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No Mud, No Lotus

This may be a bit of an antagonistic post, but that in not my intention. I am just coming to this realization and want to share it with the friends of Shanti Shanti. It may give you guidance and comfort about your own life and situation.

If you were raised with, or adopted any New Age philosophies there is an underlying conditioning of concepts that life should be easy. We were raised in the TM movement and were often told of "supportive nature"; in other words...."If what you are doing is correct, then it will be pretty easy for you". We are fans of the "Power of Now" and there is a lot of talk of acceptance and not struggling. And this, for most of my life, has made a lot of sense. The situation of one's life is painted that you should just kinda float by and everything will come easily and be handed to you. "If the universe intends for something, then it should just come easily with little or no work or persistence on your part".

However, when looking at our own lives, my sister's and mine, I would have to say that the exact OPPOSITE has been the case. We have struggled, worked, suffered, persevered and cried at every growth, gain or accomplishment. Sara and I often joke behind gritting teeth..."every step in our life has been a challenge and so anything worthwhile is work and sometimes very hard." The short list would include: establishing ourselves as adults, getting married was a huge challenge for us both, growing our families has been a challenge, (it took me 7 years to get pregnant with a lot of pain and suffering in its pursuit), establishing businesses, dealing with family and with loss and with disappointment. Everything that has been good in our lives was work. The image of the lotus growing out of the mud is very applicable here. I feel that good things are worth hard work and persistence, and with that comes the blessings and grace from God. I have not found that anything of value just falls effortlessly in our laps. These struggles have built character and strength and I am glad to have had our experiences.

So even though I have huge respect for the teachings of the TM movement and of a lot of the other New Age concepts, I have to wonder if there is an inherent unhappiness built into those beliefs. If your life is hard work does that mean God doesn't like you, or ARE YOU JUST BEING ASKED TO BLOOM? Are you being asked to rise up? Which can be both work and a struggle!!

I know people who just float by and don't really have struggle in their lives. In my view, they seem to lack depth, are boring and tremendously self-centered and most importantly....They don't seem very happy. I have noticed that the people who have lived, loved, succeeded, failed, laughed and cried. They have harder lives, but they seem happier. Perhaps this is the reason that people with TREMENDOUS privilege seem unaccountably miserable and unhappy.

These are just some thoughts. If your life seems like a struggle sometimes, maybe that is a good thing.

Peace and Blessings to you!

Andrea Santos

Shanti Shanti

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