Chaos and clutter seemed to be everywhere in my home. It was a reflection of my chaotic mind. Multitasking my way through life, I believed, was what kept everything around me running. I know now that the less I have, the less I do the more is achieved and more at peace I am.
I spent years working outside the home for financial abundance. I had many things but no time to enjoy them. The 29 large windows in my home that I dressed up with different shades I never raised to look outside; luxurious sheets that I never laid on my bed; china I never ate out of; rooms I never spent any quality time in are now all in the past. I built a 'successful' career, earned money and collected useless trinkets. I spent time keeping them safe and clean but never found a moment to appreciate them. There was very little time or energy left after running around trying to balance work, home, family, friends, and things. I gave up reading, writing, meditating so I could work, keep house, and help provide for my children and extended family. Life was stressful and chaotic and yet it appeared like a great life. Very deceiving - but only in retrospect. While I was in Maya mode life as it was, did seem great. I did not miss peace of mind - I never identified with peace. I was stressed and accepted it as a way of life. I did not consider changing my way of life to free myself from the stress. I looked for ways to do so while I was in the maze of material wellbeing. If only I had silenced my mind first and then entered the material world I would have been better served. It is possible to live in abundance and still be silent and clear of the mental chaos.
Back to karmaphala tyaga - being detached from the results of action. Being attached to money and things only increases desire while causing confusion and stress. Flip flopping on every decision and worrying about whether decisions are right once they are made is inevitable. Attachment to the fruits of action or trying to control the results of action can at best bring chaos into my life. I have learnt that letting things flow while continuing on a path, adjusting for eventualities that come my way is the best way to move forward. Financially save 10%, give 10% and then spend; mentally meditate, be present; emotionally expect nothing, be honest, truthful, compassionate, forgiving, accepting and loving towards all including myself; intellectually read, listen, learn, practice goodness, talk less; physically eat right, be on the move, stay clean, care for the needs of others and myself; spiritually simply be and do. Simple principles that keep life stress free.
Reading the list it seems easy right now but I do know that unless I can keep the emotional - mental - intellectual - physical - financial - spiritual balance I can slip and chaos can be my companion anytime. The key is keeping a keen eye on the ego. That element that is in the maze within my mind and is always just below the surface. I must learn to use it and not let it use me. Unless I can stop identifying myself as my ego I cannot identify with my true self.
To go from chaos to order requires conscious effort. The habit of multitasking takes me away from the present so often through the day. I have learnt to develop triggers that bring me into the now. Since I do not enjoy housework being present during cooking, cleaning, laundry is difficult. I now make it a point to stay present by noticing the feeling of water or detergent on my hands. I consciously smell the spices, the soaps, even watch the dust as I go about doing my housework. Staying present when reading, writing, watching TV is not a challenge - these I like doing, you see. I find that the more present I remain in the so called uninteresting tasks the more I enjoy doing them. No wonder it is said that we humans can achieve anything. It is all in the mind.
Now that my mind is settled and calm the urge to go deeper is constant. In the midst of everything I can distance myself from worldly affairs and become instantly silent. It can be very calming and extremely enjoyable. There is no anger, no frustration, no sense of lack, no pride, no shame, just a sense of joy and a subtle satisfaction. Whatever will be will be and I just am here. Life is good, it is enjoyable inspite of all the turmoil there seems to be around. The future was, is and will be uncertain. The past is done with. The present is right here and it is perfect. The chaos is gone and life just is. No chaos, no order. It just is.