I met a woman today in Starbucks who had a cute little bulldog who’s tongue was perpetually hanging out of his mouth, named Pugsley. He was irresistibly cute so my friend Nikki decided to get a picture of him. As this was happening Pugsley’s owner, a bubbly woman with a look in her eye that i couldn’t quite put my finger on informs us that Pugsley has a Facebook and a Twitter page. As a joke I ask if he responds to the posts people leave. The bubbly woman becomes grave, “oh yes he does, he does,” she assures me. I chuckle as Nikki and I head to the car.
“Do you think that woman every gets tired of being out of her mind?” I hear Nikki ask. I laugh because she did seem like she was out of her mind, didn’t she? That was the look I saw, the disturbing stare of a crazy person who helps their dog post on the social networks on account of the dog not having thumbs, and being a dog. Then suddenly my perception changes and I realize Nikki had said “Do you think that dog gets tired having his tongue out all the time?” I tell Nikki what I thought she said and we both laugh thinking that’s what she should have said, because that lady was crazy. But then I realize I wake up every morning to stare at the sun and from the looks I get when I do it on the street corner, to some people I seem out of my mind too.
This bubbly lady and her social networking dog make me think of how important our perceptions are. Because I thought that woman was crazy I heard Nikki say she was too, even though she had actually said something else entirely. I was finding evidence for my point of view in the world around me. I am starting to understand that that’s the mystical nature of the whole universe, it supports the notions of our subconscious mind, so if you think someone’s crazy, to you they are crazy. If your think your dog likes facebooking, then your dog likes facebooking. So I’ve decided to adopt a philosophy that life is good. And, true to form the universe is stepping right up to support my beliefs.
Life is good. I say that now even when my mood doesn’t match those words exactly, because my mood isn’t the truth, it is just the expression of my perceptions. Life is good. How I feel simply dictates what I experience. It’s hard to put spiritual and mystical concepts into words, because truly they are describing something beyond words. In new age circles we are told to feel as if we already have the thing we want now, even though we don’t have it yet. Sounds like hooey designed to calm me down so I’m not as upset that I don’t actually have what I want right in front of me. Like when your dog dies and your neighbor’s mom tells you he went to live on a farm, I call bullshit. But it turns out we are not being asked to fool ourselves. We are being asked to change the tide of our internal vibration, because while feelings aren’t always the truth, they are the building blocks of our perception of our experience. See, that sounds so convoluted. The building blocks of our perception, what the hell does that mean?
Let me try to put it another way. Our emotions are the result of chemicals produced by the brain to induce familiar mood states within us whenever we perceive there to be a catalyst for said mood state. Essentially every emotion has a corresponding chemical make up. So when you click with someone and start to fall in love that really is chemistry that you have going on. The point of this is to illustrate that the mood is a result of the chemical production from our brain. So the theory is that by practicing to maintain a specific mood state we can train the brain to become “hooked” on the chemical that corresponds to these new desired moods and wired in the direction of what we want to feel. This is essentially the underlying results of many forms of meditation and yoga and even the chanting that I do. Yogi Bhajan said it takes 62 minutes for new grey matter to begin forming in the brain. So if you can focus on something for 62 minutes you can basically “wire that in” to your head. This is why we chant for 62 minutes at early morning Sadhana. The result is a change in perception and the result of that is a change of reality. Whether reality bends to my will or my will molds to reality when this change in perception occurs is not clear; I tend to think it’s a beautiful blending of both.
Sometimes even when you’ve been disciplined and faithful to a new routine and old temptation can come up out of nowhere. Whether that’s a can of coke, or a line of coke, a bad relationship or a shallow movie, when the craving comes calling all bets are off. When you experience an old pattern like this, even though you’ve changed, that’s really the echo of the pattern reverberating in your environment. If you respond differently to the echo than you usually did in the pattern, it proves both to yourself and the universe that you’ve changed, activating your faith, and the cycle ends. Responding differently means coming from a different point of view internally, from a different, more aware emotional place. So life is truly a reflection of our experience. As within, so without. As above, so below. Now instead of judging that woman as crazy I wish I’d gotten Pugsley’s Facebook page so I could “like” him after all.
SIDE EFFECTS: None, again.
BENEFITS: My mind is ready to be neutral and nonjudgmental in more and more situations. I am seeing my points of view as mere preferences to enjoy, not facets of my identity I need to defend.