Inaction is inner action, and I learned this from the Tree of Knowledge shown in the picture in the Writing Challenge. I am the elephant in the picture, reading a book.

During my childhood, I loved climbing trees. I would climb on the tree in our front yard in New Delhi, and read a book. It was so much fun; I would make a comfortable perch for myself, take a good book with me, and sit for hours. It became my own private space, a kind of meditation centre just for myself. I felt so secure half way up the tree, far away from others, and yet so close. Sometimes, I would bring my homework with me, mastering the art of writing while sitting in a cramped space. From the outsider’ s point of view, it was inaction, but I was very busy inside my mind. It was a lot of inner action.

My father was a journalist and our house was always full of books. There were collections of poetry, English classics and, even an encyclopaedia. I would take out one volume at a time, and became well informed about a lot of useless things. We also had the Gymkhana Club library within walking distance and it had a fabulous collection of books by PG Wodehouse, the British humorist. We had a six month preparation leave for Senior Cambridge exams, the equivalent of high school exams today. During this time, I read every PG Wodehouse book from the library, and this has changed my attitude to life completely. I can see the funny side of every situation and this has helped me see the positive in almost every negative.

I have faced my share of difficulties in life. My father and my brother passed away while I was still a teenager, and this turned my life upside down. We moved to Lucknow to stay with my uncle, and my life changed completely. The books I read on the tree of knowledge during childhood have been a huge support. Even more importantly, reading has become a life long habit and there are always new books to explore. It is easier than ever before to read books, with the growth of digital technology. Library books are easy to download, and all of Om Swami ji’s books are available as downloads.

Luckily, my children have caught the reading bug from me. Both my son and daughter are avid readers, and this will, hopefully, continue into future generations. My wife gets up early every morning, to read spiritual books during the quietest time of the day. She reads Om Swami ji’s books very slowly, savouring each word.

The tree of knowledge in our childhood home has taught me the power of inaction, or, rather, inner action. Whenever I have to take an important decision, I take it the next day. Call it procrastination  if you like, but somehow, the subconscious mind gives me the right answers every time.

Try it for yourself. Instead of rushing in to meet the latest deadline, try inner action and let the subconscious mind do all the work.

Hashtag #TheWriteChoice.

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Niraj Chandra

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