• Nanci Sherman

WILL THE REAL GURU PLEASE STAND UP?

Updated: Feb 10

In FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, NOT YOUR BLISTERS, I relate the story of a woman who is seeking the holy grail of life. After years of searching, she approaches a guru high on a mountain top. She inquires, “Oh Great One, what is the meaning and purpose of life?” The guru declares “Life is like a waterfall.” She contorts her face, repeats what he says in a doubting manner, and the guru responds, “You mean to tell me it’s not?”


Life is what you make it, not as another deems it to be. Not family, not religious figures, not social media, or people with ironclad ideologies. Everyone is in their own little reality and the more they can garner approval of their perspective, the more superior they feel. That has nothing to do with you. Life improves dramatically with a fresh perspective - one of sense of joy and freedom.


One thing I can tell you for sure is that life is lived “now.” There is no such thing as the past or future except as it exists in language. If I am recalling a past event, I am doing it in this moment. Life is nothing but Now Now Now, ad infinitum.


Life throws us curves but how we look at them is the key. My girlfriend was considering what new car to purchase. Her husband advised her that if it’s too fancy, someone will key it. Perspective is everything. Consider a stable where you can ride any horse you choose. I recommend picking the happiness is a string of happy moments horse. You get off, you can get back on. Avoid the horse that gets lost in the woods.


In our childhood, beliefs are handed down to us such as: Sunday is for church, don’t swim after you eat, you will go blind if you masturbate, etc. As we gain exposure to the world, we may choose to chuck some of the beliefs to the wayside on our own or wait until the cult leader is carted off to prison. Either way, the thoughts and superstitions we hold on to determine our future. These beliefs then turn into living “conditionally”- needing things to be a certain way before you will avail yourself of the joy that could be yours with a tweak of perspective and new action.


What doesn’t occur in our thinking is only a product of our focus in the moment. For instance, are you aware at this moment of the millions of bits of information coming at you? Your thighs on the chair, your digestive juices breaking down your lunch, the ring on your finger? There is so much going on we are unaware of. We are only aware of what we are thinking about. To be more precise, our thoughts think us. We put in the raw material and it gets shaped into the next thought and the next. If we are what we think about, and we are, how do we gain control over our thoughts?


Consider that whomever you listen to forms you. If you are loving life, you had some great teachers. If you act out of “I think this way because,” you give your power away. We all hold certain things to be sacred. What is sacred to me about being human is to live our lives with freedom - to become aware of how our thoughts shape us. We are free to either be uplifted by our outlook or in a mood that makes us judgmental, defensive, and critical. How we gain control over out destiny is to choose?


Consider the source. Like furniture, thoughts can be moved into just the right arrangement. It’s as easy to throw out an unworthy thought as it is an ugly old couch. Just because thoughts are by nature intrusive, they do not have “squatters rights.”


Our Belief System


Beliefs are rarely “the truth.” Beliefs are thoughts that were handed down to you or you picked up along the way and you keep thinking them over and over until they set in like rigor mortis of the mind.


A World of Mini- Realities


Most of us live in a paradigm that “There is only one way to look at things – my way.” Obviously, there is not. Just look at our political system. Allowing alternative viewpoints to be just that will make you more friends than enemies. Compassion is vital


Interpretation


There is nothing that is not a product of interpretation. Not a piece of art, not the design of a city, not a movie, not a person. We all interpret “the way things should be.” Holy Should!


Perspective


Perspective is our bus driver. Based upon our beliefs, interpretations and hand-me-down thoughts, we get the view we have.


The future is what we make it today. It is as easy to take a leap of faith as it is a leap of doubt. If you are waiting for a guru to tell you your next steps, get a mirror and take a good look at your master guide. As the master states to his disciple in the 1970’s Kung Fu series, “Choose wisely, Grasshopper.”


Nanci Sherman


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