Yogis On The Go
Working With A New Logic Of Spirit
The work of ‘being’ takes place within the world of action and service and is fundamental to creativity, productivity, and integrity. The work life of a yogi is not secular, it is sacred! Yogis in our times operate within the ever-evolving integrity of being and doing. They see challenges as an obstacle course to building capacity and resilience. Yogis do their work with a living commitment to a greater mission and focus attention on what is life giving and strength based both as individuals and in relationship with others. How does this work? The following profiles tell the story.
Happy at work by Ann O’Hare
Anne O’Hare lives in Fruitland Park, Florida with her 8 year old son, Joey and her 10 year old poodle mix, Pamina. She has been a registered nurse for over 20 years and holds a Doctoral Degree in Nursing Lea dership as well as certification in Wholistic Nursing. Anne has been a student and teacher with the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization since 2011.
“This is not love, this is work.” I silently repeated to myself, trying to keep myself calm and cared for as I sat in the meeting. I was sitting across from the person whom I had been using as a focus for all my unhappiness and discomfort at work for the past three years. Just the day before, I realized that I was doing this, so I needed to be gentle with myself and move slowly through the scenes of my workday, trying to maintain the little bit of freedom that I had achieved. Freedom?
To understand the significance of the moment I just described, I need to share the history. Five years ago, I left a Nursing leadership job in a local hospital to work at a VA clinic in my community. I knew that the benefits, hours, and salary at the VA would be helpful for me and my family so, I applied for the nurse manager position but accepted a staff nurse job to “get my foot in the door.” In the beginning, my job was ideal. Because the clinic was just starting up, I was allowed to stay in a semi-leadership role and I had freedom to be creative, manage programs and assist with staff development.
During this time, I also started studying meditation and spiritual knowledge with the Brahma Kumaris, and I was resonating powerfully with the teachings and my meditation experiences. At work, in addition to my nursing duties, I was able to promote and teach meditation to the staff and patients and these classes led to positive outcomes with patients and ongoing classes in the community. Basically, I was flying high. Not only was I allowed to be professionally free, but I was able to do spiritual “service” all day long at work. In addition, I was close friends with a fellow nurse, Susan, who I was mentoring in leadership and teaching spiritual knowledge and meditation. I felt loved and appreciated at work. My talents were being use to the fullest. I was very happy.
Then, it happened. My boss informed me that I would need to take on full staff nurse duties. I was also aware that there had been complaints about me not having a “patient load” and there were threats to call the union. I understood what my boss was doing and I agreed to the change, with the caveat that I would not be able to maintain all the projects I was currently coordinating if I was going to take care of 1200 patients. At the same time, Susan stopped talking to me completely. I never knew why even though I tried to ask once and received what I considered to be a cold reply, considering what we had shared over the past two years. I was devastated, heartbroken, and watching whatever “status” I had at the clinic dwindle day by day, month by month.
This was a very rough period for me. I felt angry and hurt because I felt mistreated by Susan and the Clinic leadership. I was still practicing my meditation and teaching, and on the surface, perhaps I was able to keep a brave face. Meanwhile, inside I felt extremely uncomfortable especially around Susan, who began excelling at work. Most recently, Susan was offered the assistant Nurse Manager job that we both applied for. So now she is my immediate supervisor.
Something had to give for me. I wasn’t happy and I knew that my ego was being hurt daily. But I couldn’t seem to resolve my resentment toward Susan even with all the spiritual knowledge and meditation experience that I had. So, I decided NOT to try and fix the situation or my feelings anymore and just focus on meditation. I had read in a class that the answer to ALL problems is in Yoga or connection with God, the Divine. So, that’s what I did. I did more and more meditation and did not focus on the situation at all.
