Spiritual Growth: When I Change, the World Changes
I had arrived on my own. The last thing I was feeling was adventurous. The Queen Suite at the Cedar Court Hotel, Harrogate was dotted with prospective listeners, certainly not enough to afford a secure hiding place where I could sneak in unnoticed to listen to:
Dare to Make a Difference
an experiential talk by Jane Kay, Brahma Kumaris
My intentions may have been narrow-minded, to while away some time, but the results were mind blowing.
The genteel speaker’s words were thought-provoking and I rose to her personal challenges (see below). When the rickety music player began emitting some poor quality Hindu music I felt sure that the group meditation at the end would be more of a moment for further reflection and relaxation. I did not expect to see the flood of light emanate from Jane Kay to fill the room… was it some kind of technological trickery or an optical illusion? Perhaps I could explain it away with the fact that I was focusing on the centre of her forehead as instructed thereby de-focussing my peripheral vision. Yes, my logical ego-lead head had managed to explain away the phenomenon, but it was stumped when the room was then filled with a purple haze. True wondrous purple everywhere I looked.
Now I was ready to take the dare to change myself, to change the world. Are you?
1) Retain a sense of peace
Regardless of what situation you are confronted with, you should try to retain an intrinsic sense of internal peace. After all, we only get upset or annoyed when others don’t do things the way that we would… just let go of this need for control. Example: If your child does not tidy his/her room, is it worth you loosing your temper? You and the household will suffer and the room will be untidy again next week. Don’t let things bother you; experience how peace will reign.
The challenge is not to complain or criticise for 24 hours
2) Love everyone and everything
This is a hard one. You may meet people you really do not feel any love for, so here is how you manage this challenge: see everybody as a sunflower. Everyone out there is like me and you. We are all doing what we can to get on in life, we’re all different, but all the same too. Do not judge, you only see a snapshot of peoples’ lives not the whole picture. Like a dirty river does not tell you about the clear bubbling spring and the beautiful lush green landscapes it has carved through before you now see it muddied and littered. Remember: be open-minded, see the sunflowers instead of just a limited snapshot.
3) Be happy all the time
You may already know that this is a challenge. Perhaps if you considered happiness to be more of a choice rather than an accidental emotion you might think differently. If you have a blue balloon to represent your sad emotions and a red balloon to represent your happy emotions and put an equal amount of effort into blowing them up, they would float and last the same, but if you were to put more effort into keeping the blue balloon afloat with negative thoughts the red balloon of happiness would deflate through neglect. Putting more effort into your red happiness balloon will make it soar and your blue balloon of misery will effortlessly shrink and drop. Keep your red balloons full!
4) Have pure positive thoughts for others
This may not be as straightforward as the other challenges. Still its message is straightforward: do not be jealous or covet what others have. Do not rob them of their time. Everyone in life has their time to shine. Maybe you have already had yours, maybe it is yet to come. If you see someone else basking in the glorious light of success (whatever form that may be) do not deprive them of this time to be happy and fulfilled, do not wish it were you and think ill of them as a result. Rejoice with them. Be happy for them. Have pure and positive thoughts. Enjoy your time when it comes – and when it does, you will want others to join in with you, not to think you undeserving. Share in the positivity.
5) Pursue a spiritual path, make wisdom part of your life
I do not think this challenge is meant to be religious, well I certainly do not take it that way as I do not follow a religious faith. Spiritual growth is more about expanding your horizons, letting go of doctrines, habits and ways of thinking that may have been thrown upon you by society or your parents. Let go of this imposed resistance. Let go of this stubbornness that is rooted in your egocentric tendencies. Free yourself from prejudicial traditions and habits that are stopping you from experiencing life as you would like to naturally. Follow the instinct from your “second” brain, your gut instinct. Let go of your ego. Let go of resistance. Embrace all the peace, love, happiness, purity and positivity these 5 “dares” will open up to you and become a force to be reckoned with.
Try these 5 Dares for just 24 hours, then maybe for couple of days because you notice how good you feel, then make them part of your life – you may be surprised at how it unnerves others as you can no longer be manipulated.