And what is the next right thing for you this moment? For me it was to write this blog. And I certainly can’t predict any outcome for this activity.
And now I am feeling I need to take care of some bookkeeping. The next right thing also includes paying attention to my body as I do these tasks. Am I breathing deeply and fully? Are there tight places in my body? If so, the next right thing is to breathe deeply and relax.
Perhaps the next right thing may be to do that which is difficult—such as a troubling phone call that needs to be made. And giving up the outcome really helps these tasks.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that if you have something difficult to do, do it first. It certainly makes the day much more pleasant, as putting off what we dread doing wears us down.
We do that which is difficult because it needs to be done. As another wise teacher says: “Our obstacles are our path.”
Sometimes we don’t ask the hard questions because we are afraid of the answers. But that doesn’t stop fear from running around in our head and heart. We can’t avoid our path; putting it off isn’t really helpful. For it will chase us down.
Thus it is important to ask , “What is the next right thing that I need to do?”
After asking, it is wise to stop and breathe deeply. This might be the next right thing. Take a moment to relax the body, and consider what needs to be done next.
Perhaps the next right thing to do (while letting go of the outcome) is to note if there is a disappointment, or a sadness within us. Or perhaps there is anger. Engaging directly with the emotion and acknowledging it is vital. Then notice what our story is around these feelings. We have emotions, and we have stories about them. Which, do you suppose, tells us the truth more accurately?
I go with the emotions. Next I find where it is in my body—where is my direct experience? I recognize it is connected to a belief I have—which is not the story I tell myself.
I find it helpful to hold myself, perhaps placing my arms around myself and speak to my hurt child in a supportive way. I often say, “Of course you feel this way. It’s only natural that you would, given the circumstances and conditions. In fact, you really couldn’t feel any other way.”
This validates the hurt child. Someone is listening! Someone understands. Someone cares. When we feel heard we are more capable of processing life’s disappointments and unbearable happenings. When we don’t feel alone we can bear the unbearable.
A safe bet is to ask “What is the kindest thing to do?”
As the Dalai Lama has said, “If possible, be kind. And it is always possible.”
Often we are more kind to others than we are to ourselves.
Speaking words of gratitude is always a good choice. We can be grateful that we are trusted with the innate power that is our Essence. We can choose. We can choose what to focus on. And our focus is creative!
What we pay attention to we participate in. We are no longer observers.
We can always be grateful that we live in an energy field that evolves and becomes! This is no small thing—it is awesome!
Doing the next right thing will always be unique for us. No one can make this decision. But our intention to do the next right thing without regard to outcome might what we want to focus on.