Niyama: The Greater Plan

When life does not go according to plan, and it so often doesn’t, you feel distressed: disappointment, stress, anxiety, worry, fatigue, irritation, anger, frustration.

The more detailed your plan, the more invested you are in it, the worse you feel when it doesn’t work out.

And when the plan doesn’t work out, you make it more detailed, put more effort into it, trying harder and harder to ensure that the plan works out the next time.

You plan more and more, to avoid disappointment, you try harder and harder, as the plans twist tighter and tighter, constricting your present life, making it hard for you to breathe, to breathe in the vitality of your existence.

So one day you say: I want to leave it all. Give it all up. Retire from the rat race, freedom from the bullshit. Move away to the mountains.

But you soon realize that this too is strangely unsatisfactory. The tightness of the plans are gone now. But once the breath returned, you asked, “What am I breathing for?”

May 14, 2009 | 2:10 am | By Dr Shyam Bhat