Well, I’m done looking for ways to apply The Secret, or acquire affluence in general.
Ok, I haven’t exactly made a secret of the fact that I was uncertain about what I am passionate about – that thing the Success Guru’s call “My Calling” or “My Mission.”
After getting Natalie Ledwell’s book last week, one of the bonuses she shared was a series of interviews (usually around 15 minutes long) with acknowledged masters of the Law Of Attraction (LOA). I’ve shared in earlier posts my reaction to interviews with Bob Proctor, and Marci Shimoff. The most recent one I watched was Joe Vitale.
In this one, Natalie pointedly asked Joe what advice he’d give to anyone who didn’t know what their passion was – which immediately made me sit up a bit straighter. Here was a question I REALLY wanted the answer to! He said (and this might not be exact, but it is as close as my memory will make it) “Look at what you’re afraid to do. Your life’s purpose will be hiding right behind that which you’re most afraid of doing.”
Geee – thanks Joe. It only took me about a nano-micro-second to know EXACTLY what he was pointing at in my life. I’ve had dozens of different people, from all over the social and political spectrum, tell me that I should do it, and it actually was something I entertained the idea of pursuing when I was a kid.
Surely there has to be another way! That’s one bridge that burned beyond repair many years ago. I lit the fire, too.
In this lifetime, I am NOT going to be the President of the United States of America. That’s one reason why I made the joke on one of my earlier blogs about not running for president myself, but if someone who knew how to organize and finance a campaign wanted to start one and draft me, I’d do it. It was a safe statement, because I knew in advance that it would never happen.
I am not going to live in a fish bowl and have my every behavior scrutinized and criticized by people who can’t actually DO anything, but make a living off of making others worry. I’m not going to try to obtain a job that can’t do anything of lasting value without the cooperation of 541 elected foot-draggers and progress blockers who only care about their own profit, or their own path to power.
Besides which – someone out there kills idealists who manage to get elected and try to buck the system, or change it.
When I got this newest LOA book (newest in my collection, at least), I started very quickly with looking at how I could use my daily affirmations more effectively. One of the ideas I hit on was to make my own mind movies – just as Natalie did in her book. Problem was, I didn’t actually have any software for doing that.
So, I went online and found a freeware program called Ice Cream Slideshow Maker (I kid you not!) that looked to be capable of doing what I needed. It was easy and quick to learn, too. Oh, did you hear the “BUT” coming? Sorry.
But, when I copied the folder of images I have to the slideshow I encountered a limitation I hadn’t anticipated. My folder had 168 images in it – things that invoked feelings of health, strength, abundance, spiritual enlightenment, joy, peace – well, you get the idea. The freeware version of Ice Cream Slideshow Maker (ICSM) would only let me use 20 images in my slideshows.
Well, I made one slideshow that complied with their limits, and I liked the results, but it wasn’t REALLY what I wanted. I wanted to be able to use all 168 images – plus anything new that I might add to the folder in the future. Hmmmm….
Yesterday, part of the solution dropped into my lap, quite literally. Several years ago, I heard about a spiritual practice out of Hawaii that you might simplistically call “Responsibility Meditation”. I won’t even try to put the real name here – because I couldn’t pronounce it and I think the name just gets in the way of applying it. I think you have to have 3 tongues to get all the inflections in right (that’s a joke). I tried back then to learn more about this practice, but using the internet I could only learn the name of one practitioner, and no contact information on him. So, I shelved the idea.
What happened yesterday was that I was watching an interview with Marci Shimoff where she mentioned using this technique – and told the exact steps and phrases that she uses! It’s so simple it floored me! Now, I just needed to find a way to apply it to my meditation.
Today when I opened up my image folder, I noticed among the folder control tabs was one labeled “Slideshow”. So, I opened it up, and looked. The slideshow function gave me the ability to use the ENTIRE CONTENTS of the folder, and adjust the playback within 3 different speeds, and even randomize the playback. OKAY! Now I have everything I needed.
Oh, and FYI – those simple directions for the “Responsibility Meditation” practice are here:
Spend just 5 minutes a day, every day, meditating on whatever you want to fix. During your meditation, visualize the situation, as completely and vividly as you can, then repeat the following phrases to that visualisation, over and over:
Please Forgive Me.
I LOVE YOU.
One of the things I’m learning about applying the Law of Attraction (LOA) is that there must be an action towards the goal. You have to do something.
Well, I may not (yet) have an idea what my dream, or purpose, is, but that can’t be allowed to be a barrier to my eventually getting there. I still have to take action, if for no other reason than to show “the universe” (also known as God, the higher power, or my best self) that I’m serious about making these changes.
So, I hit on a plan of a sort. I’m going to look into doing the same thing with a video game that Natalie Ledwell did with her book. I’m going to try to write a video game that is entertaining and captivating, but at the same time teaches the player the fundamentals of using the LOA. Or, if I can get a team of people together who share my vision, perhaps my vision will be enough to guide the process, and their skill will produce the better product. I’m not sure about the details, and at this point I don’t need to be. I just have to have an idea, and start moving in that direction.
