Who doesn’t like a good party with good music, fun people and good food? Okay maybe the people are optional, but the food and scrumptious desserts are non-negotiable, right? It is often said that each day is a celebration. Then I guess birthdays are days for double celebrations. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I’d write a birthday post. But some sharing is in order and if this post can inspire anyone, I’ll get some good karma points. Hey! At least am honest!:)
Today I’d like to share crucial aspects of self-transformation. It is a beautiful feeling to be secure in surrender and faith, to bask in grace but it doesn’t simply come by wishing for it. Hard work is required and time also does wonders. If you wish to start playing and having loadsa fun like me, read on.
Although we all wish to transform, why is it that most of us remain stuck in the rut for the longest time? We remain the same year after year, sulking over the same things, complaining about our bad luck and being sad or happy depending on our outer circumstances.
When we are trying to transform, it’s not that we lack any intellectual understanding of wisdom, Swami’s teachings are always clear and crisp to us. So what is missing? Grace? Not at all. Grace is not missing.
In London last year, when life was normal and breathing was legal, I mean masks were not needed, someone asked Swami:
Is Divine Grace available for everyone?
Swami beautifully replied:
Yes, it’s available for everyone. Just like the sun is there for everyone. But if you are in a cave, you must step out of the cave to bask in Divine Grace. You must become the right person. And sometimes it requires being vulnerable.
This is heavily paraphrased as I am always too dazzled to remember much of what Swami says in person, but thankfully I remember some of this. Divine grace is there but I think that’s where most of us remain mistaken, we believe that leaving it to His grace or outsourcing to the divine will help us transform. Unfortunately it wasn’t my experience. There are a few key aspects to transformation and here we go.
- The burning desire to transform
I think this is the most fundamental aspect of self-transformation. This burning desire to turn our lives around and transform from inside must be there. It’s only when we think “Okay! I have had enough!” that change begins. For me personally, my Swami’s fire in His physical presence was the catalyst for my transformation.
After meeting Him, I no longer wished to be a victim and grew tired of playing the blame game on everyone around me, that’s when I was ready to transform. Outsourcing our problems to God or our Guru is really not a permanent option. I stopped trying to change others, I decided to become the change instead. I think it’s quite common for us to simply say “It’s Divine grace or It’s Divine will”, or even “I will transform when God decides.” but without taking real action to fix our lives and our minds.
It really doesn’t work unless we put in the work. The burning desire to take a step towards our transformation must come from within and with commitment. And when one fine day I decided that I wanted to transform and I was willing to do anything to free myself from my own ‘mindy’ misery. And honestly this is where most of us falter. It feels tough to take that jump and let go of our comfort zone of misery, but it is truly liberating when we do. I noticed that if we are happy to be the only one who is right, if we are happy to keep blaming, if we are happy to find solace in blaming the circumstances against us, then transformation never truly begins.
- Becoming a recipient of Divine Grace
Once we have made a commitment towards our own self-transformation, that’s when providence arranges for the right people to cross our path. In my case, I was blessed with two beautiful souls, one was as warm as a fireplace and one burnt like fire.
During the process, I learnt that to be ready to receive Divine Grace, one must be empty. We must let go of our clutter; physical, mental and emotional clutter.
That’s easy. Clear yo’ garbage! Give to charity and throw the junk in the bin yo’!
This on the other hand is what required the hard work. Clearing mental clutter required constant non-pursuit of mental garbage and dropping thoughts as I wrote here. Everything that is a story made up by the mind must be dropped.
For E.g. “I am not kind enough for Divine grace.” That’s a mental construct and must be dropped. Any thought must be dropped. The fiery friend who helped me transformed would constantly say: “Drop it.” “Drop it.” To every single statement I made, over a period of 2-3 months. And it takes a great deal of courage to let go of our beliefs. Though, it sounds easy, right? But it’s not and this is where we will fail constantly. We are so stuck in our own beliefs and ego that we refuse to see the bigger picture. If a family member constantly behaves in a certain way, we are very quick to justify that we are right and they are wrong. And the saddest part is that we actually want them to admit that they are wrong too. But realising that we must allow others to live in their own pyjamas is important.
I often use the phrase “They are Okay, I am Okay”. Meaning let others be who they want to be. We are the ones who must change. Not them!
I think this one is cleared gradually as we stop pursuing stories and thoughts and meditation helps. One thing that I constantly faced was comparing how I felt on a day to day basis. And it was not beneficial at all.
Somedays I would wake up and say “Oh damn! I felt so good yesterday! Why am I feeling so rubbish today?” And the mind would then kick in stating that something must be wrong. But my friends, here is a precious trick and I won’t charge you for it! Drop that thought too! The comparison of how we used to feel and this need to always find a reason, it’s all THE MIND! Drop it. And just feel what you feel without pursuing any reasons. Deeper emotional clutter will also be cleared, Nature will send the right person in our lives to clear that up. Not by outsourcing, but only by being committed and taking a step towards transformation.
- Basking in Divine Grace is fun!
Once we’ve surpassed and cleaned up all the clutter, we become a worthy recipient of divine grace. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have everything going for them? And even when things go wrong, they still smile in faith? Well that’s why. They are light, they acted on their burning desire to transform, they discarded their beliefs and clutter, made themselves ready for grace, and do not outsource their problems on God.
We are immensely blessed with the presence of Swami in our lives and He works so hard for us but our gift to Him can only be a real introspection into our lives. Awakening our desire to transform and reach our highest potential is all we can do. There are days where I keep falling back into my mind, but that’s where the desire rises again. This desire to kill the mind and experience peace and fun again. And hard work of droppin’ starts again!
When we take the required steps and transform, life becomes a play and it’s all fun. The mind holds on to very little and we verily feel like a child of the Divine, playing in His lap. He plays, we imitate, we stumble, He picks us up and teaches us. It is a play in Divine lap! A beautiful life.
Today, I offer my life, gratitude and everything I am and do to my beloved Swami. He gave me a new life. Let’s all awaken that desire to transform and do what it takes. Isn’t this the ultimate purpose of our existence? It’s the only gift we can offer Him. And to push ourselves out of the fluctuations of the mind is rewarding.
Come play and have fun! Life is too short and beautiful to hold on to the clutter! Wanna join me?:)