The tree knows

The tree knows

Some would call it instinct; I would call it faith. The tree trusts nature and allows the universe to help it grow and thrive. The tree trusts that the universe will provide for it the right amount of moisture, sunlight and nutrients. The tree knows its own beauty and delights in the little pink flowers it produces each spring. The tree understands its exquisite smell vibrates into the universe, affecting all other life forms that happen to find their way through the fragrant air. The tree does not get sad that its blossoms only last a few days; it knows they’ll be back year after year after year. I could learn a lot from this tree.

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Releasing attachment to desire

“Negative attachments, Richard. If you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you do not make a big production out of it, you just relax and remove it from your thinking. That’s all there is to it.”
Illusions by Richard Bach

The quote above, from Richard Bach’s Illusions, got me thinking about ease and effortlessness in the conscious creation process. Whether we’re creating or removing something from our consciousness, it’s often hard to let go of our attachments and truly go on faith that what we want will be accomplished.

When we make a request of the universe, whether it’s through thought, verbalization or action, we are setting into motion a complex stream of energy. That energy, through the law of attraction, sets out to find like energy that will eventually lead to the manifestation we’ve requested. In what I’ll call the “creation universe,” energy is converted to the specific things we’ve requested: a new job, a computer, or a friendship. The same is true for “removing” things in our life, as we are in actuality creating a new situation instead of removing the old. But that creation universe works more efficiently when you take away your active concentration from it—that’s the rub.

The creation universe works on the concept of faith. In that universe, millions upon millions of computations are made to bring us circumstances, events and physical objects that will act in our best interest. The speed of this universe corresponds to the intensity of the request we make and our belief that it will be fulfilled. As junior creationists, we frequently hamper the process by checking and rechecking for results before they’re ready.

Think about making a hard-boiled egg. Your desire is the finished product—the cooked egg. Yet for most of us, checking for progress on our desires is like pulling the egg out of the water every 30 seconds and cracking it open, only to discover it’s not truly cooked. We curse the process and start again, giving it a little longer. With trial and error, we eventually reach our goal and learn to let the process complete itself and we’ll have breakfast. If only we could allow that for other parts of our lives, too.

Releasing attachments from our desires is a necessity for activating the creation universe and there are three main ingredients that are key to success.

Flexing your will

It takes willpower not to check for results on your desires. The will can be thought of as the active process of pointing your consciousness in a particular, focused direction. In this case, we’re actively aiming our consciousness away from the process itself. That is, we’re using our willpower to stop checking on the manifestation. Remember, the creation universe works with faith and that same faith is required of you.

In our current reality, we’re used to accepting as true only that which we can see, touch and feel. In other words, we have accepted the belief that something is not real unless it is already manifest and we can get our hands on it. In the conscious creation process (or in this case, faith-creation process) we accept that our new beliefs, feelings and thoughts have already created what we want and leave it at that.

Constantly checking on the process nullifies your faith, especially if what you want hasn’t appeared in your everyday world. And once you notice that, your disappointment or your doubt in the creation process will act with law of attraction to bring you more of the same: doubt and disappointment. Flex your will to not check so often.

Go with ease

As powerful as “flexing your will” sounds, it does need to be done with a gentle touch, the second ingredient to removing attachment from want. ‘Ease’ is opposite of ‘anxious,’ which is the energy we emote when we’re checking on our manifestations. Ease, instead, allows our consciousness to detach from the outcome and let the creation universe do its thing…bring our desires to us.

Ease is the energetic foundation of faith: the knowing and trustful assumption that our desires will be fulfilled and done so in a way that promotes our best outcome. When we’re attached to a particular outcome we’re anxious about it, which is why ease is so hard to come by. But learning to ease our way into faith gives us a head start on the creation process. It allows gentle energy to infuse the creation universe and start the ball rolling.

Allow the results

Once you’ve taken an easy, focused approach to conscious creation, you will—at some point—want to check for results. Here’s where allowing comes into play. Allowing means you’re open to the many ways the creation universe can bring your manifestation to you.

