Did you watch Swami’s latest YouTube video about Truthful Conduct on the Spiritual Path? It was quite something, right!?(Okay, truth is, when is it not?)
With a beautiful garland around His neck, in this discourse, He narrates a deep story and states something profound at around 8mins. Just for ease of access (and thanks to the English subs), here’s a brief summary of the moral of the story:

 “A person can never hide their inner feelings from themselves. E.g. If two people are wearing delicate flower garlands around their necks, the garland around the calmer person’s neck will remain intact and fresh, compared to other who may be trying to hide their restlessness/anger, but pretending to be calm.”  

This story got me thinking quite deeply but I also smiled at the same time. You see, when I was a teen, something would always baffle me. When it was home time, I’d look at other kids, and wonder how they remained so neat after an entire day at school? Their skin looked just the same, their hair completely intact, heck, even their white shirts were still pristine!  On the other hand, I was a messy mess.

So, Swami’s discourse took me down memory lane.

But the good news is that, I finally got my answer. These kids had been spending all their time in the bathroom combing their hair and sat around all day while I played football and table tennis! There you go – the answer has been found. Just kidding. To be honest, I don’t know why they were so neat after a long day but I do agree with Swami, that inner calmness does show on the outside. Have you noticed how sometimes you just feel so grounded that on those days, you come back home feeling very fresh and neat?

Swami is the perfect example of this connection between inner calmness and outer appearance. If you have seen Swami physically, of course you’d know He is neatness and elegance personified. What’s inside is equal what’s seen on the outside. Yep, He is the perfect equation!

If we are calm, loving and comfortable within, perhaps our clothes will be less creased after a few hours. And if we walk elegantly and mindfully, our shoes would perhaps be less soiled! And if we eat mindfully, we’re less likely to stain our clothes with yummy gravy!

Perhaps, that’s why kids can be so messy when they return home. Because they have so much energy bubbling in them, so their outer appearance mirror their inner restlessness and excitement. I personally remember walking back home from school in a mess; a not-so-beautiful combination of wavy hair, messy clothes, dull skin and let’s not even mention the muddy shoes, shall we?:) Although as an adult, on some rare blue moons, I am surprised to notice the opposite, although most of the time, it’s mess galore.

So, this week, am in for a game! Are you in?

Here’s the challenge:

1. With extreme mindfulness, let’s observe ourselves for one week.
I’ll personally observe my outer appearance at the end of the day, whether I am at home or outside. And we can think about:

2. How is our outer appearance at the end of the day? Does it match how we felt on the inside all day?
The purpose is to gain some insight about our inner truths! Are we calm? Are we swan-like or are we hot-headed messy kings and queens?  Let’s have some fun with this exercise, I’ll try to report back. If I disappear, I’ll leave you guessing. (It ain’t that hard)

But if you’re not in for the game, maybe you could tell me what type of teen you were! Neat or messy? (I won’t tell anyone!)