November 2016 By Shivi Verma Instead of fighting against the tide, it is possible to ride the high wave of effortlessness, spontaneity and joy, says Shivi Verma When we were children, life gushed through us like a young mountain river, dancing, frolicking, and cavorting her way down the rocky hills. We sprang out of bed at daybreak, spent the day in tireless activities, and had to be coerced to go to sleep at night by our harried parents. As a child I used to wonder how elders could nap after lunch. While they snored, after exhorting us to go to sleep, we kids used to stealthily sneak out of the room and spend the afternoon playing, squealing, running, swinging or climbing trees. Sloth or inertia were alien to us and life meant endless joy, hope, sunshine and possibilities. The only thing we resented was the control of parents over our lives, and we wanted to grow up fast to be able to live our lives on our terms and do what pleased us. Our dreams were woven around becoming ballet dancers, ice-skaters, tennis players, actors, and magicians. Life waltzed on ball bearings.“Childhood is the best time of your life. There are no responsibilities to bog you down,” my mother used to often tell us. But I could never understand this. For me adulthood signified the freedom to do what you wanted to, and I was aching to take the reins of life in my own hands.But as I grew, I realised life was not a bed of roses. There were enough conditions, curbs and expectations to rein the horses of childlike enthusiasm, and cause them to jogtrot through life. Effortful life Spontaneity and naturalness were often curbed by statements like, “If you do not study well, you will one day become a grass cutter. One has to work hard to achieve something in life. ” “Children poor at science and mathematics, do not have a bright future ahead.” “Girls who do not show interest in kitchen and household activities do not get praise after marriage.” “Nobody pays artists, singers, painters or musicians. You must become a doctor, engineer or an IAS officer to earn respect and status in society, pay your bills and maintain your family. ” “Look at our neighbour’s son. He is a gold medallist who is going to a US college on a government scholarship. Such things happen to people who are sincere, focussed, hard working.” As expectations piled on and comparisons with peers increased, I began to find life an uphill task. The world needed me to be a certain way in order to fit in. While boys were expected to excel in tough subjects like medicine and engineering, girls were raised on a strict behavioural code, so that they didn’t challenge the status quo of male superiority. They learnt to please others, swallow insults, and muffle their angst.Schools and teachers, books and parents, friends and relatives, all strove to mould us into acceptable forms. And it wasn’t easy. You had to work hard and sacrifice many pleasures to achieve all that. Some could live up to these expectations while others could not, but what we gradually realised was that life was a painful movement against our natural impulses.Says Partha Gupta, a teacher of breath processes, from Hyderabad, “Out of compulsions is born a lack of will. One cannot have willpower and growth in a compulsive state. Our will power is spiritual power, and when will is lacking, spirit languishes.”Most feel this compulsion most acutely when they enter the job market and take up jobs their heart is not into, or when the challenges of everyday living, responsibilities, worries of the present, and future begin to bog them down. Waking up everyday to face demands from children, boss, spouse and society, a barrage of self-critical inner dialogue, and fear of failure or success can sap the joy out of living.Says Partha, “I worked for a corporate firm where I was responsible for creating franchisees. I was under pressure to perform. There was a career to be nurtured, a home to look after, and an ongoing inner conflict because my proposals were only good on paper. I was not happy at all. Even waking up in the morning and going to work became an effort.” He adds, “Relationships, particularly Indian marriages, are even more subject to compulsion. The man juggles between wife and mother, striving to keep both happy, and the woman lives under the compulsion of keeping everyone in the house happy. A very simple flow of life which should be an effortless witnessing, becomes a drama of effort.”Says Bhaavin Shah, a Mumbai-based life coach, “Until 2005 I was doing what I didn’t want to do. I was continuing in the business of manufacturing nuts and bolts out of my own insecurity and sense of obligation. Although as a regular SSY meditator, I was exposed to the concept of non-doing, I had not delved deeply into it.” A glimpse of effortlessness Meditate daily to calm your mind and seed it with self-fullfilling ideas. Always a