If you love getting gifts — and who doesn’t — then why not accept, with gratitude, the greatest gift there is: the “present” moment.
The following six Key Lessons contain special understanding about the nature of invisible pressure-filled states that cause run human beings to run themselves ragged. The clearer we can see the reasons for why our lives are always in such a rush, the sooner we arrive at the true solutions that allow us to slow down, take command, and realize the relaxed pace of Real Life. Study each lesson separately for the secret it tells; put all the lessons together and let them tell you the true story of how you can realize a New Life that is always at peace within itself.
1. An unseen force that makes “mountains out of molehills” is the presence of that pressure within us that causes us to rush through life. There is a secret and inverse proportion between this pressing need we have for speed, and how important we must be if we’re always anxious to get somewhere else in a hurry.
2. Rushing from place to place is a poor man’s riches; for in his ceaseless hurry to reach the pleasure or power he imagines, he is able to temporarily escape the poverty of himself that he would rather not know.
3. Here is a truth unseen by the masses, but evident to those weary of going nowhere fast: he who rushes through life always finishes last! Here’s why this is true: we race as we do to escape our sense of unhappiness with where we are, endlessly running towards what we imagine will free us from our own dissatisfied feelings; but such races are always lost before they begin, because who do you know that can outrun himself?
4. Rushing through life lends the one who habitually hurries the feeling of being “important”; but loans such as these come at the high cost of always having to justify one’s unkindness — as when one has to convince himself that his impatience with others is a necessary evil along the way that “greater good” towards which he thinks he runs.
5. Patience is a great virtue that is painfully learned by becoming conscious of what our impatience does to others.
6. One is well on his or her way to the Awakened Life when just to be alive is their source of peace and contentment.
Question: Having to rush is punishing… is it also a sure sign that I’m “asleep”? How does rushing overtake me so easily? What can I do to deliberately slow down when the urge to hurry seems overwhelming?
Answer: Every person knows what it feels like to be carried off by an anxious state, so you decide: when some anxiety comes along and takes over your life — are you an awake inwardly centered person — or are you an unconscious outwardly driven man or woman? Which are you? That you’re outwardly directed is pretty obvious. Why? Because that anxious state could not exist without your false belief that who you are — your well-being — is connected to something happening exterior to yourself. And now this mistaken idea is driving you, compelling you to get this thing fixed or that situation resolved right now, because once you have, you’ll be back in a peaceful place. As long as you take yourself as someone who has something to lose because of your identification with any temporary exterior condition or circumstance, you will remain someone subject to every outer condition.
By deliberately slowing yourself down when everything in you seems to be screaming “Rush,” you will become inwardly awake. You’ll become conscious of yourself in a new way. For the first time you’ll understand that these anxiety attacks have nothing to do with what didn’t get done, or with what “might happen,” but that their painful place dwells within a belief-packed self you’re living from that’s convinced if you don’t answer the situation it says has caused your anxiety, you’ll end up losing something valuable. This new kind of prayer-in-action changes your perception of yourself by turning your attention around to where the real problem, and the real solution, exists: within you. This simple but powerful prayer will help you make the transforming transition to find your life inside of you instead of forever looking for a way to fix it by struggling outside of you.
There is always and only one answer — for all of us — when it comes to trying to do the will of God, however we feel the need: we must be true to our own heart, listen quietly for interior direction, and surrender ourselves as best we can to this process. If we love the Light, we may stumble, even fall into some darkness, but the Light that leads us will never leave us there without more of its Wisdom.