There is great joy in living dangerously

Don’t ever fear living dangerously. Simply focus on the living, for you can do nothing about the danger!
Neerja Malik
Picture Courtesy: Facebook
The other day we were at an event to launch a book based on the Life of Neerja Malik, a two-time cancer survivor. Titled ‘I Inspire’ (Jaico, written by Megha Bajaj), the book tells Neerja’s story – of grit, of letting go, of acceptance and of being happy despite the circumstances. At the launch, Neerja, just as the way she always is, was beaming and radiating abundance. She personified being joyful! Without any prior notice, finding me and Vaani in the audience, Nina Reddy, of Savera Hotels, who was the chief guest at the event, invited me to share some perspective (perhaps given our own experience with dealing with a Life-changing crisis) on how “it is possible turn a crisis into an opportunity”.
I talked about how ancient Chinese philosophy and literature support this belief that the word “crisis”, when written in the Chinese language, is actually the sum of two other words. One meaning ‘danger’ and the other meaning ‘opportunity’. So to the Chinese, crisis always means danger + opportunity. The import for us is this – whenever you see crisis, don’t get overwhelmed by its inherent dangerous nature. See the opportunity. To be sure, there is opportunity all around, everywhere, and every step of the way.
Osho, the Master, takes the Chinese argument one step further. He says Life is intrinsically fraught with dangers. Each moment is an encounter with the unknown. He says our academic education, social conditioning and the availability of economic resources makes us believe, actually kids us, that we know what outcomes can occur each time all necessary and sufficient conditions are fulfilled. But every now and then – when an MH 370 disappears into thin air, when you are faced with a debilitating ailment with no cure, when a close relationship sours irrevocably because you have stopped relating to that person – you realize that you are controlling nothing. That only Life was, is, and will be, in control. You discover then that you are a mere pawn. So, when this realization strikes you it can be very unsettling. You thought you were the boss, the king. But now, Life’s telling you are that you are just a cog in the wheel, a nobody who controls nothing. Osho says that instead of feeling depressed and powerless, celebrate the joy of living dangerously. Since you can’t do anything about what happens to you in Life, since you have no idea or control over what dangers lie on your journey ahead, simply let go and be happy!
Neerja epitomizes that spirit. It’s her joie de vivre that’s helped her conquer cancer not once – but twice! It’s her zest to live that spreads so much positivity and cheer among all those she touches. She doesn’t make living this way seem easy. Living this way iseasy because she lives each moment fully – with awareness, with joy! There’s indeed great joy in living dangerously. If you can find some time from your worrying and fearing and fretting and fuming about the ‘dangers’ you are currently dealing with, believe me, you too can feel – and be – that joy! 
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A crisis is your golden moment: Seize it!

When in a crisis situation, after all the initial fear and anxiety has left you crippled, when you are with yourself, and are grudgingly begin to accept your reality, take stock, dispassionately, calmly of whatever’s going on. Ask yourself what can you do about the situation you are faced with? There are only two ways to deal with any challenging situation: either you can do something to solve it or simply accept it. Most often we are able to see that, in some situations, we can’t do much to solve it. Even so, we simply refuse to accept the crisis, the situation, the reality. We wish things were not the way they are. This is what leads to suffering. Acceptance, on the other hand, ensures freedom from suffering, even if the source of pain, the crisis, doesn’t go away. When you are free from suffering, your inner peace will guide you to learn from the crisis and help you avoid feeling burdened by it.  
Every crisis we are faced with, without fail, is a precursor to a blessing, an opportunity. Extra-ordinary pain is not some cosmic ordinance for all the sins you have committed in this lifetime, or another one (as most religions will have you believe and, perhaps, fear), but is always a prelude to extra-ordinary grace that is due to drench you in its brilliance! In the Chinese language (although academic purists and linguistic experts do argue otherwise) the word for “crisis” is made up of the amalgamation of the Chinese words for “danger” and “opportunity”. Even if the purists’ view is considered, they concur that ‘weiji’, the Chinese word for crisis, does mean ‘dangerous or precarious or critical or crucial point’. And that’s what a crisis really is – it is a critical inflection point of your Life, from one orbit to another!
It is the duration of the inflection that kills any of us, and never the crisis itself. And this is where acceptance has a big role to play. To fight Life is being foolish. To accept it is intelligence. Whatever be your crisis, whatever it is that defines your circumstance right now, accept it. Some situations may bring you to the brink, may threaten to annihilate you, but your acceptance can miraculously give you the inner strength to cope with them. Life loves those that are prepared to go with it, all the way, down to the wire. So, it is that you will observe, that those who have been through excruciatingly painful times, have always emerged humbler, stronger, peaceful and more brilliant than they ever were. You will see such people in your family or among your friends itself. Be sure to be inspired by them than simply opinionate on them!
A crisis is a golden moment. It teaches you acceptance. If you learn that lesson, it means you have got yourself the most profound qualification (higher than any other degree that the world’s most scholarly university can award you) in Life – to lead a Life of true meaning, love, peace and joy!