Self-absorbed, are we?

Last Updated 29 October 2010, 12:08 IST

There’s a delightful sense of wellbeing when we are physically fit and mentally alert. There’s calm and contentment. It is as though we are the keys on a cosmic keyboard being played by an invisible divine hand. But when that little green-eyed bug called envy enters the mind, the music becomes jarring.

Have you experienced something akin to this feeling when introduced to somebody with a string of degrees and a fancy job? Have you struggled when you met a long-lost friend looking fit and toned, making you very conscious of your ungainly bulges?
Don’t let envy cloud, corrupt and corrode your insides. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if it is worth losing sleep over.

Here’s a beautiful story. A man dreamt that he had fallen into a pit. To escape, he dug deeper and deeper, throwing the earth behind him. All that he did was to block the light around him!

Envy does that to people. Believing that you are in a pit, you dig deeper into your unhappiness and despair and block out the brightness in your life with negative thoughts. Remember, life isn’t a competition. We aren’t here to compete with one another; we are here to complete ourselves.

As you light a candle to dispel darkness, so you illuminate the unconscious with greater understanding. When you become aware of this truth, life regains its lost music and lost magic.

 Ascend from the worldly outlook of seeing everyone as ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ to the spiritual vision of seeing the divine in all. We are all equal in our shared mortality and immortality. In the cosmic view, there are only fellow beings. It’s a beautiful and gentle approach — no insults to anybody including yourself, only a great surge and swell of good will.

Learn to rejoice in the achievements and happiness of others. Not only will you feel good, your goodwill will create good vibes and a sense of well-being all around. Work on yourself consistently so that you never get bitten by a bug called envy. Consider these suggestions:

* List your wealth — your skills, competence, attributes, personality, talents.

* Acquire inspiration from another person’s achievements.

* Stop thinking constantly of yourself. Acknowledge and praise other people’s kindness, thoughtfulness and helpfulness. Be like a window. It’s only an opening in the wall, but because of its presence, the whole room fills up with light.

* Exercise every day to experience the wonder of being fit and healthy. Mind what you eat so that every morsel creates positive energy. Meditate so that your mind experiences the vastness of the inner world and sleep well. Sleep is the doorway to peace.

Learn from the story of the little girl confined to a wheelchair. For a school play, along with her classmates, she made herself a Halloween mask. She confided to her teacher her worry that her parents might not recognise her in the play. The little girl didn’t see herself as a child-on-a-wheelchair but simply as one more child behind a magical mask. Similarly, simply see yourself as one more child of the divine in a magical life.

The writers are teachers of the ‘Fitness for Life’

(Published 29 October 2010, 12:04 IST)

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