Some years ago when I worked in an office I was having lunch with a colleague and the conversation got around to troubles at work. He began describing the problem people and the negative circumstances they created. He was frustrated that he could not perform his job as he felt it should be carried out. I saw his point and agreed with him, citing my own grievances and how I also felt restricted. Then, because of decades of “spiritual” training I became aware of a wee small voice saying, “You shouldn’t be complaining, Frank.” Then I habitually started to temper my comments and guard my thoughts. I began acting the way I felt a pure soul without negative baggage would act. I also felt some amount of guilt at being so negative in the first place. I actually felt worse “being good” than I did when I was naturally negative. One thing I didn’t feel was peace. That is a dead giveaway that all is not right with your world.
Then there was another shift. I got tired of trying to be an ideal, to be someone I wasn’t. It was as though my mind took a big sigh and surrendered to what was. Through no volition of my own I simply realized that everything that was taking place was perfect just as it was. The negative emotions, the controlling behavior, and this final realization of perfection were all on equal footing. I was negative because that’s the way “me” was created. I was good for the same reason. My internal dialogue, our outward discussion about work, the stain on the waiter’s apron and every word uttered and added to make up the constant din of our fellow diners was perfect. I had nothing to do with it. It was then that I noticed the peace. It came with a sense of awe at the utter mundaneness of it all.
The conversation continued and at times I found myself saying things that previously I would have considered negative. Sometimes I tried to fix those things and sometimes I just observed as the negative thoughts and words came and went. In every case they were in perfect synchrony with every other created thing, known and unknown. They were not, after all, my doing. It was as if I had washed my hands of this whole “life” thing and just settled into my Self and watched as my world unfolded one mundane moment after the next. I was not a spectator as an outsider would be. On the contrary, I was both beyond and intimately a part of all that I observed. It seemed oddly natural to know that nothing was being created other than the appearance of creation as it unfolded before me and my friend across the table.
As the conversation continued I doubt that he noted my awakening unless it registered on some subtle level where we all intuit the rightness of the world. At one point he was visibly concerned about how things were going to work within the company. I don’t remember exactly what circumstances triggered his concern but I saw no problems. When he paused he looked at me for validation. My response was simple. I said, “It is what it is.” And then we went on with our discussion as before. It was more of the same except, of course, I remained at peace. Some days later during a particularly discordant meeting I heard him say to another harried member of the team, “It is what it is.” He smiled a gentle smile as if he had just recognized the mundaneness of his world.