Adjusting to a New Environment


I’ve recently moved to a new country with a wonderful man I love. I am just really sad constantly. I don’t know what it is. I am unable to explain it. I can’t seem to find a therapist, a job, all my friends have moved... the shift is so palpable, I have been struggling with my life and routine and meditation. I can’t focus and hear gurudev. I am suffering from chronic pain and feel like I am drowning. I feel really alone even though my partner is here... Could you please help me?

—Nirja, Germany


Hello Nirja,

I’m sorry that you feel so alone and uncomfortable in your new environment. I understand that it can be very challenging. When Yogananda came to this country, he said that he oftentimes felt alone and uncertain of Divine Mother’s plan, but he clung to Her loving presence, sharing the good and difficult times with Her always. Whatever else you do, hold fast to your meditation practice and devotion to God’s will. It is the vehicle through which Guru’s grace can operate in our lives.

When Yogananda was leaving India for America, Sri Yukteswar said to him, “Wherever you go, even in a wilderness, you will find friends.” And it was true, because Yogananda reached out to others as a friend, dedicated to serving others, seeing in them a child of God. Try yourself to reach out to others in this way. Be a friend to them. Give and serve. They will realize that they have a friend in you and will try to help you.

Swami Kriyananda suggested that whenever we feel tense, worried, upset, and the like, we try to “breathe our way to better spirits.” It really works! For example, when you are feeling overwhelmed, breathe in calmness. Feel it filling your whole body, your mind. Feel it permeating your thoughts, vibrating in every cell of your being. Feel this calmness helping you to relax and let go, lifting and expanding your consciousness. With each exhalation, let go of all physical and mental tension. Feel these leaving your body. Exhale all worry, fear, frustration. These do not belong to you. Do this a few times. Then mentally affirm, “In the midst of life’s storms and trials, I stand serene.” Keep saying this many times, first out loud and then more softly, taking it into your sub-consciousness. Finally, mentally repeat this affirmation until it has permeated your super-consciousness mind and becomes the thought form leading your through life, and even the unknown.

I think that you will find that as you are able to let go of these limiting feelings and replace them with the confidence that is your soul nature, your health will improve. Guruji is giving you this challenge to expand your consciousness, free your heart, and establish within you a sense of kinship with all of life.

May you feel deeply the blessings of the Guru and of God,
nayaswami maria