ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY?
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
Her husband of 70 years had recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.
As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, the aide provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.
"Oh, I just love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
"Mrs. Jones, you haven't even seen the room .... just wait," the aide said.
"That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged...it's how I arrange my mind. And I've already decided to love it ..."
"I make decisions like that every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift. And, as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away . . . just for this time in my life."
It sounds like our friend, Mrs. Jones, was familiar with the passage in The Science of Mind textbook that reads: "[Our] thought should tend more and more toward an affirmative attitude of mind that is positive, stable and -- above all else -- toward a real unity with Spirit that is already complete and perfect."a
During the month of May and this morning, we will focus on our attitude and whether it is "toward a real unity with Spirit that is already perfect and complete.
One of the things I love about Metaphysics is how practical it is. It teaches us how to live today in harmony with Universal Good. What is important to remember is that the Spiritual alignment is more important than the physical manifestation.
In fact, the physical manifestation is the BYPRODUCT of spiritual alignment -- remember, "seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you."b
At the same time, because we live in this world of form, having a sufficiency of form is preferable - yes??
Today's exploration of the power of our attitudinal alignment toward "a real unity with Spirit that is already complete and perfect" comes in the form of the results of a 1994 research project done in England by a Dr. Richard Wiseman. He wanted to see if people who considered themselves "lucky" had any common traits. Based on his research, he published a book entitled the Luck Factor.c
His subjects were instructed to flip through a newspaper that had photographs and to count the number of photographs. Luck, of course, was not mentioned. The subjects thought this was just some silly research in the Psychology Dept. of their university.
After about 3 pages, there was a half page ad saying STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. This ad was right next to a photo.
A few pages later there was another large ad that said: STOP COUNTING, TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU'VE SEEN THIS AND WIN 150 POUNDS (about $235 US).
The majority of the subjects who, through a cleverly disguised questionnaire, had previously labeled themselves "lucky" stopped at the first ad and said to the research assistant: "There are 43 photographs in here, that's what it says. Do you want me to bother counting?" They were told, "Yes, carry on." When they got to the second ad it was "Do I get my 150 pounds now?"
The majority of those who had labeled themselves "unlucky" just flipped past these ads - continuing to count the pictures.
Based on his research, Dr. Wiseman identified 4 attitudes common to "lucky" people. They will not surprise you, I am sure:
1. Lucky people maximize their opportunities.
2. Lucky people listen to their lucky hunches.
3. Lucky people expect good luck.
4. Finally, lucky people turn bad luck into good.
Now, metaphysically, we believe that nothing happens by chance or by luck. Ernest Holmes: "We are not depending upon chance but upon the Law."
"We are living in an Intelligent Universe which response to our mental states. To the extend that we learn to control these mental states, we shall automatically control our environment."d
What Dr. Wiseman refers to as lucky people are merely those who are aligned with Source - whether they are aware of it or not. What he refers to as "good luck" is simply the automatic workings of the Law based on the consciousness of the individuals.
Let's look at the spiritual implications of each of these attitudes.
1. LUCKY PEOPLE MAXIMIZE THEIR OPPORTUNITIES.
You are all familiar with Jesus' miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 men (plus women and children) with just a few fish and loaves of bread.e Well think about that for a moment.
Jesus did not create enough food to feed all those people out of thin air. The abundant supply did not appear from nothingness. Rather, the food which fed the crowd was an expansion of the existing supply - 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Granted not much, but something!
People who consider themselves lucky, according to Dr. Wiseman, also see the supply that exists as a wonderful beginning and then they make the most of it.
Basic universal law applies: Form follows consciousness. Like attracts like. If you focus your attention on making the most of what you have, your consciousness attracts more.
Jesus used the parable of the talentsf to illustrate this Universal Law. In it, a wealthy man goes away on a long trip and leaves money to the care of his three servants. He gives the first servant FIVE talents, the second servant TWO talents and the third servant ONE talent.
When he returns after a long absence, he asks the servants to show him what they have done with his money, how they have handled the stewardship of his resources.
The first two servants tell the master they had faith in their charge. They kept the money in circulation, investing it wisely. They maximized the money's potential and, in doing so, doubled it. Upon hearing this, the master is very pleased and tells the two servants: You have believed in a few things, I will make you master over many things. In essence, he tells them: You have proven that you will make the best use of what you have been given. Therefore, you can obviously be trusted with more.
By contrast, the last servant failed the test. He was only given a single talent to begin with. When the master asked him what he had done with it, he said, "I was afraid, and I hid the talent in the earth." The servant acted out of fear. As a result, he saw only lack and failed to see the one talent's true potential. Hidden away in the earth, the talent failed to expand and multiply. The master, seeing that the servant is not a reliable steward, takes even the single talent away. He is left with nothing.
ÍSo rejoice in the resources that you have at hand, gain every possible bit of use from them and watch your "luck" change.
2. LUCKY PEOPLE LISTEN TO THEIR LUCKY HUNCHES.
Translated into spiritual terms -- that says trust your intuition. Interesting to look at how the dictionary defines intuition: "The power of knowing without influence or reasoning; innate or instinctive knowledge." It is the direct opposite of the word "tuition" which is the process of learning through instruction.
Listen to these examples of innate or instinctive knowledge: Once a year, at mating time, the male Brush Turkey in Australia gathers piles of brush and leaves, and he and his mate build a mound together on the ground. This mound becomes the nest for the eggs. The female lays her eggs in the nest and sits on them.
It is the male's job to keep the nest at a certain temperature by adding and removing leaves every single day. You see, the eggs will hatch only if the temperature in the nest remains constant. So, during the day, when the sun is high, he removes leaves from the nest. In the evening as night falls and the temperature drops, he adds leaves.
