Can we integrate inner life and outer life?

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We have become experts in creating strategies and building businesses, but it doesn’t seem to have made us any better (or perhaps worse) in basic life skills are being joyful, cultivating enriching relationships, and if perhaps then helping the society.  

As I mentioned, we seem to be having so many resources and skills and knowledge, but it doesn’t seem to be making us more adept and skillfull and basics for a good life (at least it wasn’t making me). Things like satisfaction, peace, a dash of gratitude sometimes, fulfiling nurturing relationships, where one can be honest and authentic and support each other in becoming a better version of ourselves, and perhaps doing some small acts of kindness in the world.

So I really feel that there is a need for us to sign-up for this life education, to try and come out of our habitual patterns and experiment a bit more, for our own development and for more wholesome external development.

Holding some of these questions, I asked for a 1 month sabbatical from work in August 2017. What is observed, is that in that 1 month, not a single moment I missed my work. So it became very clear to me and I left my job after that. I was on a break for 6 months and I accidentally discovered a nonprofit called GiveIndia and I got interested in the team and their work. So I joined and worked with them for a year. I started out as an employee, but this volunteering bug bit me, so I requested my boss there during the annual appraisal to turn me into a full-time volunteer. I continued there for a year driving their strategy and operations. In January 2019 I left that and came back to my hometown Ranchi. I currently live there with my parents and elder brother and spend most of my time volunteering (mostly for NGOs and some time for my brother’s small business).

Along the way, I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have come across tools and people, who have been very generous to me in this journey. It all started with a 10-day silent vipassana retreat after 1 year at Avendus, which shook me up and opened up a much deeper understanding of this game of happiness and sadness and all other emotions. It significantly increased my clarity to first understand what I really want and then conviction to double down on it. 🙂

Next to the beautiful intervention was Nature Cure/Natural Hygiene which has deeply influenced my understanding of physical health. Basically, you start eating better and more raw foods, use sunbathing, pranayama etc. as an organic way to maintain and improve health, without relying on medicines. You can read a blog by me here

And the third amazing thing was to come in touch with a community called ServiceSpace, where now I spend a good amount of my time as a volunteer. ServiceSpace was born 20 years ago in Berkeley our of the belief, that most legit way to change the world is to change yourself. 🙂 One of the central ideas which have brought its volunteers together is doing small acts of kindness, and not as much for changing the outer situation (which of course is relevant), but more so for your inner transformation. (this is a good primer video) Even more curiously, they choose to not hire a single staff, to turn down many offers for large donations and continue to focus on small things, and trust in the organic speed of life. They have offered many online and offline offerings to the community, all as a labour of love, as a gift, to anyone without any price tags. You can do a small act and leave a Smilecard behind, go and be a part of a chain of generosity in a SevaCafe/KarmaKitchen, join a MovedByLove retreat, sit for an Awakin Circle, or see me sometimes moderating an Awakin Talk, or explore this shift from Leadership to Laddership. The idea which my volunteering at ServiceSpace helps me explore is what does it mean, to work with no strings attached with love/compassion as motivation, rather than extrinsic motivators of money/power/fame, etc.

Previous Article - Experiments in “richness”

Rohit Rajgarhia is an MBA from IIM Bangalore and a Chartered Accountant. He is intending to curate an online shared space, a 4-week program perhaps, with some nice readings, small practices and reflections, as a gift offering. If you feel interested in contributing to this experiment, please say hi at the same email. I am reachable at rajgarhia89@gmail.com.

Thank you for giving your attention and time. If you want to read more, you can also check out this super long blog on my stories here. But more importantly, I am now looking forward to listening to your stories, and if possible find small ways to support each other in this inner and outer discovery.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.

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November 8, 2020 10:07 pm

[…] Can we integrate the inner life and the outer life? […]