[Yep, I make things important from tiny to what I see as monumental.  However, John B. found this little exercise and sent it to me today. Can I remember and experiment with it?]

From Part 1 Lake Whitney-94 workshop

“Well it’s because that’s your habit and nature is to make things important. And if you pay attention to it and don’t make it important for a few minutes, you’re a little stronger. You don’t make it important for another few minutes a little later, you get a little stronger. And as I said to Bernie, you can pretty soon go five minutes and then five hours, and five days, five weeks and you can go forever without makin’ anything important. I can assure you of that because I’m livin’ it. I’m doin’ it, I don’t know… I’m no better than anybody else.”

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I’ll be Happy When…

Have you ever heard yourself saying things like the phrases below?

“I’ll be happy when I get out of high school.”
“I’ll be happy when I get a job!”
“I’ll be happy when I get married!””
“I’ll be happy when I have a baby!”
“I’ll be happy when my baby can talk!”
“I’ll be happy when my child goes to school!”
“I’ll be happy when my kid is on her own.”
“I’ll be happy when I can retire…”

The list goes on and on and suddenly we’re old and wondering where all the years went.

There is a beautiful teaching story entitled “The Fourth Wise Man”. It is also in movie form of that last wise man and his adventures on the way; and what happened to him.

There is a story we loved to hear Dr. Bob tell about “the traveler and the tripper”.  So the tripper is the one who could not recognize where he was and what, if anything, he could do or what was of value in that moment he was in. Therefore he missed out on a lot that life had to offer.

On the other hand, the traveler was aware of “what was going on” in his day and was contributive to it in whatever way he saw to do that.  Dr. Bob even gave us a hint of what he found to be of value and that was to not make anything important and to do, what to him, was being a good guest. 

He also said he would not be harmful to another and the main two of those was he would not commit violence on another and would not agree with them that they were a victim.

And finally, he said he could make a little contribution to a pleasant mood—but any contribution would be small and usually pretty easy.  In this way, we don’t get all caught up in thinking we know what ought to be for everyone and everything. 

I found these ideas very valuable after the flood when I stayed with my daughter, then my sister and also my son – all in different states, different households, and different lifestyles.  I could be respectful of their values and not impose my own.  I found all of them very helpful in assisting me with the blindness to independently take care of my needs.  What more could I ask for. 

So the point for me is to be happy where I am. Within that idea is to recognize when I’m setting a goal for some time in the future. It creates dissatisfaction with where and what we are in the present. 

Perhaps it is more realistic to see that I want to aim and go in a direction and see where it leads.

Many see “happy” as a permanent state; but as I observe, it comes and goes and often depends on my attitude. Nice reason to keep my mood up!

And so I share this little story that illustrates very nicely what I want to remember and share with you.

              Donkey story regarding happiness

 There’s a story told that a man’s donkey wandered off in the middle of the night; and, therefore, he had to carry his knapsack down the road on his own shoulder.    He didn’t have his donkey to ride in the middle of the day. 

 Then he met a stranger in the heat, and he told him how miserable everything was.  He was so unhappy because he lost the donkey and now he was having to walk and carry his knapsack on his back.  So the stranger to whom he was telling all this story to, invited him to come sit in the shade with him.  The stranger said just leave your knapsack there – – we’ll sit over here in the shade and refresh ourselves.  I have some water with me in a canteen. 

 So the stranger gave him a drink and the guy was carrying on, still just as miserable as he could be. 

 Suddenly, the stranger got up, grabbed the knapsack and ran off with it.  The guy, now, was in one terrible state. 

 Meanwhile, the stranger slipped into the bushes and waited a little bit until he saw the guy coming.  Then he laid the knapsack out in the road; and when the guy found it there, he was very happy. 

 So the stranger came out and said, “Now – you were unhappy because you didn’t have a donkey.”  “Then you lost your knapsack, and now you’re happy because you found your knapsack even though you’re in the same boat you were in when the donkey wandered off.”

 So you see, it’s really very simple to decide that we will have a different viewpoint, but if I choose to be a victim, I am obviously what the world calls unhappy, right? 

 Now if I’m doing something, I don’t think about whether I’m happy or not, but I have a certain amount of satisfaction in doing or being on the way to doing.  I’m now in motive, and I quit thinking about being happy. 

 So we tell people if you are trying to be happy, we’ll guarantee you’ll be miserable.  I don’t know whether   you’ll ever be happy or not, but if you forget all about trying to be happy, you wouldn’t trade places with anybody in the world. 

 Happiness is that proverbial thing—the pot of gold at   the end of the rainbow that you can’t find.  It’s the bluebird saying that “you can have your wishes if you can sprinkle salt on the bluebird’s tail.”  So in other words, it’s an illusion.  It’s a joke played on mankind, and most of us have bought it.  We’re trying to be happy, and who knows what it means – – and why bother with it anyway.

