Accepting gifts

There are a lot of ways that life can send us abundance.  We can, of course, start with the basic things we need to survive like air, water and food and move from there.

However, I was reminded about the simpler gifts recently.  Someone had given another a gift and the receiver rejected it in kind of a harsh way. Details aside, I saw the look on the giver’s face and I think it hurt them, especially since the way I read the gift was really just coming from love.  I’m in the camp never to reject a gift because it’s really just energy or abundance coming to me. I accept it with gratitude no matter how “bad” the actually physical gift maybe. It may seem small, but I feel rejecting a gift or even something as small as a compliment can over time limit the “abundance” that flows to you. Receiving is sometimes a bit trickier than you think if you really pay attention and exercising receiving the many small daily “gifts” is like keeping the opening to abundance open and growing it.

Who doesn’t want more abundance? Remember abundance shows up as much more than gifts. Love, health, friendship are other parts of our overall abundance. So, say thank you to that compliment and really take in for a second rather than deflecting it right away as many of us do (this took a lot of practice for me to get). In my example, if the gift is not something for me, I can always pass it on.

Less money = More spirituality?

I read this DailyOm article below today that I had lying around and I like her overall point, that “poverty” and spirituality do not have to go hand and hand. I occasionally have noticed people that seem to be proud of their lack of financial abundance like a badge or a necessary doorway needed for spiritual growth. I do not believe that any amount of financial abundance has anything to do with spirituality or its growth in a person. Those are separate issues. In my abundance work, I usually see a lack of financial abundance in general from issues we have grown up with and are still operating under today. These issues or patterns we are operating from are often unconscious, so and we are not aware of what we are doing.

There are many examples of patterns that people pick up in life that lead them to feel stuck in a financial place that there are now in and they don’t want to be there.  If you grew up with and saw a parent use money in a negative way in some way. Say your dad stole money from someone. Money was used in a conditional way. If you do this, I’ll buy you that. Another common one is one parent focused more on money and the other more on love, often with the family breaking up over the difference. In this example, it’s common for us as children to unconsciously not understand this and say to ourselves, love is more important, so I will not have money in my lifetime, because if I have money I will be like my parent that appeared to choose money over love. This may sound silly, but I have found this to be quite common. It’s kinda like we literally reject money, because to us, it equals no love. I think this is common one for those that think living without money is more spiritual.

December 19, 2013
We Don’t Need to Suffer
Learn and Let Flow
by Madisyn Taylor

We do not need to suffer or live in poverty to be a spiritual person.

The idea that we have to suffer or live in poverty in order to be spiritual is an old one and can be found in the belief systems of many philosophies. Most of us carry this idea around subconsciously, and we may be holding ourselves back from financial or emotional well-being, believing that this is what we must do in order to be virtuous, spiritually awake, or feel less guilty for the suffering of others.

While it’s true that there can be a spiritual purpose to experiencing a lack of material well-being, it is rarely intended to be a permanent or lifelong experience. What we are meant to find when material or emotional resources are in short supply is that there is more to our lives than the physical realm. Intense relationships and material abundance can distract us from the subtler realm of the spirit, so a time of deficiency can be spiritually awakening. However, once we recognize the realm of spirit, and remember to hold it at the center of our lives, there is no reason to dwell in poverty or emotional isolation. In fact, once our connection to spirit is fully intact, we feel so compelled to share our abundance that lack becomes a thing of the past.

If you find that you are experiencing suffering in some area of your physical life, perhaps your spirit is asking you to look deeper in your search for what you want. For example, if you want money so that you can experience the feeling of security but money keeps eluding you, your spirit may be asking you to understand that security is not to be found through money. Security comes from an unshakable connection to your soul. Once you make that connection, money will probably flow more easily into your life. If relationships elude you, your spirit may be calling you to recognize that the love you seek is not to be found in another person. And yet, ironically, once you find the love, your true love may very well appear. If you feel stuck in suffering to live a spiritual life, try to spend some time writing about it. The root of the problem will appear and it may not be what you expected. Remember, the Universe wants you to be happy.

An exercise in abundance

Draw a circle. List all the areas or aspects of your life. Makes these pieces of the pie or like spokes on a wheel of your circle. Things like, finance, health, romance, family, work, ect.

I like to call this your abundance wheel. Now rate these from 1(lowest) to 10 (highest) on how complete or abundant you feel in that particular area. Want to work in an area of your life? This is an easy way to see where you are today. Choose one area and decide to do something today NO MATTER HOW SMALL to moving forward in that area. If you want more friends, call the ones you have, look in the paper/online/message board somewhere for groups you could join that have your interest. Remember, JUST looking counts. If that’s too big of a step (usually you will know if it is, because you can’t seem to do it), break it down into smaller ones. How about just say to yourself, ” I want to have more friends” or write that down and say it everyday for a week or a month. Then, do the next step towards that goal.

