We’re hard-wired for inner peace, balance, freedom. If this weren’t true, we’d be perfectly content to be unhappy!
But we’re not.*
When we’re “All Stressed Out”, something inside is screaming out for a calm like that leaf on the left. Somewhere inside us, we sense (sometimes, it’s more like a “hope”) that there’s a deep lake, fed from a fine, clear, pollution-free spring, and there we’ll be able to relax.
But, at our worst, we don’t even believe it exists: all we can see is our mind’s surface, clogged with rotting debris — plus maybe an oil spill — swirling around in tumult. We may even feel that some degree of terror will be our lot for the rest of our lives. We become discontented, upset, depressed, imbalanced, and scared. That’s when things really start to get bad.
So (to continue the water metaphor), how can we
- dive beneath the crud, and/or
- maybe clear some of it away?
We need some tools. One tool, Insights, is like scuba gear: when (and if) we actually use it, it helps us dive under misunderstanding, deceit, outright lies and delusion. If we can get to the deep place, we remember that the crud isn’t really all we’ve got. A pretty safe example of an Insight might be “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” It’s fascinating how often this insight, if I practice it, can clear up a snarled relationship and put me back at peace.
BUT — and that’s a very Big But — to Think About an Insight is of limited help. Another essential tool is Action, Doing, Practice. We have to Do an Insight, strap on the gear, dive into the mess, depending on the insight for survival.
Lastly, when Insights become familiar, they slip under our radar: they can’t keep our attention. So it’s important to trade them in if they die of familiarity. When a fresh one grabs us, we call it “Waking Up,” “Getting Unstuck,” “Becoming Unmuddled” or something else.
Anyway, here’s some Insights that have been helpful to me, plus some Actions that seem to work for me. They’re not original; they’ve been around for centuries, popping up all over the world. They don’t unveil “Secrets” because there are no Secrets: everybody’s got Insights and Actions waiting, just under the surface. When someone jumps to a new level of freedom, they often say, “Wow! Seems like I knew that all along!”
We do.*Well, some folks may be happy being unhappy, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably not one of them.