When I finally bought my first convertible after years of wanting, it turned out to be a huge disappointment. Sure, my Californian dream was alive and well as I packed in the surfboards and headed off to the chilly waters of Cornwall, but the convertible dream was a washout. Advances in car technology meant that the soft-top car roof was automatic rather than manual, and in my particular motor the roof decided to stop working at least once a month. Thus it was a happy day when I finally sold the car, complete with its faulty engine-feedback system, leaking oil sump and dodgy roof mechanism. There are a lot of parts to modern cars and when everything is in full working in order, they can run like a dream. If not, it is as if someone has proclaimed “I have set before you a blessing and a curse” (Deuteronomy 11:26).
Whether we are running a car, a relationship, a business or our body, it is ideal to have all of the mechanisms and feedback systems in place. Otherwise we can suffer the consequences of major frustrations, thwarted intentions, missed communications and much worse.
“See, I have set before you a blessing and a curse…the blessing if you listen…and the curse if you don’t listen” (Ibid; 26-28).
Idolatry is intriguing. There are repeated Biblical proclamations to avoid following idols and Praying To Other Gods. Laws are spoken to visit the idols and smash ‘em, burn ‘em, destroy ‘em, or cut ‘em.
A simple reading might be borrowed from our car analogy. If your car roof mechanism is not 100% aligned, the roof will not close (and it is a drag to drive down the motorway with a half-opened roof. Seriously – the wind-drag factor is a hassle). If your Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor is slightly off, well, you could have an overheating engine which is only good if you like frying eggs on the bonnet(1). When other bits-and-pieces (technical term) are misaligned, the ‘check engine’ lights can go off, leaving you with a potentially hefty price tag to diagnose the real problem. Your car can indeed become both a blessing and a curse.
Our business and goals are no different. When we are not completely aligned with our intentions (too much time on Email/facebook/Linked In/Instagram/Pinterest/GetThePicta?), we do not reach our destination. Quite simply, these misalignments are like the Gods Of Others. When we want a great relationship but focus on our needs rather than our partner’s, we do not experience that greatness – these conversations are the gods of others. When we want a trim body but drink coffee (acidic deposits causing weight gain) and knock back doughnuts, we can fail in our mission and are effectively following the gods of others.
Put simply, life can be a blessing or a curse. Today you have free choice. Either listen to the truth – what are you trying to achieve, who are you trying to be – and follow it in a state of oneness, humility and integrity – or don’t. Take a moment to stand on top of a mountain (metaphorical is fine), get an overview, and decide how great you want your life to be. The choice is in your hands. Choose life(2).
**SIGN UP FOR MARCUS’S NEXT WEBINAR – THURS 8TH AUG 2013**
HOW TO APPLY THIS IN THE BOARDROOM: How is your working life not aligned? What is your “Oneness”, that is, your overarching goal or mission? How are you taking actions that are contrary to the successful achievement of your goal?
HOW TO APPLY THIS ON THE YOGA MAT: Easy! Get thee to an Iyengar class and work on alignment. Choose a posture and work with a teacher to ensure that you are fully aligned. This will generally not work in a vinyasa flow class because they tend to move too quickly, so work on it slowly and methodically.
HOW TO APPLY THIS ON THE MEDITATION CUSHION: Stay aligned with one thought, e.g. an insight meditation listening to the sounds around you and questioning “What Is This?”. Consider every stray thought as the ‘gods of others’, and come back to your oneness.
Based on Parsha Re’eh.
(2) Foreshadowing a later quote: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life in order that you and your offspring will live”. Maybe next time I’ll quote an integrate part of Irvine Welsh’s script from Trainspotting: “Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f[lipping] big television”. Or maybe not.