As many of the 90 odd women came and spoke to me after I ended the workshop with them a few days back, I realized I had touched a chord in them. They had been so caught up being Mothers and wives and daughters in law and the many other relationships that defined them, that they hadn’t come face to face with themselves in a long time. Some underlying discontent had tormented most of them from time to time as it does many of us too. While their circumstances may have been different from many of us, this sense of frustration & frenzy or lassitude & boredom is not entirely unique to them. It plagues many of our seemingly full lives too, of both women & men with sparkling careers.
A mother’s job is anyway a full time job, whether or not she does another job. Many years back while being interviewed for my 1st job in advertising I was asked – if you had to chose between staying home since your child was unwell and coming to work, what would you chose? I remember responding, I know you’d like me to say my job will be my 1st priority, but honestly, if given the nature of the relationship, I can’t be committed to my own kid, what kind of commitment do you think I will bring to my work? I could turn this into a feminist thing and complain that no one asks a man such a question at an interview. Of course some responsible fathers could also complain that being a father isn’t a part time vocation either, but that’s not the point here. The point is that we need to have clarity about our priorities.
And each one of us has the right to have our own unique set of priorities. If it gladdens someone’s heart to be a stay at home wife and be the care giver while the partner focuses on being a provider, it is really not anybody else’s business but their own. It is however important that the person devotes some amount of time to understand her own desires and undertake the activities that nourish her soul and being. Because, really, you cannot give what you do not have. Unless there is peace and happiness within, a happy and harmonious family environment cannot be created and sustained.
This is just as true for men. We all need to find our unique balance of doing what we need to for ourselves and for those who depend on us. There is no doubt great joy in being there for our loved ones. Their success is truly our own. But to be true to our own nature is also a responsibility. The sacrifices that we make for the success & well being of our loved ones, though necessary, should not become so over bearing as to cover our internal spark in a manner that dulls our entire existence. We each owe it to ourselves and to life to radiate our innate luminosity and uniqueness, because that’s how we make those around us happy and the world a better place.
Therefore I say to you all what I said to those women- make time for yourself. Without delay, discover(or rediscover) the activities that enhance your inner joy. Dance like crazy or slow, sing loud or hum, paint a canvas or the town, chant a mantra or make a mandala, go for therapy, go for a run, hit the gym, play a round of Golf, cook a snack, bake a cake, feed the hungry, smash some plates or some traditions, talk to friends or to your younger self, watch a movie or read a book,…. just make some time to do the things that nourish your soul. Find your unique personal meditation! Create the space and conditions within for peace to blossom and grow. In time you will find the cascade of peace within envelope not only your own life but also every life that touches yours.
Here, come sit with me for a moment, exhale deeply, now be still, absorb the silence! Love