People ask me what I do the first thing in the morning but I don’t follow a regime as such. I prefer engaging in physical activity which may be a walk for 45 minutes or put in 45 minutes of exercise. However, these two might take a step back occasionally, but I never miss morning meditation. Meditation helps bring peace and clarity.
While exercise and walking take care of my physical health, maintaining satisfying relationships with people who matter to me and being at peace with myself tend to my emotional well-being.
Meditation helps me on the path of spirituality. It has helped me not to have highs and lows, accept my shortcomings and learn to live with equanimity even when things do not go my way.
It certainly helps that I am not hooked to any gadget or to the Internet. I believe that today’s addiction to smartphones and other gizmos can fragment our attention and leave us in internal disarray.
For me, a phone is a necessary evil to keep in touch with people. I am convinced that technology should be our tool and should not be allowed to dictate to us the limits of our relationships or wellbeing.
I also don’t spend time on social media or watch television, except occasionally being on WhatsApp. So, I am blissfully insulated from the negativity radiating from the screens. I do read the newspapers which are also full of negative news but I try not to get affected by reports on areas over which I have no control.
For me an ideal day is one when I do not have many external commitments. It means I do things leisurely, spend time reading or with family and friends. It also means a day when I don’t experience negative stress triggered by being uncomfortable with myself or with relationships that are important to me.
Vipassana meditation and social work keep me grounded. They have helped me not to get puffed up with my own self-importance or go overboard when I happen to be the subject of media attention.
I am continually discovering the difference between being disciplined and being obsessive. Except for meditation which is a must for me, all other activities which, though important, do not affect my well-being I keep aside.
Also, I am learning not to feel guilty when I do falter. At times I tend to over eat but, by and large, I lead a fairly disciplined and well-regulated life.
I actively work for social causes of education and environment. It is important to realise that work, though very fulfilling, is a sub-set of our lives. Unfortunately, we end up paying a disproportionate price for our success at work and neglect to invest in ourselves and in relationships that matter.
Do we, from a young age, invest in our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being or do we postpone this critical investment saying we will take it up after we retire?
Something that gives me much strength and peace is the thought that our stay on this earth is short, our role dispensable and our impact inconsequential. These wise words also remind me that death is inevitable, and that all of us fade away at some point of time.
Once we gain acceptance about the end, like gentle rain, peace and well- being descend on us. Keep working and rest will fall in place.
(As told to Vikas Sharma)
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