Lessons in Leaving Behind the Rushed Life
Part I: Being anxious, always in a rush and racing after whatever it is we've imagined will help us to be more at peace with ourselves, is like running to catch the shadow of a passing cloud on a hot summer's day so that we get to stand in a cool spot!
Part II: Rushing through our lives does not produce more time, or do one thing to increase productivity. To the contrary, rushing limits all possibilities by restricting our powers of higher choice -- even as it crushes our unique opportunity to discover and realize the Timeless Life that is our birthright.
The Power to be at Peace with Your Life
The first part of these new lessons in learning to live from your Higher Self and the prayer exercises that attend them is that the next time you feel yourself becoming agitated, simply notice what idea are you connected to? Look how simple that is, if you'll do it. Here is one small example.
You are driving down the street and you notice that you're feeling depressed. Or maybe you're feeling anxious. That's the first step: to see yourself; to be awake to what's going on within you. Ordinarily, the nature that feels negative, the self that embraces that stressed state, looks to itself to explain to itself why it feels like that, which does nothing but advance the process. Now you have some new information. You're in this condition because you're connected to what you're connected to. Period. And what you're connected to in that moment is nothing but some self-limiting idea you have of yourself, an idea that's telling you who you are and defining you based upon its incomplete perception of life. In unheard whispers it claims, "unless so and so approves of my actions they're worthless, which means I am too." Or, "If I lose that account, or that relationship, all will be lost." Mistaken ideas delivering wrong conclusions -- unconscious conclusions which become your tragedies. Can you begin to see how much Higher Help is just waiting for you in these new self-discoveries?
Your spiritual work is to begin the deliberate process of bringing into these present ideas you have of yourself -- those new ideas that actually show you the limitations and suffering inherent in that same idea you're unconsciously living from. In fact, in the light of these findings, you must realize the need to stop looking for what is your Self in the world, in others, and in changing conditions. Why? Because when you're connected to that "I" -- to that idea -- you hurt!
So the first part of this exercise is to work at waking up to what you are connected to. Then, from within your newly awakened awareness, to see that any painful idea defining you is an illusion; a shadow of yourself cast from other, conspiring mistaken ideas. And now let me explain how prayer can help you to realize the Timeless Life within you that awaits your discovery.
I urge you to take time, at least twice a day -- though preferably as often as you possibly can -- to simply, deliberately become aware of what you are connected to, and then drop it in favor of your wish to have God's Life. Prayer is not about asking for things from God, but first to be with Him, and then in Him. That is the essence of prayer. It has nothing to do with gifts. It has to do with awakening to that Being that isn't in time. This is the Gift of all gifts.
So when you sit to be quiet, when you're meditating, doing your prayers, or whatever your practice may be, here's a way to invite those true inner changes your heart longs for.
Repeatedly bring yourself back to yourself and then, from within this present self-awareness, realize that instead of being connected to the "you" who is always struggling to get something, hoping to become someone, trying to resolve things -- surrender yourself to the understanding that the whole issue of who you are is already resolved. Let go and know that Life is complete, timeless, and so are you. Do not go into imagination. The self you imagine will be a secret extension of the self you wish to escape. Everything you need to pray, to wake up, to be new is right there with you without having to "create" it. But our ideas don't report that to us. Our ideas report that we have to do something to "get there." The illumined author Vernon Howard stressed to his students the new idea that to succeed spiritually, "there's nothing to do, only something to see." This is the truth. See in those moments that the way you perceive life is what is punishing you, and then let what you start seeing change the ideas you have about yourself. I promise you it will.
Take into your meditative or prayer life the understanding that the idea of "I" which you presently live from is not going to make the Cosmic Connection. You can't have a new mind with old ideas or, as Christ states, "You can't pour new wine into old skins." So the first connection that you need to make is to simply and deeply see that; and then allow these new ideas that you've been given -- this new knowledge -- to set you on the Path to the Truth that sets you free. Allow these special insights you've received to develop by doing your part to nurture their necessary growth. And then watch what happens.