Keep it simple, silly

FITNESS FOR LIFE

You always work, you rarely shirk. You’ve done tough jobs, shown grace under crushing pressure, handled your ensuing illnesses with a brave heart. Yet, now you’ve reached ‘Breaking Point’. You are exhausted. Do you find yourself wondering — “Why does everything have to be so hard, so difficult? Why can’t at least some things come easy?”

Now is the time to be kind to yourself – stop thinking. Switch off your cellphone. Hang a ‘Do not disturb’ sign. Have a warm bath. Sit quietly, sipping fresh fruit juice. Listen to soft, soothing music. Let all the tension slide out of muscle and mind. Once you’ve calmed your nerves, list out all the downers.

Assess the importance of each downer: Is it a calamity or is it merely an inconvenience? Analyse: If it’s a calamity, other priorities have to take a backseat. If it’s not, dig deeper — are you reacting to the downers as if they are all calamities? Are you expending 500 rupees worth of energy on a 5 rupee downer?

*A Rs 5 downer is: Fighting, arguing vehemently over matters that aren’t worth getting a migraine, palpitations, high blood pressure over. Realise that there are higher victories for the body, mind, soul. Sometimes you need to lose small stuff (anger) to win big stuff (health.) Ask yourself, “Will this matter in 20 years?” Then, why suffer for even 20 seconds? Relax in peace. 

*A Rs 5 downer is: Trying to please a person who can never be satisfied. Ask, “Would I look for the footprints of the birds in the sky?” The Dhammapada extols, “Let’s live happily without hate amongst those who hate. Let’s also be thankful that we, the blessed, can find joy in small things . If your inner god is pleased with your efforts, look no farther for approval.” 

*A Rs 5 downer is: Feeling furious because you’re stuck in a traffic jam and will miss an important appointment. Refuse to have the traffic snarl-up in your mind. This hold-up is not a downer but downtime to pray, chant, read uplifting words, recite poetry, think loving thoughts. You may not keep your important appointment, but what’s more important than keeping your appointment with joy?

*A Rs 5 downer is: Feeling victimised because a person you can’t avoid criticises you, never praises you. Listen to the Master’s wisdom: “Don’t be weighed down by what critics says. No statue was ever erected to honour a critic. Statues are for the criticised.”

Don’t look at it as criticism, but as an opinion. Be detached. The Master reminds, “Behind every task, behind every skill, is a long line of teachers, parents, mentors, gurus and that great ultimate source — the divine. Did they not share generously, their knowledge, skill, practical experience, wisdom? So, turn your attention in the right direction.  When you are filled with gratitude, empty criticism falls off like a dry, dead shell.

Remember, making hard things easy is only a thought away.

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