Nov 28, 2023

Is Spirituality a retirement hobby?

 Someone told me this recently - "What you are doing now - practicing Yoga and meditation, learning and teaching shlokas, reading spirituality and philosophy books - these activities are best taken up after you cross 60 years. The 40s and 50s are the time to continue working and earning money".

Though I respect their perspective, I have slightly different points of view.

Spirituality isn't reserved for retirement life or senior citizens.

ANYONE (irrespective of their age, gender, financial, cultural, or social background) who would like to know more about themselves, their lives, and the world around them can start their journey towards spirituality.

What you learn through spirituality can help you lead your external lives with ample strength and resilience.

What you do in your 40s and 50s will influence the quality of your life in your 60s.

If you are indoors throughout your 20s to 50s, it is unlikely you will suddenly become an outdoorsy person in your 60s. I have come across people who were completely out of touch with nature and the outdoors during their working lives. In their 60s, though they live close to parks and beaches, they hardly step out of their comfortable homes.

Similarly, if you are completely engaged with the outside world in your 20s to 50s with no time for self-introspection and self-awareness, it is unlikely you will suddenly turn inward in your 60s (unless life circumstances force you to do so).

If one can find balance -

where one can comfortably shift between the outside and inside worlds every day,

where one can adequately spend time outdoors and indoors every day

then the activities that help you go within can be pursued alongside our career demands.

Unfortunately, in today's times, if you bring up the word "work-life balance" or "work-life harmony", it is frowned upon.

Remote work and work-from-home options are being discouraged. 

"I don't mind if you waste 2-3 hours in traffic. I need you to be in the office in front of my eyes for 10 hours. Only then I consider you productive" - is the mindset.

If one expects a 9-5 job, he/she is considered unambitious or lazy. BTW, what is this new trend called "lazy girl" jobs? Men also need balance in their lives. And such an expectation doesn't make him/her lazy.

The other aspect that we tend to ignore is that when an idea inspires us, it will wait for a certain time for us to give due attention. If we ignore it, the idea moves on.

If spirituality and philosophy inspire someone in their 40s,

Why wait till the 60s to pursue that path?

What's the guarantee one will live up to 60 years in the first place?

Even if one lives, what is the guarantee that one would have the physical and mental energies to pursue their interests?

What if one's health deteriorates due to leading hurried lifestyles that the current jobs demand?

We might have compromised our values and our interests in our 20s and 30s to pursue material goals and meet society's expectations.

40s is the time we reevaluate our priorities.

40s is the time we pursue our soul's desires.

40s is the time we reinvent ourselves.

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