Tonight I saw a light-hearted, yet philosophical. movie about inner truth, forgiveness and authenticity. In A Thousand Words, Eddie Murphy plays a glib, superficial book agent, whose life becomes inexplicably entwined with a mysterious tree that appears full grown in his yard. When Murphy realizes that the tree loses a leaf for every word he speaks or writes, he stops talking, aware that when the final leaf falls, he and the tree will die. Murphy learns to communicate from his heart, on a deeper level, and is finally freed by forgiveness.
If life is a movie, I want my movie to be happy and joyful! What about you? If your inner thoughts are creating your reality, projecting your story on your very own big screen, everyone of the 70,000, plus or minus thoughts you are thinking on a daily basis has relevance. What if you could always live in a place of pure awareness, and just notice your thoughts, without judging or suppressing them? What if you could automatically observe your thoughts with neutrality without engaging in any drama they might generate? Life could only get better, right?
But isn’t it nigh on impossible to notice every one of your 70,000 thoughts? And, if you could, wouldn’t you be so focused on your thoughts, life would pass you by? That’s where your feelings and emotions come into play. Your feelings and emotions are as correlated with your thoughts, as the tree in the Eddie Murphy movie was with him. They can serve as indicators when your thoughts are disrupting your peace. Anything that occurs in your life is an event. How you react to it is a result of your thoughts. If an event occurs and you feel angry, it’s not the event that is creating the anger. The event is neutral. It’s your thoughts about the it that are disturbing your peace. For example, you might be standing in line when someone brushes in front of you without a word. Do you feel angry, belligerent, victimized, or do you just shrug it off philosophically? It’s your thoughts that govern your reaction.
So what to do when you’re reacting to a situation? Choose different thoughts. Take a deep breath (or three) and remind yourself that any event in itself is neutral. Suspend your judgment. How you think about it is your choice. You have the opportunity every moment to choose another way of seeing it! Look at the situation from your heart (not your head) and ask, “How can I see this in a different way?” Listen for the answer. It may not come immediately. You may hear it in a song on a radio, read it in a book, or in words someone says. Your openness to see it differently will create a space for a shift in perception to occur. The end result: more peace and joy!