Category Archives: Interconnectedness

What Is Happiness?

35025503_a7476741c9_o

Several years ago now I attended a global healing conference in Bali, Indonesia.  One of the speakers was the Finance Minister from Bhutan.  He spoke about Bhutan’s GNH or Gross National Happiness Index versus the Gross National Product/Gross Domestic Product we have based on an entirely different paradigm/frame of reference.


In this mostly Buddhist country you will see a series of hand-painted signs doting the side of the winding mountain road that runs between the airport and the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu. Instead of commands to cut speed or check mirrors, they offer the traveler a series of life-affirming mantras. “Life is a journey! Complete it!” says one, while another urges drivers to, “Let nature be your guide”. Another, standing on the edge of a perilous curve, simply says: “Inconvenience regretted.”


The Finance Minister told us that since 1971, Bhutan has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress. In its place, it has championed a new approach to development, which measures prosperity through formal principles of gross national happiness (GNH) and the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of its citizens and natural environment.  


In other words there is a belief that well being should take preference over material growth.  As our world collapses under the breakdown of financial systems, social injustice and wide-scale environmental destruction and degradation we may need to take this way of perceiving life under serious consideration!  In fact, let it be the operating system from which we live our lives!!


What is happiness anyway?  I could go on for pages and philosophize about the answer to this question, but when it comes right down to it everyone finds the answer within themselves and in everyday lift moments.  


So, I won’t go on for pages, but instead am giving you a video to watch that I would like to encourage you to share with many others.  After watching it (and wiping the tears away – have kleenex ready) perhaps you will be inspired to do a similar practice.  We couldn’t see the people on the other end of the phone, but I bet they were just as similarly affected as those we could see.
Would love your comments on this one!  Especially if you try it out….

https://www.upworthy.com/scientists-discover-one-of-the-greatest-contributing-factors-to-happiness-youll-thank-me?c=upw9

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

photo(43)WEBSITE:  www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreewoman.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(3)
http://www.GayeAbbott.com/books/

naturalwealth3dsmall-222x300Natural Wealth Course: http://resonancewithlife.com/natural-wealth-course/

by Richard Cawte, Ph.D.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Advertisements

The Wealth of Mystery

Esoteric-Agenda-Kymatica-Documentaries-GLOBAL-AWAKENING

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life”.  Rachel Carson

What would our lives be without mystery?  I would not want to imagine that sort of world.  A world where everything is explained away as having  one particular meaning or understanding.  A world where the sacred spark that  starts the heart for the first time is explained away as a biological function and the mystery of a caterpillar being turned into the liquid form of imaginal cells that assist the creation and emergence of a stunning  butterfly with the opening of the chrysalis is monarch-emerging-from-chrysalis2downplayed as just nature doing its thing.

Even our very breath that keeps us alive.  Where and how does your breath emerge?  Have you ever thought of it in terms of a mystery instead of attempting to pin it down in scientific terms?  What happens with that first breath, the 7,000 each day, the 500 million in a normal lifespan, and the last exhale that flies from our bodies to soar elsewhere.

Breathing supports every experience you have.  You exchange 10 billion trillion atoms with your surroundings with every breath you take.  The atoms that you inhale every day have traversed the bodies of living beings across the universe and across time – a testament to the law of giving and receiving.   What mystery connects us all in such an intimate dance in something as simple as breathing in air and All things share the same breath the beast the tree the man the air shares its spirit with all the life it supportsout air – each breath having emerged out of or taken in by another living form.  Always interconnected….

Even the cosmos beyond, around and within us bubbles with mystery of the unknown.  Man’s efforts to pierce the veil of something so immense that one cannot even grasp a very tiny bit of it’s character or vastness is at best futile.

Perhaps the daily mysteries that face us as we walk through the moments of our lives are meant to provide the spark for opening our arms, our minds and our hearts to moving forward into the places that hold no explanation….but instead hold a place for awe, wonder. and creativity.

It is within this dance of creation that we feel the life pulse that creates the greatest natural art piece that we will ever behold.  Know that the beauties and mysteries of the Earth and all that surrounds it will always hold the meaning for our lives.  It is this which we indulge in.  It is this that keeps us awake and present to the endless mystery and wealth that is life here and now.

