(hahaha! There's no telling where this may go. I'm a little scared.)
A student asks, “How can I not eat three of those frosted sprinkle cookies at work today?” ~ Anonymous (you know who you are)
Craving a cookie is a normal thing, right? A cookie is not a bad thing and our desire for a cookie is not a bad thing. The cookie and the desire are both neutral. But we tend to make the cookie not neutral by giving it a past and a future. It goes like this, we think of how good the last cookie we had was (or wasn't). If it was good, we want another one. If it wasn't good, we need to make up for our last cookie experience. So we meet our cookie in the past. This cookie has a history and it is supposed to do something for us. It is meant to create another moment of happiness or make up for the disappointment of our last cookie experience. The cookie is not neutral when we meet it and we are attached to the story of what it is supposed to do for us.
The cookie, however, has no power to bring us happiness or satisfaction....because it is NEUTRAL but we don't know that because we are not meeting it in the Present (ahem....Reality). And because we are not Present with the cookie, we repeat with cookie two and cookie three. I heard that doing the same thing over and over wanting different results is the definition of INSANITY. Susan Powder, where are you now???
We do a similar thing with our desire for the cookie. We make a story about how we should or should not have it. We make the cookie some sort of reward or punishment and the desire for the cookie somehow makes us good or bad. Judgment. Ick!
JUDGE NOT THE COOKIE, NOR THE DESIRE FOR THE COOKIE!!!
So, what's the antidote for thinking our happiness is inextricably linked to cookies....??? Presence. Presence brings awareness. The mental anxiety created by the cookie is subconscious but with awareness comes CHOICE. If we are present, we can see (be aware) of what's happening in our heads. Only then can we choose to respond rather than be dragged by our craving completely unawares and seemingly helpless to the first, second or third cookie-of-good-and-evil.
I say in class all the time, “Your breath is the quickest path to the Present moment.” I'm sure I read that somewhere. Probably in 'The Power of Now' by Eckart Tolle. It just means to connect, notice, be with what's right in front of you. Do what you are doing instead of doing what you're not doing. The only time we can be happy is right now. With or without a cookie. The power of happiness is not in the cookie.
So, meet the cookie with no expectation. Meet the cookie with no past or future. Meet the cookie in it's natural, neutral state without giving it power it doesn't have. Meet the cookie without judgment of your desire for the cookie. Meet the cookie with enjoyment in the Present! Then you'll find that happiness is Present with a cookie or without a cookie. :)
Oh, and P.S. Go back and re-read this and replace 'cookie' with another word, like 'relationship', perhaps...it's a fun game!
and seriously, feel free to submit a question. we'll see what happens!
Namaste for now!