Bend and you will remain whole

From the John C. H. Wu translation of the Tao Te Ching, passage 22:

Bend and you will be whole.
Curl and you will be straight.
Keep empty and you will be filled.
Grow old and you will be renewed.
 
Have little and you will gain.
Have much and you will be confused.
 
Therefore, the Sage embraces the One,
And becomes a Pattern to all under Heaven.
He does not make a show of himself,
Hence he shines;
Does not justify himself,
Hence he becomes known;
Does not boast of his ability,
Hence he gets his credit;
Does not brandish his success,
Hence he endures;
Does not compete with anyone,
Hence no one can compete with him.
Indeed, the ancient saying, “Bend and you will remain whole” is no idle word.
Nay, if you have really attained wholeness, everything will flock to you.
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Are you Awake?

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced the peculiar situation in which we know for a fact the things around us are ‘just as they seem’, yet we didn’t ever look back at how they got that way.

In particular, I’m referring to this strange, inherent ‘dream-knowledge’ we have while dreaming; for instance, you may have been visiting a friend, yet they didn’t at all look like your friend, but for some reason, in the dream, you knew who they were, and you didn’t question it. Had you maybe questioned things, you would have probably been provided some degree of insight, or even fallen into a state of lucidity(awareness).

Instead, you take it at face value, because it just seems to be the most convenient conclusion at the time. I think you would find this kind of ‘unquestioned assumption’ almost always carries over into our everyday lives, and can affect us deeply there too. We assume someone meant a particular thing when they only said a few words, or didn’t say a few words, or made a certain gesture. We assume things that can then derail our entire day, or even throw off the friendship or potential relationship with that person, yet if you try to trace back exactly the source of how you ‘know this to be true’ you really never come to a concrete occurrence which would have lead you to believe it.

What I’m getting as is that you should regularly be questioning your assumptions about your life, and see if they have a basis in reality, or atleast a basis in the reality you desire to be living from. If you find yourself in a situation where you aren’t sure how things got the way they are, you are most likely living in an illusion, and taking it as face value. If you’re sure that guy at the gas station just doesn’t like you, but you can’t trace it back to an incidence, it’s an illusion, a deception of our ego.

Maybe you’re certain that it’s impossible to find a job you enjoy, or that all men want is sex and all women want is money, and you’ll never find true love. Well, have you worked every job imaginable, or met every potential paramour out there? Certainly you have not, and are making assumptions based on a very small slice of experience you may or may not have even had.

Next time you feel a limiting belief about yourself, or about the universe, check to make sure you aren’t just dreaming. Check to make sure you aren’t looking at an illusion and mistaking it for real life.

If you follow this train of deduction back and it has no source, then cast it away like last night’s bad dream.

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The coincidence of opposites

From Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, passage 11:

Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.
 
We make a vessel from a lump of clay;
It is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.
 
We make doors and windows for a room;
But it is these empty spaces that make the room livable
 
Thus, while the tangible has advantages
It is the intangible that makes it useful
 

This is one of my favourite passages of the Tao Te Ching, and usually the first passage I open to if I find a new translation. This one comes from my most enjoyed translation so far, by John C. H. Wu. I love this one because it artfully, simply, and explicitly makes us aware of the ‘negative’ or ‘empty space’ of things, and helps us consider the importance of opposites in our everyday life.

The coincidence of opposites is that opposites can only exist in relation to each other; you can only recognize you are warm because at one point you were cold. It is this contrast that we must experience to understand anything, and we understand that the contrast actually holds opposites together, for without the sour, the sweet wouldn’t be.

Understand that sometimes the worst or hardest situations happen in our lives in order to create the depth of the beauty and love we can experience. We need to experience the hardships in order to prime ourselves and open up the possibility of our perception to brighter and better things. It is only because of hard times we can recognize when things are going good for us, and we soon learn not to separate these conditions so much, much like the Farmer and his Horse. We can derive joy even in moments of pain because we know the pain doesn’t exist independently, and naturally suggests a state of wellbeing. This play of back and forth is the very essence of being alive.

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A Case Against ‘Negative’ Energy

I have something of a confession to make. I choose to share this with all of you in hopes that your life will benefit in the same way mine has from adopting this assumption. This is often an unpopular opinion, and has gotten me plenty of flak from people in my life when I divulge this information, but it really doesn’t deter me. I stand behind it, and hope one day you will too.

Ready? Make sure you’re sitting down for this one, because…

I don’t believe in negative energy.

There it is. Out there in the open, out there for God and all the neighbours to see, my dirty laundry on the front lawn. And how does it feel? Quite liberating, to be honest. Never has my life been such a beautiful mystery of love and grace as when I adopted this model of reality, and I honestly can’t ever see myself going back to a ‘fear-dependency’ lifestyle.

AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU.

You see… There’s no such thing as evil. There are no monsters and scary sprites hiding between the fabric of dimensions, waiting for that opening to swoop in and ruin your life. There are no dark wizards conspiring against all that is good and beautiful for their own ends, and there are no rituals you need to go through, or even CAN go through to eradicate any ‘negative energy’. It simply doesn’t exist. We are only fearing fear itself, and this fear goes against the actual assumption most of us think we’ve made about the universe being a realm of love.

Darkness is the absence of light

This is a popular concept I’m sure you’ve heard before, usually in relation to light and darkness. Much of this perceived ‘negative energy’ is merely an absence of a more healthy ‘positive’ energy, or aspect of love and enthusiasm.

When I say love, I’m not talking about sentimental love, or the hormonal love we most often experience. This love is not emotionality, nor is it a ‘journey’ in the sense that it is ‘there’ and you’re ‘here’. It is the conscious merging between life systems, and the inherent bliss and consciousness that makes the universe. It is the love upon which the entire universe operates and has its being. If you’ve ever had a near-death experience, or perhaps ingested some Psilocybin, and gone deep enough inward, you would know the love I am talking about.

Negative Energy is a perception of our ego

I’m sure you probably had an idea of where this ‘negative’ perception can come from if it isn’t real, and if you guessed our insidious Ego had something to do with it, you’d be on the right track. How often does our ego paint its own pictures onto the blank canvass of life, and try to sell the counterfeit as a genuine? I’m sure you know the answer this as well; all too often.

It is only from the vantage point of our ego that we label something ‘negative’, but there is inherently nothing negative in the universe, only different. I try to share this insight when I hear someone speak about someone, or a group of people as having ‘negative’ energy. You may find this person ‘negative’ but the fact of the matter is, this person has parents that birthed and loved them through their development, friends and family to support and love them through hardships, a spouse or significant other who adores them, and children that depend on them, never mind the multitude of other people that think this person is just swell. Are all those people being fooled into not seeing this person’s evil ways, or could it be that their energy is just different from yours(not negative), and therefore doesn’t mesh as well? Who’s to say you aren’t acting the ‘negative’ role(through absence of positivity)?

Personally, I love Pizza, and I also enjoy Pudding every now and again. But in no universe would I enjoy Pudding Pizza. Is that to say pudding is negative because it didn’t go well with my pizza? Well, that’s just silly….

Only ever from the place of our ego, only from the attachment to the illusion of who we think we are, obsessed with some vague notion of ‘survival’ could we call something different as ‘negative’. Only ever would our ego be so ridiculous as to decide something is ‘negative’. Who is to say we are ‘right’ or even have the authority to label ‘negative’? But when you remove yourself from that delusion of seperation, we see that nothing could be negative.

Trying to eradicate negativity perpetuates fear

So what exactly is it that tricks us into believing such a thing? It is the fear itself of what might happen if there were negativity. Much like was touched upon in the Law of Attraction series, when we are actively taking measures and actions based on an assumption of something, we are solidifying the interpretation we perceive, furthering the assumption.

If you have rituals or maneuvers to protect you from negativity, you are solidifying your belief in ‘negativity’ and helping to bring more of it into your life. This goes against the most inherent nature of the universe as a force of love, wellbeing, and growth. This attitude is saying, “I don’t trust the universe to be looking out for me, I’m not good enough, and I have to constantly be on guard.” You are doing something based on a design of a universe that doesn’t exist. If you are constantly finding ways to make yourself taller, that is merely solidifying the assumption that you are short. See how this works?

The universe is built on love and grace, and no matter what you do, you can’t escape the love and grace of the universe, because it is an inherent part of the system. Leave your ego at home on your bedroom floor today, and see how the world looks. There is only the infinite oneness and the perception of ‘negativity’ is one of separation. Do not separate yourself from life any longer, and embrace the void.

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The Pattern Interrupt

One of the best methods we have for overriding unwanted behaviour and habits is a Pattern Interrupt. A Pattern Interrupt is exactly what it sounds like, an interruption to a pattern of behaviour so we can adopt a new pattern. When in the middle of a task that happens mostly unconsciously(like tying our shoes, or feeling an emotional sting of an event from our past), interrupting the pattern can open up our mind to suggestion or influence, and instill a great  opportunity for change in our subconscious mind. The interruption itself then becomes part of the pattern, and helps to permanently break unwanted habits or patterns of behaviour.

The goal of a pattern interrupt is to break the chain of causation that makes us feel trapped by the habit, and find ways we can apply new behaviours once we break a pattern. Try to immediately take advantage of the interrupt by beginning a more productive task, and you will slowly break all the associations to the old pattern, until the old pattern never reveals itself again.

