Unloading Your Pressure Baggage

Pressure Baggage

On a spiritual level, pressure can be defined as an external force acting on us divided by our ability to bear the force or resist it. Thus, force and resistance capacity are two variants in the equation of pressure. Everyone has different resistance capacities. Two people with different resistance capacities will experience different amounts of pressure on being subjected to the same magnitude of force.  A feeling of pressure absorbs our freedom and gives us an experience of being ruled by an external entity. There are a lot of people who hold the belief that they can experience freedom only in the absence of an external force, which is almost impossible, since there is almost some force or the other exerted on the soul by ups and downs that takes place in the role that it plays through the physical body; which includes the physical body itself; profession; family; wealth, all types of relationships, etc. Even our own personality, thoughts, feelings, emotions etc. exert pressure on us at times.

Apart from the resistance capacity, the other variant in the equation of pressure is not only force but our perception of what the magnitude of the force is. This depends primarily on the beliefs that we carry. Two people will perceive the same situation in their role (as explained above) as forces of different magnitudes. While we hold the belief that life events, people and their expectations from us, are the forces that are the causes of our pressure, we will be able to do little to change the habit of being pressurized. It is we who pressurize ourself and allow the outside to pressurize us. We can either go through our life journey while experiencing feelings of being emotionally imprisoned, confused, rushed and hurried, or we can do the same with the power of faith and determination, at the same time remaining patient and maintaining our inner emotional stability. In some cases, some of us put pressure on ourselves, because we carry the belief that a bit of pressure is good in order to achieve what we want; it provides us with positive energy and motivates us. So this is an example of perceiving a force in our life, a force which does not exist. Such kind of pressure can deceive us and give us a feeling of being beneficial in the short term but it can have harmful effects on us in the long term. Some others might not experience this pressure because they do not carry this belief at all and don’t invite this force.

Can we experience freedom only when there is an absence of outside pressure? We feel pressured from many sides. At work, we feel the pressure to do tasks as per fixed guidelines of set systems and within boundaries of time, of keeping up our performance as per others’ expectations and as good as our compatriots. In relationships, we feel the pressure of experiencing success in them, of satisfying others and gaining respect from them. In studies, we feel the pressure of having to excel in them, not only because that is instrumental in building our future but because of the desire to be seen in a positive light by others. We feel the pressure of having to earn more and more wealth to satisfy the necessities, comforts and luxuries of the family and to maintain a certain image in society. In the face of problems, we feel pressure when we are not able to solve them quickly or in the way that we want. Failure or its fear, in any sphere of life, generates pressure in us.   Sometimes we experience pressure because the mind is not functioning as per our desires or directions or we are not able to transform our negative personality to a positive one as much as we want.  When we believe that something harmful can happen if we don’t reach our set objectives on time or in a certain manner, we feel pressured. Physical illnesses or their fear can also create pressure for some of us.

And so life turns into an endless amount of pressure crests, like speed breakers that appear one after the other, unsettling us and not giving us time to relax. When we feel pressured, it seems that the life forces rule our life and we do not feel free.  In the long-term, this repetitive habit of creating feelings of pressure and carrying such baggage ends up leaving us exhausted on an emotional and spiritual level.

Sometimes the pressure we are carrying is related to the situation we are in, sometimes we even carry a pressure of one situation in another situation i.e. it is unrelated pressure. All this continues throughout the day, day after day. What all this pressure does is increase the quantity of thoughts that we carry in our mind, which in turn reduces our efficiency and discriminating and judging power. The words and actions coming out from such a state of mind are improper and lacking in power, conviction and clarity. To ensure that we do not carry pressure baggage on our emotional back, as per our pressure equation (shared in the first message of this series), we need to change the incorrect beliefs that we carry, which are the root cause of our pressure and at the same time increase our ability to bear the different life forces. We carry thoughts that are determined by our belief of what success is and what failure is, what winning is and what losing is. Although we perceive such beliefs to be true, they are not true; they are like a facade that influence our perception of reality and generate in us feelings of pressure.  The truth, on the other hand, is deeper than beliefs.

