Hello and Happy Monday,
I can’t believe we are almost halfway through October already! Today feels perfect outside and is a reminder of how perfect life can be. Sometimes I let the weather determine my mood, sometimes I let others attitudes determine my mood, sometimes I remember that I can choose for myself how I want to be.
As I try my best to interpret pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), I am reminded of something that happened a few years ago. I had asked a friend for advice, in a field she didn’t specialize in but knew a lot about, and she took the time to sit with me and spent time with me explaining, and reviewing with me all the aspects of the issues I had and how I could work with them. I valued the advice she gave me. I took her advice and went out to find someone that specialized in that field to talk more to and to work with. I told my friend that I had done this and to my surprise, she was upset. She was upset because she felt that I stole her time. That I had used her in a way to gain knowledge and move on. I was upset as this was not my intention at all. I know I am being vague, but the bottom line is that there was a big miscommunication and our expectations were very different – ultimately, we talked it out and we are still friends today.
Fast forward to earlier this year, the same thing happened, except this time, I was the one giving advice, providing my time and energy, explaining, reviewing, yet, in my specialty. And this person took my advice and choose a different path. It hurt and I was upset and then I remembered. I remembered what happened a few years ago. It took the sting out, I was able to put myself in the other person's shoes and to examine why I gave advice.
I fell in love with the Bhagavad Gita in 2010 during my yoga teacher training and have tried my best to live by its guidelines. In chapter 2, verse 47 says, “You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of your work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction.” That is why I give advice, most of the time solicited advice, I try my best to not give when not asked, but for the sake of the person, not for a reward for me, for my business, or for others that may benefit.
What I can tell you is this, practicing this isn’t always easy, but like with everything it takes practice doing it again and again and again until it becomes a habit. Habits are so easy to make, we just forget. If you don’t believe me, take a moment to think about all the bad habits you have.
Try and remember this story, or I’m sure you have something similar, the next time you are asked for advice, information, or your opinion. Take that time to create space before you share and remember why you are doing it.
Wishing you a fantastic week,