How Resilient Are You?


austerity (Photo credit: 401K)

Not just emotionally, but in all areas of life, particularly in the area of finances and economics.

I had a weird dream in which Dr.Vandana Shiva was introduced to me by my Writing Teacher at a party.  Now, I vaguely heard Dr Shiva’s name in the past, never actually bothered to check what she stands for. But today, after the dream, I had to Google her and found her website. Astonishing to recognise that she looks exactly like the person I saw in my dream. That made me even wonder more as to why I have dreamt of her at this particular juncture of my life.  I like the ideas being promoted by Dr.Shiva and I have to explore it further to practice in my daily life.  As I continued to read her website, I came across ‘online text of “Economic Resilience,” a community how-to booklet written by Joanne Poyourow of Transition Los Angeles.’ and started reading it.

That led me to write this blog post because it is tied in with the concept of “Ceiling on Desires” that Sai Baba talks about, which I believe in deeply.

He says – “What is the meaning of Ceiling on Desires? Man is living in a dream world.  He is forgetting the Supreme Consciousness. That is why it is important to keep desires under control, to place a ceiling on them.  Desires are a prison.  Man can be freed only by limiting his wants.”

At an individual level, ‘Ceiling on Desires’ focuses on wasteful patterns of behavior regarding Time, Money, Energy, Food, Water and other resources.  It is not a program for self denial but a program that cultivates careful choices and provides motivation to further the highest purpose in life. It utilizes our inner and outer resources to achieve the noblest and the highest possible.

In the Ceiling on Desires program the desires are acknowledged by understanding the nature of lower mind.  But the temptation is suppressed through redirecting the desires with a strong will power. The mental energy of a desire is channelled into  more purposeful activity e.g., Money saved by Ceiling on Desires is put to good use.

Following four questions were raised in ‘Economic Resilience’

  • What might you do to become more “conservative” in your spending, perhaps because the newspaper says we’re in hard times? These items we labeled as slight austerity measures.
  • How you might change your spending if you heard we were entering a ten-year Depression, or if your family breadwinner(s) lost his/her job? These are moderate austerity measures.
  • What spending patterns might you embrace if there were no foreseeable source of cash? These are severe austerity measures, the kind our grandparents became quite accustomed to living with during the Depression of the 1930s.

They are powerful questions worth stopping to ponder.


As we know, excessive concentration of wealth in the hands of individuals and in the hands of a few nations is causing massive problems all over the world. Exploitation and poverty cause imbalance and are responsible for deprivation, hunger and malnutrition on a massive scale and they can even cause wars.  When morality is lacking in the means for acquiring wealth it can cause extreme misery as the current global financial crisis has shown.

So, are we individually responsible for the doings of a select few?

Does it translate into us, who are not directly responsible for GFC, putting a limit on our desires and curbing our spending?

My take on that is Yes.

I may not be directly responsible for the happenings in the world but……

Eevery action I undertake, every choice and every decision I make – effects not just me but every other person on this planet somehow – as we all are interconnected.

As remote as it may sound, my decision in buying the next chocolate bar or the next piece of jewellery or throwing that lavish party to feed the well fed mouths – again, does effect the starving people in Africa or India or cause a war in Zimbabwe.

I am not trying to make us feel guilty. Unless we take responsibility in how we consume to satisfy our ever growing, insatiable desires, the world will always have starving people living along side super rich obesity, and we will be craving for peace whilst satisfying the pangs it causes in our stomach pits with yet another chocolate bar or coffee or coat or shoes.

So, how resilient am I and how important are those 4 questions for me?

These are the questions I am seriously pondering now more than ever and I would implore you do the same.

I am going to take some more serious austerity measures ( I already live a minimalist life style) – what would you like to do?

Is economic resilience, avoiding temptation, consuming less – important to you? What would be the result if every individual chose to consume less?

What do you think?

Let me know – I am always open for a healthy discussion.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari



About Padma Ayyagari

I am a Human Values Activist, passionate about and trying to live steeped in Spirituality. I live with the knowledge that Love is the undercurrent of all human life. I believe in Unity of Faiths, Unity in diversity and try and live my life with unity in thought, word and deed. Helping others to lead a life of practical spirituality that will give peace of mind is my passion and life purpose.
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