The lady called and to my surprise, her voice, peacefull. Three years ago, with her husband and only son gone, she was on the brink of suicide, to boot she lost her job at around the same time.
I do not remember how I consoled her or any of my words had any effect on her.
On such occasions the only advise is to pray.
I dont believe in God, even if he is there look what he has done to me, this was her response.
Every body has to live through their life and what each one of us encounter is different. Everybody gets programmed to react differently. It is difficult to tell people how to react in a particular situation. Dont cry, be courageous, face it, blah blah.. yah thats our job to say, I am not sure how we would have handled ourselves in similar situations.
I would prefer people to cry and grieve until the intensity of the sorrow reduces.
When I asked, ” how are you “
She said ” You should ask how are you feeling, never mind how good you are, what is important is how you are feeling, you may be fine and not feel happy, whats the point. There are people with all the comfort and depressed”
I said ” Wow, thats a great statement you made, let me improve my question, how are your feeling ?”
” Haha thats the way , I am feeling great” her voice became cheerful and happy.
“Please keep talking, I can sense a transformation in you, tell me about the magic”, I said.
“You remember the time when everything was lost for me. I cried and cried till I ran out of tears and then I moved around like a Zombie, uninterested in every thing.
One day a gypsy stopped at the gate and told me, Amma, your tragedy days is coming to an end, lost your kutumba ( family), no ? Life has to be lived, you will find karana (reason), don’t worry. Shall I tell you more ? I said no and walked in to my house and the gypsy went away. Her words kept echoing in my mind or head, I dont know where. At the same time I kept telling myself what the hell with my two loved ones gone, whats left.
Slowly it started working, I have to find a reason to live or let me decide to do something, forget the reason. A notice inserted in the newspaper about a yoga class caught my eye. What about enrolling, I thought without any enthusiasm. Let me not look for a reason, let us join this and let the reason follow. There was the yoga and Pranayam ( breathing exercises), I joined, went for 10 days and discontinued, stopped.
I saw my neighbour having an asthama attack and struggling to breathe. It made me think, if there is no breath, you are not there.
Birth, life, death is all about start and end of breathing.
We can survive without food, water for sometime, how long without breath, very very short time.
I would sit quietly and start observing my breath.
It was different for different emotions, you breathe heavily when you are angry, anxiety was different, fear had a different frequency and so on. Later I saw it wasnt my discovery, it was already written in many books.
Inhale slowly and exhale slowly a few times, it made me calmer, thats what I had learnt in my Yoga class, though never applied.
Past brought the memories, future anxiety with an increase in the rate of heart beats, to be present and calm inhale and exhale slowly. To be thought free, observe your breathing without attachment. Don’t accept any thoughts, just observe them and let them pass. I started spending time on this pattern of breathing. It had a calming effect, more than that I got a handle on my emotions and could take charge of them. It took me around six months of practice to make my emotions my slave from the other way around. My awareness increased and I could decide my moods I wanted to be in. When I am sad for some reason, I will continue to be in that state, enjoy it and decide its over let’s switch over to another state, all by my breath control.
Gradually I started finding the beauty of flowers, the coolness of the breeze, the greenness in nature back in life I learnt to decide my reactions. Our problems in life are from our automatic reactions, once you can decide how to respond life becomes interesting.
I started believing God. My life long friend is my breath is my GOD”.
Today her life is filled with meaningful and fulfilling services for the down trodden in the society and she is happy by giving joy to many.