Never before, have we led more busy and divided lives. In the West, we strive to arrive. From the time we awake until the time we crash at night, constant demands are put upon us to do more, acquire more, accomplish more, communicate more and be more.
It is no wonder that, according to Medco Health Solutions in 2011, one in five Americans have taken or are taking drugs for mental health. That is 20% of all Americans. Twenty percent! Can you imagine? Why can’t we cope today without medication?
The reason is simple. Because we don’t respect the natural rhythms of nature.
If we look at nature all around us, it unfolds with least effort day to day, minute to minute, second to second. A tree doesn’t sit around worrying all winter if it will bud in the summer. Deer, even though they are constantly driven from their homes with deforestation, simply move on and find new food and shelter.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re a part of nature. Our bodies change according to the rhythms of day and night, the changing of the seasons, the phases of the moon. The simple cycle of day and night equal a principle of rest and activity.
What we’ve succumbed to is a cycle of activity, activity, activity, crash.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that if you put batteries in a flashlight, keep it on 24/7, those batteries will die sooner, than if you use it for a little while, then turn it off. The same goes for us.
We have a notion that if we don’t go out there and try as hard as we can to get what we want, life will slip away from us. However, when we are so out of touch with ourselves, we often waste time worrying, being ineffective or doing activities which don’t really help us get to what we want.
Have you ever tried swimming up a river? I have. It’s pretty challenging. But if you turn around and let the current push you, you don’t have to do anything at all. You can simply enjoy the ride.
How much are you enjoying this ride, called life?
There is a yoga sutra, from a sacred Vedic text called The Bhagavad Gita, which is yogastah kuru karmani and translates to, “Established in being, perform action”.
What this means is, wait until you are established in yourself, in the calm place that is connected to nature, and ultimately to the universe, to perform your daily duties.
It’s no use running around ungrounded, ruffled and in a hurry if you are not established in self and connected.
The way you can achieve this is by honoring least effort through meditation, prayer, contemplation, and/or silence daily. Take time to reconnect with nature and its rhythms. Make a vow to yourself to sit in silence some time each day. Take a class to learn meditation. Practice meditative movement like hatha yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Once you do this, then perform action, your life will be smooth sailing. Like a beautiful flower, each thing you desire will unfold effortlessly and easily.
Wishing you peace, harmony, laughter and love.
Founder of The Ayurvedic Path