I built around myself a strong repulsive force field. I avoided talking to my family, friends, colleagues, neighbors. I closed my office door and communicated mostly via email. Back in home, I was becoming more and more impatient and arrogant.
I wished everyone and everything around me to be disappeared.
What was wrong with me? Without pursuing my goals and chasing my dreams, I was committing spiritual suicide, literally every day. The most worried part: I was aware of the situation, yet didn’t want to cure it. I entered into 2016 with that terrible mindset.
The situation wouldn’t change unless I listened to a quote by Alan Watts: “Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”
I replayed it more than 20 times. The more I listened to it, the more I felt uplifted. I started to draw the plans to save and rejuvenate my dying spirit.
Here are these 3 plans I have prepared to stop committing spiritual suicide. These are the steps to save and rejuvenate my dying spirit. Finally, these are to cure my heart's pain.
A) Getting out of my (small) comfort zone and in turn expanding it
I had my very small cozy cone. It’s not big, may be 1meter in radius. But it was an extremely comfortable one. I was happy to stay within.
Whenever I thought of doing new things, I felt uncomfortable.
I was afraid of unknown horrors that a change could bring.
I paid the price. I killed my adventurous mind and imprisoned my eagerness to learn new stuff.
To overcome this mentality, the first thing I did, was remembering the times when I tried to do new stuffs, irrespective of my success or failure. Most of the times those were total catastrophe. Such as the time, when I wanted to climb up a 2200 meter mountain in winter in Germany without having any prior experience in mountaineering. I didn’t manage, but it boosted my spirit up and made me comfortable to give it another try.
However, I realize to get out my comfort zone, I don't need to do extreme things. I can break my comfort barrier doing small things which I am uncomfortable to do right now. It can be taking different route than normal one to come to my office. It can be a different type of movie normally I watch. It can be different food in lunch than the normal dish I eat. Or, it can be simply having courage to write and hit “publish comment” button to an article.
Every small change has the power to break my comfort zone. If I am not happy with the outcome I can return to the normal practice. But I will not be afraid of those changes in future.
I may not be completely out of my comfort zone, but at least I will expand it.
B) Waking up the inner child
As a child, I had wonderful sense of awe and astonishment in exploring world around me. I felt energetic throughout the day. I was more innocent.
Each day was full of possibilities. Each day there were stories to tell to my parents, sister and friends.
At the end of a day I went to bed saying myself – “Wow! What a day! Can’t wait to see what to do tomorrow.”
Fast forward to my present self. I make broad smile hardly average 10 - 15 times a day while a child laughs 300 times a day. I look at new things with questions and doubt, make special facial expression when see non-sensible things.
I am not struck by the feeling of awe and wonder anymore.
I have hurt and caged my inner child who was adventurous, playful, kind, believer of magic and had "I can do it too" attitude.
But I realize with some simple actions I can break the prison and heal him. All I need is to recollect those wonderful memories as a kid. It can be watching my favorite childhood movies/serials or reading those books which made me believer in superheroes and magic. It can be playing the games I most enjoyed as kid.
I want to feel again that infinite energy, excitement, sense of awe and wonder around me. I want to go to bed thinking about the endless possibilities tomorrow brings.
C) Doing things that I want to doMy teacher asked me what did I like doing most. I mentioned flying kites, fishing and climbing up trees.
My parents were asked to visit him for a chat.
What I thought as innocent desires, turned out to be forbidden for a school-goer. Those activities were obstacles to make good grades in school.
This is one of those many examples, where our society/culture constantly puts pressure on us to do things other than what we actually want to do.
And then, there are my excuses trying to stop me doing things I want to do: I'm too young/old for this, it's late/early to do this, I'm going to do this tomorrow/next week/month/year and all other full of meaningless reasoning.
My cousin brother waited for the final result to show his parents all his medals of achievement. He never got that chance.
I don't have eternity to fulfill my heart's desire. I should be self-aware and listen to my heart to choose doing even smallest thing I want to do.
It can be as simple as a 5 minute walk into fresh air after lunch rather than returning to my office. Or, it can be climbing up that mountain I tried before.
Now, these are the plans that I will follow to rescue my spirit. If you want to try it, do it at your risk. If you will be successful, give credit to your courage to choose yourself.