1. Write. If you've never gotten in the habits on putting your thoughts on paper, start now. Keep a pad and pen next to your nightstand, next to your coffee pot, in your bathroom, on your kitchen counter, and on your coffee table. When you have a predominate feeling, write it down. Pissed off? Write it down. Feeling blue? Write it down. Feeling anxious? Write it down. What were you thinking about when this feeling came up? What part of your body did it come from? What does it make you feel like doing? Write it down.
2. Visualize. Let's say you just had a passing thought of how your ex-wife screamed at you two days ago (in front of your son). Okay, you have her picture in your mind, and your son is there next to you, wincing on cue-like father, like son. Change the face of your ex-wife. Put in Santa's face instead. He got the white beard, the big ruby cheeks, the bright red hat with the puffy ball-the whole shebang. Instead of your ex's sweet raspy voice, you hear Santa joyfully ask you and your son what would make you happy. Santa says, "You name it, you got!" Cut to you and your boy-excited with anticipation.
3. Breathe. Once you have wiggled your way to a happier state of mind, breathe. Breathe deeply three or four times. Focus on you're the breath coming in and your tummy rising. Breathe out, focusing on your body decompressing. Allow you breath to get to a normal, even place so that it feels balanced. Notice an energy moving and swirling inside you like magical fireflies dancing in the night, and experience the sensation it brings.
4. Meditate. Allow whatever thoughts you have to be there. If Santa is still there, that's great. If your ex-wife reappeared, so be it. Don't judge the blips of flashing thoughts, simply observe them as if you were on the bleachers at a football game. Know that you have no control over what happens on the field in front of you. Begin to see that there are really no good or bad actions, only different ones. Enjoy the variety and contrast-it makes for an enjoyable game.
5. Practice this new perspective in the real world. By this time you have your eyes open, and there is no Santa, and no ex-wife in front of you. Your thoughts are still moving in and out of your consciousness, but you do not feel controlled by them. Your problems have not disappeared but you start to look at them in a new way. You do not allow yourself to become emotionally reactive to events that take place. You tackle your problems objectively, like a surgeon removing cancerous matter from an open body. Your dispassionate focus allows your mind to be clear of unnecessary, disparaging thoughts and emotions. Through this clear lens, problems become challenges, and challenges become opportunities for learning. When a so-called problem now arises, you welcome it. Wisdom is one step closer. Now you accept this challenge as a zen gift-simple and wrapped in an expected way.
The steps listed above may seem a bit simplistic. They are in a way, but what makes them challenging is that they need to be done consistently, every day, throughout the day. There are no easy answers, and no quick fixes to dealing with chaotic events. A life of greater ease is open to those who possess wisdom and patience-it's a good thing you were created with these wonderful qualities. Remember that you are made from divine energy, pure source, our inner source. All you have to do is be open, and let it flow.