Sunday, February 15, 2009

Driving Crazy

"Don't let people drive you crazy when you know it's in walking distance."

Funny indeed. Why would you let anyone drive you crazy? It's really walkable. Life has become like that. You do not need someone else to drive you crazy. You yourself are capable of walking yourself to craziness. They say - idle mind is devil's workshop. On the flip side, I dare to say - occupied mind is God's workshop. Mind occupied with good thoughts and plans for doing something good for the larger humanity is a very fertile ground.

We drive ourselves crazy in many ways. One way is to always think only about you and your needs and wants. This is a surest recipe to make oneself miserable. I agree we  all have a life and it does worry us from time to time how the things will be in the future. More bigger and complex your life is, more the worry. How will I pay for this or that? Job? My money? My family? - there is no end. Despite all this, we have to remember that if we want peace of mind, we have to stop or at least reduce how much time we spend thinking about only those things that matter to us. Remember a time when you were free of all worries. There are only two times. One is while you were sleeping soundly like a log. Second is when you were fully occupied doing something you truly enjoy. We are designed in such a way that we truly enjoy those things when we do things that benefit larger humanity.

Not to worry about our life is not meant to say take a fatalistic approach. That is not good either. If required, be genuinely concerned about yourself and your life. Concern results in planning and consequently action. Worry is a serious immobilizing force. Does not let you do anything. It freezes you to death. Anxiety is worry at its worst form.

If not for anything else, stop thinking about only yourself and your needs and wants for your own sake. They have found that people who think only about themselves are prone to all sorts of allergies and minor but debilitating illnesses. Minor aches and irritations are aggravated when our immune system is unnecessarily excited. It anticipates some attack when there is none. Our mind has manufactured some fictitious attacks by its mindless thinking and immune system goes into overdrive and thus results in such symptoms. Simple exercises such deep breathing which provides much needed oxygen to brain cells, thus calming them, goes a long way in reducing such minor irritations. Always remembering to say some simple positive phrase when you are free or doing activities which do not require full attention will also help. Watch those elderly people in rural India. They are always saying the name of their favorite God when they are doing mechanical tasks like doing dishes or their daily chores. Most commonly said  is - Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. You do not have to choose this if you do not like this. You can choose any such simple prayer that works for you. Or you can make one up for yourself. Say it whenever possible. Say it loudly when you can. Say it silently when you can not. Just before you have to switch tasks or stop praying, take a few deep breaths and resume. Keep doing this and watch how it has soothing effect on your nerves. It calms you down before important encounters, it lets you sustain yourself during encounters when you need all faculties to be at their best and calms you down after an encounter.


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