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Thursday
Sep272012

Rooms 101-102: Floss Your Way to Inner Peace

Rooms 101-102: Floss Your Way to Inner Peace
The Sweet Breath of Awareness

"I floss, therefore I am."
Bill Apablasa

I have a confession to make. I don’t have the world’s best breath. It’s not Yak breath. It won’t drop you to your knees, but by no stretch of the imagination is it inviting, which explains why, in my house, I tend to get the cheek much more than the lips. 

Today, that changes. 

And, make no mistake about it, this room is not only about caring for your teeth, or getting your friends to come closer. It’s about our never-ending quest to reinvent ourselves. 

Confucius said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I think it also begins with a strong strand of waxed thread inserted between the teeth. 

Yes, my friends. The secret to life is not only unconditional love and infinite freedom. It’s also flossing and good dental care. In fact, eight out of nine philosophers believe that flossing will lead to a more conscious and happy life.  

So, grab your toothbrushes, wrap that floss around your finger and let’s go change our lives together—one discarded piece of string at a time. 

Rooms 101-102: Floss Your Way to Inner Peace
The Sweet Breath of Awareness

Now, I suspect that most of you probably already floss. But, this room is just as much for you as it for those of us with broccoli growing out of our teeth. 

You see, this week is not just a call to floss. It’s a symbolic reminder on how one small act of personal hygiene can become an expression of our awakened life. 

Here’s what we need to know.

Flossing & The Cure For What Ails You
Our mouth, particularly the spaces between our teeth, are pretty close to the perfect environment for bacterial colonies to live. Left unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and the cold reality that no one will want to sit next to us at the dinner table.

Now, we can pretend that’s not true with all the minty toothpaste and mouthwash we own. But, there aren’t enough mints in China to mask the fact that for everyday we ignore it, the bacteria is causing more damage to our health.   

The same thing is true in our everyday lives. In fact, right now we’re surrounded by bacteria, silent but infectious organisms that are creeping their way into our bodies. Ugly little things like doubt, fear, anger, envy, greed, ego, and lust. 

And, we can pretend these energies don’t exist either, masking them with all the creative distractions we can devise. But, if left unchecked, you can be certain as my bad breath that they will turn into imbalance: unhappiness, discontent, depression, despair, loneliness, or even worse, alienation from our true selves.

Just like with our teeth, we need to floss out those energies before they do real damage. If we don’t, we might as well throw up the white flag and invite them to come on in and make themselves at home.  

This week as we begin our flossing program, let’s also take time to consciously search out all the crap that is stuck in the corners of our life. 

Let’s find it, acknowledge it, then do the work to get rid of it. Yes, it’s hardened plaque and it won’t come out easy. But, with persistence and honest intent, eventually it will start to loosen. 

Becoming aware isn’t about walking into the bliss. It’s about clearing out the crap that allows us to walk into the bliss. 

This is what we do when we floss.  

We clear out the gunk so we can become aware and enjoy the sweetness of life.  

Flossing & The Grateful Heart
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Eckhart Tolle

It’s easy to say we’re grateful for our lives and our good health. But, it’s not always easy or convenient to show it. And while there are lots of ways we can begin, what better way to start than with ourselves.

Like charity, gratitude starts at home. 

And every time we do something that cares for and nurtures our body, we are saying thank you to the universe for the life we’re given. Many of us already do this with exercise and diet, but now we can do it with our teeth.  

In three minutes of flossing, we can turn a simple day-to-day routine into a living expression of gratitude, not just for our teeth, but for every part of our body.

The more we show gratitude in the tiny, seemingly insignificant details of our lives, the more we will be able to show it everywhere in our life. 

Flossing & The Spiritual Warrior 
For most of us, the front teeth are the only place we floss. And it makes sense. They’re right up front and easy to get to. More than that, it’s what the world sees. It’s why we look in the mirror after we eat, or ask our friends if we have anything caught between our teeth. We don’t want to look like an idiot. 

But, it takes a real warrior to floss the back teeth. The stuff nobody sees. 

This is where your Gandhi’s and your Buddha’s live, that rare breed of flosser who isn’t afraid to go to the dark recesses in the back of the mouth. 

Yes, it hurts more. Yes, it’s not easy. But, that’s where the bacteria lives. And, more importantly, it’s where you’ll find your wisdom teeth. 

We need to have this same attitude. We need to deal with all the problems that come into our lives. And not just the up-front and easy-to-get-to problems. But, the ones in the far back—deep down in the center of who we really are. All the stuff we’ve left untouched for so long. 

Most of us know what that is, but if we don’t, we can always find someone to help us. It won’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is we recognize it’s there and begin the hard work of flossing. 

The Final Message: Floss Like You Mean It
There’s nothing better than flossing to teach us that we get out of something exactly what we put into it. We all know the times when we think we’re flossing, but we’re really just phoning it in. 

And you could argue that something is better than nothing. And, yes, it’s true. A bit of cleaning is better than no cleaning, as a bit of awareness is better than no awareness.

But, eventually there will come a time when we’re called to make a choice. 

Do we really want our teeth clean? Do we really want an awakened life? 

Nobody will be waiting for our answer, either. Nobody really cares if our teeth are clean, as nobody cares how awake we are. 

It’s up to us to decide.  

And not just whether we floss, but whether we will floss like we mean it; whether we will live like we mean it. 

Remember, it’s not just stronger teeth we’re chasing. It’s a sweeter life. 

 

 ❂  ❂  ❂

When you’re done flossing, make sure you sign up for the weekly email list so you won’t miss any posts or updates. And, of course, if you know someone whose breath could be sweetened, feel free to share the post. 

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