if you want to check and see how "enlightened" you've become, spend a week at your parent's house. Eckhart Tolle said something like this in one of his books.
he should have also added, "or spend a few days at Disneyland during the busiest time with a family of 18 people."
this was my first time at Disneyland without the aide of antidepressants for 4 years. (i had gone to Disneyland 4 times within those 4 years). I was...a little nervous.
would I still be happy? could I enjoy myself?
Disneyland is not everyone's cup of tea, but we totally enjoy it. it's a happy place for us as a family, so the trepidations and worries were normal. I really didn't want it to lose its peaceful and pleasurable place in my heart.
I can say now, that it was still a wonderful place. crowds included. confession: I caught myself more than a few times feeling frustrated...at myself. frustrated if I felt rushed (I try to never feel or be rushed, I'm working on it). frustrated if I caught myself bossing people around (ok all of these things I'm working on).
again, frustrated just if I caught myself being frustrated, but then I used three tools that helped me recenter right away.
1. take a deep breath. see everything is ok.
that didn't work?
2. look at the kids. are they happy? YES. YES THEY ARE. then all is well.
and if I need more confirmation all is well:
3. look at the flowers. seriously, the flowers at Disneyland make it the HAPPIEST place on earth. I'm sorry to keep yelling but WOWZAS. every petal, every leaf, plump and happy and just thrilled to be alive. there is some seriously top notch love and attention given to those beauties and it shows.
how can your mind keep spinning if you focus on a long slow inhale and exhale?
how can you stay mad looking at a happy child?
how can you be frustrated when you give your attention to a beautiful and perfect flower?
these two tricks worked wonders. also, ahem, any time I caught myself being irritated by an surly or hormonal child, I would go and help with my niece of nephew. give me a baby! I can help! teenagers, well in our family they are a new breed and I'm just getting to know their habits and needs and...yeah. we will leave it at that.
how am I able to stay "relatively" calm and happy amid chaos, frustration, tiredness, etc?
*confession, I did snap at one person the entire trip because they were acting surly and teenagerish (it was my husband). hehehee
but seriously, how?
well here's a quick and short and choppy explanation:
"I think therefore I am" Descartes said.
What he missed out was, "What I let my mind think about, creates my reality."
do you have a choice to notice the inconveniences of being at Disneyland on a crowded day? YES. you also have a choice to notice the beautiful, happy and wonderful things on the same day. everything is a choice.
I'm gonna say that again, everything is a choice. which means...your life is a choice.
I can't stress this enough. But I guess people have to get super de dooper tired of being a hot, miserable mess before they want to know this truth too.
with good morals and work, anything is possible. honestly, seriously, with living a good and virtuous life and choosing every moment to stay present (without adding any drama/stories/etc) you can have a beautiful and fulfilling life. we have this great example of how to live our life and return to our Heavenly Father. His name was Jesus Christ, and he told you to be like the flowers, be like children. Stop trying to control your life with your thoughts and be powerful with your ego. He told us that the beautiful Lillies have more splendid glory than King Solomon in all of his kinglike crazy rich life.
and this isn't utopia I'm talking about, the idea of finally being happy and peaceful a few years down the road when you stop freaking out over your kids walking slowly or your annoying habit of procrastinating. this is NOW. right now.
you can be free of all of it right now.
once you realize that, that right now there are no problems or stress or worries, there is just you reading this and you are an amazing being with infinite potential, then you can also tap into this stillness waiting in line to get soaked head to foot and look like a homeless raccoon mother the rest of the day.
but if looking like a homeless raccoon mother makes you sad, just refocus on something or someone else and make someone else happy. preferable a baby. they are easy to make happy. teenagers, not so much. ah, ok I'm done.