 If there is such a thing, I’m sure it’s a byproduct of not giving a ‘durn’ about being happy—if there is even such a thing.  Who wants it anyway, it may be that all you would do is sit under a shade tree and vegetate. 

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A Quiet Mind

It has been very easy for me to take the gift of the teaching ideas and try to follow them to the letter; but I was jolted out of the “ideal” of the necessity of having a quiet mind before reporting by an experience of a fellow student.

Kristin S., a fellow student, was crossing a bridge when her beloved little dog, Molly, jumped off the bridge into a raging river.

Naturally, Kristin was declaring emergency; and she started yelling out loud. “X, MOLLY HAS JUMPED INTO THE TURBULENT WATER AND WILL BE KILLED AND I CANNOT GET IN TO SAVE HER!”

The dog swirled around and around and then was pulled away with the current. Kristin ran off the bridge calling the dog to her seeing there was no way for Molly to make her way to the shore or for Kristin to plunge into the river and rescue her.

Kristin kept screaming to X. Truly the mind was not quiet. Continuing to run down the bank, she came to a drop off that would not allow her to follow any further.

All of a sudden she observed that the dog somehow miraculously reached the other bank and was able to scramble to safety. 

In awe and relief, she raced across the bridge and scooped her beloved Molly into her arms.

So often I will wait until I can get a quiet mind to report and that certainly has a great value; but this little experience has given me the freedom to report with desperate emotion to X and that X will respond every time.

Now there’s another part of this idea of X being the partner within.  We have accepted suggestions through the years that we will get our way if we complain (enough), stick up for our rights (imagined), please (so they’ll do what we want), quote our authorities (politics, big business, religion and the medical arts), self-improve (to achieve an ideal to which we subscribe) and of course blame (they must change).

So is X listening when we choose one of those to “get things CHANGED?”  The problem is conflict because with the “picture of man” we see there’s and A side and a B side – both sides romancing us to “believe” what they say and they each try to convince us that they are on “our” side.

With this conflict, X is unable to respond two opposing views and must adapt to the emotions resulting from the conflict.  It is said that X has to adapt to all the hormones elicited to fight or run and we don’t do that—we just stew.

When Kristin yelled to X, she was of one mind. There was no conflict. And as she experienced, X responded very nicely and she recognized the source.

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What will people think?

The phrase “What will people think” is presented frequently through this website as a teaching idea that can reveal conditioning that creates conflict, struggle and resistance within.

Early in my career while working with the teachings, I saw myself drawn into the clutches of worry over what other musicians or people in the audience thought about my performance resulting in anxiety and dispelling any possible confidence in my musicianship.

I was reminded of this valuable idea today with the following quote from my friend:

“Everyone has their own set of ideas with which to evaluate life and our ideas don’t always match those of other peoples.”  Richard Carlson from the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.  Chapter 33 “Praise and Blame are all the same”

I figured that since I had worked through this idea for a while as a musician/singer, that it was learned and never had to be remembered or watched again.

Then the blindness occurred. All of a sudden I was beset with the realization that everyone around me could see what I was doing; but I could not see who they were, what they were doing or even where they were.   So that is only one example of using the idea of “What will people think”.  Since observing it many times through the years without judging the discomfort I feel from time to time, I’ve learned to accept it for what it is.

As an example, if I’m performing a colorful song to four people in my living room, one may judge me, the second one may identify with the protagonist in the lyrics–the third may be thinking about what to cook for their party on Saturday; and the fourth may identify with a situation she experienced 20 years ago.  All that has absolutely nothing to do with me or what I’m singing.  That’s a big “aha moment” when I find myself caught in that trap.

“What will people think” is a question to ask when I hear it come out of my mouth or from others. It has been taught through the years whether blatantly or suggested unconsciously. 

Some effects I’ve noticed from listening internally to this commonly heard phrase is that it sabotages any positive view of myself creating a need to somehow change myself to what I imagine they think I should be.

I sometimes get caught up in a false need to impress by whatever means the mind can conjure up by telling of my accomplishments or putting on some sort of a front–the mind is very busy with that noise.  Certainly we need to use a sales pitch if we’re job hunting; but perhaps we can become hypnotized by worrying “what will people think” to our detriment.  

I’ve noticed that the mind likes to convince this awareness that it knows “what people think”; and I have heard myself repeating these misconceptions I believed to others as though it were true—it never is. 

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what people think of me? Maybe not! I certainly have never had the courage to ask—and if I did, it wouldn’t be a true picture.  It would only be what they thought about me at that moment and tomorrow would be totally different.

