Heard of this?
It’s a Hindu saying for the highs and lows of life.
The sweetness (Suka) and the bitter (Duka).
The happiness (Suka) and the grief (Duka).
Today, all is going well and your goals and plans are exceeded joyfully and effortlessly.
Tomorrow (or the next moment), there’s a down turn, an unexpected occurence, a loss that initially doesn’t feel so swell.
Case in Point:
On Saturday, my daughter was invited to a birthday party. While she was at the mall (yes, there are malls here in Bali – in Seminyak) I found our new home – a beautiful villa that faces the jungle. After placing a deposit on our home and meeting with Bali Beloveds (dear friends here), I confidently took my motorbike an hour south from Ubud to meet my daughter at said mall.
Needless to say, I was feeling empowered and confident, “armed” with some Bahasa Indonesian words to help me get by and to make heartfelt connections with those helpers on the way. I made it and it was fun.
Sunday morning, my computer wouldn’t turn on. Three tries, and a blank screen.
I run my business through my computer. It has my files, my codes, my passwords… you know the deal. Pretty much, I feel my professional livelihood (outside of the talents within me) are held by my computer. It’s a big deal.
Duka to Suka:
At first, I panicked about the computer – “I didn’t back it up.” “What if I have to buy a new computer?” “Can my files be retrieved?” “Please oh please turn on.” And then I gave up, realizing there wasn’t much I could do except charge the machine, breathe and get on with my day. I would address the “what ifs” should they show up.
I plugged in my computer and got ready for a day by the pool at a friend’s gorgeous house. I found appreciation for being unable to turn on my computer – “Well now, I will give my undivided attention to the day and to my daughter.”
Now sometimes Duka moments can endure and can be triggered by much more extreme situations – a cancer diagnosis, losing a loved one, not getting the job, etc. How do you create a bridge that allows you to participate in the fullness of life without spiraling out into the highs and tumbling down to the depths of the lows?
1. Consider Suka Duka as less a polarity and more as a circle of oneness where the circle is both empty and full.
Teachings share that we need not praise the suka and repel the duka.
We accept the wholeness of life experience and attempt to find a relaxed state observing both qualities and all shades in between.
2. Activate Compassion
In my experience, compassion is the container that holds all things.
Whatever is causing suffering (Duka) in your life, create a container of compassion for it.
Hold it with loving attention in this container, feel the vibration of acceptance as if you were a loving grandmother holding a child.
As you start to feel a shift in your attitude and energy – notice what you can appreciate about the situation (diagnosis, loss, shock, unexpected event).
As you know, appreciation shifts everything and gratitude is the highest attitude.
3. Ishvara Pranidhana ~ Let Go and Let God(dess)
Offer your situation to the highest good for the benefit of all.
Offer up your joy, offer up your grief.
Extend these emotional states to something within and greater than yourself.
Release your attachment and allow wisdom to be revealed to you.
Bridging Suka and Duka is a practice of inner alchemy.
You become the shapeshifter. You turn water into wine.
By the way, my computer turned back on 12 hours later
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