My Secret to a Vibrant Life

Survival Mode

People always ask:

“Is this decision rational?”
“What are the pros and cons?”
“How does it benefit me?”

A few days ago, I was at a birthday party, having a nice conversation with friends around the dinner table. The conversation started about a neighbor having Michael Myers’ Halloween decoration, and how scary that movie was (I haven’t watched it yet). Then, the conversation moved to forensic files, which are absolutely horrifying to me. I even shut my ears and started saying “La La La” in my mind so I don’t hear one of the cases that someone was sharing. The conversation continued, and we ended up talking about death. When it comes to death, I shared my interest in how shamans help lost spirits or someone who recently died find their way back home.

Then someone asked me, “how does that benefit you!?”

After I left the party, I could not shake that conversation off. It is not till the next day that I realized what was bothering me.

Why do I have to do something only if it is rational or if it benefits me? In the past, I always gave priority to an act that is rational or beneficial: Every time I made a decision, I ensured the pros are more than the cons; I accepted being unhappy at work because I thought it paid the bills; I forced myself to work on my husband’s company because it saved money; I never followed my heart’s desires because I thought it was not the rational thing to do. And I have many such examples from the past.

I behaved this way because I was feeling insecure and wanted to be safe and responsible. My priorities were always around making money, paying the mortgage, saving for retirement, and attending to my obligations and responsibilities. The problem is it was never ending. The pressure was always there, and I kept going and doing. This is what Sadhguru describes as the “survival mode.”

Thinking and being that way led me nowhere but feeling drained and depressed. I was also confused because I did not know what I was doing wrong – everything I did felt right and pressing.

Hit PAUSE: Relax and Realign!

The best thing I have ever done is: I hit PAUSE! I needed time to rest. This is when I started doing Isha Inner Engineering and yoga practices. As soon as I relaxed and felt realigned, I was able to process with more clarity. I concluded that survival is important, but I also need to explore what matters to me and expand.

Get Clarity on What Your Heart Desires and Pursue It!

At this point, I decided to no longer be in the survival mode. I decided to follow what I truly desire, regardless of whether it is rational or beneficial or not.

My first step in that direction was when I left my “rational” 20-year career behind and decided to go to India for the Isha Yoga teacher training program. Before being admitted, I was interviewed and asked if I want to become a teacher – being one of the main qualifications. I said “of course!” I was lying. At that time, I did not care about becoming a teacher or making a career out of it. For once in my life, I just wanted to do the program because I was curious! I was immensely curious to immerse myself in the ashram environment and the yogic culture. I wanted to learn and experience yoga in its pure and authentic form. That was it!

Same thing when I applied to the Energy Medicine school. I did not care about becoming a healer. I was intrigued by the Inka traditions and their ancient tools of healing. I was longing to learn about and experience spirituality and the non-physical world. That was it!

Today, I am an Isha Yoga teacher and a wellness coach/facilitator (I don’t practice energy healing, just psychosomatic health and nutrition). But to answer my friend’s question: I am doing it because I love doing it!

Following my heart’s desires after all was the rational thing to do! I received innumerable unexpected benefits, one of them being enjoying what I do for a living. And I am happier than I ever was. So stop, relax, and follow your heart. This is my secret to a vibrant life.

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