My dad often said, “The definition of insanity it doing the same thing over an over again an expecting a different result”. Good advice. Adding to that advice, is take SMALL STEPS towards change. Moving from a 2 in health to a 10 is so scary and new that we often can’t seem to create change. We often are stuck in ways of being and it gets so big to move at all. This is where the small steps come in. You can not lose 30 pounds in one night. Some steps and different habits are needed. Be gentle with yourself as you try new habits and allow them to take hold slowly……. How about a goal of loosing one pound a month? Break that down, how do I do that? Eat a pint of ice cream every night before bed? How about eating one bite less each day for a month? How about not beating yourself up eating that pint of Ben & Jerry’s and actually allow yourself to enjoy it before, during and AFTER you eat it? Couch potato? How about standing up during one commercial and walking in place to begin some exercise and go from there.

Today, I’m working on creativity. SO, I’m taking out the paints (I love to paint with my fingers) that are dusty in the closet and I’m going to paint something. I do not care what I paint, what it looks like, as long as I can keep my ego in check:) I’ll focus on the feeling of the paint on my fingers, what the canvas feels like, what the colors look like. That will be my small step towards feeling more creativity in my life!

Here is to making our “abundance wheels” roll a little bit smoother!

AI 1.0

We are seeing more and more push back on the big technology companies in the past year or so and it seems to be growing. I think it is well deserved. I am a fan a capitalism, but it seems companies like Facebook and Google seem to have grown a bit out of control and unchecked. I get it, Facebook is the greatest advertising machine ever invented and has a couple of billion users to work with. Unlimited computer power with algorithms, behavioral prediction, ect or what I’ll call, artificial intelligence, combined with a smart phone in every pocket or a computer in every home has made targeting ads to each one of us possible. No surprise Facebook and Google have relatively quickly grown into two of the largest companies in the world. It is nirvana for advertisers! Facebook started and still is a way to connect us all and share pictures and communicate with friends, family and beyond, but people have figured out how to use data to get around civil liberties, impact elections, allow hate groups to spread messages and other important unintended consequences. Google is worth looking at too as it is probably worth seeing if we all agree that it is okay to scan, keep, buy, sell all our emails, browsing history, location, banking, health data, ect.

I am not saying that these are bad tools, just these tools and they way they regularly manipulate us, as consumers (likes, dings, customized ads, ect), are so much more powerful than the “regular” manipulation TV and newspapers advertisers use. It is hard to say these guys are not media companies and I know free speech arguments make the debate challenging, but if they were media companies there would be held to a higher standard and held accountable. Far from it right now. These tools are too powerful to have their leaders say “we are not responsible for content on our platforms”. Could a network get away with that?

Social media for all its good has an ugly side and may actually be creating less connection and more isolation in addition to some real harm. Of course, some of that is on us, but it seems AI 1.0 has gotten a bit out of control and with more powerful AI coming, it might be best to learn some lessons from this one.

Eckhart Tolle – The present moment

His book called the Power of Now is a powerful one for reminding ourselves that there really no other moment other than now. I ran across a summary of a few of the books quotes I liked.

1. The present moment is the most precious thing there is.

“People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”

“…the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”

“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

2. Wherever you are, be there totally.

“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”

3. Always say “yes” to the present moment.

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

These can be a bit heavy at times and I often need to re read them a few times to let the message sink in, but there is simplicity and power in his words.

The phone

As I have written before, many of us are using our smart phones a bit too much. So much that I think a lot of people have glued their phones to their hands. It never leaves.

Below is a 5 minute video on how the brain is handles the distractions that come with all the notifications and emails we receive. Nothing we haven’t already heard about or know. Lot’s of research showing we are getting more stressed out by being on call 24 hours a day and constantly being interrupted.

An idea – Take email and or facebook off your phone and put it on your computer. How will I live you say? I’m not sure, but you will probably make it and I’m suggesting a week. Like a vacation….. But, I will miss connecting with my friends, I am needed too much, I can’t do that for my work. Of course, exceptions to everything, but many people find it more satisfying to get their social media fix, for example, with intention and focus rather than bit and pieces throughout the day. If social media is your thing, an hour at the computer you probably will get your fix for the day. Social media is really entertainment for many and kinda the same as other forms of entertainment like watching TV. So, just do it in bigger chunks like watching a TV show. That may make you a bit more present and able to connect and focus better with family, friends, work, ect where you are actual physically present (see 4 people at a restaurant and all 4 are on the phone).

If you can’t get ride of email for work or why ever, try responding 3/4 times a day, in batches, rather than the instant one comes in. People have gotten used to email being this instant communication tool when it’s really not always the best for it. Great for setting up an appointment or a quick message, but maybe not the best for handling a sticky situation or really finding out how someone is doing. I hate to say it, but actually speaking with someone is WAY better. So much less chance for misunderstanding and opportunities to connect at a less superficial level. Also, seems we don’t fly off the handle as much when we are actually talking to someone. A 4 minute phone call can sometimes avoid a back and forth series on emails (or texts) that require way more time than the actual phone or face to face chat (we still do that, right?).

