Self Indulgence to Self Discoveryby Bhooma Sundararajan September 15 2020, 11:29 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 38 secs
Bhooma Sundararajan writes, that boredom and inaction sets in when one has a lot of empty time in hand and no anchor in life to commit that time usefully.
I faced such a situation in my life when I turned 50.
It was roughly the time my kids left home to seek their own path. For a short while of course, I enjoyed the luxury of following ‘my mood timetable’ - waking up late, watching late-night movies and eating junk food. I guess the change in lifestyle was because I was under no compulsion to follow a programmed timetable like I used to when my kids were with me… breakfast at 6, laundry at 8am, preparation of lunch at 12, dinner at 8pm and so on.
Now there was no reason for me to follow the sundial. This enjoyment of leading an aimless life was short lived. Boredom and depression started knocking on my door. Very soon I had changed beyond recognition.
Boredom never left my side. No matter how much I tried to throw it out it kept following me around like a ghost. It started to entertain me with all kinds of frightening stories of diseases of the body and mind. My newfound freedom was taken away by boredom and I was totally engulfed by it.
To beat boredom; for a while I indulged in food porn - good food indicated a good mood! I enjoyed it for a short while. I clicked colorful pictures of the delicacies prepared by me and posted them on Whatsapp groups and my Facebook page.
It was a virtual treat for my friends and a real treat for me. Encouragement came in the form of 'likes’ and emoticons. Monopolistic indulgence in buttered delicacies came with a lot of side effects.... I gained a lot of weight. Now from ‘good food good mood’ my thoughts turned to ‘healthy body health mind’.
To knock down the extra pounds of weight gained and beat boredom at the same time, my attention turned to hiking. My son, who does mountaineering as a hobby, always claims that he inherited his interest in hiking from me. So, with that encouragement in my heart I started hiking to all the pilgrimage places on the mountains; to Vaishno Devi temple, to Kedarnath too.
After each hike my joints which had got atrophied over the years, cried out in pain. They were so sore that I felt I wanted a new body! After this short-lived adventure I woke up once again to the same boredom.
I thought meditation would beat boredom. I tried next to practice chapter 6 of ‘The Bhagavad Gita’, where Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that we are our own enemy and our own friend and also Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna how to meditate. But I really could not grasp the core of the topic.
But one thing dawned upon me and very clearly in my mind that activities carried out to lift the curtain of boredom can never conquer boredom. Those activities are to be undertaken for the sake of those activities and not with a personal motive such as to end boredom.
After a lot of struggle, I was able to find an activity that has once again put me on wheels of positivity.
Today, I teach underprivileged children.
My life is once again blooming with purpose.
One lesson that life has taught me, which I would like to share with everyone: All of us should have a life and spiritual path of our own, which separates us from our role as a daughter or son, mother or father, sister or brother; for there is impermanence in those roles. Once those roles become passive, boredom knocks on the door of your life. Life is ‘Ekanth Safar’.
So friends, walk on the path of self. Please find this path very early in life. It is a sure way to block boredom from entering your life and also a pathway to happiness.
One can live by Rabindranath Tagore's principle – “If you want to live together then learn to live alone".
This will help in moments of separation.