The good news for our patterns is, our brains aren’t telling us time properly. Experiments demonstrated that there is approximately a 500 millisecond(half-second) delay before we perceive something once a stimulation has been introduced. Our minds, however, often makes it so you don’t even notice this gap, you just experience a seamless representation of reality. It appears to us as if no delay occurred at all.

This is good news because this lag time gives us a half second before we would have naturally interpreted an event, and interrupt the habitual pattern with new, more desired behaviour.

One Breath Pattern Interrupt

Dave Dobson, a world renowned hypnotherapist, often taught a very simple technique for interrupting a pattern, by sighing, which is really nothing more than the famous One Breath Meditation technique(this is also why breathing meditation is so beneficial for emotional issues). The purpose of a sigh is to pull ourselves out of being wrapped up in an emotion or event, and step back from what we habitually try to act on. Animals and humans are both seen to sigh on occasion, and sighing is nothing more than a method for releasing our pent up emotions and residual thought forms; we often see people sigh during arguments or confrontation and other high stress situations like sitting in traffic, or waiting in doctor’s offices. A sigh is a pattern interrupt for our current emotional state.

One of the key’s to Dobson’s method was how we played the role of the interruption once it happened; we have to be able to see the humor of our situation, and the wonderful drama of being wrapped up in our lives. According to Dobson, we give power to habitual energy by taking life, and ourselves, too seriously. To help see an old pattern in this humorous light, it helps to try to imagine if we wanted to fit into our favourite clothes from when we were 3 years old. The old pattern(clothes) ‘suited’ us at the time, but we’ve merely outgrown it.

This is a wonderful way to cultivate a more regular One Breath practice. Don’t underestimate the power of the technique; even with all these other fancy methods on this blog, don’t get distracted from the basics.

Work to find other ways you can interrupt patterns of behaviour and habitual thought forms. This can be done with anything and everything; maybe you interrupt the pattern of zonking out infront of the TV for a few hours with a jog, or you interrupt the pattern of having that second piece of cake when you know a glass of water and some carrot sticks will be more satisfying(it really will be, trust me).

Or maybe you just need to interrupt the pattern of going onto the internet when you have an important assignement to finish. Slow down, take a deep breath, and find the ridiculousness of that idea. Interrupt the pattern, consciously.

Finally, take it in stride, and be aware that a pattern performed 10,000 times might take a few pattern interrupts to break your association to it. Often times this process can be 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

When’s the last time you performed One Breath?

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Blogging Meditation

I’ve recently realized I have a new favourite form of meditation; Blogging. Not even just the act of blogging, but the ways it makes you organize your specialized knowledge, or even just writing a free-flow of what went on during the day. To be honest, I never thought I would love blogging so much or what it would do for my meditation practice.

I’ve been a very very part time writer in the past, but never took on any projects like a blog or book or even a short story really. It takes me days just to finish writing the lyrics of a song sometimes. But I’d always heard one of the reasons people love writing is because it causes you to develop your thought, and this really is true.

I’m a very abstract thinker, and often do not use words in my thinking process at all. I think in a lot of shapes and conceptual paradigms, which really works for me. When it’s matter of metaphysical orientation or even about deeper aspects of life, I can cover vast distances and make large leaps of consciousness in a very short time.

This style of thinking works wonderfully for me, but falls short when it comes time to explain something. I often find in order to explain one concept, I first have to delve into another concept to make a foundation for what I want to say. As you might imagine, this is often times futile unless I was to spend 15 to 20 minutes relating a life lesson to someone.

Writing helps mold your presentation style, and lets you focus on the important bits, while keeping it a coherent whole, as well as developing your thoughts along natural lines of their expression. Of course, you can do some free writing, or even flow of consciousness Kerouac style, which I think helps more of the imagery writing and building metaphors and analogies, which is also important, but a different aspect of writing.

I like Blogging because you’re forced(well not really, but I force myself) to try and organize these ideas into a tangible piece that someone else can then glean some benefit from. In this last month and a half, not only have I started meditating MORE than I was, I’m also looking deeper at my methods, and trying to understand what they are achieving. Not only this, I’m getting inspiration for new meditation methods everywhere, looking for fun new ways to introduce meditation into ordinary things people might be doing already.

Not to mention the fantastic blogosphere that exists now for support, communication and integration, I’m finding positive reinforcement around every corner, inspiring me to continue blogging, which is actually pushing me to delve deeper into meditation practices and learn more about how we can find this serene mindset in the midst of life.

