Should Spiritual People Get Married?

To hermit, or to co-habitat?

It is a widespread (thankfully, now becoming corrected) notion that spirituality equals renouncing everything and becoming a monk.

Should someone that’s trying to transcend the world still buy Nike shoes and go on expensive dinners?

Truth is, spirituality isn’t about resisting your life, it’s about transcending it.

How? Let’s look at a simple example – eating chips or popcorn. Most of us grab a handful and stuff our faces with the crispy goodness, not even chewing properly. Now, if you were to look at a video of yourself eating popcorn at the movies, you might be taken aback and cringe.

Conscious living is pretty much that – watching yourself like a movie, as often as you can. The behaviours you don’t like, when you see with your own eyes, will reduce and eventually stop, or transform into something better.

The desires you have, the materialism you seek must also be transcended – at your own pace.

What about marriage – can we transcend our life with a partner by our side?

With the Mirror Technique, we can.

Self-awareness would not have been possible, we would not be able to see our true nature, had it not been for others around us. We are able to reflect on our behaviour, our mistakes, our grudges and resentments, only because people give us that opportunity.

Board, Flower, Excuse Me, Sorry, I Beg Your Pardon

Yes, loving relations are the sign of a healthy and happy life, but they are not available to all of us, for the simple fact that we are yet to apply the mirror technique.

The mirror technique simply means, stop seeing the other person’s actions and instead start seeing your reactions. What arises within you whenever they act; WHY are you angry? WHY are you jealous? WHY are you insecure?

Use every interaction with another person as an opportunity to meet yourself with greater depth.

And that’s when real healing begins.

How can you know your ability to forgive if someone doesn’t hurt you?

How can you overcome your jealousy if you didn’t even experience it, if you didn’t share that kind of intimacy in the first place?

Resistance is delaying, preventing yourself from experiencing the darkest side of your being. And just like music – the deeper you can sing on the scale, the higher you’ll be able to hit on the octave too. And so is life – you cannot know your light, until you face your darkness.

And what better a way, than with a partner who you’ve committed to live with, till death do you part? If you don’t believe me, Justin Timberlake has written an entire song about it to explain this! Check it out.

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Image Source : iMDB

This person will push your buttons at every step of the way – right from conflicts over room temperatures and changing baby diapers at midnight, to who-said-what’s and then some…

Come to think of it – they will really help you apply all kinds of spiritual techniques.

Thanks to all the ups and downs, you’ll remember God a lot more. I mean how often do you remember God when life’s smooth?

You’ll learn to surrender when your partner is stubborn.

You’ll trust the process when your partner is making a mess-up.

You’ll learn to co-create and co-habitat, just as humans are designed to do, thus overriding your ego.

And you’ll learn the truest form of unconditional love and devotion, when you fall in love with your partner and children, each time in a greater capacity.

Sunset, Family, Game, Silhouette, Set

To understand this better, let me quote Sadhguru, as he explains in his work, Adiyogi,

There was a difference between her [Parvati] and the sages; she was in love with him [Shiva] and the sages were in love with what he had [mastery over Self]. Because of her level of perception and receptivity, Shiva took her directly to the peak of attainment [Enlightenment through love].

Whether we go hunting for Enlightenment in a cave, or in the solitude of a room at home, the end-goal is attainable. Because it isn’t the outside dynamics that matter; it all comes down to one thing – the inner thirst for this quest.

Ofcourse, to each their own, but the kind of lives we’ve signed up for don’t exactly permit the kind of extremism anymore, which sages and monks once practised.

We’ve got to find our peace here, and now.

Quotes, Carpe Diem, Word, Diem, Inspiration, Saying

Getting married whilst on a spiritual pursuit is like a double ‘challenge accepted’.

It’s about balancing the hermit and the materialistic sides in you.

And at the same time, it is the best of both worlds. 🙂

Image Courtesy : pixabay.com, shutterstock.com

7 Daily Habits that Bring Results Immediately

Inspired by the motivation-packed book on habits called Atomic Habits, I couldn’t resist coming up with my own suggestions after seeing the changes it brought in my personal experience.

This array of habits is targeted at your mind, body and soul. How many of these do you already do? And what are some more habits that aren’t on the list, you think really make a difference in your life?

