Give Yourself a New Lease of Life
In the last few days, the planet has been going through big changes, and this process is going to continue for some time. With the solstice and the beginning of Uttarayana, there has been a shift in the very way the Earth and all life is relating to the Sun, which is the very source of all energy on this planet. In the planetary movement, the winter solstice represents a new beginning for the Northern Hemisphere, a new possibility, a fresh lease of life. At this time of the year, preparations for spring are underway. There is an enormous amount of activity in the atmosphere and in the earth. Every creature is working overtime to make it happen. There are two kinds of people – those who make things happen, and those who enjoy it when it happens well and complain when it is not happening to their liking. You may not see those who are making things happen in the forefront, but in the background, they are working tirelessly. This time around the turn of the year is like a molting for the planet and for all life. Particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, life is gearing up for harvest, flower, and fruit.
Too many people think to welcome the new year, they must do the silliest things possible – get drunk silly, drive silly, some even die silly. For anything to be popular today, it has to be silly. Should we not redefine our idea of celebration and learn to enjoy something profound? In the coming year, do you have the courage to commit yourself to make something happen that is bigger than you? Every other creature functions according to its instinct, lives and dies according to the natural laws. Being human means we can transcend the natural laws and make something happen that is larger than us. You have the possibility to strive to do this, rather than enshrining your limitations with ideas of “my space, your space.”
You cannot preserve this life – you can only expend it. Whether you just sit around or create something fantastic, whether you do something profound or something silly, you will anyway die. Either way, you have to spend your life – the only question is how. The choice of how we spend our lives is a human privilege. For every other creature, it is all fixed. It is in our hands how beautifully, how profoundly, how magnificently – or how foolishly, how uselessly, how lethargically we live. I do not suggest you make some silly New Year resolution. At this time of the year, external changes are many. The quality of human life will only truly change when we change within ourselves. Otherwise, we could be in the most beautiful place feeling miserable. To create what we want in the world, we have to bring many forces together. To create what you want within yourself, you have to bring yourself together.
It will be wonderful if you can create something fantastic in the world. But at least within you, something fantastic must happen. If something fantastic is happening within you, no one can stop you from creating something fantastic in the world. People may set up little road humps – that’s all. That’s an opportunity for us to slow down, enjoy the scenery, and again speed up. If you try to create something fantastic in the world without making something truly fantastic happen within you, it could become a tyrannical, disastrous process. Human history is full of such examples. Even someone like Adolf Hitler, who’s at the top of the baddy list of all times, believed he was going to create something fantastic – with the most horrible consequences. When ugly things are happening within you and you try to create something, a magnified version of this ugliness will manifest on the outside. It is very important that if you want to create something, first something fantastic is happening within you. Do what you want, in the end, who you are is what will manifest in the world.
Just come to your senses – then joyful is the only way to be. This neither needs a resolution nor an amendment to the constitution – “everyone in this country should be joyful.” What is needed is a rise of human consciousness. Consciousness is non-physical. The physical dimension is one of boundaries. Consciousness is a dimension beyond boundaries – it is all-encompassing. Either you are just a piece of flesh and bone – then it is good it has boundaries – or you touch the other dimension within you that we refer to as consciousness, which is boundless. Once your experience is boundless, the possibilities become boundless as well. What you manifest will not be boundless but at least bigger than you, and that is important. Only if something bigger than you has happened within you and if possible outside of you, can you as a human being live well and die well. Otherwise, you live a constipated life.
In this culture, Uttarayana is seen as harvest time, both agriculturally and spiritually. Many saints, sages, and yogis have chosen to leave their body at this time. This does not mean it is time for you to leave. It is time to shed some old nonsense and come up fresh and alive. Let’s see what new possibilities will arise out of that. This is not about making resolutions to do a particular thing or give up another. But even crawling creatures have the wisdom to shed their old skin periodically – we should be able to expect the same from you. When a snake, a cockroach, or any other creature molts, they become very vulnerable for a period of time. It’s a big risk living in nature without skin for a few days or weeks. Just a bunch of ants can take your life. But even these little creatures have the innate wisdom to take this risk. It is time you take that risk in your life.
In the next few days, tear down something about you that has stuck with you for a long time but is no good. I’ve been waiting for a long time for the thick skin to go. If you drop your nonsense, I can make you drip with ecstasy. Now the question is, “How can I shed my skin?” You know, if you got a cut or scratch and a scab has formed, somehow, almost everyone has the urge to pull it off a little before it would fall off by itself. Similarly, if you want to shed something that has been sticking to you for a period of time, it hurts a bit. Every day, you shed old skin cells without even noticing it. They fall off by themselves because their time is up. Now that you are on a spiritual path, you want to go faster than the regular course of nature. Some philosophers may argue that anyway by nature, slowly it will all happen. The only problem is it’s a bloody brief life. The evolution from monkey to man took millions of years. You want to be on fast-forward – you want to peel off the old skin early.
You are fortunate enough to have come here as a human being, you have a reasonably working brain, and you are aware that you need to do something about yourself. This is the time to do it. How? The sadhana that we initiate you into, for example in the Inner Engineering program, has this potential, but it all depends on with how much intensity you are doing it. It’s good to come and stay for a couple of days in the ashram for a sadhana upgrade. This does not mean doing more sadhana but doing the same a little more fiercely. If you do that, it will shed. If you drop your old ways of thinking and looking at things afresh, you will become a beautiful human being – the world will become a beautiful place. This new “you” will only look for solutions, not problems.
The shedding has to be done by you. We can only help you if you make yourself available to Grace. That means you must keep yourself like a new born baby. Whatever age you are right now, how would you look at life? Everything would be new – everything would be fantastic. If you look at everything afresh, I will take care of you. This is what “new” means – nothing of the old. Don’t wait until the first of January. For the planet, a new phase has already started, and we are part of the planet. Look at everything like an infant does – absorbing everything, not judging anything, not labeling anyone as good or bad, okay or not okay, not categorizing people into those you love and those you hate. Just look at life like this. If you do this even for one day, you can have a fresh beginning and be wonderful.
With this video, Sadhguru is offering you the rare opportunity to participate in an intense meditation process, originally conducted during a Darshan on 24 December 2016 at the Isha Yoga Center. Darshan means to behold. To best benefit from the process, sit in a cross-legged posture, hands open, palms facing upwards, with a slightly upturned face, gazing at Sadhguru.