Like faith, allowing is a gentle process. It requires keeping enough attention to the possible outcomes that you are open to the fruits of your labor but not so much attention that you try to drive the process with negative energy. Attempting to control the process works against the creation universe by creating resistance. The process of allowing means paying attention to your impulses, as impulses will guide you to the very action or knowledge you need to allow your dreams to come true.

Like any new skill, learning detachment takes practice and patience. Whether you’re removing a cloud from the sky or trying to manifest your dream job, taking a relaxed approach will serve you well and bring you closer to your desires.

Chasing rainbows

Chasing rainbows

Okay, so I wasn’t chasing it but I was struck by how quickly rainbows can return us to the present moment. I saw this beauty for about three minutes as I drove out of the mountains and finally pulled off the road to admire it. The air was still and moist from the recent rain/snow mix that had just pulled through. The sun was warm and allowed me to concentrate on nothing but the beauty of the day before me.

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Of moths and men

In the dream world, we create our world symbolically. Our dream symbols are as varied and individualistic as we are. An airplane may signal your desire to change direction or get out of town. A prison may indicate feeling trapped in a tough situation…the list goes on and on. Dreams allow you to test probable outcomes that you’ll experience in waking reality and are a wonderful tool for analyzing thoughts, emotions and beliefs. But what if you had some of that same symbolic awareness in your waking life? You do.

Through our conditioning, we don’t see waking-life events and objects the same way we do our dream creations. Our waking life is full of the same kind of symbolic clues that we find in our dreams but we view them differently. We don’t realize we created those events and objects in the first place and now find ourselves in the position of reacting to them. This process is so seamless, so practiced, that we find it difficult to spot the very visible signposts we need to change our lives or continue doing what we do best.

So many symbols, so little time

Because we create everything in our lives whether we know it or not, it’s tough to know what symbols we should pay attention to. For most of us, it’s the self-labeled “negative” aspects that we experience that cause us to sit up and pay attention to what we are creating. So-called negative events don’t feel right and therefore get our attention in a more direct way. Recently I had a big reminder of this. Or, more appropriately, I had a lot of small reminders.

If you’ve never seen textile moths, be thankful. I’m not taking about standard Miller moths—the kind most people associate flying around light bulbs in the summer. Textile moths are very small, about a quarter inch, and are not attracted to light like others. They are extremely destructive and are the moths that prefer to dine on wool and animal-based textiles. If you’ve ever had a sweater eaten in the closet, it’s the result of these little creatures.

My own personal symbolism

A year ago, I discovered an infestation of textile moths in some family heirlooms in the closet. I was devastated. In just a few months time, they had eaten through many of my family’s treasured wool rugs and threatened to destroy more. We reacted quickly and salvaged what we could. I went on a house-cleaning terror and vowed that they wouldn’t harm anything again. At the time, I used the experience to remind myself of the benefits of the destruction, realizing they were helping me take action on some family issues I was working on.

Since then, I occasionally see a lone moth flying around at night. I check the traps I set out and double check anything valuable. So you can imagine my dismay last weekend when I moved a box in my office and found a nest of the little buggers infesting a chair. Sure enough, there were dead moths in some of the traps and I worked fast to mitigate the problem as soon as I could.

While I was cleaning everything in the house—again—I had time to think about the personal symbolism of the moths. Since they hadn’t destroyed anything this go-around, I was able to see them in a different light. In reality, they are small, annoying little creatures that prefer to stay hidden from sight. They start out small in number and quickly multiply if the conditions are right for their survival and growth. Left unchecked, they can unknowingly cause lots of damage and heartache.

Understanding your symbols

I realized that the moths were symbolic of my beliefs—beliefs that needed to be brought into the open, investigated and then changed or discarded. I had ignored the little glimpses I received here and there over the past year and was now facing an opportunity to address those beliefs before they cause any destruction in my life. At this point, the moths (and my beliefs) were in the process of changing from a nuisance to a destructive force and I needed to be awake enough, alert enough, and courageous enough to do something about them.

Now comes the fun part in identifying the actual beliefs I need and want to change. They are there waiting to be discovered. Like shining a flashlight into a dim room to find the moths, it takes the light of consciousness shining at exactly the right angle to illuminate hidden beliefs. For me, part of that process involves looking at things like the symbolism of the room I found them in (my office), where I found them nesting (my father’s chair) and what I fear will happen if they go unchecked.

