taking place in the inner environment as well as external surroundings too. The inner discussion that you have with yourself helps you change an undesirable habit. The key to transformation in any aspect of your life lies in how you mould you habits and replace the ones which are of no value addition.
It’s like programming a computer with conscience when you talk about paying attention to what habits you cultivate. Enable transformation in your lifestyle and patterns of thinking while acquiring a new habit or while seeing as to why do something in the first place?
Bring meaning to every action that you do in life. Sometimes we get used to habits that are of no value just because they act as fillers in our routine. It is better not to do anything than do something just for the sake of it. Habits should make you feel alive not as if you’re just existing.
• Emotional habits- These are related to our feelings, emotions and the key is to see why a certain emotion takes hold of you and refuses to leave. Identify the source and work with it using a sense of humor.
• Mental habits – These are related to our ways of thinking, concepts of life, death and the way we see the world around us…
We are all creatures of habit so one ought to keep a watch on those that serve your growth and those that simply one follows for the heck of it as the habits.
I feel agitated many times while I’m sitting. Lots of thoughts just come at once gushing forth like a wild gale in my mind and I’m unable to handle them. Then I thought, it’s my need to react to them that make them invincible. What if I just ignore them like pollution and noise ? Let them be and they have a right to exist too. What’s making them so intimidating is my expectation of them not being there in the first place.
Why can’t I just be happy where I am ? What is scaring me about this world ? Is it the fact that we all have limited time on this earth ? Yet we choose to hurt ourselves over trivial situations. Hakuna Matata means no worries. An important and enlightening phrase I learnt from The Lion King as a kid. It works wonders when you become indifferent and rather stop worrying about every thought that comes to your head. You feel every thought that dwells in your head must be addressed as an issue and you have to sought after a viable solution.
What if you just ignore those thoughts as passersby or strangers ? What if you just witness those thoughts like you were watching a movie and not associating with any of them ?
Trick yourself into believing you think productive stuff even if you are letting your thoughts wander.
Always see those thoughts that seem bothersome to you as distractions that can be overlooked and somewhat like the honking sound of the traffic horns. You don’t carry forward the cacophony of the traffic with you to the destination where you’re headed !
I feel we need to guard our thoughts lest they get the better of us and start ruling over us.
If I look back at my life, I realised how thoughts played a strong role in regulating my emotional health.
The times I felt really in low spirits were when I thought about unpleasant things and they came repeatedly and went on a replay mode.
As long as we are aware of our thoughts and have the ability to be vigilant and tell them to buzz off when they get overwhelming, we are safe from their manacles.
Stop giving yourself so much self-importance and your thoughts would disappear in no time. Trying to disengage wit them isn’t as difficult as it appears, all you need is to separate them from your very essence and not allow them to guide your decisions and state of mind.
Thoughts are like clouds that graze the sky and yes the mind is never empty. It needs fodder. Whatever thoughts seem easy to process, get absorbed by it.
Become a non-judgemental witness to your thoughts and watch them take over you. This allows you to carry out your roles and actions with some detachment without getting derailed by those persistent thoughts.
Look hard into yourself as to why some thoughts keep coming over again and again inspite of serving no meaning to your daily life. Have you reconciled with them ? Are you resisting them so much ? Do a research on the content of your thoughts. You might find them trivial and the source as well. It will tell you why some thoughts drive you towards destruction and the rest on way to progress.
Why change is an incorrigible monster?
Spontaneity is the key to change.
Change is rapid yet slow and steady. We don’t anticipate few changes, they just happen. Be ready for drastic changes and try to be spontaneous in reacting to them. Practice spontaneity in the due course of unexpected events.
Rehearse a neutral or adaptable response to any unseen change. Usually our responses only escalate the already overwhelming situation and don’t add any value to solving the crisis.
Try rehearsing a response that can assuage any situation without deteriorating it or negating the possibilities for solutions. Don’t respond to change by showing disappointment rather see the hidden virtue in each situation. This is especially relevant change in our expectations with respect to what makes us happy in long run.
Imagine you always had this dream of studying abroad and you don’t have the necessary fund. You find it expensive. Maybe you can study within the same city you live in.
