Year 2017 had a great start. I started assisting with Happiness workshops and they had a very uplifting effect. I settled comfortably into my bachelor pad in the outskirts of Toronto and I had a great work-life-volunteering balance. I enrolled into Pre-TTC (Pre-teacher training course) and began organizing introductory workshops. I was very ready to take stronger steps towards becoming an Art of Living teacher, yet a dark under-current was brewing that had to run its course before I made any real progress.
It is very important to know why you do what you do. After Pre-TTC, an intensely transformational program, I was hit by my first existential crisis: I did not really know why I volunteered.
I realized that my inner goals towards “saving the planet” were unrealistic. I ever waited for the day I gained the mental clarity, acuity, strength and influence to pour everything into it. Realizing my life’s course is not towards that and the impact I could ever achieve towards this goal is minimal derailed me. Furthermore, I was never really grounded and in terms with my capabilities nor limitations. I simply postponed being in the present and was being an escapist.
I poured myself into volunteer projects like a seva-holic. Though they provided great nourishment to the mind and soul, my body was never part of the equation. Any minor dips in health had the potential to derail my life since I never cared for it enough. I have been running on fumes for a while.
And, Murphy’s law happened. My health began dipping. And, when I woke up to it, I realized my support structure was non-existent. I have not maintained good friendships except the one with my teacher. I have not kept in touch with my family and friends enough to want to go to them during times of crisis. Having an active mind and living alone during crises did not really work in my favor. And, unwisely, I shuffled my life to trim my few support structures to focus on my said goals; all the while as my health deteriorated by the day.
I didn’t realize the slope I started sliding on. Mental health became unstable. Work stress supported in a means for escapism, but really the only happiness I got was when I was volunteering on courses. And, having one friend to support you through it all proved a tough journey for both parties. The dark times are hard to fathom, too many and too intense to worth penning them.
But, ultimately at a visit to my sister’s place for a family reunion, I mysteriously lost my strength to walk. I hit a wall and could not get up. An intervention was held, and me forced onto a one-way flight to India. Ever scared of what just happened, and unsure of the huge turn of events, I had no choice but to take a leap based on others’ faith. Having no faith myself any longer. Would I return to Canada again? Did I forgo my right to live by myself and my chance at a well-built career?
Now, how I went from a un-walkable, depressed individual, every lonely, having lost all faith and independence, to a man who wiped his slate clean and re-built himself in the image he has always foreseen for himself, and restored normalcy to his life is a story pending for the next chapter.