Blogging literally makes you better at whatever you blog about, by virtue of completing the task. It’s like writing a paper for a subject in school, only you really have no limitations and are graded by peers and merit.

I remember having a love hate relationship with essay writing. I love delving into the topic, learning more and formulating a thesis, a direction to point the reader into a strong conclusion. It’s really like telling a story, and the reader can go through a lot of the same transformative processes an epic tale leads us through; have you ever read a nice hefty article about a topic, and felt so changed afterwards? It’s inexplicable really.

The parts I often hated about essays however, was the restricted nature of it, and the limitations that had to be adhered to. This takes almost all the fun out of it for a lot of people. Well that, and writing about a boring, dry subject you have no interest in.

I love Blogging for this reason. It’s all the best parts of essay writing with none of the limitations or stress of a bad grade WITH the added benefit of more than just a teacher(who might not even really care) reading your work and really giving you feedback outside of an academic mindset. This is an incredible aspect of support that cannot be found almost anywhere else with such honesty, conviction, and real, honest interest. If someone doesn’t want to read your blog, they won’t, and you don’t get graded down on it. They just move on to someone else’s blog, while people who ARE interested are happy to read your insights and contributions to the subject.

One of my favourite ways of learning about subjects now is through reading blogs. You can get some really great information from someone who’s ACTUALLY in the thick of it, and not writing for conflicting interests or a paycheck, but writing about it because they feel passionately about it, and have something to share!

This in itself is an incredible aspect of the modern blogosphere, but don’t let it stop there. JOIN IN! Be a part of this world wide revolution and GIVE THE WORLD YOUR KNOWLEDGE! Not only is it an incredibly satisfying feeling when your wonderful readers respond and tell you how much it helped them, it just makes you more knowledgeable and well-rounded about your subject, allowing you to connect with more people, which furthers your knowledge more, allowing even MORE connection.

There’s almost no reason to NOT start a blog, honestly. Everyone is an expert in some subject, that’s the truth. I might know plenty about meditation, but I wouldn’t know where to even start if I wanted to restore and have running a classic car. But I’m willing to bet there are thousands of wonderful blogs about the subject that I could find with a simple google search.

What are you really good at? What kinds of things do your friends and family already approach you about? Maybe you’re an amazing chef and you didn’t even really know it until just now? Start a blog, you’ll only become an even more incredible chef, it’s a fact. You can’t NOT get better.

Maybe you don’t think you have any other real skills except for writing? This is actually a fantastic skill to have, and might even put you a leg up on the Meditators and Chefs trying to get into blogging; Being able to weave words elegantly will make anyone want to read your work. You could start blogging for others with just a bit of study to get a grasp on the topic, or even just blog about writing or blogging in general.

Whatever your field, you can be sure there is a readership out there, and like-minded individuals that can benefit, and will graciously thank you for your hard work. So what are you waiting for? Take a deep breath… and register a blog already!

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Versatile Blogger Award

I’m happy to finally get to post this, as I had been nominated TWICE for this award, but hadn’t gotten the chance to put it up. I am very grateful to receive 2 VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARDS, presented to me by zen and the art of borderline maintenance, and Resting In Awareness, both wonderful blogs and two of my favourites. It really feels good to be recognized for my efforts blogging, and I can’t say how much I appreciate this! So, without further ado, here are the rules, my random things, and my nominations

1. Thank the nominating blogger and post a link to their blog in the acceptance post.

2. Cite 7 random things about hirself.

3. Nominate 7 other wonderfully versatile bloggers.

7 Random things about me

1: I drink a LOT of water

2: I’m a comic book nerd(Batman all the way).

3: I’m also something of a music nerd.

4: Once a few summers ago, I taught myself about 85% of the morse code alphabet over the span of a week. I’ve since forgotten most of it, but I was able to decipher a lot of messages for a while.

5: I’m NLP certified and plan on having some guided meditation/hypnosis mp3’s available here soon(suggestions are very welcome)!

6: I’m a huge fan of the show and books Dexter…. It’s my shadow side

7: I was born in Saudi Arabia

7 Nominations

Being-Bliss

My Zen City

Creative Ideas for Starving Artists

Nynia Chance @ Nexus of Now Media

400 Days ’til 40

Zen Being

indiemusicpower

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LoA, Putting it all together

The Law of Attraction is a psychological fact. The human nervous system is only a certain mechanism for perceiving reality, and at any one time, does not have the full picture.

Based on how we tune our mechanism, we become attentive and perceptive to other aspects of life. Attention essentially sets the stage of our experiential universe.

Through intention, we organize our thoughts and feelings, as well as the universe around us. Intention allows us to locate our unique standpoint in the universe, and serves as the basis of all creation; Attention is the map, Intention is the specific path we take.

