The other morning as I was driving to work, I was ruminating about something. I had been trying to help someone who had asked for help, and I was turning over in my mind how to do that. Conditioning called this a “problem,” something I had to “fix.” The entire car ride was tense. I did not listen to my recordings as I often do when I am alone in the car. I did not listen to the radio show archives either. I just ruminated intensely for twenty minutes, my forehead all wrinkled in thought, and I noticed myself feeling more and more tight, frustrated, irritated, and then sad.
At one point, as I felt tears welling up in my eyes, Life offered a phrase: “This problem does not exist.” As this information came to me, I looked up, and there was a beautiful sunrise in front of me. I had been driving toward it the entire time, but hadn’t noticed it. Pink, gold, and crimson splashed the horizon. Off in the distance, the deep blue leftover from night caused an illusion of mountains. The view was so beautiful that I could hardly catch my breath. My feelings transformed at once to lightness, expansiveness, and wonder.
What had happened? Is it really that simple? I was reminded of the story “there open the gates of hell, there open the gates of heaven.” I had been in the clutches of conditioning’s urgency and need for control. Once I let that go, not only was I aware of the beauty all around me, I also was released into the abundance and calm of the present moment. It occurred to me that this process is happening everywhere and all the time. With my head down, acting with urgency, trying to wrestle control, I am miserable. With my head up, present to all that is, allowing Life to flow freely, I am in bliss. I began to look at how this is something that can happen with just about any content.
I wrote down “this problem does not exist” on a post-it. Actually, I put it on several post-its, and placed them where I would see them at work, at home, and in the car. In looking back over my life, I see many, many instances where conditioning had me convinced that I HAD to “solve” a “problem” or else! Or else! Or else? Or else what? Conditioning never really filled in that blank. I realize now that the “or else” is really “or else I could just drop this illusion and come back to Life.” Conditioning had me convinced that the doorway beyond it would lead me to doom, where it really leads to freedom. Dropping conditioning was the way out.
My next step is to look and see if any problem really exists. This feels so fun and exciting. It also drives conditioning crazy. I’m looking forward to what I discover.