procrastinating, diffident girl who found even minor things challenging, my first brush with effortlessness happened when the Divine touched me benevolently. I was living at my aunt’s place in Delhi, and was wondering what to do in order to get a job. In those days she would make me sit alongside her while doing her meditation and ask me to follow suit. Within two days of following her instructions I saw a complete shift in my energies. From her altar I felt a sudden rush of energy hastily enter my ajna chakra. In a few seconds I was awash with Divine love entering my heart and taking full control over my being. This rush of energy filled me with dynamism, optimism and a new lease of life. All negativity and lethargy was pushed aside, and I was brimming with joy and spontaneity.I used to spring out of bed at 6 am sharp, ready to take on the world. The supply of energy used to be inexhaustible. I would finish all the household chores with enthusiasm and gusto, and rush to a small temporary job I had taken up. There I would work happily and tirelessly till my day got over and rush back home, only to attack the remaining chores with much fervour and joyfulness. Since my aunt was a working woman I wanted to free her of as much work load as I could. My efficiency, and acuity astounded everyone. But I knew in my heart that it was not me, my small ego self which was accomplishing so much joyfully and effortlessly, but something else which had taken me over. After two to three months, the phase left me but not without giving me an idea of how our lives as ordained by God were supposed to be. Surprisingly, I focussed only on the job at hand, without fretting or worrying about my career. I was deeply confident that the job I was looking for, would come to me on its own. And it did come, without my having to lift a finger for it. An effortless life involves living one day at a time, doing your duties to the best of your abilities, and trusting that your larger concerns will be taken care of by the Universe, which it does.For me it took Divine intervention to realise how joyful and effortless daily living and performing your duties can be. How to get into the state of effortless doing? The flow of the Universe is full of power. The moment you come in alignment with its natural rhythm you fall into the realm of effortlessness. Since fears, stress, anxieties, and worries keep us from being in touch with the flow of universal energy throbbing in our being, we mostly miss its refuelling and energising force. Here are some of the ways to get in touch with its force: Calming your mind Such was Sudha’s passion for dancing that even an amputated leg could not stop her from realising her dreams Endless thoughts, worries, anxieties, ambition and desires can make your overwrought. While initially the desire to excel and prove your mettle can spur you on, it may not sustain you in the face of prolonged challenges and difficulties. These may provoke you to either lose sight of your goal and give up, or sacrifice your happiness, health, peace of mind and relationships in singleminded pursuit of the goal. An invaluable and effortless way to achieve your goals is to use the power of the subconscious mind, instead of relying on your own ideas and efforts. The subconscious is connected to the Universe and will access you events and opportunities outside the ken of your own capability. In order to access the subconscious, you need to move to the Alpha state of mind. Meditation will help you do that by enabling you to calm the mind. After that you can seed your subconscious mind with images and affirmations of your goals.Says Kartika Rane, a teacher from Pune, “After I attended a SKY healing session taught by Santosh Joshi and learnt the method of visualisation, I got many things quite effortlessly. My daughters got admission into prestigious schools and colleges without much effort, and my own newly started day care centre received plenty of admissions without my having to advertise or work hard for it. People simply googled, found my contact number, and called me.”According to Sunil Parekh, mind trainer and founder of Rise Development Academy, if one sets a goal by writing it down in the notebook, and reads it everyday, especially before going to sleep and immediately after waking up, it will help one greatly to achieve what one wishes to achieve.Concurs Priyank Marda, a businessman, “After attending Sunil Parekh’s workshop, I started attracting opportunities which I could never have thought of. I always had a dream of doing some projects in Africa, and suddenly, some of my father’s friends who live in Tanzania contacted us and said that they would like us to take up a massive software development project for the government of Tanzania. I never understood software but once this opportunity came up, thing
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