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The Spiritual Drug

How a simple practice can reshape your life

In my mid-adolescence, I was fortunate to reap a lot of fame and recognition. I was constantly in the limelight and soon became a role model for young aspiring athletes. However, I was still weak-minded. I let people’s opinions get to me. I had no control over my emotions. Suddenly, I had a realization where I asked myself, “How much can I really help the youth if I am not mentally strong?” If I could be knocked over by what other people said or thought of me, how could I help others achieve their fullest potential? This realization along with other life events sparked my spiritual journey. I didn’t want to give someone else the remote control to my emotions. I began to realize it was slavery to let my emotions, what I felt inside of me, be controlled by something outside of me. I wanted to be in control of my own inner well-being. I wanted to be a powerful human being. Hence, my journey began.

Today, my daily spiritual practice consists of morning and evening meditation combined with an hourly 60-second refresher. The very first thing I do when I wake up is positively affirm my natural qualities. “I am love, I am compassion, I am purity, I am powerful, I am happy, etc.” Then, I get ready by brushing my teeth and showering followed by an immediate 30-minute meditation. This 30-minute session consists of me going over a list of things I am grateful for in my life and diving down into my deeper jewels and reaffirming, to myself, who I really am. I envision myself as a soul on a journey, meeting people throughout the day, having different experiences, and understanding that, like me, everyone is also on their journey. Reminding myself this helps me understand the greater meaning of my purpose in life which is not just a mundane, meaningless routine of getting up, going to work, and coming back to start the same mindless routine all over again. I end the day by taking 5 minutes to reaffirm my natural qualities and take the time out to be grateful for all the fortunate moments I experienced throughout the day. What helps me keep this focus throughout the day is constantly reminding myself that I am a soul on a journey. At the top of every hour, for 60 seconds, I close my eyes, stop everything I am doing, and sit in silence for 60 seconds reaffirming my natural qualities and reminding myself that I am a soul on my own journey and whatever is thrown at me, I can handle. This helps me recharge myself throughout the day and keeps me light, focused, and driven.

Spirituality has taught me that everyone goes through happiness and sorrow but what differentiates their character is how they handle it. Having the knowledge that life is full of happiness and sorrow, I have learned that it’s not the happy or sorrowful events that dictate your life but it’s how you respond to them that does. Since this realization, I have given more importance to my response after events and circumstances rather than the events or circumstances themselves. I have learned that in between every stimuli and response lies your choice. This is one of the greatest lessons I have learned from spirituality and meditation is the drug that helps me live and breathe this. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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