Discipline…………


Words have a power all their own
Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

The word evokes mixed emotions – some times motivating, often repulsive.  It makes me feel inadequate in what I do, because I lack that – Discipline.

What is Discipline but a routine, a ritual that turns into a habit.  How can a routine turn into a habit? By sticking to it without fail of course. We all understand the importance of Discipline, yet I am sure most of us struggle with it.  As we jump from one activity to another, from one temptation to another, as our mind convinces us that a little bit of distraction will not hurt, we will soon get back to the activity after this one little thing once more, even though, we know that this one little thing, whatever it is, is not going to yield any great results, we succumb to it.  Why?  We lack discipline, stick-ability to one task until it finishes, even starting one task as set out at the set hour.

I am a classic example of this lack of disipline.  I make promises to myself – ‘No more TV from today, instead I will use that time to write and read’ – a grand promise that I make to myself and ask for help from Universe in making me stick to that plan.  Come the hour, after dinner, settle in the couch – “Oh! just this half hour, just this show and I will get back to it” – an empty promise to myself and 2 and a half hours later, I drag myself away from the couch into bed, tired and disgusted at my own lack of Self-Discipline, making the same promise to myself – ‘Tomorrow, Fresh start’, new promise, even write in  my journal – ‘I will not……….’

And deep down from a corner of my heart or mind, my ego, I am not sure where it exactly resides, silently but surely whispers saying “Ohhhhhhhhh Yesssssss, you will? you watch…….”

Is that weakness of will, knowingly succumbing to the next temptation that keeps me away from doing the most important thing?  Why do I wait until the ‘important’ becomes ‘urgent’ before I act?  I know in every pour of my body that Discipline will not only achieve results, most importantly Discipline makes me feel soooooooooooo much better about myself.  Discipline puts purpose back in life and yet…….

So may be I need to trick myself saying this just next ‘one thing’, ‘one sentence’, ‘one task’, whatever, just keep attention on this just one next thing,  just like I tell myself ‘this one next show’, ‘half hour’, ‘I am tired, therefore I get to sit’ etc.

Whether it is dusting one tiny corner, clearing one small cupboard, or writing a small paragraph or paying just one bill – I need to trick myself to doing this just ‘one next thing’.  We all know in doing just that one little act, we start the ball rolling.  There is heaps written about the power of starting with one tiny action – I am not adding anything new here.

I cant remember who said this, but if we make a list of 3 most important things to do each day, we will accomplish heaps  Somebody else said instead of making ‘to do’ lists, change it to read “I get to do…”  There are books and blogs written on ‘how to’ approach our lives with discipline. We all know that, yet I am very disciplined in failing to be disciplined.

Reading about it, finding out the next technique on how to be disciplined, these are only temporary measures.  Lasting and sustaining discipline has to originate from the Self and therefore it is called ‘Self-Discipline’.  Self Discipline is empowering and reinforcing.  My mind needs tricking and convincing that what I am doing next is not work but leisure, the only thing is that it needs to be engaged in that activity.  The mind will bave to be full not less ie., I have to be ‘mindful’ in my next activity, not ‘mindless’ and my conditioning tells me that being ‘mindful’ is tedious and being ‘mindless’ is fun.  I need to turn that perception around and convince my mind that mindless activities also require mindfulness.

It is ironic that I have to convince my mind which is a ‘bundle of thoughts’, with another ‘bundle of thoughts’ to override the original bundle. What if I don’t engage either of those bundles and just pick up the next thing to do as easily as I pick up the remote control?

The power is in me – I am the master of my mind, I can dictate to it and that ‘I’ gets stronger by the day if it stops listening to the mind.  The ‘Self’ in Self-Discipline is that ‘I’.  So, Self-Discipline means ‘I’ discipline ‘i’ and bring it in alignment.

We need to resort to all sorts of tricky business to bring the ‘i’ in line with ‘I’, because in the end the ‘i’ will have to merge with the ‘I’.

May be instead of saying the words “Self-Discipline”, “I-Discipline” might work.

What do you think? Do you have problems with Self-Discipline? What can you accomplish if you were disciplined in your approach?

Drop a line here……..

Until next time – be discplined!!!

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

First Understanding, Then Adjustment…………


The Conscience
The Conscience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have learnt profound lessons in the last couple of days and the depth of the simple statement by Sai Baba –  “First Understanding, Then Adjustment ” echoes in my ears from the bottom of my heart even as I am typing this.

The following anecdote shows how the above statement became clear as I was trying to  cross the chasm that appeared  and how it was possible to build a bridge over that across the Continents.

It sounds simple.  4 words arranged in an order that makes sense  – Yep, I know, I follow……..How very wrong was I?

There is no randomness in the arrangement of those words in that statement.  I never understood the order of the words nor did I ever bother to understand, rhetorically, parrot like, repeating the statement to everyone and anyone who had ears to hear – within context of course, but without much thought.

Why Understanding First, why not Adjustment first?

Isn’t that what we do? Try and adjust to issues and circumstances without complete understanding? I did.