Scientists have studied these birds and have found that the temperature in those nests never varies by more than one degree. How does the male brush turkey know how to regulate the temperature so precisely?? His innate and instinctive knowledge, of course. The salmon innately and instinctively knows to swim upstream at spawning time. The homing pigeon innately and instinctively knows where home is.
Nature has infused the monarch butterfly with a similar innate and instinctive sense of direction. In the fall, hundreds of thousands of those beautiful butterflies migrate south. They gather on tree trunks and large branches to hibernate, although they have never been to those glens before. They leave in the spring, never to return. They wing their way north to lay their eggs and pass on.
Their offspring are born with the same inner programming that directs them to show up in the exact same glen the next year. Don't you think that that same innate and instinctive guidance system is encoded into our true nature?
Do you think you are less equipped than the Australian Brush turkey, the salmon, the homing pigeon and the monarch butterfly -- just to name a few? I think not!
GE's Director of Research, G. C. Suit, once stated: "After preparing yourself in your chosen field, you must be alert to hunches and keep an open mind; do not rely too much upon logic; try to locate the treasure chest of ideas which lies hidden within you."g
Intuition is readily available to us all; it is a divinely natural faculty within every person, and "lucky" people know that. Unlucky people are who Jesus was talking about when he said: Ye have eyes and see not; ye have ears and hear not.h
ÍSo -- Get lucky by listening to your intuition!
3. LUCKY PEOPLE EXPECT GOOD FORTUNE
We don't always get what we desire, but we always get what we expect. Our deep down expectations. The ones we'd bet our life on.
A tale is told about a small town that had historically been 'dry,' but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. The congregation from a local church was concerned and planned an all-night prayer vigil to ask God to intervene.
Shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming the prayers of the congregation were responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were certainly not responsible.
After his initial review of the case, the presiding judge, a man wiser than most, stated: "No matter how this case comes out, one thing is obvious."
When asked what that was, the judge said: "It is evident that the tavern owner believes in prayer and the church-goers do not."
What did the church goers REALLY expect??
What do you REALLY expect from your prayers? "Lucky" people expect their good to come to them -- and it does.
New Thought Author Eric Butterworth wrote: "You do not receive what you want or even what you pray for -- you receive what you expect. Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if everything you tried or reached for turned out in fulfillment of your expectations? It would be little different from the way it is now, since most of us expect so little! Most of us go through life holding a small tin cup under the Niagara Falls of God's plenty. This manifests as a string-saving, make-do, can't afford it consciousness. It is marginal living at best. We prepare for problems and are rarely disappointed. We are in tune with the indefinite instead of the infinite; we are practicing the absence instead of the presence of God."i
Song line: "If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!"j
If you focus on what you lack, you will attract more lack. Positive or negative, whatever you emphasize in consciousness always expands.
You cannot circumvent this principle. It works with mathematical precision. If you focus on lack 98% of the time by worrying and fretting, then try to correct the situation with a few affirmations, you will reap accordingly, your life will still be 98% lacking.
The Apostle Paul said, ". . .and my God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches and glory."k This is the law. The Universal system is constantly providing for your needs from the inexhaustible resource.
As Emerson says, "Man is an inlet and may become an outlet for all there is in God."l
ÍSo -- Change your mind and change your luck!
4. FINALLY, LUCKY PEOPLE TURN BAD LUCK INTO GOOD.
Famous composer, Rossini, wrote an opera entitled "The Barber of Seville." It was a disaster! Hisses, and boos followed the fall of the curtain. The prima donna was in hysterics. The leading man talked of suicide.
When they looked for the composer, and couldn't find him they were all worried that he would destroy himself. They rushed off to look for him and found him soundly sleeping at home. The woke him up and cried, "Maestro, are you all right?" And Rossini replied. "I was having a nice sleep before you woke me."
They said, "But the opera! The fiasco!"
Rossini replied, "Evidently, The Barber is not good enough, so I must compose something better, that is all. We will discuss that in the morning, please let me sleep."
As everyone knows, The Barber turned out to be an immense success, and has played steadily for over a hundred years.m This story is a perfect example of how we should meet seeming failure and difficulty in order to turn it into success.
Always look for the silver lining. Within what appears to be bad or wrong there is undoubtedly a blessing. Put your attention on that. Emma Curtis Hopkins' demand on the Universe:
This too is Good -- This too is God.
This too is for me -- And I demand to see the blessing in it!n (That last line needs to be said with some attitude!)
Old, old joke -
They were twins whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom & gloom pessimist.
Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room, he loaded with horse manure.
That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked.
"Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken," answered the pessimist twin.
Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked.
To which his optimist twin replied, "With all this @#!*%!, There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"
Í Find the good, find the blessing, find the pony in every situation!
So, you see, luck really has nothing to do with it! It isn't where we are, but who we are that makes a difference. We make our own luck.
We align with "a real unity with Spirit that is already perfect and complete" by:
1. Making maximize use of what we already have.
2. Listening to our intuition.
3. Expecting the best!
4. Seeing and calling forth the good in any situation.
Where are you this morning with these? Which one could be enhanced today??
With these attitudes aligned with Spirit, how could we feel anything but lucky!?
aErnest Holmes The Science of Mind textbook p. 53
c1994 research project, England, Dr. Richard Wiseman Luck Factor
gGE's Director of Research, G. C. Suit
jRay Charles - If It Wasn't For Bad Luck
lRalph Waldo Emerson
mRossini, "The Barber of Seville"
nEmma Curtis Hopkins