One of the great things about not being tied down with an ego and its attachments is that everyday is a new day, and regardless of “who I was” yesterday, I can be whomever I want to be today.
See… without the hindrance of being tied down by the negative patterns of attachment within the mind, when I get out of bed in the morning, I’m not bound by a mind’s idea of “who I need to be” that day based on “who I have been in the past”. Sure… I have a life. I have specific stuff to do. I have responsibilities. But at the same time, how I approach all those things… is an blue ocean of possibilities. How I tackle them is pure free will. And how I see those things in my mind… can reduce even the biggest mountain of challenge to rubble. There is no fear. It’s pure freedom. It’s bliss.
And the fact is… that you can live this way also. If you calm the mind and lean back into the Spirit, you can release those negative attachment patterns of the mind also. You can loosen the reins on who your mind “thinks” you are based on who you were yesterday, and who you “think” you’re going to be tomorrow. And this allows you to be who you want to be today.
Were your actions that of a cigarette smoker yesterday? They don’t have to be today. When someone quits smoking… even with all the preparation of nicotine gum, and patches and fake cigarettes… there comes a split second somewhere in the middle where on one side of that split second… you’re a smoker… and on the other… you’re not. All the other activity is simply preparation for that single moment of change. All the rest is massaging who you were yesterday so as to release those ideas and be the new you that you are today. That single moment of release… on the other side of which… is the embrace of change.
And even though change may have been slow and gradual for you in the past (and even unsuccessful many times), if you take the time to calm the mind and release your attachments (even if they’re emotional attachments), your changes for the positive can become immediate. They can be without any hesitation. And if you slip up on one day and don’t necessarily live life the way you want to that day… nothing stops you from being whomever you want to be the next morning… or the next hour… or the next moment directly following that imperfect moment.
And THAT place… is a wonderful place to be.
See… for me… being calm of mind and devoid of its attachments, I know that regardless of how well I did things yesterday, I can decide to be better at those things today. Even if I did things great yesterday, I can still be better today. I am not bound by who my mind “thinks” I am, or how my mind judges how I was yesterday, tainting how I am today. And by the way, this can also become a great self-forgiving space if I did things great yesterday, and maybe… not so well today. I don’t have to waste time feeling bad about questionable moments, past or present, because I know allowing those thoughts of other moments can only drag that less than perfect moment into the next/present moment, ruining both. Similarly, I know that worrying about a “tough” tomorrow (or a “tough” later-on today, or a “tough” in-the-coming-ten-minutes)… can only ruin the present moment… and only I can allow that contamination to happen. That’s awesome, if you think about it.
And besides… even if I might have what could be considered a tough day ahead of me… if I decide to be… I can be the hero that rises to successfully tackle any challenge. No sweat. I have no preconceived notions of limitations that might inhibit my actions. Not today. Not at this moment. Ever. Not at this moment… ever.
Freedom. The liberation from “self” that all the world’s sages spoke about.
One of my favorite little Zen stories is:
A man walking across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger chasing after him. Coming to the edge of a deep ravine, he caught hold of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Terrified, the man then looked down to where, far below, another tiger had come, waiting to eat him if he fell. Just then, two mice, one white and one black, began to gnaw away at the vine that was suspending the man. The man looked and saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine in one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
The moral of this short story: No one moment, future or past, can taint the present moment unless you allow it to do so within your mind. This is a very liberating lesson if you allow it to be. Because every new moment gives you new choices. Every new moment gives you the power to change things for the better. Every new moment is a new freedom to be whomever you want to be.
So now… all that said… who are you going to decide to be today? It’s completely your choice. Choose wisely.
For me… I’m going to be a good dad to my son, a good husband to my wife, I’m definitely going to consciously enjoy the small moments throughout the day, and I’m going to do something meaningful that helps others get just a little bit closer to their own inner peace. It’s not necessarily a grand plan… but then again… it doesn’t have to be.
With love for you,
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