It took a swamp cooler to remind me that I make my own reality.
For those unfamiliar with this marvelous invention, a swamp cooler—or more properly an evaporative cooler—is basically a giant fan that cools air through the evaporation of water. Whereas air conditioners remove moisture from the air, an evaporative cooler adds humidity, a wonderful addition to the dry air here in Colorado. It sounds odd but it strangely works in our climate.
When I came home from work this afternoon, the house was very warm. With a 97-degree temperature outside, the inside temperature wasn’t much better at 85. The weather forecasters informed us that we hit a record high temperature for the day and I could feel it.
I’ve been having some troubles with my swamp cooler and I knew I had to go up onto the roof and hose down the pads to get more water in the system. It’s not an ideal solution but with just a few weeks of summer left, I’ve made due with this adjustment.
After changing clothes and climbing up on the roof, I liberally doused the cooler with fresh, cool water. As I’ve been doing for the last week or so, I climbed back down the ladder and went inside to crank the fan to high speed to help cool the house.
The damn fan had stopped working. Discouragement set in quickly as did a barrage of negative thoughts: Great, the swamp cooler quits on the hottest day of the year. It’s going to be 90 in the house in no time. The poor dog must be miserable inside. The belt on the fan must have snapped—where am I going to find one?
The upside of the situation: I automatically kicked into “thought observation” mode. I suddenly became aware of what I was thinking and feeling and it wasn’t serving me well. I recognized how my thoughts were projecting a negative situation into the future (it will be 90 in no time) and I wasn’t giving myself room to think…or breathe.
Since I’ve been working with the exercises given by Lynda Madden Dahl in her book Living a Safe Universe Vol. 2, I’ve become quick on my feet when it comes to my thoughts. Through the years I’ve done lots of self-development work with my thoughts: cataloging them, examining them, arranging them, and attempting to direct them. Some of these exercises have worked and sometimes I fall flat on my face.
In her Living a Safe Universe books, Lynda helps us understand the mechanics of conscious creation; that is, she explains how our thoughts actually shape our individual realities and in Vol. 2, she helps us work with our thoughts to actively change our reality in conscious directions. She’s been able to tie together for me some loose strings hanging about my head when it comes to my thoughts, beliefs and emotions.
I decided to go outside and stand in the middle of my back yard. I intuitively knew that I had to work on what Lynda calls “commanding our moment point,” when you knowingly and purposely engage your thinking in a different way than you’re normally familiar. In this new approach, you don’t focus on what “is” if you aren’t pleased with what “is” as I wasn’t at that moment.
Instead, you gently turn your thoughts in the direction of the desired outcome, knowing that in that special moment in time, you’re planting a powerful seed of intention. You’re setting the stage for the next “moment point” when the fruits of that seed may manifest. You agree to set aside normal cause-and-effect thinking and just for a moment, accept that your new intention will come to pass, not focusing on all the things that could interfere with the manifestation.
That’s just one probable version of reality.
The thought popped into my head as the sun beat down on my brow. As I stood there, aware of my negative thoughts and wondering what to do with them, this new thought intruded forcefully into my awareness. That’s just one probable version of reality. There it was again and I took notice. Instead of thinking what to do next or even what to think next, I cleared my moment point.
I felt the sun on my face and the grass under my feet. Closing my eyes, I imagined what my negative thoughts about the swamp cooler would look like as a clump of dirt and then playfully imagined a giant broom sweeping the debris out of my inner field of vision. The imagery calmed me down and opened up some space in my mind. Once again, the thought returned: That’s just one probable version of reality.
The intrusive statement felt comforting to me. It reminded me that nothing in my life is set in stone and that I have choices about what I think, how I feel and what I can experience. I decided then and there that even if the swamp cooler didn’t work, I’d be okay. I felt soothed by the experience and headed inside.
Out of habit, as soon as I was inside the house, I reached for the dial on the swamp cooler. I had turned it off when I realized the fan wasn’t working. I clicked the dial to “high cool” without thinking about it and walked into the kitchen before I realized the fan was now indeed blowing forcefully and delivering cool air to the house.
Skeptical friends would give me “rational” ideas on why the fan was now working. You probably just got the fan wet and it shorted out. There’s a loose wire in there somewhere and it wiggled back in place. Those ideas don’t matter to me, for I know in my heart that the magical approach to living works.
I had cleared my moment point, resetting my automatic and often negative mindset to zero and allowed my mind to focus on options. I didn’t even necessarily have to think about what I wanted to happen, like the fan magically working again. I simply needed a reminder that the next moment point becomes impregnated with thoughts from the current moment point. That’s just one probable version of reality.
What probable version of reality do I want to experience instead? That’s the next logical thought to the original statement and yet I didn’t even need to think that far in advance. Only the acquiescence to the idea of probable events and my role in creating them was what I needed to get the swamp cooler running once more.
For now, I’m happily writing this post in my much cooler house and occasionally glance up and say a silent “thank you” to the swamp cooler. I also thank my inner self for giving me a mantra I can use when confronted with other unwanted events in my life: That’s just one probable version of reality.