Lately, I've been feeling a bit like a piece of river driftwood, caught up in a force beyond my control, being carried along without regard to any kind of purpose. Aimless, if you will. And I suppose some would find a sort of freedom in that driftlessness...to 'go with the flow', as it were. But not me. I feel lost, at loose ends, undirected...and I don't like it.
The first place I go to when I need answers or help is my public library. Books rarely let me down in my search for knowledge and enlightenment. As I wandered the aisles, a small selection of Wayne Dyer books caught my eye. A friend of mine (her blog here) is a fan of his, so I picked up a tome called Dr. Wayne Dyer's 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace.
Success and Inner Peace - two things I certainly could use a bit more of.
Last night, my husband and I started reading the book together, taking just one "secret" at a time. I took some notes in my personal journal, but I thought I'd summarize and synthesize those thoughts here for you...not only as an FYI for you, but a reinforcer for myself as well. My challenge over the next ten days is to read/summarize/synthesize those ten secrets here at WYWH. Maybe I will find the spiritual "guide" I think I've been missing.
Secret #1: Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.
At first, this sounds great. And easy too. But considering all the conditioning and "baggage" I come with...letting go is easier said than done. Out of Dyer's dialogue regarding this secret, I've provided my mix of insights and highlights below.
1. Revel in the magic of the everyday workings of the universe. The sun shines, trees bloom, people smile, my body works - all of those things are miracles, really. Recognize the amazing awe that comes with living on this planet.
2. Resist being a pessimist. Dyer makes an outstanding point - the universe is limitless, so how can we claim to know everything? We can't - we hardly know anything compared with what there is to know. Being cynical goes hand in hand with thinking we know everything.
3. Whatever your mind is filled with (doubt, peace, anger, positivity) is what will manifest in your actions.
4. Let go of your physical ego/self. This was a critical point for me. So much of who I am is wrapped up in my physical being: how much weight I've lost, what size clothes I wear, how many gray hairs I can count, etc. And that is only a fraction of me!
5. Detach from outcomes. It's okay to desire and dream, but keep yourself separate from the outcome. Practice "what will be, will be". I was strongly reminded of Max Ehrmann's
"Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
6. Let things come and go as it will. Let thoughts arise and then let them go. Holding on to them, developing an emotion to go with them creates attachment.
7. Love people for who they are, not for what you think they should be. This particular point resonated with my husband.
8. Perhaps what I felt to be the key idea of Dyer's first secret: "Never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to anything, any place, or any person."
Obviously, reading the chapter and writing some notes on it are a far cry from implementation into daily life. But, it's an awareness and it's a start.