There was a time when I worked almost 18 hours a day. I headed the Corporate Guest House of the biggest aviation company in India! Life was a roller coaster ride in which days and nights followed in quick succession. There were times when I would go home in the wee hours of the morning to catch a quick nap, bathe and return to work at 5.30 a.m. sharp.
In fact, a director who was newly posted to our city exclaimed, “Sophia, when I met you at 6 in the morning you looked so wonderful and you are still bubbling at 2.30 at night! I have never seen anyone who works like you and looks so radiant!”
My seniors and colleagues always felt I had some supernatural power. Now in retrospect, I feel indeed that I have been exceptionally blessed by the Universe.
I have now retired. I counsel and heal five days every week. I am still joyful, vibrant and healthy. I look forward to living my life to the fullest.
So what is my secret? How do I manage to work and enjoy my life without sickness, ill health or stress? Friends, the time has come to reveal it all, so here goes. I am sharing a few tried-and-tested practices. I have used them for almost two decades of my life and results are guaranteed!
Initially you may find these to be difficult. As you continue, you will embody your Sadhana and look forward to practicing daily.
We perform these rituals — or Sadhana — with the intention of deeply honoring, loving and rejuvenating our mind-body-spirit:
• Sadhana 1: Be mindful of what you feed your body. Eat organic food and drink pure water.
• Sadhana 2: This can be done for 10 minutes, preferably in nature, at the beginning of your day. You may do it indoors, as well. Switch off your phone and sit or lie down in a comfortable place. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling from the nose and exhaling from the mouth. Do this five times and then switch to your natural breathing. Become aware of all that is going on outside of you. Feel the sun and wind on your face, and see the landscape around you. Look at nature. Do you see, trees, flowers, mountains or a river? Notice the buildings, if any. Become aware of the light and shadows around you. Are there birds chirping?
If you are doing this in the evening, become aware of the dark and light areas, of the moon and stars, or is it a moonless night? Take in the silhouettes of buildings and trees, and listen to nocturnal animals, birds and insects, the night breeze and other sounds.
After you feel complete, gently close your eyes. Become aware of your breathing and the way your stomach rises and falls with every breath. Feel the beating of your heart and the flow of blood in your body. Is there a breeze or do you hear the gentle pattering of rain? Is there a thunderstorm and wind howling around? Or is all silent? How does the bed, seat or ground feel under you? Is it warm or cold?
Allow emotions and feelings to surface. Is there pain or discomfort within you? Gently breathe into it and breathe it out. You will gradually relax.
When you feel complete, slowly open your eyes and return refreshed and relaxed.
Step out into nature for a walk at any time of the day, evening or night. Try to experience nature in summer, winter, rain and fall. You will be gifted with different sights and sounds from Mother Nature’s vast repertoire. Engage with the wind, water and earth. Play, run or dance with abandon like a child. Feel rejuvenating energies arise within you, as stress and tiredness falls away.
• Sadhana 3: Do not watch television before you sleep. Take a warm bath. Pour yourself a non-alcoholic drink an hour before you get into bed. Relax in your favorite place. Read, hear or play soft music. Stay away from horror and violent fiction. Allow the gentle rhythm of the music to soothe your senses.
Give deep gratitude to the Universe and your soul.