Exclusive to Vedic Management Center by Dr David Frawley
If we cannot manage our own lives, how can we manage other people? If we cannot manage our own minds, how can we manage our lives? Unless we understand the forces that we are setting in motion in our own consciousness, we cannot act in the best possible manner either at personal or public levels.
The fact is that many of us are good at managing the outer aspects of our lives, or even controlling the people around us, whether in the sphere of work, family or friendship. Yet we are not in control of our own minds. We are driven by obscure desires, strange anxieties, and accumulating stress that keeps us feeling ill at ease, uncertain as to how we are progressing, worried about loss and failure, confused about our real values and commitments in life.
We lack a clear purpose and motivation. Instead of moving forward with inspiration, we are constantly reacting to obstacles and challenges around us that keep us off balance. Even if we succeed in regulating our outer affairs, we lack in inner happiness, contentment and peace of mind. Our thoughts and motivations are seldom original. We are copying others or reacting to current trends rather than developing what is truly unique and significant within us.
The question arises: How do we create an inner foundation that guarantees that our outer activities in life will be not only successful, but not create complications for us, and will leave us feeling content and fulfilled in a lasting manner? This requires a radically different approach to life, starting within our own minds and hearts, an inner refocusing and restructuring of our existence.
Keys to Transforming our Lives
The key to working with others is to first honor and respect them, yet to create an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement so they are motivated to bring out their best. We must give others the space to breathe, act and transform. It is important that we do not internalize our conflicts with others and struggle with them in our own minds, but keep our minds open and encourage others to work, grow and develop. This space will allow us to see the real capacities in other people and what they are likely to do, regardless of how we might otherwise try to influence them. We can then naturally draw to us those who have a natural affinity to the same projects and ideals that we do.
The key to working with life is to first honor and respect the world of nature, its beauty, bounty, intricacy and grace. We must be open to life’s gifts of change and transformation manifested through the movement of the day, month, year and our own lifetime, welcoming life’s rhythms as opportunities to transcend our limitations and attachments for a greater abundance and strength.
The key to managing the mind is the most difficult, perhaps simple yet not at all easy. First we must learn to honor and respect the mind, which means to allow space into the mind, not to fill our minds with thoughts but give them room to naturally expand. To do this we must learn to forget, not dwelling in the past but open to the presence of Being and how all life is connected to us moment by moment.
Successfully managing the mind does not necessarily require certain efforts, certain affirmations, or following certain techniques. It cannot be done intentionally, by motivation, plan or method. It requires letting the mind go, which means to let go of our expectations and demands and be open to things as they are.
We need to take the attitude of a witness or observer and learn who we are at the core of our being and how our minds work deep within. Ordinarily, we spend a lot of time keeping up with what is going on in the external world, socially, politically or economically, but we forget to examine what is going on in our own minds and what the consequences of our mental content may be. We may know more about other peoples’ minds than about our own minds.
For example, our dominant mental activity may be worry, which only serves to weaken the mind’s power of decision and perception, drawing what we are afraid of upon us. This worry does not help us, yet we are unable to let go of it, because we don’t want our minds to be empty, or know the value of keeping the mind free of preoccupations.
We must learn to let the mind flow like a river without reacting to what may be riding on the flow. If we let the mind flow freely, like a river it naturally cleanses itself. Once the mind flows freely it can become a natural source of spontaneous wisdom and inspiration. Given the weight of memory and attachment in our minds, this process of clearing the mind may take some time and need to be repeated regularly. But have no doubt. If we learn to manage the mind with silence, space, receptivity and patience, all of our problems and unhappiness, which are but constricted states of mind, will naturally get resolved.
In life we often fail because we try too hard to make things go the way we want. The better approach is to understand the natural flow of the universe and align ourselves with it, starting within our own consciousness. This will allow the best for all to unfold as needed, and without our need to become stressed or agitated about it.