While meditation will serve as an important tool to increase our inner power to tolerate or resist life forces; spiritual knowledge, understanding and wisdom will serve as an immensely important tool which will help us in correcting our beliefs. So in times of pressure, stopping yourself for a minute and assessing your thoughts, then going backwards, and checking the beliefs which are the root cause of the thoughts at that particular moment and then changing them requires strength and clarity, which we will obtain through the medium of spiritual wisdom. Once the beliefs are corrected, the thought patterns will change. Thoughts like – Maybe I won’t arrive on time or If I don’t finish this assignment successfully, I will lose my next promotion or If I lose my money in this financial investment, my family will stop appreciating me etc. which we create all the time – will be replaced by more positive thoughts of security, fearlessness, patience, peace, faith, determination, certainty etc.

Resolving The Inner Identity Crisis

identity-crisis

At the present moment in human history, almost every individual has lost the awareness of its real or true self. This has happened very gradually as each individual has progressed in its journey of birth-rebirth and has kept on attaching itself to various different things and as a result losing its sense of self in things that it is not i.e. identifying with things that it is not. In a way it can be said that this took the self far away from itself. This personal, internal identity crisis has led to a universal, external identity crisis, which has resulted in an emotional crisis resulting in peacelessness and sorrow in our inner world as well as in the outer world. 

This inner identity crisis is the root cause of the multitude of deformed emotions that exist inside us like anger, ego, lust, fear, comparison with others, greed, hatred, low self esteem, dependencies etc. all of which have brought us and keep on bringing us pain. We explain this with an example – suppose you have just constructed a new apartment. While making it and once its ready and you are using it, you have become excessively attached to it i.e. you have started identifying with it. Due to this false identification, the first emotion that gets created inside you is ego. If someone were to criticize the apartment even slightly, you would react immediately with anger. You constantly fear any sort of harm to the apartment. You even compare it with apartments that others possess. You also start looking down at people whose apartment is not as good as yours i.e. you create emotions of hatred for them. If something negative were to happen it, it affects your mental state immediately i.e. your happiness has become dependent on the material possession. Your temporary success along with the recognition that it brings you from others leads to the desire of more success of a similar type i.e. possess some more things – bigger and better, which is nothing but greed etc. The seed of all these incorrect emotions is my over-identification with this newly acquired possession. All of these wouldn’t exist inside me, if my relationship with was one of detachment with it. In this way, we identify with various objects and people in the whole day, which leads to the creation of such emotions inside us.

The confusions, complications and problems that exist in our world today and the state of human relationships all over the world, are simply a reflection of our lack of inner clarity about who we are, what we are and where we are heading i.e. a lack of true self-identity. So how do we resolve this internal and external turmoil? There is an original, beautiful self, with characteristics of peace, love and happiness that exists within each one of us, the self from which we have been distanced since a very long time. This is a centre full of the spiritual resources of all virtues and powers. Reaching it is a journey of only one second and no distance. By identifying with this inner centre, a centre which is imperishable, unchangeable, constant and even eternal, my self identity becomes strong and stable, as compared to many false identities based on external realities like position, wealth and material possessions which are all perishable and subject to various ups and downs even in one single day, and if we over identify with them, we are bound to experience constant pain and discontentment.

This process of true self-identification is not a renunciation or avoidance of the way the outer world is but it is a healing process for your inner world. It is an internal correction process of identification, whereby you rediscover your true self as a complete being full of positive emotions that you always were and you start identifying with it, doing which very easily helps you let go of the wrong identifications. This process is commonly called meditation, the foundation of which is spiritual wisdom. Once this inner work is done, the outer world starts taking the shape of a reflection of that. Resolving the identity crisis first changes the way our internal and external world looks to us, as a result changing the way it works.

Experiencing Perfection And Success In Role Playing

roleplay

Spirituality gives me the detached realization of being pure consciousness. This realization not only detaches me from my physical body, but also detaches me from the different roles I play through my physical body (male or female) and the different acts or scenes in each role, in one particular day or one particular lifetime. The roles may be many, the acts and the scenes may be many, but I am the actor playing the different roles and participating in the different acts.

There is great strength in experiencing myself as an actor as compared to the previous existence in which I used to lose myself and forget my spiritual identity completely while playing the different roles, identifying more with the roles and thinking myself to be the role instead of being a spiritual actor.  An actor, even while in the midst of the most dramatic scenes, even whilst getting excited or emotional or angry, knows he is not the part itself, the part is just temporary. He knows he is something more than that, and that when the play is over, the role will not exist anymore. So, even though I play my role, I don’t cut off myself from the role and don’t leave my responsibilities, I need to adopt the observer or spectator ordetached consciousness instead of the player consciousness. A player tends to get over-involved. So, the balance has to be maintained – I play as well as remain detached. Only then the roles will be played to complete perfection and I will experience success in each role.