Three days ago I have transgressed boundaries in an online writing class, trying to write for a given writing prompt, cleverly, albeit unaware  at the time that that’s what I was doing,  The result backfired.  Whilst the writing itself was OK (I think), the theme and the story line it followed was not mine. I have unintentionally picked up, a thread of another person’s story and presented a continuation to that story without thinking if it is correct to do that or ask for permission.

I have breached a basic rule of writing – I was writing about something that is not My Truth or My Story.

As soon as I realised it, I have deleted the post and sent an apology email for doing what I did.  But the damage was caused by then and my trying to make an adjustment by a simplistic apology with rationalized arguments, without actually understanding was not going to be enough to ease the pain I have created to the other party.

How could I do that – the pain that question caused in me was, well, painful…….incredibly painful.  I tried to justify, rationalize, explain why I did what I did – to myself and to the other party.

The number of “How could I’s” that my conscience raised were answered with equal if not more number of justifications by my mind.  However, my conscience will not be quiet.

With every justified adjustment, it rebelled with an increasing visceral response of pain, itch and high temperature.  I continued to adjust the body thermostat with more explanations, justifications, more Coffee, increased scratching – my conscience wanting to jump out of my skin and my mind trying to contain it within its reasoned explanations.

I continued to push against the edge and stretch without making any attempt to understand either myself or the other person.  In this confused state of altered egos weighed under rationalizations and justified arguments we started dialoguing.

What emerged was incredibly beautiful.  In my own mind after a pause in the dialogue, I started a conversation with myself.

For every ‘How could I’, I offered a simple, counter “YES, I DID”

For every “I did because…..”, I cut off the ‘because’ and remained with “I DID….”

Again and again I repeatedly accepted that…….

I DID breach boundaries…..

I DID step into a territory that I did not know anything about and tried to extend that story as mine……

I DID breach Truth and Non-Violence. I DID cause hurt….

As those I DID’s start settling into my heart without any barriers, I UNDERSTOOD, then Adjustment was simply a matter of admitting that’s what I did and asking if that was the reason for the other party’s anguish expressed publicly. ‘YES’ and then followed an explanation why, as the other party felt understood.

My itch and pain disappeared instantly.  “First Understanding, Then Adjustment”.

We try and lash out, hide, drink, smoke, watch mindless TV or use any number of distractions and think that we adjusted ourselves to whatever is happening.  In that process of adjustment first, we are masking our capacity to understand and pushing it further down.

Surface adjustments with unwillingness to understand causes resentments, hatred, illness, disease and even wars.  Trying to understand without judgments, justifications, explanations and reasonings is a profound spiritual practice which makes us vulnerable because we have no where to hide but look at what’s going on squarely from our own perspective first and then from the others.

First Understanding……

Complete understanding results in acceptance and adjustment happens instantly.  The tenderness one feels when this process is complete is incredible.  No nagging doubts, no concerns of right or wrong, a complete peace descends.  Not only is the distance between two parties is closed but also the huge distance we travel between the 15″ space of Head and Heart closes as well as they merge in the flowing Love and vulnerable tenderness.

The silence from a satisfied head and heart echoes loudly in the ears saying –

“First Understanding, Then Adjustment”

So, here is a tip.  If you have unresolved issues, pull them out and try to understand the truth in the issues without argument or reasoning.  How do you know what is truth?  Your conscience will not be silent with any of your mind’s arguments.  There will be nagging doubts, a dull pain in the middle of your body, a bad taste in the mouth every time you remember, always some physical reaction to what is going on – if you observe closely.  That’s when you know that you are battling with the truth that your conscience is trying to show.  Accept the truth without judgment first from your own perspective and then from the other person’s – see what happens.

You need not even go to the extent of the other party being involved in this process.  Just see it as it appears, accept without judgment and watch the issue dissolve its hold on you as your understanding deepens.

Remember “First Understanding,Then Adjustment”

Use this – until next Sunday

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

How do I Surrender – Part I


A Love Heart with the "I Surrender" ...

“Surrender” – supposedly a highest spiritual concept, throws many people off, making them hold & clutch even more tightly to what they have, feel, do and experience through struggles, despite struggles.

“Surrender” –  is a loaded word.

Does Surrender mean –

  • I put a stop to my doing?
  • Inactive navel gazing waiting for the final moment to arrive?
  • Losing control?
  • Gutless, Spineless and Passionless?
  • Inactive and Indifferent?
  • Losing my identity and  becoming this nameless, formless blob like Jello, waiting to be shaped, molded and tossed around?

Is my identity and existence only palpable through life’s anxieties, worries, pains, disappointments as well as felt joy, happiness and passion?

What am I surrendering, who am I surrendering to?

These questions rise like a tidal wave of resistance from within at the mere mention of the word.

Surrender means relinquishing and the popular way of defining it is as a defeat.  The normal understanding of the word ‘surrender’ is that you give up because you can’t win.  It creates a defeatist attitude.  Now, we as a species do not like the word ‘defeated’ or ‘submissive’.  We do not like to bend.  Our ego wants to stand tall under all circumstances.  So, without the qualifying words of “Higher Power” or “God” or however else one defines the Supreme or not, surrender on its own seems like a lonely defeatist, submissive word that evokes sadness and loss of control.

