When I was a home builder, I used a special tool called a plumb-bob. It kept everything in alignment and harmony.
A plumb-bob or a plummet is a weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom, that is suspended from a string and used as a vertical reference line, or plumb-line.
The instrument has been used since at least the time of ancient Egypt to ensure that constructions are "plumb", or vertical. It is also used in surveying to establish the nadir with respect to gravity of a point in space. They are used with a variety of instruments to set the instrument exactly over a fixed survey marker, or to transcribe positions onto the ground for placing a marker.
When I built foundation walls, laying concrete block and setting them with mortar, I used the plumb bob. I dropped the plumb bob at the corner of the foundation wall as it was being built. And I checked that while I was laying block, row after row. I checked it in order to build a foundation that was straight, square, and aligned with the footer upon which the foundation wall was set. After the foundation is built, then the structural walls of the building are built.
If I did not use a plumb bob while building, my house would not be plumb, vertical, and square. My walls, floors, and window openings would be slanted, leaning, and off. Without a plumb bob, your building would likely be disproportioned and imbalanced. The plumb bob is the true reference to which a building's alignment and harmony is set against.
A person who is connected with his or her source tends to be in alignment and harmony with everything around them. When a person is connected to that omnipresent energy that exists in the universe, they tend to be peaceful, confident, and in control.
When your life becomes challenging, when your luck as run out, if bad habits creep back in, when bad things seem to be happening to you one after another, just do a check. Check your plumb bob. Make sure that you're in alignment and harmony with everything, with the source, with the energy that is everywhere around you. Check if you're connected.
One way to notice if you're "off" is to check your ego. Check how you've been thinking about who you are and what you do. Have you been thinking about yourself too much? Have you let possessions define who you are? Are you defined by your achievements? Do you work for other people's high opinion of you? Are you separated from God? Are you alone?
If you said "Yes" to any of those previous questions, you may have identified the problem as being your ego. And therefore, you've got to let go, and let God. Connect your spiritual energies with the limitless, omnipresent energy source of the universe. That's the key to being in alignment and harmony, being in a blissful consciousness, and actively living a more abundant life.
For Christians, the plumb bob is the word of God. Maybe for you, its meditation, mantras, prayer, exercise, yoga, being quiet, being social, breathing. Whatever. It really does not matter what you call it. As long as it gets you connected, aligned, and in harmony.
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and definite requests, with thanksgiving, continue to make your needs known to God. And God's peace, which transcends all understanding, will be yours and will guard over your hearts and minds.
For the rest, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is kind, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things, and peace will be with you.
There's a story about a boating trip where a woman and her daughter go out and have some fun. The boat anchors in a shallow area, so that everyone can jump into the water an swim around with the fish and stingrays. The wind picks up suddenly, and the captain starts calling everyone in. The woman finds the floatation and rope line and starts back to the boat. The daughter is right behind her. The woman gets up on the boat and turns around to assist her daughter, but she's not there. She lost her grip on the life line rope and is drifting away, with the waves and the current now getting stronger. The woman on the boat panics and jumps in to help her daughter. But she now realizes that she's in just as much trouble as her daughter and is of no help. Now, they're both in need of the captains help. They both need to be rescued. In the end, everyone came out fine and safe. But, the moral to the story is, don't sacrifice yourself to help someone, because you both might end up in need of rescue.
Instead of sacrificing yourself for your family, it's better to keep yourself in a strong position, like the captain of the boat in the previous story, and save those who need help, and be a leader for those you're responsible for. A smart father, a true leader of a family, never completely sacrifices himself. He stays in a position of strength and leadership. He never panics and jumps off the boat.
Take care of your woman, your girlfriend, your lover, your wife, your children, your family, your friends. Take care of them. But don't jump off the boat.
Parenting is a huge, and wonderful, commitment. A commitment in love. It requires you to give fully. To think beyond yourself, beyond your personal needs and preferences. To live for others. To serve others. In love.
But you can't love, if you're dead. Eh?
And you can't love, if you're not just physically dead, but emotionally dead, or spiritually dead. If you abandon your purpose in life, if you give up who you are, if you forsake your calling in this world, if you bury the man, the king, who you could be, who you want to be, then you have essentially abdicated your position in your family. You've given up. When you give up on yourself, you've given up on those who love you.
Those around you will feel your weakness. Your wife will start taking on your responsibilities, taking charge, taking the reins, your reins. Your family will, unconsciously, undermine your authority. If you can't take charge of yourself, who will? Some one has to. Your children will challenge you. If you lack discipline, you're children will sense that, and will challenge who you are.
Once you give up on pursuing your deepest enjoyment in life, your purpose, your calling, giving of your gift to the world, you have lost. You might as well jump in the water.
Well, then. Don't.
Get into alignment and harmony with yourself, your goals, the universe, God. Get in touch with your deepest purpose. Your mission in life. Your deep calling. Your core reality of yourself and who you are.
Don't weaken your core.
Be alive and strong. Your woman needs a strong man. Your children's lives depend upon it. Be present, in love, and serve. But never be ambiguous about who you are and what you want to do in life. If you haven't already, discover your deep truth, your core reality, your mission, your purpose. What do you want to do in life? Do it! Don't use your family as an excuse for not being a mature man, strong and confident, full of life and purpose, running the face, enjoying every moment, like a king.
Listen to other men. What they say is what they believe.
Whatever a person believes is directly manifested into what they say. Have you ever noticed that someone who is doing really well in their life, also speaks well about living? Have you noticed a friend who's going through tough times confess that things are really bad, never been worse, and that life sucks. It's not just a mere coincidence. One actually manifests into another. You speak what you're thinking, and what you speak manifests what you're doing. Believing equals receiving.
So, watch watch you say.
It's been written that if you confess with your mouth at the same time what you believe in your head, then you will have power. So, let's say that you desire to receive wisdom in a particular situation. What should you do in order to receive it? Well, you've got to think about what is available to you. A promise. A promise from God related to receiving wisdom.
One promise that comes to my mind was said by a very wise man about 2,000 years ago. He said that "all things are possible to him that believes." All things are possible. Say it. Think it. Meditate on this. Let these words, these few simple words, this spiritual promise dwell within you richly.
When you believe something can be done, really believe it, then your mind tends to find a way to get it done. How you think about a problem that you're experiencing determines the outcome. If you doubt success, then you've likely determined your outcome. Think failure, and surely you will fail. The Buddha said that you should not live by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, things taken as face value. You must know for yourselves that these things are truthful to yourself, they are praised by the wise, and when carried out, they lead to peace and happiness.
There is power in believing. There is a universal, omnipresent power into which you and I were born. This power releases us from our prisons, breaks us free, and brings victory to our lives. This power is of God. It is all around you, and within you. The key is in knowing how to receive it.
Mantras, repeating a formal prayer, getting on your knees, contributing cash to the Church, none of these will bring positive results in your life. Hoping doesn't do it. Guessing doesn't either. Positive thoughts won't bring positive results. The Buddha said that the mind is everything, and you what you think, you become. Well, it's more than just thinking. It's believing. You have to believe. And that's a verb. It takes action.
You can believe in anything. You can think anything you want. But there is one truth that works, believing equals receiving.
And, if you listen to yourself, you'll hear what you believe.