If I’m able to protect and maintain my inner spiritual identity in each role that I play in the day, it’s much easier for me to switch roles. I switch roles so many times even in one particular day. If I lose myself in a particular role, my mind and intellect tends to become limited and restricted to that role and I’m not able to see beyond the immediate needs of the role and I find it difficult to adapt to another role. As a father, for example, I may also be called upon to play the different roles of husband or a Managing Director or a friend or a brother or a son or a son-in-law etc. Also many a times, for e.g. in the absence of the mother, I may have to play the role of the mother or in the absence of the Plant Manager in my company on a particular day, I may have to play his role, etc., both being roles that I do not normally play. I’ll have a better chance of being able to fulfill all these roles if I don’t get too caught up in any of the roles while playing them and remain in my spiritual consciousness while playing them. A spiritual consciousness will keep me detached.

Every role demands different positive personality traits or sanskaras to be put into practice. I need to be flexible and possess the ability to pick those personality traits from my complete spiritual store house of personality traits that I the soul possess inside me, that are best suited to the role and are required for that role at that particular moment, so that the role and the act is played accurately and perfectly to my satisfaction as well as the other’s satisfaction. In a bodily, limited consciousness, I will not be able to that.

While playing my different roles, another important ability (a few abilities were mentioned in yesterday’s message) that I need to possess is to become victorious over the different scenes that I play. What does that mean? I need to remember that every scene, every act, whether positive or negative, in every role, shall pass. No scene or act is permanent. What happens is that, in a bodily consciousness, each time I am part of a positive scene in my life; I tend to become attached to it and want to hold on it and keep it with me permanently, which is not possible. And each time I am part of a negative scene, I tend to become impatient and want it to get over as soon as possible, which again is not possible all the time. As if a few minutes or few days of the scene or act are difficult for me to pass or bear. Positive scenes bring me into a strong, temporary wave of happiness or excitement and negative scenes into a wave of deep sorrow, both of which are incorrect emotions. To make sure that I don’t get taken in by both these waves, which is becoming victorious over scenes, I need to remain detached while playing different roles in different scenes. I will be able to become a master at this detachment, again when I am established completely as my spiritual self.

Separating role and actor increases opportunities for seeing what my role actually demands, and reduces the chances of being unduly influenced by others. Stepping away from the stage, even for a moment, I’ll see more clearly how the other actors in that particular scene are behaving, and what is required of me. So, in this regard, it’s a good practice that at different times of the day, I step back for a few seconds and detach myself from the role that I am playing and remind myself that I am a pure being of consciousness, a sparkling star like energy full of peace, love and happiness and nothing else. This is my spiritual identity.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address
awakeningwithbks@brahmakumaris.com with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

When are you planning to retire?

Dadi Janki, now in her 100th year, and who will celebrate becoming a centenarian in January 2016, is actually still working full-time. I find that incredible. Her passion for what she does not only keeps her working but also on the move. This year alone she has so far clocked up 49,418 business air miles. In a world of huge challenges and great change, the wisdom that Dadi (which means Elder Sister in Hindi) can offer seems to be much in demand. Her daily routine starts at 4.00 am with a schedule packed full of meetings with both students of the organisation (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University) as well as leaders from business, government and all walks of life.

Feminine Leadership Today

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 08.41.31Today the UN is celebrating International Day of Older Persons with this year’s emphasis being on age inclusiveness in the urban environment. It’s estimated that by 2050, people over 60 will account for one quarter of the urban population. So in an era when old age is often seen as a burden (on the taxpayer, healthcare system and social care) and we don’t expect people to work and be economically active in their later years (hence the free bus passes etc for the over 60s!) the question about when to retire is an important one.

What do you base your decision on?  The need to earn money, the desire to escape the daily grind and having to show up and clock on somewhere everyday? Some organisations and professions even have enforced retirement.

But what if you love your work so much that it doesn’t feel like work?

Oscar-winning British actress…

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Subtle ego

ego lego

Some say, you need at least a bit of ego to survive in this world. A little bit of ego is healthy. But is it really? What if it’s blocking the quality of our life?

A few years ago I attended a class by Didi Sudesh in which she talks about subtle ego. If you walk the spiritual path and have done some soul searching in your life, you may think you are free from ego but when you listen to this, you may not be so sure anymore. It’s easy to recognize the BIG ego but if you are looking for a more profound clean up, here it is.