The power of intention lies in what is called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it is a principle of quantum mechanics that simply states that the observer in any situation can, and will, directly influence the situation being observed.

We tend to find just the things we look for. If your chief aim in life is to just get by, it is no surprise you will really never do any better than just getting by. Best case scenario, you just get by. If your chief aim is to do more than just getting by, if it is to live out your highest expression, then best case scenario, you will live your highest expression. Worst case scenario, and you’ll likely still get by.

Persistently held intention creates habit energy, good and bad.

All that we intend, desire, and assume make up our consciousness, and a change in any of the three will alter our consciousness, and begin attracting to us whatever is most in line with our assumptions. Many people are convinced(assume) they cannot be hypnotized, and don’t realize they have literally hypnotized themselves into that state. The Law of Attraction, and life as a whole, is exactly what you say it is.

You cannot attain anything you desire or intend without the assumption that it really can be attained. You have to assume what you desire is an already established fact, and then act from this new reality. You must be conscious of being healthy if you are to know what health is. You must be conscious of what it feels like to be financially secure if you are to know what financial security is, or else you won’t be creating the conditions for what you want.

The moment of creation is NOW, and it can only ever be NOW. It is up to you right NOW to decide whether what happened in your past had been your fateful downfall, or merely an obstacle. Nothing is inherently good or bad, so you should assume the best of everything, and think only of that which is inspiring and beautiful.

You need to act as though you EXPECT only the best things to happen to you. If you don’t, you are ASSUMING less than favourable conditions about life.

Desire plays quite a role in the Law of Attraction, but maybe not how you’d ordinarily think it would. It has to be ‘desire-less desire’ or desire without attachment. Desire isn’t about wanting more and being attached, it’s essentially about understanding the path of your life, and what is required for further growth. Desire is cosmic energy looking for expression the only way it knows how, through a conscious, thinking, acting living system.

What you cannot affirm for yourself will never be realized by you, and you will remain as you are until you can acknowledge the possibility that there are still ways to grow and learn.

We could not recognize and desire these conditions in the first place unless there was first a corresponding frame in our own mind. If you know you need more confidence, you can only recognize this because there is a frame in your mind for what a confidant person should be and do.

Desire is ultimately for the fulfillment of who you are meant to be, and if you desire something other than what the universe has planned for you, you will face many obstacles.

There is no reason you cannot feel happiness now for the things that have already passed, or the things we may or may not experience in the future. Happiness comes from inside you, and external events are only keys to that door. But the truth is, that door was never locked to begin with.

Visualization is one of the most powerful tools we have for creating change in our thoughts, emotions, physiology, and life on a grand scale. Science has proven without a doubt that the content of our thoughts and emotions directly influences our physiology and neurochemistry. The universe will always reflect on in your outer world with what you find in your inner world. No matter WHAT, your thoughts influence your world around you.

Remember that our minds already have the blueprints for the perfect expressions of health, harmony, and happiness frames within us. This means that creativity is actually a receptive process, and opening of our minds to what is already in the ‘ether’.

The human mind is like radio, and can be tuned to receive and transmit many kinds of messages. But you no more manifest and create the conditions in your life than the diaphragm of a radio speaker creates the music. Let go of yourself, and let the universe take over.

One of the cardinal rules of visualization and manifestation is not being concerned or attached to any specific means of manifestation. This means, you should not worry about HOW the things in your life will come to you, but to focus on WHAT you want, and assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled, completely expecting it to manifest, however it needs to. If you focus only on a specific means of getting what you desire, you will be blind to the other opportunities that might have gotten you what you wanted sooner.

Completely absorb yourself in it, and abandon yourself to the essence, like a moth abandons itself in the desire to know the flame. And you really must be willing to let a part of yourself die so the new you can be born. We cannot gain what we lack if we cling to what we have.

We do not know the plans of the Universal Blueprint, and don’t know its reasons for manifesting in the arrangement it did. Remember, some of the best opportunities you had in life could only come when you lost something else first. When the world around you begins to look like weeds, remember that from heaven everything looks like a garden. Then pull out your gardening gloves and start pulling weeds.

Everything had to have a part in bringing the universe to where it is right now, and despite what the conditions might be, right HERE, right NOW is the best possible reality that could have ever manifested.

Failure isn’t failure, it’s Feedback. The universe has a blueprint for our highest and best expression, more so than our ego’s; if you always know a closed window will show you an open door, opportunity is literally everywhere.

Once we can accept everything, we must also be able to accept, or receive what we desire. Here again, is where many people find they aren’t getting the results they’re looking for, because they aren’t making room in their current reality for new things, they aren’t really living from the new reality.

