Do you feel that sometimes all the meditation and stress management tools under the sun, just aren’t enough? You can feel yourself getting worried, annoyed or angry. You can feel the wrong thoughts rising and the many fear based emotions along with it. You seem impotent to stop it, or you think ‘what the hell’ and just let rip! Me too, but these instances are now very few and far between. Thanks to a little story I read by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander from their book The Art of Possibility.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer states in his book The Power of Intention, the following story illustrates in a lighthearted way how we allow the ego to create many of the problems we encounter that we label stress and anxiety.
Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by a hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again, the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.” Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for the third time the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously.’” “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?”
“There aren’t any.”
Have you ever tried to calm an angry or upset person by telling them to ‘just calm down’? I have, and it had the same effect as pouring gasoline onto a fire and created the exact opposite of what I intended. I often thought I needed a catch phrase, a safe word so to speak that I or my family could use that would have the effect of calming the crazed one down. We all agreed this would be a good idea and set out to choose a word or phrase together, but in the heat of the moment could never remember what we had chosen. Until Rule Number 6!
After I first read this story, I sat my family down, read it to them and encouraged us all to use Rule Number 6 going forward whenever we felt ourselves becoming un-centered or could see that another was becoming overwhelmed.
The first time I used it, on my youngest daughter, she stopped and asked, “What is Rule Number 6?” Immediately her focus changed as she remembered the story and could tackle her problem from a different perspective. It worked the second time I employed it, with my oldest daughter, who also asked, “What is Rule Number 6?” This time, my youngest daughter who was in earshot, answered for me and retold the story. The same result occurred. With feisty, hot blooded parents, both our children have a lot of energy, strong opinions and speak out about what is important to them. So, I was both startled and over the moon that this one little sentence had such an immediate effect.
The first time it was used on me, by my youngest, I had been worrying about something, and really taking myself way too seriously. It worked wonders. In fact, I nearly burst out laughing at her bold use of my adopted catch phrase. It helped me refocus my thoughts and feelings and realign with my higher self. It is so effective and so much better than the actual words ‘Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously’, that I now use it all the time on myself and anyone whether they know about Rule Number 6 or not. It has an instant calming effect that allows one to access their resources and find a solution to their problem without fixating, worrying, or getting frustrated or angry.
Try it. I guarantee you it will work! In The Law of Creation we explain how the fear based emotions (anger, worry, guilt, shame, to name a few) cut us off from our resourcefulness and hinder us from finding a beneficial solution to our problem creating a vicious downward spiral of negative thoughts and emotions. Using Rule Number 6 as soon as you notice you are feeling anxious or worried or begin to get angry may prevent physical symptoms and shorten the duration of the downward spiral.
To sum it all up, Dr. Wayne Dyer puts it very well: “You aren’t your work, your accomplishments, your possessions, your home, your family …. your anything. You’re an aspect of the power of intention [Spirit], dressed in a physical human body intended to experience and enjoy life on Earth.”
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Sending you feel good vibes.