It took me days of prayers and introspection to come to terms with who I really am. But when I did accept my frailties and made peace with myself, I felt like a free bird. I caused a mild tremor in one of my classes when I confessed to the audience that I was a monk by accident, and that I had the same aspirations and need for emotional support as they had. Nonetheless, I had made the choice of being single, and was happily paying the price and enjoying the rewards of this choice. I knew that day the secret to a life of contentment and freedom was in honest ‘Acceptance.’
I realized that ‘Awareness’ (of who we are) is a divine gift we receive when we live by ‘Sattva’– a life of goodness, centred on clean habits, and pure thoughts. ‘Acceptance’ however is a choice- our willingness to choose being tiny in this giant cosmos, to feel humble and insignificant, yet, loved by the universe and God.
The real challenge, however, is to sustain this feeling of humility, and that’s when the third principle comes to play.
The mind is craftier than we can imagine. While Awareness may require us to spend some solitary moments, Acceptance calls for humility. Then, even if we chose to be humble, the mind wouldn’t allow us to. It didn’t take long for me to forget my humble existence and judge others again. I thought I was better than them and complained about things that were relatively speaking, inconsequential when seen from a larger perspective. I would speak on pride and humility, but I was still full of myself. It was a life of denial- non acceptance and disconnect from our humble roots. Mignon McLaughlin, an American writer of the 1950’s, published her witty aphorisms in three books titled ‘Neurotic’s notebook.’ One phrase that caught my attention was ‘The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it’, and I instantly knew that’s exactly the mind’s ultimate weapon. The mind’s insubordination is relentless.
The only way to stay grounded is to connect to a noble Aspiration, the third and the most important principle. I had to gently remind myself about my purpose in life by asking myself, ‘why am I doing, what I am doing?’ Seen from a higher standpoint, my mind’s non-issues dissolved. American life-coach Tony Robins calls this as the ‘Daily Priming technique,’ whereby you connect to your goals for ten minutes each morning. That’s how we simply apply the three principles: Awareness, Acceptance and Aspiration.
Benefits are immediate, and lasting.
To improve Awareness, Acceptance, and Aspiration:
Ø Awareness: Receive the now, live in the present
Ø Acceptance: Let go guilt and fear by coming to terms with the self
Ø Aspiration: Live with a mission and purpose.
Besides, if we can acknowledge the lessons life teaches us, where often, humiliation comes before we embrace humility, we’d stay aligned to our mission.
And despite the mind’s rant, it’s never too late to change, to gain back control over our lives.