When we say "new year," a sense of newness, of renewal, is created in us. The new year is an opportunity to refresh our mind, reflect on our choices. We take vows to improve, to achieve, and we set goals during this time. At the same time, it is worth contemplating our life's journey. Think about it... every year, we are running towards victory and fulfillment of our aspirations hoping for happiness on reaching our goals. However, we simply find newer aspirations coming up, more to achieve and acquire, and we are left constantly running.
Stop. Reflect. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" "What am I doing?" "How far have I come?" "How far to go?" These reflections can carry us into a different sphere of thinking and bring about more polished behavior patterns. Otherwise, we are stuck with acting and reacting, swinging between likes and dislikes. We are in the same circle, being thrown off, thrown around by our own emotional upheavals. It is imperative to take control, take charge of our emotions and enjoy life, be happy in the real sense. Happiness is something that gives you long-standing relief.
When we begin the inward journey, we realize that the inner world of feelings and emotions is exceptionally complex and complicated. To find our way through this wild forest of thoughts and desires can be very confusing and frustrating at times. Any amount of travel in the outer world will look very simple and smooth in comparison. Many saints and poets have shared this same experience when they have explored their own mind.
Take a break. Relax, and truly enjoy all your successes in the "now" -- the present moment -- for which you have been running all the time. The past is gone and the future is uncertain. Our ability to live fully in the present moment is the secret to real happiness. Being in the present moment gives us depth. When we take some time to be with ourselves in silence, to explore our depth, experience the peace and serenity of the inner realms -- then there is so much more efficiency in the actions we take. It is like refueling our efficiency. It is giving time for recharging our batteries. Going forward, a few moments of silence each day gives us the continuity.
What is the best way to experience this true inner silence? Meditate. Meditation is the food for the soul. It gives us that kind of deep rest and depth. Different dimensions open up in our life. There is so much refinement that happens through meditation. This is the goal of any human birth -- the evolution towards perfection.
Let us resolve to create a stress-free, violent-free society where ours will be the first step. When we are aware of how we are handling our own emotions, situations in our life, when we have the power to transform our own emotions -- it will create a ripple effect in society. We create our own world, our own environment. So let us take that stand, take the power. This power is not given to us, we have to take it. Instead of pointing fingers at others, let us get our act together and take responsibility to begin from our self. This is what spirituality is.
Don't wait any longer. Take off into the realms of bliss, which is well within you. Take time to reflect upon the ideas of the great thinkers and masters. Enrich yourself by the experience of the Self through meditation and feel grateful for the presence of the Divine in our life. Remembering this, let us start this year with gratefulness and gratitude and we will succeed.
The writer is the Chairperson of the International Women's Conference, a meditation teacher, and Director of Women and Child Welfare programs of The Art of Living Foundation.
To register for the International Women's Conference "Harmony: Evolution towards Perfection" Feb. 7-9, 2014 , visit iwc.artofliving.org.
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For more by Bhanu Narasimhan, click here.
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