For a 1-2 week period, i woke up every morning and one of the first things i’d do was write out the question, “What do I want?” at the top of a page and then proceed to answer the question. This helped me gain clarity for desires, goals, and creating a compelling vision for the future. This exercised proved to be pretty flippin’ powerful, and now that i think about it, i’m not quite sure why i stopped it. One of the coolest results from this was that i wrote down, under the list of wants, “vegan world,” and since writing that down a few consecutive days in a row, i very hardly have found myself in the presence of any meat-eating or dairy-consuming activity. The vegan world has nearly manifested itself! And sure enough, God-willing, very soon i’ll be headed to an ashram where they pretty much have only vegan food, so hooray!
Ah, so perhaps here’s why i stopped that morning ritual. On one of the last days i did it (not to say i won’t do it again), i wrote down the question, “What do i want?” but then also, i put after, “What matters most?” I realized that the answer to “What do i want?” would be best if it was also in alignment with the truth of “What matters most?” And that’s when i realized that all the best wants/desires are universal and basically nonphysical.
Answering “What matters most?” i come up with answers like, “God,” “Spirit,” “Truth,” “Consciousness,” “Awareness,” “Love,” “Peace,” “Joy,” “Freedom,” “Creativity,” “Kindness.”
None of the answers to “What matters most?” are at all dependent on the physical world. Sometimes we might think that they are, but ultimately we are in control over all of what matters most. And when i say “we,” you can replace that with God, for God is forever on our side and supporting and loving us in all kinds of abundant ways beyond our conscious comprehension, and God endowed us with the power to choose our own thoughts and to focus and create whatever we desire. Of course, if we choose to focus on what matters most, then what we’re will vary externally, but internally, our creation will be harmonized with the will of God, which is something like Love.
So Eckhart Tolle mentions, something along the lines of…”If you ever find yourself struggling to find peace in the world, don’t necessarily focus on changing the “What” of what you are doing. Instead, see if you can change the “How.” If you can change the “how” then you can bring joy and lightness and ease to what you’re doing, then whatever you’re doing will return something positive.” Like Martin Luther King Jr. saying, “We can only achieve peaceful ends by peaceful means.” Thich Nhat Hanh, “Every step is peace.” Peace is the way. Love is the way. Joy is the way. Me thinks Peace, Love, and Joy are all ways of God, and when our thoughts are centered in Peace, Love, or Joy, then we’re certainly doing God’s work and co-creating in a wonderful way.
When we realize the answer to “What do i want?” and “What matters most?” are one and the same, that’s when we begin to realize our freedom and power. The material world does not bind us. We can have all the greatest riches of Creation simply by harnessing the gifts bestowed upon us at birth, namely in our ability to choose our thoughts, direct our focus, and give our attention to whatever we consider good and would like to experience more abundantly. And, fundamentally, thoughts of Love sow actions of Love and a life of Love. It begins with thought. And as i’ve heard before, “Every thought of prayer.” Because, if God is ever going to be anywhere, God must be Here and Now, and so whatever we’re focusing on is being listened to and received, and presumably great forces are being moved to help us along our way! Why would God only listen to us when we’re kneeling by our bedside at night? The prayer channel is always on, especially when we are tuned in on frequencies of Love and Peace and Joy, you best believed that our thoughts are mightily received by that great power that pervades all creation 🙂
“What matters most?” are all nonphysical things. And i think Peace comes from embracing the reality that the physical things in the world turn to dust, so attaching to them is pointless and is nearly a prescription for suffering. Attaching to them is also very similar to wanting or desiring them. So best then to only desire those nonphysical things! For the nonphysical desires are pure desires of the highest order, and rest assured that focusing on manifesting the nonphysical wonderful qualities of being like Love and Peace and Joy, certainly any physical needs will be provided for. Hence, Faith is one of those nonphysical wonders that means trusting in God and Goodness, and it always returns exactly what we need.
Ultimately, whether or not we are ask for what we need, we’re always provided what we really need. And one of the wonderful perspectives to take regarding any external circumstances is, “This is for my good and growth. This is perfect for me. This must be just what God ordered up for my spiritual growth and evolution. :-)” Sometimes we might not understand what happening to us or around us, but there’s always meaning and abundant opportunity abounds. It’s all for good!
p.s. Curious as to why it has taken me 24+ years to train myself to thoroughly enjoy the taste of water and the feeling of a deep breath of fresh air rushing through the body. These simply activities are experienced daily, and often throughout the day (if not consistently) and surely there is much joy to be had in them through training and practice. I feel like that’s a lot of what happens at Buddhist monasteries…just training you to enjoy the simplest pleasures in life, and to be aware of the wonder and beauty that is all around.