The earth is changing rapidly and we all need a new tool kit and manual to smile through life or at least to keep life from wrestling us to the ground.
Your daughter has just become famous on YouTube. You went out for coffee with your colleague, he asked the ‘barista’ (trained coffee professional) to serve his soy flat white at 65 degrees. You felt embarrassed because you just ordered a coffee. In fact it was that same barista who told you your daughter is now famous. He ‘instagrammed’ a picture of the 2 of you. You’re not sure how you feel about that. You wonder if he’s a famous barista. It would only make sense because you found out last week that a lot of people who cook food for a living now become famous. You wonder if you’ll ever be famous. Is there such thing as celebrity accountant? You ask your wife that night. She smiles. She says she will meditate on it. You don’t know what it means but you think you should meditate too. Your boss meditates but he looks red faced and stressed. But maybe he’d be worse if he didn’t meditate. He makes more money than you.
But money doesn’t bring happiness according to ‘new earth living magazine’ which you’ve been finding on your wife’s bed side cabinet. The magazine retails at $16.95. You imagine how many happy poor people buy it. Your daughter doesn’t come home that night; she’s recording at a friend’s house. You wonder what that involves. You miss the times when she was 7 and she would help you cook and you would pull funny faces and scare her around the house and she would put handwritten notes under your pillow. She wrote you and email not long ago. It was sweet but it was addressed to 11 other people too. You feel disconnected, your wife says as you kiss her goodnight. You hope that one day you’ll know what that means. You listen to the rhythm of her yogic breathing exercise. It dawns on you that something is very wrong. Confused, disconnected, you’re a man and if this was a machine you would surely fix it. You would just grab your tools, read some manuals and this household would be back to normal before lunch time. The earth is changing rapidly and you need a new tool kit and manual to match.
The New Earth Tool Kit
This toolkit is designed to assist all, but with a pull to the masculine. By no means does this mean that it is to be used by men only, it simply means that it supports your the masculine force in all of us to achieve more balance in whatever we’re pursuing. If you are reading this and this makes absolutely no sense to you, but you’re willing to give it a go because it might make your richer and therefore happier, quicker? Great Read on and it will all make sense.
The tools in this kit are essentially forms of meditation. However, that word may mean nothing to you and just like the word ‘God’ it may bring up forms of judgment that are irrelevant. So forget that word as quick as you read it. These tools are here to soften your mind and sharpen your soul, helping you navigate smoothly through the turbulent waters of modern society. You may attract stunning new acquaintances or serendipitous events on the way as pleasant side effects. Use these tools daily in order to feel better in the only time granted to you for as long as you breathe: the present moment.
The screw driver – for opening ‘the machine’
Your darling girlfriend announces her washing machine stopped working because you ALWAYS leave coins in your pockets which have now ruined her machine. In fact, it’s her mother’s machine which makes it 10 times worse. What do you do? Believe her? No! You grab your screw driver and open up the machine to identify the cause of the problem in a more objective way. The screw driver is the first tool one should grab in every conflict situation.
The aim: shifting from a narrow, egocentric perspective to a broader view on a painful situation
The process: Step away from the ‘problem’ and the people that surround it. Find a private place, the toilet is usually a great hide out whether you’re using it for the reasons it was originally build for or not. Sit down, keeping the lid and your pants up is entirely optional. Relax your body and take 3 deep, conscious breaths. Identify the thoughts, story and situation that seem to be the problem in your ‘story-mind’. Now ask yourself calmly but firmly ‘Is this the absolute, unbiased truth?’ Observe your thoughts. Are they here to protect your identity, make you sound right or are they truly focused on the best possible solution? Take 3 more breaths. You are now opening up the broken machine, curiously and honestly allowing the real ‘issue’ to reveal itself. You know your girlfriend blames it on your coins. You know you want her to be wrong. But if you were a strange technician, just here to fix another machine, what would be the real ‘problem’?
The lubricant – for smoothing things out
Sometimes after thorough inspection it turns out that all parts, people and power points that surround the seemingly broken machine are perfectly fine, just a little rusty. Switching the machine off for a bit, giving it a good spray and not turning it on for a day or so to let the grease sink in may be just the right thing to do.