After less than a week, I had a powerful insight and realization. I was able to see what “I” had been doing over the last three years. While teaching others to be spiritual and loving, I had been torturing myself with resentment and blaming Susan for it. I had created a personal jail of pain and fear and I was blaming my bosses. Wow, that was a big ouch, and I must say that I shed a tear or two and apologized to God for that behavior. The next question was… now what? I knew for sure that I wasn’t going to continue that way of being. I could see all the negative energy I had been sending Susan’s way for years. I felt very humbled by this experience.
Suddenly, I was in touch again with the love in my heart. I felt so much better and I knew that I created that painful experience, so now I could create a loving one. The next day, I had the meeting with Susan that I described in the beginning. I naturally said to myself” this is not love, this is work”. This helped me to remember that love is within me. I don’t need to be dependent on anyone, any situation, or any position for my self-worth.
Since that first meeting, I have been able to work with Susan in a friendly, collegiate way and she has actually offered to help me get a part time teaching position at a local college where she teaches. I have compassion for her and am wishing her well in her new supervisory role.
I am happy at work again. But, this time, the happiness cannot be taken away. I know that I am God’s child, full of unique specialties and gifts. My self-respect comes from this internal awareness. I still mentor and help people at work. But now, I remain intact no matter what happens. My wish is for everyone to experience this type of personal freedom and happiness at work and in all aspects of life.
(Anne O’Hare lives in Fruitland Park, Florida with her 8 year old son, Joey and her 10 year old poodle mix, Pamina. She has been a registered nurse for over 20 years and holds a Doctoral Degree in Nursing Lea dership as well as certification in Wholistic Nursing. Anne has been a student and teacher with the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization since 2011.]
Amarilys Murillo graduated as a pediatrician in Venezuela. She moved to the US in 2000, retrained at Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami. Board Certified, she is currently working as a fulltime pediatrician in the largest pediatric group in the US located in Miami
Almost four years ago, I was in the middle of an emotional storm; and I was looking for real answers. It was at the local Raja Yoga Meditation Centre that I found them, and after that my life changed drastically. I have experienced nothing but unlimited protection, peace, happiness, understanding, acceptance, and support–all from the main source, of course, from God. He ignited my soul.
My main challenge and proof of this protection took place two years ago when my parents died unexpectedly 22 days apart from each other in my country, Venezuela. Although I lived in the United States, I was very attached to my parents; and I used to visit them at least once a year and talked to them over the phone on a daily basis. My father was sick with a lung infection, and he was in the hospital. Although HE was the patient, my 70-year old mother, who was taking care of him, passed away suddenly at the foot his hospital bed–probably from a heart attack.. Upon her death, I immediately flew to Venezuela to be with my family.
Under these circumstances, I was truly amazed that I was able to remain serene. An internal voice told me “this is what you have been preparing yourself for.” After Mom’s death, my father was experiencing deep sorrow, and it was then discovered that what he actually had was lung cancer. Dad, age 72, was put through a lot of medical procedures, during which time, he had heart failure and passed away 22 days after Mom’s death. I had remained by his side night and day until the day before he passed at which time I returned to the United States. Of course, upon my departure, we didn’t know that he was going to pass away the very next day.
I honestly did not know how much support I had received from God, until those events took place. Amazingly, I was able to experience the peace, love, support, etc. that can only come from God in a moment like that. There were many other significant events taking place in my life at the same time. Actually the same day my father passed away in Venezuela, my only child was leaving home to start his college career and weeks after that I was taking my Pediatric Board Certification test in the USA.
The only way I survived emotionally and was able to be as supportive as possible with family and friends was to hold the Father’s hand, to follow his directions, and to experience his love and blessings constantly. To this day, this is still my SECRET for moving through life with ease and joy and helping others do the same.
“Spirituality In Practice
“Can I do the walk as well as I do the talk?”
The theories behind practicing spirituality I’m brilliant at. I can tell you the deepest things about spirituality because I have been a junkie of reading spiritual materials for years now. Of course, I don’t know everything but I do know a lot. I use this knowledge as entertainment for my students at times to keep things light, or I’ll use my spiritual know-how to guide them with whatever situation they may be facing.