Dr. Bob gave us quite a revelation when he said, “Do you want me to tell you what they’re thinking about you?”

The answer was, “They are wondering what you think about them!”  Ha-ha, isn’t that really funny!

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Suggestion—be watchful

A formula for making a suggestion:

1. Create desire by identifying need.
2. Set up a goal with the promise of being “better off”.
3. Show the method and how “easy it is”.
4. Act upon it and imply a guarantee.

  Place of langrage in the teaching

    Who’s in Charge of my Inner State?

It is only a suggestion when it promises you pleasure or comfort or when it threatens pain or discomfort of some sort.

Definition of Suggestion is an idea that creates expectation that something ideal or not ideal will happen in the future.

This idea was used on me yesterday.  A man came to the door.  I didn’t open the storm door, but asked him what he wanted.

He said his group was in the area checking people’s roof safety after the flood of nine months ago.  He said they would check my roof absolutely free, take pictures which they could show me pictures of any damage and give a cost estimate for repairs.

I told him our insurance agency had already done that.  He had some stupid answer for that.

I asked him the name of his company and he said Alex roofing.

I said I wasn’t interested and he said “Why”?

That was a red flag for me. Any “why” he asked would be the scorpion of a thousand tails. He says “why”, I give and explanation and he says it’s not correct, and the endless loop goes on until I, in exasperation, give in – what a waste of time.

But he kept at me and I finally said “I’m blind”.

He said, you’re not blind, you’re looking straight at me.

At this point I’d had enough and said, “Forget it!”

He had something to say to that too.

I replied, “Which word in forget it did you not understand” and he went away.

So he followed the formula:

1. He created a need (the flood probably did something bad to my roof.
2. He set up a goal that after he finished, I would be safe and thereby “better off”.
3. He said how easy it was and it was a “free” estimate.
4. He implied a guarantee that I would be prepared for the hurricane season coming up.

So Dr. Bob gave us this formula so we could recognize when it’s being used on us. It’s fun to recognize suggestion being used on us when we watch TV with the ads for big business. We can see it in the news with politics.  And religion promises us heaven for “being good” and hell for “being bad, and they say they know what “good and bad” is.  And finally the medical and pharmaceutical industries claim their diagnoses and pills will make us well.  It is just a bit of wisdom to not swallow and believe what anyone or anything tells us and to check it out for ourselves.

And if we recognize this formula, we can also see when we are unconsciously using it on others.

I’ve seen myself listening to others and giving suggestion warnings of thing I truly don’t know a thing about but have read somewhere or heard somebody talk about having no personal experience. And even if I have, it has nothing to do with their present situation and I can’t know all that’s involved with it. What am I doing? I think I’m being helpful, but I’m only creating conflict, indecision and as I think about it – what if they do take my suggestion for a solution and it is totally inaccurate for their situation?

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What I learned from Life today

Recently, I was on a road trip and decided to go to a fast food drive in to get coffee and breakfast.

I ordered at the window and was told the total.  I pulled forward to the pick up and pay window and was told that it was no charge.   The previous car had taken care of the amount. It was not a fancy vehicle but a work truck from a company.

I was amazed and delighted – that impulsive gesture by a fellow traveler made my day which was just beginning seem brighter & was in a way a renewal of faith in my fellow beings – and I instantly knew that I would at some time in the future do the same thing. For the first time I really appreciated the saying which has become increasingly popular of late which is to “pay it forward”.

This was wonderful to ponder in light of what we study. 

In the first place, it’s a nudge to pass on a kindness and consideration.  It really didn’t cost that much but it was a powerful statement toward my fellow man—even if I’ve never met them. 

Another thing to ponder is that whenever I do something for someone, I’m looking for the thank you.  In this case, I’ve relieved of that “should” that others must express their gratitude to me.

And lastly, as I was growing up and someone asked me to dinner, it was not written down anywhere, but I was expected to reciprocate by asking them to a meal at my home.

I think saying thank you is very valuable and is good manners.  If I say thank you, the person is more likely to extend more kindnesses.

So as we go through our day, each expression can be looked at individually.  I am just delighted to take this momentary event and ponder what it had to teach me.

One of my friends wrote this to me in response:

Hi Marsha,

I really like this. I love you sharing your experiences and giving thoughts for the reader to ponder.

What’s great about someone doing something kind in that situation is that we never know who did that for us. We have no idea what they look like, gender, race, religion, their politics, etc. It’s like what we, as blind people, experience when we interact with the public and when they are helpful or show kindness. We don’t know what they look like, we judge them by the content of their character. Paying it forward seems to be a similar lesson for people with sight.

Thank you for sharing.

Love, Amanda

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