In my book – The Flower of Fulfillment, I mention Lifestyle as the second element in the petal of health. I’ve addressed the same in a practical way in the book, as that’s a key accent of that book. However, in today’s blog, I’d like you to “think” about your lifestyle.
What is lifestyle? I think everyone knows what it means. Mainly, lifestyle is making space and time for the fulfilled life you want to live. We’ll be looking at lifestyle in a specific way in this blog to think about and bring changes in our day-to-day life.
The 5 senses:
“Bhadhram Karne Bhishrunuyaama Devaaha, Bhadhram Pashyema Kshabhiryajathraaha,” says the beginning of Atharva Sheersha. Simply translating “May we with ears hear good, may we see/visualize good with eyes”. Have you wondered why listening is mentioned first? There can be various explanations for that. I’ll leave that as homework for you to work on.
Anyway, I’m starting with listening first because, even though vision constitutes more brain space than the auditory department, I think audio is more promising and less delusional. And in fact, it might be due to the fact that our vision occupies a larger brain space that it tends towards delusion.
I tell my students this:
“Music is all about listening. Listening to the music outside and inside you” Then, I realize, it’s not just music, it’s true to creativity, it’s true to life itself.
OPPORTUNITY TO INTROSPECT
When you’re speaking to someone else, listen not only to what the other person is saying but also listen to your words. You may discover various flaws, or even interests you have, by listening to what you speak. When you listen to yourself speak, what you are essentially doing is giving yourself an opportunity to introspect and contemplate.
Every word you utter is a word to yourself
Though the “see” metaphor is often used for awareness, it is rarely made a day-to-day practice.
WHAT YOU SEE
Who you are, at least your personality is simply the accumulation of memory. And since I already mentioned, our vision takes up a large part of our brain muscles, which means, it is given the highest preference. So what do these 2 facts teach us? You are what you see? Yes, but not exactly. In the right words, it would be – “You may be the accumulation of what you see”. So, be aware, be mindful of what you see.
HOW YOU SEE
I think just by reading the title you got to know the essence. How you see whatever you’re seeing also matters. And that calls for seeing yourself as though in a third-person camera perspective. Are you seeing someone’s success with your eyes of envy, criticism, and judgement? Are you looking at an exhausted person with your eyes of compassion or pity?
YOU’VE GOT TASTE?
Of course, you probably understood I’m talking metaphorically here. Because I’ve seen people who do not have their own taste. Own personalities. Sure, we are the amalgamation of various influences, but we should not be alike any of our influences, the amalgamation should yield something very unique.
That happens when one hasn’t experienced life. So, what is the solution? Don’t come to conclusions before tasting a loaded variety of experiences in life. Essentially we are all like the “Taste experts” in large food companies who are there to test the batches of food or new flavors from the R&D department. The only way in which life is different is that it gives you the amount you have to eat to taste it, you can’t leave before finishing it. Anyway, be open to various experiences. And I must caution you, I’m not suggesting to be open to killing yourself with dangerous substances.
This is not such a big issue for most people. But it is a valid concern if an individual is living in an unpleasant-smelling environment. I’ve seen rich people living in pungent rooms for the sake of their love for pets. I tell you, early humans were far cleaner, at least to what was “clean” then, because their olfactory senses were even stronger. We are gradually losing that great ability. Anyway, the point is this, the odor of your environment is affecting you without you even knowing it. Just light an incense stick or a scented candle of your favorite scent and observe the changes within.
Don’t know why, probably it was from when we had animal-level olfactory capabilities, that we got that phrase. Our vision helps us do the majority of the work in analyzing the behavior and assuming the other person’s mental or emotional state within a fraction of a second. So, we are talking metaphorically here. Sense the situation you are dealing with. You’ll get a hint on what’s happening, most of the time. It might be even on a phone call, it might be a call for a new project or a new client. Observe if that’s a “Full-body YES” or not. If it’s not, that project or client, may not worth taking.
DO YOU KNOW?
This is like the taste tester we talked about, but here I want to emphasize deep experiences. How you feel is a deeper experience than just sensing something right? So that’s the difference. Do you know what it feels like to meditate in nature? Do you know what it feels like to wander alone within and across cities? Do you know what it feels like to be in a state of flow, making art? Do you know how great it feels when you teach, donate, listen to and help the needy? Do you know what it feels like to go on an artist date[A date with yourself]? Do you know what it feels like to connect the dots of various books you’ve read and make a chest of wisdom out of it? Do you know how great it feels like to wake up at 5 AM? Do you know how it feels to consistently exercise? Do you know how it feels, to tell the truth even under hard circumstances? Do you know how it feels to question your life choices and have the courage to change course?
Observe how you feel within, in all situations. Get more mindful. Every activity is an opportunity to observe how you feel.
Keeping all these in mind, sit calmly, and reflect on your current lifestyle. And then re-design it.
Sanath Kumar Naibhi