Indulge and be shaken apart never to be “put back” the same way ever again.  Soak in the mystery and behold that you too are a part of this natural dance of the Divine.

When we surrender to (Grace) we surrender to something bigger than ourselves – to a universe that knows what it is doing. . . . We learn to trust that the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson

*************************************************************************************************

photo(43)GAYE’S NEW WEBSITE:  www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreewoman.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(3)
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

*****************************************************************************************************

Currency and Connection

Two-hearts-of-money2Nogie King in The Currency of Connection states beautifully:

“I believe that we sit at the edge of an evolutionary impulse that can move human kind into a radical and collective realignment with wholeness, purpose and grace.  Life has always been an extraordinary  process for creative potential.  What is different now is our growing ability to perceive and then actualize engagement that is our natural birthright.”

With curiosity I invite you to enter the world of money as a vibrant, loving relationship just waiting to connect us to not only our own potential, but also to the creative genius of just about everything on this planet of ours.  If you are like me, you most probably have had, or are still having, a rocky relationship with money. Not your idea of the ideal loving, respectful, and trusting relationship that we all yearn for I bet!

What has helped me tremendously over the past few weeks after quitting a job that I allowed to rob me of creative juice and flow, is to remember that money in and of itself first came into being with the purpose of fostering and celebrating human relationships.  It has now become something else for many people – something that adds stress  to daily life – perhaps unnecessary stress at that.

Looking at money through the lens of relationship can be a fascinating journey and can provide insights that just may surprise you!  Relationship with yourself, with others, with our planet, and with money itself most probably deeply embedded in scarcity and lack in some form or another.

I am reminded of the days growing up that we used to play Monopoly.  Loved handling all that play money and buying the primemonopoly-money properties while hoping that one of the other players would land on my high density housing prime space and have to hand over more money for rent!

We needed to be in relationship in that game.  Face to face, throwing the dice to see what would happen next in our relationship with each other and our money.  Out of necessity it would often go on for hours as money  changed hands back and forth.

Life lessons were tucked in there as well like landing in jail and hoping for a “Get Out of Jail Free” card to release you back into the game and back into relationship with the other players.

Well have you ever thought that we put ourselves in jail and restrict the easy flow of money and vibrant alive relationship in our lives because of deeply engrained patterns that were put down early in our tender lives for what we thought was survival?

Here is a part of my story to make this more personal and to highlight the fact that how we use money is an opportunity for our own spiritual awakening and an expression of our fundamental interconnectedness.

counterfeit-money-funnyI was either in a state of worry and fear around where the next dollar was coming from, or when I did man-chasing-money2have money it rather slipped away from me. I was always trying to find ways to get more back into my bank account.  This went on for many years even through times when I had plenty of money to support myself and my growing children.

At the same time I was creating relationships with men in much the same way.  Two marriages, another long term partner, and quite a number of other relationships later I finally found myself taking a look at both my relationship with money and with men.  Bet you won’t be surprised that there were some underlying beliefs that were interwoven in both relationships.

When my mother died suddenly at the early age of 39 when I was only 14 years old I of course felt abandoned by someone that I really needed at that time in my life.  The connection had been broken and I took it on as something that I must have done.  My underlying belief at this time was that I must not be worthy which was unconsciously supported by my father who went into a deep depression leaving me to take on the responsibility of my younger brother and the household.  In a way he had abandoned me by not honoring that I had needs too.

What did I do?  I created a belief system and pattern that lasted until just recently.  Work hard (read struggle here) to take care of others to make certain you are appreciated and loved, i.e worthy; push down your own needs, desires and passion (stay hidden); create relationships with people and money where “rescue” is needed (so that I could prove I was loved); and not only attract unavailable men, but leave relationships first before they can leave you.

Can you draw a parallel between these patterns and my relationship with money?  Essentially not feeling worthy in my own essential self (money slipping through my hands and creating “rescue” scenarios), taking on others desires and passions as my own (struggling to bring money in through others businesses/visions that were not in alignment with my whole hearted creative expression ), and setting up the abandonment before I can be abandoned (I am not worthy).

