A revelation struck me while washing dishes. It is true that whatever you are doing and wherever you are, there are always opportunities to look inside yourself for reflection. There are no mountains to climb, pilgrimages to holy lands, or gurus to follow in order to attain enlightenment—just you, your Self and the trusty dishwasher.
One morning, I was putting away the bowls I had just hand washed on the dish rack, when two of them rolled over, fell on top of each other and made a loud crashing noise. I got furious. I said to myself, “Fuck!” and thought, “I should have stacked the bowls more carefully; otherwise I could have broken them all.” Then the internal conversation went on for two minutes about things I screwed up growing up, all the way back from the time as a kid when I got reprimanded for certain things I did not do right. Sympathetically, I caught my train of thought, stopped, turned my mind around, and said to myself, “It’s all right. At this moment I am perfectly all right.”
There was something revealed about my reaction and thoughts that morning that made me look at other areas in my life where I felt withdrawn. The first thing on my mind was finishing this book after months of setting it aside. At first I couldn’t understand why. But nagging thoughts came up like: how hard is it to write or finish a book, and what if I am not good enough, or why am I feeling so vulnerable? Then the a-ha moment came. Putting away the bowls on the rack or writing this book led me to a future that is based on beliefs – a belief of a perfect future that the bowls will behave accordingly without crashing and breaking, or a book that will turn out to be a mega failure. Ouch!
On a path to yogic realization, there is the science called karma yoga. It literally translates union through action. Karma yoga is a way of acting, thinking, and willing, by which one orients oneself toward awareness by acting in accordance with one's duty, without consideration of personal, self-centered desires, likes, or dislikes. In short, karma yoga is to act as a way of offering – not due to personal gain. By the way, two of the most famous karma yogis in this century are Mother Theresa and Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi).
In the previous story, the realization of my bruised past and a formidable future caused my present action to shift. The shift made way into an offering, and only then was I able to tune in to the present moment. My paradigm shifted, my mind let go and new circuits were developed.
Now, when I wash dishes, I reflect on what is present with my mind and body, freeing every tension that overshadows my light and constricts my creativity. Washing dishes has never been the same for me again. I continued to write—moreso now with vision, power and humor. Passion exuded within me, reflecting upon my heart and experiences, while finding an authentic inner voice.
You too may find revelations in your life at this very moment liberating your mind and actions from their traps. Try this for yourself. Breathe deeply. Track the air entering though your nostrils into your lungs. Then slowly exhale through your mouth and say “Ahhh,” allowing the muscles on your face, neck, and shoulders to let go. Now breathe deeply again, this time letting the air fill your lungs completely until the upper chest lifts up. Slowly exhale through your nose. Now look and listen into your heart and begin to realize what is present, unattached to the past, the future, wants, or personal gain. Feel the warmth, lightness, and openness of your heart and embody a sense of freedom and power. Pause for a moment.
When you are ready to continue, read a chapter and follow the yoga-massage exercises or meditation practices at the end of each chapter, and let this book be a guide to a dynamic physical and spiritual well-being that is authentic for you. Finally, share yourself fully with others around you, and release the inner light that is surely bursting to shine forth.
Have this book accessible—to remind yourself that wherever you are and whatever you are doing there is always that moment or a pause for reflection and an offering.
I look forward to sharing these blissful moments with you.