Joy Of Missing Out: Being present toin Presence
Being present to Presence
Ajay Kalra revels in the joy of just being in the now and not striving to do something
Sitting here in a mountain village in Dharamshala, I wonder what must be happening back in Mumbai, the city I have lived in most of my life. People rushing to offices, trains running one after the otherin quick succession, street vendors shouting to sell their wares, corporate executives grabbing a quick bite between meetings. A normal day in a normal life in the city.
As I gaze at the mountains covered with a thick forest of pine trees, against the backdrop of a clear blue sky, listening to the twittering sound of birds chirping, inhaling fresh green air, I feel as though time has slowed down. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Sitting on the veranda of my home stay, I close my eyes, stretch my legs, and soak in the morning sun.
Suddenly, the phone rings, . it’s It’s a friend. “I need to do something. I feel I am becoming complacent,.” she says, with a tone of dissatisfaction. As I finish the call, I wonder, “Am I being complacent?” Shouldn’t I be doing something – —arranging workshops, designing retreats, getting my book published, looking for work office space. ? Am I missing out on life? Will I be left behind? Will I run out of money?
These questions make me realize realise something.
Most of my life has been fueledfuelled by fear. Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO. Missing out on opportunity, success, and pleasure. Something that would enhance me or help me achieve what I wish to do or become.
I cannot recall any moment in my life when my mind was not wanting or. Imagining imagining some future goal, situation, or relationship that would fulfil it. Always hoping, wishing, fantasizingfantasising, longing, craving for something. : If only this happened, life would be better. Irrespective of what happened in my life, this projecting tendency of the mind always remained.
Ambition is a strong desire to do or achieve something. An aim or a plan for the future. It propels us to action, motivates us, gives us a sense of direction. It also makes us anxious, nervous, and depressed, if things do not go as planned.
Intention creates tension.
Theis tension between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ has become an integral part of our life. It is as though our lives are split into two. One life is what is happening in this moment, and the other life is the one we live in our heads. —The the desired life. ; The the imagined life. We are constantly trying to bridge the gap between reality and imagination. This is the burden of modern modern-day life. Better, bigger, greater, larger, grander. The hope for future fulfilment.
But this fulfillment never happens. Whenever we reach our goal post, it moves further away. Our mind is kept alive by the insatiable need to satiate itself.
I remember one of the cherished moments of my boarding school life. All the students participating in the Inter Inter-School Sports Meet were exempted from giving their half-yearly exams. We were to focus on our sporting activity, were given a special diet, and could rest in the afternoon. I was delighted! I no longer had the burden to study and excel. I could just be.
Growing up on a diet of doing, no one teaches us how to be.
Just Existingexisting. Just Breathingbreathing. Just Presentpresent.
In our need to be extraordinary, we miss out on the extraordinariness of the ordinary.
The silent mountains. The splendid sunset. The joyful breath. The gentle touch. The playful laughter. The cool breeze. The fragrant earth. The pouring rain.
Life is not something that we make for ourselves. Life is something that happens to us.
Our alienation with from Existence, makes us believe we have to do something to make our life happen. If we did not do something, life would come to a grinding halt. We would waste our time. It is the way our socially conditioned mind keeps itself alive. Constantly propelled by the fear of being a nobody.
Everything in nature has its dharma. The seed of a banyan tree does not have to try to become a banyan tree, ; it is in its nature to do so. The koel does not have to try to sing like a koel, ; it is in its nature to do so. The rose does not have to try to smell like a rose, ; it is in its nature to do so.
Similarly, every human has a natural self-expression. It makes her them curious, creative, inspired, and engaged. If we are able to unpeel the layers of social conditioning that compels us to constantly do something, we are likely to stumble upon our swabhava (real nature).
When I go for my evening walk, I often see an old man returning from his walk, on the same path. He carries a small back pack out of which juts out a big wooden flute. He happens to stay near my place. Every night when it is silent, I hear the melodious notes of a flute coming from his home.
If we are able to let go of the fear of missing out, we will come across the Joy Of Missing Out. JOMO. Living life without constantly thinking about what to do next. Just being present to life happening now. It’s possible then, in the silent stillness of our existence, that the Universe will produce a natural melody from the empty flute of our Being.
Doing emanates from Being.
Until that happens, I have decided to just be. Eat. Sleep. Walk. Write. Teach. Just do what comes naturally to me, with the least effort. Even if I am being complacent, I do not mind. After all, I have spent a whole lifetime trying to get somewhere.
Perhaps the time has come to be nowhere.
To be reclusive or to socializesocialise…fear of missing out…the joy of missing out…what if I am unwell no one there…the Joy of Missing Out…wanting to be a teacher…have the future in a certain way…feel settled and secure…the nature of the mind…Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO)….
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