Live in the spirit of your highest dreams and ideals already fulfilled.

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LoA part V, Gratitude and Acceptance

Gratitude is the last piece of the puzzle we need for efficiently realizing out highest intentions. Gratitude helps to relate yourself to the essence of what you require for growth, and sets your mind along the proper lines of thought, and keeps your attention firmly in place to think only of what are positive ideals for you to reach your goal.

Burning Bridges

Gratitude can be another huge sticking-point, and a primary obstacle for many people and the Law of Attraction. They are essentially burning the bridge of connection with the creative force of the universe by not showing proper gratitude for what they already DO have(and even gratitude for what they WILL or MAY have later on). Imagine if a guest came to your house for the first time, and brought you the things you had most desired in your life from the last year…. And you just shrugged it off, and didn’t show you appreciation. Do you think this guest will want to come over again? Probably not, not with others out there who showed him such appreciation when you forgot too.

We must give gratitude, really infused with feeling, and INCLUDE EVERYTHING. Yes everything… Even those things your ego tries to perceive as ‘negative’. We do not know the plans of the Universal Blueprint, and don’t know its reasons for manifesting in the arrangement it did. Remember, some of the best opportunities you had in life could only come when you lost something else first; you may have never had the courage to start your successful new business had you not first been fired from your old one, and you certainly would not have started a relationship with your spouse if you were still involved in your last relationship. Sure, it felt awful and horrible at the time being fired/dumped, but you see now, in the grand scheme, that all that had to have happened in order to manifest a better reality for yourself. When the world around you begins to look like weeds, remember that from heaven everything looks like a garden. Then pull out your gardening gloves and start pulling weeds.

You must give to make room for receiving

One of the inherent laws of metaphysics is, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” By feeling gratitude(giving), we tune our minds along the channels we need to naturally manifest our realities in the most efficient path possible(receiving). If you are a musician, and you forget to show gratitude for your skills and your opportunities for playing shows, you will begin the process of getting burned out, and begin to lose sight of what you intended to do in the first place, missing the opportunities that would be paramount to your goals. If you get discouraged by a failed short-term relationship, you might not see the point in putting yourself out there like that again, and may miss an opportunity to meet who you could end up marrying.

Everything had to have a part in bringing the universe to where it is right now, and despite what the conditions might be, right HERE, right NOW is the best possible reality that could have ever manifested. If it weren’t, it simply would be different than it is, but it isn’t. Do not dwell on the undesirable things, or you are using the Law of Attraction to further bring these conditions into your life. We aren’t supposed to decipher how things got to how they are. The moment of creation could only ever be now, and right NOW is when you decide if that tragic event in your past will be your ultimate downfall, or if it will be the ultimate lesson you’ve learned and become a more complete person for having learned it. The decision is yours, and the time to create your life can only ever exist in this moment. Everything had a part in making you who you are, a perfect manifestation of love and cosmic energy.

Failure isn’t failure, it’s Feedback

Sometimes even after we’ve laid the foundation, followed all the steps, and even assumed the feeling of our new state of consciousness, sometimes we still get results that we didn’t want, or even opposite of what we tried to manifest. Do not be discouraged, and do not give up your gratitude and intentions. Situations like these are often detours, or even a path to a new destination altogether. Remember, the universe has a blueprint for our highest and best expression, more so than our ego’s. Often times, the universe won’t bring you something that isn’t in accord with the highest harmony of life, and sometimes, it’s waiting to bring you better things altogether. If you end up not getting a job after an interview and close yourself off, you could miss an interview from a completely unknown place for an even better job(perhaps the first interviewee didn’t need your particular skill set, but he had a business associate that did). It’s like dropping a dollar on the ground and losing it, then turning the corner to find a 10 dollar bill on the sidewalk. If we spend too much energy on finding the 1$, or wondering why we lost it, we would walk right past the 10 dollar bill and miss it completely.  This is where Self-fulfilling prophecy comes in; if you always know a closed window will show you an open door, opportunity is literally everywhere.  Is your glass half full or half empty?

Acceptance

Acceptance comes in two parts, the ability to accept when things have gone ‘wrong’(remember, there really is no ‘wrong’ way things can go). Only by accepting less than favourable conditions(accepting they happen, not accepting that our reality might be ‘less than favourable’) can we move through them, and clear the air for other, more favourable conditions. We see this happen all the time, especially in our culture; people often cannot move past the conditions they’re experiencing, and cannot accept a new reality, and stay stuck. Watch 5 minutes of any ‘intervention’ or ‘celebrity rehab’ show, and you will find examples of this.

