A long time ago, I read a filler in Reader's Digest that remains fresh in my memory even today. It went something like this: Every morning, when the sun rises, a deer wakes up knowing it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must outrun the slowest deer or it will starve to death. So, it doesn't matter whether you are a deer or a lion, when the sun rises in the east, you had better be running.
Sounds familiar? You bet! There's something of a lion and a deer in each of us. Every morning, when we get up and go about accomplishing tasks and fulfilling duties, we're either chasing some goal or escaping some responsibility. We're either fighting the past or struggling to shape the future. We're either avoiding some pain and or hankering after some pleasure. But whatever it is that we're doing, we rarely stop to think about it.
A TV commercial for a tea brand puts this point across aptly when it urges viewers to "wake up" and not just get up every morning. Contemplate the deeper meaning behind this and you will realise that indeed that's what most of us do—go about our tasks as if blind-folded. We're so caught up in our lives that rarely do we pause to think about what we're doing and why.
The eve of New Year is a good opportunity to break away from the thoughtless norms. I suggest that this New Year, instead of making resolutions to chase success or escape temptations, just stop, and think. On second thoughts, don't even think. Just stop! Let go of all thoughts, past and future, and bring yourself in the absolute present. Clear your mind of all goals. Be yourself and detach yourself from the one who is running and chasing. Just become aware; aware of the present moment. Simply observe what's happening.
Even as you carry on with your daily chores, observe yourself. Become your own witness. As you do this, you will feel a sort of peace descending on your being… a peace you may not have experienced in the recent times.
My conviction is that once you experience the peace that comes from simply being, you will feel a subtle transformation. You'll probably still continue to chase and run, but you will do it with an awareness—not out of habit. Then, even without making it a goal, you will go to that quiet place in your mind often, where you meet yourself.
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