Are you looking for practical spiritual help? Do you want your spirituality and your psychological health to be tied together in a simple, straightforward, successful set of clear instructions? Okay.
Each day you live out 86,400 seconds of what is hopefully about a 2.7 billion second existence. Imagine that each of those seconds is laid out in front of you each morning like enough trays to make 86,400 ice cubes. Next to you is a collection of neuro-chemicals in large tanks. You have a hose that’s connected to each tank, and a kind of Gatling gun to dispense the chemical of your choice, much like a bartender can trigger whichever mix they want for the drink they’re making. There is no “off” switch—the trigger is permanently on. It’s only a matter of—on what?
As you move through your day you will fill cube-moment after cube-moment with whatever you request with your thinking. You can think painful thoughts and trigger pain, or you can choose to feel regret, or anger, or can ruminate on frustrating thoughts. You might also choose compassion, tenderness, love, trust…. every single cube is a new opportunity for a new chemical so it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done previously. Your future is made of the choices you make now. Because in the end, the quality of your day boils down to the quality of your individual, moment by moment thought choices.
Using that metaphor can you see how you move through your days habitually pouring the same chemicals in the same places at the same times? You don’t actually hate your job. You just pour hateful chemicals into your trays as you approach your work and as you stay there. You’ll even take time at the dinner table with your family to invest some cubes in hatefulness about work or your boss. Those are all choices. It’s not the boss that made that ice cube tray painful, it was the thoughts you had about the boss. Your boss doesn’t fill your tray, they fill their own. Your boss isn’t even at your family dinner to do any tray-filling. We all fill our own trays. So stop blaming the people you’re thinking about for your own narratives. Those are choices you’re making there my developing spiritual friend.
You have to start watching yourself more closely. Right now you give up huge swaths of your lifetime filling trays with lousy chemicals you don’t even like. You do that the same way everyone does—innocently, because you were taught what every ego was taught. You were taught rules and laws and fairness and honesty and proper and correct and appropriate etc. etc. etc. So when anyone crosses lines that you see in your head, you think they’ve done something wrong, when in fact they just have different lines in their head than you have in yours. That’s how Pakistan and India can battle over the same chunk of land. In some of their heads they see their borders in different places, and that’s the only place borders ever really exist.
So for the people that don’t think about where the border is, they really don’t see the point of the fight. Because for them the problem doesn’t really exist because they don’t create it by thinking that it has to be one country or the other. The same goes for people. If you remove your expectations, people aren’t right or wrong they’re just doing what they’re doing. And if you don’t tell yourself a story about why you don’t like what is, you’re fine. But if you’re still thinking about it hours or days or weeks or months or years later, you can’t blame the person you’re mad at. Those thoughts were 100% yours and they were thought by you by 100% choice.
Can you recognize the enormous power contained in this idea? You can choose your mood. All this requires is awareness, and some practice. But this is entirely do-able. I can introduce you to lots and lots of people who’ve worked with me who can do this. They aren’t superheroes. They’re just like you. But they were diligent enough for long enough that they’ve switched their focus. So now, by nature they’ll pay more attention to their interior analysis of the world than they will to their interpretations of that world. What you consider real changes when you take control over your thinking.
Remember. All day long you fill ice cube trays. Every time you see an ice cube be reminded to check in with your thinking. Touch base with your own consciousness and see what you’re injecting it with. Every moment brings a new empty cube. Start getting conscious. Start filling your trays and days wisely with the grateful thoughts of the most successful type of person there is: a person at peace.