267 – Address work with affection

According to Sri Aurobindo, the only work that spiritually purifies is that which is done without personal motives, without desire for fame or public recognition or worldly greatness. Without insistence on one’s own mental motives or vital lusts and demands or physical preferences, without vanity or crude self-assertion or claims for position or prestige.

It is a tough one, when we read it and try to absorb what it says. My point of view is why should we address the issue of work. What if we enjoy what we are doing, and on a daily basis look forward to it? We can start our day by waking up, and doing neti and kunjal, (neti is pouring water through a pot with a spout in one’s left nostril and expelling it through one’s right nostril, and then pouring it through the right nostril and expelling it through the left nostril. Kunjal is drinking four glasses of warm, salt water, and upchucking). Both practices clear the mind and give us clarity and remove negative thoughts.

Then trataka (candle gazing) is the next practice and trataka with the balancing pranayama (inhalation to the count of five, holding breath to the count of five, exhalation to the count of five, and holding the breath to the count of five) twenty seven times with the mantra So Ham, enables us to address the day in a harmonious way.

The small steps of awareness

Next we focus on our senses, enjoy our breakfast, plan what we will wear, take a pride in our appearance and set off for work or face our day. It can be any work, one maybe an executive, a yoga teacher or a full time mum or dad. It is only the attitude that we bring with us. Our attitude is difficult to change. What we can do is to change our thinking by our practices and becoming aware of what we are doing. It is small steps of awareness and one we can observe, we will find that we are full of energy and we put our best foot forward.

If we are reprimanded or criticized, we do not take it personally but view the criticism in a neutral manner. The outcome is that we are not cribbing that we are being singled out for misdemeanors or we are not being praised for our effort. We are working on our core and our core is strong because of our prana which has been energized by our sadhana of conscious detachment and awareness. Being bullied in the work place or anywhere is an upsetting experience. We can work on it with our balancing pranayama as it works on our prana and removes the fear which bullying creates.

I wanted to be perfect

We all have to work and there are so many descriptions of work. We can be productive and proactive in our work be it any profession, if we respect what we are doing and do not undermine ourselves or our task. I remember when I was young and had to take care of my twins alone as I was a stay at home mum, I used to feel so angry sometimes as I was exhausted and I was constantly on my feet. Now I realize that it was my fault, I could have been more tolerant about myself and the children. I wanted everything to be perfect.

It is important not to be full of rage and frustration as these emotions drain one out. If we can accept the situation and laugh about it and treat it as a task which must be done, then acceptance is easier. There is no such thing as “Why me” we have to forget this expression.

Therefore look at work with an affectionate attitude and yourself with respect. You will find that you will have no resentment and you will have equanimity in whatever you do.

Aim Hrim Klim

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

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