I was a late-comer to Facebook. I joined because I had moved to India and it turned out to be the best way to stay in contact with my large family. Like the rest of you, I felt a little icky when I learned of their algorithm systems”¦..sending me more items like the ones I was posting and Liking; sending me more things Facebook thinks I should be paying attention to. Being a lifelong non-joiner, my instinct was to dump big brother and (naively) move on to a social networking product that was less invasive.
But before I pulled the trigger, the researcher in me insisted on a holistic look back at my page. I was shocked by its contents. I had attracted posts reflecting my deepest fears, persistent anxieties- all forms of justified negativity from people struggling to make sense of their perceptions of the world. Without realizing it, I had elected Facebook as my mirror reflection ““ my Laws of Attraction agent, bringing me everything I was thinking and feelings. This was a real wakeup call to pay attention to the growth curve I had completed, and a requirement to open up the potential of my destiny.
I found another yoga teacher struggling with comments from her friends about her political and activist posts. She believed it was the responsibility of the awakened to awaken others through the realism of graphic and insightful posts. She too, perhaps, didn’t realize that by spreading these memes of violence, she would in turn attract more of the same, confirming her worst suspicions ““ that the world was indeed crumbling around her. Secondarily, planting in her viewers, a seed that would propagate even more misery as it is shared”¦.so the ripple effect works its magic through society.
The two major veins of karma at work in your life that you can manage- karma that comes with you at your birth, and karma that you create in this lifetime. The (simplified) goal of karma is to get rid of it, through the exercise of expression. For instance, if you were a cobbler in a previous life, then perhaps now you harbor a somewhat imbalanced love affair with shoes, as society would judge. (Speaking from experience ïŠ ) If you repress this affection, this unfinished work (karma) will follow you in the next life. However, if you express it here in a safe and helpful manner, then you “get it out of your system” and you can leave this life without it.
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In this way, we are all put here to do our work and none other. If we sit in an armchair posting and pointing fingers at global no-gooders, we deplete our effectiveness in our own important tasks.
“Some of the most talented people in the world are still living in their mother’s basements.” -unknown
A rabbi teacher from long ago told me about a great Jewish prophet’s dream. He walked into a dark room whose floor was that of a mancala. But all the stones were up in the air, zooming here and there chaotically. The rabbi ducked and dodged so he wouldn’t get hit. He tried to grab the stones and sit them in the cups, but when he took his hand away, the stone would fly back up into the air! Frustrated, he sat down in one of the cups to think what to do. Suddenly all the marbles floated down and took their respective places in all the other cups. He looked around and realized HE was one of the stones.
Nikha in Hebrew means all is resting, all is good, it is what it is, let it go. When we accept everything as it is, suddenly all will be harmonious in societies. Anne Lemott said during her TED Talk “Stop getting your goodness all over everyone.” This wasn’t an assault against people whose calling is to nurture, educate, and help. It was a provocation for those who take up the work of others, instead of their own. In this way, we can all be activists, defending our own right to express the very message we were sent here to deliver.
Take the quiet time to peel away the messages of society and discover your mission. Then do your work. Do it well. Become masterful. Become a role model. Share, teach, love, pass it on. This will do more to calm the world than criticizing others for not doing their work with more diligence. Let farmers be farmers, and writers be writers. Let teachers teach, and entrepreneurs create solutions. Let the saviors protect the whales, and the whalers come to terms with their own lessons”¦.the easy or the hard way. Let it all be as you focus on your mission. Because in the end, it will all be any way, as it is supposed to be. In this sense, everything is already perfect for you to get up and get going.
I have a rule now in social networks ““ the From My Shop rule. I post only things from my work and my mission. It has freed me to delve deeper into my purpose, and provides me the option of walking away from networks entirely when work and practice demands. I hope we all find the courage to post messages in a way that inspires others to contribute their efforts to a greater, more egalitarian world where everyone can wake in the morning anticipating the potential of nikha in this lifetime. I hope your friends and fans can open your profiles and blogs knowing they will feel more optimistic and capable of contributing from their shop afterward. Happy posting, my lovely Karma Warriors.
Shreejan Sita was born Sherry Minnard in the U.S. She moved to Rajasthan in 2013 to continue her yoga practice, finding the intersection between internal and external nature. She now serves as Director of Yoga Programs for Shri Jasnath Asan and is pursuing a PhD in Yoga.