Good Feelings That Last

compassIf there was a second tool, after a bowl, that I would wish for parents it would be a compass of the heart, or perhaps of the deeper Self.

This compass has four corners:  GFTL (good feelings that last) facing where north would usually be; south is BFTL (bad feelings that last); east is BFTDL (bad feelings that don’t last); and west is GFTDL (good feelings that don’t last).  When you don’t know what to do, hold your compass over your heart and ask, “Where will this decision take me?”

We lead by example, and happy parents are a gift to children.  Things that lead to BFTL include cruelty, addiction and self-destructive behaviors.  Good feelings that don’t last include transient pleasures, pointless conquests, triumphs of the ego and cutting ahead of others in traffic.  Bad feelings that don’t last include getting shots at the doctor, properly cried tears, really hard yoga poses and the like.

If we place every question through the lens of, “Does this lead toward, or away from, GFTL” and follow what our compass says on a consistent basis, we will surely make our way, guided by our deep Selves, toward authentic happiness (which is, of course, bittersweet, but our palate does get more sophisticated as we individuate).  One of the key factors in successful mindfulness practice, be it yoga, meditation or parenting, is consistency.  Good parenting is consistent, and meeting in this virtual sangha, every day, even for just a glance at a picture or a cursory read of one sentence, may serve your intention of being your best Self as a parent by setting your course toward GFTL—and then sticking to it.  Good ideas are fine, but good ideas consistently applied bring great success.  Picture yourself with GFTL.  Imagine it vividly (you happy and abundant, your child as well).  See, taste, smell and hear it.  Touch it, make it real in your mind and let it guide you like a beacon.  Give it a single moment of conscious intention, do it every day—for a year—and then see where it has taken you.  I’ll be here.  Will you?

Let’s dedicate today to finding our own compass and following it with love, courage and compassion toward GFTL, in the service of our children.

Namaste, Bruce


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