Gravitating towards serenity
VARSHA had no clue that she had turned into a monster whose presence rattled every employee's nerves. A love marriage at 19 against her in-law’s wishes had turned them against her. When her husband died of a sudden and mysterious illness a year later, leaving her with a two-month-old son, a battle erupted for the custody of the child.
All of a sudden, the in-laws wanted to assert their rights. The ensuing battle killed whatever softness Varsha had, leaving in its wake a tough-as-nails woman, who could take good care of herself. A self-made entrepreneur, she took immense pride in the export house she had built singlehanded. She had not delegated decision-making to anybody in the company. This would not have been a bad idea had she not displayed erratic behaviour. Her working hours were never fixed, her mood swings were severe and her expectations from employees never very clear. No one knew when she entered office what her mood would be.
Managers joined with the hope of building a career in her fast-growing company and left disillusioned with her behaviour. Her temper tantrums were unpredictable. She was known to scream at the first person in sight. Often, she flew off the handle without verifying facts. It was only her die-hard family faithfuls who stuck to her.
Over the years, she had
cultivated a lifestyle which was fragmented but on the surface, it
looked glamorous. It gave the impression that she was a sociable and
multi-dimensional person but scrutiny revealed a haunting emptiness. Her
business stemmed from a craving for attention and company. Everything
she did was fast-paced, leaving her neither opportunity nor time for
introspection, thinking or getting in touch with her inner self. What
she did to fill the 24 hours of her day were not things she enjoyed
doing but compulsive robotic activities which satisfied the body or made
sense to the mind but rarely touched the soul.
Being a single woman and one who lived by her own rules, she had distanced herself from the family which meant that there were that many less people to tell her how difficult she had become. She yielded her superiority and got away with bad behaviour without taking responsibility for her actions or making amends for any hurt feelings that she had generated. A chance encounter with a yoga guru at a party made her curious about this ancient Indian holistic healing technique. She was drawn to the way he spoke in measured and deep tones, articulating philosophical pearls of wisdom simply and succinctly. Her journey into yoga and meditation began that night. For the next two years she went through various forms of yoga. Her pride was shattered when the guru told her that her stamina levels, inspite of doing exercise and aerobics for two decades, was nothing much to talk about.
She realised how little she actually knew. Her body, despite looking supple, was not ready to hold a yogic posture for a few minutes. Her movements were flighty and whimsical not solid and unwavering and her mind was in a mad turmoil. How had she carried on all these years in such an unaware state of being ? She became conscious of the amount of negativity in her and the change, when it happened, was gradual and smooth. Her life changed. An inner calmness descended as if it was always there waiting in the wings, awaiting an invitation from her. She gained a better insight. Overnight, her intuitive abilities and judgement of people became better. She was now making lesser professional and personal mistakes. As she cut down on the non-essentials in her life, like empty socialising, she found her body and mind better rested. Yoga and meditation increased her concentration. She was more focused and clear-headed. If earlier she had her fingers in many pies she could now find the courage to say ‘no’ to things she did not want to do and especially those which she saw were headed nowhere. Her risk-taking abilities increased and at 45 she found herself venturing into new, unchartered terrain by combining enthusiasm and wisdom in the right proportion.
The biggest learning was that she no longer felt like talking endlessly, barking orders or chatting incessantly on the phone or clicking furiously on the keyboard, sending unending mails to strangers on the Net. She befriended silence.
The serenity was showing
on her face. If earlier her body looked fit, now her face exuded a
glow which came from an inner beauty. Body and mind were finally
moving in tandem with each other. There was balance and harmony in
what she did and felt. Yoga had turned out to be the right
facilitator, coming to her at a time when the monster within could be
ousted, leaving in its place a gentler, more angelic person.