Baba says, ‘finish the consciousness of I‘. Is it easy?
We are on this journey of self-realization where I don’t just know that I am a soul but also deeply realize what that means. I am a divine being, a point of light, an energy. In that consciousness, I am only a child of God…not a role, not a job title, not a gender or nationality…simply a child of God.
As I make progress on this journey, I realize that I don’t need to accumulate as many material comforts or possessions as I had previously thought were necessary. I re-evaluate my priorities, desires- I don’t have to eat out as much or party as much, I don’t need to watch TV as much, I pay attention to the quality of content I consume in general, I am not attached to owning the latest gadget or car or something else – it no longer signifies status or self-worth.
We succeed in letting go of the gross stuff, it however gets tricky with the subtle. That’s to do with my thoughts, feelings and attitude.
When a colleague at the office is receiving praise, am I happy for her or do I feel a bit jealous? In a meeting, do I feel the need to make a point to garner attention or do I feel secure to elevate other’s ideas too? Do I feel compelled to always have the last word on things? Do I need to be the speaker, the driver, the manager, the one in-charge or am I as comfortable listening? When my idea that I worked hard on gets turned down, do I sulk or am I able to maintain a positive attitude regardless of outcomes? Am I a team-player just as much as an individual contributor? or do I pick and choose whom I work with constantly judging and assessing if they ‘measure up’ to my standards? Do I acknowledge that everyone is at different places in this journey and accommodate or do I feel compelled to offer corrections with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude?
Baba says, ‘renunciation of relationships and material comforts are not big things. However, to keep others ahead of you in every task and every thought is to truly finish any consciousness of ‘I’‘. Putting others before me, He says, is elevated renunciation.
Great leaders are comfortable doing this. They live by the slogan, ‘your success is my success’. Even the truly great artists do this.
When we watch & listen to an orchestra play, we see different instruments play at different times in the musical piece. If the drum or the violin or another instrument were to insist on playing the whole time so as to feel important, that would destroy the quality of the overall piece, take the magic away. The listener does not attach importance to the quantity of time each instrument play, they watch how well all the instruments play well with each other, allowing each other to have their moment.
Similarly, it is beautiful to watch to solo dance performance but not nearly as delightful as watching a duet. The viewer is mesmerized by how well the two dancers match each others steps as if they were reading each other’s minds. They anticipate each other, match their rhythms while still maintaining their own individual style that makes them each unique. Even when one misses a step, the truly great dancer makes it look like his/her partner’s misstep was part of the routine- they quickly adjust their own step accordingly, on the fly. They pick up, smile, make their partner feel comfortable and confident to resume the rest of the routine as if nothing happened. In other words, its magic.
Life is the same way, its an orchestra or a dance I do with different souls – at home, at school, work. Let me make myself skilled enough that I am able to make every piece, every performance a memorable one. I no longer depend on others becoming skilled first nor do I wear myself down by trying to out-match others. I just simply focus on putting on the most inspirational performance anyone has ever seen by learning to dance cheek to cheek.