CONSCIOUSLY CURATED CONTENT
In an age of overstimulation, focusing on the essential can be elusive. I explore the intersection of conscious leadership, mindfulness + spirituality to enable overall health and wellbeing.
5/29/2021 12 Comments
Who am I if I’m not my thoughts?
Now being in “Earth School” ain’t all that bad. We may experience tremendous joy and climb in our careers. We may find ourselves with bigger and bigger paychecks, the ability to travel wherever we want, own the house of our dreams, give our children the lives we wish we had.
But even these rewards that are often the core of “success and happiness” can breed suffering.
Many of the leaders I work with are attached to Success -- as in attached to a result or an outcome -- whether it be praise, a raise, an award or some form of external recognition. Somehow we can’t feel good about ourselves or our work without some external validation.
Attachment to status or needing to make this or that much money results in stuff owning you. You’re trapped in a life you want to get out of but believe you can’t.
Some of the oldest recorded writings on philosophy highlight this point:
“Bound on all sides by scheming and anxiety, driven by anger and greed, they amass by any means they can a hoard of money for the satisfaction of their cravings. “I got this today, “ they say; “tomorrow I shall get that. This wealth is mine, and that will be mine too. ...I am successful…Driven by selfish desire, they miss the goal of life, miss even happiness and success.” (Bhagavad Gita, 16.11 - 14, 23)
“Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do” (Bhagavad Gita, 2.49)
Letting go of attachment
Consider that deep down you signed up to learn happiness. I mean, haven’t we all? Is happiness dependent on something external? No.
While receiving praise and reward can be incredibly fulfilling, the key is not to get attached or expect it. Can you be proud of yourself and content in doing what you do without the dangling carrot?
“Having conquered their senses, they have climbed to the summit of human consciousness. To such people a clod of dirt or stone and gold are the same. They are equally disposed to a family, enemies, and friends, to those who support them and those who are hostile, to the good and the evil alike. Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights.” (Bhagavad Gita, 6.8)
We can end suffering through detachment.
We can change the way we think by creating new patterns and ways of thinking. Then maybe we can understand (or remember) that we are not separate. The awareness that exists behind your thoughts is the same awareness behind all thoughts (of people, animals, trees, etc.).
“To be truly happy is to be successful at life and, like anything worth accomplishing, these practices require dedication. We must choose a peaceful response in times of conflict. We must choose to tell the truth even when it’s not convenient.” Jennie Lee, author of True Yoga.
Are you still with me? Are you wondering HOW do we let go of attachment?
The Eightfold Path is a succinct and clear path anyone can follow and I recommend you check out further readings on this.
The complete practice of yoga was created to calm the “fluctuations of the mind”; yogas citta-vrtti-nirodhah (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.2)
The deeper questions I’m interested in are: Why do we sign up to learn in the first place? And if we are not our thoughts, and we are the awareness behind the thoughts, then who is that awareness? I have some theories if you’re interested to hear more...
Let me know if this made sense or didn’t. I just ask that we are kind in how we pose questions and we have an open mind in exploring this path together.
6/2/2021 11:03:12 am
This is good. I find it so revealing that the ancient Gita reads as if it was written yesterday. People and situations just don't change -- unless we work hard at it. The Eightfold Path is a darn good way to start.
6/2/2021 12:54:56 pm
Very timely to read this!
6/3/2021 02:35:43 pm
6/2/2021 01:17:09 pm
You pose some very interesting questions. I believe the hustle culture has made amassing possessions, being driven to generate revenue from hobbies and passions, and having an "entrepreneurial spirit" badges of honor. Badges I am working diligently to not wear. Thank you for writing this and sign me up for hearing more!
6/3/2021 02:35:00 pm
Thank you Carmen, yes sadly we have become so focused on our things and badges we forget who we really are and why we're here. I look forward to sharing more of this with you, thanks for reading;-)
6/2/2021 06:53:45 pm
Thanks Rimi! Great article and timely
6/3/2021 02:33:50 pm
Thank you, I am glad you found it helpful;-)
6/3/2021 09:59:03 pm
So beautifully written and very apt. We get happiness from success and then get trapped in seeking more external success and that leads to suffering. Being aware of and in control of our thoughts is the essence of meditation. I love your analogy of looking at life as a school with some getting masters or PhDs depending upon the extent of suffering! Thanks!!
6/25/2021 03:52:15 pm
Thank you Meera, glad it resonated! So true, we get "trapped in seeking more success" as you say. I hope you're well and enjoying the "school of life" ;-)
6/13/2021 05:23:15 pm
6/25/2021 03:54:29 pm
Thank you Nitin for your thoughtful comment here. Would love to compare notes with you on the Gita - such a powerful "instructional life map". Really appreciate your reading and taking the time to write. Stay in touch!
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Rimi is a mindful business leader, yogi and entrepreneur.
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