Today is Guru Ram Das Ji’s Birthday, which also happens to be one of those rainy overcast days (which is NOT common here in New Mexico). It’s a monday and I would normally be geared up and ready to work, but today my energy just isn’t there. I’m in one of those tired yet pensive moods. I am reminded of a my son’s Dr. Seuss Book called "My Many Colored Days", which relates colors to moods and feelings of a child, so that they know it is normal to have these feelings. "Some days are yellow, Some are blue. On different days I’m different too!"
We all experience change in our lives, and with this change we may go through "Ups and Downs". Some days are good, some or bad, some are wonderful and some are rotten. I think about my life and how I go through different cycles, depending on what is going on at the time. My spiritual practice is definitely one of these types of journeys. Some times I am totally motivated and very disciplined, and other times I get distracted or caught up in work and family duties.
I consider myself a very spiritual person. My life focus always revolves around the teachings of the Guru and working on myself. This being the case doesn’t make it easier; it takes discipline to keep focused and be consistent. With all the busy-ness in life one has to make choices of what is a priority. I think that no matter how spiritual a person is, whether they have taken Amrit or not, that it is always a challenge to keep a daily practice and discipline one self. It’s no wonder many Sikhs are wary about the commitment to taking Amrit. There is the feeling that once you turn on the "Amrit Switch", that you will forever have to do XYZ and they are unsure they the are able to make that commitment.
In my life I have found that as long as I consciously try to revolve my life around the Guru and keep a focus to working on myself spiritually that I always get back on track. I believe in being disciplined and making commitments to myself and Guruji; However, I don’t think that if someone misses doing a bani one day, that they have "done something wrong". We are only human and things happen. I’m all for those that are able to stay rock solid…no matter what, but those who are not able to be this solid all the time I think are great too; just making the effort is good! Our Guru’s gave us these "tools" to expand ourselves as Sikhs. I don’t believe in Sikhs having a Guilt complex, which is so much a part of the Christian religion. I believe in a person striving to do the best that they can, and no matter what happens always re-focusing their life back towards the Guru. It is the constant "check and balance". You won’t go to hell or be punshed by someone for not doing a bani (At least I hope that is not the case!!). This journey as a Sikh is between you and your Guru. How fast you want to go is up to you. You can take the straight arrow path…or you can wind around…up and down.
Since I was very young I have seen people around me take such a fanatical approach to living life. It was "their way or the highway". There was so much criticism and judgment from those people towards others who were not doing something according to their own picture of life. Looking back now I see that most of these people are no longer Sikhs and practicing what they were so strict about. I think it was just too unbalanced for them, so couldn’t sustain it. I have found that it is not how strict you are with yourself, but how balanced you are in your approach to life and spirituality. Everything in life has a balance which we have to find. So how do you know if you are balanced in your life? Only you can answer that. I know for myself it is a daily challenge and it is an ongoing thing. It’s not like if you do something it all of a sudden becomes easy.
I am always trying to cover all the areas of my life and keep them balance. These things generally come into one of three areas:
The balance between each of these areas will probably be different for everyone, or change depending on what is going on in your life. I don’t claim to know it all or be balanced myself. I am just sharing my thoughts and experiences. I seek merely to be aware of things that might be out of balance in my life and make an effort to give more energy to the things that need it.
It is the choices that you make every day. It is all the small things that shape who you are. It is not just doing that one BIG THING. It is the choices that you make in every moment that have the biggest impact in your life.
Most of us need regular reminders to help push us to keep balanced and give energy to something that is lacking. These "reminders" can come in the form of personal hardships, tragedy, physical sickness, lack of hapiness, etc. In the moment these things might not seem pleasant, but I think they are blessings in disguise because they force us to change or do something different.
So, I guess what else to say but keep up! It is not how much you do, but being consistent and balanced that I think counts the most. On this day of Guru Ram Das Ji’s Birthday let us all make an effort to do something to feed our souls. Let the Guru be the lighthouse for your life! If you start floating off in a different direction look for the lighthouse and adjust your position to stay on track!