Easy Chair or Bed of Nails?

Posted by Eric Maisel on February 23, 2017 in Personal Growth.

Comfy Chair

Do you see that bed of nails prominently positioned in the middle of the room that is your mind? That bed of nails upon which you drop yourself roughly each night and for your afternoon nap, so as to remind yourself about all the ways that you’ve failed yourself and so as to punish yourself for mangling your life? Ah, yes, part of you is absolutely certain that you deserve that bed of nails, that you should writhe in pain rather than rest, and that poking yourself with all those sharp metal points is the only way to expiate your guilt.

Stop that right now!

Get rid of that bed of nails. Call in the haulers and get it the heck out. Watch them leave with it. Pay them a little extra to destroy it, so that no finds it and thinks that they deserve it. Tip the haulers handsomely and thank them profusely. They are carrying out the thing that has harmed you the most, your enduring self-indictment. It is time to sign your pardon. That bed of nails is, and has always been, cruel if not unusual punishment.

Okay! It’s been hauled away! Next, go online in your mind’s eye and buy yourself exactly the easy chair that you’ve never permitted yourself. Make sure it’s comfortable! Skip that chair-as-art that was never meant to sit on. Pass on that contraption that looks great but can’t possibly feel right. Get something comfy. You want an easy chair that is genuinely easy because that ease is going to translate into better living. Take your time shopping!

Picture where you’ll place your easy chair in that room that is your mind. Maybe right beside one of those windows you installed, maybe the one facing that gorgeous view or the one that lets in the most air. Maybe right next to refrigerator, if impulse snacking isn’t a problem for you. Get its placement pictured, make your purchase, have it delivered, and wait expectantly at the door when it’s due to arrive. Point the movers to exactly where you want it positioned. Then sit!

Do you deserve that easy chair? Of course you do. Do you deserve it even though you’ve made a hash of this and a mash of that? Of course you do. Do you deserve it even though you were to blame for that terrible A, even though you were the cause of that horrible B, and even though you didn’t help when it came to that awful C? Of course you do. You deserve it because by purchasing it and sitting in it you are announcing that you are turning a corner and living lighter—and that this lighter you is also a better you. Your easy chair is a gift of self-improvement.

Place for relaxation

Your easy chair is the place for relaxation, rejuvenation, daydreams, bursts of imagination, forgiveness, hard thinking, renewed hope, and everything else better done in an easy chair than on a bed of nails. No doubt you agree; and yet it may prove supremely hard to part with your bed of nails. It exists in your mind because for the longest time you’ve been certain that you deserve it. Part of you is positive that you ought to punish yourself for all those messes, mistakes, and missteps you’ve managed. I’m guessing that you can’t get it out of your head that you’re obliged to sleep on that bed of nails.

But you aren’t.

To sleep on that bed of nails is to make matters worse, not better. If you want to expiate your guilt, rise up and do a good deed, say a kind word, make a difference. Is doing any of that made easier by virtue of you having spent the night tortured on a bed of nails? No, absolutely not. Had you spent a few lovely minutes in an easy chair you’d be in a much better mood and be much better prepared for goodness. Your bed of nails isn’t making you better; it never has been. Indeed, it may have become rather an indulgence. Please, call the haulers!

Why not make life pleasant inside your mind rather than miserable? Imagine coming home from a day of good deeds. Would a bed of nails be the suitable reward? Wouldn’t it be lovelier and completely appropriate to drop into your easy chair, sigh, and smile a little? Wouldn’t you deserve that? And wouldn’t those precious minutes comfortably resting prepare you nicely for your next proud moment? Call the haulers; and then go shopping. Maybe your perfect easy chair is on sale today! The room that is your mind needs it.


This lesson is part of the Your Best Mind Ever series. In this groundbreaking program Dr. Eric Maisel teaches a brand new way to get a grip on our minds. 

About the Author

Eric Maisel

Dr. Maisel is the author of more than 40 books and teaching nationally and internationally at workshop centers like Esalen, Kripalu and Omega and in locations like San Francisco, New York, London and Paris. Learn more about Dr. Maisel’s books, services, workshops and training at www.ericmaisel.com.


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