Question: Do you have any suggestions for making use of idle time such as waiting in lines, traffic, doctor offices, etc.?
Answer: Any time we feel ourselves getting bored or “up tight” because we feel our time is being wasted, we can remember that what is really wasting our time — and our soul’s possibility to develop — is this secret negative state we are now identified with. Shake yourself awake, and drop the known irritation or boredom in favor of being a witness to the life around you. “Watch, for ye know not when.”
Question: I feel bored with my job and my life in general. In the past I would have looked for a new job or a time-consuming hobby. Is there inner work I can do to relieve the boredom of the job?
Answer: When we are bored with life, it is because we have at last begun to outgrow what our thought-life can provide for us. While there may be reasons for boredom with your job, you should never experience boredom in your inner work. Learn to use your situation instead of mechanically resisting it. Boredom is nothing other than thought gazing at thought and telling itself what it sees. Set inner tasks for yourself and watch the boredom disappear.
The weight of any kind of fear, weariness, or worry is the negative by-product of your own past as it inserts, and then asserts itself upon the light of peace that is the present moment.
To allow God’s will to be your way begins with realizing that the only obstacles you run into in your life are the creations of your will.
What makes you so weary is not the world that refuses to yield to your will, but your own unyielding will ever driving you on to find an end to your weariness.
Most of us must go to work every day and perform repetitive tasks that are rarely of our choosing. And when these unwanted routines run — as they do — it isn’t long before our growing resistance to them leaves us feeling weary, if not burned out! Even if we’re lucky enough to make a living doing what we wish, what feels good one moment can become a grind the next; we all know the drill whenever we start feeling stuck. Resistance to our situation swells in us like a cresting wave, and moments later we’re carried into a world without gratitude, enthusiasm, or hope. Now add to this sad scenario the fact that this resistance itself becomes a part of our routine, and it’s easy to see why we often feel as if we’re stuck in a rut!
The first step to releasing ourselves from any sense of being in a rut begins with seeing this truth: The real nature of what we call our “daily grind” is really just our own mind telling itself, over and over again, how much it wishes things would change. If life seems like a grind, it’s only because we’re following around the same level of thinking that makes it so. Blaming outside circumstances for trapping us in a rut is like blaming the television for the boredom we feel while sitting watching nothing but reruns. It’s time to break our ties with anything in us that would rather complain about its situation than go to work to change it.
The first step to breaking out of any rut in life is to no longer enable the parts of us that keep walking in them while wishing they weren’t so deep! Learning to watch our own thoughts and feelings — to be quietly attentive to what the mind is attending to in each moment — ensures that we won’t fall into these ditches, because our heightened level of attention keeps them from being dug!
For encouragement along the way, just notice how, each time you bring your attention into the present moment, it’s you who gets the gift of being made new. That’s the way it works. See how many times you can catch yourself just as you’re about to go on the “ride” of not wanting to be where you are — of not wanting to do what you must. Then deliberately step out of that long line of repetitive thoughts and feelings. Take your attention off what you don’t want, and bring it into the new moment — as it is.
This new and higher level of attention connects you to the present moment, the living now. The interior task of working to remain attentive in this way grants you entrance into a world free of routine, without ruts of any kind — because no one has ever been there before you.
Before we can hope to change the way we speak to others, and the tones with which our words are spoken — that we might express more patience and consideration for those around us — we must first become mindful of the impatient and inconsiderate parts of us whose voice and actions not only tend to make victims of our family, friends, and neighbors … but of ourselves as well.
If we shut our ears to the still “little voice” — that little Light within us whose love reminds us we’re not meant to be cruel, impatient, or in a perpetual rush — we will soon be unable to see the difference between what we have become, and all that it is possible for us to be.
Because the “still small voice” speaks within us without using words, we must learn how to listen with our eyes, hear with our heart, and receive each moment mindfully; only then is our response in harmony with the greater reality.