#1 – Start your morning on YOUR terms.

Our time is divided between career, family and friends. While talking about self-love, I think the best piece of advice I’ve heard and would like to share on the topic is to start your day on your terms. This simple practice helps you fill your cup up first, as Iyanla Vanzant says, and then you overflow with love for the world.

In other words, you become more capable of taking care of others, when you’ve first taken care of yourself. And unwinding the day with ‘me-time’ just isn’t enough, you need to also wake-up to be with yourself.

This may mean different things for everyone, but the idea is to ENJOY your start to the day by doing what you like. It might be an early morning jog, meditation or an extra 5-minutes enjoying your breakfast. Whatever it is for you, give yourself enough time in the morning to start on the right note, usually possible if we’re not snoozing the alarm.

(love yourself)

#2 – Intermittent Internet

We’ve all heard of intermittent fasting from food, but it’s essential that we start detoxing our mind too – from the internet! Why? Because the information overload is leading to many things, not limited to bad sleeping habits, anxiety, inferiority complex, peer pressure. And this needs to stop, for your own sanity’s sake.

A few tricks that work, from which you may want to try some too, are:

    • One hour before bed, keep your phone away from you, preferably with the internet turned off. The next time you should use your phone, is in the morning to shut the alarm off. This simple practice will slow your mind down and get your mind prepared for bed-time.
    • Use the DND feature on your device at night, to ensure you are not being disturbed by notifications and tempted to check your phone.
    • Don’t turn on the internet until AFTER you’ve done your morning rituals of self-love (read point #1).
    • Have dedicated periods of use, such as lunch break or while you’re chilling. This prevents mindless fiddling.
    • In general, turn off all the notifications that cause distraction and keep your phone out of sight so that you’re not eager to keep checking it every time it lights up and you spot it from the corner of your eye!

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#3 – PRACTISING A Self-Care routine

Self-care is like rolling out the red carpet for yourself, as you walk into your own glory.

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It’s like having your own cake.

It is perhaps the most gratifying of all, in this list, because when you feel good, you are motivated to keep doing things to make yourself feel even better. This is different from self-love, in the sense that this is more towards what you NEED to do versus what you LOVE to do.

    • I believe the first challenge lies in not remembering to do something. Whether this involves brushing your teeth before bed, working out more often, following a skin-care routine or remembering to stay hydrated, make a list of the actions you need to do in but have been neglecting, and stick notes in the respective place – bedroom/bathroom/kitchen so that you remember to do it. You are more likely to do something if you are directly or indirectly given a ‘cue’ for it.
    • And second, is not feeling motivated to carry the task through. A simple piece of advice can help you do this, without fail. Make the first two minutes of your habit EASY by having a ritual that preceeds your habit. For example, if you need to workout, just change into your workout clothes. If you need to read, keep the book next to your bed. If you need to stay more hydrated, have more water bottles lying around your space.

#4 – Get Your Beauty Sleep. Twice a day.

Did you know, that a sleep-deprived person driving is more likely to have a fatal accident, versus a drunk driver? This fact, and countless other convincing studies were shared in the best book I’ve read this year – Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. And ever since I’ve read this book, I’ve been walking around like an old granny, asking everybody if they’re getting enough sleep, whenever they tell me about their hectic lives.

Teacher, Bookworm, Glasses, Professor, Person, Cartoon

And the crux of the matter is –

    • Yes, 8 hours a night is mandatory, and no we have NOT evolved from this necessity yet. Also, NO, sleep is NOT for the weak. The consequences of less than 8 hours a night is not limited to long-term memory loss and heart attacks. Don’t take this idea casually.
    • ATLEAST give your body 8 hours to be in bed. Please note – this doesn’t mean you are still able to sleep the required 8, so be generous with yourself here!
    • Taking a nap in the day significantly reduces heart problems, improves brain function and makes you feel better.

You can ridicule this all you want, but if you want to change your mind (and your life), I’d say give Matthew’s work a read. You will go back to bed right away, for good reasons.

