Monday, 21 July 2014

Spiritual Egotists

I had an interesting conversation with a Kung Fu master last week. In his school they work very hard to keep a lid on people's egos. This has two purposes: to make sure everyone is open to learning, and to cut down on the number of meat-heads that just want to bash some skulls.

When he found out that I give psychic readings he started to ask a lot of questions that had to do with why I do what I do. I told him plainly: I just want to give people the tools they need to move things forward in a positive direction.

He probed further: what did I hope for in the future? Did I hope for success?

I told him what I tell everyone: I would love to spend all day every day doing this work, but I've learned the hard way that I'm not to pursue it to excess. I get too caught up in the results, and end up tripping myself up. If it's supposed to happen, it will happen. I'm just trying to stay out of the way of what fate has in store.

For some reason this made him happy, but he had one more question: was I any good?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

What Is This Here To Teach Me?

When hard times come, we're often told to focus on gratitude and positive thoughts. Unfortunately, we're not often told how to do that. As a result people tend to avoid thinking about things that bother them entirely, or try to chase those problems away and beat them down with a variety of spiritual practices. They suppress the negative in favour of the positive. Essentially: they enter denial.

Oddly, this doesn't make their problems go away. Why not? If you're filling your vision with wonderful things, shouldn't more wonderful things come?

That is usually the case, but if something is bothering you, then it's too late: that thing exists. It will continue to exist and continue to affect you whether you pay it any mind or not. In fact, if something is truly aggravating, denial only puts it in charge of all of the subconscious resources that govern your life. Denial empowers your problems.

The key is to not deny your hard times, but transcend them.

Transcendence comes from acceptance. One must accept, whole-heartedly, the difficulty one is enduring. That's the first step.

The easiest and most effective way I've found to do this is to ask: "what is this here to teach me?" I don't always expect an answer, although sometimes I get lucky and the answer is self-evident.

The key, though, is in the asking. By doing this you send love to the issue by acknowledging it for the gift it is. You are being taught something you couldn't learn any other way, and you're going to stay in this class until you've learned your lesson.

Knowing what that lesson is, specifically, doesn't really matter. Trust that some day in retrospect you'll understand the positive changes that occurred inside of you as a result. For now though, just accept that this is something necessary to help you grow. Be grateful for the pain as one might be grateful for a surgical procedure or a splint being set for a broken bone. You don't have to enjoy it, mind you, but do ensure that you acknowledge that you are being healed and strengthened by it.

You'll find you stop pushing your problem away now. Rather, you simply wait for it to pass, knowing that it won't leave until the lesson has been integrated into your being.

At this point something interesting starts happening: by reflex, you allow healing that you were interfering with before. This hard time has wanted to pass for a long time, but it needed to do its work first. Now that you're allowing it to improve you, the healing process is naturally accelerated and things can start moving again.

We can call this moment "transcendence". From this place you'll find it easy to put the suffering in context, without feeling like a victim or a helpless sufferer. These things are happening. They are making you better in a way you really aren't supposed to understand yet. That's okay.

Now, while I'm waiting, what else is there to do today?

And here we are; we've arrived. It is safe to search for positive and loving things to occupy yourself with while the hard time works itself out. The attention you would give your difficulty now can rest on the level of waiting at a bus stop. Keep your eyes open for the bus (the final solution, the problem passing, the moment of healing), but meanwhile trust that it is definitely coming eventually. The problem will pass, it is inevitable.

While you wait, occupy yourself with something good. This is your moment of transcendence; you fully acknowledge and accept the things that you don't like, understand that it is temporary, a part of your learning process, and a tiny part of existence, and then spend your time exploring things that you do like. Soon, the things you do like will be the only things your life is filled with any more, and you can look back with gratitude for the lessons you were gifted with over time.

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

All Things Are Possible

Looking for an all-in-one enlightenment tool?Consider this phrase: "all things are possible." Attack this with your whole heart and your intuitive powers will skyrocket.

It's a difficult thing to truly accept. If you think it's easy, or that you even understand the phrase completely, you haven't given this notion the attention it deserves. You don't have to trust me on this, I'm about to prove it to you.

