Yeah right! Except… what is stopping us from making it that way?
“Life is free and life is fun” said the narrator calmly. “Life isn’t free!” my daughter exclaimed; our kids were listening to a bedtime meditation story. Straight away she cited some examples dear to her heart “we don’t have free (style) drawing at school, we have (designated) play groups and, if life was free, we wouldn’t have to go to bed at a ‘reasonable’ hour.”
Of course she is right, from her vantage point, life isn’t free.
“You can change that” I told her “you came to build a new world, not live in this one. You just have to be smart about it.”
I started in on a brief explanation about focusing our thoughts, then just told her to put her attention on what she wants rather than what she doesn’t want. “Imagine what you want in great detail, as much as you can, and trust what your thoughts have set in motion.”
The way she picked that statement out about freedom really stuck me, especially as I had just written an article only last week about the insanity of our lives. “It must be the current theme I’m currently exploring in the journey of life” I mused.
It reminded me of another story I heard recently, about a priest in Egypt watching on as many hundreds of slaves were put to work on a building project. After a long contemplation he decreed the slaves should be set free and offered coins to do the same work.
There was an incredulous response to this course of action, and so he explained that the slaves begrudged the work, and so were slow in their efforts, requiring constant goading. The slaves were also expensive to keep, they had to be fed and housed. And so, for less money, they freed the slaves who – of course – came back to the same jobs much more willingly for coins. “This” the priest said “is democracy”.
The key in this story, and the one of our life, is the contemplation that took place on the priest’s part.
Those with true power are those who know that power lies within – within the realms of your thoughts and imagination. We only need to grasp that thoughts really do create things, and we have our solution.
Of course, we can keep going round the same old hamster wheel year after year, or we can take charge of our thoughts. Or at least start by just noticing what those thoughts are.
As a friend of ours said to me today when I told him the story “yep, we get to choose what we think and how we feel”. This is absolutely true, yet most of us run on autopilot and let our feelings be dictated in response to whatever we are experiencing. So we harvest more of the same.
If our thoughts and feelings are running on autopilot, who did the thinking that put the thoughts in there? This was the theme of the article Your Best Thinking = Your Best Decisions = Your Best Life. We all have the choice to be like the priest in the story, to observe and to make smart moves, or equally we can choose bondage, like the ‘freed’ slaves.
So life can be free and it can be fun, is yours?
Mine is probably like yours, I still let what is happening around me dictate what I am feeling too much of the time. Intellectually I get what I’m pointing to in these thoughts I share with you, but emotionally I get wrapped up in everything from the fights the kids have to the things that are happening on the other side of the world with the people I love.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling the range of emotions I feel in response to those things, but they create more thoughts, and the thoughts spiral, and before I know it the whole direction of my day can go down the gurgler if I don’t catch what is happening.
So I make it my business to catch these thoughts, to be aware of what I’m thinking and feeling, to simply take the steam out of them. I manage that more easily now than ever because, by regularly meditating (for 15 minutes each day), I have practiced and practiced noticing and letting go of thoughts that aren’t helping me.
Now it’s about kick starting my fervent imagination, to create the kind of world I want to live in. In What a Wonderful World This Is, I talked about the great things we have to focus on in the here and now, those create a good backdrop from which we can start to paint the canvas of the future.
My kids have an amazing imagination, I know when I talk to my daughter about using it to build a new world that she gets this stuff better than I do; she’s not nearly as buried under layers and years of dogmas and societal constructs and other nonsense that has filled our heads and cut us off from our hearts.
Perhaps it is time to write a story of the future, the kind of future where life is free and life is fun for all of us all of the time? This is the story of my life, and your life, and our children’s lives, and their children’s lives. It starts here, today, right in this very moment, invest in a bit of dreaming and you’ll have planted a seed for a better future.
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