Embracing the Ups and Downs of Life


When we’re children seesaws and roundabouts are fun and we look forward to going on them. What we don’t realise while we’re enjoying those rides is that we’ll continue to experience them in different ways throughout life. Some will continue to be fun and others not so much. There will be ups and downs. So, my question is – if you could, would you forgo these seesaws and roundabouts in life? Would you prefer to live a life of constancy and predictability or are you willing to experience the diversity that each life brings? 

For some, life is an adventure to embrace, for others it’s a struggle to survive and for most of us, it’s a mix of the two.

My own personal journey has been pretty much like everyone else’s. Sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes going around in circles. There are times when I feel supported by others around me and times when I feel more alone.

Personal seesaws and roundabouts can vary in size and intensity, but they are also an opportunity for us to develop our sense of self-awareness, learn discernment and become more confident in our ability to make decisions. It’s possible to ‘ride’ them smoothly when we take the opportunity to learn from them.

young girl on playground roundabout

The one thing that makes my own ride feel smooth and supported throughout these ups and downs is my sadhana – my spiritual practice of Atma Kriya Yoga. It always gives me a sense of groundedness and an anchor to myself and whatever is happening around me. My practice is a sanctuary for me, a unique space where I feel a certainty of belonging to a much deeper reality than the outside one I experience every day. 

My sadhana isn’t about avoiding everyday life; it is about being able to access my inner self, listening and connecting more to my own true voice and essence, and making more positive choices to better support my daily life.

It is also about taking ownership of my way of living, my choices and being very present. It is about having gratitude and being able to acknowledge and enjoy life with all its variations; accepting the ups and downs and moving forward; and not judging or having expectations of what I consider to be success and happy endings. 

In truth, we just don’t know what our life journey should include or not. It’s about being positive regardless of what we are experiencing and not seeing anything as inherently negative. 

Every experience is valuable, no matter how challenging. We may not understand or be aware of the value when we’re right in the middle of it but sometime later we are able to observe how the experience contributes to our journey. In my own life, that understanding and awareness has come from regularly practising Atma Kriya Yoga.

Of course, there are still occasions when I suddenly find myself on those seesaws and roundabouts unexpectedly and have to try my best to hang on. However, when I observe them, they don’t bother me anymore. They are just a part of living. If and when I go on them intentionally, I do it with awareness. I try to take the opportunity to take whatever is brought into my life and make it something positive. When that awareness is present it enables me to act and take decisions when needed, and it helps me to get off those rides when it’s time.

Atma Kriya Yoga has been my life companion for well over a decade. It has enabled me to undertake changes and experience life transformation. I wholeheartedly recommend making it your daily companion too.

Returning to my initial question – if I could, would I forgo seesaws and roundabouts, hoping for a life of constancy and predictability? I would say, there’s no need to avoid those seesaws and roundabouts. Atma Kriya Yoga gives me the certainty I can live daily life with confidence and increased awareness of everything going on in my life and you too can experience that.

So, as this new decade gets into gear, check out Atma Kriya Yoga and sit back and enjoy the rides!

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