I can talk “the talk” real well, I am a spiritual charmer you might say. So the question is, “Can I do the walk as well as I do the talk?” The answer is no. Disappointing, huh? Though I’m not there yet, of matching my talk with my walk, here is my tale of how I’m making efforts to balance the 2 worlds and bring them closer together.
I can bore you with long stories as to why I can’t do the walk as well as I do the talk; such as stories of my childhood, or my personal tragedies, or how tragedies of my close friends and relatives affected my spirituality. I won’t bore you with those stories and the personal details of them because I know you’ve got your own stories, your own personal tragedies , and your own reasons why spirituality in practice can be quite a challenge at times.
The focus when it comes to practicing spirituality should never be on the obstacles. Like any good runner in a race filled with hurdles, the runner does not give a lot of focus to the hurdles. He is aware of the hurdles, the general height of them, where they are placed on the track, etc., but the runner’s focus is more on strengthening himself so he will have the ability to jump over these hurdles. Spirituality in practice is no different. In using this metaphor, I will tell you how my practice in spirituality generally goes.
My typical hurdles consist of work and family matters. The usual work hurdles are dealing with unrealistic demands from bosses, doing my regular workload of teaching, and being a “psychologist” with the students. These days, students have huge amounts of stress, I do what I can so they will feel relatively safe and calm before the teaching process begins. Before going through these hurdles, I strengthen myself first by connecting with God in a meditative state. I allow Him to shower me with feelings of being safe and calm and then in turn, I share these feelings of serenity with my students.
It is necessary that I do this practice, more than the average person, because I didn’t experience these feelings growing up, so God is the only one who can fully supply me with these feelings, which are essential tools in any environment but especially in a teaching one.
Another regular practice I have is detaching from whatever is going on. Many times I successfully jump over this set of hurdles with my students by having zero expectations of them. No matter how well or poorly they do, I allow them to just be, and I do my best to fully accept where they are. Many teachers do not like this method because it requires letting go of the control factor, which is scary for most teachers. It was also scary for me, it is just like the experience you have when you see your first set of hurdles in front of you in your first race. It is daunting, intimidating. However, once you get into the practice of it all, you realize it’s not a big deal. All you really had to do was let go of the ego.
While my dealings with the students are my more successful “jumps,” my less successful ones tend to be in the higher hurdles, the dealings with my bosses and my family. Unfortunately, I do have attachments to them, expectations, which weaken my strength so I am not as successful on these higher hurdles. It is a work-in-progress for me. Though I tend to trip and fall on these higher hurdles, I also pick myself up, dust myself off, learn from the experience, and make mental notes on how I can improve on the next jump.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines, God is there, cheering for me, encouraging me, rooting me on. I take great comfort and strength from that in both my successful and unsuccessful moments.
Though I am not fully there yet, having my spiritual knowledge matching with my spiritual practice, I’m in the process, in training as it were, so when the big race comes, I will be ready to run and glide over hurdles of different sizes, smoothly.
Kush Kirpalni’s Story
Khush Kirpalani is an Assistant Buyer for Macy’s Corporation in the field of Diamonds in New York City.
Spirituality is a foundation instilled within all of us. Some may say that if we experience what life has to bring us in our day-to-day tasks, we are growing and challenging our individual growth to become spiritual. Others may be aware of their experiences, but are constantly looking for what’s next, spending their time meditating on a greater materialistic aspect in their lives, a promotion, a new house, etc.
There are plenty more views on interpreting spirituality but the question is, should we have multiple views? If you responded yes, then you are used to the mentality and foundation of religion. Multiple interpretations of spirituality only formed centuries ago when countries were divided and religions separated us from having unconditional love for one another. However, life is not complicated. We are souls, living energy. We are filled with the same intrinsic core values of love, peace and happiness of the Divine Energy, the Supreme Soul. We are all here on a journey to live our lives while remembering our original home. And our day-to-day experiences are just reminding us whether we want to dig our souls in dirt or clear away and follow the path of light.