Once we can accept everything, we must also be able to accept, or receive what we desire. Here again, is where many people find they aren’t getting the results they’re looking for, because they aren’t making room in their current reality for new things, they aren’t really living from the new reality. Using musicianship as an example again, maybe you have the desire to play a show in a certain place that only hosts shows on the weekends. You really want the gig, you put the intent out there, you fill your attention with it, visualize the crowd and the atmosphere…. But you keep making plans and getting drunk on the weekends.

I was talking with a friend just recently who told me they realized that they weren’t ready to receive a new romantic partner, even though they thought they were. When they got down to really feeling the feelings of living in that reality, he realized how stressful it would be in his life at the time to pursue a romantic interest, and how he had finally just opened up the time for his own improvement and solitude. He is now working on manifesting other things, and happily involved in his hobbies.

There’s an old joke that speaks to this as well: A man prayed to God every night that he would win the lottery. He had faith and conviction, and was persistent in his request. Every night, he took a knee, and prayed, “Please dear God… Help me to win the lottery…”

Finally, after months of this, God decided he would help the man help himself. God visited the man as he was deep in his prayer, and said, “Listen, you gotta help me out here too. BUY A LOTTERY TICKET ALREADY!”

Are you buying you ‘lottery’ tickets, or are you at the boat dock, trying to catch a plane ride? Don’t expect to buy a new Mustang in a junkyard.

Come back tomorrow and we will put all these parts together.

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LoA part IV, Visualization and Affirmation

Visualization is one of the most powerful tools we have for creating change in our thoughts, emotions, physiology, and life on a grand scale. Almost everyone does some form of visualization already and may not know it. World class athletes often say the determining factor of their superior practice methods are visualization exercises. Famous Russian strength and fitness expert Pavel Tsatsouline wrote about an exercise he directed students through in one of his many fantastic books. After having the student ONLY VISUALIZE the exercises, there was a 13% increase in strength, without lifting a single weight, and only visualizing it, after a month or 2 month period(I don’t remember the exact time, because it isn’t important). Scientists have observed the brainwaves of a participant looking at an apple, and a participant visualizing the apple; the brain scans were identical. Lynne McTaggart has a wonderful book full of tangible, real world experiments done with some of the most sensitive technology we have available, showing how our thoughts change the physical world around us.

Science has proven without a doubt that the content of our thoughts and emotions directly influences our physiology and neurochemistry. Of course this makes sense along natural lines of thought; what you think about dictates what you do. What you do dictates who you are, and who you are dictates what you think, completing the cycle. Less than favourable circumstances in our life require a pattern interrupt in order to create a new, healthier cycle of think-act-become-think. The universe will always reflect on in your outer world with what you find in your inner world. Once you can understand this truth that, no matter WHAT, your thoughts influence your world around you, it becomes easier to release negative emotions, and see them as a part of a pattern we want to avoid.

If you need an example of how powerful visualization can be, try this exercise. Imagine yourself in your kitchen, or the kitchen of a close friend or family member. Imagine you approach the fridge, open the door, and pull out a bright yellow, smooth, waxy, ridged lemon.  Visualize ALL the properties of the lemon in intense detail, and feel the cool air from the fridge gently blowing onto your face. Feel the weight of the lemon, and then bring it to the counter where a knife is resting. Feel the weight of the knife and the cold of the counter as the knife glides through the lemon, cutting it in half, and releasing juices all over the counter. Cut one of those lemon halves in half again until you have a lemon wedge. Smell the lemon oil before you take a big bite—Shlsh! If your mouth began to water, you should have no doubts as to the validity of visualization and how it can alter our physiology and neurochemistry.

Today, you are the results of yesterday’s thoughts. Tomorrow, you will be the result of today’s thoughts.

Visualization can help us in almost all facets of our life, but concerning the Law of Attraction, there is perhaps no better method for tuning your mind to the ideal you desire. Visualization allows you to get small glimpses of the reality you desire beforehand, and serves to propel you towards the assumptions and expectations for realizing that ideal. Through visualization, we can understand the essence of what it is we desire, and become the essence of what we want to attract into our lives.

Let’s make a note again that this isn’t some wacky metaphysical idea, this is a psychological truth. Using visualization, assumption, intention, and expectation are doing nothing but turning the mechanism you use to perceive reality(your mind and neurochemistry) to a different frequency for perceiving life. That is all. It’s like using a specific tool to achieve a specific means. Much like how coffee can be used as a specific tool for altering consciousness to achieve a specific aim(productivity and alertness for finishing work projects), visualization and assumption and intention(goal setting is a form of intention) are merely tools which can be utilized for realizing an ideal. You might find the specific assumptions you have about something aren’t working; so change the ‘tools’ you’re working with so you can get the job done. Don’t try to hammer with a screw driver, and don’t try to screw a wrench into a nail-hole.

