Mankind is passing through difficult times. Rising stress levels, terror attacks, environmental pollution… dangers lurk in every corner. When times get difficult, we need to renew our faith. It is faith that pulls one through difficult times. It brings out hidden courage and potential in more ways than one.
Another thing you need to sail through difficult times is a calm mind. When the mind is calm and you are centered, it is much easier to face any situation. For this, you need to train the mind a little to live in the present moment and drop stress. This can be done by attending to your breath.
The breath has a great lesson which we have forgotten. For every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath and vice versa. You need to know a little bit about all the layers of our existence: body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego and the self. This is what I call the Art of Living! And this will cause you to be in the present moment and remain calm even in the face of adversity.
Combine inner calm with your faith, and you have a formula to face any situation. Having faith is to realize that God’s protection is there for you. This much faith is enough to move ahead in life. During the time of reaping the harvest, the farmer holds a broad sieve, puts all the grains into it, stands on an elevated platform and shakes the sieve. If it is mere husk, it just flies away in the air and is lost. If grain is present, then it falls to the ground and stays. If your faith shakes very quickly and too often, then you are akin to the husk. If your faith shakes quickly when difficulty strikes, you will not be able to face it with your smile intact. If you do not have faith, you will go into fear and depression. You will not have anything to hold onto. If you have faith, you will be able to find a ground. And when you have faith that everything will be alright, everything will settle down.
The role of faith in the materialistic world is even more apparent as it saves one from suicidal tendencies and helps one see the cause of something beyond the apparent.
With a life based on faith, one follows the philosophy rather than getting caught up in revenge and hatred. Faith is not contrary to logic as is understood in the West. When knowledge lodges itself firmly in one’s life, it is called faith. Make knowledge your companion and have faith in the Infinite. The feeling,
“I am blessed,” can help you overcome any difficulty.
There is a saying: Behind every successful man is a woman. I will modify this: Behind every success, there is the Divine saying, “I am behind you.” Once you realize that you are blessed, then all insecurities disappear. Life is 80 percent joy and 20 percent misery. But we hold on to the 20 percent and make it 200 percent! It is not a conscious act, it just happens. In this world, everything cannot be perfect all the time. Even the best, the greatest of actions, performed with the noblest of intentions, will have some imperfections. It is but natural. However, if you are grounded in faith, then you will progress and maintain your equanimity in this world. If your faith is deep rooted, everything else moves on its own.
To face adverse situations in life, commitment is essential. Every small thing or big thing in life runs on commitment. Usually we think we should first have the resources and then commit. Greater the commitment you take, greater the resources you get. This is a law of nature. When you have the intention to do something good, the needed resources simply flow when needed, and as much needed.
If you are committed to taking care of your family, that much capacity or power you will have. If your commitment is for the community, you will get that much power. More will be given to you only if you utilize properly what you already have! This is another law of nature. Why should the nature give you more when you are stuck with your little mind?
Be committed to serve the world, then you will be able to face any difficult time. Another way to overcome difficult times is to expand your vision to include the entire humanity. When everyone comes to the point of contributing to society, you have a divine society. We have to educate and culture our individual consciousness to expand in time with the knowledge from “what about me?” to “what can I contribute?”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader, is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, an international non-profit that works to strengthen society by strengthening individuals. Sri Sri’s programs of trauma relief, conflict resolution, self-development, education, women’s empowerment, vocational training and revival of human values have benefited an estimated 300 million persons in more than 145 countries. www.srisriravishankar.org