How likes and dislikes color our days, our decisions and our peace of mind.
I travel a lot throughout the USA in a motor home and have done so for many years. It’s a 34 ft (10.5 m) motor home and I tow a car – so while it’s not a big rig as we say here, it’s not so small either. It’s easier to plan ahead for campgrounds and places to stay rather than to wing it, simply because my rig is less maneuverable than a smaller rig. I started out 30 years ago with a 22 ft (6.75m) motor home and didn’t have a tow vehicle, so it was very easy to find parking and places to stay on the fly, which I did.
Today planning is so much easier with all the online apps and information you can get, right down to Google Earth showing you a satellite image of different places you might want to visit.
Observing Mind’s Likes and Dislikes
I watched my mind this past week get into a real tizzy when I discovered I couldn’t stay in the campground I am currently in, for the month of July. This meant I had to find somewhere in a hurry. The 4th of July holiday was coming up and I knew everything would be pretty booked up.
Online I went and began my search. I looked at many campgrounds both near and far from my current location. Wildfires have closed the San Juan National Forest and therefore all of the forest campgrounds, which ruled out a lot. I wanted a month-long booking – a lot less expensive than weekly. I began calling – no monthly sites available – not even weekly for the first week of July. Eventually I found one – not my first choice, in fact one that I wouldn’t normally choose – but it was all that was left at this late stage.
Then I found a spot in one I really liked for the second week of July – lots of trees and green and backed right up to a river – I felt much happier.
In hindsight, observing my mind and the stress it put me under, I learned a great deal about likes and dislikes and how, in order to release them, I need a deep trust in the Life Itself I am to bring me the ‘right’ experience.
I like / love campgrounds that are in a nature setting, lots of trees and birds and wildlife, widely spaced sites so I have privacy, the morning sun coming into my bedroom at the back of my RV, peace, quiet, tranquility.
I don’t like sites really close together, no landscaping,, no nature, only gravel or asphalt, no shade, noisy, too much lighting at night-time.
I couldn’t find what I like/wanted for my first week in July. Throughout the looking process, which took far longer than I would have liked, I could feel myself tensing up more and more. I couldn’t relax into the process and release it so Life Itself could flow through me, even though I was very aware of what I was doing.
In other words, my happiness depended upon the ‘right’ environment, one that I liked.
Wanting That Which Life Itself Brings
I got to thinking about what a difference it makes when we are planning and making decisions about the future if we operate from strong likes and dislikes, or if we are able to let go of those likes and dislikes and immerse ourselves in the essence of Life Itself.
This past week was a perfect example of likes and dislikes in action.
I have also experienced traveling when I have planned from a state of Presence which is what I usually do. I have been delighted and surprised with sites in beautiful nature environments that filled me with awe, and were wonderfully conducive to my creative projects. Even the overnight stays in Walmart parking lots turned out to be perfectly fine – a little bit of landscaping, a pond, a nice wee spot to walk my dog, safety and security.
Then there was the occasional time when mind took over and talked me out of following my intuition and I ended up in a crappy campground, kicking myself for not following my original plan.
I look around at my current site that I am moving out of in a week’s time. It is the most perfect site in the whole campground as far as my likes and dislikes go. I didn’t choose this particular site, it was designated to me by the camp host. But, after doing my research, I had chosen this campground. I had been in a relaxed space and Life Itself was able to flow through me.
It’s hard when you are dealing with the unknown future in the Present Moment, to trust, to have faith. We want what we want and we don’t want what we don’t want, which already limits the outcome.
But the resulting stress if we don’t trust, and we analyze and dissect too much, isn’t nice either.
The Source of Inspiration Matters
Ah but – you might say – can I not tell the universe what I want? Isn’t it about setting goals, having dreams and achieving them? Actually, Life Itself will speak to you in the form of sparks of inspiration, ideas that it would like to flow through you. When you are attuned to Life Itself, and you follow those inner urgings, you are then creating in harmony with Oneness which is where true happiness and fulfillment come from, not from some idea that mind likes or dislikes.
Remember, who you really are is a spark of Infinite Intelligence flowing through this physical form. Infinite Intelligence needs your physical form in order to experience life on planet earth. What likes and dislikes do is create attachments that you have to have or not have in order to be happy. Your happiness then depends upon something outside yourself instead of being in the middle of the aliveness and vitality that is Life Itself.
So practice with little things. Observe your thinking in action. Where is it coming from? Is this just a like or dislike, or an inspiration from Life Itself? Fully accepting what is in this moment, creates a space of inner peace from which ideas will flow for next ‘right’ actions. Next time you are deciding where to go for a walk, or what to do with your Sunday afternoon off, check in with the Present Moment first.
Love Any Outcome.
One good way to transcend likes and dislikes when you have decisions to make or are planning for the future, is to imagine alternate outcomes. If this happens … if that happens … if this or that doesn’t happen …if another thing happens … Keep imagining difference outcomes until you can get yourself into a place inside where you are happy with whatever eventuates. You know then that you have been able to let go of any attachments.
Appreciation for What Is
If I end up in an RV site that mind doesn’t like – a) I can move or b) I can trust that Life Itself brought me to this place for a reason – perhaps there will be a chance meeting with someone who might make a difference in my life – or me in theirs. Perhaps there are other lessons to learn, fun experiences to have. When I able to fully accept exactly what is in front of me, AND stay centered in a place of peace and tranquility, I’ll experience whatever it is that Life Itself wanted me to experience.
Right now it’s a deep heartfelt appreciation for where I am; for all the trees around me, for the humming birds diving bombing each other and the peace and the sunshine and the space.
My heart and being are full. Thank you Universe.
We’ll have to wait and see what the first week in July brings.