There’s a place called Go Native in Jayanagar in Bengaluru. They have an awesome-sauce restaurant and a shop that sells a variety of products. The USP of the shop is that it deals primarily in Organic items and stuff that doesn’t load the environment and planet any further it already has been. Last year when I was there, I got myself a pack of two ‘Bamboo Toothbrushes’. I have been using Bamboo tooth-brush for more than a year now. My small personal contribution to chucking plastic out of my daily life. I got myself one from Isha which I’d been using. The ones at Go Native had my attention because their bristles seemed, ‘Medium’ type. I brought them not because I needed them at that point, but, just so I could have them for future use.
It’s been 5 months since I got them and have finally employed one of the two in use.
Now, Not to bore you further with my shopping and choice of dental equipment, I will tell what sparked the inspiration of the post.
When I started using my ‘amazingly attractive and certified organic‘ new tooth-brush, my mind filled me with anxiety.
Why you may ask?
Because my extra-efficient, superb piece of evolutionary machinery called the mind started worrying about what will happen once I get through this tooth-brush. It flooded me with questions like-
“How will you be able to procure the next tooth-brush? No next visit to Bengaluru seems in sight..”
“Go-Native doesn’t have an outlet in NCR…”
“What if you don’t find an equally awesome tooth-brush..”
Mind you all these thoughts when I have a spare tooth-brush of the same kind.
Once I noticed all these random thoughts floating in my mind-space, I couldn’t help but laugh. Rather than enjoying the experience of using a new tooth-brush, I’m allowing my mind to fill me up with the anxiety over an uncertain future which may not even come into existence. I do wish myself a productive and long enough life to see myself plant a million trees(amongst myriad other things), but life IS uncertain. I may not even see the next daylight. There is a guaranteed expiration but no specific date to the human body.
This little episode with the tooth-brush made me ponder over how this anxiety over what may happen is a plague that most of humanity suffers from. Let’s give it a term – “Tooth-brush anxiety” of ‘TA‘ in short. This TA is the number one cause that robs us of the joy of the PRESENT and creates scenarios which usually never come to pass by in the head.
Think back on specific events in your life. For instance, Your high school/12th class examinations which were called to be THE DEFINING moment of your life. I remember a few of my class-mates coming out crying after the Physics paper in 12th standard. I was smiling. Almost everyone who was crying is doing better in their career than me. Back then, they would’ve been thinking–
“Mera toh zindagi barbaad ho gaya”
I can go on and list multiple such examples, but you get the point don’t you?
This TA is something that causes us to lose the essence of what is essential in the now. Of being grateful and appreciative of what already exists than to fret over what may or what may not.
I want to illustrate my point by sharing a beautiful story from the Yogic lore.
The Greatest Miracle
Once in ancient times, a man visited an Ashram of a renowned yogi in search of enlightenment. Bharat is the land of yogis and mystics and Gods, he had seen and heard several beings performing miraculous feats. While in the ashram he sought a conversation with one of the lead disciples of the yogi.
He asked the disciple, “what is the greatest miracle have you seen your master do?”
“Can he walk on water?”
“Can he float in the air?”
“Can he magically make objects appear out of thin air?”
“Can he ensure Tik-Tok never comes into existence?” (True story)
The disciple said that the master can do neither of the things mentioned above. However, the greatest miracle that he has seen his master do is—
“When he eats, he only eats. When he walks, he walks. When he is talking, he only talks. When he is meditating, he only meditates, and when he sleeps, he only sleeps.”
Such a magnificent story about being present in every activity. It truly is a wonderous miracle, especially for our day and age where there are tons of distractions and peoples minds easily agitated.
Personally, I have discovered when I’m present/alert in the so-called, ‘non-spiritual’ acts throughout my day–my meditations and chants or the ‘spiritual’ activities become much refined, easy and joyous.
Practice being in the now, dear reader and do not let this stupid TA get the better of you. Be it a tooth-brush, a commute, a meeting, a project or anything else.
How to practice being present?
Well, firstly, how about you share your experiences of how you ground yourself and be present. I will share some of my favourites that enable mindfulness in the blog next week.
Until then, I wish you harmony, peace, laughter and joy.
Thank you so much for reading. Your feedback on what you liked or what you didn’t is deeply appreciated.
Brushing my teeth with the opposite hand,