I think you get the picture here.  We are in a very powerful time on our planet right now where each one of us has the opportunity to repattern into “wholeness, purpose and grace” in a way that honors our own highest potential as well as that of every other life form on this planet.  If we don’t do this our species has the potential to disappear!

connection20This time is about creatively connecting and collaborating within the deep interconnection that sustains all of us – every single life form on this planet.  It is called Unity – the yoga of life.  In order to open to this way of being each one of us must take the inner journey of clearing anything in the way of truly being ourselves in the world.

Since money is a large part of our life, and always will be present in some way, why not create a trusting, flowing, sufficient, honest and loving relationship with it.  It really does want to love you back and is the currency of connection!!

SOME SUGGESTED BOOKS:

The Currency of Connection: How to Create An Exquisitely Kick Ass Relationship With Money by Nogie Kingsoul-of-money-paperback

The Trance of Scarcity: Hey! Stop Holding Your Breath and Start Living Your Life! by Victoria Castle

The Soul of Money: Reclaiming The Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynn Twist

The Prosperous Heart, by Julia Cameron

****************************************************************************************

photo(43)NEW WEBSITE!!!!http://www.GayeAbbott.com

JOINT WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreewoman.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(3)
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

 

Simple Acts of Kindness

bluebonnets, flamingos, and a truck

Thank you to “Two Cannoli” for taking this great picture (The bluebonnets have particular meaning as they are wild here in Austin, Texas!) and for understanding that it only takes a second to notice an act of kindness done to you….or be aware of when an act of kindness can be offered to another.

That means we have all the time in the world to offer and receive acts of kindness.  Do you think the world would be a different place if we committed not only to doing something that scares us every day, but also to notice when kindness has been offered to us and openly appreciate it, as well as be aware of when we can offer a simple act of kindness to another.

Sometimes the best are when you are least expecting it, or those secret ones where you will never know who the agent of kindness was!

Each of us knows how it feels to receive an act of kindness.  It could be as simple as someone letting you onto a crowded road, a smile passing on the street,  or going the extra step to offer service above and beyond what is expected.  Over the past few days I have been the recipient as well as the giver of acts of kindness.  I am particularly aware of them as a grand leap was taken last week by quitting a job and choosing instead to immerse myself in my own business.  A somewhat stressful time yes, but because of this giving and receiving of kindness I am particularly aware of how very blessed I am!  That has taken my attention!

The day after I quit my job I took myself to the nearest office supply store in order to get a new business calendar (no I don’t have a smart phone etc – I actually do it the “old fashioned way”) to plan and vision on.  This store is a chain store and often times you don’t expect the type of service you might find in a smaller privately owned establishment.  However, within the space of the 10 minutes I was in there I was asked by 3 people whether they could help me find what I was looking for and smiles were exchanged each time.  The crowning glory was the check out woman who first apologized for my having to wait for a minute or so and then while she was checking out my purchases we exchanged a very personal and loving dialog.

Her smile was huge as she said to me, “it is good to see you back again.  I just saw you 2 days ago right?” and when I said no she told me “you have the kind of face everyone wants to remember!”  As I shared with her that I had just quit a job the day before and was heading into being my own boss, she gave me a high 5 and said “don’t give up!”  A few more comments were exchanged and then it was time  for me to leave the register.  I looked in her eyes and thanked her for her attention, service and kindness and we both felt the love exchanged between two complete strangers.

kindness2Then yesterday it was my turn.  I was doing my regular lap swimming and no one else was in my lane.  Near the end of my time in the pool I looked up and there was a father with his young daughter about age 8 or so.  I asked if she wanted to share the lane with me.  At first hesitant she jumped in at her father’s urging.  I watched her swim beside me and noted that she was an amazing swimmer for her age.  When I got back to the end of the lane they had changed to an open lane so that the father could be beside her.  As her father jumped in I called out “your daughter is a great swimmer”!  He didn’t hear me, but she did as she kick boarded her way down the adjoining lane.  The smile and thank you she gave me were brilliant!

