When Things Fall Apart
The start of 2022 has been unlike any other year including 2020. While the third wave was already sweeping the world in December, it seems to have finally reached India in the last few days.
When my office announced work-from-home for the next 7 days, I felt frustrated, angry, and hopeless.
In retrospect, it was surprising when I remembered my resistance just a couple of months back to start working from office after working remotely for a year. After all, shifting cities is no joke, let alone during a pandemic.
I realized more than the sudden change, it is the underlying uncertainty of the situation that threw me off.
It reminded me of the book I read a few years back and I thought to revisit it over the past few days.
Book of the Week- When Things Fall Apart
|Courtesy: The Pema Chodron Foundation
Reading Pema is like listening to a wise, compassionate elder after an exhausting day or weeks/months of hustle. She tells you the harshest truths in the most compassionate manner.
Here are 5 key takeaways that have stayed with me:
- There’s no certainty about anything. This basic truth hurts, and we want to run away from it.
- Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.
- Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.
- To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh.
- Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do.
However, sometimes trying to be brave on a consistent basis can be exhausting.
Sometimes giving into our negativity or patterns or the urge to scratch the itch (“Shenpa”) is what we need to do to avoid going crazy.
Not everyone can learn to meditate or be mindful like a monk overnight.
So, it is okay if you feel you are not feeling that well at the beginning of this year.
I certainly don’t feel the usual motivation typically associated with the first week of the new year.
And I am kinda happy about it in a weird way.
There is absolutely pressure of resolutions or building things at all.
Maybe sometimes it is more important to let things fall first.
Just hang in there.
Breath by breath.
Until next time
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