A Carefree Life
Imagine waking up tomorrow morning, and to your surprise, you realize that you don't really mind what happens to you that day. Imagine that your heart is so carefree, that you jump out of bed with a lightness and freedom that welcomes everything that comes to you with open arms, and delighted by whatever shows up, knowing it cannot be otherwise. Gone is the worry and anxiety that you use to feel about what might happen in the future. This inner attitude may seem completely impossible given the apparent confusion and turmoil we often feel inside ourselves, yet if we are honest, all of us long for this state of carefree and joyful living, no matter what may be unfolding around us.
The way to live in this state of inner-freedom is summed up beautifully in a teaching from spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti. The first time I heard this quote was in Eckhart Tolle's powerful book, A New Earth, many years ago. In the story that Eckhart tells in the book, when Krisnamurti said this, he was at the end of his life and was lamenting the fact that very few, if any of his students had actually 'woken-up' after all the years they had been studying with him. One day, while giving a talk to a large group of his followers, he suddenly asked, "Do you wish to know my secret?" Of course, everyone in attendance suddenly sat up with great attention, ready to finally receive the one teaching that would give them the freedom they had been looking for over so many years.
Then Krishamurti said,
"I'll tell you my secret...
I don't mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom. It is a timeless spiritual truth:
release attachment to outcomes, and deep inside yourself, you'll feel good no matter what."
At the time I first read these words, the profundity, simplicity and power of them hit me like a lightning bolt, as I realized that they embody the state of what it is to be completely 'awake' and free. In the three short lines of this teaching, Krishnamurti gives us the 'key' to living a carefree existence: just let go of your attempts to control how things show up in your life; release your attachment to having things turn out the way you think they should, and instead, let whatever happens be totally okay with you. The result will be, as Krishnamurti says, 'deep inside you'll feel good, no matter what.'
We may hear these simple words, and resonate with their truth, and yet feel that living this way is impossible. But until we are willing to embrace and practice this one teaching, we will continue to feel trapped by the circumstances of our lives, and unable to truly experience the freedom that we long for. Until we fully see that the present moment is all there ever is, we will continue to obsess over a future that, not only doesn't exist, but that we also have no control over. If being fully present in your life, and 'feeling good no matter what', is something that appeals to you; you might take a week (or three), and meditate on these words everyday, and open to the possibility of actually living from their wisdom. You have nothing to lose but the illusion that you are not already free, just as you are, here and now.