Keeping Your Cool in Chaotic Times


Change seems imminent and only time will tell what will come to be.

It is natural to feel fear, worry or concern in times of change. By nature we rely on the familiar to maintain our equilibrium and balance of mind. Even though we like and want change, actual change, due to its unpredictability, often feels worrisome.

In human life there have always been times of change, worry and chaos and in such times there have been those who thrive and those who suffer. Which will you be?

For thousands of years kings, scholars and spiritual seekers have sought out how thrive in a fundamentally unpredictable world. What do you do when you lose your job? What do you do when you are stuck in traffic or when struggling with ill health. What do you do when the candidate of your choice either wins or loses and your country is in uproar?

I have found a simple yet profound answer to all of these questions in the 5000-year-old wisdom of India. The same body of Eastern wisdom that gave us yoga and our numeric system says that all fear, worry and suffering comes from the same place. This ancient wisdom says that we feel fear because we are absorbed in what is secondary.

Secondary things are things that are outside of yourself, they are not part of your Dharma (deepest propose) and they are things that you cannot control. What is primary are things such as your deepest highest self, your sphere of influence and your core purpose in life (Dharma). When you focus on what is primary, fear cannot enter.

When your attention gets distracted by secondary things such as the politics, the weather and what other people are doing, then fear is natural because you cannot control these things.

To eradicate fear, the solution is the same. In fact the cure for fear no matter its source, be it from a lost job, the shaky economy or giving a public speech, is the same, you simply need to turn the focus inward. Focus on yourself, who you are in the highest sense, your core purpose and most importantly what you can control.

We are not talking about ugly-narcissistic-selfish-self-centeredness here, we are speaking about a deeper understanding of who you are at the core. We are talking about a spiritual awareness of your highest self. Your highest self is unchanging, fixed and perfect, it needs nothing from anyone and by Dharma, (core purpose or inherent nature), it exists beyond the chaotic happenings of this world.

Both ancient and modern philosophers, spiritual seekers, and most successful people, regardless of their religion or spiritual affiliation, know that this deeper true self is perfect as it is. They know that you don’t need any change to take place for you to be valuable, powerful or happy. You simply need to be you, be the pure you that exists beyond the chaos.

We live in this world and we must engage with it. Too many spiritual seekers want to drop off the face of the earth and go meditate in some cave in the Himalayas. But I say that true power, true spiritual fortitude, is not about dropping off the face of the earth it’s about dropping back to it.

Practical and spiritual growth are both about being fully aware of and fixed in your highest self and then engaging with the world expertly. It’s about acting with full commitment and engagement while being unaffected by the positive and negative happenings of life.

When you act from this place of knowing your true self, your actions automatically become orders of magnitude and are more effective. There are many reasons for this, but simply said, such actions are supported by the full force of you. When you lose sight of your deepest spiritual self only a part of you is acting and therefore your actions, and their results, will be weak and ineffective.

Therefore whether you are working on running your business, enhancing your relationships or are feeling scared by the chaos of life, the one action that will help it all is a deep spiritual awareness of your highest self. The second you absorb your mind on that which is secondary, that which is not your highest self, you will feel fear. At the same time when you are in a frightful moment, simply connect to your deepest and highest self and purpose and the fear will disappear, true inner happiness will arise and you will be be best positioned to access your greatest power.

Surviving chaos and learning how to engage with the world in full power is a continual practice, we have just scratched the surface here.


About Author

Vishnu Swami’s new book "Eternal Dharma, How to Find Spiritual Evolution Through Surrender and Embrace Your Life’s True Purpose" radically explores the depth of inner purpose, effective action and passionate enlightenment. .

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