Interestingly, once I became aware of the personal symbolism of the moths, they then also began to appear in my dreams. The exciting part for me was dreaming that I quickly and easily eliminated the moths. Upon waking, I realized that the same would be true in waking life and that with conscious creation, I can change my beliefs just as easily.

Discovering your own daily symbolism is an extremely personal process. It takes commitment and focus to realize when something is vying for your attention and then taking the time to decipher the clues. In the conscious creation model, nothing is left to chance; you create events in your life for very specific, personal reasons. Uncovering those reasons gives you the opportunity and the flexibility to change them and honor your spirit in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put your heart in it

Things that sound silly

Many new age and spiritual concepts sound a little strange at times. For that matter, ice cream probably sounded strange when it was first served. But it’s that strangeness that keeps people from trying spiritual techniques and stumbling upon ideas that honor the spirit.

When I first heard the concept of “sending love to somebody,” I, too, thought the idea sounded a little crazy. I read about the technique in Cheryl Richardson and Louise Hay’s book, You Can Create An Exceptional Life. The idea is to send love to someone—anyone—in situations where a little extra love and energy are needed.

I’m not sure why the concept sounded silly to me. I’ve practiced Reiki for almost 10 years and regularly use it to send energy to love ones and others who need a little help. Using prayer is an accepted technique that millions around the world use everyday and it’s also a form of “sending love.” While the concepts certainly weren’t new to me, I realized why the contextual concept sounded strange.

When I deliberately send love or energy to someone, I’m usually at home, sitting on my meditation stool. If I see someone having a bad day, I may think about them later driving home and try to mentally give them a little boost. Or I’ll keep them in my thoughts as I drift off to sleep. It dawned on me that I had never used the technique in the immediate moment with the other person in the room. As if by magic, the universe delivered an opportunity for me to try it out last week.

Testing the concept

My boss came into my office about 4:45 p.m. on Friday to respond in person to an email I had sent earlier. One look at her face and I knew she was angry. She leaned over my desk and immediately began justifying her take on a particular issue. She was not only angry, but she was an angry at me. As I tried to gently respond to her without getting sucked into her energy stream, she began to reference another coworker and some other issues our department was facing.

On cue, the coworker appeared at my door and knew she was being drawn into the conversation. Her face flushed and I could feel her defensiveness radiating from several feet away. As my boss and coworker barbed, I realized that the email was just the tip of the iceberg. They were using the email as a starting point to release pent up energy on a variety of topics. At a quarter-to-five on Friday afternoon, there was much to be released.

Suddenly, I realized two things. First, I was no longer the object of hostility by my boss or the coworker. Second, this might be one of those times where sending energy may be a good idea. Once again the thought flashed through my head that this may be silly to even try but the pain and frustration of these two women moved me to do anything to help sooth the energy in the room.

Give it a “go”

Instead of closing my eyes, I enhanced my focus on each of the women. I placed my awareness on my chest and heart and visualized it opening up and exploding light outward from my body. As I did this, they both looked at me which temporarily shocked me into thinking the idea was silly. Still, I persisted and even meet both of their gazes as they continued to talk.

I felt and visualized light and energy flowing from my heart and surrounding each of them. Intuitively, I could feel my boss was requiring more of the energy so I allowed it to flow naturally to her. I alternated between feeling the energy and allowing my consciousness to return to each of them and meet their eyes back and forth. Since I was not being asked any questions, I was able to remain silent and really concentrate on the energy exchange.

But does it work?

After a few minutes I could sense a change. Each woman’s posture relaxed and I could tell they were allowing their defenses to fall away. I kept at my visualization for a few moments until the energy of the room—and the women—each felt different. I felt lighter yet perfectly grounded in my chair. I wasn’t even aware of the conversation between the two but could tell that some common ground had been reached. We agreed to meet on Monday and talk about the issue after we had more information.

To the casual observer, it may have looked as if the women simply talked things through. But knowing each of them well, I know that under normal circumstances, the conversation and the energy would have tipped the scales and exploded into a more serious event. I truly believed sending love and energy to them helped quell their anxiousness and negativity.

