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Passionately Involved With the Ordinary

Passionately Involved With the Ordinary

Rupa likes to refer to herself, half-jokingly, as an "old hippie," but behind her lingering aversion to being seen as "straight" is a lively intelligence that, these days, has her running her own business, and waxing eloquent on the joys of technology.
She is also, by the way, the designer of this website!



    Her professional software and office management consultancy is based in Fremantle, Western Australia.
"My work is related to accounting and how to run an office, how to streamline office systems. My business motto is: Are you ready for the 21st century? — because I feel that technology has made it possible for people to be very well organized but it can become a bit of a monster to feed unless you really know how you want to use it.
    "A computer is a really cute thing, but one of the most important things to know is that it has an on/off switch."
     Being ready for the 21st century means being flexible, open-minded, well-organized and lighthearted about life and work, according to Rupa.
    "One of the greatest obstacles to a smooth-running office is the misconception that if you're stressed out and serious you must be really important, and that if you're not, you're probably irresponsible."
    How does Rupa herself deal with stress?
     "Quite frankly I try to avoid stress altogether. 'Stress management'? That's like saying, 'I'm only going to wear these really uncomfortable shoes in two-hour stretches. That way I can manage the discomfort they cause.'
     "Is anything really worth getting all knotted up about? After all, if you're doing it for the enjoyment of it then the outcome is irrelevant.
It's the anticipation of outcomes and over-emphasis on their importance that creates stress in the first place.
     "Having said that I do recognize that I am of the personality type that thrives on what other people call stress. I have a few little tricks I use to stay loose. The most important of them is that I always make sure I am physically comfortable when I'm working. I try to set things up so I am able to immerse myself without distraction in the work activity for its own sake and to be totally present for that, rather than trying to pretend I am somewhere else.
If there's anywhere else I'd rather be, I should be there. Or I can change my preference, bringing joy to what I do, by doing it totally and well.
     "Another trick I love is to feel the area of my chest between my shoulders and breath into it and to allow that feeling of openness to take over my whole body. I play with being aware of that while I am staying in touch with my fingers on the keyboard. It is a challenge, but you get a sort of warm glow all over."





If there's any place I'd rather be - I should be there

    Initially when I asked Rupa to talk about how she integrates meditation into her everyday life, she demurred, saying, "I'm too ordinary!" to be the subject of such an article.
By contrast, in the past, she says, she was "spiritual" person.
    "I was trying to live life at a distance, trying not to be ordinary, not to get down and dirty with the rest of the humanity. I only saw after a while that I was stepping back, somewhat disdainfully from being passionately involved with the ordinary."
     Now she worries that she has become too mundane. But her face instantly lights up when she begins to talk about how Osho has impacted her life.
    "His amazingly juicy approach to life and absolute unsacredness helped me to see what I was doing. I feel I had lifetimes of monastic meditation-without-love conditioned deep in my cells.
Now what I am finding is that my meditation — and how I keep in touch with the Osho vision and myself — is to live everything totally and passionately.
That means having lots of things on the go, being creative, and doing something — anything — to move. That sort of living on the edge means you have to remain present or you lose it.
If you wobble when you have a lot happening then the whole thing can coming crashing down around you."
    But with all that full-on energy, does she ever get so caught up in the adrenaline rush of her work that she finds herself on overwhelm?     
"Yes I do feel swamped when I don't maintain my connection with meditation and my own needs."




     "Probably the most important thing I've learned from Osho is that happiness is a natural state and misery requires work.
That really cuts to the root of the workaholic trip which, in a way is what that 'spinning your wheels' adrenaline number amounts to. Going outside yourself, losing yourself 'out there' is going in the wrong direction, away from any possibility of experiencing joy or happiness — because they are inside, totally independent of 'out there.'
     "There are other times where the work is more routine and the challenge is not so obvious. Then the secret is to do everything beautifully, with as much grace and presence as you can muster.
     "It's how children do stuff.
    "I remember a very perceptive client once remarked to me, 'I've finally worked you out — you're just playing offices!'
Then she hastily added, 'I don't mean....'
     I cracked up! I'd been found out!"

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