The aim: bringing gentle healing to a situation without changing or removing yourself from it.
The process: Great emotional lubricant consists of a number of possible ingredients. Love is the essential base oil for this lubricant. Reminding yourself that most of us are pretty clueless as to why we have come forth in this world only to leave again a couple of years later can reaffirm our fleeting human nature. Perhaps if her past were your past, if his awareness was your awareness you would act the exact same way.
Lubricant Ingredients :
- Love (and therefore an absence of fear) is sure to smooth any situation. Ask yourself, would I rather be right or at peace? Who or what will I be if I don’t win this battle?
- Mutual understanding.
The Tao reminds us that all rivers in the world flood to the ocean. Be the ocean: strong and powerful yet always staying low, humble and patient. Trust that eventually the water that matters will flow to you, no need for scarcity and competition but surrender instead. These are the most important ingredients for lubricant. However, feel free to add some classic ingredients to your mix that helped humanity smooth things out for ages: small offerings of coffee, cake, cheese or wine have brought people closer for millennia. Just don’t use these without the first 3 ingredients which are critical to any great lubricant.
The Sledge hammer – for removing faulty equipment
Initial screwdriver inspection may reveal some seriously flawed fundamentals in a machine that was broken to start with. Every time you look at this machine you might rise to feelings of anger and frustration only to turn the other cheek and drop back to feelings powerless and victimized when it comes to this situation. Sometimes accepting a less than comfortable situation is a noble thing to do. But when frustration persists it may be time to tear this faulty factory down. Bring out the sledge hammer!
The aim: moving out of a place of sadness, temporarily using the force of anger and frustration that is already present inside of you to come to a place of contentment and satisfaction. No living beings should be hurt in the process.
The process: Lock yourself into a reasonably soundproof room. If you don’t have access to a room, a car parked in a quiet spot, preferably outside residential areas is a good option too. Line up a bunch of sturdy pillows; these are all the people and situations that you allowed to make you feel powerless. Feel the anger and set the intention to let it out once and for all. Give the pillows a long hard stare and tell them exactly how you feel about them. Now rage! Fire hard punches at the pillows, verbalize your aggression by screaming whatever comes up. Release! Continue this process until you feel relieved. Forgive yourself and your fluffy victims, after all, they are only just pillows and they ‘know not what they do’.
Note: The sledge hammer is a powerful tool. The aim is to shift existing anger and reach a better feeling place. Once used you may be inspired and feel courageous to make necessary changes in your life situation. Use the sledge hammer as part of a balanced tool kit. Acceptance and forgiveness are the sledgehammer’s best friends.
The chisel – for smoothing out the rough spots
We are all born divine statues, perfect works, crafted of stardust by the hands of some mystical creator. Years of mental storms, hellish hail and harsh winds causes our perfection to be covered up by thick layers of green moss, mud and dust. Use the chisel in any situation to gently edge away the mind made clutter that hides your brilliance that is dying to radiate out into the world.
Aim: Uncovering the power of your presence, found in the present. In more earthly terms, finding fulfillment through ‘being’ as opposed to doing.
The process: The chisel is essentially a tool called ‘mindfulness’ meditation. Find yourself a place where you are very comfortable and undisturbed. You may choose to sit cross legged or on a chair, have your back reasonably straight and relax your entire body. Start by noticing your breath, is it shallow, is it fast paced? Don’t force your breath; be aware of the process that has been going on since the moment you were born. You’ll probably find your breath naturally slowing down; releasing stress you didn’t even know was there. Sooner or later your mind will question ‘and now what?’. Acknowledge this, and return to the breath. There’s absolutely nothing to do here, just be aware of your breath and allow this focus to quiet your mind. Practice regularly with persistence for at least 15 minutes at the time. Notice how this powerful tool affects you. Once you are comfortable with your eyes closed, you may explore practicing in situation you would normally consider ‘boring’. On the train to work, at the airport or in the living room of your mother in law. You may even apply this breath awareness whilst doing things. Next time you’re talking to someone, see if you can have a small portion of your awareness focused on your breath. You’ll find the quality of your interaction improves by being more present.
These are 4 tools that form the basis of the New Earth Tool Kit. As sure as the sun will set tonight, the tool kit will evolve over time. Stay tuned.