If anyone else has some ideas, please share them.

https://www.wsj.com/video/how-smartphones-sabotage-your-brains-ability-to-focus/72E56EB0-0B92-44BF-9897-08461040E3E8.html

Change

I wrote this a while back and thought I’d share it again…

Wow, change is sometimes not easy sometimes.

I had to have some challenging communication with a few friends over the past few days after realizing some ways I was staying in some unhealthy patterns that I felt do not serve me now.  It really felt freeing to get my part of the communication out and to move forward. Just after one such “communication”, I read Peter Ragner’s comments below and I really agree with what he says that there is a “peace that’s comes from being okay with the changes and challenges we face”. For me, it’s allowing my growth (change) to occur as it does and not beat myself up along the way even if my lesson took a decade or so.

Peace!

Without change, no life can exist.”

Everything that you can cast the light of your eye upon is in flux. This includes your emotions, your thoughts, and your physical body. While we want to be comfortable and safe, we must face unpredictability. It’s really what gives life its zest. Living life is about living outside your comfort zone. That’s where all the action is!

“Peace comes from being okay with the changes and challenges we face in life.”

Every day we’ll be faced with something new and different, requiring that we often make tough decisions about situations. It’s very difficult to make those decisions when we feel we’ve got to be in control of the outcome or we suffer with some perfectionist hang-up. To accept that things change is to understand the nature of life. Change and impermanence are simply the nature of the things we all experience.

What makes you think that the future is going to be any different than today? Oh, certainly, conditions may be different, but if your mental makeup is the same, your emotional response will be the same. Once you accept and are okay with change and impermanence, realize security is an illusion, and grasp that perfect conditions will never exist in your life, you enter into a state of joyous awareness.

“Serenity is found in accepting what is before you in this moment.”

Remember, things will always change for better or worse, and it’s your demanding or acceptance that makes a world of difference.  Change the things you can change and forget the things you can’t. No one expects you to be perfect; if they do, have compassion on their suffering souls. Only the deluded command that the tides no longer rise upon the shore and the winds no longer blow.

So, what should you do with discomfort? Accept it, knowing that this too shall pass!
Reflections from Turtle Lake,

www.facebook.com/peterragnar
www.roaringlionpublishing.com

Attraction – part 2

A few more ideas from Ester & Jerry Hicks books.

Like lot’s of their work, Its a daily practice. When we focus on what we don’t want or like in any relationship or try to “fix” our partners or point out our partners areas for improvement, we actually are creating more distance towards what we do want in a relationship. We have to focus on the positives in our relationships, while still desiring or asking for, in a positive way, what we want additionally in our relationships. A challenging balance! The positive/negative bank account works the same in relationships! 

Read something recently that really got me thinking about how most of us deal with problems. The Law of Attraction says what you focus on and the vibration or energy you create with that focus creates what we experience. So it seems most people are constantly talking about their problems. This doesn’t work, I wish my partner would be more like this, I don’t have enough money, I hate my job, ect, ect. I have gotten this in the past, but have learned from their message how it really can affect all aspects of of our life’s or all forms of abundance – health, money, and relationships.

What also became clearer is my personal part of a relationship. Lets take a friendship; a friend comes to me and says all his problems. Hicks’ says every moment we talk about his problems or me giving attention to his problems (thinking about them afterwards as well as during chat) is a moment further away from helping him and he helping himself. Their thinking is “there is no reason to deliberately stir up problems in order to stir up solutions”. Until you change the focus to thinking (and the new vibration/energy it creates) about the solution or what you desire, no change will occur. They also suggest my energies, as the listener, can be affected by this situation if I focus on the problems of my friend. Have you ever felt drained after listening to a friend or family member dump a problem(s) on you? How is your energy after that? How positive are you after that? Pay attention if that “negativity” last for a while in you or builds in your day? They say “Looking for the positive aspects and expecting good outcomes for your friends is the only way you can be of value to them, for there is no action that you can offer that is strong enough to buck your current of negative attention.”

Said another way I like “Nothing good ever comes from focusing in opposition to what you desire. It is detrimental to you and to whomever you draw into your negative conversation”………So, this is a much stronger reminder of my responsibility than I have thought about in the past. I have certainly felt drained from negative talk with a friend in the past and in the last few years have been playing with a “anti dumping strategy” in communication. I’ll give a person 5 minutes to dump, but no more unless we set up a specific time so I can be “prepared” to listen to the story. I’m doing this more often these days and sometimes its hard because I can feel not very compassionate or selfish. This reminder info has me thinking that this is part of the “why” I do not want to get caught up in these conversations too often as not focusing on the solution will not bring about the desired outcome. SO simple, get out of our old patterns and ways of communicating and focus on solutions!