Approach Life, the ‘Chomolungma’ way!

A closed door, an impregnable situation, a no-go stalemate, does not mean it is The End. It only means PAUSE. It only means reflect. It only means TAKE A BREAK.
In Life closed doors come in several forms: an unsufferable relationship, a lost job, bankruptcy, a health crisis or the death of a dear one. And we think it is all over, we can go on no more. But wait! Like in cricket, so it is in Life, it is never over until the last ball is bowled! And since you don’t know which one is the last ball, you really have no right to conclude that it is all over.
Why worry about anything? Because the worst thing that can happen to you, arguably, is that you can die! Which is why they say that anything’s possible when you are alive!! Besides, when you die, after you are gone, you are not even going to know it. Be sure: your last rites will be performed ‘without’ your knowing it!
So, use every challenge that Life is throwing at you as an opportunity to learn something from it. That situation, possibly even a Life-threatening crisis, is teaching you something. Ask for it, demand, and be sure that it will reveal its true purpose in your Life. Know with certainty that every closed door will open. Provided you approach it with complete faith, in total humility and remain patient.
The Tibetans call Mount Everest, which at 29,029 ft is the world’s tallest peak, ‘Chomolungma’ or ‘Goddess Mother of the World’. All climbers preparing for a conquest of the Everest, irrespective of their individual faiths, are advised to first kneel down at the Temple of Chomolungma at base camp before they begin their expedition. The prayer they are encouraged to offer is, “O! Goddess Mother, allow me the opportunity and ability to complete my mission of reaching your peak.” ‘Chomolungma’ has now come to mean ‘I submit in all humility to your might’.

So, approach Life, the ‘Chomolungma’ way. When you resist Life, you are demonstrating frustration, you are demanding the right to conquer, which is not something that Life likes. Instead employ empathy with Life. And you will be offered right of passage. You will find a crack in the door. You will find that door, and all closed doors thereafter, opening, magically!

Learn to give your Life, Time!

All of us wish we had 28 hour days and 3-day weekends. The truth is, surprisingly, this is possible. Provided we are willing to invest ‘time’ in this wish.
Fundamentally, to achieve this, we must learn to drink from Life’s cup, one sip at a time. And not rush through Life. Agreed that despite our earnings having gone up, and technology having simplified much of our lives, we continue to be faced with a deficit of time. We live in a world where traffic’s getting worse, the home-work-home commute is therefore only getting longer and is a drudgery, meetings are both meaningless and never-ending, targets seem even more unreasonable than they used to, the children are demanding more attention despite their having ‘grown older’ and overall, a sense of racing__from event to event, from crisis to crisis, from chore to chore__ prevails over living! And, of course, weekday mornings are still dreadful.
This, however, is the time to pause, to take a deep breath and go through your morning, day and week, mindfully. This may seem like a stupid, impractical suggestion. But consider it. By running faster and faster, by rushing, you are only going to exhaust yourself. Your energy will remain depleted all day and perhaps all week. Which is all the more reason why you need to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness means to focus your attention on whatever you are doing, unmindful of a previous task or an upcoming one. We do just the opposite. While packing the kids away to school, your focus is on your own commute. While on the ride to work, you are already thinking of the 3.30 pm meeting for which you are underprepared. And worry if it will get over in time for you to leave work and get home, because there’s the carpenter coming over at 6.30 pm to fix the wardrobe lock! This prescription, to slow down and yet proceed with focus, isn’t an original one, is definitely not invented by me, nor is it a “cure for our times”. The 12th century Tibetan Buddhist monk, Jetsun Milarepa (1052~1135) had advised thus: “Hasten slowly and ye shall soon arrive.” He championed nimbleness and un-distractedness over rushing, even in those times.
The simple truth about time is that you can have as much time as you want, available to you, provided you are ready to work for and on it. Many of us are armchair wish-makers. We want more time, but we don’t want to make changes to our lifestyles and schedules. We don’t want to analyze our workdays and weeks and decide what’s core and what’s non-core. Without investing time in understanding what’s important and worthy of our time, we can’t expect to find more time in our daily lives!
Get this straight. And know that this aspect about managing your time is non-negotiable. When you do work on time diligently, your Life will become meaningful and an endless experience of ‘leisure’. It was the super-tramp poet William Henry Davies (1871-1940) who wrote in his 1911 poem, ‘Leisure’: “What is this Life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare!” Imagine, if in a packed week, on a crazy  morning, you could just ‘stand and stare’ at people rushing to work! It really is possible. All you have to do is to understand that if you want to have the time of your Life, you must be willing to give your Life, time!