Create your own magic, let your music happen and be happy!

When you can immerse yourself into doing something, no matter where you are, and you love doing it so much that you lose yourself, in it, to it – well, that’s one sure way to be happy!
T.M.Krishna in “One”
Picture Courtesy: One with Music/facebook Page
A couple of days ago, I watched the opening of Carnatic classicist T.M.Krishna’s “One” (P.Jayendra, 2014) at Sathyam Cinemas. It was a magical experience. Jayendra calls his film an “experiment” to take the artiste out of the confines of a studio and/or auditorium and allow him to perform unbridled and free in nature – where the artiste experiences a oneness with creation itself. But the “experiment” actually ends up breaking tradition, blazing a new trail and setting musicians and music free. None could have been a better protagonist for this path-breaking initiative than Krishna. As Krishna himself told Narayan Lakshman of The Hindu, a few days before “One’s” release: “I have, over the years, moved to a different space in what music means to me and what the experience of music is; singing in tranquil, lush surroundings such as the foothills and forests of the Nilgiris allowed me to feel the air and space, actually experience beauty, and let the music happen.” When you watch the film, you too will realize how Krishna let go and let the music flow – unmindful of the film’s crew at work or of the three cameras that were capturing his every move and the seven microphones that were recording live sound – of not just the singing, but of the water flowing, the birds chirping, the clouds rumbling and the leaves rustling. Clearly, there appeared to be no retakes – Krishna sang from his soul and the crew recorded. Which explains how they finished recording the entire film’s content – all the songs – in just two days! That was my key takeaway from the “One” experience – Krishna just lost himself to what he was feeling, immersed himself in the moment and let the music happen.
For lack of a better quote, let me repeat, one more time, what Osho, the Master, has always said and championed: “When the dancer becomes the dance, when the singer becomes the song, when the musician becomes the music, magic happens.” Clearly you can witness and feel the magic happening in “One”. Interestingly, we too can create this kind of magic in our lives if we too follow our bliss – doing what gives us joy and immersing ourselves doing it all the time.
My bliss comes from being able to express myself through my writing, my public speaking engagements and through leading and inspiring change among people in workshops that I lead. I have found that every time take the floor, I just forget where I am and even who I am. I simply become the subject that I am championing.
I remember, some years ago, we were mandated with leading change in a very fractious environment at a leading healthcare company. I was anchoring a crucial offsite workshop, which marked the culmination of several months of our intervention. But parallel to our professional commitments, there was a big seismic event happening in our Life – we were just coming to terms with the fact that as a Firm we were bankrupt and penniless as a family! One of our creditors, from a large, multi-national bank, had figured out where we were conducting the workshop for this client and landed up at the hotel’s banquet area. He accosted me during the coffee break and threatened to both disrupt the proceedings by informing our client of our “dishonorable nature” and to also sue us in court. I told the gentleman and his contingent that while I appreciated their claim I could not fathom them interrupting me while I was at work. I requested that we meet another day at my office. But the creditor insisted on creating a ruckus. There were raised tones and some aggressive body language followed. This led to my client’s Executive Director, to walk up to me and ask if everything was okay. Her intervention led to the creditor and his team backing off. They agreed to meet me the next day at my office. But my equilibrium was clearly disturbed. I requested my client if I could extend the break by a few more minutes just to gather myself. When I resumed, and took the floor again, after 10 additional minutes, the Chairman of my client company also joined his team. Over the next two hours, I made an impassioned plea and case for change, citing opportunities that this team had, and highlighting the problems that needed resolution urgently. I lost myself to the cause that I was championing. When I finished, the Chairman, rose and soon the whole team, gave me a rousing, standing ovation. Each of them, including the rabid elements on the team, without any suggestion from me or the Chairman, promised to personally change and pledged to transform their company. When I got back home that evening, I marveled at how I had shut out such a disconcerting experience with the creditor and yet had been able to contribute so passionately to a client’s cause. I reckoned that this was possible only because I had done what I love doing, because I had immersed myself both to the cause and in the moment. In a couple of quarters after this workshop I bumped into the Chairman of this company again at the lobby of the Taj Coromandel Hotel and he told me this: “Your intervention was magical. It healed my team. Of course we had to let a couple of managers go, but the rest of them have truly changed the way they think and behave. Resultantly, they are performing better. This would not have been possible without what you did for us.” It was a humbling compliment. I cherished it more because is showcased to me that it is possible to banish worry and anxiety, anger and grief, and to let your music happen, if you do what you love doing and learn to be in the moment!

