By Sanjiv Ranjan January 2013 Life becomes beautiful when you learn to live simply, says Sanjiv Ranjan Life is difficult.” We have often heard these words and nodded our heads in assent. Everyone can relate to life’s struggles, to arduous days that begin with some unknown burden we are carrying in our minds, to nights when we slip into a troubled sleep. Everybody seems to be trapped in the same slowly sinking boat, and for most of us, life is difficult, or at least it seems so. However, it is not the whole truth, and like all partial truths, it provides shelter and refuge to the debris that has settled over the mind. Life is difficult when you make it complex, when you make it so complex that you find it difficult to live. And it is this struggle to live, this inability to live, that reverses the paradigm that life is easy. Actually, life becomes easy, when you begin to live simply. When you value simplicity, you begin to live with awareness. Life was meant to be simple. That is why the universe gave you everything of importance in abundance, and without any conditions. You have never had to fight for the air you breathe, that keeps you alive. Rain and rivers replenish the water that you need from in abundance. In summer, life gives you fruits and vegetables laden with water to replenish what the sun takes away from you. In winters, it gives you nuts that keep you warm from within. Life has ensured your well-being, by taking care of each one of your basic needs, because life loves you. Life is your mother. You are born out of her. Life’s blood flows in your veins. Like all mothers, life wants you to experience joy. How does one live simply? What does simple living entail? What are the attributes of a life lived in simplicity? The answer is simple. Always follow your heart Research is now proving that the heart is the bigger, more intelligent mind. The mind is a recent phenomenon in the history of evolution. It is still in its infancy. It has still to mature and evolve. But the heart is the center of life on the planet. It is the hallmark of a living planet. Look at the word Earth carefully. Hidden in its letters is the word heart. When you love yourself deeply, you set yourself free from all strife, and struggle Even today, as a part of all ICU procedures, a person is declared dead only when the heart stops beating, not when the brain ceases to function. Within your heart there are at least 40,000 nerve cells that virtually help it to form its own nervous system. The heart communicates with the brain and the rest of the body. Heart: the bigger, intelligent mind Growing scientific evidence suggests that the heart may actually be communicating with the brain and body in a fourth way, which is energetically, through electromagnetic field interactions. The findings show that the heart uses these methods to send our brain extensive emotional and intuitive signals. Along with this understanding that the heart is in constant communication with the brain, scientists are discovering that our hearts may actually be the ‘intelligent force’ behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience. The next time when your heart and mind are in conflict, give more importance to what your heart is saying. Reflect upon it. It has far greater resources to enable effective decision making at its hand. Take a paper and start writing down – what does my heart say about it? Do not do this exercise in your mind, for then you will only access your conscious mind, which is only 12 per cent of who you are. When you write, you have access to your subconscious mind, which is your deeper mind and 88 per cent of who you are. Your heart will begin to communicate with you. You will be surprised at the simplicity and depth of the wisdom that will emanate from this simple exercise. Simplicity is power. Genius lies in simplicity. Anything that is complex is fundamentally flawed. Love yourself deeply Of all the attributes that will help you to live a beautiful life, the most important is the ability to love yourself. Western philosophy sees creation as a piece of art, crafted by the master craftsman that is God. Hence, man is a creation of God. Why would God create a shameful being? Eastern philosophy goes even further by saying that you are not a creation, but a manifestation of God. Is this fact not enough to instill in you a deep abiding love for yourself ? Love is not a feeling. It is a force. When you love yourself without any preconditions, you set yourself free from a mortal life. You set yourself free from your image and your ego self. You can never fight the ego. Only love for yourself can help to dissolve it. When you love yourself deeply, you begin to live a life that is divine. It is imbued with magic. You do not need any tricks, because you have within you the energy of grace. When you love yourself deeply, there is no space for fear to reside. Fear can only reside in emptiness, because it has no reality. Fear makes life complex. It takes your power away from you, and when you feel less powerful, life seems difficult. Believe in a friendly universe In the words of Albert Einstein, “One of the most profound decisions you can make in life is whether you believe in a friendly or a hostile universe.” Whatever you believe in becomes your perceptual universe, because the fundamental nature of life is to create coherence between what you believe and what you experience. If you believe in a hostile universe then life becomes extremely arduous. What kind of a life would you be living, in which your best friend would be perceived as your enemy? No matter what he did, even with the best of intent, you would be wary, always in doubt, trapped in the feelings of insecurity and hostility. You would lose out on a well-wishing precious resource that could have made your life beautiful. Believing that the universe is friendly will put you at ease. You will feel safe and supported. When you feel at ease, you will live a simple life. There will not be any need for complex trade-offs and transactions, because you will be blessed with the ability to feel at home wherever you are, and joy will be an everyday phenomenon in your life. Life is difficult for those who choose the complexities of their mind, live in fear, and believe in a hostile environment. Life is easy for those who choose the simplicity of their hearts, live in love for themselves, and believe in a friendly universe. It is always up to you to choose which route you wish to take. Whatever route you choose to take, the universe will always support you. You can either have what you want, or live with the reasons why you cannot get what you want. You cannot have both. If you choose to stay with what you want, without doubting that it will be given to you, then you will receive. But if you are more focused on why what you want cannot come to you, then that is what will come to you. Your mind will amplify all these reasons and make them your perceived reality. In the end, you decide where your life will go. For you are the only captain of your own ship.
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