Explorations in Consciousness,  Living Life as a Question,  Metaphysical Musings

Expect Pleasant Surprises

By Sanderson Sims

Turn your ordinary reality into an extraordinary one!

We all encounter failure, rejection and hardship in life.  And with so many countervailing forces, it is easy to fall victim or to become bewildered by it all.  Even though we are aware that we are on a spiritual journey, we are not always aware of the bigger picture. Sometimes it is just not clear whether a setback is good or bad, until we see the journey in its entirety from the rear view mirror.

Years ago I attended a seminar with Dr. Bernie Siegel, the internationally known cancer doctor and author of the best-seller “Love, Medicine and Miracles.” As a prominent voice in the body-mind movement he recounted a story where he had been rushing to the airport in his rental car, on his way to give a keynote address to a large audience.  He was on a very tight time frame and then, horror of all horrors, he had a flat tire.  His first reaction was a combination of resentment, embarrassment, frustration and even anger. This flat tire had caused him to miss his flight and he would be letting down the audience and organizers. 

When he arrived at the airport, he learned that the flight he missed had crashed killing most or all of the passengers. Suddenly he was overcome by a whole new set of feelings around how fortunate he had been. Upon hearing about this tragic event, he immediately returned to the rental car office and asked the staff if he could have that flat tire.   Dr. Siegel took the tire with him, had it bronzed and then hung it prominently in his home. 

This experience had given him an entirely new perspective — one of acceptance of those forces we cannot change.  Dr. Siegel called this his “spiritual flat tire” and he uses the story to illustrate how any seeming disaster, even a disease which can feel like a tremendous setback in life, can be a spiritual experience when we are able to see it with more perspective.

At this time, I had been attending the Church of Religious Science whose main message was to make us aware of our true power. To realize this power we had to believe that what we wanted would manifest. We were taught procedures about how to think and given small assignments in manifestation. We all came to learn that thinking is one thing, while believing can be quite another. 

Believing requires that we arrive at a space where we simply know. From there we can go about our daily life confident that our intentions will manifest. Our minister Reverend Helen Street used to tell us that if we were not able to believe, then we should “Fake it ’til we make it.” At least we would be going through the proper motions and the eventual feedback might be rewarding.

Tony Robbins, one of the world’s premier self-help gurus, says that much of what we want is secondary to our desire of how we want to feel as a result of obtaining the fulfillment. Material things might make us feel successful.  Having money or an abundance of time might make us feel free. His point, however, was to concentrate on the feeling we want, not necessarily on the item. There could be many ways that the feeling will come about and the universe, which has a much bigger imagination than we do, can surprise us. 

Feeling healthy, successful, free, or just good about yourself does not come at anyone else’s expense. If you feel good about yourself, then losing a competition, for example, just becomes a stepping stone to improvement. And even if you progress no further you can still feel good about your efforts and your willingness to try. 

Somewhere in my life’s journey I began to tell myself that it would be nice to simply expect pleasant surprises.  This was a mantra that I could really get behind. The key here is to notice when something pleasant occurs. It can be virtually anything from someone opening a door for you, to being included in a will from a distant relative. The main point is to feel gratitude each time you recognize the occurrence and then to consciously order up more, noticing the frequency. You might even think of it as a game the universe plays with you. At some point you may begin to recognize that you are the architect of the surprise, even without knowing what it will be. 

Pleasant surprises can be akin to Forrest Gump’s philosophy of “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” Except in this case the pleasant surprises can be an endless number of chocolate boxes. No matter what kind of difficulties you are facing, a pleasant surprise does not have to come at anyone’s expense and as they increase you can begin to believe in them. Every pleasant occurrence from a parking place opening up, to finding the last grocery item on a shelf then becomes a small celebration. The compounding of these daily celebrations can turn your ordinary reality into an extraordinary one.

Photo Credit:  Box of Chocolates, Susanne Sims

Author:  Sanderson Sims



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