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Saturday, December 04, 2021

Home is deep inside us, it’s a mind-soul connection

When mindfully happy and satisfied, we feel at home wherever we are, and even when all alone

Written by Suvir Saran | New Delhi |
November 14, 2021 6:10:17 am
idea of home, self-love, sunday eye 2021So many of us are so lost in the material that we are unaware of the needs of our own mind and soul. (Photo: Suvir Saran)

Holidays like Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, Eid — they teach us about our place in the world, they bring out the extrovert in us, and they educate us about the importance of being at home in one’s own world, in one’s own inner sanctum. But are we paying attention to the cues they offer? Too many of us live most aimlessly, going from one festival to another, from one social high to another, until we crash and are in deep despair and broken.

A busy life doesn’t always mean a life that is comfortable with itself or at peace with the world. Name, fame and success get us notoriety, access and material comforts. The high one gets when chasing lucrative success is unmatched and puts all other comforts in its shadow where mindfulness is eaten away by the sparkle and shimmer that is mindless indulgence and popularity.

I remember how exciting the times seemed when my first book was published and I opened my restaurant Devi in Manhattan. My customers seemed excited beyond words; the critics were kind and generous in their complimentary reviews. My business was booming and my lifestyle was expanding beyond the comfortable seams of joy and happiness I had known and enjoyed until then. It seemed logical that I indulge and indulge some more, and become used to extravagance and opulently boundless acquiring and collecting.

Where a few pairs of shoes had brought me access to both comfort and style, now even scores of pairs seemed too few. If I could live eating three meals and find both health and wellness doing it, indulgence in five mealtimes, created so as to meet more fans and supposed friends and to savour offerings of every new restaurant in town, seemed a logical outgrowth of success and arrival into that world where men become supermen and life is an extension of luxury and luxury the sole purpose and meaning of life.

I started travelling across the US for book tours and cooking demos, for lectures and classes, for appearances and interviews. I was forever on stage. Camera ready, speaking and sharing, teaching others what I was passionately consumed by and which I thoroughly enjoyed, I became adept at juggling many events in one day and filling in for other travelling creatures like myself who missed a flight or had a family emergency that made them a no-show at an event. It took nothing for me to add more to my busy day and full plate; it was something I did at the drop of a hat and something handlers and organisers grew to love about me.

I was seeing the world and the world was seeing me. What could be bad with that? Isn’t that what a life lived well is all about? Daily discoveries, new lands and peoples, new opportunities and furthering one’s financial wealth — aren’t these the things that make or break us? I was in a long-term relationship with my partner, we had a lovely farmhouse in Hebron, New York, an apartment in the city, farm animals that I loved and lived for, and two dogs, two cats and plants that I would sing to and nurture and enjoy those few days when I was able to be home. Idyllic was our home’s location, ideal was our life. Being away from home seemed well worth the price one ought to pay for such abundance of beauty and riches.

Then one day, my shoulders started to hurt. My joints were giving up. But joints can be replaced. Science has advanced, and so we can stretch our limits way beyond what we could in earlier generations. Cues the body gives us to slow down are now nothing we need to worry about as surgeons, physicians and a multibillion-dollar medical industry have solutions for much of what can slow us down and make us come home, both literally and figuratively, to breathe, to unwind, to relax, to chill, and to take time to be one with ourselves.

And then my body’s total collapse crumbled my lifestyle and took me to living in India. Living slowly, mindfully, I learnt to be alone, find value in who I am, appreciate my body’s cues, understand my mind’s comfort, feed my soul’s fulfillment. More importantly, I realised that I’m just as happy being alone as in the company of a gazillion.

I found myself more of myself, reflective, smiling with no one around me at all, singing to myself, writing to free my mind, dancing all alone. Many days, I would wish for the aloneness to never end. I realised I had come home to myself. I had made my peace with being home in my bodily and spiritual home, my inner sanctum.

Home is deep inside us, not grounded in geography; rather, it is a connection between mind and soul. If we have that connection working, and are feeding our soul with the nourishment of mindfulness, then we are at home and at peace with self, and at peace wherever we are. So many of us are so lost in the material that we are unaware of the needs of our own mind and soul. We are so lost in the bodily and physical, that we could be living lavishly, eating opulently, travelling like kings, and dressing like fashionistas and yet have vacant, homeless eyes, broken hearts and restless minds. It doesn’t have to be this way. When the circuitry between our brain and our soul works, it is then that we live with a social-emotional connection that is at once purposeful and fulfilling. When mindfully happy and satisfied, we feel at home wherever we are, and even when all alone.

We come into this world alone, and it is alone that we leave it. The sooner we appreciate this fact, the sooner we can start making a more meaningful contribution to the world, and also be in harmony with self.

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