ALONG THE WAY:
Complaining will bring us conditions to complain about.
THIS MONTH’S THOUGHT:
We attract to ourselves events that are in accord to our inner state of being.
SCHOOL TALK #53- LIVING WITH STRESS:
(Excerpts from a talk by Dr. Bob Gibson. Continued from last month)
We’ve had a lot of people call and ask us to talk about what is the most common and the most upsetting, unconscious, stressful situation a person involves themselves in. I’m going to talk about that for a little bit. Certainly everybody that might be doing that is totally unconscious of it, so it might be something we could all take a small look at. It is not something to condemn one’s self or pat oneself on the back about. It is merely—let’s see what’s going on here.
One of the most common things I see people stress themselves with is the effort to impress other people. It’s wonderful to impress other people. I think it is kind of essential now and then. It’s about the only way you can get their attention in some cases. But we would like to make it conscious enough that we could each determine how much am I going to pay in time, effort, strain, money, whatever it may be, how much am I going to pay in order to impress somebody. It takes a lot of anxiety down in the solar plexus area to wonder if I’m doing it up well. I consider how much good I will get out of it if I did impress somebody. I’ll spend 5 minutes a month on it. Now, if I wasn’t conscious of what’s going on I might spend several hours a day every day of the month and that’s way too much to pay for it. We see people put themselves into tremendous binds. I know people who spend each weekend putting on a big party that costs 6,8,10 thousand dollars in order to impress a few people they don’t even know. There’s nothing wrong with it. The only thing we’re saying is: let’s make it conscious so I can determine, case by case, what I’m going to pay for it. I know that most of us have been through somebody’s home or office that was loaded with jillions of trophies. Hundreds of pictures taken with this celebrity or that celebrity. You hang all these up. You get all kinds of letters that people have written you and so forth. Now, all of this keeps a person, if they’re unconscious of it, in a constant strain as to how they are doing at impressing. They are totally unaware that they are attempting to impress anybody. They are spending a tremendous amount of energy, which is very stressful to the human being. I think every one of us has some impression on everybody we go by, in one form or another. You don’t have to knock yourself out to make a favorable impression. You don’t have to make yourself ill over trying to impress.
If we could look and see that all I want to do is be conscious of what I am doing. What I am doing is certainly not worthy of being condemned nor justified. It’s simply something I want to do. If I want to impress people, I’m going to do it, but I’m going to figure out about how much I’m willing to pay for it. I have a price level on all sorts of things. I like to dress up to look good, but there’s limit on what I would spend of my little income on clothing. I’m not ambitious and I’m thankful for that one. I do hope that each day I make some little contribution to Life in some form or another through the day. A little of it is enough. I don’t need to do a whole lot. I don’t need to show that and neither does any of the rest of us here. We don’t have to impress people. I’ve noticed they catch on if you can do something worthwhile. If you do a good job, they catch on without you running up and down the street telling them how wonderful you are.
So, anytime we go out to work, whatever it is, we don’t have to knock ourselves out. All of this dates back to some early conditioning like on the picture of man it’s important to please everybody else. In order to know I have pleased them, I have to impress them.
Now the other thing I see that comes along that people ask me the question about is the term “I”. Everything is about me, me, my. Tell me how you’d feel after a while. Everything is involved in and about me. Everything to them becomes subjective. How does it affect me? Not what’s going on here? But, what’s being done to me? Now that’s the way most of the people I work around become involved with. What’s being done to me? Now the other question is: What’s going on here? This is purely objective. You just see what’s going on. If you’re seeing what’s being done to me—it’s purely subjective and everything looks like I’m being mistreated, I’m being mishandled, everybody saying naughty things to me. They’re not doing what they should do. People are doing what they ought not to do. Total involvement with “I”. “ME” If we want to get along in the world reasonably well and eliminate about 90% of the stress, we would merely say, “What’s going on here?” So if somebody is griping over here, I’m seeing a person expressing their early conditioning of sticking up for their rights. Or it’s important to have their way right now and the way to get it is to complain.
If you could see, “What’s going on here?” Seeing grown bodies inhabited by infants sometimes is interesting. We used to put out that the world is populated by infants many of which have grown bodies and technical educations. Every now and then you meet a person who is grown up and that’s a pleasant surprise. So the way to be never disappointed is to assume the first. That the world is populated totally by infants many of which have grown bodies and technical educations. Then when you do meet a grown up one, you have a pleasant surprise. (To be continued next month)
It is very easy for me to slide into the ‘victim’ role.
This has been a hot summer, or rather, I have allowed the heat to influence my inner state. Victim of the weather? I would have to say that is accurate. I’m old enough to remember the days when we didn’t have air-conditioning. None of my college classrooms were air-conditioned. So what’s the big deal?
The Teachings point out that we’re either other-determined or self-determined. If I let people and conditions to be in charge of my inner state, I am a victim and I’m other-determined. I have been putting extra effort into keeping the mood up. Since everyone I meet greets me with, “Sure is hot, isn’t it?” With great enthusiasm I answer, “Just the way I like it!” Whining about the heat is pointless.
In fact, whining about anything is pointless. Whining is resisting what is. It seems that all that is required here is to make a decision that I will accept whatever I encounter with cheerful good humor. This is a big order, but it keeps me in charge of my inner state.
(From a lecture by Dr. Bob Gibson July 7, 1990)
The most important thing any of us can have is a delightful inner feeling. When you feel peace and joy, you have intuition. Intuition is something that is naturally there but when we’re anxious, we don’t hear it. Intuition tells you exactly what to do. You don’t have to think about it. So, who wants to be the first one to not make anything important?
We make things important because we have an idea we know what ought to be, and we try to arrange everything like we think it ought to be and we’re anxious about it. I may not like it, but I can stand a few things I don’t like. But, I’m not going to make it important. So, if I simply say to myself, “I don’t like this. So what! I can tolerate it for a while.” But, I really don’t make it important, and that’s not just tolerating it. I meet a lot of boring people. I can sit there and listen to them as well as I can do something else. There was no guarantee that I would like everything when I got here. But, I’m not going to make it important. Pretty soon they go away after a while. So, what is it that you would make important? Health? Does worrying about your health get you more healthy? No. Does it make you less healthy? Yes. So why sit and worry about it for an hour and you’d be fine for a month. It’s a habit. You can stop a habit. Just stop. Do you ever practice at that or do you just keep on with it? It has never done any good. Can you see that well enough that you could just stop? When you find yourself worrying about it, just stop. “I’m working on it.” How much work does it take? When you see it, QUIT! We deliberately make ourselves feel worse. So we quit? We simply quit! It is downright unwise. When we make things important we make ourselves anxious. If you don’t make it important, it is interesting. But they’re not important. So, if you merely make things interesting, you can get a lot of things done. Anxiety never paid off for anybody in any way, ever. Check it out!
These have actually been observed and reported:
After landing: “Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
From a Southwest Airlines employee, “Welcome aboard our Southwest flight. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descent from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now what one you love more.”
If you’re traveling with a child, or someone who’s acting like a child…………..
From the pilot during his welcome message: “We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight.
After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the flight attendant came on with, “Ladies and Gentleman, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt up against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced we’ll open the door and you can pick your way though the wreckage to the terminal.”
Part of a light attendant’s arrival announcement, “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of us here at US Airways.