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Moments or Experiences?

Dear Richard –

Your last post made me reflect on how I am presently living my life Richard.  With all that is going on globally right now in every single facet of life attention often goes to worrying about what the next change will be and how we will adapt, cope, or be effected.

Meanwhile, the moments of our lives are going by at a rather rapid rate unless we consciously slow them down a bit.

How do we do that and focus not on the experience as a whole, but the moments that make up that experience?  It seems that is where the juiciness rests and the ability to be resilient within the changes.

The focus of the yoga class I attended today was on Emaho – the Tibetan invocation for auspiciousness.  This is an expression of joy, wonder and amazement to be found in the moment.  When was the last time that you said to yourself, or felt, “I am THRILLED to be right here, right now”?

We forget, plain and simple.  I know that I do.  Being in the moment – right here and now – seems to stretch that moment teasing us into the flow of breathing into our life, instead of avoiding or holding on tightly for fear of change.  Perhaps resilience is an ability to be fully present in the moment as much as possible where action can be taken, decisions made, wonder and amazement can be felt, and love given and received.

When I consider what I should put in my “toolbox for change” Emaho is definitely in there!  Just a moment ago I left this post and was distracted by the need to look in the frig to see what there was to eat when I all of a sudden came to a blank place about what to write next.  Instead of just resting and breathing in the moment I became uncomfortable and certainly not trusting that if I just waited for a bit the next bit of content would arise on it’s own.

I have to admit that I have a wonderful bowl of yummy food at my elbow right now tempting me to avoid this particular moment of writing flow, but I have vowed that it will not have its way with me!  How many times in our daily life are we distracted and leave our bodies, our relationships and our deepest desires in the lurch?

Perhaps this time of great change on so many levels is meant to bring us back “home” to the most important thing of all – the moment of being right here, right now.  The fact that we are simply breathing is phenomenal!  Have you ever considered that?  The pain and the joy of living tempt us to engage beyond the moment and make of it more than it is.  The only thing for certain is that everything always changes….nothing stays the same – ever!

That being said we have a choice.  String our life with experiences, or be completely in the moment to moment of those experiences with all of our senses and awareness present.  It takes courage to live life that way! …and the pay off is extraordinary!

With great love in the moment,

Gaye

P.S.  I know that I have used the picture at the top of this post before…but I find it so delightful and a testament to being completely in the moment.  It is one of my all time favorites!

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Adapting to Changing Times

Dear Gaye,

This post is rather longer than usual, not least because it has been a while since I have been able to write. I hope, however, that it will be useful for those who are concerned at what might happen in the coming months and years. Many people are predicting doom and gloom. I say that there are huge challenges staring us in the face, but that we all have the answers to them, sitting right inside us.

Our reader makes some interesting points. A lot has been said about the whole 2012 “phenomenon” and although the evidence from the few sources that remain (all too few thanks to the Spanish conquistadores who smashed or burned most of the Mayan records) is very slim, there are plenty of other cultures that have predicted a time of great change – not just for humanity, but for the Earth itself.

Yet change is ever in the air, each moment in time a plethora of decisions being made by every one of the billions of people now alive. Perhaps it will help things if we all remember that each one of our choices, small as they might appear to us, are crucial to the wellbeing of all.

You asked me to talk about the financial climate, so let’s begin with that. Will we see a time of wholescale change on the financial front? I think we will. And I think it will be a change that takes a lot of people by surprise.

Our reader talks of the seismic shift in the foundation of what we call currency. I agree with him. There has to be a re-evaluation, whether profound or pragmatic. Hopefully both.

Let’s look at the pragmatic side briefly. There is no doubt that with the multiple trillions of debt in the countries of the Western World, something will have to give at some point. Right now, in Europe and the USA, interest rates are being kept artificially low, which is good news in the short-term for those who are borrowing. But there is a sting in the tail.

Central banks have been printing money like there’s no tomorrow, gifting it in droves to the financial institutions in the countries they service. They don’t do this without calling in the debt at some point. So you can be sure that there will be a period of interest-rate increases ahead. My guess is that this will come in 2014. When it comes, it will most likely be a quick-fire increase, perhaps even a hyper-inflation that will have a dramatic effect. When interest rates are low, an increase of even half a percent can feel huge to the pockets of ordinary folks.

