It’s been a very busy Spring here at Ananda, filled with events that usually happen during the summer: a weekend with Swami Kriyananda, a Crystal Clarity donor dinner, concerts, recordings, and filming. On top of my school teaching schedule, it has made life quite a bit more challenging.
As I write this I am in Hansa Mandir, where the Living Wisdom High School has just finished rehearsing for our upcoming concert next Wednesday, entitled Hope For a Better World, honoring the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. The kids are reciting speeches and writings of the two great men, in addition to performing classical instrumental pieces, choral music written by Swami Kriyananda, and a short Tai Chi flow.
I have a few minutes before my next rehearsal with the 4th-6th graders for their separate concert on Tuesday, and wanted to give an in-the-moment description of a day in my life at Ananda.
5:45 AM Caitlin, our five year old daughter, made her grand entrance into our room, greeting the day with enthusiasm. Well, the sun is almost up, so why shouldn’t all of us be?
6:30 AM after spending some quiet time with Caitlin we got up and started preparing for the day on both physical and spiritual planes. After energizing, I went out to water our neighbors seedlings in the green house next door (Balarama is leading his 2nd-4th grade class on a camping trip to Monterrey) and pick greens for our morning smoothie.
7:00 AM smoothie prepared, Caitlin settled, I have a brief but very necessary period of meditation. I always try to do some, no matter what. Then more preparations for the day, and we’re out the door for school at 8:15.
Does anyone remember the Hot Wheels tracks from the 70’s, and the battery powered supercharger stations that would zoom the cars around again? That is what life here at Ananda has to offer. It is no easy life, to be sure, but thankfully there are enough opportunities for recharging that enable us to make it through yet another day.
Sometimes it feels like the more energy I need, the more I can sense it flowing all around me, especially while being here in Hansa Mandir. One of the biggest challenges I face is just trusting that I will have the energy to do all that I need to accomplish today after weeks of intensity.
I truly am thankful for my background in sports, to have experienced the “runner’s high” in both swimming, biking and running, and am incredibly thankful to be able to experience upliftment of consciousness while serving in all my many aspects, and I know that what God puts before me may not be easy, but is ultimately doable with His help.
Thankfully I’m able to take some time and unwind, and am finishing this now at 10:30 PM before meditating and getting some sleep. Finding the balance of rest is always a challenge for someone like me who enjoys working and serving a great deal.
What I’ve found, though, is that when I say “enough! I can’t do anymore!” my receptivity shuts down, and I can’t feel God’s grace flowing through me as well. When I only focus on my needs (which agreeably, everyone needs to do to some extent), I have a hard time feeling as expansive as I do when serving others. Thankfully, there are always opportunities at home: dishes to be done, meals to help prepare, things to put away, giving me a chance to serve God in my wife and daughter.
Another thing I’ve found helpful these days is that while relaxing in our living room, I glance up as often as I can to our large picture of Yogananda’s last smile, to keep myself as attuned as possible.
So for this day, I’ve been able to stay positive and upwardly energized. Phew! Some days are certainly better than others, but the small victories like today help build confidence and a certain endurance that will be called upon in the days ahead.