My yoga teachers training course included studies of a prominent Yoga text called “The Yoga Sura” by Patanjali. If memory serves – there is a part in the second chapter that talks about a path of devotion – which is an optional path in Yoga. In this part of the text the word God appeared several times and I encountered much friction with it – even though the Yoga Sutra is carefully crafted as a non-religious text. I was able to transform that friction into a supportive curiosity by playing around with an alternate word – quality. It seemed to fit in perfectly and it resonated within me deeply.
Over the past two years I have been immersed in creative exploration of art that is dedicated to inspiration, art that embraces and commits to a present moment – over and over again. In it I found an opportunity to experience quality – and ironically I found myself reinstating the word God. I have said many times and truly believe that when beautiful images occur before me and are captured through me – it is the work of God. My work is more about not-doing, not getting in the way, remaining present, being there when divine expression takes place.
When I left my last steady/paying job over two years ago I was scared. For the first two weeks I was scared about money and where it would come from. Then that fear was replaced by another fear – which surprised me. I was scared that my endeavor to become independent would fail and that I would have to return to an office and to the suffering that created for me. This morning, as I read a few more pages in Gopi Krishna’s Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man, as he describes his decision to leave his government job – I came across these words:
“The secluded corner of a busy office room, throbbing with noiseless activity and tense with subdued excitement was not a place where a man now constantly preoccupied with the unseen, could pass several hours at a stretch always at the call of others, without running the risk of serious injury to his mental health.”
As I read these words – a realization crystallized within me. Though I did not know to say it, or consciously recognize it, two years ago I set out on a journey of renunciation from the chains of the material world. I have since not had steady income and I am living off savings that are thinning out. Almost every initiative I have been involved in since has had two unrelenting qualities: (1) I believed in it, I was passionate about it and believed that it is good (as in quality); (2) it did not include any short-term financial remuneration (the long-term has yet to reveal itself).
I am reshaping my life into simplicity and peace. I have moved out of a small city into a village and am soon moving even further away to an even smaller and more remote location. Money was once a primary excuse (to myself and to people around me) for not wanting children. Now that I have no money nor a promise for that to change – I find myself entertaining thoughts and wishes about bringing a child into the world.
It now seems that my second fear was not so much about independence but rather about freedom – a freedom to pursue that which matters most to me. I lived most of my life in difficulty, pushing against the currents, sad and depressed – but for some (divine?) reason – I did not give up. Though the last two years are tainted with fears about money and basic survival – those fears are overshadowed by a prevailing sense of happiness, gratitude, hope and faith.
SweetClarity is a project that was born during this period of transition. It is first and foremost about inspiration and art – yet it’s artistic aspirations are founded in business. It is business which can create for SweetClarity the freedom it needs to become. From within my private bubble of exploration I have been able to re-embrace the idea of business and to give it meaningful context. Business is that part of SweetClarity which is able to reach out from the core of quality and to interface with and touch the lives of others. Business is for SweetClarity as the mind (sanskrit: Cit) and senses are for the soul (sanskrit: Cita) – without the mind commanding the senses and the body the soul cannot venture out and experience the world. It is a core duality from which conscious experience emanates.
I do not know, nor care to explain what it is that I am committed to in this life – though that commitment now shines clearly before me. SweetClarity is a preoccupation I have taken up and it creates a space for me to stay curiously engaged with the world. It inevitably reflects my inner workings. I am amused and curious that it is in the arena of “business” that I choose to pursue that which matters most.
Both of the images embedded in this post are of Ilay – an inspiring performer who seems to express with me and for me things that resonate deep inside.