3 Months, 3 Lessons
Time flies and how!
It feels that yesterday only I returned from a 10-day Vipassana retreat after quitting my full-time job and turning 30 in June.
It was then I decided to take a small break from full-time work.
3 major things happened in the last 3 months:
- Joined a 3-month method acting course– to test the waters of a long, lost childhood dream
- Started working independently as a marketing strategist and writer
- Carried on the Vipassana & sustained a daily meditation habit of 2 hours
While these are the things that happened, there are some that did not.
I wanted to take care of my physical health and I have made zero progress in that area. I am guilty of not following through with my commitment to focus on my physical health as I had thought so.
As I reflect on these things and look back at the past 3 months, 3 lessons stand out the most:
3 lessons I learned about Dreams, Meditation, Courage, & Freedom
1. Uncertainty breeds fear. Breathe into it to transform it into courage.
It is human nature to crave certainty.
We run away from everything that threatens our sense of stability and security. The critical thinking mind immediately triggers fear when things are not in our control.
But, things are never constant.
We barely have any control no matter how much we believe otherwise. Plus, life can become predictable, boring, and monotonous with too much certainty.
When we meet the fear of uncertainty with a breath of awareness, it gets transformed into courage.
Because fear is nothing but excitement without breath.
And it is wonderful to feel the excitement of being alive and to live a courageous life true to your heart and dreams.
2. Freedom means nothing without discipline.
The thrill of being your own boss is short-lived.
Yes, you can do things at your convenience. You have absolute control over your time and work.
But, absolute freedom can lead to total chaos if you are not disciplined.
Without discipline, my schedule has gone for a toss.
There were many things I never got around to doing in the past 3 months. One such thing was giving adequate attention to my health and fitness. Not because of a lack of time but because of a lack of commitment and discipline.
I have more time on my hand than I had while doing a full-time job.
But am I maximizing it to fulfill my potential?
I doubt so and I hope to rectify this in the coming months.
3. Meditation may not ‘solve’ any problems.
This one has been the toughest lesson I learned in the last 3 months.
After coming from Vipassana, I have been able to maintain the daily recommended practice of 2 hours with a few gaps here and there. This comes down to roughly 150+ hours of meditation in the last 3 months alone.
I know it is not about the number of hours but tracking the metric makes me feel good and going when I don’t feel like meditating.
Yet some of my deepest issues/concerns/patterns (which I had hoped to overcome with regular meditation) are still there.
And it is really frustrating to fight similar patterns even after putting in the work.
But, one thing I do realize is that I have become much more self-aware, forgiving, and less likely to beat myself up when I relapse.
Maybe that is a sign of progress.
Maybe meditation is not about solving any problems.
Maybe it is about transcending into a better version of yourself who can deal with them in a loving and compassionate manner.
I am not sure.
Only time will tell as I hope to continue this habit at least for the rest of my life.
Until next time
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