I am sure that 2015 has been a significant year for most of us. I wonder if there has been any year that goes past that was not significant, but we always tend to look back at the end of the year and exclaim how quickly the year went, how much had happened and how phenomenally significant the year was. I do that too. However this year is going to be markedly different, because on the first day of the year, I was able to make sense of and process a couple of issues, which I know will make the year even more significant!
2015 was a year full of events (there I go again saying how significant a year that went past was!). Lots of illnesses in the family, a disproportionate number of deaths in the family, hopes being raised and dashed in abundance, and through all this I kept saying that we need to look at the bright side and move on. In fact more than five years back, I had started the habit of saying a gratitude prayer when I wake up every morning, recalling all the positive stuff that happened the previous day. All the stuff that did not work, all the stuff that upset me, all the grief, all the pain, all the irritations, all the negativity was thrown behind me in one swift moment during my gratitude prayers sessions every morning.
My sense of positivity and optimism was amplified when I trained to be Re Birthing Breath work therapist, few years back. In the course I learnt about negative core belief systems, how to identify them and then how to get rid of them. While this was a long and painful process, it was very fulfilling, one develops the skill to spot a negative core belief system a mile away, as and when one enters a room filled with people. This learning coupled with my gratitude prayers was a significant step forward on how to handle life and its complexities. Add to this a good dose of regular Vipasana meditation, and I am on my way towards daily life enlightenment!
Today I realised a small flaw in the race of life, which is what I think will make the year significant. Recognising this flaw is the beginning of a wisdom trail for me, I think. So here starts a new journey, so wish me luck.
What is this small flaw?
For starters I am in the race of life. So there you go, I have admitted it. I am in a race. I say this with not a sense of pride but with a sense of disappointment. This is because I was once in a race that I did not enjoyed – the coporate rat race. I got off the corporate rat race, because I was tired being a rat in a race, and thought I was a lucky cat for having got off the corporate rat race. But today, I realised that while I got off the corporate rat race, I seem to have immediately jumped onto another race track – the race of life! This is disappointing. But, as always, I mange to see the silver lining in what seems like a dark cloud, and I have identified what will help me convert this race into a more enjoyable journey.
Earlier I described, how I put behind all the stuff that ‘’did not work, all the stuff that upset me, all the grief, all the pain, all the irritations, all the negativity was thrown behind me in one swift moment’’. It is this action of putting it behind me that was the flaw.
Never put behind you all the negativity, grief, disappointment of life, because one day when you want to step back a bit to get a better view of the road ahead, you will step on some unpleasant stuff that you threw behind you. When you look back at life, you will see a garbage pile which will not smell very good either. So what do we do?
As we put stuff behind us, we need to ensure that we process them completely before we put them behind us. Much like composting the garbage from our kitchen. When we look at the beautiful dark sweet smelling compost, it feels good. It feels even better when we use this compost and grow our own flowers, vegetables and fruits in our garden – aah what a sense of achievement…we took all the kitchen waste and produced beautiful flowers and nourishing tasty food for ourselves!
So we need to take all the stuff did not work, all the stuff that upsets us, all the grief, all the pain, all the irritations, all the negativity and ensure that we process it completely, much like composting for it to benefit us. No lessons are learnt when we thrown behind the stuff and move on, like I had been doing. We need to stop, analyse, process, distill, absorb the learning, and then move on. We need to do this as and when the incident occurs or quite soon after the incident, or else we will keep running in the race of life, and forget that we threw some garbage behind, until it starts to stink and cause sickness in our soul. No special skills are required I think, as long as we raise our awareness, and do this with a sense of equanimity and with the sole intent of learning.
I realised all this because, recently, along with all the illnesses and deaths in the family, we went through a significant work related disappointment. We were working on a life enhancing deal, (or so we thought). When such opportunities come along, one needs to approach it with a large sense of skepticism, is what I had been told. But as always I threw myself into this with a sense of optimism, and I was disappointed – extremely disappointed, because I liked the people who were behind this deal. They had similar value systems, aspirations and visions that I had. But like I was told by a wise friend when the deal bombed that, in commercial transactions and deals, there is only one value system – the value of money! Something similar had happened to us a couple of years back, and I took that very badly, but this time, I was ‘prepared’ I thought, and quickly moved on. I threw this incident behind me and ploughed through work and life in a focused manner. I even said a quiet thanks to the universe of this harsh lesson, and moved on. Moved on because I am in the race of life and one has to move on.
Perhaps I should have paused, and grieved the loss of this deal. Perhaps I should have paused and grieved all the losses that I had endured the whole year. I should have grieved all the disappointments that I felt from friends who I thought were very close to me. I should have grieved the pain that I felt when a loved one said a harsh word. I should have grieved the irritations that I felt in situations, all the negativity that I went through. I should have grieved, instead of throwing it behind me and moving on in the race. This grieving may have taken just a few minutes, hours or just a few days, but it would have left behind so many sweet smelling flowers. I missed that opportunity. I realised it today.
2016 will be significant because I will get off the race of life and start to experience the journey. No more throwing things behind, as I will ensure that I compost it well. The gratitude prayers will continue. The positivity and optimism will continue. The passion that I have will continue. The celebration of all the people in my life will continue. Aahh…what an amazing entry to the New Year!