Flipping to any page in a book, I got: stop being envious of others…

I did that this morning with The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Strategies for Managing Your Business and Your Life by Geshe Michael Roach, which I read from cover to cover back in 2002. Some of it definitely went over my head back then.

Here’s where the page opened to, and where my eyes went:

“Business problem #2: Capital investments like manufacturing equipment, computers, or vehicles tend to become quickly outmoded or unreliable…”

“Solution: Stop being envious of other businesspeople and their businesses; concentrate on making your own company innovative, creative, and fun, and don’t be unhappy about the success of others.”

This morning as I read this, I extended “business related” message to how it may relate to personal life and thought, yes, I can see how this would be the case.

He goes on to share 45 more problems and solutions and they all go this way– not the typical solutions to business problems.

The notion that problems are systemic of something beyond the obvious -generally having to do with the internal point of reference that informs our story, actions, experiences, and results – at some level makes sense to us but alludes most of us in our day to day living. Not looking at the source, however, may point to why all of our issues – of which we’ve decided to divide up into individual issues versus global ones – persist. Perhaps to look at the systemic angle, like this example, could help us get to a better place in the world.

Are you insisting on being served?

My relationship with other people is an opportunity to be of service and not an opportunity to be served. –Russell Brand

This has nothing to do with doing other people’s bidding or not having boundaries or a backbone.

It does have to do with shifting this idea that someone can make us happy. That we need someone to complete us or make us feel important, and when they don’t fulfill that, they are the ones causing the misery, and it’s time to find someone else to make us happy.

That’s a lot to put on others.

How would it be if we can see the other person as doing as best they can as we are? As feeling as logical, valid and clear in their thinking as we do about ours, as needing as much as we need, and often feeling as vulnerable as we do? Imagine that they can’t be fulfilled by fulfilling our needs or by going along with our belief systems. That would be their answer as much as it would be ours to abandon ours for theirs.

How would it be if we not elevate ourselves to be more evolved than they are, and if when our buttons are pushed, we got that it’s something we need to work on ourselves (and not for them to correct for us)? And what if in the meanwhile we serve the other person’s deeper hunger, which is the same as ours: to be seen, heard and accepted just the way we are today in all of our joys, craziness and sufferings?

Serving them doesn’t mean that we do their work for them or drop the healthy boundaries necessary to protect your own inner space and integrity, but it might mean that their space is respected by you just the same so that they can see themselves enough to do their own work rather than to stay busy defending against, or coping through, us and others crashing though their space. You might serve them by simply acknowledging the challenge of that.

Experiencing prosperity

I found that in order to experience prosperity in my life, I needed to first see that I was capable of exchange.

Poverty mindedness seems to be about taking with the idea of giving back later when you hopefully have something to give, and until then, just thank you. There’s a tone of I need it more than you right now. It’s draining and then the well goes dry.

In prosperity, there’s an everlasting abundance offered by the law of circulation. In understanding that everything is an energy exchange, the exchange comes naturally because the gratitude is real, and not only do we want to participate in that, we know that we can.

I have valuable resources. We all do. It’s a matter of seeing them and then sharing them.

Let others do their own work, and stop denying them their self-autonomy.

It’s difficult to see someone close to you struggle.

Ask yourself why you feel so compelled to have to fix their pain. It’s out of a desire to help, but also it’s a desire to end your own pain around it (or maybe something else) and to feel like you are doing something about it. Remember that just because they share their pain with you doesn’t mean they want you to fix them.

What we end up doing is distracting ourselves from our own work, and we deny the other person the opportunity to grow in their autonomy. We also give the message that they are not capable of doing their own work, as well as that there is something to fix in them, or that there is something wrong with feeling pain.

Pain wakes us up, and when given the space to work through it without the micromanagement or unsolicited showering of suggestions and opinions of others, and when harnessed, it allows us to grow from the inside out – out of hiding from our own brilliance – and into becoming who we really are.

What we can do is sit with them, feel the pain with them as you already probably do, but without the compulsion to react or give advice, and be with their pain in a similar way you would share their joys or celebrations (you don’t try to change or analyze anything in those moments, do you?). And through body language, by listening and holding quiet space, let them know you are there as a sounding board, or to hear their requests should they need anything from you, giving them the opportunity to learn to ask and receive at their own readiness.

Don’t worry

because has it ever helped enhance your quality of life anyway? It can only serve to attract the very thing that you are worried about- what we pay attention to grows. Instead, do what you need to do to not worry.

And then there’s this:

‘Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’

‘Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

Piglet was comforted by this.

-A.A. Milne

Learning to trust yourself

I often get asked how one comes to trusting oneself.

The first thing to get is that this question comes from fear of owning the decision, so the answer doesn’t necessarily make the process feel any less scary until you accept that the answers to the important questions in your life are already inside of you because your soul knows. Your soul is not bound from the limitations of our ego, or of time and space, and is therefore spontaneously connected to Truth. Also, you can’t really make the wrong choice. This statement is debatable until you drop the learned judgments.

You learn to trust yourself by trusting yourself.

It’s like building a muscle. It takes regular practice to turn this into a habit and into something more “natural”.

When I’m in front of a client, I put both my hands out with elbows bent at my sides, palms facing up, and I explain that I think of my yes/no question. Then I clap one hand into the other. By the time the hands come together, if my yes isn’t resounding, it’s a no. Any more thought put into it is my ego stepping in to analyze, justify, and back peddle into the comfort zone.

That’s it.