During the last two weeks we have been exploring and exposing our escape routes into the past and future. Time and energy is wasted when we keep revisiting our memory banks or speculating about imaginary futures. And as we do we miss the only moment where authentic experience can ever exist,
which is in the now. And yet, if we are honest, being in the moment is actually quite.'challenging'. It's as if the past and future are like super powerful magnets attracting our attention and absorbing our energy.
When we live too long in these other dimensions of time we also tend to start becoming a bit too serious. When we focus on what we have already done and what we might do, we see ourselves primarily as 'doers', as humans doing! And when we see ourselves as 'doers' we are always thinking about what has been done, what could have been done, what shouldn't be done, what needs to be done, what we didn't do, what we couldn't do and what we cannot do. All this 'serious thinking' is not only tiring it tends to sustain a subtle, and often not so subtle, inner 'heaviness'. And so it becomes easy to see life as a serious business and we start to take things far too seriously. When we see ourselves as humans doing we forget we are primarily 'humans being' and that life is meant to be about playing and 'being' playful. We forget that it's just a game.
So how can we learn to live more in the present? How can we invoke a playfulness in our day-to-day existence that emerges from our heart wherever we are? How can we 'be' before we 'do', as opposed to doing so that we can be? There are rules, but not the kind of rules that have to be obeyed or
followed blindly. They are more like guidelines; signposts to the areas within our consciousness where we tend to trip ourselves up and, as a consequence, generate a grave and serious demeanour towards living. Here are some of the most important. They are not new. In fact they are as old
as the hills, we just need to remind ourselves occasionally.
1 Remind your Self that you are already your Self
Stop trying to be someone else. That means bring an end to desiring a more exalted position than the one you have. Relinquish your aspiration to occupy someone else's position. Ambition is one of the great executioners of fun. It means you are trying to split yourself between the position you are in now and the one you want to be in, hence the tension between here and there. There are no positions.in reality. Stop comparing yourself with others. You can never be anyone else. When you want to look, dress, live and do life like another, even for a few moments, it means you don't yet
know your own uniqueness, beauty and value. Desire, ambition and comparison are really statements that say, "I don't know myself". Hence the wisdom of taking 'time out' each day to be fully present to your self. Only then do you give yourself the chance to realise you already have all that you want
or need, and that all that you need is all that you are! Sometimes this is called meditation.
2 What's is IN the Way IS the Way
Remember there are no obstacles in your way other than the ones you create in your head. It helps to remember there is nowhere to go where you are not. Wherever you go you always take yourself with you, which means you don't really go anywhere. Going somewhere won't make any real difference. And when you realise you don't need to go anywhere and no longer have any
desire to go anywhere, guess what, nothing can get in your way! But if that's a bit too much to fathom at this stage remind your self that obstacles don't come to obstruct but to instruct. They come to teach us how to flow around, over, under or even through. They come to give us the
opportunity to realise we are creating the illusion of an obstacle and then investing it with the power to make us unhappy. If you can take a moment of quiet reflection you would rediscover the truth that only you can make you genuinely happy and content, joyful and light. No one else can do that for you. It may 'seem' they can, but if you examine the exact texture and content of what you think is the happiness that comes from another, you soon discover it is only ever a fleeting moment with no power or consistency. So what may appear to be in the way of your happiness .isn't really!
3 Nothing happens TO you, everything happens FOR you
Notice that when you react to anyone or anything around you it's not life that is making you react it's your self-created emotion that's erupting into a reaction. In that moment you are not in control of you but your emotion is in control of you. You are not your emotion. It's just your creation. You are the creator, and 'all reaction' means the creation has become more powerful than the creator. But only for a few moments until the creation, the emotion, fades, as it must. As you 'see' this you will also realise you create all your own seriousness, always. Despite all the credit crunches, recessionary indicators and financial panic around you and around the world, it's still you that makes you take it all so seriously, not the news itself. And seriousness over a long period is just misery. All that is happening around you is simply a 360-degree, three-dimensional movie, a play of light and sound, with apparent characters and plots. But none of it can touch the lightness of your being.if you so decide!
4 Its not what you say or do to me that makes me feel this way, IT'S WHAT I DO with what you say or do to me that makes me feel this way
No one can offend you. You offend your self by using what people say to generate your own self-inflicted insult. Your sensitivity to others words and behaviours is just a sign that you need to build your spiritual muscles of tolerance and understanding. Sure there is such a thing as decency but
it's only your own definition, which has likely to have been learned. And it's your attachment to that definition that is the cause of your being offended. After a meal half the world burps very loudly considering it to be the healthy thing to do, while the other half are disgusted by such an act. Half the world will spit freely to exit some substance from their mouth, while the other half is indignant and offended at such a sight. So what is decency but a personal standard that one believes the whole world should adhere to. So we project it into the world and then expect the world to follow it. And if they don't we are personally offended. It's silly, not to mention probably somewhat arrogant. You'll laugh when you see it. But until then you'll probably be slightly offended at the very idea that
it's only you that offends your self! Ultimately you cannot be offended. But if you have learned to believe you can, you will! Ultimately it's not you that is offended; it's just your ego. And the ego is a ghost. It's an illusion about who you think you are, but are not. See this and you will be able to stay light and happy in every scene and in all your relationships, regardless of what other say or do, even on the radio!
Do you feel any resistance to any of the above 'signposts'? If you do it's a good sign. It means you stand on the edge of learning, which is really unlearning, which is sometimes called 'realisation'. And that's what releases your already present inner power to change the habits of believing,
thinking and doing that are contributing to your serious absence of lightness and playfulness. It's best not to blindly believe or reactively disbelieve any of the above, but to use them to look deeply into each area within your self, and see what insights they help you to reveal to you. And then to find your own way to say it and do it as you reveal them to the world.
Question: Which of the above invoked the greatest feelings of resistance? Acknowledging it's not the words or the ideas that generate the resistance its what you do with them, why do you think you felt resistance, offence, indignance.if indeed you did? Maybe it's just the language, which is very direct this week. Maybe its because you 'perceived' them to be a bit preachy, or too close to the truth, or just from another planet!
Reflection: Look into your resistance. What do you see, feel, think - write it down, play with it, as you reflect some more. What does it reveal to you?
Action: Reflect on each point each day this week and see where each one has relevance in your day-to-day interactions.