Today it was time to receive and give as I was given service above and beyond the norm when a computer at the local Fed Ex store would not print my documents.  Then I was able to give a simple act of kindness by stopping by a local herb/vitamin pharmacy to purchase some natural products for a very dear friend who has poison ivy creeping all over her body and drop them off at her house.

Though this has been an incredibly challenging post trauma growth period for me over the last week these simple acts of kindness given and received have reminded me that this is what life is about.  Our connection with others is always there.  We always have the choice to expand our awareness outwardly in a way that says “I care” and “I appreciate you”!  The opportunities are limitless!

*************************************

WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

941546_10201139084457154_1085573193_nOTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(3)
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

naturalwealth3dsmall-222x300Natural Wealth Course by Richard Cawte, Ph.D.:

http://resonancewithlife.com/natural-wealth-course/

*****************************************************

In Our Own Element

263130_247637388709833_180978556_n

“For only by living in our own element can we thrive without anxiety”.  Mark Nepo

A very large part of living in human form is to wake up to our inherent true nature and accept the gifts and awareness that we have been given.  We each walk a unique path, however the deep interconnection with all life allows us to view what it may be like to walk in another person’s shoes – or bare feet as the case may be.

A large part of the pandemic “anxiety” that engulfs the world at this time in our history comes from not only disrespecting others particular path, but at our very core not accepting our own.  How is it to live a life that others are dictating, instead of listening deeply to one’s own calling.  Courageously saying yes to the steps that it takes to express this one precious life – the joy of being human.

Let me tell you a story to demonstrate just a little of what I am talking about.  For the last year and few months I entered back into the world of medicine after making a clear decision in 2011 that I was complete with that particular pathway in which to bring my gifts.  Much was learned during this year as I became a  part of the launching of a new family practice.  However, the reasons that I stepped back into this field were mostly based in fear.

Fear that I would not be able to support myself financially if left to walk my own unique road.  A road that was riskier and filled with uncertainty, but also filled with immense possibility.  A road that I now know contains the peaceful abiding that Buddhist philosophy and practice speak to.  A road that offers the immense joy of giving to others in a way that makes their life better through the arts of writing, teaching/guiding/facilitation, heart centered activism, breath practice, and the laying of my hands on people in healing and transforming ways.

Within the “stress” of being back in the medical world lay the gift of awareness that I had forsaken my own road.  This was a vital part of coming back home to a path that only I can walk, only I can express, and only I can learn from.  Taking on someone else’s path is perhaps as dangerous as judging and not accepting others for their own.

Our potential is to become totally happy.  How do we find our way there?  Poet and philosopher Mark Nepo says:

This is not about being a poet or a florist or a doctor or a layer or an architect.  It is about the true vitality that waits beneath all occupations for us to tap into, if we can discover what we love.  If you feel energy and excitement and a sense that life is happening for the first time, you are probably near your God-given nature.  Joy in what we do is not an added feature; it is a sign of deep health”.  (The Book of Awakening, pg. 294)

Staying awake is the path to walking in our own element….

**********************************************************************

WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

IMG_1996OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Breath-Book-coverW2(3)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

Remembering Peace Through Nature and Art

530369_10151220293073635_1341380583_nSnow mandalas by Simon Beck, image in his name©2012, all rights reserved

Dear Brave Souls: Rest your mind and body by gazing upon symmetry that is so beautiful. The neurons in our brains and bodies fire and remember peace and order when gazing on peace and order, in this case pattern that holds, yet sways so 394934_565203466827507_1552033351_nbeautifully. You heard what I said: our bodies and minds remember peace when we gaze on peace. “- Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Whether it be a “Ta Da” life moment list of milestones and accomplishments, insights, new knowledge, and self-revelations  from the year just past, done as a ritual as a new year dawns….or a way of breathing that releases anxiety and brings peace,  self value and awareness to the moment…there is no doubt that what we all need more of this coming year is a sense of peace and deep rest within our minds, bodies and 184453_536096156408173_1154827173_nhearts.

