I recently got a great present. At least, it was a great present for a nerd like me.
I was given a Universal Remote.
I was so excited I could barely contain myself.
No, I was not under the mistaken impression that when they called it a Universal remote, it meant it could control the Universe.
Like, I could press a button and make the sun go up and down in the sky. Or press Mute and make certain people stop talking.
Though that would be pretty cool.
The reason I was excited was because I knew the remote came with an instruction manual, one that I was going to have the pleasure of reading.
Needless to say, I am not one of those people who hate instruction manuals.
Instead, I love them. They are my friends. My companions.
They give me a series of steps to follow, steps that will end with the desired goal – in this case, me utilizing my remote in an optimal and efficient manner.
Yes, I know that these steps can be lengthy and at times incomprehensible.
I know that for those of you less enamored with instruction manuals, they might as well be saying, Before you attempt to program your remote, dance a jig, spin around 45,698 times, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the moon.
But that’s not my experience.
My experience is that, with patience and ingenuity (and an occasional call to tech support), I follow a predictable series of steps that lead to a predictable outcome.
That’s what I love about instruction manuals.
And you know what this reminds me of?
Yup, you guessed it.
Instruction manuals totally remind me of spiritual practice.
Because I know that if I follow a predictable series of steps, I will experience a predictable outcome.
If I meditate. If I say affirmations. If I practice gratitude and kindness. If I take good care of my body temple.
Then I will be less reactive. Then I will be more peaceful. Then I will be more loving to myself and others.
This isn’t just true for me.
The formula works for everyone.
It works for me.
And it works for you.
I’m not saying that some days won’t be harder than others. I’m not saying there won’t be meltdowns. And tears. And days that you need to eat a bowl of bon-bons and watch reality TV.
But I do know that, with consistent spiritual practice, your heart gets fuller. You become less judgy about other people’s humanness. And your own.
That’s the beauty of the formula.
If this, then that.
It’s both both magical and logical.
Plus, if you get really enlightened, you don’t even need a Universal remote.
You can just operate the television with your mind.
What’s your experience with the magic formula of spiritual practice? Share your comments below!