“Where your attention goes, your energy flows” is a personal mantra of mine. It’s a foundation principle for us all, because we really do create success or failure depending on where we put our attention.
As you say, avoiding pain is built deep into our fight-or-flight response mechanisms, but if we become focused on what’s causing us pain, we simply create more of it. The trick is to shift our attention from what is causing disturbance in our lives to a desired outcome. Doing this directs our thoughts away from the negative and moves them into an arena where they are free to play and have fun instead.
That sounds really simple and it is, but it’s not always easy!
Most of us have friends or relatives who direct our attention (and therefore energy) toward the negative. Most of us pay attention to the news bulletins on our radios, television sets or Ipads/phones; and the more attention we pay to those things, the worse we feel. We can even make ourselves “sick with worry” about “how bad everything is”.
So we have to get strict with ourselves and those around us. We have to step in and stop something when it becomes obvious that it’s putting our attention toward something that is dragging our energy down.
With friends it can be a simple process of redirecting the conversation towards something else. With the media, it’s a case of tuning out, switching off the endless stream of debilitating words, images and sounds that makes up 99% of all current-affairs/news items.
Just starting with those two simple shifts in behaviour will make a big difference.
On a wider level seeking out sustainable forms of wealth means broadening our approach. In our definition of wealth, we include money, health, love, perfect self expression and spiritual wellbeing. Those are the five elements of Natural Wealth that you and I talk about at www.resonancewithlife.com. It’s important to put our attention equally to all five, because that leads to being fed and nurtured in a truly balanced way.
To answer your specific question about how we deal with coming changes and possible collapses of whole banking systems: my personal view is that although things appear to be calmer right now, we’re on course for hitting a major ice-berg.
We’re already seeing a systematic devaluing of the dollar and euro and this process will continue. It could be that both currencies have to be completely scrapped and re-started (as the Deutschmark was in Germany last century) which would mean a huge re-adjustment for us all.
Something major will have to happen. Western banks can’t continue to add billions to the coffers, because those billions don’t really exist. It’s a confidence trick: nothing more, nothing less. At some point the “toxic” derivative issue will rear its head and then a real panic could set in.
How to deal with this? As ever, do what few people are doing. Buy what is being sold off and sell anything that ties you to any potential banking collapse. To me this means putting attention towards “real” wealth builders, such as gold and silver and rare metals. Real estate in some places will be a good bet too (again, thinking outside the box, and keeping an eye on where China and Russia are putting their money will help).
Aside of that, shifting the emphasis of wealth from being simply about material gain always helps. Keeping our bodies fit, allowing our creative sides to find expression, spending time with loved-ones: all these are just as important as the pursuit of money – and will set us in good stead should our currencies be devalued.
Think of it this way: money is just one form of currency. Health, love, friendship, creation and laughter are also forms of currency. They’re similar exchanges of energy. And they pay us back in ways that are equally nourishing (if not more).
How do we measure our lives? What are our yardsticks of success? Is what we are currently paying attention to adding to our vitality or depleting it?
Those are questions for each of us to answer. As we seek those answers we can remind ourselves that wherever our attention goes, our energy will flow. So, it pays dividends to pay attention to what we are paying attention to!
And I think it also pays to remember that: “Not all the gold of the richest kings is worth the memory of happy things.”
Until next time,
Check out http://www.resonancewithlife.com for our full Natural Wealth Course and other products!
Sustainable sources of wealth for our families and communities. That is what stuck with me after reading your last post Richard. We have a broad perspective on wealth at ResonanceWithLife, however it feels important to me to take a look at how our culture defines wealth and our part in the creation of that. Where do we individually, and as communities, put our attention?
Recently I was given a very strong lesson in this universal principle – where we put our attention the energy always flows – and oftentimes makes it even stronger than it would normally be than if we put our attention in other places . The universal tendency is to place attention on what is NOT working. That could be pain, emotional upheavals, stress at work, interpersonal connections – most anything. I thought I was immune being a particularly positive person…but turns out that I certainly am not!
It is easy to see this very strong biological imprint in action that rests deeply within our cellular make up. This survival instinct has us always on the look out for anything that seems to imbalance or threaten our life as we know it. Thus, we tend to put attention on the negative things as they seem to be what is threatening us – even if they really aren’t!
For example in a recent yoga class we were asked to consciously shift our attention from our “screaming hamstring muscles” in a particular forward bend. Instead we were asked to think of someone we love and put our attention there. Immediately when our attention was taken off of the pain, the discomfort actually lessened, and in my case I realized that my range of motion also increased.
Yet another lesson in this universal principle occurred recently within a powerful change in my own daily life. Focusing on all of the negative factors put me in a place of extreme STRESS. I wasn’t happy and the stress was building. Physical health and life energy were being compromised as my new set of circumstances brought daily challenges which I was perceiving as negative. I felt trapped. An entrapment of my own making as it turns out.