Before I continue though, I'd like to say that the following is both complex and, when truly contemplated, a bit disturbing. Please feel free to email me later if you'd like help working through some of what follows.

Now, give it another few moments:

All things are possible.

Let me walk you through just a few of the various philosophical exercises on this spiritual all-in-one workout machine.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Our Relationship With Physical Things

Our house just flooded. It was quite the marvelous catastrophe.

Sometime in the morning, while we were at work, the water return pipe in the bathroom upstairs split and started pumping water onto the floor. It washed down the cold air return, destroying the furnace. The carpets outside of the bathroom were soaked, and water washed down into the floor below.

From there things got interesting. The water moved through the main floor's ceiling, dripping everywhere, eventually creating holes allowing it to pour more freely. The main floor was eventually drenched. Then, the process repeated itself in the basement. By the time the leak was discovered a large section of the ceiling down there had caved in, and several inches of water had accumulated.

Ultimately, due to mold and rot concerns, we were forced to move out the next day. This was almost two weeks ago, and last I checked the place still hadn't dried.

That first night though, after sending our daughter to a friend's house, we decided to spend the night there hoping against hope that everything would be fine. Industrial dehumidifiers on every floor and dozens of huge fans shook the place, and we sincerely hoped that somehow, some way, the water would dry out and we wouldn't be forced from the place that had been our home for the past decade.

Even as we laid there in bed that night, the room thundering like a factory floor, we knew in our hearts that this was the end of our life in this place.

Somehow it was difficult to be upset about it though. Even though this was the end of this house, it was hardly the end of us.

So the next morning, when the place only got more humid and the carpets only seemed to get more soaked, we went about the business of packing the place up as quickly as possible. Since time was against us and we needed to extract the critical stuff first, we packed asking one question above all else: "do we really need this thing?"

The answer was astounding. As we packed up our house, we discovered hundreds of pounds of keepsakes, appliances, books and nick-nacks that we just didn't need. The sheer volume of the objects we owned that weren't actually necessary truly astounded us. When we bought these things they were precious to us. Now, they were being tossed into extra-large black garbage bags, not worth the strain of packing properly, and were being shipped off to the Goodwill or the dumpster.

Let's be clear, though: our home has never really seemed cluttered. It wasn't until we were forced to look in every corner and forgotten drawer that we realized how many things had piled up over the years.

In the end, we got rid of almost half of everything we owned. In the new house you can't tell, it looks reasonably well furnished and we lack for nothing. We just de-cluttered.

What I never could have anticipated is how amazing this feels. It's true what they say: our possessions end up owning us. Getting rid of them truly has made us feel free, and living in this new house feels much more civilized and healthy knowing that there isn't anything hiding in the corners or forgotten in cupboards.

I'm not saying that I'm ready to live a monk's life (we're still looking for the "right" new couch, for instance) but now we only let things in that will serve our lives, and immediately rid ourselves of useless baggage. Our attitudes have really shifted, and we find that when we see something beautiful in the world we're no longer as inclined to want to own it. The thought of owning something we don't need, in fact, has begun to seem strangely self-destructive.

This fresh start feels so good, it's a wonder we didn't do it ages ago. Spring is coming up. Plan some cleaning. You'll be amazed how it affects your mind and soul.

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Growth Means Becoming Someone Else

You can't become the person you want to be unless you're willing to let go of the person you are.

I knew a guy once who used to say "well I'm just like that, that's just who I am," at least twice during every conversation we ever had.

This meant that, as the years wore on, he never did anything new. Everything was filtered through the thought "is this who I really am? Am I a guy that does something like that?" Then he'd go inside, look for a memory of something he had experienced that might be similar, and if he didn't find one he'd refuse to participate.

You could say that this was his Ego dominating his life. His current state was the perfect state, and must not be touched.

Most people sense the inherent danger in this. To truly live and extend oneself, you must leave your comfort zone. You must do something wonderful and new even if it "isn't you". The alternative is to lead a stagnate, colourless life.

Recently I was reminded that there is another step. Dipping your toe in unfamiliar waters just to see what is there is only the beginning.

