The irony of listening to a guided Deepak Chopra mediation so I didn’t freak out leading up to our first event with Deepak wasn’t lost on me. His calming voice was doing its intended job. Breathing slowed, thoughts drifted to whence they came and eventually stress disappeared into being. With only a day left before the big day, I could feel the energy in the city changing.
Waiting in St John’s airport 8 hours later, now absent of the soothing meditative voice, my thoughts again wandered. What would the man Time Magazine deemed one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the 20th century and “poet prophet of alternative medicine” really be like? What would I learn? Would he like me? Would we have anything in common? Would he be what I imagined? Were my guru-like expectations too high? Would I be disappointed?
When Deepak finally appeared in comfortable clothes and signature red shoes my first impression dashed expectations. Instead of seeing one of the most spiritually influential people on the planet, master of my guided mediations and man who has written 80 plus books, I locked eyes with a still, sweet, intelligent man. The type of man who embraced Jack Canfield’s quote “What others think about you is none of your business.”
Getting to know each other while driving to the hotel, Deepak nodded his head while keeping a very even keel as I spoke. Content to allow the conversation merge into quiet. Instantly pointing out my egotistical habit of being uncomfortable in silence. Especially with people I first meet or want to impress. Now, here with Deepak, this underlying nervousness came to the forefront. Second guessing what I was saying, wondering if the right words were coming out, my speech began to ramble. Reminding me of a wish grant in Miami two years previous with CNN Hero, Roy Foster. When I wouldn’t allow silence with him he very simply said “You don’t need to speak all the time you know.” These words again rang in my ears, allowing the nervousness to subside. A little.
Nonsensical insanity ensues when we resist or reject the here and now, leading to unhappiness. Katie Byron encapsulates this with one sentence “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.” In fact, most of spiritual leaders throughout history repeat much the same thing. The father of Taoism, Lao Tzu says “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” And Deepak’s thought on the subject? “Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance.”
After dropping Deepak off at his hotel, I felt a little disappointed in myself. I had allowed my expectations bring me to the nonsense side of the pendulum, clearly taking me from the flow. For those fleeting moments driving from the airport I wasn’t allowing Deepak to simply be. Instead of flowing with reality, my words attempted to force him into a preconceived role of who I thought he should be. Why didn’t he talk more? My mind began to play tricks on me as I looked for him to fulfill an imaginary role I had created. A conscious note was made to be more accepting of Deepak’s unique still being in our next meeting.
The following morning, I arrived at the Sheraton to escort Deepak to his “Meetings with Remarkable People” interview with Jesse Stirling. From across the hotel lobby I noticed him sitting at a long table, eyes closed, deep in meditation. How he could so effortlessly achieve this state in midst of so many people walking about frantically talking? Tapping him on the shoulder brought with it a big smile and hug. Today already felt different. I had changed my perception to one of sensible acceptance and began to notice that Deepak was teaching me without saying a word. The silence in the elevator on the way to the interview felt perfect. Consciousness was shining its light into the moment, establishing a quiet bond between me an this intensely interesting being.
The remainder of the day saw me at the venue ensuring everything was going according to plan. And with an event like this, nothing ever fully goes according to plan. The same would hold true for this evening. In the past, altered plans combined with my unwillingness to accept reality caused unhappiness. Such is the scorn you create with the unholy love of expectations. My hope in this experience was to stay conscious and watch myself. My desire to ensure everyone was happy with the show caused an ache when I saw various things not going as I would have liked. Throughout the night, whenever I began to let my thoughts and expectations control me, I’d just breathe. Take a step back from the drama and put things in perspective. Be still. Like Deepak.
Expecting Deepak had become accepting Deepak, effortlessly opening the path to evolved happiness. Reminding me of the Hafiz quote “”Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” Today I’ll urge you to be sensible and not argue with reality. Forget the words Reject and Resist. Flow with life’s natural ARC and positively ACCEPT, REMOVE yourself or CHANGE any situation that comes your way. And above all else, be the light.