When Life slows down, enjoy it in slow motion!

There will be times in Life when you have to simply hang in there. Nothing you do will work for you. And each day will be slow, dreary and hard to live through. All you can do in such a time is to believe that Life is teaching you to keep the Faith and develop Patience.
Nobody loves a problem situation. So, really, no one wants a challenging phase in Life to prolong – joblessness, a business slowdown, a critical health condition or a messy relationship drama. But what can you do in the face of Life’s onslaught? As they say in cricket, when the bowling is intense and difficult to play, simply let the ball go past you. Don’t stick your bat out, don’t play a rash shot in desperation or you will lose your wicket! In fact, India Captain, M.S.Dhoni, told the media, after his team’s Tri-Nation Trophy triumph at Port of Spain (West Indies) yesterday: “Sometimes you have to play boring cricket.” He was referring to the difficult-to-negotiate overs in between when the Indian run rate slowed down and the team lost wickets in quick succession.
So it is with Life too – when it becomes boring and painful, you can avoid the suffering by simply accepting that your Life, for now, is playing out in slow motion. Actually, why must Life always be fast paced? Why do we need to be running from meeting to meeting, chore to chore, commute to commute all the time? Why must everything be an agenda item or on a To Do List?
A good metaphor to hold is that of a clock that’s ticking away even in a thunderstorm. Un-fluttered. Unmoved. A strong mind is like the clock. It remains untouched by the vagaries of Life. Neither exulting vainly in success nor tormented in failure. To be sure, Life is not only about winning and losing. It is, in fact, all about living. And living does not need a pre-qualification. Living simply means being present in the moment, no matter where you find yourself. Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th Century Persian mystic and poet, has said it so beautifully: “Take sips of this pure wine being poured. Don’t mind that you have been handed a dirty cup!”
I have learned that Faith is not about a God or religion. Faith is knowing that everything happens for a reason. And since the reason will not always be immediately evident, you must have Patience to last a trying phase, till the reason shows up! Life is not a 100-meter race. If you rush through it too fast or keep brooding its slow pace you will surely miss the scenery! And since you can’t ever go back in time or Life, the most intelligent thing you can do is to live fully every moment of the Life that’s playing out for you, enjoying its magic and beauty!  

Die first as who you are – so a new you can Live!

All of us aspire to transform, to improve, to get better than who we are. But we never get down to changing in reality. New Year and Birthday/Anniversary resolutions come and go. But we rarely get started. And even if we do, we don’t often keep up at it. Ever wondered why?

The reason is simple: inertia. Life as usual is comfortable. And change involves letting go of that comfort, of stepping out, becoming vulnerable. This is why we lead incomplete lives. We want a different Life but don’t want to work for it. Inertia can only be overcome by willingness. Mere wanting cannot help you. You must be willing – to be and lead the change!

American author Jim Rohn (1930~2009) said this: “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself!” Easier said than done you may think. But there’s a way.

Consider this. We have often been told that we will all eventually die; that death is an inevitable part of the creation process. Here’s a different perspective: that it is equally important to learn and know that we must first DIE to LIVE. This is not merely a spiritual point of view, it is also a very practical suggestion. Take a minute to examine yourself. You have perhaps become so regimented in your thinking, your habits are so deep-rooted and your opinions so rigid! Maybe you hate the way your Life is but are unable to get out of the rut! But if you still hope to have new Life, recognize first that you can’t get to a new destination by choosing to stay in the same place!! We all operate from To Do lists. For you to LIVE the Life you want to live, for you to transform, you must have a Never To Do or Stop-Doing list in the first place. Simply choose to stop doing a few things. Make that choice, firmly, resolutely.

Remember: For a new YOU to emerge, who you are presently must cease to exist, must DIE. So, get down to work: die to LIVE! Die first as who you are….so a new you can LIVE!