Koala Bear, Australia, Teddy, Sleep, Lazy, Rest, Animal

#5 – Give your Mind Time to wander

Essential so that you can regather your thoughts, think through what has happened over the last couple of hours, and gain some clarity. When your mind is constantly running, it can become ‘saturated’ and clouded. Wandering is the quickest way to hit the refresh button.

Meditation may not be the only way to achieve a clear mind. Here are some other suggestions:

    • Take a casual stroll around the block. Alone. Without using your phone. Though listening to music is absolutely fine!
    • Write it down. It doesn’t have to be a 3-page mindless rant, though Julia Cameron’s advice from the Artist’s Way is definitely worth exploring (personal recommendation – it works!). Just writing down the person/event’s name, and a few emotions that were triggered can be enough to get your mind off of things, and onto the paper, literally.
    • If however, you WANT to meditate but are unable to, I’d recommend exploring some new techniques. As Osho says, and I paraphrase, there’s a method [of meditation] for everyone, most of us are just yet to find it.

#6 – Educate Yourself

Let’s face it, what we learn at school is not enough. It’s about time we start taking our education in our  hands, and making our highly-stimulated, highly-potent but underused, minds count. You can pick your weapon of choice.

    • Work on a DIY project that floats your boat. Whether its something techie like an IoT device, a science project, or craft-oriented for the home – anything that gets your mind to learn and do something unusual, so that you channel your creative energy in the process is crucial EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Now doing DIY’s everyday isn’t possible, so here are the next set of suggestions, you can do everyday.
    • READ. And I don’t mean fiction. I mean read something non-fiction that gives you more direct and real insight about the world. Don’t take me wrong for saying that fiction is for leisure reading, and educating yourself is incomplete until you haven’t started diving into the world of NF’s.
    • If your excuse is that you don’t “like” to read, unfortunately, it’s outdated. There are Audio Books for people that learn best by hearing, and TED Talks for the visual learners. There IS a means of learning suitable for you – find it. And use it.
    • Also, if your excuse happens to be, “I like books but I don’t have time”, there’s a solution for you. Read blogs! Most of the non-fiction book authors have their blogs – if you hear of a good book, just head to the website and see what smaller doses you can benefit from.

Pencil, Wood Pencil, Education, Writing

#7 – INVEST IN YOUR PARALLEL UNIVERSE

I am neither for, nor against the notion of making your passion a full-time career. But I am of the belief that your passion and career can co-exist.

Most of us are are doing what helps pay our bills, but seldom are we doing it with the zeal we had when we first had that ‘Corporate Orientation’. Just because our passion may never pay us its worth, we deem it worthless in today’s world. Yet – does it stop being something your soul feels called towards?

The simplest way to overcome this mind-block is to start investing in the things you “wish” you could have been doing, had you been in a “parallel reality”. Why not make it into this reality?

Parallel World, Parallel Universe

Whether you are passionate about painting, writing, dancing or something else – you have to do it. Even if it’s 5 minutes a day. Start somewhere, do something that ignites the fire within again. Because somewhere, its linked with your purpose of being. How? Check this out.

This is outside the frame of self-love. Because what I’ve come to learn is that our passion is bigger than us, the person experiencing it.  The world is in a growing need for people doing the things they love, that’s the only way we’re going to bring the major course-correction we are in dire need of!

Yes, it is not easy forming new habits, and motivation can run out really quick. But the one thing that FINALLY helped me start changing my habits was this guy’s works in Atomic Habits, which I cannot stop talking about. What are you waiting for – go change your life!

Picture credits : Pixabay.com

Do You ‘Love Too Much’?

You’ll need to ‘see’ this post, just as much you need to ‘read’ it. Wait for the pictures to load!

“I do a lot for other people, but I never feel as appreciated.”

If this sounds like you, keep reading.

Today, we’re going to use an analogy to understand what’s going on. And hopefully, how to overcome it.

NOTE: This analogy is not limited to romantic relationships. But we’re using it, because it’ll be easier to get. You’ll see what I mean!

Imagine that you are a shopkeeper who sells rice.

Why rice, you ask? Because that’s my food of choice. I’m an Asian. Shall we proceed, now?

Okay, so.

