Why do we find it so hard to create positive circumstances, a positive future in our life? One reason is we all have the tendency to spend most of our time in the past, reliving and replaying our memories. Look back on your average day and you may find that more than 3/4ths of your time is spent in the past (a lot of times without you realizing it). Not only do we try to relive the past, but we also attempt to change it! We attempt the impossible and, in so doing, we live in very small cycles where tomorrow tends to turn out similar to yesterday, and then we wonder why we do not have the power to change our lives. It feels like we do not have the will-power, we do not have the ability to change the circumstances in our lives, our destiny.
The past cannot be relived; it cannot be changed. The past is like a cupboard of old files. When you arrive at work every day, do you step into such a cupboard and spend the day there? The past is a great resource for learning and sometimes, a resource for useful information, but it is not a place to live. We can build on the old, but we cannot rewrite it. The future is the result of what we think, feel and do today. If today is the same as yesterday (because of constantly thinking about yesterday) then tomorrow will look and feel like yesterday and in this way we feel we are stuck in a web and we get frustrated. We need to let go of the past if we want the future to shape up positively, different from yesterday, which is negative at times! The past is past. Drop it and keep dropping it.
Living a life full of many different types of relationships sometimes brings with it different types of challenges and relationships can become a test of our mental strength when what we expect from others is not what we receive. Expectations from others can sometimes burden us so much that at times we can find people extremely difficult to deal with. Also, we may loose interest in our lives to an extent, difficult to imagine. There was once a king who ruled a very big kingdom, which was full of different types of people, who were not only different in their roles but also very different in their natures and personalities. The king sometimes wondered that I am not able to satisfy so many different people because everyone has different expectations from me. At the same time, his different expectations from the people of his kingdom were immense and at times it became difficult for him to experience peace and inner stability while handling their concerns and demands. A minister of the king gave him a suggestion that instead of trying to focusing on everyone’s desires and what they wanted, you be your good self and focus on playing your role in the best possible way and leave the rest to happen as it happens.
Many a times, it’s not about making the effort to change others but it’s changing yourself which brings positive results. This is because it is your change which inspires others to change. Remember everyone will not act or behave as we want and sometimes it can be difficult to cope with this. But if we remain determined in our positive behavior and change, they will, after seeing our change, over a period of time, begin to realize their mistakes and become the way you expect them to be.
Handling people with different natures requires a lot of spiritual strength and can be the most difficult thing to achieve for some. It’s not just about physical skills like a way of speaking or presenting yourself, which are some measures we take in our office or in our personal relationships. But it’s more about virtues and powers as well as wisdom of different types of actions and their results.
E.g. if you are preparing for a meeting in your office with many different office colleagues, then you will take different steps on a physical level – like seeing what is on the company’s agenda to discuss, what are the different complaints of the different people in your group, where is the company lacking and things like how best my outer personality should be so that everyone is satisfied with me. But do we ever think of how is my inner personality? Am I good nature, am I able to fulfill everyone’s inner desires with my love and good wishes? Also, have I spiritually empowered myself so much so that I can tolerate each and everyone even if their behavior and way of working is different from mine? Otherwise when we see different personalities of people and different intentions as well as aims and objectives which everyone possesses, it disturbs us. Also, that unfocused state of mind does not let us act in a positive way and our decisions can become incorrect. Of course, we cannot always think that people will be easy to deal with and also our efforts to please them can be unsuccessful at times. But, to bring harmony in relationships, we also need to have spiritual skills like good judgment power, discrimination power, the ability to mold, power to accept and the ability to give respect to each one’s opinion, etc. All these will make it easy to succeed.
While being involved in action, make it a point to remain connected with your inner centre of peace, love and bliss which is the spiritual centre or the soul, by remaining in its consciousness. Also, feel the presence of God or the Higher Power in your life at each and every step without which we cannot succeed in our actions, especially in our relationships and interactions, where powers from both the soul and God are required. So, satisfying others with your behavior and through the energy that you share with them, will only be possible when you first carry positive energy inside yourself.