Then something happened to cause me to reflect on how I was thinking and where I was putting my attention. The learning curve that I was in brought with it stress, that was certain. But, where was I putting my attention?! On how much the life that I had been leading was being affected – loss of freedom and creative time, tasks that were being given to me that I either didn’t know how to do or didn’t have time to do, interpersonal conflicts that were arising all around me…and it went on.
After reflection I decided that I would try a little experiment to see if changing where I put my attention would make a difference. An intention was set for the next day. Attention went on everything that I was doing right on this learning curve, and taken off of any mistakes or inability to perform in the way that I thought that I should. This attention also included words being used to describe experiences during the day.
You might be able to guess the result of this experiment. The day went smoothly. Interpersonal connections were easier. Everyone seemed to be happier in my environment….and I was a lot less stressed!!
So….given that our economies are under tremendous pressure and changes right now, I ask the question where should we be putting out attention? On fear of loss and drastic financial change? Or ways that we truly can create sustainable sources of wealth for ourselves and our communities NOW, based on a deep planetary interconnection with all of life?
Where your attention goes, energy flows!
Your last post reminds me of the words of one of my teachers who once said to me: “It’s good to be generous to others, but you must remember to be generous to yourself!”
Perhaps this year’s New Year’s Resolution might be to follow that advice? Often we find it easy to be generous to others. We take pleasure in giving, but find it hard to be generous to ourselves. We tend to be our own worst critics, pronouncing judgements (usually negative ones) on all sorts of things, from our waist-size to the size of our bank balance.
Sometimes it’s just in our casual reactions, like saying “What an idiot I am!” under our breath when something goes wrong. Other times it can mean talking ourselves out of an opportunity. I figure we’ve all done this.
Being generous to ourselves means not talking like that any more: or, when we hear ourselves making a self-judgement, committing to taking it back each time. I find it easiest to talk to myself (sometimes even out loud!) in the third person when I hear myself say/think something negative like this. “Stop that!” I say to myself. I then overlay whatever it was that I just said with a statement of its opposite. The quicker I take action on it, the better.
Being generous to ourselves isn’t a selfish thing. It’s perhaps an essential ingredient in helping others be generous too. As above, so below. As within, so without.
Not a bad starting point for this year’s journey along the path of Natural Wealth…
Enjoy your day!
A bright and beautiful New Year to you! May 2012 bring huge rewards for you, under grace and in perfect ways.
Now that the darkest period of the year is past (we’ve already gained more than 6 minutes of light since the 21st of December!) we tend to look ahead and wonder what the year will bring.
How will 2012 be different to 2011? What gifts will we choose to give and receive? With all the hype surrounding the Mayan Calendar, I thought I would put in my two cents worth and say that, in my opinion, everything will be just fine. It’s all about choices and we can choose whatever timeline we wish to progress along. Whatever anyone says, it’s never too late to change from the dark to the light.
So far as I know the Mayan Calendar did not predict this year would see the end of the world. It simply stated that the alignment on 12/12/2012 would mark an End Time, a transition. Transitions are often accompanied by challenge and we are already seeing the challenges of our transition each and every day in the world around us, but there is nothing to fear when we choose a clear path.
I’d like to open out the image you talked about last time, that we/Earth might simply be a cell in a huge universal brain. We might indeed. In fact, the whole of our universe might simply be a single cell in a vast, inconceivably huge brain. Our universe looks remarkably like a brain cell.
The other side of that coin is that there might indeed be whole universes of existence within each one of our trillions of cells. We’re all 95% hollow. So if we go “in” far enough, seeking out what lies in the spaces between, we may find universes, galaxies, solar systems contained within!
It’s really up to us, what we find there. What do we imagine we are?
Millions of years ago an amoeba decided to split into two, imagining itself into an entirely new existence. That process has been going on ever since. Each jump in evolution is accompanied by a BIG imaginative leap, whether it be a fish imagining a life out of water so that it becomes a frog, or a lizard imagining a life off the ground and then growing wings etc.
So, as 2012 dawns, I am sitting down to write an “Imagine It” list. It includes all the elements I wish this year to bring. Writing them all down helps me, because I think about them in a different way and they become “real” in a different way too.
I won’t imagine HOW the things can happen (not yet). I’ll simply let the mind finger its way around possibilities. Any that put a smile on my face go on the list. That’s my litmus test.
I believe 2012 can be a year of huge progress for us all, both as individuals and as a race. It can be a year of light, love and compassion, if we choose for it to be so.
I imagine it already is.
With very best wishes for a wonder-full year ahead!
“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
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?
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,
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