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This article of mine was publised by the TOI Gurgaon Times last year.

Are Ruk Jaa Re Bande

 

Its well said that “ We are running a Rat Race and even if we win we still remain a rat”. The global economic slowdown followed by job losses everywhere has also shown some good results. You have ample time to think, take stock of the situation and find out holistic solutions to it.  I , who hitherto been a part of this so called “rat race” for almost a decade and after losing my job now ,  have realized some amazing facts  , would like to share with others  

 

Our materialistic society today is about getting more and more, with no end in sight. Sure, you can get the highest designations of the corporate world , get the best of the  latest gadgets, more clothes, shoes, consumer durables, ornaments and the list goes on. This specially brings more pain once you get into the vicious cycle of consumer loans. This gets bigger and bigger and ends up eating most of your income, leaving nothing for your future savings/ rainy days. The question still remains, when will you have enough? Most people don’t know, and thus they keep buying more. It’s a never ending cycle. We have to get off the cycle by figuring out how much is enough? And then stop when you get there.

 

Though its easier said than done, but can be very well achievable .Under this present scenario, people fortunately or unfortunately, have got time for themselves. The biggest problem of our present style of life is that we don’t have an iota of time for ourselves. Stop and think for a while, how often we sit quietly and spend time with none other than us. Don’t you thank this recession for providing us with time to be spent with none other than us. We can question ourselves -how often we go for a walk in the park and listen to the sound of kids playing around, birds chirping etc. Until and unless we have time for our self, this life, for which we are running mad after, has got no meaning. I’m not advocating much of spiritualism here, but I have found that spending a little time with my inner self creates a peaceful simplicity rather than a chaotic confusion. This could be time praying or communing with God, or time spent meditating or journaling or getting to know you, or time spent in nature. However you do it, working on your inner self is worth the time. I have started learning the Drums, which I always dreamt of. The sheer joy of spending 30-40 minutes of your day where you forget everything in that moment is nothing less than meditation. I suggest, everyone should learn a musical instrument.

 

The so called busy-ness has eaten away our peace of mind, makes us exhausted and stressed out from the grind and the chaos everyday. We don’t have time for what’s important to us, for what we really want to be doing, for spending time with loved ones, for doing things we’re passionate about.

 

And yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible to live a simpler life, one where you enjoy each activity, where you are present in everything (or most things) you do, where you are content rather than rushing to finish things.

Let’s take a look at some suggestions for living a simple, peaceful, content life , which I have started implementing and getting amazing results.

 

  • Slow down ,Slow down ,Slow down .This is the most important step we need to take for all of us. Thankfully this is the best time as the entire globe is unanimously calling it “slow down, slow down” .Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s a work task or taking a shower or brushing your teeth or cooking dinner or eating or  driving  just slow down. Lately , this slow down movement is  actually gaining popularity across the world through different some communities advocating it .This is actually against our present culture of Fast Life/Fast Food .It says one should try to enjoy whatever one is  doing. Try to pay attention, instead of thinking about other things. Always try to be in the moment. This isn’t easy, as you will often deviate from this. But keep practicing until you get habitual to it. Unless the task involves actual pain, there isn’t anything that can’t be enjoyable if you give it the proper attention
  • Make frugality your way of life. Frugality doesn’t mean poor living. It means conscious living. This needs differentiating between “Possession” and “Essential”. Me and my wife have consciously started thinking on this, every time we wish to buy something. I suggest, every time you go to a shop to buy, think twice on possession/essential part before buying anything. The biggest challenge of our generation is how to shy away from this consumerism. The world of advertisement through its different modes of communication loads us with visual and emotional ‘attyachar’ in Indian parlance.
  • Practice being present. Whenever you feel being idle,  or standing on a red light,  or in a line at the grocery, for example, practice to pay attention and be in the present. Don’t let your mind run away on anything. Controlling the mind is another great challenge for the mankind, that’s why it’s compared with a monkey. Try observing everything around like traffic going in the cross direction, the jogger getting his morning run, the trees dancing in the wind, listen to the birds chirp, and the rustling of leaves. Once you start practicing it, this will become your second nature in no time. My sessions on Drum kit or writing something are great tools of being present in the moment.
  • Enjoy simple pleasures of life as much as possible. Make a good list of things and do it as often as possible ……………this again is an opportune  time to practice this preach .Learn an instrument, start something which you always dreamt of but never had time to , Walking barefoot in grass, taking a long, relaxing shower, Popcorn and an old movie on DVD,  The smell of fresh-cut grass, watching the sunrise,  walking on the beach, listening to good music in the car , a gentle morning run, a cup of coffee, a good novel, snuggling in bed with your partner, learning a music instrument, gossiping/chatting  with your friends/acquaintances etc. These are just a few of the pleasures that came to mind while writing this; you can add a lot yourself.
  • Create time for solitude. As I have mentioned earlier, its important to spend some time alone, everyday. Learning drums, writing articles, spend much time with my kids are some of the steps I took post my close encounter with myself. You can also think on the same platform and get the desired guidance from none other than your inner self only. Our present generation needs more digging into this as they are much more surrounded by distractions like, phones, TV, Internet, Advertisements and endless other things. These make our mind cluttered with so many things; we are simply unable to manage. This eventually takes away our peace, simplicity, happiness and joy of life. Spending time alone can make you check on your life’s mission vis-à-vis your commitments and efforts towards it and hence take timely correction in case of any deviations.

Lastly, make simplicity and frugality a way of life and promote it to others I have tried to put it across to you. It’s not just a matter of reducing clutter or saving money … it’s a matter of slowing down to enjoy life more, of savoring life’s simple pleasures, of rejecting on some level the materialistic culture we are all caught up in and embracing fellow humans instead. It is about changing our values and priorities. Think of a world, if everyone of us contributed a little towards this.

 

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