Beyond that is the wider question of whether currencies can survive at all? Will the US Dollar still exist in five year’s time? Will the Euro collapse, sinking other currencies in the process?

Right now we are in the lull before the storm. In Europe, Greece has managed to stall the disintegration of the Euro with its recent elections. I don’t expect this to last. Greece will not be able to fulfil its promises, nor will Spain or Italy – whose debt is the third largest of any country in the world.

I see a different form of the Euro emerging in the next two years. As some countries default, a smaller group will almost certainly protect what they have. Headed by Germany, these countries will elbow out those they see as a threat to their stability. But I expect the Euro to survive in some shape or form.

As will the dollar. But not as you might know it.

The biggest shock I foresee for Americans is that the already long arm of the Chinese Empire will reach right into the heart of the West, dictating the shots to an extent that will leave many shaking their heads. The toxic debt is simply too great to ever be clawed back by simply trading our way out of trouble. China, with greater assets and more liquidity than any country in the world is ideally placed to capitalize on a system that has brought itself to its own knees through excessive lending.

There are those who think that China has over-stretched and it certainly has been guilty in recent years of emulating the western banks’ excessive lending. But the way of the East has always been very different to that of the West. Where we seek instant solutions, the Eastern way is to play for the long term. Patience is the name of the game.

If you think China might collapse any time soon, take a look at Australia, Africa and South America: all of which are now unofficial colonies of the Land of the Dragon. It’s just that no one is talking about it in the mainstream media. Europe and America will soon follow suit.

The other element to look at is the sheer number of people that the Chinese have at their disposal. Manpower is the crucial resource when it comes to creating an empire and China has more manpower than any other country (India still being behind in other ways).

They are also willing to export this resource because they need more space at home. They work harder and longer than any other people I know. And they will undercut the prices of locals who try to compete with them without a second thought.

All this is a recipe for success; for the Chinese rather than the West, where we have come to expect plenty in return for nothing.

But, can the banking systems survive at all? Yes is the answer, but only if the fiat currencies that they currently use are replaced by something “real”: which means returning to the gold standard or devaluing them by subtler means.

As a matter of fact, the governments of USA and Europe are already doing all they can to devalue their currencies without anyone noticing. If they can drive their currency rates close to parity with the price of gold, they will be able to make the transition more easily. Watch this space, as they say.

Opening things even wider, I believe we are undergoing a re-evaluation of what we, the common people, think currency is. It is more than just money, that’s for sure.

Health, Wealth, Spirit, Love and Self Expression are all forms of currency and it feels to me as though the tipping point is coming when enough people begin to remember this. When times are hard, we fall back on things that we truly value, such as love, friendship, connection. And times are going to get “harder.” So, a shaking of the current financial system, which is really nothing more than a high-level con, may be a good thing in long term, releasing us from the bondage of materialism and isolation and paving the way for a more integrated, sharing world.

On the more profound level I also feel our groaning planet saying “enough is enough!” It has had enough of the male-oriented ego-based policies that have dominated the last few centuries and we would all do well to remember the old prophecies (from all around the world, not just the Mayan Calendar) that speak of a time when the Earth itself decides to start a new era, bringing in climatic changes, collisions with asteroids and so on as a way of purging itself.

Already we have seen examples of this, with more droughts, floods, extreme weather fluctuations. It is my view that unless and until we shift the way we do things, this trend will continue. We get what we give – and we are giving our environment one heck of a kicking right now.

I’m not apocalyptic about this. We can change the course of events if we choose to. It’s entirely up to us. But we have to make decisions based on love, compassion and connection, rather than profit, ego and competition. We can do it. We just have to trust ourselves and each other, applying to our true natures; our Divine Selves.

When we relearn the art of respecting the planet on which we live, it will respect us in turn. If we return to the ways of listening to it, following the rhythm of its breath, rather than imposing our own, we will make it through.

It doesn’t have to take a long time either. Seismic shifts in consciousness can happen amazingly fast. One day people thought the Earth was flat, the next they knew it was round.

Whichever way you look at it, there is some kind of financial collapse imminent. An infection must be healed for the body to regain balance. The likelihood is that the whole house of cards will have to come down and be rebuilt. If this happens, you will see scenes like those in post-war Germany, when a barrow load of cash bought little more than a loaf of bread.

