How I “turned” spiritual and found my life purpose

The title is perhaps a bit misleading as one does not really turn spiritual –spirituality is within everybody, it’s a matter of whether we realise it or not and when, hence, the quotation mark for the word “turned”.

During my teenage years and into my mid-twenties, life was all about achieving good marks at school/uni, fashion, shopping, eating and going out.

I remember always being very competitive and egoistic, although I tried not to display it too much from the outside (what a foolish thinking as one cannot really deceive if you look at one’s actions).

I remember during my first year at law school, I felt the pressure and competition were so immense to a point that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was always constantly worrying about assignments, exams, endless readings etc.I didn’t have time to go out (or more like I forbade myself from socialising). I only wanted to achieve good marks and not being looked down by anyone (at law school, being Asian actually made you in the minority) –again very foolish and immature thinking. Turned out it was my worst year in turns of academic performance and other aspects of my life.

I didn’t get the good marks I wanted and I also lived a really unhealthy lifestyle (always staying at the library, no exercise), and always feeling anxious. I realised there was something wrong so I decided to change my life in the second year and started doing some exercise. I picked dancing and yoga.

Both were great exercises (I thought yoga was merely a type of exercise back then). However, the feelings I got from dancing and yoga were very different. I felt good after dancing, it was like the relaxed feeling you got after going out partying and dancing, but that was it. Yoga, however, was quite different. I remember feeling very calm and at peace after my yoga class. It was a profound feeling that I didn’t really experience much before. But I didn’t know what it was back then, I just knew I loved it a lot. (Now I know it was the state where my mind was absent and I was connected closely with my consciousness/soul)

So I’ve been practising yoga ever since, but I didn’t really know what Yoga was until my trip to India about one and a half year ago. My trip to India seemed more like an “coincidence” back then but now when I looked back, everything was all connected and everything indeed happened for a reason.

I went to India because I was invited by a friend of mine to attend her wedding (who would wanna miss a Bollywood style wedding? So I immediately said yes). However, the wedding was only for 3 days and I wanted to see more of India. I also happened to stumble upon this spiritual retreat and the timing was just perfect. So I decided to sign up and went to India.

Little did I know that 2-week trip actually completely change my life. After the Bollywood styled wedding (dancing, singing & eating for 3days straight), I went to Rishikesh to join the spiritual retreat. Rishikesh is at the foothill of Himalaya, the birthplace of yoga. When you arrived in Rishikesh, you could immediately feel the tremendous spiritual energy surrounding you and within everything and everyone there. 

At Rishikesh, we studied spirituality, yoga and meditation for one week. It was also during the study I met my guru, a local Ayurveda teacher and yogi. He taught us about spirituality, such as the cosmic energy, the difference between soul & mind etc. The reason why I said he was my guru was because he was the one who awakened the spirituality in me. Before I was confused and never knew I was a spiritual being (very unconscious).

Only after his teaching, everything started to make sense and whenever I tried to challenge him and ask him questions (being a very competitive & egoistic law graduate), he could always answer my questions at ease and everything just made sense to me all of a sudden! (I had been to spiritual places before like Tibet, however, I wasn’t ready spiritually so nothing happened to me after Tibet, but after 2 year’s of yoga practice, the timing for the India trip was just right). 

I also remember being very emotional and was even in tears when I found out about the “Truth”i.e. we all have a God residing inside us and we all had the capacity to attain enlightenment in this life time. At Rishikesh, I learned that yoga is a philosophy of living and I also experienced the most peaceful moment I had ever experienced in my life. 

However, it was only one short week in Rishikesh then I came back to Australia, then I moved to Shanghai to run my startup (a karma I had planted before I even went to Rishikesh) and also travelled to different countries. Although I became conscious after my trip from India and started being a vegetarian I still didn’t find my life purpose though (i.e. answers to who I am, what I am doing here etc.).

[A trigger event for vegetarianism: one day (after I came back from India) I saw a spider on my fridge, if it was me before I would have killed it but that day I remember thinking to myself that me and the spider were just the same, except our forms, we are all spirits, so I couldn’t bear the thought of killing anything or eating any dead animals after that and decided to be a vegetarian]

Another great thing happened to me after India was that I started to have my own daily morning routine –waking up early to practice yoga & meditation. I think that was what kept me going and helped me find the balance despite living in the hustle and bustle of Shanghai.

After living in Shanghai and being in business for one year, I realised that something I was doing was actually contrary to my belief due to some unconscious business conduct by others. Sometimes I felt like I was also being dragged involuntarily into this unconscious game.  I also became not very happy living in Shanghai –the pollution, the noises, the negative energy by aggressive & angry people……

However, being in Shanghai has also taught me a great deal about myself and eventually led me to find out my life purpose. I realised that the cause of a lot of unconscious behaviours in business and destructive market competition was due to the low consciousness of people. Actually, the low/no consciousness is almost the cause for all the troubles/pain/suffering in all aspects of life and in business. When I walk on the street of Shanghai or taking the metro, I could sense that most of people are using their mind all the time, always rushing, go-go-go, some are aggressive, some are angry, some are carrying a lot of negative energy…they don’t really understand anything about living in the present, yet it’s such a simple and important concept and once you understand it, it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever experience.

So I felt that it was my duty/obligation in this lifetime to help raise consciousness of people, especially my fellow Chinese people, and help them to understand the essence of their beings and the importance of being conscious and knowing the art of living in the present. 

How am I gonna do that? I don’t know yet. What I do know is that I first need to keep raising consciousness myself (as my mind is sometimes a bit too strong and difficult to control). I will probably do that by going back to India and become a yogi first. This is because yoga is my path to spirituality and I would like to be able to help more people who are destined to be on the same path to discover about themselves. I will also start writing anything spirituality/life related, in both Chinese and English (like what I’m doing now).

I feel like it’s probably time for me to move out of Shanghai for a while as this is really not the best place for spiritual growth. However, being in Shanghai has also made me realised my life purpose and gave me a lot of answers to the big questions in life and I’m extremely grateful for that (everything indeed happened for a reason):

Who am I? – I’m a spiritual being and a yogi (even though I’m not yet at this physical time, but I know it’s within me and it’s just a matter of time for me to realise it).

What am I doing here?  --I’m here to help people raise consciousness and live a happier& freer life through yoga and perhaps writing.

Where am I going? –I’m not going anywhere, I just need to live in the present and connecting with my consciousness at all time (to attain enlightenment). 

 

Love, Peace & Bliss

Anjali Love