Breaking your barriers with creativity

By Nitin Ajmera 

“When was the last time you did something for the first time. Fly Emirates.”

When Emirates Airlines came out with this punch line in one of their ads, I sat back to reflect on this.  Through my Jain belief system, I took a small vow (Anuvrat) of doing something NEW every day.  I made it to 10K run on GWB (George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey), started teaching at Drexel University in Philadelphia, took dance classes, joined the Parliament of World’s Religions.

Soon, I started struggling with this vow – as the mundane chores of life took over.  The need to do something NEW, caused a pain, and I realized that it is a difficult effort to do something creative every day. I had to find creativity in these mundane repetitive things.  I had to explore, I had to design, and I had to make the most of my daily life. Now I see the message above punch line like you to think that every time you fly with Emirates, it is always a new experience. Flying with them will always make you feel as if you are doing it for the first time!

So, I wore a yellow shirt with blue pants!  I made cucumber salad – but I created spirals of cucumber instead of dicing it.  I went to a grocery store, and instead turning right for shortest route, I turned left to go through the winding route next to community park.  I fixed a leak in my basement wall on my own.  

Not only did I have my bucket list getting checked off; I started doing things on my own that I never imagined, I would.  

Thus, Anuvrat has allowed me to break my own barriers.  It helps in exploring new aspects of my relationships, making me independent and finding happiness in small things.  A small vow has just opened a world of possibilities for myself and this has created a new energy within me.  I encourage all of you to find your Anuvrat, for sure each one of them will give you a sense of purpose, a belonging, a realization of your dreams.

Nitin Ajmera is currently Chairman of the Parliament of World’s Religions.  He is CFO of New York Sports Club, also adjunct faculty at Drexel University, Philadelphia – teaching Microeconomics. He lives with his wife Shefali in Plainview, Long Island NY. They are continually active in various capacity at several Jain institutions


People Also Ask: How do Jains fast?

  • Partial fasting: Eating less than you desire and to simply avoid hunger. 
  • Vruti Sankshep: Limiting the number of items eaten. 
  • Rasa Parityag: Giving up favorite foods.
  • One Day Fast: Begins before sunset and lasts till day after sunrise (36 hours)
  • Many Jains leave food or water before 48 minutes of sunset.
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