How I Discovered the Joy of Being Human
At the prime age of 33, seemingly at the top of his game, Paul Marais of Johannesburg, South Africa, was slowly sinking. This is his story of turnaround and transformation.
If you are really interested in knowing life, in all its depth and dimension, it is imperative that you look inward, not outward - Sadhguru
To explain the power of Inner Engineering to someone who has not experienced its marvel is difficult. It is like trying to explain what a sunset looks like to someone who has never seen a sunset. That person can only grasp the notion of it, but they can never experience the splendor of it.
My name is Paul Marais, I’m 33 years old, a director of a consulting firm, and I reside in the west of the greater Johannesburg area, in a very beautiful country of South Africa.
Before I took the first step of Inner Engineering, I always felt that there was something missing in my life. There have been many moments of what I thought was happiness, but these never lasted very long, and it felt like I was only receiving half portions of happiness. It’s like seeing food that looks and smells delicious, but when you put it in your mouth, the taste is bland.
As time progressed and my concept of life went into turmoil around me, I started falling into a numbness, a sense of detachment from the world, emptiness, and regular disappointment; a very lonely existence with so many people around me. I started to reflect on my life back when I was youthful and exuberant, trying to figure out what changed, and why this was happening to me. The answer continuously eluded me. This made me angry and resentful, and naturally this spilled over into every aspect of my life. “Just another day” was my response to when people asked how I was. I was exhausted of feeling this way.
One day, out of pure desperation, I searched the web for answers, and then…I met Sadhguru. I started listening to his talks on YouTube. Initially, I felt a bit silly because here I was trying to find answers to happiness on a computer, but I could not stop listening. His insights on the nature of our existence were captivating. I listened to an interview where he told the interviewer that many people did not wake up this morning, and for many more people, someone that they love did not wake up, however, you woke up, and if everyone you love woke up, it is a fantastic day. After hearing this, I felt ashamed of myself.
I came across Inner Engineering, a Sadhguru initiative through his Isha Foundation, and just blindly leapt into it. Throughout the four days of the Inner Engineering experience, a lot of realizations happened inside me, regardless of the fear that this may not work. I was surrounded by love, light, and joy. It was like being on holiday, away from all the pain in my life. I slowly started to feel more awake, more alert of everything around me, more relaxed and peaceful, more refreshed, more joyous, more myself.
Things that used to spark irritation, sadness, and rage in me just floated away almost in an instant. I started to notice life happening around me and inside me. I remember, after we did one of the practices, I was sitting outside during a break and I just felt this feeling of absolute shock that I allowed myself to be misguided, to waste so much time on pointless misery, and for not enjoying every single moment of life. This was not a negative feeling; it was a feeling of forgiveness. I have finally forgiven myself.
On the last day of this experience, being in a room filled with strangers, a deep sense of caring and love started to flow over me, a love for each one of them, for me, for the universe, and everything in it. In my own personal experience, this feeling seemed so fragile that it might escape me at any moment, and with it came this immense responsibility to not let it go, to hold on to it and nurture it.
I know I have barely scraped the surface of this journey and there are actually no words to explain the stark contrast to how I feel now, compared to before my Inner Engineering experience. All I can say is that my perspective of life was ripped from me and replaced by the sheer beauty of life. Everything is different now. This morning I felt like a lottery winner because I woke up, I kissed the most wonderful woman, I danced by myself to an awesome tune, and everything around me felt wonderful and still feels wonderful.
I realized that every human being is a gargantuan boundless power. All it needs is a spark, and Inner Engineering is one of those sparks that will ignite you to explode, like the universe once exploded, into boundless beauty, bliss, and joy.
I now finally have the answer to my question. That thing that was missing from my life, that thing was me.
Thank you my dearest Sadhguru for this gift, thank you to my wonderful fellow humans at Isha, and a thank you to myself.
My name is Paul Marais, and for once in my life, I am truly happy to say…I am human.
Editor's Note: To learn about and register for upcoming Inner engineering programs, please use the program finder.
"Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy", the New York Times Bestseller by yogi, mystic and visionary, Sadhguru, is now available in India from Amazon.