During the course of your study realize you would have wasted lots of money just for a change of environment when you can benefit by studying the same syllabus from your native country. Study content is more or less the same with slight differences in case studies. These days you can attend a Harvard University Lecture in Youtube itself.
Learning doesn’t always have to be beyond your comfort zone. Why waste money on tuition fee and accommodation fees ? We pay so much just for a change of lifestyle and an expectation of a foreign education producing a considerable change in our personality.
You know something funny, you can rely on change yet you find it unreliable simply because you weren’t ready for it.
William Ernest Henley in the poem ‘Invictus’ says
‘I thank whatever Gods maybe
For my unconquerable soul.”
Learn to surrender to change not fight with it
Find ways to grow which won’t have happened if not for the change
The reason we feel vulnerable to change is that we love being stagnant. Why don’t you find ways to grow which won’t have happened if not for the change?
The study of creative adjustments
It takes courage to take an honest look at one’s life, discover what’s no longer working and then change it. In spite of illness, in spite of even the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past, the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change.
Change needs courage. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. It takes consistent efforts to change yourself for the better and always remember enthusiasm helps. Not a fleeting enthusiasm but one that is the essence of immortality contained within you.
Growth doesn’t happen in a jiffy but is more of an erratic forward movement. You take two steps forward and one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.
Growth that comes with change is never easy as sometimes you might feel like you’re not making consistent progress. Nothing wrong in making mistakes or back-sliding. That’s normal, though; don’t beat yourself up about it.
How do I look at change?
You would stop taking things for granted in life as you know nothing lasts forever. Life likes to reinvent itself too. It hates routine. It finds the mundane boring and craves excitement. It sees you as a pawn in its game sometimes you have alternatives, sometimes you are left with no choice.
Shift in perspective
There is a paradigm shift in one’s outlook and you tend to live more for the moment than think about what is durable as you realize everything has an expiry date including yourself. The way you are as a person, the way you label things….Change makes you grow and evolve no matter how difficult it looks in the beginning.
Inner transformation takes place over a period of time as you start getting accustomed to change. There is this story about a man whose arm gets stuck beneath a huge boulder while he is on a solo hiking expedition. He ends up amputating his arm ultimately as he is unable to free himself otherwise. He waits for 127 hours to find a solution then decides that either he dies in suffocation without food or water with his arm falling prey underneath that boulder or he can survive if he is willing to let go of one arm. He actually realizes that it is not all that difficult to be without an arm, what matters is that he saved himself.
How do you adapt to change? It is by making a choice. If a man can flow with change in a near death experience like above, why can’t we accept seemingly non-threatening changes in our life ? If it weren’t for change, we would all be stagnant in our lives, there would be no room for self-improvement and development.
Focus on improving yourself than looking for faults around you. When you look for flaws in others, it’s because you can’t change what’s lacking in you.
Wouldn’t you rather try to understand yourself than aiming at correcting the other person ?
Imagination is produced by voluntary consciousness of the will (Atma). It is the expressive power of the Nous cum soul and a directed by the will to create things and bring into action.
It is rooted in reality still connects to the future ( shooting an arrow to the future while your grounded in the present).
It is connect to higher goals and aspirations and known as Antahkarana that acts like the bridge between concrete and abstract worlds. It’s not an abstract thought experiment but it is the expression of the higher self and provides an impetus to create. always interlinked with action.
What transforms thoughts to action ? Imagination.
Fantasy is born out of emotional images and desire mind and does not obey the WILL (Atma).
It is disconnected from reality. It does not serve your higher needs and can become a mental cancer if kept unchecked. Fantasy is imagining a tree without harvesting the resources and nourishing the soil.
Imagination makes you an artist as you are always creative and constructive. Steve Jobs created fonts for Mackintosh as he was a visionary not someone who used fantasy as a tool of escapism. Similarly Einstein imagined himself travelling at the speed of light before he came up with theory of relativity. Imagination is what helps you live in a productive way else life becomes mechanical and mundane and allows you to bring your essence to whatever you wish to leave as a legacy behind you.
A poet described enlightenment as seeing the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower and hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour. Now that is an outcome of imagination. As long as you are getting closer to the values you aspire, you are being imaginative.