Spiritual hibernation and the realisation that ‘slowing down is not giving up’

Leading IPR lawyer Dahlia Sen Oberoi has been a identified face in the publishing world, legally assessing manuscripts, preventing piracy and courtroom instances for the business. Yet, she disconnected from the rat race, learnt yoga and retreated to an ashram to seek out her moorings and reside her life higher. She is the creator of Dahlia Nrit Yog – an amalgamation of Yoga and Kathak – as a path to wellness.

It was not one specific incident, however a collection of them main as much as that one second once I determined to lastly cease and take stock of my life as I knew it. A life during which I used to be busy being a lawyer for 28-odd years, striving to be ok for purchasers to belief with their money and their confidence. A lifetime of too many shopper conferences, too many aircraft journeys, too many laptop-ridden hours and an excessive amount of self-importance! I used to be working, and I used to be working, and but I might see no trophy at the finish of the race. Heck, I might not even see the finish of the race. It was only one lengthy monitor, with no starting, no finish. I had been the standard, standard, for manner too lengthy. Professionally, personally, even socially. You know the way Bruce Springsteen says in Dancing in the Dark? “Wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face?” I believe I used to be in that zone…the place I needed to alter every part about myself.

Had I exceeded my greatest earlier than date? I had questioned then… I used to be grateful for all the success my occupation introduced me, nevertheless it equally burdened me with stress. From being a comparatively easy-going individual, I had turn into this overthinking skilled, who was all the time searching for options to issues, each current and imaginary. My purchasers’ strife grew to become mine, and my life was bereft of concord due to all the discordant notes from my shopper’s disputes. Then there was the façade of pompousness. And the burden of conceitedness.

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Yoga to the rescue

Yoga got here to me as simply one other train routine that was to be tried once I hit a plateau doing different stuff. Also, as a result of it was peri-menopause time and my gynaecologist, none apart from my Maa, had stated a strict “No” to any sort of medicine to deal with the insane signs. The solely possibility I used to be advised was yoga… and if even that did not assist, then to smile and bear it.

And so I did yoga off and on… It was when the physique began feeling the positives of the apply that I made a decision to study a bit extra, not solely about the bodily asanas, however the philosophy behind them too, as additionally the meditation. I used to be satisfied that this sudden urge to study was solely so that I might educate this type of wellness to others, to “give back.” And that is how I tricked myself, or somewhat as I used to be later made to know, my thoughts tricked me. I needed to go for others, not for myself!!! Such delusion. That was then.

Spiritual hibernation

Many discussions and analysis later, I discovered myself an ashram to go and study yoga at. Then got here the extra necessary question. Could I truly take out an entire month, being away from work and house to simply do one thing for “myself”? Didn’t the whole universe revolve round me? Wouldn’t issues come to a screeching halt, if I did? Despite my grandeur syndrome, I felt one thing pushing me to go and despite the fact that I used to be in denial then, it was clear that I used to be searching for solutions to questions which had not emerged but. It was time to depart my world of entitlement and to search for my very own model of enlightenment. Only I did not comprehend it then…

It was with painstaking planning and many a second thought, that I discovered a time slot for myself to go on what I termed as my “Spiritual Hibernation.” I had no thought what I used to be getting myself into. All I knew was that I needed to go. Was it the proper time? I stated to myself, “If not now, when?”

Lessons at an ashram

I went into the ashram with no preconceived notions. I refused to learn even on-line evaluations of the place and the lecturers’ coaching course it carried out, lest I get influenced. And so it was with a clean slate of a thoughts that I entered the ashram in February 2020, at the age of 52 years and 4 months. Four months earlier, I needed to put on braces for a dance efficiency owing to knee ache. And so together with all my necessities I had packed knee braces. They remained packed. Through the length of the month-long intense yoga apply, bodily, psychological, religious and emotional, not as soon as did I would like these knee braces.

Ashram life was far, far faraway from mine. Each day was the similar. For somebody who abhors self-discipline as she likens it to monotony, this was a parallel universe during which I used to be advised what to do, what to put on, when to eat (the menu additional complicated the digestive system!) and how lengthy to sleep. I additionally learnt to sit down in a cross-legged Sukhasana position for hours. Not difficult by itself, however doing so for lengthy stretches of time positively was. Add to it, sitting ‘still’ for lengthy stretches of time. That was an entire new paradigm of problem and change.

But this sitting nonetheless, simply sitting nonetheless and not doing something, translated into a relaxed that I had by no means felt earlier than. Each day was regimented. Starting at the daybreak and ending in an exhausted midnight, daily was a lesson in pushing limits and discovering new muscular tissues that obtained sore. I’d go with out taking a look at a mirror for days and self-importance not simply took a again seat, all of it however disappeared from my life.

Ashram was additionally a actuality verify. For the first time, the highlight was not on me as a result of the bunch of individuals I used to be with have been higher, manner higher. From being “star pupil” at my gymnasium yoga lessons to barely in a position to maintain abreast in the ashram lessons, I understood that one is solely pretty much as good as one’s competitors is. And sure, sure, I find out about accepting oneself, faults and all, however what got here as a startling revelation is that irrespective of how good you’re at swimming, there all the time will likely be waters deep sufficient so that you can be “out of your depth”. And that is not essentially a foul factor. Because it can make you break moulds, push limits and set your self free.

Detachment from self-importance

The ashram additionally taught me not to carry on to each thought that got here to my thoughts, “not to ride every wave.” And so it is that I gave up many waves that I rode on. I realized to be indifferent from my very own self. To be a witness in each state of affairs and not a participant. Ashram allowed me to fulfill myself once more. To rediscover who I used to be, who I might turn into. And that it was okay to let go of the outdated and embrace a brand new. Okay to take a break, and get some me-time – and no, a day at the spa does not qualify!

Ashram ready me to return again to my life, not to present it up. To not run away from my obligations, however to satisfy them in a greater manner. It taught me that to pay money for that elusive calm, you do not must exit the chaos exterior, simply quieten the chaos inside.

Billy Joel famously sang in Vienna, “It’s alright you can afford to lose a day or two”… And but, we don’t press pause. The pandemic compelled us to hit pause the arduous manner. But slowing down is not giving up.

My shoulders are straighter now, my again extra erect. Because I left my baggage of ego at the ashram gate. I now know that there are not any “best before” dates relevant in life. All we’d like is refreshing and repackaging, and we’re good as new. And whereas neither my garments modified, nor did my hair nor face as hoped for by Springsteen, I did discover a model new identification. And all I need to say is, that if I can, so are you able to!

Find your personal ashram, it might be in the mountains, by the sea or inside your personal home. Wherever you discover it, enable it to dwell inside you… Once constructed, it can stay inside, standing tall – unbreakable and eternally.

(Dahlia Sen Oberoi has simply revealed Ashramed: From Chaos to Calm with Hachette India)

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