One day, your crush comes up to you and asks you for a small bag of rice. Trying to impress, you offer her/him a medium bag. FOR THE PRICE OF A SMALL BAG.

crush.png

She walks off happy with your extra rice and heart.

She comes back after a week. This time, she’s brought money for the medium rice. You play it cool, you only give her a medium bag of rice, just like she asked. She walks off disappointed though, and you have a feeling she’s not coming back.

“God, just please bring her back!”

You’ll ‘up’ your game the next time, you promise.

cheap

She doesn’t come back for a couple of weeks, but when she finally does, she’s with a new guy. That’s it! You’ve got to make your best move now! You hand her the large bag of rice, for the price of a medium. New guy – 0, You – 1.

As for your finances, it’s a minus 1. But love conquers all, everyone knows that! Don’t be stingy! Money is an illusion anyway. Right?

newguy.png

Over time, you both begin to build a good relationship. You share a couple of laughs, have coffee and cute moments like all rice-couples probably do. You’re ‘more than friends’. Or so, you’ve started to believe.

But one day, she’s back at your shop with new guy. And you realize, he’s got his arm around her. He isn’t new guy anymore, he’s the guy. In a moment of panic, you do what you do best. You place an irresistible offer. You offer a medium bag of rice, free with the large bag, only for the cost of a large. You’re broke anyway at this point, but if you can save this relation, things will be alright.

She’s hesitant. “That’s too much”, she says. You insist that it’s for ‘old-time’s sake’. With a cordial nod, she takes the bags, and they begin to walk away.

But what’s that? She hands the free bag to her guy. Gulp. You just got LOVE-MUGGED.

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By this point, you’ve invested a LOT of rice in this crush. And your crush has ‘used you’, ended up crush-ing you. And all that free-loading has cost you a huge loss. You are suffering, not just emotionally, but financially too.

One day, a wealthy customer comes up to your shop. Her angelic face is a reflection of her heart of gold. This could have been the love of your life, your partner in crime, the perfect gravy to your rice.

But all the stress finally caught up with you – you’re closing down.

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Does any part of this sound familiar?

I know that it’s a crude way to look at our emotional investment in other people. But unfortunately, we can’t see love like the undervalued rice. We can’t quantify it in bags, and put a price tag on it.

And thus, because of the mistreatment and taken-for-granted relationships, so many people spend their lives doing more than they need to, for those that don’t need it, and thus don’t appreciate it.

“I will never trust/love/marry again”.

By the time life gives them a chance to form better relations, they’re emotionally depleted. Scarred for life! So many people lose their focus from work, go into depression and become victims of substance abuse.

So what’s the takeaway, and how can we overcome this?

Just because you can offer more rice, doesn’t mean the other person needs it.

In reality, the best way to check this is, if you stopped doing some of your out-of-the-way gestures, would this person even notice? Probably not.

Even if they did, it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for them. The person that’s so used to being ‘spoiled’ might throw a couple of taunts and tantrums, but trust me – they’re not going anywhere! You’ll still be happy together. And imagine what you could do now, with all that spare time/effort!

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Hang out more with the people that enjoy your rice.

Ever heard the saying, “marry someone that loves you, not someone that you love”? Ofcourse you don’t have to enter a pretentious relation where you don’t feel invested, but everyone deserves security.

Whether it’s a friend or romantic interest, if you are constantly admitting that this person is ‘out of your league’, there’s a chance that your rice is made for someone else.

Don’t quit any relations, just go spend more of your time (probably saved from doing less, from the point above) with people that make you feel more loved!

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Don’t close your shop. Use the rice that’s left for yourself. Take a break, and come back with a better brand.

Don’t become ‘cold-hearted’. Don’t become a raging alcoholic. Don’t change yourself!
Use solitude, traveling, new hobbies, new friendships – handle it maturely. Invest your rice, your love in YOU. And the best thing about self-love, is that unlike rice which requires more money and planning, self-love generates on its own overtime, within YOU.

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Self-love is a whole other topic to talk about though. If you’re looking for more ideas, take a look at this video.

This post is dedicated to every single person that’s loved a friend or romantic partner with all their heart, and still lost.

Don’t give up, it wasn’t really a loss. You just haven’t met your kind of people yet.

Keep going 🙂