Our true work is the journey of Life, of moving on, and never clinging

The easiest way to let go is to never equate events, actions and people to money.
Money is important. No doubt. But you don’t necessarily need to have money to live intelligently! When you lose your job, fear grips you. Why? Not because you are incompetent and worthless. But because you are worried about the lack of a revenue source in the present moment and perhaps in the immediate future! The more you cling on to that job, which you already have lost, the more difficulty you will have moving on and moving forward. It could be a job, a position, a lover, a title, a piece of land….whatever you have lost…..the same principle applies. Why do you need a position in society? So that your stature can attract career and professional/business opportunities. Why? So that you can earn more money. Now, what if this position is taken away? You can still earn money through some other means. But you want to cling on to what is already lost because you are thinking scarcity __ of what isn’t, instead of thinking abundance, of what is possible with a fresh start! Money and all the conditioning related to money, from the time you are born, has led you to hide behind money’s façade of security. Money can surely buy you things. But it can’t buy you inner peace or love or a Life.
So, if you are agonizing over letting go of something (or even everything), because all you want is to live in peace, in love and be blissful, then stop thinking about money. Your decision to let go will then be easier to make. When you let go, you are free, unfettered and are ready to go where you want and where nobody ever has!
In ‘Illusions: The Adventures of A Reluctant Messiah’ American author Richard Bach (who also wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull) shares a story: “Once there lived in a village creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks at the river bottom, for clinging was their way of Life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’ The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you shall die quicker than you will of boredom!’ But the creature heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ‘See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!’ And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.’ But they cried in unison more, ‘Savior!’ all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior.”
Our current is this Life. It is constantly offering to take us to where we have never gone before. But we are not willing to let go; we are clinging on our deeply conditioned sense of ‘financial’ security. It is because we cling on to money or sources of money, that we find our lives listless, monotonous and boring. This is why we are unhappy. The truth is that only when we let go and move on will we see newer horizons. Remember too that our true work is the journey of Life, of moving on, of living, and not of clinging on to what we perceive as ‘safe and secure’ pastures!

You are the peace that you seek

You cannot have the cake and eat it! The same way, you cannot cling on to things in Life and still want inner peace!
When you are clinging on to things in Life __ which is when you are attached to family, job, salary, EMIs, worries, problems and emotions, opinions, prejudices, you cannot live freely! You have been brought up to believe, just as I have been, and just as the way we are bringing up our children, that living equals ‘earning-a-living’. But does earning-a-living give you joy? It may give you comfort, but does it give you joy? And so, that’s how, in search of the true meaning of Life, your transformation from struggler and climber to seeker happens.
At the end of the day, everyone is seeking peace. But do you need to have worked so hard, not lived any of the 70 years of your Life, and then discover that peace is easy to find and easier to retain, if only you stopped clinging on to things in Life!? There’s a story that Swami Rama, the legendary Himalayan Yogi, used to say. It is the story of two monks. The two monks were on a journey by foot. And the younger monk asked the older one how detachment can be practiced. “By letting go,” said the older one. “But my worldly responsibilities refuse to let me to let go,” complained the younger one. The older one did not reply. They retired under a big tree for the night. The next morning, when the younger monk woke up, he found the older one hugging the tree’s trunk. Saying that it was getting late, the younger one respectfully invited the older one to continue their journey. But the older monk complained that the tree wouldn’t let him go! The younger monk tried pulling the older one away from the tree. But to no avail. Finally, disgusted at the older monk’s childish behavior, the younger one said, “Master, you are foolish. It is not the tree which is holding you. You are the one who is holding on to the tree. You have to let go to be free and go along on our journey.” The older monk smiled and replied: “But how can I? I am attached to it pretty much the way you are attached too, with your worldly Life?” The younger monk got the lesson. And hopefully you too have got it!
In reality, we are the peace we seek. We don’t have to find it, or seek it. We must just stop clinging on to all that which is an impediment to us feeling our inner peace. We must just let go of everything that we cling on to. What will then remain is only peace!

Let go and simply walk away when you must

When you can’t create value anymore or when you are not enjoying what you are doing anymore, simply walk away!
Graphic Courtesy: PTI/Internet
M.S.Dhoni surprised the cricketing world yesterday by retiring from Test Cricket. As India’s most successful Test Captain ever, everyone believes Dhoni has a lot of cricket still left in him. But the man himself thinks that he’s played enough of that format, having won 27 Tests for India and having led his team to be the # 1 Test side in the world, a slot the team retained for 21 months. Dhoni has always been remarkable – for being able to deal with victory and defeat with equanimity. His ability to stay unmoved in the middle, amidst all the action and chaos, has earned him the title of “Captain Cool”. But with his decision to retire from the oldest form of the game, Dhoni teaches us something far more valuable – he’s telling us that we must learn to let go and simply walk away when we must.
If you examine your Life closely, you will discover that much of your grief comes from clinging on to stuff – people, opinions, positions, things, money and such. The more you hold on to something, the more you will suffer. Such is the nature of Life. Life is in a perpetual, never-ending flow. To imagine that your Life should or will remain unchanged is downright foolishness. Trying to control Life is like holding on to water in your palm – it will simply flow away!
Each of us has a season in the sun just as we have our dark spells in Life. In our chosen vocation or in a field of interest, or in Life in general, we will have our own triumphs and travails. Yet we must never see any of this as permanent. We must learn to move on with time. We must also be willing to accept and appreciate that the generations that follow us will be smarter at doing whatever we believe we are currently best at. So, the intelligent way to live is to make way for others and for Life itself. Coming in the way of Life, by holding on to anything that you imagine is your own, is sure to cause inner strife and suffering. A simple rule of thumb can help here. In any situation, in any context, ask yourself if you are able to make a difference and create value? If the answer is no, walk away. Ask yourself if you are enjoying what you are doing or saying or whether you are enjoying being with someone? If the answer is no, walk away. It is that simple. Really!

Life often opens newer avenues when you let go of something or someone or some situation. Even if it immediately doesn’t, the very act of letting go is liberating. Clinging on is always about being under pressure, about wanting to prove a point – sometimes even to yourself.  But when you let go, there is no proving anything to anyone. When you let go, when you walk away, you are actually telling Life that you are open for new possibilities and opportunities. You are setting yourself free. And only when you are totally free can you be in bliss!