I have been receiving numerous emails from people who are panicking about the future. They are worried that they won’t get what they want or they will lose what they have, whether it is a job, a mate, respect or serenity. The state of the world economy is a breeding ground for anxiety and turmoil. Great, isn’t it!
The Dalai Lama has just proclaimed that the world’s financial woes are the result of greed, selfishness and lack of integrity. He further announced that the lack of money is to teach us that happiness has nothing to do with money. Well, duh! The world has never been in a better place to allow people to grow emotionally and spiritually. The world has never been in a better place for people to learn how to love themselves and others more. The world has never done so much to teach us that our reality is only an illusion and we can change it anytime that we want. The only hurdle is that we have to change ourselves, how we think and how we react.
I was graced recently with a huge blessing, a Shaktipat initiation from my teacher Derek O’Neill. The result of this experience left me with a deep and profound joy about my experiences in the past and in the future. All it takes is a small shift in attitude and perspective for you to have the same experience. The mantra I now say to myself no matter what is happening is “This is the best ever!”
The mantra comes from an email that was circulating a few years ago that contained two fictional versions of a cat’s diary and a dog’s diary. It was a great metaphor for the differences in how people think.
The Cat’s diary went something like this: “ Day 1034 of my captivity. I almost succeeded in killing my captor today by cleverly circling her feet as she walked down the stairs. She tripped and was seriously hurt but does not suspect I was trying to eliminate her. My freedom was so close! She is such an idiot…” and on and on.
The Dog’s diary went something like this: “My master came home after being gone for two days. It was the best ever! He gave me some canned dog food while he ate steak. It was the best ever! We went for a walk for the first time in a week. It was the best ever!” You get the idea.
We can react to life’s experiences as a victim or in gratitude. We can view life as a series of calamities or a series of blessings. The only difference in a disaster and a miracle is the person perceiving it. We view experiences as good or bad. They are neither. Experiences are neutral, how we perceive them make them good or bad. The truth is that there is no difference between good or bad, only how our ego perceives our experiences creates a difference.
The greatest cause of suffering is our desire that our life be different. We don’t like what we have; the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. The problem is that if we are trapped into a thinking pattern that we don’t like what we have, we will always think that no matter what we have because that is the way we have trained ourselves to think. If we train ourselves to think, “this is the best ever,” it will always be so no matter what we have.
So we can think “I don’t have a mate/money/job so I am miserable.” We will always remain miserable, even if we get what we want because that is how we think. If we think “I don’t have a mate/money/job, this is the best ever” we will be happy no matter what happens.
The reason panic sets in when we think we are miserable is because it is a physiological reaction to perceived threat. We feel threatened because we are not getting what we want when we want it. Conversely, we feel threatened because we think we are going to lose something we have. When we feel threatened, we stop breathing properly, if we breathe at all. Try it sometime, think of what life would be like if you lost everything you own. You probably would catch or hold your breath for a moment until you realize that it is just a thought. When we stop breathing, the brain begins to behave differently than when we breathe properly.
When oxygen ceases to flow to the brain, the frontal lobe/cerebral cortex stops functioning. This is the center for reasoning and rational thought. When it shuts down, we start using the rear of the brain, the animal response center, otherwise known as the reptilian brain. There are only two responses available, fight or flight. That is why anger or fear arises when we think thoughts of victim consciousness.
The solution for this is to breathe. When we inject oxygen back into our brain, our reasoning center turns back on and we can realize we have panicked over something that is not real. We can then consciously choose whether to be a victim or recognize the situation for the opportunity for happiness it brings. If we lose our job, we can either be a victim, like the metaphorical cat, or we can say “this is the best ever,” like the metaphorical dog. We can lie down and die or recognize that we have the opportunity to do something else for a living.
It has been predicted that suicides will increase dramatically over the next several years. The news has been proving that prediction to be true. This is the ultimate result of victim consciousness. Suicides create so much karma that it would take hundreds of lifetimes to pay it off, and if the suicides knew that before they act they probably would stick around for the miracle. After all, too many people quit before the miracle happens.
Another way to look at panic, anxiety or worry is to understand that it is our reaction to behavior contrary to our basic programming. We are born with certain instinctive traits sociologists can document through studies of small children. It is our natural instinct to share, to help others, and to play. When we get away from these behaviors, we have a built in alarm system that informs us that we have strayed from our basic programming. This alarm system takes the form of anxiety, worry and fear. So when you feel these feelings, simply understand that you are acting contrary to your human programming. When you do something on your computer that is contrary to it’s programming, you will get a large “ERROR” message. Your anxiety and fear is the same thing.
When we feel like a victim or life is unfair, this is a message that we have to get back to our basic programming, which is to share, help others and play. When we do this the anxiety program will stop and we can get back to a happy life. So relax, no one gets out of here alive. How we live our lives determines how we live after we transition to our next experience. Do you want to go out as a victim or as someone who enjoyed their life no matter what? It makes a difference, not only in this life but also in our life after death. So remember, if you get what you want, “this is the best ever!” If you don’t get what you want, “this is the best ever!” It is all the same.
James Robinson has enough life experiences to fill five biographies. A trial lawyer for almost 30 years, a cattle rancher, horse trainer, dog breeder, restauranteur, alternative healer, international seminar leader, ordained minister and deacon, father, surivor of two marriages, and international entrepeneur, James has been successful in everything he has done. He has studied with philosophers, internationally known gurus, healers and sages. Through all of his trials, tribulations, successes and especially his failures, James has learned a lot of lessons about suffering, pain and happiness. He has written scores of articles and regularly shares his wisdom on the internet, facebook, twitter and Selfgrowth.com. James regularly travels to all four corners of the world to share his wisdom, healing and humor. www.divinelightmaster.com