Okay, so my first day of proceeding about my business as if there is no God/Spirit/The Universe and there never has been a God/Spirit/The Universe...
Interesting and weird. But not in a bad way.
The first thing I noticed the night before my first full day of being an atheist was the feeling of liberation. The minute I told myself that there is not a God or a Spiritual Entity (which is more in keeping with how I've seen it all these years) the more I was able to say, "Okay, so I was never rejected into the poverty pile where my life is meant to be hard and filled with struggle because there is not a God or Spiritual Entity that exists who rejected me in the first place. So there is no longer any need to believe that that is my lot in life. There is no one out there deciding for me when I catch a break and when I don't. This is all me."
That felt liberating. Strangely so. I really had to walk the house with it. ("Wow. I don't have to fret about what will work out or what will not? No "one" and no "thing" are pre-deciding for me?") Pretty interesting way of looking at things. There were some goosebumps, some crazy good meatballs (recipe to follow at a later date) and inevitably some questions.
The questions mostly revolved around previously held thought patterns. Can I really do this? Can I really think this way? Can I say goodbye to thirty some odd years of thinking? Yes. That's the plan for this week, anyway.
Okay. Now on with the day.
I got up, wrote, had breakfast, did laundry, played with the kids, went to the gym - basically went about my daily minutia. I found a few moments of mental stress building about some logistical things before I had to remind myself that there was no need to get so worked up. No need to fall back into old thinking. Just move forward. None of this has been pre-ordained, after all. Just relax and remember that I can do whatever I set my mind to. (My brain needs constant reminders. Gah.)
A couple habitual things happened which I had to switch up. For example, when I was driving to the gym, I had a Reverend Michael Beckwith CD playing in the car, which I have always loved to listen to for both the message and the music. But today I turned it off. Because listening to a Reverend preach on a Sunday morning is not in keeping with being an atheist for a week. And that is one of the disappointing aspects about this experiment. The giving up factor. Letting go of the lovely things I enjoy because they have a form of Spirituality attached to them.
I also found myself on the verge of saying, "Oh, I'll just trust in the Universe" about something I had put effort into and hoped would work out in my favor. But the Atheist Me gently tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, "NaGa-Da, lady. We don't put our wishes out there anymore. We don't believe in that stuff right now, remember?"
(Of course there was no imaginary atheist tapping me gently on the shoulder, whispering softly in my ear. Because that would be the supernatural. The Great Gazoo. And in practicing this mindset, I have to completely believe that I am all there is. That will take some work. I am quite fond of the Great Gazoo and I will miss his ass this week.)
I also had a conversation with my sister about a new book by Robert Kiyosaki in which he talks about an individual raising his/her level of financial IQ. In it, he advises people to take 30% of their income and set it aside for investing. And if you can't afford 30% of your income for this purpose, according to Mr. Kiyosaki, you just need to find a way to earn more money. Well, I had instant resistance to this idea. I told my sister that not everyone could just go out, snap their fingers and earn more money. "This is an expensive place to live. Have you seen the gas prices out here? Food prices are about to go up 7% in this province. Coffee prices have already risen. You have to have a friggon six figure income to afford a townhouse an hour outside of the city. Some people already have two or three jobs just to make ends meet." And so on and so forth. I stopped myself in the midst of this litany of evidential burden to remind myself that in succumbing to this line of thinking I was operating from the old belief that my destiny with struggle had been pre-ordained by a God who favored some and not others, or by a Spiritual Entity with which I had not yet come into alignment, and as a result my good was being kept from me because I had never adequately raised my vibration in order to collect it. But this week is not about that. This week is about proceeding with the mentality that none of that has actually happened because those forces don't exist.
I know I'm repeating myself here but that is part of the process for me. I need to repeat to myself over and over again that this is a fresh, clean slate and that I am more than capable of achieving my goals myself. There is simply no one else tripping me up.
But I did find myself wondering, what about the magic? If I do go about my business with the intention of making a success of myself and, if in fact I'm the only one responsible for creating my success, if it's all me, and therefore all the outcome will occur as a result of my efforts alone, where is there room in that equation for the magic to happen?
Do atheists believe in magic?
As we hit the hay for the night, my mind was spinning a little and I launched a handful of other questions on the subject at my husband to see what his perspective on this might be:
"Can I read "Choosing Easy World" before bed (it's too Spiritual, right)?
Who do I say Thank You to for the day?
So much of my thinking is oriented to the Spiritual Entity side of things. If I don't think about that, what the heck do I think again?"
My husband is a spiritual kinda guy. But at bedtime, he's a tired kinda guy and a man of few words. So in support of my atheism experiment, he turned out the light and replied, "No. No one. Think good thoughts. Good night."
And that was Day 1. Many questions, many reminders, and many opportunities to stretch my mind.
We'll see what happens on Day 2...
Thank you for joining me in my quest for bliss.
The Happiness Detective