How to combat this? For now, it would be wise to consider divesting yourself of some of the “blue collar shares” you may have, replacing them with gold, silver or rare metals. Consider moving out of cities, if you can. You can be sure that we will see more riots and civil unrest in the coming years than we have seen for a generation. Martial Law is not a thing of the past.

It might also be a smart move to change from looking for instant profits to thinking in terms of asset protection. A lot of folks are about to have the roof blown away from over their heads as financial institutions are brought to their knees. In such times, preserving assets is just as good as gleaning profits. Now is a good moment to remind yourself that the return OF your money is more important than the return ON it.

Above all, we can ALL make a difference to the way things unfold in the next few years, simply by turning back to the oldest way of making choices available to us, the way that never fails to nurture both ourselves and the planet on which we live: our intuition.

When we follow our intuitions unerringly we always do what is best for us all, for our intuitions are the culmination of millennia of learning, whereas our ego-based thoughts only came to the fore in recent centuries.

The key is that odd-looking word “unerringly,” whose path one of inner faith.

Until next time,

Richard.

Learn how you can come through the challenges ahead at www.resonancewithlife.com

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

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Occupy Yourself – The Gift That Keeps On Giving

When my photography is at it’s best, it takes me to a place of reverence. To that sense of eternity, to the place where the lines between me and the rest of the world, are not so rigid, where old boundaries and definitions begin to dissolve. That’s where I want to live, – both with my cameras and without them. To be there as the watcher, the appreciator, the celebrator, and eventually just the lover of the incredible beauty that I see on this earth. (iPhone photo) “Celebrate What’s Right with the World!”  ~Dewitt Jones, Photojournalist

Dear Richard,

I start with this quote from Dewitt Jones and his almost ethereal picture taken on Molokai, HI.  This is the time of year when I stop to be more than my usual everyday grateful and take on a reflective look at life.

There is something about the shorter daylight that invites me to slow down and notice Now.  Taking time to appreciate, watch and celebrate what is around me every single moment possible enriches my life, breath, relationships and results in a willingness to let go of preconceived notions and simply be, like Dewitt says, the lover.

I find the holidays challenging at times to just be this lover.  Although meant to be celebratory this is naturally the time of entering a cycle of “hibernation” when our bodies innate rhythms actually want to slow us down, rest deeply, read by the fire, and go on an inward journey.  We are instead called out to shop, eat, drink and be merry.

As we enter the turning of the seasons this coming week on Winter Solstice I am asking the question – what truly has meaning in the small moments that make up the whole of our lives?  The answers gestate in the darkness and in an instant of time can emerge into consciousness as if they have always been there.

Instead of wondering how to attain or attract certain things in our life that mind says we must have to be happy, what if we stated – If I am whole, peaceful, and happy now then I will attract__________ .

It is from that place of wholeness as the observer and appreciator of life that everything arises from, not the other way around.  If I am in the guilt of the past or the fear of the future, then I am not present to celebrate this moment.

To notice the spider web sparkling in the sun, the smile of the man on the street holding his sign when I engage with him, the beauty of a tree blazing with color in December, the voice of my granddaughter on the phone, the feel of moving freely on the dance floor with others celebrating body and breath, laughing so hard that tears stream down my face…the opportunity to love another and to be the beloved.

Expanding further what if, like David Wilcox says in the video Occupy Yourself, the entire galaxy itself is an intelligent being.  Could our mind be simply a cell within the mind of the galaxy?

If this is so, then every thought we have has the potential to change and shift the entire Universe.   The ultimate dissolving of boundaries and boxed in definitions of what life is all about.

Occupying the pause between the next inhale and exhale has the potential for brilliant awakening.  Will the pause be long enough to simply BE the lover of the moment?

This holiday season I am choosing to occupy myself just as I am so that others can be free to do the same.  Reverence for the life I have been given.  How about you?

With Love – Wishing All A Blessed Solstice and Holiday Season,

Gaye

WEBSITE www.ResonanceWithLife.com

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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.

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Learning How To Dance In The Rain

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”  ~Unknown Author

Dear Richard,

Something very powerful happened to me last week.  This “something” has been unfolding itself over the last month or more in a rather “stormy” time when I am TRUSTING that my bank account will soon see streams of income flowing in based on the heart and creative centered actions that I am taking one step at a time.

