#2: Discover Your Innate Wellbeing


Most of us have been conditioned to see well-being as a certain FEELING that comes from DOING or HAVING more of something e.g. knowledge, experience, ‘enlightenment’, wisdom and so on…

Nothing can be further from the truth!

“Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache: You won’t be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.” ― Ajahn Chah

Rani and Suraj talk about  Innate Well-(BEING)  something which is constant and way more powerful than our personal mind, a force or Truth that doesn’t come and go – an understanding that delivers freedom from the vicious cycle of seeking wellbeing in a good feeling.
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Transcript of episode #2

Rani
Hey Suraj, Let’s play a game. Okay? if I say the word “food” what comes to mind? Quick.

Suraj
Chinese, Indian… pasta. Do you want more now?

Rani
Okay. All right. That’ll do for the time being okay.

What comes to mind when I say “wellbeing”?

Suraj
meditation… breathing, retreats… spa…

Rani
Okay stop there. Today, we are not going to talk about any of those. We are going to talk about innate wellbeing.

Suraj
So yes, we are going to talk about innate well being, what it is, what it isn’t. So we are really excited. And we want to talk about our experience and understanding of innate well being. It’s something that we, you all have, regardless of your situation, background, circumstance, and that’s the grounding or foundation on which everything rests, everything plays out, and our podcast is all about that.

Rani
Yes, it is. And before we even go into pointing people to innate well-being, let’s talk about what we’re talking about, isn’t. So when…the best way I can say is when people talk about well-being and when I hear people talk about well-being, they equate well-being to doing things. And like, you know, when I asked you to think about well-being, the things that you described, the examples you gave were about doing something. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But we are not talking about that. Right? So when people talk about breathing exercises and going for retreats and meditation, people feel that that gives them something good, and they feel something good. And yet, what we’re pointing to is not any tool, it’s not a technique. And it’s not a practice as such, is more educational. And like you said, it’s something we all have, we might not know about it. But that’s that’s the best way to describe it. Right?

Suraj
So is there anything wrong in doing all of those things?

Rani
No, I didn’t say that, did I? The problem is, this, we when we pursue well-being and we think our well being is about doing something, that’s the problem. And I have to tell you, I have met with a lot of clients who used to do a lot (of activities) for their well-being. I remember someone who used to enter into skiing competitions, another one who used to do motorbike races, and another one used to do lots of running and so on. And for whatever reason, it could be something to do with having injuries or life circumstances changing, they can’t do that activity anymore. And then they fall into this depressed state where they feel like they can’t be well again, and they because they can’t do the activities that really brought out the best best in them. And that’s the crutch, you know,

Suraj
While you were saying that, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend, very good friend of mine recently and he said he had got into a very bad state of mind, at one stage recently. And he started going to the gym and getting into weightlifting and it became almost an obsession. He got into this kind of, way of thinking that he has to go when when he has a bad feeling, when he feels uncomfortable emotionally, he thinks about a gym and he has to hit the gym, go and lift some weights and that makes him feel better.

Rani
Exactly. And we do know that exercise releases endorphins, right? And doctors will talk about it, even I talk about the benefit of exercise for our physical health and for our mental health. But again, that’s on the surface level and what we are pointing to is not that either. And like you said, it could clearly become an obsession. So my point to him or anyone else listening is – but we can be in the gym 24/7 right? So what happens when we are not in the gym and we are meant to be at work for example, or we are at home and we are really feeling anything but well? The other myth I hear about well being is about having possessions, like if I have this then I will feel much better in myself or when I go on this holiday, then it brings out my well being… it definitely changes the state of mind, right? And yet what we talking about (“I love my holidays”)…me too, me too. Don’t get me wrong but haven’t we been on holidays when we were really looking forward to the holiday and we said that was going to be the best holiday. And well, when we were in the midst of the holiday, it wasn’t as we had anticipated, right? So there you go. So that’s that’s what I’m pointing people to. So again, those are thoughts and feelings and experiences that come and go. The other thing I wanted to mention here is that we also equate good feeling to well-being and bad failing to mental distress for example. And I just want people to really contemplate this. Is it really true that only good feelings are allowed in our personal space or in our mind because this is what is the cause of suffering, right? Because then we’re saying, well-being is equal to good feelings. And so I have to think about good thoughts, positive thoughts, and if any negative thoughts come, then I need to do more of the gym, more of the meditation. And we get into this vicious cycle of doing something, or acquiring something or trying to feel a certain way in order to have the peace of mind that we are we are looking for.

Suraj
Yeah, I think that is because we have been conditioned to look at feelings and emotions as good and bad. We are well or we are not well, or we are unwell. I am tempted to say there’s no such thing as innate well-being, there’s innate being.

Rani
Or just being…and I think this is used quite widely…innate, but again, don’t listen to the words as such. But we are saying that there is something constant, yeah, there’s something that does not come and go, And as human beings, we are focusing on, we’re paying a lot of attention to that which come and go, but we are not paying attention to what’s just there, what just is, what’s just constant.

Suraj
Yeah. And it’s so important to get that as a fundamental understanding, isn’t it? Before you go out and try to do anything, really. That yes, you have got your wellbeing, you have got your being (to correct myself now) with you all the time. If we don’t understand that fundamental truth – that well-being is all in us, we are well-being, everything otherwise, all the activities can become a pursuit of a good feeling.

Rani
Yeah, we could be seeking all our life. And how I how I see it is that – go and do all that, play the game of life. And when you have the foundation, right, it doesn’t become a chore, your work doesn’t become a chore, your life doesn’t become a chore. And so it’s really this fundamental understanding that we are pointing people to. That’s what I had to say today actually.

Suraj
The firm ground really, isn’t it? Yeah. Oh brilliant. Next episode we’re going to talk about something really interesting. That’s about stress. So stress, topical issue of stress, why so many are experiencing it these days? We’ll talk about it more, discuss what we can do or if there’s anything to be done, from this place of understanding. Yes. And what can we do? How can we stop it from dictating our lives? Brilliant, I look forward to it. So the show notes for this podcast will be on our website as usual, which is listeningintowellbeing.com. Please leave a comment, any questions you have, put it in the comments, and we will be sure to answer those in upcoming podcast.