A Secret that Never Fails to Work
by Murray Oxman
“At one time or another, when reflecting on our lives, we’ve all had the inkling that there’s something missing – something not quite right here. The reason all doesn’t seem well is – it isn’t. Our usual reaction is to go about searching for something to make the uneasiness go away. We usually find some distraction and all seems well again for a while, but the inkling comes to call again. Our eyesight is set in the wrong direction – we should be looking inward for the solution. We must approach this very complicated matter with the utmost care and simplicity. If one were to plot a big, long graph of one’s life, it would show a series of big upheavals, followed by relatively smooth lines; followed by lesser upheavals; followed again by relatively smooth lines, and then a big upheaval, etc. Viewed this way our life appears quite different – not at all like it was experienced. We don’t see the connectivity of events; the law of cause and effect in action as the graph reveals it.
“After each upheaval we believe it’s gone and will not return. In fact we’re shocked when it returns. The space between the upheavals we take as normal life. We don’t suspect these spaces as being links to the next upheaval – but that’s exactly what they were and are. Do you see the beauty in this? When we expose the problem as the problem it can’t be a problem any longer. In this case in particular, everything one did between upheavals was leading to the next upheaval. Here’s the beauty again: If one stops doing what one does between the upheavals, there can’t be the next upheaval – or any upheaval. Here’s an example: You’ve made a meat-loaf and by accident you used a spice not called for in the recipe. The meat-loaf doesn’t taste the way you like. This time you cover the taste with a condiment like catsup. But the next time you make meat-loaf, would you use the same spice you mistakenly added the last time, or would you think back, see the problem and be extra careful mixing ingredients? Applying this to our lives: when we know the ingredients not to add – all is well! Important point: this only works if you don’t like the taste of your life.”
Inner Life Exercise
“One of the most helpful ways to catch our reactions before we react to them is to practice slowing down our whole system. Rushing is a harmful habit. Practice slowing down in everything you do. It’s only necessary to slow down a little to get the beneficial results. When you walk, slow down a little so only you will notice it. When you eat – slow down. When you have a conversation – slow down. It’s important to slow down in everything – no exceptions. These physical slow-downs send a corresponding slow-down message to your thoughts and emotions.”