Instead of contracting into scarcity it was my decision to change my mindset – as you Richard so eloquently spoke of in your last post – and to “dance in the rain” instead.  My dancing had to do with a regular “street person” that I see frequently as I take the same route to places that I frequent.

Mother Theresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly endless”.   I believe that words, actions, smiles, creative, spontaneous, and anonymous acts of kindness and generosity all contribute to being the change we wish to see in the world.

There are opportunities all around us. Perhaps you see the person with a sign, standing on the median divider on a road well traveled, as someone who has a story to tell and gifts to give.

Who are they? What set of circumstances lead to their being there?  Do you roll up your window and pretend that you are busily engaged, or do you acknowledge them with a smile or a wave, or deeper yet as a whole human being who has needs just like you do and gifts to share.  Do you engage in conversation while you wait for the light to change?

One day I was curious about just such a person.  His name is Joseph and his sign is a little different.  He holds a picture of a friend that he has drawn and calls himself a disabled artist.  Not satisfied to just give him money, I wanted to know his story.  What transpired over a period of about 6 weeks was a back and forth dialog in which I challenged him to draw a self portrait which I would pay him for.

Result?  We looked forward to seeing each other when I passed by and there were always a few words shared and stories told about the project that I had given him.  When he came up against a perceived “roadblock” to completing this assignment we mutually brainstormed about how to get around it.

The day Joseph presented me with the piece – I parked near by and walked to the place where he stood – I was amazed at the skill and creative genius that was captured in the stunning self portrait that captured his essence.  I handed him the money that I had promised.  In return he was so elated to have this creative gift received in such a positive way that not only was a hug forthcoming, but there was a promise of more art to come.

Now I may never really know what impact this has made in his life, but for me I felt so much gratitude for the self-portrait and the meaning behind it. This person is making the best of his life and not willing to give up on the artistic gift that he has been given.  I received from him the courage to keep taking my steps no matter what the outward monetary circumstances may be in my own life.

I might add that when I said to him one day passing by, before he finished the picture, that I knew it was more of a challenge to do a self-portrait, he said to me – “I like a challenge”.  And he did!

Now, if I would have never engaged him in the first place out of a place of curiosity directed from the heart, then none of this would have happened.  The day that we exchanged portrait for money – all forms of energy – I felt more open and receptive to what my own life was calling me to do.

Next time there is a “storm” in my life I will be looking for the dance steps to take certain that the echos of my footsteps will be endless….will you?

With Love,

Gaye

WEBSITE www.ResonanceWithLife.com

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Wide Open Mindful – Resting Within Change

Dear Richard,

Recently it became very clear to me once again (it seems we have to keep teaching ourselves these same lesson over and over!) that there will never, ever be another day just like the one I am experiencing now.  Not even close.  Change is what happens every single moment of our lives.  We work so hard to keep things “the same”, yet that is absolutely impossible.

What if you had finished an appointment having had your hair cut and had an hour to wait until a friend of yours arrived to share lunch in the same location.  Mind might have you going off to do errands, getting on some electronic device, going to a regular walking path about a mile away, or wondering what the heck you were going to do with that time.

In fact, you had gotten in the car and were about to drive away and lose your precious parking spot, were in fact half way out of it, and then stopped completely as you took a breath and realized that perhaps there might be a different opportunity right here where you were.  Magically,  directly ahead of you, a well worn dirt path past a baseball diamond appeared.

Locking your car and putting on walking shoes the journey begins.  A short little dip in the path lands you on a most amazing walking path shaded by trees and along a waterway.  It feels as if you have just stepped down into an imaginary world so different from the business of the city just above.

This in fact did happen to me recently.  A path much less frequented than the one that I would have driven a mile or so away to walk upon – and filled with the magic of herons, mallards, squirrels, birdsong, a multitude of trees, and smiling faces of all ages.

Walking an unknown path often means that you wake up to what is around you, seeing and experiencing things in a different manner.   In reality we always walk a different path every single moment of our lives adapting, changing and creatively maneuvering each step along the way.  Yet, if we don’t pay attention, we miss huge segments of our lives completely!