Not quite a week ago I got an email offering me a chance to take a “30 second quiz” to learn what my biggest success blocker was. Since I have all sorts of time available to kill, I took the quiz just to see what they said.
When I got the results, I wasn’t particularly impressed. It looked (to me) like something that could have been written for 20,000 other people all at the same time. But, something strange happened. The author of the quiz is also a published self-help writer, and sells her premier book for $19 USD. Because I had taken her quiz, she was offering me an e-book version of the book FOR FREE if I’d give her an email address to send it to. I did.
I read the book front-to-back in one day, and got really excited. It talks about HOW TO USE THE LAW OF ATTRACTION – and walks you through exactly how to perform the mechanical steps to make things happen. I have used daily affirmations before, and after reading the book I pulled out the list and jumped into re-writing the statements. Very excitedly, I even told several friends about this “missing link”. I’ve read the book again once every day since.
Something happened today that was a total “bolt from the blue” moment of revelation for me. I’d just sat down to my computer to read, was still in chapter one of the book, when I learned for myself what is probably the biggest reason why the Law of Attraction has never worked for me – and perhaps never will.
I have no dream. There is nothing that I can do that I am passionate about. Oh, there are LOTS of things that I can do – my job history attests to that in spades – but I’m not passionate about any of them. Never have been. Looking back into my earliest childhood memories, I can’t remember being passionate about any activity. There have been several things I’ve done over the years that I’ve been good at – Army Medic, music, math, spiritually assisting others with trauma recovery – but I can’t remember ever having a dream that I’d gladly sacrifice everything else to achieve.
No focus, no goal, no gain. The law of “Be – Do – Have” comes to mind. It basically says that in order to have the life you want, you must first figure out what you must do to get that life. Knowing what you have to do, you now need to figure out what you have to be to achieve that ability to do. Beingness first, Doingness second, Havingness results.
Learning this about myself makes me feel like a failure on a monumental scale, but I know one thing the feeling doesn’t. It opens the door to me looking inside myself, and getting to know myself more intimately than ever before, so that I CAN find that passion. This isn’t the end of my journey, just a fork in the road.
I know – I have way too much time on my hands if I have time to waste thinking about what goes on in our heads while we sleep. Still, I am in a rather unique position to do so, and motivated by one particular dream that I have so often it has become a welcome friend. I’ve blogged about this friend before – the “Superman” dream where I fly, have perfect health, and no disability. Between that and my reading of spiritual self-help guides like Joseph Campbell, I think I’m getting some insight.
First, let me be the first to tell you that there is no “mystical” component to dreams. The fact of dreaming something does not mean that the event is likely to happen. It is my considered opinion – at this time, at least – that dreams are ONLY useful for getting to know ourselves better. What makes us tick, so to speak.
With that in mind, let me tell you what a dream really is. There are three types of dreams: wishes, fears, and solutions. Solutions are VERY rare. Most dreams are our subconscious mind trying to express our deepest fears or wishes in ways that we can relate to. Take my “Superman” dream – in the first 16 years of my life, I was a fairly normal kid. I played outside, got sprained ankles and bruises. I gathered some unhealthy and unwanted negative attention because I did not fit in with my peers – my spiritual leanings were much stronger and more focused than theirs. I’d venture to guess they still are. However, just before I turned 18, I had my first real, personal, brush with mortality, in the form of the bone tumor in my left leg. I was on active duty in the US Army, and progressing through a development regimen that was contracted to culminate in Special Forces training. On the day of the surgery, I went from being as close to an ideal man as I could hope to be, to being someone who would never again be physically exceptional in any way. I’ve struggled long and hard with that, and still do. This is expressed by the frequent dream of being Superman – it is my innermost greatest dream to reclaim what was lost in the surgery suite that day.
Let me share something from Joseph Campbell’s book “The Power of Myth”. This book is a running transcript of an interview between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, and I wholeheartedly recommend reading it – again if you’ve read it before. I’m on my 4th reading.
Moyers: A man once told me that he didn’t remember dreaming until he retired. Suddenly, having no place to focus his energy, he began to dream, and dream, and dream. Do you think that we tend to overlook the significance of dreaming in our modern society?
Campbell: Ever since Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams was published, there has been a recognition of the importance of dreams. But even before that there were dream interpretations. People had superstitious notions about dreams – for example, “Something is going to happen because I dreamed it is going to happen.”
Moyers: Why is myth different from a dream?
Campbell: Oh, because a dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society’s dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.
Moyers: So if my private dreams are in accord with the public mythology, I’m more likely to live healthily in that society. But if my private dreams are out of step with the public –
Campbell: — you’ll be in trouble. If you’re forced to live in that system, you’ll be a neurotic.
Moyers: But aren’t many visionaries and even leaders close to the edge of neuroticism?
Campbell: Yes, they are.
Moyers: How do you explain that?
Campbell: They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience —- that is the hero’s deed.
I’m not trying to say that I’m some sort of hero, just because I’m out of step with mainstream society. Nor am I saying that I should be a leader. But, mainstream society is not built out of leaders and heroes – it is built out of sheep. Followers. People who prefer conformity to adventure because it is safe.
