So Why Grieve?

Life gets tough at times and we all learn complex lessons through our life experiences. Sometimes it is difficult to cope but in the process, we grow stronger.

Just like everybody else, I have my own challenges to overcome but I don’t want to stress more than what I should. I don’t want to follow the crowd that thinks to stress over things helps.

Like it or not, none of us is going to be here forever. So why stress on stressors? It is easy to say but just turn around and see if stressing had helped.

Let me quote the Bhagavad Gita,  death is the only truth you know for sure and is certain. Moreover, you think you are this body and you get too attached to its activities but ultimately you have to even drop this body here before you make your journey to the next. And you wouldn’t remember a thing of this life in your next. So why worry about anything? (chapter 2, verses 25-30).

My fav among the above verses is the one below. Everybody knows this but yet only a few understand it. Beautifully said…

Aśhcharya-vat paśhyati kaśhchid enan
Aśhcharya-vad vadati tathaiva chānyaḥ
Aśhcharya-vach chainam anyaḥ śhṛiṇoti
Shrutvāpyenaṁ veda na chaiva kaśhchit //

Some view the soul as amazing, some describe it as amazing, and some hear of the soul as amazing, while others, even on hearing, cannot understand it at all.

Something to remember …

Image: the Internet

 

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Love Yourself

Whenever our environment gives fewer data, we let our subjective self-interpret it and respond to clear the ambivalence.

Some of us, when met with ambiguity, may turn to anger or sadness. For example, when you meet with uncertainty, and say you believe it is hugely important to please everybody around then the amount of stress that you would undergo is fairly proportional.

Unfortunately, if social support is the only thing we are clinging to then we do not have enough choices to depend on. And the bizarre thing is that we avoid social contact and turn a loner when stressed, don’t we?

Besides, we feel stressed when we are compelled to saying “YES” when we really want to say “NO”. This is something that we come across more often than not. Maybe I feel this had played a huge role in not wanting to continue in an undivided family which was very popular in Indian subcontinent at one time. Thanks to stress, we now have the nuclear family, pun intended.

From experience, I know how hard it is to say NO to a friend or to a family member. It is next to impossible to saying NO to your superior or someone in authority. But we all know how the frustration gets build up and sometimes translates into indirect aggressionThen why can’t we say ‘No’? Because reciprocity and guilt weigh us down.

The need to comply and to stay part of social groups kick in high cortisol levels. This is huge because this leads to prolonged stress. Yet, learning to say NO when appropriate is important to our well-being. In the long run, people will respect you for that.

Decline gracefully. Be kind to yourself and you will radiate the same. If judging others is incorrect, judging self is equally wrong.

Image: the web

How to make STRESS your FRIEND – By Kelly McGonigal

Yad bhavam Tad Bhavati..As you think, so you become is what our Scriptures Proclaim. By doing so, we can now befriend our worst enemy, STRESS.

Kelly McGonigal, Health psychologist in her Ted Talk has enough evidences to prove the same. Just by looking at stress as our friend can reverse its adverse effects on our body.

Enjoy the talk!

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

Happy Makara Sankranti

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Today is Makara Sankranti. We do have set rituals that accompany these festivals. Do we understand the essence of these festivals or is it too mechanical in nature? Do we have an answer for our kids who would like to know its significance?

 We celebrated Bhogi yesterday at our apartment having a bonfire. Kids just loved it. These festivals indeed bring us all together as a family to mark its importance but the essence of it is lost somewhere. What will our future generations carry forward when the soul of the festival is forgotten? When the spirit is lost, importance also faints. Maybe that is why kids like to be confined in the four walls and play video games than to be on the roof flying kites.

My grandmother once said while you burn old things on bhogi. Do remember to also discard your vices along with the things in the fire. She said this does not only mark a new season but also a new beginning to inculcating good thoughts. It stayed with me. Every time I celebrate it, it reminds me to start afresh at all levels.

Sankranti is the movement of the Sun from Dhanu Rashi into Makara. It sets the completion of harvesting days and calls for an elaborate 4 day celebration. One of the days is marked to recall the role played by the animals in harvesting and in our lives. Forget about paying respects, we indulge in betting on cock fights, bull fights, elephant mela etc etc. We torture them more than respecting them.

 Sankranti in Sanskrit is derived from the word Sankramana meaning commencement of movement. Now “Movement”, that’s an interesting word. Isn’t it? Anything that has life has a beginning and an end. Gita says Jatasya hi Dhruvo Mrutyh,Druvam Janma Mrutyascha. Movement takes place in Space. Now Space is still. So, we can say movement is supported by stillness.

Numerous Planets are hung in that space revolving around that one Sun which makes life possible. Gita says like the Sun that illumines the whole universe, there is only one Atman that illumines the entire field of physical activity (ref:Chapter 13, shlok 33). Movement, however it be, can only be enjoyed by the One who has experienced the stillness of his being. Would you want to disagree on this? If the movements in our lives are unfavourable, we experience lopsidedness. Latest study shows one in every 10 Indians are depressed (ref: article,Times of India dtd 29th March 2015 read”One in 10 Indians depressed and do not ignore the subtle symptoms”). Depression,stress and anxiety are no longer foreign to us. Trying to calm our mind and disciplining it for an hour or so each day will help us to create a balance. Else, we might be forced to get introduced to stillness as we grow old. We should befriend the stillness when we have control on the movement.

We are taught to pay respect to the Sun who contributed to our existence on this planet on Sankranti. Is it not necessary to pay attention to the SELF which is the source of our existence?  Ponder on it.