I love writing these I Love Mondays blogs because they challenge me to face my problems and see them in a new light. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the contrast of life, feeling like, “It’s always something,” or that we can never win. But for every problem we experience, there is an answer. Taking the time to slow down, pause our worrying, and look from a new perspective makes space for the solution to reveal itself.
Remember that life loves you. We came to this earth knowing we would feel pain, but the reward is pleasure and joy and fun. For every down there is an up. These prompts invite you to jump on your surfboard and have fun with the wave, because nothing is so bad that you can’t have a good day, bitch!
1. Dance with the dreaded weight.
Either you do it like it’s a big weight on you, or you do it as part of the dance. --Ram Dass
Do you dread doctor appointments? Do you drag your feet going to court? Us too! But what if, instead of looking at these commitments as big heavy inconveniences, we saw them as part of the flow of life? What if we danced at the doctor, and danced at court, and danced on the way to and from? What if we took these heavy experiences lightly? A little levity goes a long way in this universe. When you show up ready to play, what previously was hard and painful can actually become... FUN!
What’s something that’s weighing on you that you could treat more like it’s part of the dance? What does the dance look like?
2. Trouble don’t last always, bitch.
Our friends Ryan and Jimmy sent us a gorgeous hand-printed Chinese New Year card that included this quote by @jstlbby (watch the video for the full effect!):
Bitch, if you ain’t having a good day, sit there and ask yourself why. Is the shit that bad that you can’t have you a good day, bitch? My lash falling off, I don’t care. Wig blowin’ like a motherfucker. People saying, “Where can I buy your hair?” It’s a synthetic wig. Ain’t nobody pressing me. Just bought myself some shit. I mean, come on! Living in Los Angeles. Just feelin’ good. The clouds is out. Trouble don’t last always, bitch. Better enjoy life now before it’s too late.
I love watching this video when I’m feeling sorry for myself. I get so wrapped up in my courtroom drama and minute medical worries that I start hating myself and my life! But trouble don’t last always bitch! What if I died tomorrow, worried about a court date six weeks away? What a waste! I better enjoy life today before it’s too late!
It’s time to snap out the worried mentality! Make a list of reasons you’re having a good day. Notice it, get more of it!
3. It’s a pleasure!
Have you ever seen Disjointed? Do you remember the Biowave machine that attacked Tae Kwon Doug with an annoyance program? The computer created all these annoying circumstances with the purpose of making Tae Kwon Doug say, “This is SO ANNOYING!”
Well, Kelly and I caught ourselves saying “This is SO ANNOYING!” a lot lately. We started wondering if a Biowave machine was targeting us. So I looked up “annoyance” on the emotional scale and found “pleasure” to be its opposite. Instead of focusing on all that is so annoying in life, we are now trying to find all the pleasure. Whenever we catch ourselves in a “This is SO ANNOYING!” moment, we turn our attention to pleasure by noting something pleasing that has happened. “That walk was a pleasure.” “This meal is a pleasure.” “It is a pleasure getting to work together.” The more we focus on pleasure, the less annoyed we are.
What’s annoying in your life? What in your life is a pleasure?
4. Chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Buddhism that focuses on the Lotus Sutra, which proclaims all people have an innate Buddha-nature and therefore are capable of achieving enlightenment in this current lifetime. The primary practice of this branch is chanting “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”, which means "Devotion to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra”.
I like to think of this branch of Buddhism as the “Law of Attraction” Buddhism. In the Nichiren Buddhist text The Winning Life, chanting NMRK is explained:
We create causes through thoughts, words and actions. With each cause made, an effect is registered simultaneously in the depths of life, and those effects are manifested when we meet the right environmental circumstances. Life itself is an endless series of causes and simultaneous effects. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the deepest cause we can make in order to produce our desired effect.
What this means to me is this: Our thoughts create our reality. If we want to get out of our own way when it comes to conscious creation, keeping our mind trained on NMRK is as good a way as any to prime our manifesting powers. As long as we’re not thinking negative, desire-contradicting thoughts, what we want must come to us. Chanting NMRK keeps our attention on the rhythm of life and off of our worries.
I first came across NMRK in the Tina Turner biography film, What’s Love Got to Do With It. Ms. Turner credits chanting with turning her life around after struggling with abuse. My next brush was when my friend gave me a pamphlet on the practice he received from someone at Discount Tire. But the most striking encounter was recent.
I had a meeting at a law office to discuss my case. In the waiting room was a stack of NMRK business cards. I took one and stuck it in my folder of paperwork. Two days before my court date, I landed on the NMRK page in How to Quantum Leap. I remembered the NMRK business card in my dossier and decided I would prepare for court by chanting. I chanted all the way up to my hearing. A series of happy accidents and good signs occurred, and while I am still embroiled in the legal process, NMRK gave me hope for miracles. The chanting works.
If you’re as intrigued by the chanting as I am, the accompanying worksheet asks you to write NMRK as many times as you can, chanting in your head. Consider this as a sign chanting can help you too. NMRK is a life raft when I am in over my head. Try it, you’ll like it!