For my own benefit, I realized I wasn’t drawn into the negative energy vortex in the slightest. I became a detached observer even though I was technically part of the conversation. Since it was almost quitting time, I certainly didn’t want to start the weekend on a sour note.

Try it; you might like it

It takes courage to try new spiritual concepts especially if you have an audience while you’re doing it. That was the hardest part for me: overcoming my own resistance to look foolish during an act of kindness to someone else. Yet I’m glad I took the chance and was able to help ease a tense situation.

Silly or no, when the desire to help someone who’s hurting is strong enough, you’ll find a way to act. I’m glad I could overcome the strangeness of “sending love to someone” and now look forward to using the technique again. And hopefully I’ll be more open to other such strange suggestions in the future. But first, ice cream awaits.

The whine-about syndrome

If there’s one skill we seem to develop further each day, it’s this: complaining. And complaining is a skill as it takes patience, craft and a lot of practice. But there’s an emerging nuance to the art of complaining and it comes in an even more annoying form. No longer content to simply share dissatisfaction, the complainer now adds hopelessness to his statements. This deadly combination is known casually as whining and it stands as a blockade to honoring the spirit.

Whining is complaining combined with hopelessness and it’s one of the most stubborn psychological states to change once you’re caught in it. I call it the whine-about syndrome and it’s taking over our homes, businesses and the Internet.

I recently had a first-hand look at a professional whine-about when a coworker threw a honest-to-goodness temper tantrum. The original complaint, a valid one, involved a missing computer cable. But after I brought him a replacement, it was too late. Suddenly everything was wrong: none of his coworkers were helpful (despite me standing there with the very cable he needed), people had become overly selfish and nothing was going to change man’s heartless condition. As he complained, his face reddened, his feet stomped the ground and his hands flew up and down in the air. His voice inflection confirmed my suspicion as the tell tale six-year-old whining voice took over. He was in the middle of a full-scale whine-about attack.

I thought about trying to talk him out of his conundrum and then thought better of it. He needed to learn on his own.

The universe beautifully delivered another example to my office several minutes later. This gentleman looked a little disheveled and I inquired how he was doing. That one question opened the floodgates to a barrage of whine-abouts. I stopped listening after the first few statements.

Often when we are on a self-development path, it’s easy to spot the problems, limitations and opportunities of others yet we’re quite blind to our own. The same day I encountered the whine-abouts at work, I had an opportunity for self-diagnosis. Again, the trigger was a basically benign event—a staff meeting—but the resulting feelings it stirred in me caused me to feel trapped, defeated and hopeless. I felt I needed to share what happened to me and spent the next few hours telling coworkers about the meeting.

It took me three hours to become aware of my own whining. Although I wasn’t speaking in the familiar whiner-voice, I was indeed whining. My dissatisfaction had collided directly with hopelessness and I reasoned that “talking it through” with others would help me feel better. It did not.

A consciously-approached and cautiously-used complaint is sometimes good medicine for a bad situation. Complaining, used sparingly, can help alleviate negative emotions and allow you to return to a more calm and centered state of being. But we’ve forgotten the usefulness of dropping the complaint after it’s made. Instead of moving on and focusing on new opportunities, our egos become involved and want to make sure we don’t repeat the same negative situation again. At the same time, the ego wants sympathy for its perceived pain and suffering and justifies continued complaining as a way of reaching out to others for help.

Spending too much time complaining prevents us from seeing the forest for the trees. The conscious mind, then completely acclimated to complaint without positive result, equates life as a series of problems and challenges that can’t be solved. Unconsciously, we focus our attention on both our problems and the hopeless feelings and, in turn, create more of the same. The continued focus activates law of attraction and manifests more and more things to complain and whine about.

The good news is that whine-about syndrome can be cured or at least brought to manageable levels. First and foremost, it takes awareness to see whining and complaining in action. In my own example above, it took me several hours to understand that the conversations I had with coworkers were actually forms of whining.

After you’re aware of your verbal statements and thoughts, it’s important to evaluate the perceived payoff for your complaints. That is, what do you think you’re getting out of whining? Again in my own example, I justified that I was just “getting things off my chest” or processing how I felt. In short, I was simply whining. I was attempting to get others to see things the way my ego saw them—in a very limited fashion. This attempt at sympathy was only a ploy my ego used to justify what I had created.

