How to change the color of your life.
A friend of mine told me this story. He had a deck to finish restoring and suddenly the job was too much. He just sat on a bench despairing that he could complete it. His whole world seemed to be collapsing. His body hurt. He was losing hope, He said he just broke down and cried and cried. His whole world was turning blue. It was not just this job but his whole life that seemed impossible to restore.
Then he got a message from a friend who said the he was about to experience a miracle. Her message was so uplifting that he stood up, suddenly physically and mentally renewed, and he completed the job in a few hours. He was amazed at how much energy he had and how great his body felt. He finished that afternoon what he thought would take two days.
After he finished, he said this amazingly beautiful bluebird appears on the rail, a bird he had never seen before. He called me to tell me about this miracle. This is what I wrote back:
This was no fluke experience but a great teaching, not something you read but a direct knowledge of your spiritual nature. You had an immediate understanding through direct experience how the mental state of depression and sense of failure affects the body and its health. Body/mind are One. When the mind is blue, the body is blue, thoughts are blue, and emotions are blue, everything is blue. And then the Bluebird came as a direct messenger, as an emissary of your liberation from negative blue states of mind. But don’t just file this away in your memory storehouse as a wonderful experience. Now you have the tools to restore you life.
You can use the Bluebird as a working metaphor so that the next time this dark mental state descends. This is your metaphor, not a dead one someone else used. This Bluebird has the power to call up the power of that experience in new situations. This is your totem, so to speak. Everything in body/mind/world is interconnected. There are no accidents in the larger picture. We become blue when the larger picture contracts into a tiny corner of being blue, and that is all we see, having lost the window outside our tiny blue room.
The problem when we are enclosed in our blue room is that all we can see is blue, sadness, negativity, hopelessness and despair. Everything is blue. But not really. Here is the secret. The mental blue room is not absolutely blue because we can imaging a brighter color. Now we feel blue but we imagine that we should not be blue. There is a widening canyon between our feeling of being blue and our resistance to being blue by imagining a different color in the future. Blue is now, but tomorrow might be brighter, but I’m being overpowered by being blue now. I’m losing hope….Ah, right there. Can we notice that being blue is caused by the hope that I will not be blue tomorrow when my luck changes, when conditions change. This is the subtle trap. When I fight the blue mood, the blue mood seems to get stronger until I lose hope. And that is where you broke down and cried.
When we cry like that, we surrender to the blue mood. We accept that there is no hope, there is no way out, there is no future. All is blue forever, past, now and future. And we cry deeply.
But guess what, when we cry deeply, we are totally blue, absolutely blue. The mind and body are one in our sobbing. Ah…that is where the Bluebird of Happiness flies in. When I no longer resist being blue, I no longer feel blue.
How is that possible? Lets look. Take my ear ringing Tinnitus. When I accept it, I don’t resist it. I don’t imagine myself without it, nor do I complain that I shouldn’t have it. When I do that, the ringing disappears. What I’m not conscious of doesn’t exist.
When I cry totally, when I grieve totally, I accept the color blue as being total. I’m totally immersed in the blue. There is nothing that is not blue. Now here’s the truth. If everything were the color blue, you could not see blue. You would need one dot of another color, one dot of resistance in order to see blue. When all resistance, when all other possible colors are no longer imagined and everything is blue, you cry.
Then, BAM! The Blue is gone. Where did it go? It left because you accepted it and were no longer conscious of the blue mind because you were resisting it. When we cry totally, our body and mind are one in the crying. This is the power of grief. When we resist the feeling of being blue with our thinking mind, our body and mind are divided and we are wounded. This wound or separation of body and mind is the cause of our suffering, says the Buddha. Here’s how you can activate the Bluebird of happiness or wholeness through the power of a personal metaphor.
First, you can notices when the blue mind is taking over; then immediately call up the visual of the Bluebird on the rail, recreating the bird in exact detail, going back to that experience in mind travel. Get lost in the Bluebird.
Second, reactivate this implicit power to restore your bod/mind to its natural balance and health. Recall the feeling when the Bluebird lifted your blue mood. With the Bluebird as a working metaphor you have a lever with which to lift your mind out of its blue funk. It is your metaphor, not someone else’s. This is your living metaphor. I would not be surprised if you don’t start collecting Bluebirds, if they don’t start coming to you. You now have the gift of a totem. Call it your angel in a form personalized just for you by the Great Spirit.
Instead of believing you are created and conditioned by fate, bad luck, bad choices, karma, etc., you can now become a co-creator in your life through a good working metaphor. May the Bluebird of Happiness always sing in your life…but you have to invite it.
The best time to invite the Bluebird is when you are blue. You can’t invite the Bluebird into your blueness unless you notice that you are caught in a blue mental state. Just one blue thought is enough to push you into blueness.
When everything is going well, you are not blue. When the blue mind descends, however, we think we have no choice because all we can see is blue. Yet, there is that one dot of the color of hope that keeps the color blue clouding your mind. There it is. That one thought that you should not be blue keeps the mind blue.
BAM! That is the magical moment when you can call the Bluebird. He can only come when you are beginning to be blue and depressed. You have to notice the blueness in its beginning. By shifting your attention away from resisting the blue mind, you intervene in the tape-loop of the blue mood. You stop making it exist when you stop resisting its existence. This is a practice that you can play with. Practice letting the Bluebird sing in your heart by noticing the first note of the sad blue mind and shifting attention to the Bluebird.
Here is a clue. If you call upon your Bluebird to remove your blueness, he won’t sing because you have not yet become totally blue. You still have hope and the Bluebird is not your savior. It is only when there is no hope of escaping the blues, like when you cried, will the Bluebird come. When there is nothing but the blues, there is nothing but the Bluebird. The blues and the Bluebird are One.