Very often, in the midst of our daily routine, we find ourselves leading our lives without any degree of awareness. Constantly acting without being mindful, we later repent our actions. Even for those of us who tend to be interested in spirituality, there is a great degree of mindfulness which is required. One day it dawned upon me that our actions usually happen based on our prior tendencies, conditioning and expectations. Without turning inwards, it is very easy to lose our way and forget what we initially set out for. As disciples or simply humans striving for growth, we forget the guidance we ought to live by, allow our egos to inflate multifold and start believing that we are special. To stop myself from falling into this bottomless pit of misery and bursting ego, I set myself some rules or perhaps reminders. They are here so that I can kick myself into remembering to remain a humble disciple of my mighty Guru.
Rule no.1: Smile Yo! You are still very much alive!!
The first thing I always remind myself to remind myself of is to smile. There is no use in being serious all the time! Very often, in life when we are in the pursuit of serious things be it material, spiritual or intellectual, we forget the most attractive trait humans possess. A smile. The inner rebel within me always remembers that this body must smile at others. We have a human birth and the ability to spread positivity and warmth through simple gestures. It may be an ignorant view, but I am totally convinced that if I cannot be fun, happy and spread smiles everywhere, let alone being spiritual, am I even alive?!
We feel most alive and happy when we are having a good time, when bliss flows through us. And a smile is a beginning of that bliss. I know people who are very religious, perform rigorous rituals, beyond my ability in even my wildest dreams. I can barely do any ‘Swaha’s’ properly for that matter!:) But if only they could smile, how wonderful would it be! So, I always remind myself to never become a serious, stern and frozen-faced seeker because am still alive!!!
Rule no. 2: You have nothing genuine to say? Be real or Shut up!
This little rebel inside my head never fails to remind me: “Be genuine yo!!” In our never-ending pursuit to please others and be loved, we unknowingly speak words which are untrue. We praise others without meaning any of it. And in the process, with egos as big as the Himalayas, we accept compliments with fake humility, when deep within us we have already (wrongly) acknowledged that we are above almost everyone surrounding us. So, I better watch out and never let myself forget that I must be genuine and only utter words I truly mean. It isn’t a sin to remain quiet or simply smile. It is almost disrespectful to say that we like something or someone when it simply isn’t true. Eventually these little lies accumulate into habits and thereafter tendencies. Be real or Shut up!
Rule no. 3: “Who do you think you are?” A nobody!:)
So, Act like it!
At the end of the day, we are not as important as we think we are. Our egos have the ability to blow things out of proportion, giving us this sense of being special. I am a nobody. I am a speck of dust and I am surrounded by trillions of other specks of dust but like Calvin we all wish to yell that we are significant:)! Isn’t he cute? Maybe that’s how God sees us too!
No matter, how important I may think I am, the world doesn’t revolve around me, mine, my problems and my desires. But when focussing on being a speck of dust, I am complete! A nobody, puts others first and never acts from being higher up. A nobody speaks to everyone equally and doesn’t differentiate. A nobody has no importance of their own. I shall forever remind myself that I am but a speck of dust at the feet of the Divine and ultimately at the service of my Om Swami:)
Rule no. 4: Why are you running? There is no rat race, relax…
Which brings me to my next rule. The human mind, at least mine, is very quick to assume that there is always some race going on. We must be the first to reach, we must be the highest achiever, we must be the favourite disciple, we must be the best devotee, we must be the most spiritual and the list is endless. But these misconceptions only exist in the mind, and wilfully, I remind myself that there is nowhere to go, nowhere to be. God has no favourite, it’s an inner affair. If there is a race at all, we are on our own; like a hamster on a wheel, constantly running and getting nowhere.
There is no use in comparing, running, falling over and hurting ourselves in the process. It is foolish, I realised. There is no rat race to be ‘this’ or ‘that’. Stop running- I remind myself.
Rule no. 5: Shut up and listen!
“You really think you know? No, you don’t, simply listen”
I always remind myself that I truly don’t know anything about the bigger picture and I ought to shut up and listen! It all boils down to ego in some way or another. We often think we know what’s best for us. Maybe surrender and devotion has a huge part to play in this case but sometimes, it pays to lift our hands up and admit that we definitely have no idea about what’s good for us. Infinitely blinded by our desires, ego and self-narrated stories, we end up seeking things and goals which only pull us further away from our spiritual growth. I tell myself that if we are lucky enough to have a true Guru or even a belief in God, it is in our best interest to stay quiet and listen to His instructions. Being guided by Divine grace, is a blessing. (How to be worthy of divine grace? For another time.)
Rule no. 6: Don’t bore others…
Thou shall keep the remaining 50 rules for another time…
Just kidding! The 6th rule is a joke, an easy way to finish the post without writing a conclusion!
But why did I share these five rules here? That’s rule no. 57. So I guess you’ll never know:)
P.S: The ‘harsh’ inner voice in this post is intended for fun and humour. No offence intended to myself or anyone else or any Nobody either:)