Nature and art in all of its varied forms is ever at our disposal to bring us not only a respite from the business and chaos of our

A frozen waterfall in the Taihang Mountains, Hebei Province, China

A frozen waterfall in the Taihang Mountains, Hebei Province, China

lives, but a reminder of who we are at our very core.

Be still, gaze upon the creations that are all around you.  Be at peace knowing that you have been brought here for a purpose that is interconnected with all that is around you.  If we can drink deeply of these myriad of gifts….then there is hope for our present moment and the moments to come

Happy New Year from Resonance With Life!!

**********************

WEBSITE: www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Breath-Book-coverW2(3)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

NATURAL WEALTH by Richard Cawte, Ph.D.naturalwealth3dsmall-222x300

http://resonancewithlife.com/natural-wealth-course/

Stand Tall And Root Your Toes Into The Wealth of Life

Dear Richard,

When I found this picture it literally demanded to be placed directly in the center of this particular post.  A giant redwood in the California Bear Creek watershed stands tall amidst the other trees in this old growth forest.  There are many things that caught my attention here.  My experience with old growth forests is that they are quite different from forests that have been cut down before.  There is a unique smell and feel to the earth and other life forms that inhabit this sacred and beautiful natural resource.   The quiet is so pervasive that when there is a sound it immediately draws your attention.  It almost feels as if you could put your ear to the bark of the tree and it would whisper untold wisdom into your ear.

When walking in one of these forests,  awareness expands and broadens as attention is caught by the fact that these trees have been living for much longer than we have years to count.  They have survived natural disasters and encouraged the trees around them to grow and thrive just by their very presence in the forest community.  This one tree has obviously been present much longer than the others marked by its sheer size.  One might feel by looking at this picture that this one tree is guardian standing as protector with a much more expansive view.  However, each tree is deeply interconnected to the others and has its’ unique role to play.

In yoga class this morning our practice was guided by 3 teachings of Milarepa who is generally considered one of Tibet’s  most famous yogis and poets..  One of those teachings was “Act so that you have no cause to be ashamed of yourself, and hold fast to this rule.”  When I saw this tree standing so much taller than the others I immediately thought of each of us in our lives and whether we consciously make the choice to “stand tall”.  By “standing tall” we declare that we are not ashamed of who we are, but instead choose to show the world our fullness and actively bring our unique gifts for all to see.   There is no way that this particular tree can hide!

As were the dancers at the event I was privileged to see last evening.  Viewing a magnificent expression of the dance arts I witnessed a performance that literally had me mesmerized (and wishing I was back in my youth again!).   Each dancer found the energetic flow and rhythm that was uniquely their own expression within the choreography, and then combined it with that of other dancers sharing the stage with them.  Even amidst the demonstration of angst and conflict during a few pieces there was a sense of something much larger expanding….a greater story, a more expansive view……… than the small one unfolding before your eyes.  At times one or two dancers would take center stage, yet there was always movement happening around them expanding the focus and the story.

What wealth we accumulate in our individual lives when we choose to “stand tall” no matter what is happening.  Our actions in every situation and every relationship can uphold living a life of fullness.  Each and every one of us is a magnificent expression just as these trees and dancers are.  The trees so much lower than the single one are “standing tall” as well in their own unique ways.  The Divine Design of our life awaits us to wake up and root our toes into the wealth and creative passion of our lives….. leaving any thread of shame behind.   Life is simply too short to waste on anything less……

Standing Tall In Austin, Texas –

Gaye

www.ResonanceWithLife.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Making Connections

“My hope and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call “education of the heart.” Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values: love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.”  The Dalai Lama

Dear Gaye,

I love the story in your last post. What a great reminder to us all that it’s when we engage with others that real magic happens!

Imagine how different our world would be if the daily news covered tales like this, focusing on the millions of instances of people connecting with each other that happen every day, rather than all the doom and gloom. I really don’t think it would take long for a big shift to happen: a shift from fear to faith.

I’ve just relocated back to England (for a while) and have noticed how wary people are of each other here in comparison to Southern Ireland. Like you, I tend to chat with people, giving them a smile and engaging in whatever topic pops into my head. It always leads somewhere interesting.

