Change….Life’s Journey“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates The world is going through a massive transition right now – in the years ahead, it will be a very different world from that which we experience at the moment. The challenges we face today such as global warming, financial crisis, pollution, poverty, job uncertainty and social injustice are all interconnected and global. Facing such challenges we could feel overwhelmed and hopeless. However, the possibilities ahead of us are much greater than the challenges we face. There is a huge shift of consciousness and desire around the world which is prompting us to reflect on our lives and seek better ways of living. We want to live better, healthier and more fulfilling, balanced lives and be part of the solution to some of the bigger challenges we face today. Throughout history humanity has resisted change. Change is hard and that’s why many of us kind of resist change -but sometimes we realise that we can’t remain in our comfort zones anymore, unless we choose to be left behind. The events in my life since childhood had not been “colourful” or exciting. The death of my parents even before I became a teenager left me with tons of unanswered questions. I loved my parents and I know they loved me – especially my mother, and when she was taken away from me, I felt a big void. When I was 11 years old, my dad who was a Physician from India promised me that if I did well in my primary school leaving examination, he would enroll me into an Indian Classical Dance Institute which I loved so much and had earnestly looked forward to it. However, before I could complete that year, he passed away. Again, another setback for me. Although I had my siblings especially my elder sister, to care for me, it was not the same. Slowly we disintergrated as each one chose to seek their own path. I had lost the meaning of life completely, and had many unanswered questions as to why it happened to me? As I was growing up I spent a lot of my life dwelling on events from the past that seemed unfair and choices I made that caused me to feel regret. I grew up feeling the pains and misery of being an orphan. Loneliness crept in as I chose to be by myself. I became an introvert and developed inferiority complex, was hypersensitive and got hurt very easily. My dad’s words though constantly echoed in my ears – “study” and so I did…. focus on that and completed my education with good results but couldn’t afford to enroll in the University due to lack of financial support. Embarked on my working life from scratch at the age of 19 but continued to pursue part-time evening courses to upgrade myself. I must consider myself to be quite fortunate as I always had good employers and teachers who helped and encouraged me along the way. But still I was not happy. I obsessed about what should have happened, what shouldn’t have happened, what I should have done, what I shouldn’t have done, and how everything would be better if I could just go back and change it all. Constant questioning. Wanted to know the meaning of life as there was still the big void. I did not see any benefit in socialising or meeting up with friends as many young adults would, but preferred to spend time with myself, going swimming in the public pool once a week on women’s day only and playing squash if I had the chance as I enjoyed smashing the ball on the wall to vent out my anger and frustration. Yes, I also enrolled in hatha yoga classes and mastered the art of yoga. Practising yoga for at least 1 hour each day kept me satisfied and happy. But these were just physical things that gave me momentary satisfaction. I was still empty inside. I needed something more permanent like dealing with my unconsolable grief no matter what I was doing. I was hungry for knowledge to gain strength in my mind. Then, I laid my hands on the first book called the Bhagawad Gita an ancient hindu scripture relating the doctrines of life. It was really an eye opener for me and gave me a sense of security, power and inner strength. This tempted and lead me to read countless other philosophical and new age books by great authors like Sigmend Freud, Carl Jung, Carlos Castanada. J Krishnamutri, Bertand Russell, Deepak Chopra, Swami Vivekananda, the Upanishads, just to name a few. It was really interesting to delve deep into the journey of self discovery. I was getting answers but it was not good enough -until I discovered a meditation practice which helped me put all the scattered pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together to form a perfect picture. I am now definitely a changed person – self assured, stable, courageous, happy, confident and compassionate, perhaps, because I know Who I Am and my purpose in life.
You are what your deep, driving desire is, As your desire is, so is your Will, As your will is, so is your Deed, As your Deed is, so is your Destiny
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5