Incidentally, that is why Hollywood makes hundreds of millions of dollars for mass producing epic adventure stories on film. It gives the sheep the experience of adventure without the risk or the societal estrangement. For sheep, it is the perfect escape.
During this last week of 2016, many people’s thoughts are turning towards the annual “New Year Resolution” ritual. Millions will make anywhere from a few to dozens of decisions about how to change their lives for the better – and if history is any indication, 98% of all resolutions will be in the waste bin before the new POTUS is sworn in.
So, I have been thinking about life itself for some time, and I’ve noticed something. Ever since the early ’80’s there has been a trend of people demanding ever more of themselves, and businesses demanding ever more of their employees. This inevitably results in people multi-tasking (trying to do several things at once, like a woman driving her car while eating breakfast and using the rear-view mirror to put on her makeup). I’ve even seen people BRAG about how much they can get done by trying to multi-task.
I have news for you. NOTHING in this world is designed to help you become a better version of yourself. Nowhere is that more true than the pressure to multitask, because every self-help and spiritual growth guide I’ve ever read said that the key to growth is being ever-present in NOW. You absolutely must focus on ONLY what you are now doing. That means if you are eating breakfast, you are only eating breakfast. Your mind can’t be on the business meeting you have scheduled for 1330 hrs., or reminding yourself of the parent/teacher conference you have tomorrow morning, or Aunt Bigear’s birthday next week.
So, if there is only room in your NYR’s for one resolution that you might have a chance to actually keep – I’d challenge you to start learning to focus. Do ONLY one thing at a time, do it to your very best, and do it completely so that when you move to your next task, you have no reason to continue thinking about the one just completed. Use a list or computer scheduler to keep track of what needs done, so you don’t have to keep thinking about what else you could be trying to do. Who knows, you might even learn that you are getting more done, and doing better work could even get you that promotion at your job!
When I was growing up as a child in a small Kansas town where EVERYONE was a member of one or the other of two churches, one thing I heard people say from time to time was, “This is my cross to bear” – by which I understood them to be saying that some burden was theirs to deal with. Nobody could help, and the problem might never go away. Much like Jesus on his way to Calvary.
Well, in circles of those who seek spiritual growth, there is a similar notion – that the universe seeks balance, and those who seek spiritual growth may be “balanced” by physical limitations or self-imposed restrictions.
I’m facing a growing awareness that this may be exactly the description of my own physical limits since the bone tumor in my leg back in 1980. The arthritis (which the No Grain, No Pain book describes as an auto-immune disorder caused by intestinal leaking after prolonged NSAID pain killer use) is going systemic, my migraines are taking on extra symptoms (by which I mean that the 3 classic symptoms that earn a headache the term “migraine” are now arriving in pairs) and my physical strength is declining despite my workout program. No, not the strength – the endurance. I have no energy reserves.
I’m not saying all of this to wave a white-flag, or imply that I’m giving up. I fully intend to keep trying to heal my body. It just seems that every time I take one action to fix one area of my health, it throws another out of balance and my health in that area declines.
I just have to accept – in advance – that it may be a fools errand, and be prepared to live with that. With my family genetics, it is entirely possible that I have another 30-50 years to live, so accepting this “as it is” while seeking ways to make my life and this world better are key ideas to balance against each other for inner peace. I think.
The quote above has been variously attributed to both Plato and Socrates. It ranks right up there with the command, “Know thyself” – indeed, both are variations on the same theme.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have, for a very long time, been engaged in the examination of myself. I recently had an insight that humbles me, and shook to my core.
You see, one of the stable data I’ve worked with throughout my life was that, because of the combination of a higher-than-average IQ and a very high literacy skill, I have a near infinite capacity to learn new things. I’ve employed it to my advantage so many times that the list is ridiculous.
So, imagine my consternation at realizing that my gift has also worked against me.
A couple of years ago I embarked on the realization of a life-long dream to learn to play the guitar. I was in junior high school (primary school grades 7 & 8) when I remember first wanting to learn. The school music instructor had a special “extra curricular” class after school for students interested in learning. There was one catch – the school didn’t own any guitars, so each interested student had to provide his/her own. My parents were not willing to help me get one, so the chance passed me by.
Then I learned of the “video game” called ROCKSMITH – which you might compare to Guitar Hero, but the comparison is faulty. To use ROCKSMITH, you actually use a real guitar, and it teaches you how to play the real guitar. I bought the game, and an electric guitar, and settled in.
An hour later, I had to put the guitar down. The tips of the fingers on my left hand were so sore I couldn’t use them for hours. In the nearly 2 years since, I’ve repeated the scenario several times, with very long breaks in between. A few days ago I was sitting in the living room looking at the guitar, and wondering why I hadn’t learned to play it yet. Which led me to the epiphany.
Because learning has always come easily to me, I’ve never invested much effort into it. I never had to learn PATIENCE. But, patience is exactly what I need if I’m to condition my fingers for the job of playing a guitar. Or, perhaps it’s perseverance; I’m not sure. I guess we’ll see if I have “the right stuff.”