You can try and do everything possible to make people’s ideas similar to yours and make them work the way you want them to, but a single action of yours which is full of goodness can achieve that much faster than you can if you tried through other methods. Say for e.g. a person in your family constantly has a habit of disobeying you and going against your requests and he or she does not believe in being on good terms with you and will always find a reason to differ with you in opinions. You have tried for many months to come to good terms with this person, but you have not succeeded. Now, you make yourself a sweeter and more tolerant person and work on making yourself more humble. Suddenly, what you could not achieve in such a long time becomes very easy and gets done in a few days. This is because seeing your practical change, the other person gets inspired to change him or herself much faster than by just persuading the other person constantly, to change. Remember when we change, others will change and until we do not do that, changing others will remain the most difficult thing to achieve and in fact it will be impossible. So, change yourself and set an example for others to follow.
At each moment of the day, we have the capability to feel something. Our feelings vary throughout the course of the day. Sometimes they are joyful and sometimes they are painful. What we forget to do is to choose our feelings consciously. Instead, many of us have become lazy and allowed our feelings to be dictated and shaped by people and circumstances. In other words, we have become influenced. Our swinging, changing moods are the result of the inner karma of becoming attached to things, people, ideas and circumstances. If we are attached to a person and suddenly he/she leaves us we will feel gloomy and our mood of sadness will drain our energy just when we need to remain optimistic and enthusiastic about the future. Any form of loss will bring about a mood of sadness. If this sadness lasts for a long period of time, it will gradually turn into depression.
When we consider the world around us to be our source of happiness and joy, our moods will fluctuate, even with the changing weather. But when we are spiritually empowered or strong our happiness and joy come from inside. We are stable in the face of praise or insult, loss or gain. We are no longer moody and stability becomes our basic nature. We are in control of our life, our feelings. And while we cannot control the waves of the ocean of life around us, we can control and choose how we will respond to outer events and people. When we do that, we will be able to choose what we feel, regardless of what may happen in our life. Life stops being a roller coaster and becomes more of a cruise, less a storm and more a gentle breeze.
SWITCH WORD TO SHIFT YOUR MOOD
If you are feeling too much negative, sad or depressed. Repeat Switch word ‘ GOLDEN SUNRISE ‘ as many times as possible. You will find that your mood shifts. You feel enlighten, blessed and blissful.
Have you been very excited about your big or small goals, worked very hard to reach there… but somewhere down the line doubted success? Just recall how it influenced the outcome. Whether it is a personal goal or a professional one, we typically need people’s support to be successful. It’s important for everyone to work with a calm, relaxed and stable mind. The environment needs to vibrate with confidence and determination. When we rely on each other, trust must be at the core of our belief and behavior. We have all experienced that people are most productive when they have a person trusting their abilities. Let’s ensure no-one creates thoughts of doubt, insecurity, incompetence or anxiety – either about themselves or others. Negative thoughts become obstacles to success. If it is our goal we have a responsibility to be solution-oriented. Let’s focus only on how to help and motivate people. And let’s remind ourselves daily I am confident that together, we will be successful.
We have heard – Well begun is half done. Whether there are 10 things on our to-do list today or 20, if we begin them with self-belief, discipline and enthusiasm, our speed and efficiency increase magically. People working with us absorb our energy and feel motivated. An overall sense of belonging for the place, people and task develops. Time doesn’t seem a barrier. Sit back and make your work day unfold perfectly today. Your inner success factors of stability, comfort and happiness will have an influence on getting you success outside. You will save time and energy because there were no emotional leakages of anxiety, aggression or stress. You will go back home from your workplace pleased and happy.
Experiencing a life full of different types of events, which can be negative at times, can be demanding and also make life a difficult journey of ups and downs.
A life facing difficult situations requires each one of us to equip ourselves with powers and strengths and not only spiritual wisdom, which is found so much all over the world. You can read spiritual knowledge telling you how to face difficult situations for many years together and yet not be strong enough to face them when they actually come. Spiritual knowledge shows us the path to becoming powerful. But the actual spiritual power to change one’s own thinking and the sanskaras which are the source of this thinking will come with strengthening the mind with powerful thoughts and experiences.
