December 2013 The air-conditioner in my bedroom refused to work for the past three days. Helpless, I decided to sleep in my living room, which had an a/c but no bed. The sofa was my best option. It was long so I could fit my body onto it, although it wasn’t wide enough. My first night on the sofa was horrendous. It was so narrow that I could only sleep to my right. This was unacceptable to my mind. It complained to me, saying “You can barely move on this sofa, how do you expect to sleep well? Your night sleep is doomed.” As I normally do, I agreed with my mind, and the night failed to surprise me. Instead of my usual 8-hour sleep cycle, I slept barely for four. The following day wasn’t any better. Unable to bear my lack of sleep, I called the servicers impatiently to repair my a/c. The servicers did not turn up, leaving me to sleep on the sofa for one more night. I was worried about my sleep’s condition. I wondered then to myself, what side I usually sleep on; “The right side!” answered my body. I asked my mind, “What is the problem then?” Although my mind was being stubborn, its complaints grew weaker. I slept better that night. I had another night in the living room, as the a/c was still not repaired. This time, I was relaxed. I knew the needs of my body, and told my mind, “It’s all right. Don’t worry. You will sleep well.” That night, I slept comfortably for almost eight hours, and got up feeling fresh in the morning. I wondered at the way the mind plays with the body. Despite the body accommodating towards small inconveniences, physical or otherwise, the mind plays its tricks in order to emphasise its ego. Only if we use our voice to calm down our mind and its ego, can we solve a lot of problems in life. We only need to decide who is the boss in our life, and straighten out the crooked thinking of the mind. As Milton said, “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell and a Hell of Heaven”. -Rashida Jiwani, Mumbai
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