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!
This morning’s post is not so much a response to yours as a simple story of an experience I had this morning, although it does link in with our recent thread on receiving messages from what goes on around us.
I’m writing this from the busy metropolis that is Hong Kong where I’m scheduled to speak at a seminar later in the week. I’ve been here before, but it’s always something of a shock to come to a place so full of hustle and bustle when one is used to living in the countryside. I enjoy the contrast, in smallish doses!
This morning I was up and out early walking the streets, when I came upon a small park in the middle of the city: a few trees and some benches, with a handful of birds hopping about collecting their breakfast.
On one of the benches sat an old man, his ring of white hair surrounding a bald head and beneath it a face lined with the experience and wisdom of many summers. As I stood drinking in the early breeze I watched him going through a series of physical movements, slowly, deliberately (Qi Gong). First he swung his right arm out and back, repeating the movement for perhaps 30 seconds. Then the left arm. He then massaged various points on his face. He repeated this routine for some time until eventually he bowed his head in prayer.
Two things struck me as I wandered back to the comforts of my hotel. The first was that I would not have seen this beautiful sight if I had not been up and about early (it was barely 5.00a.m.) which reminded me that unlooked-for opportunities are around every corner, but that we only happen upon them when we give ourselves the chance to. Had I been tucked up in bed, or watching TV, or simply working on my laptop, I would have missed the messages of my morning walk.
The second was that peace, so often portrayed as something passive, is something to be actively practiced, especially in today’s world where everything seems to happen faster and faster and there seem to be barely enough hours in the day. I believe peace is is an essential part of wealth, because without it we have no foundation, no real sense of belonging here. Without it we cannot open up to what you called The Spirit of Breath in your last post. The Breath of Life.
How do we find peace in ourselves? For me, it is in the daily practice of the Spirit Level Technique: a combination of ancient teachings and modern day science that I have learned, adapted and practice each and every day. For this old man it was to find a relatively quiet corner within a busy city and follow his own particular routine.
What we do is perhaps not as important as the doing of it. Peace, like any other sensation, is to be explored, fingered, touched, tasted, heard, smelled and seen so that it becomes a part of our daily lives. And the more we practice the doing of it, the easier it becomes to feel it in our lives.
A third message was brought to me from seeing this old man sitting on a bench in a park in Hong Kong, which is this: no matter what our surroundings, we can find and feel peace when we choose to do so. Here was an old man sitting surrounded by high-rise buildings. The fumes of cars and the dust of the city swirled around him. Yet here he was, his head bowed in prayer, giving thanks for the breaking of a new day.
Let’s leave him there, as I did, with a smile of gratitude of our own. And let’s make the decision to make finding peace just as active a part of our lives as finding new incomes streams, improving our physical health, or sharing a smile with a loved one.
With love and best wishes,
I love the image of your two selves: the small one with the ego trying to resist things and the larger one that is beckoning to you to go with the flow, to express the energy and light with which you, like all of us, were born. I’d like to develop
this idea of different selves and suggest that we increase our power when we
stop resisting who we really are and hand ourselves over to that “larger” self.
Here’s another image for you. Think of life as a big board game. Your physical body is the counter on that board game. It’s the part that moves from square to square as you experience things in three dimensional reality. But it’s not the part of you that has the instruction manual of how to play the game in its hands. Nor is it the part of you that throws the dice.
So, who or what is it that has the rule-book? Who throws the dice and moves you around the board game of life?
The answer is: the part of you that rose to the surface through colors and feelings and led you to give out a sound of completeness: the part of you that is far, far larger and more powerful than your ego. Some people call it “spirit”, some call it “god”. I call it the Divine Self, because it is the self that truly divines what is best for you.
The names don’t really matter. What matters is that we all have it, embedded deeply within us. Divinity is not something that’s just “out there”. It’s “in here” as well. It’s the part of you that locates and experiences infinite sources of
energy and light and loves to share them with others.
We all know this when we’re small. Our Divine Self shines from us brightly as we explore the world around us, asking questions, connecting with others, being the endlessly curious and confident selves that we naturally are. That’s why listening to the laughter of small children when we’re adults, or looking into the shining eyes of a baby, is so compelling. We’re instantly transported back to a connection with who we once were…and who we still are, just beneath the surface.
As very small children we’re all truly divine. We know where we’re at. We follow our intuition at all times. We meet life head-on, accepting its mysteries without
fearing them. It’s only later that we get taught to be fearful, to not let our
genii out of the bottle, to clip our own wings.
That’s because our western education turns us towards the illusion that we are
separate from our environment. Like a virus in a computer, it deflects us from
our true potential, slowing us down and spreading to others through our
attachments. That’s why detaching yourself from outcomes is so important. If
you don’t open attachments, you don’t release the virus.
Natural Wealth is all about reconnecting with this Divine Self, because it’s my belief that as a race we have gotten to the point where we have to find a new sources of wealth, sources that are truly sustainable and that don’t involve competition with each other or destruction of our planet. And I believe that the answers lie in reconnecting with our Divine Selves.
So how do we do that? How do we strip away the layers of education and social expectancy so that our Divine Selves can come out and play? The answer is: we stop resisting the notion that they are there! Just as you talk about in your last post. We take a step sideways from “normal thinking” and allow ourselves to remember who we are. We decide to never let fear be a motivation for any of our actions, but instead to always act from love. This includes loving ourselves enough to let the resistance to expressing ourselves fall away, to allow our Divine Selves to rise to the surface and explore life’s mysteries with all the enthusiasm and passion that we had when we were small.
That really does involve letting go of the rope: the rope that our ego clutches onto so tightly, afraid of what might happen if we don’t stick to the ways we learned at school. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it, every time, because letting go of that rope brings a deep, deep breath of relief. And pretty soon afterwards we realize that the most important thing about playing the Great Game of Life is not to try to WIN it, it’s to help each other to regain the freedom to come out to play!
Keep shining brightly over there in sunny Austin, Gaye. It’s what we’re all here to do…
Natural Wealth can be found at: www.IgniteWealthNow.com