An official email was received yesterday inviting us to an introductory session on Achieving Personal Excellence. The message mentioned terms like meditation, healing, spirituality, which obviously resulted in an instant smirk. It was very difficult to draw relevance considering the heated environment of a bank I am associated with for 15 years. Not only the inability to relate but such a message being received from senior management was another surprise.
The email definitely warranted further exploring. A search on Google led me to an article published in Newsweek Pakistan on November 19, 2013. “Pakistan’s Corporate World Turns to Spirituality & Meditation”. It was this article which introduced me to Mr. Naushad Thariani who is into the business of teaching how to breath… Yes, he teaches how to breath, which, in turn, results in achieving personal excellence by way of reducing stress level.
Mr. Thariani, who works with the “Art of Living Foundation” has introduced staff of many companies around the world to this simple yet one of the most complex secrets to serenity. With this program, Naushad attempts to reduce/eliminate the gap between capacity of and expectations from an individual in a company. In the cited article, it is mentioned that the Pakistani workforce is highly stressed and the situation is quite bad and requires urgent attention for the deteriorating conditions to be arrested and improved.
The introductory session was one fun activity while the most serious of issues were touched upon with a smile and laughter. In addition to being a brilliant speaker, Naushad communicated as if we have all known him for ages. Since it was just an introduction intended to gauge the acceptability/need of the program/workshop, it lasted for only about 45 minutes. 45 minutes of intense introspection of the most serious facets of life. However, I must say, at least I have never thought about the most such situations with such a light heart and laughter. His message, in a nutshell, was to control/eliminate the vacillation between anxiety of what the future holds and regrets from the past, both of which we have no control over.
I know what all of you must be thinking… “I’ve heard this before…”, “Easier said than done…”. You may find it surprising from a person who lives with “Carpe Diem” as his motto, I went in that room with the exact lines in my mind. However, my views changed during the session. For once, someone, instead of just asking you to live in the ‘now’, was actually telling you how exactly to do it. From there on, the session continued into small activities reflecting upon how wrong we may be perceiving the simplest of messages/communication in our lives and what leads to that. Simple breathing techniques can help revitalize the mind. It is the mind which reacts to certain situations being stressed as it is. Should the mind be at peace, daily life may actually be much simpler than we perceive it to be.
The session was able to generate enough interest among the attendants for a workshop to be announced in the near future. I, for one, am very excited, being a strong advocate of the “live in now” concept. On a lighter note, at the end of the session, I asked Naushad how is it that we can live in “now” and be stress-free when we are required to develop a strategy for 2016! This was followed by a brief assertive chuckle and a promise for the capacity to be enhanced in order to handle such requirements as well.
On a personal level, after that 45 minute session, I felt light. I took the same route home. Stuck in traffic. Usually tweeting frantically over the traffic situation. Abusing a few here and there. This time, it was different. I had no such reaction. I actually had a smile on my face, listening to some nice music, clearly understanding my tweets and abuses will certainly not clear the traffic.
Looking forward to the workshop…