Many years ago, I had a very dear friend who demonstrated to me the power of doing the “next right thing”. He taught me that this philosophy is available in all types of life circumstances. He probably demonstrated it to me best when he kept following the philosophy through his cancer and awe-inspiring life challenges to the very moment of his death; he seemed to die a very happy and contented man. I believe that this philosophy, available to everyone despite religion or spiritual belief, is the key to living a balanced spiritually connected life in any circumstance.
Many people look for a way to live a spiritual life. They try all sorts of crazy things; waving incense around, banging on metal bowls, twisting and contorting themselves into unnatural physical positions, they shave their heads and decorate themselves with symbolic tattoos that they don’t have the first clue about. They look for magic in religion and find only the trappings of the human ego. They look into things like wicca and magic, trying to find a way to gain more control over their lives. Yet it seems the answer to living a spiritual life is not in all of these exterior solutions, but lies instead in a very simple philosophy of thinking. It is the kind of thinking which, in a breath and with honest intention, can bring every effective prayer you know into action and can make your life make sense. It will relieve you of all anxieties of you practice it enough and will help bring back that “joie de vivre” that you might remember from childhood.
JUST DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING….
The philosophy of living by “doing the next right thing” means that for every decision and choice that cross your path in a day, you access your inner feeling and follow your highest intuition. Sometimes doing the next right thing is simple. For example on the farm, there is a lot of work to do, so often doing the next right thing is completing the physical work that has to be done. One job leads to the next leads to the next, so putting your head down and following is not a very difficult thing when you work in nature.
Sometimes life gives us what seems to be bigger obstacles to overcome, more impacting situations which have the power to change everything about your life. For example, if the main breadwinner of your household gets laid off, which is something happening quite often in this strange economy of ours. This requires a rethinking of what your expectations of your life were. Or perhaps a diagnosis of cancer side tracks all of your plans. In the case of these life altering events, you only have two choices. 1- accept it 2- don’t accept it. If you choose not to accept a circumstance as it is, then you begin to fight against it. You enter into a state of denial about the situation and you give your interior power over to fear.
In order to live with the philosophy of “doing the next right thing”, you don’t just accept a thing, you remind yourself that there is a reason for everything, that nothing happens by accident and that if you are aware, you will find that the universe will lead you safely out of the maze of whatever if happening. This is taking the action of living in faith; the path of least resistance. We don’t take the action of doing the next right thing because religion has told us that our God (in whichever form you believe) will judge us and punish us for our supposed misdeeds. We take the action of doing the next right thing because it is the thing which will cause the greatest harmony in our lives. In reality, we aren’t seeking “happiness”, we are seeking contentedness, and the ability to deal with life on life’s terms – even when life isn’t giving us the answers we think we should have.
Sometimes we can clearly see that the direction we are heading in is only bringing us misery, unhappiness, conflict, pain, uncertainty. If thisis the case becomign aware and looking at other directions that life may be leading you is a good use of this philosophy. Clearly, God or Source or whatever you’d like to call the creative force that lies behind life, can only have our best intentions at heart since we are one of its creations. Following the next right thing to do in your life, even if that means just getting out of bed and brushing your teeth, is working within the powerful intended balance of how every living thing functions in unity. By intending to place yourself in that wave of energetic intention for your life and others, you will naturally lead a more peaceful and balanced life.
Humility means the ability to follow your instinct – your gut about a thing even though your head may give you every reason why you are not capable of doing that thing, or why you shouldn’t. Your mind expresses your fears – the limitations of your ego. There are many different techniques to understanding how to hear the difference between your interior voice (which is connected to source) and your exterior voice (which is naturally impaired because it is contorted by your incorrect perceptions about your past and is rooted in fear). Today, Western culture is becoming more and more interested in meditation and yoga because it is becoming obvious that become more in tune you are with the natural and energetic world around you, the more able you are to make clear choices rooted in creative forward thinking energy and not fear and avoidance.
Finding your intuition comes in many forms. Primarily, you may find that you follow synchronicity and coincidences more closely. You may find that you pay more attention to what your heart is telling you and less attention to your mind. You see the world epaking to you more clearly, and you honour what you need more often so that you have the abliity to be of service in your life. I have never learned this lesson the easy way. When i am reminded of the strength of this philosophy, it is usually at a time when I am on my knees looking around and wondering what will come next. Change comes in waves in everyone’s lives, and it seems my wave has arrived and I am forced to bring back to the forefront of my mind the discipline of reminding myself to follow and just do the next right thing.
Last night in my garden newly planted and brimming with butterflies and birds all looking for the freshly dug up worms, I felt the presence of my friend with me, his strong hand on my shoulder warm and comforting reminding me to just “do the next right thing”. It has always been ok…it will always be ok.
In my gratitude for the patience and love he has and continues to have for me, I wanted to share his wisdom with you. I know my writing cannot do as good a job as having watched him put it into practice even to his last day, but I hope it gives you some ideas of your own.