These days, life moves way too fast for most of us, which means we are spending more and more time moving and less and less time sitting still. The problem with this is that when we don’t stop, we fail to recalibrate ourselves, causing us to not give the very best we have to give.
I live in a city where people plow through relationships, jobs, and credit card debt, because they always want “more” of everything. In public, these people are popular and well-talked about – they are perceived as happy and successful. However, in private, most are in financial ruins, depressed, and erratic. They have a strong need to always be seen out and about for fear that they might miss out on something (we call it Fear of Missing Out – FOMO) or, they want to “one up” their friends by purchasing bottle service, expensive vacations, and plenty of materialistic stuff. They perceive themselves through the reactions of others. In short, internally, they are a mess.
Deepak teaches us in this practice that we need to learn to love ourselves first – that we need to practice worrying about ourselves more and worrying about others, less. When our perception is skewed to viewing the outside world and how to keep up, we fail to take stock of who we are and what we truly NEED.
I went through many iterations of my own life, even being guilty of the scenario above for a period of time. However, when I moved to San Diego in 2014 and back last year, my self-perception had shifted dramatically. I finally understood that I needed to focus on myself first, asking myself how I truly feel about things every step of the way, learning to be comfortable with what I have and what I can give (meditation was KEY to this). It was a very painful and depressing process but one that I absolutely stand by. The wonderful part about achieving a high level of self-perception is that I no longer worry about others, including what they think of me or how they choose to manage their own lives (unless they are causing harm to themselves or others). Instead, I focus on how to be successful in all areas of my life, so that I can enjoy all that makes me happy for ME. This has lead to a calmer, more peaceful life that has resulted in me being in love with the perception of myself – a place everyone should be in, as it would make the world a better place.