by John J. Murphy
Four Steps to Inner Peace from the Miracle-Minded Manager ™
You know that person who annoys you? It isn’t them who annoys you. You know that traffic jam that upsets you? It isn’t the traffic. You know that slow computer that frustrates you? It isn’t the computer.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) teaches that we are never upset for the reasons we think we are. We are upset because we see something that is not there. We are holding something negative in mind and projecting it onto the world. So, of course we are right. We are experiencing a manifestation of our thoughts. Our perception becomes our reality. We are being given “evidence” that “we are right.”
But wait a minute. Isn’t perception reality? Isn’t that one of the oldest beliefs know to humankind?
Stop and consider, is the earth flat? People thought this for thousands of years. It sure looks flat when we stand at the beach and look at the horizon. It doesn’t appear to be moving either. Right? Now consider another perspective, perhaps one from space. Clearly, the earth is not flat, and it is moving through space at a rapid speed while spinning on its axis.
Hmmm. Perception? Reality?
Now consider a table or a wall or even your hand. Appears to be solid, right? Especially, if you hit the table or wall with your hand. Would you believe that all three are 99.9% empty space (at the atomic level). Just check with your favorite physicist. Perception can be very misleading.
Here’s the point. We can all look at the same thing and interpret it very differently, depending on what we hold in mind – a person, a traffic jam, a computer. It isn’t anything “out there” that upsets us. It is what we think of out there that upsets us. The mind is very powerful. Therefore, learning to be mindful – minding the mind – is a wise and healthy choice. It is the one and only thing we really have any control over.
ACIM also suggests that we not try to change the world, but that we change our minds about the world. Maybe that annoying person is meant to teach us something. What might that be? Maybe that traffic jam is an opportunity to relax and meditate or listen to soothing music. Maybe that slow computer or app is giving us an opportunity to talk to someone and get to know them a little better.
Stress is a response to the mind. It doesn’t happen to us. It comes from us. Therefore, whenever we are feeling stressed, it is wise to stop and consider why. In this situation, why am I choosing stress? What thoughts or beliefs (repeated thoughts) am I holding in mind? This helps us get to the root cause of the problem, which is a projection of the ego, and find ways to detach from it. Why try to manage something when we can delete it? Why solve problems inside a box when it is the box (ego thought system) that is the problem?
Here are four steps to inner peace that I use whenever I am challenged with a frustrating situation:
Step One: Let Be
It is what it is. We cannot change the present. Learn to accept it and grow from it. Be mindful. Be awake. Be aware. Be contemplative. Be present. Be patient. Be kind. Quiet the mental chatter with deep breathing and meditation.
Step Two: Let Go
Let go of the ego. Let go of the fear. Let go of the duality, the us-them, win-lose, right-wrong mindset. Let go of control issues, insecurity and doubt. Let go of the root cause to hostility, grievances and guilt. Drop the emotional baggage you have been lugging around for who knows how long. Let go of the criticism and judgement and negative images you have been projecting onto the world.
Step Three: Let See
See anew when you release the blinders you didn’t know you were wearing. See the world and the people and situations in the world with enlightened perspective. Wow! I now see this annoying person with empathy and compassion. I see him calling out for love and appreciation – just like I am. I see the traffic as a reflection of myself – congested, dualistic, imbalanced, perhaps even angry. The computer? I’m just glad I have one. Maybe I am the one who has been a bit slow.
Step Four: Let Flow
Flow is what is meant to be. It is sacred. It is the Tao. It is the Holy Spirit, forever flowing. It is health and well-being. It is divine intelligence, directing every cell in our bodies to know what to do. It is emergence, like a flower blossoming in the sunlight. It is day and night. It is summer and winter. It is grace and power, yin and yang, always in perfect harmony and balance.
How do we experience more flow and peace of mind in life? We feel it when we see it. How do we see it – especially when times are tough? We see it when we let go of our negative mental projections and limiting beliefs. And how do we do that? We do that by being present, living in the eternal now with unconditional love, appreciation and gratitude.
Four steps to inner peace: Let be, let go, let see, and let flow.
Want a shortcut? Be thankful, even for your problems. They are trying to tell you something. We reap what we sow. Every problem is a solution in disguise.
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