Every day events happen in your life. Many little actions occur that either cause some stress or are mundane. Using these little ordinary events as practices helps you continue your ability to live a life of Joyous Expansion.
I rarely wear a jacket. I live in Seattle where the winter months are rainy and not very warm. A lot of people might think I don’t wear a coat because I am a bigger man and my body is generally warm, but that is actually not the case. A few years ago I came to a conclusion that I wanted to live my life at choice. In this life I am completely responsible for how I react to certain situations. An idea occurred to me that being cold was a choice. I went to college in Bellingham, a town about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. It is is kind of cold. Students from both Alaska and Hawaii lived in my dorm and both groups had completely different ideas of what is cold. Alaskans thought cold was around 30 degrees while Hawaiians were cold around 60 degrees. Each group is at choice. There is no reason for 60 degrees to be cold. Not to say there isn’t a degree of cold that is just too cold for the body. I am listening to my body when it tells me that it is freaking cold and that I should wear a jacket. I can honestly say that it has probably happened at 5 times in the last two years.
The practice of not wearing a jacket was expanded on that day. Every time I feel a chill or go outside when it is raining, I am reminded of various ways that I practice to live a happier life.
My not wearing a jacket exercise reminds me that:
- I am always at choice: I can be happy and in joy no matter what. I chose if I am comfortable or uncomfortable.
- This too shall pass: In A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61), Eckhart Tolle wrote of story about a king who was in constant stress. The king wanted a way to live his life of joy so he asked a sage to help him. The sage gave him a ring and with this ring the king was able to live a life of joy and happiness. All that was special on that ring was a saying, “This too shall pass.”
- I am not my body: A good way to remind myself that I am the observer. This is a nice little Zen meditation.
- Stand in presence to the feminine: In the book, The Way of the Superior Man
, David Deida compares the feminine to weather. The feminine is a constant energy that flows. He says a superior masculine person is able to stay in presence when the feminine is storming all over the masculine.
From something as simple as not wearing a jacket, I am able to have four powerful practices that serve me.
Another simple practice is this one on forgiveness. No two drivers have the same idea about good driving. Instead of having a practice of getting angry and going into a rage when another driver drives in a way you do not agree with,have a practice about forgiveness. When a driver cuts you off, lane changes without signaling, stops suddenly, rides their breaks, or drives slow in the fast lane feel the anger. Then take a breath and think they are doing the best they can with what they are working with at this time and forgive them for their action. Depending on your commute, you will be practicing the art of forgiveness up to 20 times a day.
Here are some simple suggestions for practices:
- Set a reminder: Wear a rubber band or some kind of bracelet and each time you think about over eating, switch the rubber band to another hand. The reminder will give you awareness of what you are doing. You will be taking an unconscious act and turning it into a conscious one.
- Use something you already have: If you wear a necklace, watch, or a hat, every time you put it on think about how much fun you are going to have today. Every time you notice the fact that you are wearing it think of how much fun you are having. When you take it off at night think about the things that were in your day that were a lot of fun.
- Use an everyday occurrence: For instance, when stopping at a red light think of something that you enjoyed in your day.
- Use wait times to your advantage: When stuck in a line look around and do a rampage of appreciation. Look at everything there is in your life and pay gratitude..
- Use your mirror: Each time you look in the mirror, look yourself in your eyes and tell yourself, “I love you.”
Get creative. Think of a simple little practice that you can use to enhance your life. With simple practices used every day you too can live a life of Joyous Expansion.
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