Report: My Day as a Lab Rat

In his book “A New Earth” Eckhart Tolle wrote acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. Following through on my experiment stated here yesterday was quite enlightening and proved Tolle’s point.

As best I could kept score throughout the day of how frequently I sensed or expressed grateful vs. how often I grumbled or found fault. All the +1’s for the former and -1’s for the latter summed up to +17 by bedtime.

Thinking of being mostly a grateful and positive person I was caught somewhat unaware that small moments of dissatisfaction and frustration are still very present in my life. Episodes are generally about much smaller things than before, but still pop up. Getting a spot of lunch on my shirt, losing a report on my computer, getting cut off in traffic and cable service going off for several hours last evening are all examples of moments I grumbled or criticized

On the positive side, boy have I come a long way! My thankfulness has been heightened in the last year by writing this blog every day about something I am grateful for. My engrained habit now is to better notice both the large and small things I have to be thankful for. Examples noticed yesterday were the well-worn shoes I love and wore yesterday, a good quarterly report at work, lunch that was spicy and yummy, laughing with people I work with, my son calling, a much-needed thunderstorm last night, an esoteric but really good movie I watched last night and so on.

Paying attention to both positive and not so positive stuff made my day incredibly good. My discovery from the pointed attention was how much I have to be thankful for and how small what I have to grumble about is. In my experiment I kept track of incidents of thought, but not the weight of them. Looking back and thinking in terms of the significance, my final score would be at least +1000. My fault-finding and grumbling was all over small momentary things while the grateful moments were much more meaningful and juiced me up with good feelings that dissipated slowly.

Awareness is an amazing experience. When I am really, really paying attention whatever I am focused on seems to unfold itself to me. My day was filled with that happening over and over yesterday. The more aware I was, the more I loved life. The “bad” moments did not get me down for long or to any great degree. Watching for the “good” seemed to bring more of them.

My final comment on my experiment is “Wow”! One day of heightened awareness seems to have brought another one today. How wonderful life is when I am paying attention! I am highly grateful for the reminder of what my little experiment brought me.

Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.
Eckhart Tolle