A sage was asked, “How will I know I am living my truth?” The sage answered simply, “When you are relaxed about it.” If you want to know your truth, ask, “What am I relaxed about? What makes me feel relaxed?” When you have an activity or a hobby that makes you feel good, then it’s easier to do things that you have to do and when adversities crop up, you are better able to deal with them.
Your hobby is your prayer or meditation. It can be the other way around too. Your prayer can be your hobby. A hobby tempers your energies with clarity, it also helps your natural exuberance to find fruitful expression. When engaged in a hobby, there is immense peace in and around you. It is a special peace, not the peace of death, but the peace of life. You can literally feel this peace as a pleasant sensation in the back of your head, it’s a tangible presence and it’s calming.
It’s like filtration. All the energies have been filtered and are clear and transparent. You become as pure as an infant. Look into the eyes of the child — two clear pools of acceptance, a smile lurking in the corners, and when the gaze is turned away from you and directed to the ceiling, you feel a sense of loss. An infant is pure because it has no agenda. Similarly, when there is no agenda tied to your hobby, no commercial considerations, no expectations of returns like fame and fortune, you are more inclined to bless than to curse.
A hobby unhooks your mind from its everyday reactions — anger, impatience and anxiety when something doesn’t go the way you want it to. Being absorbed in your hobby allows your mind to be in another dimension where an abuse sounds faint as if the abuser is at a great distance. It holds the mind in an enthralling present where you wait for nothing because waiting means you are straining to be in the future. In a hobby, the mind is so deep in a fascinating, fulfilling activity, that it cannot process anxiety, regret, resentment, self-pity and all those energy-debilitating feelings that lower the quality of our life.
Never ever lower the quality of your life. It is very easy to reduce it in the blink of an eye. One unkind word, one burning glare, one idle criticism and poof! down it goes. Consciously raise the quality of your life and consciously keep it elevated. You must already be aware that the brain controls the behaviour of all the cells in our body. It’s a wonderful coordinator. There’s one more important factor to be noted: almost all our body cells have the same neural receptors as the brain. It means our entire body is virtually a brain. Research has also shown that we can consciously use our brain to generate positive streams of thoughts, beliefs and chemicals to heal an ailment in the body.
Destructive and constructive interference. Stop activities that drain rather than enhance your energies. Have you spent time with a person who constantly complains and after she has left, you’ve felt drained of energy? It is because your entire body, rather, your entire mind-body’s cellular system experienced ‘destructive interference’ — as described in psychology parlance — like a series of pebbles thrown into a calm lake. So, the wise thing to do is to avoid people who generate poor quality vibrations that disrupt your natural harmony. This is important because, otherwise, you too can willy-nilly get influenced into defeatist, blaming thought-
processes that drain energy. If you have no choice but to meet such people on a daily basis, please avoid asking them any questions. Even a simple “How are you?” can elicit a litany of complaints. Instead, take the lead and speak of positive things that have occurred, small miracles you have experienced, good news you’ve heard. Encourage them to repeat something wonderful that happened to them yesterday or years ago or five minutes back. The outcome is beautiful — two brains, two bodies, two neural cell systems focussing on the marvellous instead of the miserable. This approach is called ‘constructive interference’ by psychologists.
Positive social media. One medium which has destructive and constructive interfering qualities in it is social media. Here, before you read a negative forward further or tap the forward symbol to send it on to somebody, ask yourself: “Is this relaxing?” If not, delete it. Just delete the toxic ones without reading them. Why should they be allowed to mess up your mind? As one forward said, “Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.” Ignore! Another says fittingly to this context, “Anything that costs your peace is too expensive.” It is.
Use social media to create a special people-to-people magic. In a curious modern technological twist, it has replaced the private ‘Dear Diary’ practice and is funny, crazy, boastful, insufferable, practical. It contains laughter and tears, hurt and outrage, philosophical and cynical stuff. Sure, it can and is abused, but for all that, it is a virtual UN of all kinds of people. You can be relaxed around it by just being yourself, by focussing on the rainbows and wisdom it regularly screens. A word of caution: don’t let it overtake your personal relationships. Relax with the people you love, you are in harmony with while the mobile is tucked away is in some remote corner on mute. There’s nothing more relaxing and healing than being kind to yourself and those with you. As the Buddha said, “Be with someone who loves you for the days you don’t love yourself.” Be with someone you love and vibe with in a deep, loving, non-judgmental way.
Finally, one of the most beautiful ways to feel relaxed is to slow down the mad momentum of life. People who are hyperactive, pursuing several activities never arrive because they are already chasing the next activity. Jobs are rushed, decisions hurried, programmes aborted — nothing is allowed to mature, ripen and grow organically, not even the mind. Many activities are unnecessary, shallow, superfluous. They weaken our sense of discrimination, our ability to ask, “Does this relax me? Is this helping me?” It takes a master like Eckhart Tolle to advise, “Do few things but do them thoroughly. And allow some sanity to come into this world through you.”
It is true that life is about movement. But it is also about being relaxed in movement. Please start this healing practice: Sit quietly and allow contentment to rise and fill you. Stand quietly in the sweet, gentle breeze of love. Walk with long strides in the freedom of the spirit. Lie down in the silken waves of kindness. Sleep in the warm arms of reassurance. Draw the sense of relaxation into you as the river of life flows on.
The writers are authors of Fitness for Life and Simply Spiritual – You Are Naturally Divine and teachers of the Fitness for Life programme.