The other day I was in a long queue at the post office. In front of me was a young mother with her small boy, of maybe 6 or 7 years old. Hanging around in queues is deadly dull for small children (I remember it well!) and he was getting bored, singing “Let it snow!” louder and louder to get attention. I bent down and started chatting with him. Do you think it’ll snow this Christmas? Yes, I hope so: that sort of thing.

Then I realized that his Mom was looking at me with alarm. Her eyes said: “Who is this strange man? Why is he talking with my son? What does he want?” I looked her right in the eye and simply said “It’s ok, I have three kids of my own,” at which point she softened and we carried on chatting, all three of us, whilst the queue got shorter. We didn’t have the spectacular results that you and your artist friend did, but a moment of fear was transformed into a few minutes of connection.

And that, to me, is what this time in our evolution is all about: transforming fear of difference into moments of connection. Yes, we’re all unique, but we’re all pretty much the same underneath, with 99.99% of our genome being shared by each one of us across the globe.

By nature, we are all one. And we know it. Put a group of two year olds in a room and leave them to it and they get on just fine, no matter what color, creed or social background they’re from. We’re genetically predisposed to connect.

It’s only later, when we go to school and start to listen to what our friends and parents tell us, that we start to see others as different. They myth of separation begins to kick in and pretty soon we start making judgements that set “us” aside from “them”. And that’s where the problems come in. Squabbles over differences lead to arguments on a minor scale, wars on a major one.

We’re heading towards Christmas, a time when we direct our attention towards giving and sharing, when we’re encouraged to display our innate sense of empathy. I wonder, though, whether each of us can make a commitment to bringing that sense of empathy into every day of our lives, sharing a smile, offering help whenever we can, doing what we can to bridge the perceived divides?

I think we can. It doesn’t have to be in huge, grand gestures (although those are just fine too!). We can all do a little bit, each day. And each little bit mounts up. And the shift begins.

For me, there’s no such thing as separation. What I feel, you feel. What happens to animals, plants, to the earth itself, happens to me too. That’s the beauty of it. We’re all in this together.

Namaste,

Richard.

WEBSITEwww.ResonanceWithLife.com

Richard’s Life Changing Story is captured on our website.  Curious?

See Dr. Richard Cawte’s The 12 Laws of the Great Game of Life – The Natural Wealth Course by clicking HERE

AND...a brand new offering – I Can Help You Sleep, MP3

Imagination Beats Willpower Every Time!

“There is no such thing as separation. We do not end where our bodies end. We do not stop when we die. We are timeless, multi-dimensional beings walking around in temporary physical form and we are capable of far, far more than we have been led to believe.” (from the Natural Wealth Course.)

Dear Gaye,

What we focus on expands. I’ve found this to be so true not just in my life, but working with clients too.

For instance: a little while ago I had a client who, although very successful was very unsettled. He didn’t have any big trauma going on in his life, nor did he have something “deeply buried” from his past that was causing him pain. But he was sleeping badly, not able to focus and generally anxious and on edge for much of the time. In other words he was stressed.

This is a common thing for many of us right now. The pace of life is hectic and the world moves with ever-increasing speed. Pebbles (our feelings, thoughts and actions) are dropped into the pond each nano-second (by us and by others) and their ripples meet each other so often that interference-patterns can be created.

With this particular client I simply suggested that he stop watching television for a week. “Put your focus onto pretty much anything else. Give your mind and body time to relax.” I then explained how television ratchets up tension in the body rather than relaxing us as so many people think it does.

About a month later I heard from my him. “Thanks so much, Richard,” he said. “I stopped watching TV like you suggested and the transformation is just amazing. I’ve started walking in nature again, I spend time in my garden, I read books…and my wife and I are talking like we haven’t talked in years. It’s like I suddenly have my life back!” Bingo!

Over the past five years or so I’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people who are coming to me suffering from intense stress. It’s a big problem and is now the commonest cause of heart disease (the biggest killer) in the West. Here’s one theory on why this might be.

