Don't Pull Weeds... Plant Flowers

The only constant in life is change.  Change will come to all of us, whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not.  When we realize that fact and are able to look at everything with a sense of detachment, we begin to understand that nothing can touch us!  An added benefit is that if we pay attention, we might be able to learn something important about ourselves and in the process learn something about life and the way the universe works.

Most of you may know that I spent over 20 years in law enforcement and investigations.  Being a cop is one of the hardest careers in the world: always dealing with the worst parts of society, seeing things that no one should ever have to see, and always under paid and under appreciated.  It also made me very proud for a very long time.  I was proud to fight evil on a daily basis, to make a difference in the world and in my community.  It often seemed an impossible task because there were so many bad guys, and so few good guys; too many robbers and not enough cops.  But like Edmund Burke said "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." So, I put on the badge and gun every day and went out into the world to fight the good fight.

Now, I'm beginning my second career as a yoga teacher, personal trainer, and coach.  This isn't what I saw myself doing at 46 years old and many people have commented about how it seems to be a totally different path. But, like law enforcement, I feel like this is an area in which I can make a difference; in the lives of individual people, in my community, and in the world.

Let me tell you what I have learned so far in this journey and career change.  There is a lot of evil and negativity in the world and the natural inclination of most people is to try and remove it.  But here's the problem...  Bad guys and negative thoughts are like weeds.  Pull one, and two grow back.  Once negativity is introduced into an environment, it is virtually impossible to remove it.  Don't believe me?  Try this experiment: Take a large glass and fill it with clear natural spring water.  Grab yourself a bottle of ink and put four or five drops of ink into the water.  Not a lot of ink, but that's all it takes to make the water dark and cloudy.  Now here's the fun part.  Remove the ink from the water. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Feels like a herculean task, right?  That's what it's like trying to remove evil from the world or negativity from our lives.  Ever notice that the more you focus on the negatives, that's all you see?  Do not allow yourself to get discouraged.  There is a way to do it, we just have to approach the problem from a different angle.  

Take that glass of ink clouded water and start adding more clear spring water.  You won't notice much of a difference at first, but the more you fill the glass with pure water, the more that water will begin to dilute the ink.  Continue adding purity, and eventually the glass is filled with nothing but pure, clean spring water.  So it is with our minds and life.  If you have negative thoughts, start filling your mind with motivation and positivity and before you know it, the negative thoughts have moved on.  

During the first part of my life, in my first career as a cop, I wanted to make the world a better place so I spent over 20 years trying to remove evil from the world one bad guy at a time.  It's an important job, and it has to be done.  But, the bad guys are still there no matter how good I was at my job.  It was still my attempt to make the world a better place and make a difference.

In this second part of my life as a yoga teacher, personal trainer and coach, my goal is still to make the world a better place; but now rather than removing evil, I'm choosing to add good. I have stopped focusing on removing the negative and instead use my energy to add positive. By helping people find the best version of themselves - physically, mentally. emotionally and spiritually- I believe they will spread peace, love and happiness in the world.  Add purity and remove contaminants.

There's another angle to this too.  It's the concept of being a force multiplier.  If you've never heard this term here's one definition:  A force multiplier refers to a factor that dramatically increases, hence multiplies, the effectiveness of a system.  In this example for instance, if I help someone on the path to becoming their best self, there's a greater than average chance that they will then do the same for other people, and those people will do the same for other people, and so on.  Spreading positivity at a rate far greater than I could ever do on my own.  If I remove a bad guy, however, that criminal will not do much in the way of removing other criminals.  It's far more effective to focus on adding good than removing the bad.

So you see, this new career isn't that much different from the old one after all.  As you live your life on a daily basis, to make the world a better place, don't focus on pulling weeds.  Plant flowers.

Namaste, and Keep the Inner Peace my friends.