Creativity is a deeper receptivity to what is already there

Remember that our minds already have the blueprints for the perfect expressions of health, harmony, and happiness frames within us. This means that creativity is actually a receptive process, and opening of our minds to what is already in the ‘ether’.

Like a chessboard, the positions we end up in are dictated by the moves that come before it. But this doesn’t mean that this is the only possible position we could be in; we could just as easily be set up in any other square on the chessboard. We don’t ‘create’ those positions, we are receptive to how we get there. For instance, I’m always highly suspect of people putting too much emphasis on ‘creating’ music. I’ve played music for about as long as I’ve meditated, but I’ve never ‘created’ any music. Those notes and the possibility of their arrangement already existed long before I was alive, and will persist long after I die; I was merely receptive enough to manifest that. But I certainly did not create anything.

This is also in line with the ‘letting go’ aspect of the last post. The human mind is like radio, and can be tuned to receive and transmit many kinds of messages. But you no more manifest and create the conditions in your life than the diaphragm of a radio speaker creates the music. Let go of yourself, and let the universe take over.

Be concerned with the what, not the how

Letting go in desire and visualizations means realizing that it is ultimately our harmony with the universe that will manifest what we intend in our lives. One of the cardinal rules of visualization and manifestation is not being concerned or attached to any specific means of manifestation. This means, you should not worry about HOW the things in your life will come to you, but to focus on WHAT you want, and assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled, completely expecting it to manifest, however it needs to. The finite cannot inform the infinite, and you cannot determine what course your ideal will take to you no more than you can coax the sun to rise in the morning. The sun will rise of its own accord, whether you like it or not, and our desires will come to us in accord with how they want to. If you focus only on a specific means of getting what you desire, you will be blind to the other opportunities that might have gotten you what you wanted sooner.

Visualizing

Breathe, and relax. The first step of visualization is relaxation.  Take a few moments of meditation to clear your mind, and set your intention, to tune your mind to the ideal you desire, to visualize it so fully you immerse yourself in it, then letting go of the outcome, knowing things will come in their own time, if it’s for the highest good.

Visualization isn’t necessary visual, but I find it the most powerful. If you find you cannot actually visualize, no need to worry; just assume the feelings involved.

If you desire some kind of object, visualize yourself ALREADY IN POSSESSION of the object, and notice how much enjoyment you get from it. Really REALLY involve yourself. See the sights, feel the feelings, and hear the sounds involved.

Maybe you want to manifest a successful performance in athletics or public speaking. Run through a visualization of you performing exactly as you want to perform, both from your own perspective, then from an outsiders view. Feel every kinesthetic sensation related to your performance. This was largely how I dealt with preparing for my own presentation that I talked about in the last post. I visualized myself, in extremely vivid detail, approaching the front of the class, and taking a deep breath. I felt myself radiate confidence, and conviction as I effortlessly delivered my speech, keeping everyone’s full attention. I even visualized the moments where I would stop and turn the page to start again; This is always a ‘pattern interrupt’  for me and can completely throw off my flow, when I lull for a moment and turn the page, and start to wonder if everyone is really even interested anyways as I trudge through yet another page.

Luckily, this was only a visualization exercise, and I could deal with that feeling an entire week before I may even have really felt it. I kept the visualization strong, and finished how I wanted to, keeping everything in vivid detail. I imagined the slight tensions I would feel standing up there, and I felt the wooden podium beneath my resting hands. I felt the slightly crumpled paper as I turned the page, and got a small whiff of air as it passed by my face. Honestly, I actually was kind of surprised when I opened my eyes again, realizing I was sitting in my bedroom in the evening, and not in a classroom miles away mid-afternoon.

This is how powerful your visualization should be. Completely absorb yourself in it, and abandon yourself to the essence, like a moth abandons itself in the desire to know the flame. And you really must be willing to let a part of yourself die so the new you can be born. We cannot gain what we lack if we cling to what we have.

If you are manifesting a romantic partner in your life, observe the route your attention takes when you assume the wish fulfilled. What kinds of behaviours and activities will you partake when you realize this ideal? Being today to live from this attitude, this place of already having what you desire.

If you are manifesting a new job, or new avenues of business, see yourself performing the work, with absolute gratitude, and see all the people it benefits, and how they graciously repay you for your services. Embed the visualization with love and emotion.

Assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled, and begin living FROM this new reality. It is only in this way that we can acquire what we desire. Think of all the things you have in your life already, and trace them back along the circumstances that brought them about. You will see here too, that this method is in exact accordance with everything you already have.

Tomorrow, we will look at Gratitude and Acceptance.

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