We recently explored the concept of "Joining the dots" and Anth noted that the numbers found on the "Join the dots" puzzle of our life should be replaced by the word "NEXT..."
This week at Q we're exploring what it means to connect to "The Next Right Thing" in our lives.
What does "next" look like?
What do we mean by "right"?
What do we understand by "thing"?!
How do I know what the next right thing is?
Having escaped from 3 months in captivity, Tony Stark decides that the next right thing for him...is a cheeseburger!
Sometimes the next right thing for us, might be a cheeseburger too!
In many stories about Jesus, from healing a crippled man, to raising Jairus' daughter from the dead, people are looking to him for guidance on what's next for their lives, but what Jesus asked of them was often unconventional and unexpected!
"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment." Eckhart Tolle
Time can become our enemy rather than our friend when we fail to understand the advice of Master Oogway in this clip from Kung Fu Panda:
"You are too concerned with what was and what will be." Master Oogway
"Doing the next right thing demands one thing above all, it insists you inhabit the moment." Anth Chapman
One of the reasons we inhibit the moment rather than inhabit the moment is that we compare ourselves to others and become consumed with "I'm not like..." thoughts, just like Po did with "The Five" in the clip above and this then leads us to feel like quitting.
"I probably sucked more today than anyone in the history of kung fu. In the history of China. In the history of sucking!" Po, the Kung Fu Panda
"Inhabiting the moment means having hope that something could come of this moment that will stagger me because it will be wonder-full." Anth Chapman
Two other things that typically stop us embracing the power of this moment are Ego and Excuses. In the movie, Castaway, Chuck Noland gets stuck on an island and has to face being alone, being afraid and being cast away. He came to the conclusion that he had power over nothing but decided he had to just keep breathing, until one day, the tide brought him what he needed to escape the island.
This powerful poem by John Roedel gives us an important reminder of the power of our breath:
"My brain and my heart divorced a decade ago, over who was to blame about how much of a mess I had become. Eventually they couldn't be in the same room as each other. Now my head and heart share custody of me. I stay with my brain during the week, and my heart gets me at weekends. They never speak to each other. Instead they give me the same note to pass every week, and the notes they send to one another always say the same thing: This is your fault.
On Sundays my heart complains about how my head has let me down in the past, and on Wednesdays my head lists all the times my heart has screwed things up for my future.
They blame each other for the state of my life.
There's been a lot of yelling and crying, so lately I've been spending a lot of time with my gut, who serves as my unofficial therapist. Most nights I sneak out of the window of my ribcage and slide down my spine and collapse on my gut's plush, leather chair, that's always open for me, and I just sit, sit, sit, sit until the sun comes up.
Last evening my gut asked me if I was having a hard time being caught between my head and my heart.
I said I didn't know if I could live with either of them anymore.
My gut squeezed my hand.
"I just can't live with the mistakes of the past or the anxiety about the future." I sighed, but my gut smiled and said "In that case, go visit your lungs for a while. Go and watch, don't say anything, just watch."
I was confused. The look on my face gave it away.
"If you're exhausted about your heart's obsession with the fixed past and your mind's focus on the uncertainties of the future, the lungs are the perfect place for you. It's where yesterday and tomorrow are of no consequence. There is only now. There is only inhale, there is only exhale. There is only this moment. There is only that breath, and in that breath you can rest while your heart and head work their relationship out."
This morning, while my brain was busy reading tea leaves and while my heart was staring at old photographs, I packed a little bag and walked to the door of my lungs.
Before I could even knock, she opened the door with a smile and as a gust of air embraced me, she said "What took you so long!"
"What logic says about your situation may be proved all wrong."
So, what is the next right thing for us? To keep breathing! Because tomorrow the sun will rise and who knows what the tide could bring.
As we continue our quest together may we seek to understand that "I AM." is a complete sentence.