Today I would like us to challenge the way we think, our habits and actions, our limits and barriers that we have put on ourselves. Unless there is a considerable discomfort in our routine daily environment, the natural tendency of the human mind is to remain in status quo. Awareness of the changes that one has to make to one’s life, habits, or attitude increases with the daily practice of meditation and yoga. During a crisis the opportunity for a transformation exponentially arise. A personal breakthrough is something that changes the course of your private life going forward and ensure that things will never be the same for you again. To be aware what needs to be done within your person, the mind has to be composed as you dive deep within yourself to access the wisdom of the heart. Simply Meditation by Bhakti Marga is an easy set of techniques that will allow you to move from your mind to your heart and cultivate inner balance.

I would like to share a short breath awareness exercise before we get into details. This exercise can help us whenever we have anxiety, nervousness, fear etc. and help us get back to our center. One of the basics of meditation and yoga is that the mind and the breath are interconnected. What happens to our breath when we panic or are in fear? And how is our breath when we are at peace? So most of the time our mind controls our breath, did you know we can reverse it and control our mind with our breath.

Take a moment and sit up straight, close your eyes and listen to your breath. Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly three times. As you continue listening to your breath, breath in Love and breath out Peace three times. If your mind wanders bring it back to your breath. Continue on your own for as long as you wish.

How do you feel? It’s so easy, isn’t it to calm the mind. In such a state it’s easier to make breakthroughs.

One of the things the human mind is very good at is worrying. We worry about the future we don’t know and about the past we can’t change. The underlying cause is often fear. Fear of some imagined happening or fear of it not happening. In case of COVID-19, there is a fear of death and of the unknown. The breakthrough comes when we are able to face our fears and resolve them with discrimination and reasoning. Has anything happened to any one of us at this right very moment? No. Now this doesn’t mean that we don’t take precautions. That’s foolish. Doesn’t mean that we don’t plan for the future or just sit around idling not looking for solutions. That’s being lazy. What it means is that we shouldn’t use our precious energy to worry about it but instead redirect the energy to positivity and getting solutions. A solid fact is that at this particular moment right now we are all safe and sound irrespective of what the future holds. Isn’t it? As soon as we recognize and accept this, we will more easily be able to live in the present moment or in the now. Besides the most we can ever do in any given situation is put in our best effort.

What is meant by living in the now? Most of the time we live life like we will live forever, forgetting that death is the surest thing in our life. We will all die one day. Death (equal to COVID-19 for some people) doesn’t differentiate or discriminate. Irrespective of anyone’s cultural background, social standing, religion, gender or age, death will come knocking one day. Living in the now is living every day as if it’s the last day of your life.

How can each one of us live each day like it was our last day of our life? Spend a moment thinking about this right now as you listen to your breath.

Here are some questions that each one of us can ask and answer honestly for a much deeper reflection, self-analysis and ultimately a personal breakthrough.

How would we talk and behave with people around us in such a situation? How would we keep relationships with those around us? How often do we tell people we care about sincerely and deeply that we love them?

Would how much money we or anybody else have or not, matter in such a situation? Would we constantly run after money and giving money unrestricted authority to control our lives? We do need to earn a living and be comfortable for sure. But where do we draw the line? What is our relationship with money?

How grateful and appreciative of our lives would we be in such a situation? How would we value our luxuries, health, freedoms, families, friends, and so on? Are we grateful enough for what we have?

One of the first things we may do during any crisis is to pray, right? And how do we pray during this time? With greater sincerity and intensity from the heart. What does this tell us about the quality of our prayers during “normal” times? Do we only pray once a week or when we need help or favour or do we remember the Divine in everything we do? If we are able to pray intensely like we do now during all times and connect deeper with our maker, then we will act like if Divine is present with us all the time, watching and listening. How would we then change the way we do things every day?

What stops us from living every day in the now and from implementing the things we have questioned on how we currently do things and of which means are found to a different and better way of living? Its only ourselves!

COVID-19 or any other crisis will definitely, without any doubt go away with time, as all situations are temporary. There will be some who will gain and some who will lose in the process. If you are able to honestly analyse the questions, you will see that this situation has made us aware of the many choices that we have. How we take advantage of this or any situation and make optimum use of the time that has been gifted to us is entirely up to us. We can pass this time by doing mundane activities, or we can invest our time wisely working on ourselves.

It’s not easy but also not difficult as well. It only requires consistency and discipline. Our mind easily forgets and needs to be continually reminded. Even I often get caught up in my daily routine and regularly need to remind myself of my goal and direction. Challenges will always be there. The difference will be in the disposition you are in as you deal with them. If we are able to get into a DAILY habit of at least even 10 to 15 minutes of meditation, self-analysis, and then acting on the what we need to change or transform about ourselves, we will have the power to make a personal breakthrough every single day not just during a crisis.