What if there's something you want to do that is radically different than the way you've been your whole life? What if you want to learn a new language, or become a musician, or an aerobics instructor? What if there's absolutely nothing in your entire life that would indicate you could pull any of that off, but you've decided that it's something you want?

First of all, if you're on the fence about something like this, I hereby encourage you to go for it. Life is far too long to spend it suffering in the hell that is "what if".

Next, spend a half-hour every single day doing the new thing. Now, your life won't accommodate the new thing because you don't currently do the new thing. That isn't who you are. But if you want it to become this new person who does this thing, then something else is going to have to be removed for a half-hour a day.

This is where the sacrifice of who you were comes in. Something in your life is going to have to go away so that you can replace it with this new thing.

That might be easy. After all, you might be the kind of guy who spends 3 hours watching TV every night. Now you can be a 2 hour a night kind of guy. That'll be just the way you are.

Or, it might be hard. You might be pushed for family time, work time, and your volunteer work on top of all of the housework that never seems to be caught up. If that's the case, either your work hours or the volunteer hours need shaving back, or someone else is going to have to handle more housework. In any case, you're going to have to pick something and let it go.

Or, it might be nearly impossible. You might be trying to change a habit or get over a phobia that has controlled you all your life. Letting go of these things you do in favor of NOT doing them is tough. Still, people do it every day. You just have to decide to do it, figure out what you want to replace it with, and go out there to find the help you need to cross the finish line.

No matter what the case, however, everything is always possible as long as you're willing to let go of your old life in favor of the new one. To our Ego, that sounds a bit like dying. It will fight back with anger and fear and bitter cynical "but you don't understand" nonsense. Ignore it, and change anyway.

Kill the Ego definition of who you are, and give birth to the new Ego definition of who you are becoming.

Just one last thought: the things we say and do in a day define us. Thinking and dreaming don't count. So if you've read a new book and adopted a new philosophy, more power to you, but you haven't changed unless either your actions or your words have. Don't let the Ego trick you into thinking that simply wishing will make it so!

Now. The world is yours. How would you like to enjoy it?

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Friday, 3 January 2014

Manifestation Fundamentals: Aim, Relax, and Push Only When Conditions Are Right

If you look very carefully around the Niagara Region these past few days you might have noticed that we're getting a bit of snow.

This makes driving conditions tricky. Worse, for some reason the de-icing spray they put on the QEW this year seems to be converting the snow into a slick gel-like substance that has sent, quite literally, over 400 cars into the ditch so far this season according to the OPP.

In short: this has got to be the most fun driving season we've had in ages!

I mean, usually it's completely easy. You pick a direction, stomp on the gas, and know that eventually you're going to get there. Boring. Most of the time you don't even remember the trip.

Now, though, the experience is really spiced up. Slam that gas pedal and you absolutely will find yourself spinning out of control. You have to feather it, paying attention to how much traction you have and how much momentum you can create. You also have to be watching way, way ahead to see what the traffic is doing, if the lights are changing, and if anybody is going to come stumbling out into the road.

The difficulty level on this game just went way up, and you'll remember the trip when you get home!

How this relates to manifestation is fairly obvious. Life is not a perfectly smooth asphalt surface that you have complete control over. It's messy, variable, and if you achieve guru-like skills you will still only ever have a clumsy control over your momentum at best.

So, work with it:
  •  Decide on your goal. Get it fixed in your mind, and keep an eye on it wherever you are, whatever you are doing. (Watch where you're going.)
  • Watch for obstacles, and react accordingly. This way they may get in your way, but will never stop you for long. (Keep scanning traffic and looking way ahead.)
  • Quitting anything abruptly or spontaneously is dangerous. Think things through, and if you leave projects that aren't getting you where you want to go, do so gracefully. (Never slam on the brakes!)
  • When you seem to be pulled off course (taking a corner in the snow), relax (take your foot off the gas) and just go where life is taking you while never losing sight of your goal. Keep aiming at your goal, but don't fight against the momentum. Work with it.
  • When it seems like you have all the tools you need and the obstacles are out of the way, don't hesitate! It is time to achieve your goal! (Hit the gas when you get grip again.)

Safe driving everyone!

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