As much as I would love to tell you that I spend my entire day, walking through life, remembering my original home and reflecting upon my intrinsic values 24/7, I don’t. I make a conscious effort many times a day to do so. However my body conscious (the chemicals within my human body that drive emotion) kicks in sporadically. I like to think of my day as Wi-Fi. God is a router, and at times when I am getting through my daily tasks, say “online,” my reception becomes spotty. I get intercepted with interactions that are not aware of their own energy. How am I supposed to challenge that?
Since I was a kid, I always looked at the best in people. The common man would call it naïve. However I would like to tell the common man today, that it is not being naïve, it is being pure. And even though others are unaware of their own purity, I look at them as pure, because deep down, underneath all that dirt that has been piled up, is the same loving light I was made with.
I was introduced to meditation at age 11. While I did not know how important meditation and spirituality were to me at the time, I knew that I was always going to be the different one — the one that would have trouble connecting with my generation, because I was considered to be an “old soul.” I grew up in a traditional Hindu family, where the practices of devotion were prominent. I grew up in a world where my thoughts and actions were different from my peers, and the more I tried to fit in, the more I would disconnect with my soul. After college I decided I no longer wanted to fit in. After finding myself at age 11 and then getting lost through high school and college, I told myself I am not going to hide my knowledge. I have to set out and be an example to let what’s in me, reflect upon me naturally. I am not going to try and re-write a journey God has already set out for me. Throughout my years, I have seen how my mind and body have grown when I am not connected, and I have seen the dramatic difference when I am connected.
Every morning, as I wake up (by the way I am not a morning person at all), while my first instinct is to look my at my emails, instead I say good morning to God. Because at the end of the day, no matter what happens, I am still going home to Him, so why should anything be so much more important. I must thank him and tell him I love him, because all else would not be possible.
As I progress through my day, my reception gets spotty as I am tackling hundreds of emails and interacting with people to expand on my current business needs in ways that I may not necessary agree upon. My interactions outside of work also consist of thoughts and actions that are distracting and not connected with my being. However, every time I feel that I am digging myself a hole and the energy is unclear, I pause (it’s essential to pause and not immediately react). I take 10 seconds to close my eyes and breathe, and tell God that I trust Him with the path that has been laid out. To react to something that is of waste, only drains good energy that has been built up with one’s self and the Divine.
Technology has continued to expand, and the demand that has grown with technology has grown within the human mind. Is the human mind really capable of thinking 10 steps ahead? In today’s world, to continue to strive for better results in the work environment as well as the rest of our time, we need to be way ahead of the game, mainly because we all have access to social media. Social media is the ability to know anything and everything at any given time. What are we really putting ourselves up against? The competition of what exactly? To be the most attractive person in the universe? For fame and for purpose? Because all I remember when I woke up this morning was that no matter what I do today, I get to go home to God, and that’s all that matters.
I don’t go on social media a lot, but when I do, I like to share my journey, and embrace others. This is my way of adapting to our world’s changes in how we communicate. We just need to use this concept of technology to enlighten one another and not to share waste thoughts. This also should not take away the essence of face-to-face communication.
Steering away from technology throughout the day takes a load off my brain, and gives my mind some time to breathe. I find time to listen to good music, do yoga and eat well. That’s all good for our body’s journey too. So when I come home at night, I can continue on with God’s Wi-Fi signal. When we venture through our day with maximum remembrance of our original home and trust our journey, people and places evolve. Your network with God will continue to radiate more positive energy and signal to the rest of the world.
Some have said that I’m very positive in times of challenge. It’s simply because I remember that no matter how stressful my day or life is, there is only one end, with love and with God.
(Khush Kirpalani is an Assistant Buyer for Macy’s Corporation in the field of Diamonds in New York City.)