Yesterday I lost it. I flipped out.
There I said it.
After years of meditation and practicing seeing the divine in the next person, something switched in me in the middle of a windy, dusty, hot Indian mountain road.
And I regret it.
An older man backed into my car even though I repeatedly honked to warn him I was just behind him. I was exasperated; boom I exploded. In two languages. And it was not pretty. I was ugly. A bottle of soda shaken and opened.
I couldn’t see him as a reflection of myself, that’s for sure.
Especially when he started justifying himself, blaming me for being too close to his car. I was not interested in finding out his reasoning. I just needed to get to a shady area and drink something cold, the temperature over 40 degrees celsius.
Inner work is never done. And obviously, I still got some to do.
We all do.
Over the many years of sadhana — self-practice — studies, and time spent alone in silence in Indian Ashrams I have discovered that there is no pursuit of peace of mind and heart.
There is no going to the Himalayas and no traveling to exotic places, big cities, or small towns. There is no reading a million books. There is no playing safely in the comfort of our luxuries, either.
Calmness is an ever-internal affair. Always present. Never absent — yes, I know it means the same thing.
It’s our natural state before the mind starts playing tricks creating inexistent problems, convincing us that life cannot run smoothly, that we need to stress and worry and live in fear, lose weight, pay bills, and die.
Truth is, the mind will never be happy because that’s not its responsibility. Its job is to function as a servant to our higher self — that’s in a perpetual state of joy and ease.
The yogis refer to the Sanskrit word ananda to indicate our intrinsic state of bliss. Our mood doesn’t influence it, nor does the weather or outside events. This is who we are at the core of our being.
Alas, I lost track of it, if only for a brief moment.
I felt exhausted afterward. Deflated. A balloon punctured in mid-air.
I asked myself how I could have handled the situation better. “You could have been more poised, Elena. Kinder. And you should have definitely held your barking” I did not.
And I forgave myself.
“Always acting in a mode of goodness does not mean that you can’t be firm, push back, or protect yourself. It simply means that you can do all these without harbouring ill-will or negative feelings towards the other person,”
This is what I know.
Some days unfold gently, like a china cup of smooth jasmine tea on a cold winter eve. Some feel like running barefoot on hot asphalt. We are hard on ourselves and others. We say things we wish we didn’t. We have regrets.
And that’s that.
There is always room for improvement in each of us.
Staying mindful, understanding the triggers, forgiving, learning, and learning some more create the necessary space for us to flow through the ups and downs of being human. Like a dance floor, when the Dj doesn’t always play the music you like. That, too, shall end.
Thanks for being here.
Originally published on Medium.