Life is a sacred pilgrimage, an adventure.
We are all invited onto a path that has never been walked. It is the “road less traveled.” Will we take it?
A good way to begin is by doing the next right thing.
Amazing things take place when we make “doing the next right thing” our intention.
The willingness to do the next right thing keeps us in the now moment as the next right thing is just ONE thing (although our mind might instantly go to the next 3 or 4 things we should be accomplishing!)
We can’t take two or three steps at once. Just one.
And each single step takes place NOW—this moment.
Just as we only breathe one breath at a time, we can only move our feet one step at a time.
As we take the one next step, our entire world comes into being. It opens for us moment by moment. But sometimes we are hurrying into “what’s next” and we don’t pay attention to what is the next right thing.
Rushing simply doesn’t work for happiness or fulfillment.
As we slow down and view life as the great mysterious adventure it is, we patiently wait for the next right thing to show up.
Let life surprise us. We don’t have to figure everything out.
For instance, I felt stuck a moment ago about what direction I wanted to take in this writing, so I stopped, breathed mindfully, and inquired as to what was next.
At that moment I turned my head and saw the full, flowering cherry tree out my window.
I noticed dozens of bees taking in the sweetness of the blossoms. How beautiful it was to watch. I sat in awe and of this magnificent tree. It’s the same tree that looked so barren and dead just a few weeks ago. Or is it?
Then I wondered how all this beauty burst forth. How does this tree know how to do this?
We live in a profoundly beautiful and changing world! We simply don’t see it as it is—continually in movement!
After basking in the fragile glory of this moment, knowing these blossoms last for such a short time, I listened inside my own heart for the movement of spirit.
Spirit moves in the small hidden moments. Ideas pop up, people call, tasks loom before us. It’s all God.
Do the next right thing.
I decided to take a walk. I reflected on what my feet were doing, and what I was seeing, sensing and smelling. I became acutely aware of what my body was feeling. And I noted what my mind was thinking.
This led me back to the computer where I wrote these words. It was the next right thing for me.
And so, for you, what is the next step on your path? What is going on in your mind? What is your attitude at this moment? You are creating your life right now, thought by thought, moment by moment.
Is there something you are trying to push away? Are you wanting something?
This mind of ours has two remarkable habits--wanting something, or not wanting something. These habits have helped us survive, but they are not sufficient to create the joy and satisfaction that comes from expressing our authenticity.
Habitually we divide things up between good and bad, and thus live in duality. This causes much suffering.
Perhaps the next right thing is to relieve the suffering.
If you would like to do this, begin by investigating what your mind is doing. For out of it come the issues of your life.
Is there something uncomfortable, or frightening to you? Can you invite these emotional guests into the vastness of your mind, while continuing to breathe mindfully?
As you give them room, without identifying with them (they are just guests—temporary—won’t last) you’ll find they move on. They silently exit your house.
And then something else arises which calls to you. Will you mindfully engage with it?
Do the next right thing.
Wanting and not wanting cause suffering. It is our mind dividing things up between good and bad. By engaging mindfully with each experience, things smooth out and we receive the gifts, the understanding and meaning that all events want to bring us.
We can make a practice of not getting sucked into the content. Otherwise they stick to us like glue.
We can breathe, and feel our feelings. They are temporary guests in the guest house of our mind. Give them space, don’t believe the stories, and keep breathing! That which you need will reveal itself.
Return to that which you really value. Is it getting what you want? Or being happy?
There is a big difference! My late husband once said, “How can you be happy if you don’t get what you want?”
Through much study and meditation he began to see a new way, a way of ease, of letting go, releasing the hold on what the mind thinks it must have. It comes back to what we value. What is our intention?
Is our commitment to be a help, or a hindrance? To suffer or allow?
We help ourselves and others by allowing and accepting all that is right now, this moment.
And by asking, “What will be a blessing to myself and to others?”
Answers come in their own time, in their own way.
Every moment is a branch moment, a moment of shift. We make a new choice with each breath.
What are we doing, thinking and viewing? How are we seeing our world right now?
Perhaps there is another way to be and do whatever it is we are doing. Maybe more kindness is the answer.
And it is only the next right thing we need to do. Not the two or three that might follow it.
It’s like singing or dancing. If we get ahead of the music we won’t be in harmony. We’ll be out of step, out of sync. We will have lost the rhythm.
The next right thing doesn’t have to be something dramatic. Small gestures, made often, accomplish great things.