It’s imperative to turn your consciousness in a different direction after you’ve identified whining. You must purposely pivot and find something else to concentrate on: make a gratitude list; go for a walk and look for things that are pleasing; listen to music; or, meditate. This can be hard work but the payoff is relief from whine-about syndrome and a return to a balanced state of being.

Concentrate also on ways to combat the hopelessness you feel when you whine. Realize that you form your own reality through the active process of directing your beliefs, thoughts and emotions and then make a conscious decision to change them. A situation is only hopeless when you believe it is, so start with basic core beliefs about your own inherent power and worth.

Finally, make a pledge to yourself not to whine. It takes willpower not to talk to others about your problems. You must break the cycle of whining in order to cut its power and redirect it in a positive direction. Every time you catch yourself trying to get buy-in from others about a negative situation, remind yourself of your pledge and vow to change to a more positive outlook. Your spirit will thank you in the morning.

 

 

Move over Pollyanna, there’s a new tool in town

“Positive thinking” sure has gotten a bad rap over the years. The term conjures up images of Pollyanna taking even the direst circumstances in stride and turning every frown upside down. For most people, positive thinking isn’t just a stretch, it’s incomprehensible.

As a psychological tool, positive thinking certainly has many benefits but it’s best used only after a thorough examination of your own thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Every individual has proclivities toward certain thought patterns and without an understanding of those patterns, positive thinking may do more harm than good.

For instance, some people have habitual negative thoughts. Without an understanding of the beliefs beneath those negative thoughts, applying positive thinking can actually cause such people to repress certain emotions. They then don’t get the benefits of positive thinking. Since understanding when and how to use positive thinking is an ongoing process, there is one tool you can adopt now that will set the stage for a better utilization of positive thinking.

Instead of acting like Pollyanna, try the exercise of using positive intent. This means expecting every situation you encounter will be met with a positive outcome, even if you normally think it can’t. Positive intent works hand-in-hand with “faith” and the belief that the universe is working for you and not against you.

An example: You get an angry voice mail from a friend who is upset that you didn’t invite him along for a weekend camping trip. You didn’t purposely mean to exclude him and his reaction has thrown you into a negative tailspin. You feel that his anger is an overreaction to the reality of the situation.

Traditional positive thinking advocates would tell you to ignore the situation, think good thoughts about your friend, and apply a big dose of compassion. In this case, however, that would ignore your own subjective feelings about the situation. You would be creating an energy blockage and setting yourself up for either a physical manifestation (headache, stomach ache, etc.) or situational manifestation (more of the same type of behavior from your friend).

Here’s where to apply positive intent. Realize that you have created or attracted the situation to yourself and understand that you will get a positive effect out of it. This way, you still allow yourself to feel your emotions and you’re doing so in a context where you can learn from the situation. The intent helps you comprehend that every facet of living can be used as a learning tool, pushing you towards greater understanding and fulfillment. Now the situation may be negative on the surface, but your positive intent means you’ll get something positive out of it.

The intent to have a positive experience sets up circumstances for you to learn something about yourself. Perhaps you have some unresolved—and unconscious—feelings toward your friend that the altercation can bring to the surface. Maybe the fight will help you get in touch with your own feelings of exclusion and set you in the direction of healing those feelings. Or, maybe you have a set of beliefs about what type of behavior you expect from your friends and this allows you to see your beliefs manifest in a very vivid manner. In any of those cases, you’re uncovering information about your thoughts, emotions and beliefs and using them as a benchmark for change.

Positive intent can be used in all situations. It’s a way of approaching life so that you always realize that actions, interactions and events are working for your benefit. It does take faith to get to this point, but even just the intent to have a positive experience means that’s what you’ll get. Law of attraction fuels positive intent: your intent, your desire and your faith that something good is coming from every situation will set in motion the types of experiences you’ll see reflected in the future.

Keep in mind that you may not always have immediate understanding about the events of your life. Sometimes the universe reveals itself a little more slowly than we would like, so faith in the process is paramount to your success. Again, the positive intent will bring you positive effect. The more you work with the process, the better you’ll understand it and the quicker the results will come.