We live in an age of over-stimulation. Teen-age years have become screen-age years, with our kids spending several hours per day on gaming consoles or squinting at their portable devices. Screens seem to greet us everywhere we go with messages of terrible things happening all across the globe. The virtual world is fast encroaching on the real one. You only have to get off a plane to see what 90% of people do as soon as possible: turn on the cell phone!

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and emails bombard us each and every second of the day. If we’re not careful we can get subtly drawn into returning to the screen more and more often. We just can’t seem to help ourselves. We feel we just have to send out another tweet, rush to reply to our Facebook comments or check the stats on our blogs etc.

It’s addictive. And the more we pay attention to it, the more stressed we become. And the more stressed we become, the more agitated are the ripples we that send out on the pond, which means we spread stress to others.

One of the prime side-effects of this addiction is loneliness. People spend increasing amounts of time on their own. And even if they are taking part in an online community activity, this is no substitute for real relationships in the three-dimensional world. Loneliness and isolation are racing up the charts when it comes to causes of stress-related illness. The results are plain for all to see. A few years back I predicted that one of the fastest-growing businesses in the coming decade will be “Screen-Disorder Rehab Units”. It’s happening as we speak.

So how do we deal with the bombardment? One way is to take time each day to ourselves. Give ourselves a platform firmly based in something that rests heart, body and mind. If we can find time in nature so much the better. It’s a known fact that simply thinking about a plant lowers the heart rate and reduces stress.

But getting into nature is not possible for many of us. So what else can we do? Well, we can learn to put our attention to things that feed and nurture us. I don’t just mean going out and playing sport or visiting the gym here. I mean shifting focus so that new areas of life expand. How do we do this? By using our imagination.

Imagination is a real power within us. And its effects are very real. That’s because our subconscious minds cannot tell the difference between real and imagined input. And our subconscious minds are far, far more powerful than our conscious minds.

For example: I have a fear of heights. It’s totally irrational, but try as I might I haven’t been able to fix it. Put me in a car driving along a narrow country lane (something that happens often!) and I’m just fine. Put me in the same car on a lane equally narrow on the side of a mountain with a sheer fall to one side and I’m a gibbering wreck. What makes the difference between the two situations? My imagination. Pure and simple.

I imagine the car falling away down the side of the mountain, I start sweating, my muscles tense up and I feel sick. Logic might shout at me that there’s no reason for this, but that doesn’t matter. My imagination wins the day, every time.

The great thing about this is that we all have imagination. And it’s free! So, we can use it to take us to places where we can relax. We can put our attention onto simple things that help us relax, refresh and heal. If we do this each day it builds up (like going to the gym to workout) and pretty soon we find ourselves able to cope with the daily stressors much better. We’re literally creating our own reality, rather than being pushed around by life.

We are what we put our attention to. Or, as you say: “What we focus on

expands…” And the fun part of that is that, so long as we are not totally addicted to the adrenalin-pumping world of the screen, we can choose where we put that focus.

Imagination is the key. It beats willpower every time.

Where is your attention going? What life are you imagining for yourself, right now?

Love and best wishes,

Richard.

Richard’s Sanctuary Creation MP3 is available as a totally free download at www.ignitewealthnow.com Taking you on an inner journey to create and maintain a place of true tranquility within, this 28 minute audio-recording is a must for anyone suffering from anxiety, stress or confusion.

Also available at www.ignitewealthnow.com is Richard’s full 17-part course Natural Wealth, the Instruction Manual to the Great Game of Life.

Whatever You Focus On Expands

“A Sioux Indian story… My grandfather took me to the fishing pond when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person. “You may create lots of splashes in your life, but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said. “Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles.” “You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others.” “The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.” That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life. Remember the eternal wisdom: WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS…”

~Author Unknown

I start with this story as I was inspired by your last post on the man in the park Richard.  My version of your experience occurred last Sunday when I took an afternoon break to stroll on the path around our local lake here in Austin.

Whenever I feel isolated or alone the practice of a walk around Lake Austin on Sunday is the elixir that will always shift my inner territory very quickly.  Like the man in the park this lake trail is right smack next to downtown Austin.  Now mind you it is nothing like Hong Kong in size, but it is a busy city.

