I used to think of karma as a result, a consequence, a punishment. Which it is, just not in the way that I think many of us imagine it to be. We don’t cause karma to come crashing down on us. We live within our karma. Like a pig wallows in mud, we are humans lost in the patterns of our behaviour and tendencies.
I came across SADHGURU on Instagram. What true wise yogi and guru would lower himself to be on Instagram? I thought, dismissing him. But he kept showing up because my algorithms are geared to yoga and philosophy and all sorts of things that I am unconscious of, but the gram knows me well, and it persisted with SADHGURU. Until one day I listened.
What he said made a lot of sense on a broad range of topics. Then UTube began to dig up SADHGURU videos, and that was the end of one entire Sunday afternoon as I indulged myself in listening to his engaging mix of wisdom and humour.
I bought one of his books – from which I have taken his explanation of karma because I found it so insightful and empowering. Our karma is not something that is set against us. It is something that we live within due to our thoughts and subsequent actions creating patterns. If we are inside karma, we can slowly begin to dig our way out.
Our behaviour brings us to a consequence. However, the behaviour and, therefore, the result can be changed – with a great deal of awareness and work.
I know some people are not interested in changing their karma – I am. And since I like to unravel things for myself, I wrote this post.
When we change our habits, we change our life. There are habits we know of, like smoking, over-drinking, overconsumption of food, addictions, and perhaps a tendency towards things such as gossip, judgement, or procrastination. So, if we want to grow and change into healthier, happier humans, we try to eliminate these behaviours.
But these are the known tendencies. Those things are certainly important, but we are also aware of them; if not, someone close to us will soon point them out.
They are karma, but they are known karma. At some point, we will either begin to rid ourselves of the things which hold us in these patterns and addictions, or we will choose to live with them.
We can question all sorts of small beliefs as they arise. I’m not talking about coriander here, which is well-known for being a taste that falls firmly into one camp or another. And if it is a clear split within the same household, then one partner is going to be tested now and again. It’s not a good idea to add it, just in case – I’ve found that out.
Some beliefs and patterns hang around like noxious smells that only we can detect. Unable to shake them because we are attacking them at a surface level where they seem most apparent, they repeatedly return with destructive results.
I have been particularly suffering from doubt regarding blogging this year. Blogging is a habit that must be built and tended to. Being wishy-washy and flowing in and out of the platform is detrimental to the craft. When people are used to your posting, they come and check your blog out. When you are intermittent with your schedule, you become less visible and reliable, and stats and numbers slide downwards, further eroding self-confidence. You fall out of touch with other people you follow and what is going on in their lives. Connections grow frayed. It becomes a spiral of self-defeat.
The defeat of self. Which is what doubt is. A war that we both wage and sometimes lose with ourselves. I have been there more times than I can count during my history with WordPress, and can certainly understand it in others. Then there are broader concerns. As bloggers and writers in a somewhat dated and static medium, how can we compete with Tik Tok, Instagram and UTube?
When I made the decision this time around to become a committed daily blogger, I had to find the answers to all of those questions so that I wouldn’t have them sitting in my unconscious self, driving outcomes that did not align with my better intentions.
Here’s what I came up with.
I’m here because I enjoy writing and reading other writers’ work. I’m here because if I have to come up with a blog post every day, I have to think about what I believe and not just automatically consume other writers’ work and opinions. I’m here because I enjoy the challenge of writing from a personal perspective and overcoming my tendency to remain silent and, therefore, safe from judgement. I’m here because I enjoy interacting with people from around the world, not just on my blog posts but also on theirs. I’m here because this corner of the world is (for the most part) encouraging, insightful, engaging, quirky, and honest. I’m here because I am a better person inside and out when I surrender to the pull of creative expression.
Our karma, it could be said, is our set of beliefs and the tendencies that stem from those beliefs, which is why I find it exciting to work with. Every time we change an idea that we hold about something, we eradicate a tendency that doesn’t serve us.
The world is in a state of collective karma. We are humans living on a planet that is our only home; think how much that collective karma could transform if everyone diligently began tending to their own tiny piece of it.
The Jacaranda trees bloom purple; Year twelves are walking out of school gates for the last time. I remember my own final day, I remember both of my children graduating, and now they are constantly transforming.
Time moves quickly, and I have a great deal of self-doubt to overcome every time I hit “publish” on this blog, but I’ve realised I haven’t got the luxury of endless time to compare myself to other people or some ideal in my head; I should only be intent on having the courage to try and better myself day by day, post by post. I will leave you with my inspiration in this regard. Have a lovely day X
Header image courtesy Chris Curry Unsplash – I think the glass should read “Kick own Ass” 😁