Festival time has started once more here in India. Yesterday was Dhanteras, the starting day of the Diwali celebrations. A day on which everybody goes and buys something new, thus a day that all shopkeepers love. Tomorrow will be the Diwali day and we will celebrate by decorating the whole Ashram with lights, making it truly the festival of lights. It is a wonderful celebration all over the country full of joy and happiness. For some however, festive preparations don’t mean happiness but first of all lots of stress. Today’s blog entry shall be a small reminder for them to relax and enjoy.
It is not any wonder that people are stressed in this time when everyone has to do last-minute shopping and the streets and markets are crowded, when the media gives you thousands of ideal pictures of what you should be doing, what you should have and how your house should look like and when you believe that you are the one who is responsible for everyone’s happiness. You have a certain idea of how this happiness will take place, you have a plan for it to work and now you want to be in control for it all to really happen according to plan.
At the base of this is really the feeling that you need to be in control, otherwise everything will fail and nobody will be happy. You believe that you have to be the one putting up the lights, otherwise it won’t look nice enough for everyone to enjoy. You think you need to do all the cooking because only you know how everyone likes their food. At the same time you are also the one who decides upon schedule of festivities, accommodation of family members and all other logistics. Your thought is ‘If I don’t do it, who else will? It won’t work, it will be chaotic!’
It is not easy to accept that this is really your thinking. You are not doing it from any ill intention either, everybody knows that! There is absolutely no harm in accepting that you were taking too much responsibility and tried to control. It is normal and you don’t need to defend yourself. Instead, just accept that you don’t actually need to do this. Give up on the urge to control a little bit and distribute some tasks to others. They will do it just fine, you will see. If they need you, they will come to you for advice. And in the end, everybody can be happy and you won’t sit in the corner of the festively decorated room, exhausted and still nervous whether everybody enjoys himself. You will be part of that happiness of the day. Only in this way, when sharing responsibility, such preparations can go on without one person getting too stressed.
In this way, the whole Ashram family has been cleaning, preparing and decorating. We all enjoy the atmosphere together, everyone getting excited and doing his or her task as well as possible. The kitchen already prepared snacks, some sweets have been baked, too, and more will follow today. Our electrician is fixing lights in the garden and the children are counting the oil lamps which we will put up in the garden and along the way tomorrow. It is an atmosphere of joyful anticipation and we know that tomorrow will be a day that we all have prepared for together and which we can then enjoy together, too.