This is a story about a woman who thought she had it all.
She made it to NYC with one of the best management consulting firms, had a hefty paycheck, a fabulous social life, closets full of name brand shoes, and a BMW in a garage in a house in DC. When she woke up one morning in her Central Park apartment, with not only a hangover, but also with a gash in her chin from a fall the night before, something from within said, "Stop bullshitting yourself. Who are you? What the hell are you doing with your life?"
I WAS that woman. Three years ago my life was exact opposite as it is now. What does it take to transform a life? One definitely needs courage, especially if you want to walk away from a career and a certain lifestyle, like I did. Patience helps too. But what it really takes is a longing to know more and a willingness to be open to experience another way to fully live life. Given the daunting task ahead, I needed a teacher. May I now introduce you to Sadhguru?
Say Hello to Sadhguru
A yogi, mystic, and the most joyful person I ever met, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha, an organization dedicated to humanitarian projects. Isha offers an array of programs that target all ages and levels of interest.
For those who want to learn basic yoga and meditation, Inner Engineering and Isha Kriya are the introductory programs. For those who are ambitious to grow their businesses, Insight: The DNA of Success is available. These are just two examples of the many Isha programs.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself. This guy has a beard and wears funny robes. He can't be a legitimate yoga teacher. He's not wearing Lululemon. I get it. In the West we have a different understanding of yoga, which is mostly based on moving fast, sweating, and burning calories.
Sadhguru's yoga has nothing to do with exercise and everything to do with internal transformation. It's the real deal -- based on science and traditional yoga as it was created in India thousands of years ago.
We also may not be used to the word guru. It sounds scary to many people. Don't be afraid. If you wanted to run a marathon, would you be afraid to hire a coach? Well, if you want to finally make lasting changes in your life and use yoga as the vehicle, then you need a teacher with a lot of experience.
My Indian Coach
Trust me. I never believed in all this guru stuff. I was raised to be independent and to stand on my own two feet. Well, by the time I turned 40, my two feet were not supporting me anymore. The reality was that I never took time to build a stable foundation. My thoughts and emotions were out of control and my ability to handle stress, well let's say, red wine and cigarettes were the two friends who helped me along.
In hindsight, I never even knew that I was not stable. I thought stress was normal, anxiety was part of daily life, and that I just needed to suck it up. I tried everything from self-help books, reiki, and power yoga to psychics and reading my daily horoscope for answers. Everything was a band-aid and nothing was long lasting and transformational. Until the day I first learned about Sadhguru.
I read books by Sadhguru and listened to videos. I found it impressive that he spoke at the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. His messages were straightforward and precise. It made sense to me. With each word, I was more and more uplifted. Was my search to find something or someone to help me control my endless, self-destructive thoughts over?
I decided to give Sadhguru's first program, Inner Engineering, a try. I learned a 21-minute practice that fits easily into my schedule. I also did a 4-day program with Sadhguru at his ashram in Tennessee. What I experienced cannot be put into words. One thing I can say is that I tasted a state of pure joy that I never knew existed. There was another way to live life. I wanted more.
Joy, Joy, Joy
Almost two years after completing Inner Engineering, I can honestly say that my life has truly transformed.
My daily yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breathing) practices help balance my body, mind, emotions, and internal energies. I wake up, on my own, at 4:30am and have endless amounts of energy. My addictions no longer exist. I am more peaceful and less impacted by what is happening around me. What is still hard to believe is that the way I perceive and experience life shifted from fear and doubt to pure joy.
What is joy? It is a rich experience that comes from the deepest part of your being. It is not about being happy for the moment after eating a cheesy slice of pizza. That is temporary. It is not something that comes and goes based on the weather or on who you talked to today.
True joy can overwhelm you to the point where the beauty of a sunset can make you cry. It is a part of you that requires no searching. It exists inside each one of us, but most of the time we just can't see it. A guru sheds light on what you cannot see. Instead of seeing life as a bundle of problems, let's get a new set of eyes to view what's around us with joy. It is never too late.
Here are four ways to start today.
1. Grab a copy of Sadhguru's new book, Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy. Already on the New York Times bestseller's list, the book is full of practical tools to begin one's self-transformation journey.
2. Sign up for Inner Engineering and visit www.innerengineering.com to learn about the options.
3. Meet Sadhguru in person. His fall book tour is coming to an end, but if you are close to the University of Wisconsin (Oct 12) or Chicago (Oct 13), then you are in luck. www.meetsadhguru.com
4. To access an online, guided meditation, visit Isha Kriya. http://www.ishafoundation.org/Ishakriya
"As a guru, I have no doctrine to teach, no philosophy to impart, no belief to propagate. And that is because the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation. Self-transformation means that nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life." - Sadhguru