I think today has been a testament, or many one of them to the term Chardi Kala. It has been spoken about in Sangat to which we all chipped in with what it actually means. I will say optimism through everything whether your feeling high or low it’s always there any the forefront of your mind, that’s why I put it in messages a lot. Another person will add that Chardi is up, so your always above the situation. I often like to think I am in a state of chardi kala when others aren’t because I spot the positives quickly – waiting at the station with a friend after a missed train meaning we get to talk more together, the road being closed means there is an opportunity to know a new route.
Except it doesn’t always work like that. Life isn’t perfect and sometimes I just come out with curse words same as everyone else. I say Bloody hell! Instead on Waheguru and work myself up more blaming everyone including myself.
Take today, I went to the doctors (finally) they got my name wrong before I even saw the doctor then he told me the pain I was feeling is purely muscular and to rest after exercise, reduce any stress in my life and take more pain killers. Then I asked about the name mix up and they want to see my deed poll. I was not as polite as I could have been to the receptionist. So the enjoyable brisk walk I took they was a beating myself up kind of stomp home.
When, I got home to a thankfully quiet house and couldn’t find my nutella (because did I mention, I’m so fired up a) because I may have caused my pain over exercising, therefore its my fault I can’t breathe right and b) I’m pre-menstrual. Bad combo.) So anyway I called out to a room full of people if anyone has seen it and either they didn’t hear or didn’t want to admit they had eaten it. Maybe my nephew has hidden it, or I moved it, ate it all? Still frustrating enough, so I peeled back the lid of a nutella sample I’d stored for months and ate that on a waffle instead.
There is a way through. Or to nutella at least.
In these moments today and another recently where I drove round central London for two hours instead of forty minutes, twice down tower bridge, not as scenic and glamorous as in the movies, just traffic and a lot of lane swapping. I found it almost impossible to be in or ever reach out to from afar, to a sense of Chardi Kala.
And what is the difference between thinking of some positives to the situation, whether in the moment or later on? Such as the tower bridge experience tired me out so much I had a wonderfully relaxed evening and stayed in London an extra day, I’d do it all over again even. Today I was so frustrated I freestyle wrote then added a to do list at the end with a task in each life category – home life, creativity, writing, relaxing – without even trying!
That, I can see is positive thinking or rather finding a positive in a negative, the silver lining, the blessing everywhere. However Chardi Kala is a much stronger foundation, from these videos, both only a few minutes each and go through the basics to something deeper.
From the videos it lead me on a trail to something familiar that was also along the lines of ‘being dead, nothing worldly bothering you’, a very loose metaphor of the characters in the children’s book Funny Bones, they were also dead, they were skeletons! They lived in a dark house, on a dark street and were always optimistic, coming up with ideas and the dog especially got broken to pieces in these 5 minute episodes then built himself up again tail wagging away. They didn’t let the worldly problems get the better of them and I think they taught children not to be afraid of the dark. If you want some nostalgia or don’t know what I’m going on about here’s a clip of funny bones.
It also got me thinking to what we are taught on Kundalini Yoga teacher training, it must have come up, though a lot of focus is on being light, living light and accepting what comes and ‘keep up and you will be kept up’.
If anything today has taught me that it’s about being present and breathing through what is happening, gracefully accepting and being steadfast, holding onto the Naam as our strongest foundation.
And so I’ll keep practicing.