First, let me start out by saying that I don't assign a label to my beliefs in the way most would. When you talk about such an important topic, spirituality in our day and age requires us to place a label on something. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, to name a few. To say I am not any of the above would be, I guess weird, if that's the right choice of the word, but what ever "that" is, then that's me. Sure, I was raised Catholic, but I also identify with all of the above. I'm not an atheist because what I'm about to talk about delves into the very heart of our existence and is beyond direct spirituality.
I watched a movie based on a book a couple of years back and it has had a profound impact on the way I view life in a positive way. The book is called "The Secret". I won't delve into the details of what I've gained from this philosophy in a material way, but what I can say is that I'm really living a life with a very strong attitude for gratitude. This is crucial to being able to identify and be content with what you have, not what you don't. This sets you up towards attracting all those good things, because thinking about good and feeling good manifests more good. It's true, it works, and it's not unique to The Secret as all religion is interlaced with this. What religion does do--at least what I've observed in my life so please excuse my naivety--is use parables, stories, and teachings to help us understand the message at the same time bonding people into a like minded community.
Ultimately, the number one rule to everything is do good and good will come to you.
It's a tall order to say this. It's not easy by any means and it takes us a lifetime to eventually come to the realization that we've lived a full life and we're ready to move on content. Although that doesn't happen to all of us.
We live our lives in constant conflict with our surroundings, people we interact with, politics, and everything else that surrounds us on a constant basis. Don't believe that this is happening where you are reading this from right now? Take a drive down the road, involve a highway if you can, and then tell me that you do not experience, or see some sort of frustration, perhaps a hint of anger?
Part of what I believe is that everything is interconnected. The Secret helped me to channel my thoughts towards one way of thinking and I've experienced this interconnected-ness in many ways. While being focused on positive things, and then negative things more of those things manifested.
I think it also goes a bit deeper than this though. Because of all this interconnected stuff going on, there has to be a channel for the good and bad of what transpires. You see, everything we experience is on an individual basis and it's relative to our own unique perception of what's around us. I simply have to think good to experience good and get more of it because I wire my brain that way and it follows the path of goodness. If I focus on let's say bills, then I do see more bills. But ultimately the bills were there to begin with, in the same amount every month but I didn't identify with the number at the time when things were comfortable, and thus my perception was on a different track.
Here's an experiment I want you to try. It won't cost you anything, and it won't hurt you. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, no matter how grumpy you are (I know, it's not easy, but try just once), look in the mirror, and regardless of what you see, feel, or perceive look yourself in the eyes and say "I love you", and smile. This will set you up to be in a happier mood and at the same time instills a part of the number one rule, love yourself so you can love and be loved. When you get into the car, tell yourself "No matter what condition the roads are in, or how many bad drivers are out there, I'll get to where I need to get to safely and happily". This reinforces your feeling good that you started when you smiled. While you're at it smile at yourself in mirror, adjust it so you're safe and drive happy. If someone cuts you off brush it off, if someone needs to change lanes let them in.
At the end of the day these simple gestures can have an immediate effect on your train of thought, and then what you're presented with or are trained towards seeing more of. If you're ever stressing out, go to the mirror and smile at yourself. It's ok to get stressed, it's not easy, but it happens and when we identify with "it happens" things go calmer and in turn allowing you more time to be happy.
I should and do try to live by what I'm saying above. We have billions of thoughts per day, and we're only aware of a tiny percentage. If we're feeling anger, or frustration it just leads to more.
I watched the Dalai Lama the other day, and he said, of the 6 billion people that live on this planet (yea that's six b-i-l-l-i-o-n) every single one of us want to be happy. It's shocking that we don't have a major percentage of that feeling happy, it's a shame, but it makes sense considering what we constantly experience with rising prices, politics, war, bad roads, etc. We can't change other people, but we can change ourselves. It's not instant, and can take a lifetime, but in baby steps we can change our wiring. If you falter, and forget to smile in the morning, do it when you remember you forgot. And if you forget for a few weeks, start! It's never too soon to start, and the universe is forgiving letting you wobble back on track with minimal disruption to the results.
See, with the whole interconnected-ness thing that I mentioned earlier, when we feel anger I believe the energy of it has to end up somewhere. If it's not going to bite you in the rear end in some form or another it's going to bite someone else. So by interlacing all this negativity with some positivity then goodness has to rebound. To see this rebound, try this: When you're driving down the highway and you see someone ultra frustrated and you can let them in, do so with a smile and see how their face immediately changes positively. It may be brief, but it happened, and it can be catching. If it didn't happen they didn't really "see" you; majority of us go around our lives in our little bubbles of me. If you're walking down the high street and you see someone worried, just smile and nod your head at them (but not in a mocking or abusive manner!!) and you may just help them have a better day, and even better they may just smile back, and if not, perhaps they didn't really "see" you. The cherry on the cake reveals itself because you're now smiling like a Cheshire cat and you feel better overall and it multiplies.
Perhaps these things have been talked about in the past, I'm sure they have as we've been around on this planet for some time now and no idea is truly unique.
Spread a bit of happiness, and get a whole bunch more in return.