“Be neither jubilant by wealth, nor depressed by loss,” was the advice of Paramahansa Yogananda’s father, words that in today’s world are difficult to comprehend since most of our society’s “acceptance” is based on what our status is in life….wealth, possessions, career, relationships.
These are all wonderful and necessary things as we journey through our physical life! There is nothing more beautiful than sitting in a wonderfully sunlit room with beautiful furniture and decorations while gazing at the beauty of a painting by whomever our favorite artist is, listening to our favorite song. Such a joy! Or doing yoga on the balcony of a stateroom in the middle of the ocean while cruising to some beautiful island with turquoise waters. Maybe the strong sense of power received when a deal is closed on a major sale brings a sense of identity. Being wrapped in a lover’s arms can bring us such warmth, comfort and sense of belonging.
But what if within one second all these things were taken from us? Our whole life being pulled from under our feet. How would we feel? Would we lose our sense of identification? Would we lose joy? Would we feel any less of a person because we no longer felt we “fit in?” Certainly it’s a shock, but these are the transient pleasures of life that do not define who we are.
Possessions and money are not a sin. As a matter of fact, they are in many ways necessities for living life. However, to be “possessed” by the possessions and the money is where we may run into some problems! Life has so many treasures and they are meant to be enjoyed, but identification and attachment to those pleasures can bring suffering. It pulls us away from the recognition that before we were physical beings, we were non-physical beings in a state of Consciousness in relationship with Higher Source.
If we were to contemplate when it is we feel most anxious, stressed or depressed, we may just find it is when we become consumed by life’s pleasures, relating more to what we “have” and not enough to how we can “give.” We become frustrated when we are unable to receive what we believe it is we want. We get so busy trying to keep up with the expectations of life that we forget how to relate to others, how to love, how to feel gratitude for the simple fact that we are given this wonderful blessing of just being able to breathe life and see its splendor! We loose “touch.” Stopping for just a moment and putting ourselves in alignment with our True Nature allows us to appreciate these pleasures with non-attachment giving us the ability to feel gratitude for having received them.
Everyone’s path is different. There are those who dedicate their life to serving, those who govern, those who heal and care for people in need, and those who are the entrepreneurs of the World providing jobs so that society’s wheels can keep spinning. If we are in alignment and understanding of our own life’s purpose, we can find joy in whatever it is we do, but there are many in this world that no matter how much money, possessions or power they have are continuously searching for their happiness in external pleasures. There is this sense of loneliness and they search aimlessly to try to fill that empty hole that subconsciously gnaws at them. They throw themselves into their work or into their relationships thinking it will bring about their happiness not realizing that it can all be taken away from them in a split second. Despair, suffering, confusion and pain replace their false sense of happiness.
This does not mean that we do not suffer when we lose our job or our home or a loved one. Of course we do! We are only human. But when we do not attach ourselves to impermanence (that which is always changing and in flux), we change our suffering into gratitude for having been given the honor of sharing a moment of our life with a loving companion or to have been given a job that fulfilled its purpose in providing for our needs.
And then there are those who have little who live in joy, identifying more with spirit, their beingness, understanding that this is the only constancy in life. They look inward to establish a relationship with their “non-physical consciousness” in order to find true joy and happiness, understanding this is the one constant in life. Living life from that place of constancy can fill us with gratitude for that which is given to us to “use” in this life, (i.e., possessions, etc.) and also to maintain a sense of clarity and peacefulness when it is taken from us.
“Things” can be taken ……..spirit cannot! The filling of the void within and the root of our happiness can be found in the permanency of our beingness. It is this relationship with Self that is the one constant and keeps us connected to Higher Source, that from which we came.
“Evenmindness,” is found within the silence of our contemplation and meditation. Keeping it within our thoughts no matter what kind of day we face, be it stress, someone causing us anger, a bounced check….whatever…allows us to come from that space that is not affected by outward distractions. We come from a place of unshaken joy. We maintain relationship and connection to our True Self.
We must develop trust that what is meant for us at any given point in time is where we’re supposed to be at that moment, having faith that All is Well!
Debbie Peluso obtained her Bachelors degree from the University of Metaphysics in association with the University of Sedona in Arizona. She is a certified practitioner in Meditation, metaphysical/spiritual counseling, and is a working astrologer. She is a yoga instructor and co-owner of Zion Yoga Studio in the Washington, D.C. area.