On this path you will see all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors of people and dogs.  There is room for engagement with others, focusing on a run or workout, or simply just being quiet to take in the natural surroundings and the presence of others enjoying their day.

It was in the midst of this that I had a decision to make.  Would I hunker down inside of myself nestled into separation and barricade away from the activity going on all around me, or would I engage with my world in a loving and curious way as the old man in the park engaged with his practice – fully and completely while being in the moment?

You might guess that I chose the latter and here is what happened.  Just “simply being”  for the first part of my walk my clinging to inner thoughts opened into a moment to moment delight in taking in all of the sights, sounds, smells and activity.  As I felt more of the ground beneath my feet my attention was increasingly drawn outward as that pebble dropped into the water.

The ripple effect from within me then drew in experiences that reflected my openness and willingness to engage.  Seated on my favorite bench high above the water I was awaiting an entire flotilla of stand up paddle board people that I had seen in the distance, before I sat down, to emerge from beneath the bridge that I was on.  Standing up I gazed down at the water beneath me to see where they might be as it was taking an awfully long time for them to come out the other side!

Meanwhile, behind me people were lined up looking down at the water on the other side of the bridge.  Curiosity got the best of me and I strolled over to see what they were looking at.  There were the paddle boarders – all women and all dressed in Halloween costumes from mermaids to harem dancers to pirates.  They were talking with all of us standing above and enjoying every minute of having their picture taken.  The bystanders, of which I was one of, were all smiling and laughing, and small children were being taken up in arms to gaze down at this playful display.

An older man came up right beside me after they were back on their way towards where they had come from (they never did come through the other side of the bridge!) and we engaged in conversation around the women in costume, life in Austin (he is a native), and music.

Smiling we both walked our separate ways and my walk back reflected the splash of feelings I radiated out from inside.  A flash of knowing hit me that I would see “Bob” the dog and his owner Nancy on my way back.   Sure enough about 10 minutes down the path there they were .

Now Nancy and Bob are regulars on this path as like me they live alone and love getting out into the company of others tucked into nature.   Bob is a very large Bassett hound with long floppy ears and he is often seen dragging his lease behind him with the perpetual plastic bag tied around it in case he needs to relieve himself so to speak. Upon seeing me he immediately laid down right at my feet (well actually on my feet to energetically bond) and proceeded to show me his belly to rub.  Now, mind you this is only the 3rd time that I have seen Bob and Nancy on the path!

Nancy and I agree that Bob, who is getting on in his life at age 12, must really enjoy being a dog as he brings so much delight to everyone that comes across his path.  This day he was to delight a 1 1/2 year old little girl who was ringed in smiles as she realized that this doggie was shorter than her and she could pet him.  The absolute delight in this little girls face upon that first touch of Bob’s fur was priceless and radiated right smack into my heart.  How simple happiness can be!

And expand that happiness did!  To Nancy and I, to the mother of the little girl, to the many others that walked past during this exchange, and certainly to Bob!  My return to openness, curiosity and love of being in the moment to moment experience of life collaborated with all that was around me and made a regular walk extraordinary.

How many times in a day do we have the power to shift what is happening not only in our life experience, but in that of everything and everyone around us?  I would say with each inhale and exhale….

******************

WEBSITE www.IgniteWealthNow.com  (Natural Wealth)

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

NEW FREE OFFERING!!

We invite you to go to our website and listen to Richard Cawte’s Sanctuary Creation at:  SANCTUARY CREATION

Here is my review:

Over the many years that I have spent in the study and practice of meditation and imagery I have never come across something with so much depth and potential for deepening and relaxing the mind and body.  

In Sanctuary Creation Richard Cawte’s gentle voice and beautifully detailed imagery take you down into a sensual world of nature where color, breath, and beauty activate all of the senses and drop you into a depth of being from which you can discover what it is like to fully embody your life’s moments.  

What greater tool for daily life than something like this that can be activated and created within you at any time!”   

~ Gaye Abbott, Registered Yoga Teacher