A young female mallard that I watched closely on this particular walk reminded me of this change.  Seated on a rock wall with my legs dangling, reaching towards the lake not far below, I watched this particular female attempt to negotiate with the wind that was blowing across the water.  Her small community of other ducks had found a place to stand on rocks basking in the sun with their heads turned backwards into their feathers to rest.

Yet, this duck decided that the wind was much too cold for her so she kept attempting to shelter behind a rock while floating on the water.  As soon as she would get her head settled back into her feathers to sleep the wind and tide would take her out of her shelter and in direct contact with the wind as well as her sleeping companions.

Abruptly taking her head out from sleep position she would paddle back to the same place that she was in before.  I watched this happen over and over and over again.  Does it sound familiar to you?!  Finally after 15 minutes of this she realized that this just wasn’t going to work as the perpetual movement of tide and wind were very much in control of whether she was going to rest in a sheltered place.

I, of course, saw several places that she could rest in without being blown about, and proceeded to tell her so suggesting that she ground herself someplace to rest.  Applause on my part broke out as I watched her settle herself on top of a nearby rock, take her head back into her feathers, and sleep.  Now this was in the wind, but instead of being moved about by the ever changing currents she found that there was a way to rest within the elements.

What I learned from this young female duck is that adapting to the ever present changes in order to take a restful time out is part of living with the constant ebb and flow of each moment.  Doing the same thing over and over again and not achieving what you really want has a useful lesson in it.

Allow the shifts and changes to teach you about possibilities.  Imagine into another way.  The day you wake up to this coming morning will never be repeated in just the same way as it is today.  What an amazing adventure!

With Love,

Gaye

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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.

Surrendering to Emergence

Dear Richard,

Emerging is a theme that is happening constantly all around us.  Whether it is transforming within embodied form or  passing on to become part of the vibration and energy that is a part of all change.  Everything is interacting with everything else and co-creation emerges.

Your last post Richard points the way to this within and without of the emergence that is constantly present.  This unseen rhythm is felt, and somehow is becoming more real to many of us as we remember the deep interconnection that orients all of life.

It is just this that I want to give a personal example of from last night.    Let’s just say that events of the last few days have conspired to test my awareness and my willingness to be out of balance.  Black and white anxiety based thinking, and ego driven control resulted in what I call a “crash and burn” syndrome tipping me way off center.

It is not important what the “crash and burn” details are, but more relevant are the ways in which I was informed that being out of balance had some definite rewards and rich territory within to explore.  Releasing attachment to being “in” balance brought me back  “in balance” if you can believe that!  It also brought experiences  that will serve well the next time a tidal wave comes into my life!  And there will be those times for all of us.

What I couldn’t see, feel or even conceptualize was right there within the territory of imbalance.  After a few days of dwelling in this place of imbalance an event happened that took me so far into an emotional outpouring that my black and white thinking and presupposed conception of what next steps to take were shattered.  Other possibilities then emerged…and I surrendered.

Last night was the second night in my new home sanctuary here in Austin, Texas.  There is quite a bit of space as no furniture or other niceties of home have been placed or chosen yet.  Now I could be in a hurry to get this remedied (black and white thinking) or I could surrender to the feeling of spaciousness and light coming into and out of this dwelling surrounded by trees and green space.

I chose the latter – and nature contrived to send me numerous messages within my dream and awakened sleep time.  There was a visitation.  Right about now you may be thinking that I am certainly crazy, but I do believe that it isn’t until we remove ourselves from a rigid cultural and past experience controlled perception of how and when we should think and act that we can truly open into our lives.

I was visited by what I call the Spirit of the Breath….and the force and flow of the rain.  Deep in the wee hours of the night my entire being was aware of “being breathed”.  There was absolutely no effort involved and the freedom and sensual feeling was way beyond what I experience in my day-to-day life.  All breathing spaces within my body were expanding softly, fully, powerfully and with grace and absolute ease.

The pleasure and ease of being breathed is what I believe we innately are coming to as the global shift speeds up.  As we individually and mutually agree to move into and out of balance deep trust will emerge that we will find our way.

Our breath moves out of shallow, holding and contracted states in order for the Earth and all life to heal.  We are living in and connected to a breathing Earth and are a direct reflection of what is going on throughout the cosmos. We are the Earth.

