Hope: The Last of Pandora’s Chest

Kashmira Shaw Raj is a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher. Also, a successful clinical psychologist, psychic and healer, Kashmira runs ‘The Tai-Qi Touch’ with her husband, Dr. Brijesh Raj, a healer and a Vet. The Tai-Qi Touch offers classes for adults and children. To contact Kashmira, M: 9323874418 or Email: kash.shaw@gmail.com

According to Greek Mythology, the world was once a calm and beautiful place. People never grew old, there was no sickness, jealousy or any negativity. However, Pandora’s box changed all that. Jealousy, old age, grief, sickness and death came rushing out and the last thing left in the chest was Hope. Pandora was so scared when she saw what she had released, that she shut the chest and Hope was left locked inside.

Somehow, Hope convinced her that things would be really bleak in the world without her and so, Pandora let Hope out. With Hope, grew Love, Compassion and Kindness. And that is what’s been keeping us going. Hope engenders kindness, optimism and love – the solution to all of Humankind’s woes. Yes, we have come a long way. But how do we move forward?

Hope resides in every heart… in those who prayed that they would not contract Covid, and in the afflicted who prayed to escape unscathed. The most fervent hope was in the hearts of those who were critical and were striving to recover. Most have moved on. Positive changes are taking place. And nothing can crush the human spirit.

So, how does one continue to remain happy and smiling even on the darkest of days? The only real choice you have is to hang in there and keep focusing on what works for you. Stay calm and collected. Take up something that will give you peace – meditation, taichi, yoga, gardening, walking or exercising – all help. Listening to music is therapeutic; let it play in the background whilst you work. Chants can be relaxing.

We all house a Superpower within us – the power to smile and laugh, no matter what. Unfortunately, we don’t use it enough.

Moving on is difficult for many as we tend to relive the trauma of bad experiences and painful situations repeatedly in our minds. This could lead to the growth of an unhealthy sense of self-pity and attention seeking. When those close try talking us out of such times and encourage us to look ahead, we do not respond pleasantly; we accuse them of being insensitive, selfish, unreasonable and find reasons to justify staying on in the hole we are in.

Today, innumerable households have been impacted by the horrors of Covid. But yet, they are moving on with life. Man being a social animal cannot resist the instinct to meet and interact with people. Vaccines have proven to be a blessing to people as it has restored some semblance of our old lives. If the intent and focus to move on is strong, nothing can stop you.

Hirkani a milk-maid during Shivaji’s reign would go daily to the fort to sell milk. One evening, she got delayed and as per the rules, the fort shut its gates. Knowing her child was alone, she pleaded with the guard to open the gates but they refused. So Hirkani climbed down the hillside in pitch darkness, not bothering about the dangers of the treacherous hill, and reached her child, bruised and exhausted. In that moment, the only thing that mattered was going back to her child.

We all need to be like Hirkani sometime, in our lives – to not ruminate over what needs to be done, but to just do it. To think we are alone in our battles is wrong – the universe will always help you – just be open to it, be gracious and accept help with gratitude. Your trials are yours to experience, but the universe will always provide you the means to overcome them. So, don’t give up, just like Hirkani didn’t. We’ve survived major mental and physical roadblocks and life-altering setbacks for nearly two years now. Even so, instead of focusing on our shortcomings and the past, focus on the present and what can be done now.

One silver lining during these times has been people introspecting their lives and focusing on their health and wellbeing, which was not a priority earlier. Work commitments were the driving force for many. Today, we realise the futility of it all if we do not have our health in good shape. So, let’s reinforce our hope towards a better tomorrow and start now! And what better time to recommit ourselves than the auspicious New Year! Here’s a few things you could do:

  1. Select and practice a health program to get strong and develop good immunity.
  2. Accept the past, look towards the future and move ahead.
  3. Let those painful memories and experiences gradually fade away by replacing them with new, loving ones.
  4. Find ways, however silly, to laugh!
  5. Surround yourself with positive people! Cut the chord with the toxic ones.

May the New Year add to your shine! Happy New Year!

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