A spirit of uncertainty has wafted into our personal space, our nation and our world. It has surprised even the most positive of thinkers, and has made the fearful even more apprehensive. Amid reports of foreclosures, plummeting housing values and unemployment figures, an article in Sunday’s New York Times claims that millions of jobless Americans don’t appear in the official labor statistics. They are the ones who have tried unsuccessfully for months or years to find work, and have given up hope. They’ve stopped saying, “What do I do now?”
Actually, there are a few things they can do that they probably haven’t even tried. The first thing I’d suggest is spending at least one day a week volunteering with an organization whose mission and values reflect their own. Make some little corner of the world better. Like everything we do, helping others cycles back to us through the Law of Attraction/Reciprocity. There is always a payday of fulfillment when we serve others. Fulfillment is a mighty antidote to repeated rejection, self-doubt and hopelessness.
There’s something else that all of us can do to speed us along the path to greater fulfillment: become neutral. I practice being in neutral, not judging circumstances and human beings as one thing or another. Being in neutral allows me to hear the “still small voice” that responds to, “What do I do now?” In neutral, I am open to more possibilities and much greater outcomes than my physical brain can fathom.
Friends frequently remark that no matter what happens, I always land on my feet: The greater the adversity, the more magnificent the rebound. Bring it on! I am so encouraged by the outcomes that I have consistently experienced that I’m trying to adopt neutrality as a lifestyle. My soul appears to be supporting me in this endeavor.
While practicing neutrality this past weekend, I’ve received a daily “Loving Each Day” email that urged neutrality as a means to accomplish much:
“[N]eutrality does not mean inaction. It is putting all of your energy in the proper direction. You can accomplish much in the state of neutrality because you won’t be wasting time fighting yourself.” John-Roger
Hours later, I attended an elegant birthday luncheon for 85-year-young Floncia Sutton,the mother of four of my absolutely fabulous girlfriends. As the program progressed, Mrs. Sutton’s longtime friends and church members spoke about her grace and strength. Her pastor revealed that he had adopted her as his grandmother, occasionally seeking her wise counsel. Everyone marveled that Mrs. Sutton rarely speaks above a whisper; she commands the attention, respect and obedience of young and old with a look or even a clearing of the throat. They frequently attributed the source of her power to Isaiah 40:31, her favorite Bible verse:
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary: and they shall walk, and not faint.”
And there it was again; Isaiah was talking about neutrality: The space where we can calmly and peacefully wait for every challenge to be resolved, every decision to be made, and every hurt to be healed in the most perfect way, at the most perfect time. Neutrality is a spa, a holy place where we enjoy the All-Knowing Benevolent Spirit within our very souls. We come here to melt away stress and anxiety; we find total peace, no matter what drama surrounds us in the physical world. In neutral, we ask for guidance from the God within and we hold only one expectation: The outcome will be divine and on time. In neutral, it’s impossible to be disappointed or rejected, even if the outcome is not what our physical bodies—Ego-Selves—desired. In neutral, we are aware that we are not merely finite bodies; we are infinite souls, invisible spirit, made in the image of our Creator. In neutral, our desire is to fulfill our soul’s mission, and we want to know more about that.
When I’m in neutral, I am sometimes we are guided to do something very specific: call someone, investigate something, or go somewhere. Other times, it appears as if I’m receiving no response at all. While it frustrated me at first, I’ve learned that the silence is an opportunity to practice patience. It simply means, “Be still—and know that I am God.” Over the years, I’ve observed that my challenge was being resolved in the most perfect way and at the most perfect time, with no help required from me. My job is merely to stay in neutral, stay open, ready to receive, and ready to shift into gear when prompted, not a moment earlier.
Surely you’ve noticed that when a car must be in neutral, even if the engine isn’t running, if it is to be pushed or towed to another, usually more suitable location. Neutrality is an active state of readiness. It doesn’t mean that we’ve shut down; we’re idling, not idle. Our arms are wide open, ready to lovingly embrace the guidance or inspiration that comes from within.
We can only receive the benefits of neutrality’s peaceful space when we completely trust God. Neutrality has simplified my prayer in all situations: “I lovingly allow this matter to be resolved for the Highest Good of all concerned, and I await divine direction for any next steps.”
Disappointment is only possible when we allow the Ego-Self to make the decisions and judge the outcomes. That’s when we find ourselves in the “If I woulda, coulda, shoulda” dramas. The Ego wants us to rely on our limited human understanding. It is entertained when we frustrate ourselves, trying to fit square pegs into round holes, trying to bring God into alignment with our physical desires. I’m sure that Soul is looking at our bodies and wondering, “What part of ‘This is not working’ don’t they understand?”
It works when we allow, when we gently sit our Ego Self down and allow ourselves to be divinely led instead of trying to lead the Divine. We experience one victory after another when we relinquish control of our outcomes to our Higher Selves, when we “wait on the Lord,” when we’re able to maintain our integrity when we say, “Thy will be done on Earth.” In neutral, we always get what we want—because we want what God wants. Funny how that works.
Life on Earth provides us plenty of opportunities to practice neutrality. No one on the planet experiences a life without challenges. I call them “growth opportunities” because each offers us the chance to respond differently than we have in the past, and get a different result. The next time you experience disappointment, you’ll know that you aren’t in neutral. When you become angry because something didn’t go the way you wanted, you aren’t in neutral; you’re not open to allowing your soul’s experience on Earth to unfold in the way that it desires.
I have a mantra: “If it’s mine, I’ll get it. If it’s not, I don’t want it.” That frees me to focus on other stuff instead of obsessing over a particular outcome. I totally trust God to resolve everything divinely. I can keep it moving.
Try neutrality next time and notice how utterly peaceful you are as you journey through your many “growth opportunities.” Do it consciously and consistently, and you’ll notice that no matter what happens, no one will be able to rob your peace—no matter how much they clown or how un-Christlike they behave. You’ll be able to climb into the balcony of their drama, and love them anyway. I often find myself feeling sorry for these bad actors “for they know not what they do” to themselves through the Law of Attraction/Reciprocity.
Notice how empowering this is. See its effects on the body. Take a look at a woman who’s been “waiting on the Lord” longer than many of us have been in these bodies: Head high, shoulders back, standing tall, Mrs. Sutton is fearless, full of power, full of grace, full of joy and unshakably peaceful.
She wasn’t born to privilege, and she’s had her share of “growth experiences.” But she has not accumulated burdens, anger, resentment or regret; she is not broken or bowed. Mrs. Sutton carries herself with the dignity, grace and loving demeanor of someone who knows and trusts God so totally that she is content to wait. She has mastered the art of speeding in neutral.
What would you look like if you seized every opportunity to respond differently to your growth opportunities? How peaceful, how strong would you be if you asked for divine guidance, listened for and accepted the response and followed the directions? Try practicing today, and see if you can learn to speed in neutral from now on.