Woken up from within this deep breathing state the rain came next pouring through my open sliding door reminding me to come back home to flow.  Informed by this water element, of which we are a major part, that there is a way around obstructions by surrendering to the pathway that is always to be found.  Going out of our way at times…… trusting that the larger Source always calls us home.

Natures messages and the rhythm of my own breath remain signposts along the way as a reminder to come home to the possibilities imbedded in each moment.  Are we waking up and collaboratively emerging? Or are we demanding control, in denial,  or running away?  I trust that I am part of the first group.  How about you??

With Love,

Gaye

WEBSITE:

www.IgniteWealthNow.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Dragonfly Teachings and The Quickening

Dear Gaye,

A little while ago we talked about the dragonfly larva that crawls up a stem from
a life submerged underwater into a life in the air. We mentioned how it will sit waiting for the sun towarm its body before it hatches out. Then it will sit some more as its wings dry.  Then it takes to the air and flies.

I know that just recently you have been seeing lots of dragonflies and, given how we both feel (which is that nature sends us messages each moment of each day) I thought it would be fun to look at how all these dragonfly messages tie in with our recent posts on non-resistance, trust and “going with the flow”.

You put it just perfectly last time: resistance is futile – and a doorway to freedom. I guess the dragonfly is a perfect example of this. It goes through a huge shift, yet it never resists the outcome of its actions. Instead it follows the call of its instincts, pulled inexorably upwards from the liquid environment it has known as its home and taking wing because it knows that is the only way to go.

Let’s open this out a little. Movement is at the heart of everything. Nothing stays
static, not even for one moment. Not one cell of your body, not the room you
are sitting in now, nor the yard outside, nor the woods, the hills or the
fields…not one single thing in the whole universe is totally still right now. Even
the spaces between are forever moving to the dance of the Game of Life.

Within you and me and everything else there lies a subtle sound, a frequency
that creates all this movement. It draws us all together, uniting us in its
resonance no matter where we were born or what our upbringing taught us.

I believe that as we transition into following the ways of the Divine Design, this
frequency becomes more apparent, because we start to fully trust our intuitions.
The reason is real simple. Intuition means to be “taught from within”. But within
what? Within the body, yes, but where does the body end and space begin?
Where is the separation between what’s inside and what’s “outside” it?

The answer is that there is none! Separation is just an idea. It doesn’t really exist.
We don’t end where our bodies end. We just keep on going! The difference is that we can’t see the bits of us that are outside our bodies: but we know that they
are they. They’re out there, forever fingering the world around us, millions of waves of electro-magnetic energy, learning, processing and giving us instant
feedback to what’s happening not just nearby, but as far away as you can imagine too…

We’re hardwired into this world of feedback, no matter how much we might try to deny it!

So, when we follow our intuitions we are being taught both from within and without. We’re listening to the part of us that reaches in and in and in – and  we’re listening to the part of us that goes out and out and out.  The secret is to know that both parts of us touch every atom of matter, each moment of time.  We’re truly interconnected.

I believe you are right, Gaye. This is a time when plenty of us are waking up from
the collective slumber that we have been in. It’s a time when our perceptions
speed up as we evolve and adapt to new ways of doing things.

We’re each of us like the dragonfly, moving out from the parameters of an old
way of doing things. And our ability to change the course of the future from one
in which we destroy the fragile balance of the planet around us to one in which
we can survive and thrive may well depend on how well we learn to listen to the
messages all around us, the messages of the Spirit Within and the Spirit
Without.

It could just be that it’s birth-time for the human race. If so, it’s a birth that will take us to places we cannot as yet be sure of. But it has to be worth emerging
from the pond. It has to be worth letting our wings dry, as they surely will,
before we take off on the next stage of our adventure, not knowing where we
will land, but enjoying our new-found agility, taking deep breaths of a new
kind of air, our multi-coloured bodies shining in the sunlight…

Will we learn to heed the call of the Spirit Within and the Spirit Without? Will we return to the ways of our ancestors, who knew all too well that there is no such thing as separation between one life and another and that the natural world around us truly does tell us all we need to know? I think so, yes.

We just have to be humble enough to re-learn the proud art of asking for its guidance – and then taking actions that are 100% in line with what’s best for us all.

With my love and best wishes,

Richard.

www.IgniteWealthNow.com