So, we say ‘Surrender to your Higher Power’, and that is a dichotomy because we often don’t know or are not willing to define or accept that ‘Higher Power’.  Is it someone or something outside of ourselves?  Again the ego kicks in and screams “But I am it”, “I am doing everything”, “I don’t want to be ignored” etc.,etc.,

Surrender is silencing that screaming voice in the head and descending into the heart where the tiny whispers of conscience hide shyly waiting to be asked, ready to answer.  That shy small voice from the depths of the heart always knows right from wrong, good from bad.  Not just polarities of life but it also knows how to transcend the polarities and truly understand that the polarities are two sides of same coin, that one cannot exist without the other.

Bad times don’t last, neither do good times.  Troubles always will be followed by peaceful times and vice versa.  When our head drives us, we go up and down riding the waves of life’s dichotomies, Ore less and directionless.  Accepting that tiny voice’s argument that whatever it is that I am experiencing “that too shall pass” is Surrender.

Surrender is the Ore that guides the boat of our life through the waves of Joy & Sorrow, Pain & Pleasure, without overturning.

Do you agree?

We will explore Who, What and How of Surrender in Part II tomorrow. If you have any answers or comments, please leave them here and we can compare notes after Part II of How do I surrender?

Until then,

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Until then

Doubting Creativity?


 

An Open Letter to the Creator…………

 

What is Creation?  What is Creativity?

 

creation of man

 

Is it limited to one form? Is it defined by one means?

Creativity is the spontaneous expression of the beauty of Creator through the Creation.

I am Your creation and I use the talent You created me with to express my creativity.  That creativity takes shape in many different forms just like Your creation has. From small insignificant thoughts to large definitive forms of artwork as in Writing, Drawing, Painting, Poetry, Sculpting, Gardening etc.,etc., ,

Every moment I live, I am engaged in creating – nothing necessarily new and there definitely is nothing original.  It may be recycled ideas but the form I give, the shape I define for those ideas, the medium I use are mine and mine only, just like You and Your Creation.  Just like You, I create to enjoy myself and in that process if it gives enjoyment to others, so be it.

My creativity is unique to me and there is no one else in this world of 6.5 billion people who thinks, acts, works, or lives like me.  I am unique and so is each one of the 6.5 billion people.  When we see Your creation so magnificiently displayed in all its varied colors, textures, shapes and sizes, where is the room for comparison?  Where would comparisons begin and end? Why do we even try to compare, measure, judge and place a value accordingly?

 

I am a creative just like You.  I have every capacity to create just like you.  How can I only be wrong, bad, stupid, ignorant or only be beautiful, elegant, brilliant and good?  I am not exclusively any of these.  I am all of these at the same time and You gave me the power to choose what I would display in any given moment.  You have hidden all these in me and I choose to show/think only one side instead of reveling in the mixed colors that I am.  My palette is full of color not just one color and help me mix those colors so I can display them in all their glory without judgment or attachment.

Each human being is unique and different like snowflakes.

Creation – a marvelous expression of who I am in every given moment.

I feel expansive just thinking and writing this.  Help me live in this expansive state and appreciate Your creative work that I see all around me including myself.

 

2015 Free Gift Offer…..


Love Love Love
Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

This blog post ( a re post from 2011) is to offer a gift to all my readers, who actually grew in number recently.  Thank you for taking time to read and comment.  I really appreciate it.

As we finish the holiday season filled with joy, fun, friendship and love and enter the busy lives of work and chores and routines and tasks, let us take a look at how to bring more of what we cherish.

I have grown to believe that every day is a festival if we want it to be.  The choice is ours.  If we dwell in our story and only look at the story taking wrong turns, then it will be hard to share the love.  

‘ Love’ stands right there at the top of the list along with Truth, Peace, Right-Conduct and Non-Violence.

However what we find in today’s fast paced society is that these are the rapidly declining values.  We all agree that we need to slow down and bring back our attention to how we manifest what we truly are – Love

As it is said in the Bible

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Can we live up to that – Yes we can

Do we have the potential – Of course we do

Its just that our potential to love is covered under the many layers of soot of busyness, of trying to win the rat race, of selfishness, of greed, of jealousy, of envy, of anger, of hatred, of desire etc.,

When we blow this soot away gently with the winds of Truth and Right-Conduct , the embers of red hot Love will be visible underneath glowing in Peace and Non-Violence.

Want to know how to do this?

Get your free copy of ‘Manifesto of Love’.  Download it, print it, share it – do whatever –  your choice. 

and find out how Love is the undercurrent of all human values.  This is my thank you gift to you all for supporting me in this blogging adventure.  It is a learning experience and I am slowly getting a handle on  how to serve you all through this.

Manifesto of love

Wish you all a very Happy New Year. Hope 2015 brings you all the joy, happiness, health and wealth that you deserve.

I am sincerely hoping, wishing, desiring that I will be able to share a lot more with you through this blog.  I hope you do enjoy reading, if you do please subscribe.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari