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Mahamaya – The Great Illusion

January 2, 2014

Image courtesy of Federico Stevanin /

One tends to find, at the tail end of the year, that the stressful energies flowing around public places and among our friends and family are easily absorbed and accepted as our own. We get caught up in the panic of materialistic giving. We worry that we will be judged upon our cleaning, gift-selection, decorating, wrapping and cooking abilities. Essentially, we forget that we are not here to participate in mass hysteria and competition but to find our compassion and truth; our inner selves.

Then the New Year arrives and we try to do away with all of our perceived foibles and create sweeping changes in our lives. We promise to be healthier, kinder, more outgoing, less outgoing, spend more time with our kids, work less, work harder, play more, play less, and on and on it goes. Quite often we expect all of these changes to take place beginning on New Year’s Day. Yeah, right.

The pressure of the weeks preceding and the over-whelming festivities of the season take a huge toll on us and we tend to feel flat, worn out and not at our very best when the 1st of January rolls around. Perhaps this is not the best time to be judging ourselves so harshly. Instead, wouldn’t it be better to give ourselves a pat on the back for surviving yet another holiday season without a trip to the psyche ward?

As a long time yogi, I understand the concept of “maya” or the “illusion” of the life that we see around us. Like characters in a video game we constantly strive to reach the next level, gaining experience and wealth, overcoming the “bosses” and other challenges to finally reach our end goals, assuming we know what they are. In truth, it’s all a facade, a veil hiding us from the reality of ourselves: our infinite and immutable spirit.

Getting caught up in the minutiae of living stops us seeing the macro, the bigger picture. We forget what is important and start believing that what the media and advertisers tell us is what’s important, when all they want to do is sell us things. Things we don’t need which distract us from becoming truly acquainted with ourselves; because if we were truly happy in ourselves we would realise that we don’t need these other things to give us happiness, or distract us from our emotional baggage.

We plan to “get in touch” with friends and family but months go by and we still haven’t. We forget to honour ourselves and our loved ones that we live with and instead become entrenched in the goings-on of people we barely know on Facebook. We return to the old habits that carried us, unseeing, through the previous year and kick ourselves for it when the new one arrives.

So, this year why not make your goal to stop believing the hype? Don’t allow yourself to be carried along for the ride, as you are the creator of your own destiny so paddle your own damn boat. Take time to be still and really LOOK at the world around you, and I don’t mean via the TV and computer screens. Be PRESENT in nature and with your loved ones, INHABIT the body that you are blessed with, be COMPASSIONATE with yourself and HONEST, the rest will fall into place.

Most important of all… appreciate that you’ve made it into another year and make this one your best year yet.


… if another year goes by and you haven’t managed to follow your dreams and goals or overcome your deepest fears then, take a deep breath and try again! After all, it’s only an illusion.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 14, 2014 3:28 pm

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