Now why do I want to be free of ego? What’s in it for me?

ego nobodyHappiness. It’s as simple as I can put it. Imagine a weight falling of your shoulders, you can breath again, stop thinking about useless matters and feel love for those around you, no matter who they are or what they do. Could your heart handle that? Imagine you don’t feel down anymore, feeling no more failure and loss, and thinking you’re not good enough is something of the past. Experience the total relaxation by saying “Really I am nobody”.

What does ego mean?

The Meaning of ego in spiritual terms ego is body-consciousness versus soul-consciousness. It’s all that you THINK who you are or think who you have to be. Mostly who you think you are and who you really are don’t match. The bigger the gap between who you think you are and who you really are, the bigger the ego. So in short, ego is a gap in your mind. You think you are the roles that you play:

  • I am a mother
  • I am a designer
  • I am a teacher
  • I am ….

but roles are not human, they are attributes, mere temporary identities that stick to you like post-it’s. Who you think you are usually starts with I am and connects with a role that you play. Who you really are is so much more. You’re a soul with a great history and a lot of experience on earth that has encountered love, respect, wisdom, peace and silence. Because of over-identifying with the roles that we play in our current birth, the roles that are connected to our body, we have a limited vision of our selves. It’s OK to play a role, we can’t escape from that. Running away from our responsibilities that come with those roles doesn’t bring any freedom. On the contrary. Yet, the idea that we are the roles that we play is exactly what limits us, blocks us from real interaction with others and with ourselves. In the worst case it can create a wall around our heart which is the recipe for loneliness and depression. In The Drama of the Gifted Child, Alice Miller describes depression as ‘Mourning for the loss of the self’.

Digging deeper – how to recognize ego

  • ego has no heart feelings, no love
  • ego has no mercy
  • ego comes through the door of comparison, competition and criticism
    you want to show that what you are doing is better than what others are doing
  • ego can not appreciate
  • ego is ignorance
  • ego does not share your value, it compares your values with others
  • ego has expectations, which is the biggest trap in relationships
  • ego is not value based
  • ego can not tolerate praise of others, unless we are attached to those that are praised
  • ego doesn’t let go seeing the failing of others
  • ego can not receive correction, only give correction
  • ego inspects others, self respect corrects oneself
  • ego is very powerful outwardly but very week inwardly
  • ego makes it difficult to establish relationships based on love

Read the full article about ego.

Applying The Law Of Balance To Anger

anger

We are all very much aware of the law of gravity. It keeps us grounded on the earth. Gravity ensures everything returns to a state of balance. This is the law of balance on a physical level.

The law of balance can also be applied on a mental and emotional level, to the emotion of anger e.g.  Too many angry thoughts of revenge and animosity (hatred) inside our consciousness can emerge in two ways:

a) either externally as toxic, violent behavior, which will attract toxic, violent responses from others, or
b) if these thoughts are kept bottled inside, they will eventually, after a period of time, emerge as some disease or the other in the physical body. This is because our consciousness then tries to find a way to get rid of the mental impurity, which enters our physical body and restores balance to the mental and physical system, which has been upset due to the creation of the toxic thoughts, in the first place.

The above e.g. is an application of this law on a micro level. We can apply this law of balance on a macro level, on the world at large, where we watch groups of people, even countries exchanging negative energy. 

The same law can also be applied on a larger level. Each time a group of people transmit the negative energy of anger physically to another group of people – at that time,either:
a) one party is disturbing the balance temporarily, which will be restored sometime in the future, by the second party indulging in similar behavior, or
b) balance is being restored at the present moment (because negative energy had been transmitted from the opposite party to the first party sometime in the past). This balancing must take place, because it’s an unbreakable law. This is the law of balance.

This law that does not need to be enforced by us, the police or even by God. It is a natural law like other laws of nature. It gets enforced itself and cannot be broken by anyone. Understanding that this law is embedded in the human state of affairs at all times makes us careful and detached so that we don’t hurt ourselves with violent, toxic thoughts, when someone acts negatively.  We create these kinds of thoughts because we believe this is revenge that is justified. Also, knowing that anger that is radiated comes back doesn’t mean we don’t have any laws within society – they are required, but it helps us not to take the law into our own hands. We cannot force justice to take place before its fixed time. We cannot force the balancing of energies of anger. If we trying doing it, it is being egoistic and we only upset the balance of our energies as a result. Even to criticize those who try to take the law into their own hands is to take the law into our hands.

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.