There is no substitute for correct thinking when there is a difficult situation in front of you. You think negatively but try to act according to the spiritual knowledge you have read. That will not make you successful in overcoming the situation. Also, your inner habits of creating thoughts of fear, pessimism, hopelessness and impatience will not reduce, although you may temporarily feel positive based on what you have read or learnt. Inner habits are very deep which have been inside the inner spiritual being or soul since many many births. Each time we have performed a negative action or created a negative thought, a sanskara was created based on that thought, word or action. And that sanskara then caused a similar thought to be created by me and action being committed, again strengthening the sanskara. This is the cycle of repetition. And this cycle keeps having a more and more powerful negative influence on us the more times it is repeated. We need to now change these negative cycles into positive ones. How do we that? We will explain that in tomorrow’s message.
To create positive sanskaras, we need to first take the foremost step of determination. Determination means a strong promise to the self that I will change my thought patterns from negative to positive. That is the first realization. Then, we need to select one particular sanskara of weakness that disturbs us and does not let us be powerful. For e.g. if I have the habit of being impatient in difficult situations, then first I need to fill myself with that quality through self-effort. Until I do that, no matter how much I may try to be patient in any situation, because I am lacking the quality at the level of the sanskara and since the weakness has not been erased completely, it will be difficult for me to be patient. Let’s say on a particular day, I am faced with a traffic jam. If I say to myself that all these vehicles on my way should get cleared in the next five minutes, but they take half an hour, will I be able to remain calm in those extra twenty five minutes, which I did not anticipate or expect? So, what I require is patience. If I say to myself, in those twenty five minutes that I have to be patient, will I experience that virtue? I will not unless that virtue is in my sanskara or part of my personality. So, it is like filling myself with a lot of happiness and then I will experience that quality. I cannot say to myself – I am the happiest person who exists in this world and experience happiness alone. I need to first fill myself with that quality and then happiness will come naturally to me.
So it’s about being natural and not theoretical alone i.e. I should be an embodiment or a practical form of every quality and power and not just repeat inside my mind that I have that quality or power. This applies to all the different qualities and powers which are required in crossing negative situations or circumstances. Meditation fills us with these qualities and powers very easily. This is because meditation is a beautiful relationship and connection with the Supreme Source of spiritual energy and power – God. God is full of those qualities and powers and never loses them ever, unlike us, who need to fill ourselves when we lose them.
All of us, at some point of time, in fact almost right through our life, keep different types of long term or short term goals – personal goals, professional, financial, social, relationship goals; goals related to physical well being and health, spiritual goals etc. Sometimes we are not even aware ourselves, but we are passing through the journey of life with some purpose or the other at all times, the purpose may be a higher purpose or something connected to our day-to-day living.
Whatever actions we perform then, our aimed at fulfilling this purpose. Also these actions are full of lots of expectations, the expectations of achieving some results. These results which we desire or expect arrive at times and sometimes they don’t. If they don’t, which is a very common aspect of any such journey of purpose; they generate emotions of worry inside us. Even if the results are achieved, the nature of journey, prior to those results is stressful as compared to a journey which is purpose filled but expectation free, which some might argue is not possible. Worry and stress not only harm the spiritual and emotional self but even our physical body and relationships, making the journey difficult and tiring. It is not incorrect to be action oriented and having some clear objectives in progressing towards our purpose, but we need to be capable of aiming ourselves at our dreams without becoming date conscious and the expectation of them being fulfilled now, or on a specific date, in a particular way or form. If not, we live in a tomorrow consciousness and tend to get upset or discouraged easily and we don’t enjoy today. It is not incorrect to be happy when we achieve something, but if our happiness is dependent on our achievements, we will always delay it. Happiness is not later, it is always now. It is commonly said – * Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Here we say – * Happiness is not only in reaching your purpose, your destination, but also in the journey of purpose. Also, it’s important to note that a carefree and detached intellect will always attract positive circumstances which serve as bridges in reaching one’s purpose, much more, as compared to a worried intellect.