You too can do this. Despite what you are going through and what you are faced with, choose to spend an hour every day doing what you love doing – be it cooking, walking, gardening, reading, singing, dancing, writing, driving or even working (if you enjoy your job). Immerse yourself in that activity. You will soon discover that it is possible to lose yourself to what you love doing. That’s how you create your own magic, let your music happen, and learn to be happy! 
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Life is a blind date – Take it as it comes

Life is a journey into the unknown in every moment. If you seek predictability, you will suffer. If you embrace the unpredictability, and go with the flow, you will find the way to be happy despite your circumstances.  
We are all creatures of routine. And Life is never routine. It is full of adventure. So when it disrupts, you don’t like the change. So you ask, Why? Then, Why Me? Then, Why Now? With each of these questions, for which you are unlikely to get answers, you are losing time, are feeling miserable and are suffering. Think of your routine. You like to wake up, go to work, have a drink in the evening, lounge in front of the TV, read a book, sleep. Then, wake up, do the same stuff again. And you believe you have a happy Life – a good spouse, wonderful children. That’s a nice routine. That’s when Life stirs your pot a bit. A heart attack. A job loss. Or a loss in business. A child having a troubled teenage. Death of a child. Or a parent. Or a sibling. Any of these happenings can plunge you into grief. You argue that you have been good, ethical, faithful. Then why do horrible things have to happen to you? While all your grief is understandable, no one can stop things from happening to you. The truth is that things simply have to happen. And because it’s your turn now, they are happening to you. Plain and simple. Don’t imagine Life to be wicked, sinister and scheming. Whatever happens in Life, just happens. There’s no conspiracy. Just an inscrutable cosmic design. It is the same Life that gave you your most memorable moments. Your first school successes, your first romance, your first international trip, your first raise, your first profits, your first child. And then, as in most cases, everything happened a second time too. So, the Life that makes you smile, gush with joy, also stirs things up a bit, mischievously. The way to deal with such an unpredictable Life is to retain your spirit of joy and fullness – always, no matter what comes your way.
                            
Life is this continuous journey into the unknown. If you want predictability, you can never be happy. Because when everything is predictable, like in a routine, you don’t live. You simply exist. You are alive. But you are as good as dead. Someone asked Mark Twain (1835~1910), the American author and humourist, once, “What do you think are the three best things in Life?” In jest, but also with deep sarcasm, Twain replied: “The first best thing is never to be born. The second best thing is to die immediately after birth. And the third best thing is to die as soon as possible.” This may sound like Twain’s trademark humor. But there’s a great truth in his humor. If you want to live, and live happily, you have to be prepared to face the unknown, you have to approach Life with the spirit of adventure. If you are scared of the unknown and seek predictability and security, you are better off dead!
In Chennai, we have a cinema multiplex called Sathyam. Every Thursday evening they have a screening called “Blind Date”. The concept is that you get to watch any of the movies releasing the next day, Friday, that Sathyam chooses to screen. True to the show’s name, you don’t get to know which film is being screened until the movie begins. If you choose to go for the “Blind Date” show, you wait with everyone else in the audience, with expectation and apprehension, not knowing which movie is going to play. Chances are it may be a movie that you like or it may be something that you dislike. But whatever it is, you take it as it comes.
The best way to live Life is to treat it as a blind date. Just take it as it comes!