Risk Curiosity, Wonder, and Spontaneous Delight!

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings

 

We believe in you!  You are valuable!  You are worthy!  And you are sacred!!!

Have a great day!!!gold star

A Path to Peace – Moving Past the Attachments.

So far in our Path to Peace series we have had a look into what an unhealthy attachment is and how we can spot them. Seems the next logical step is moving past any attachments that lead to suffering and towards a life of peace.

We have all heard the “Go with the flow” attitude and “Let go and let God”, but often we miss the actual letting go part. We toss the issue into the fire only to reach in, grab the hot embers and get burned in the process. We want to let go but just won’t step deeply enough into faith to let that happen fully.  It’s our attachments to the outcome that cripple us from releasing fully into the flow of the Divine. The Loving Spirit of God wants to provide for us all that we need and desire.  God wants us to be at peace and filled with joy!

Great spiritual masters as well as today’s modern mental doctors have professed the benefits quiet contemplation can have on the mind and body.  Master Teacher Jesus tells us in scriptures to enter the inner chamber and from there, pray in quiet.   Something almost magical happens when we enter a space of internal silence. With gentle practice we begin to quiet the mind, calm the body and awaken the  Perfect Consciousness that resides with in us and is patiently waiting for us to allow it to reveal. This is a place of consciousness where we commune with God, the Divine, Spirit, Allah, Jehovah…

From this place we learn  it is safe to ask the tough questions and get the answers that can move us into the next level of our being. It is from this space of silence that we can look deep within, and with an intention of being honest with ourselves, find our attachments and seek the answers to letting go.

Many of our attachments are deeply programmed because we have hauled them around with us for decades and they have become automatic responses and they originate from all areas of life

  • From our parents who yelled and threw anger in our direction when we did not meet their expectations and so we have learned to do the same.
  • Lack of approval from those who we viewed as authoritarian such as teachers or care-givers so we do improper things to get approval.
  • Mainstream media such as commercials that insist we must look a certain way to be beautiful and movies that show us how tough a man should be.
  • Songs we might hear teach us that we must feel suffering when we lose a valued relationship and that it is okay to take revenge when it happens.
  • Some musical expressions try to teach us to hate authority and the law.
  • The examples of friends  and family who showed us that they hated their ex-spouse so we assume we should do the same.
  • Some are so deeply permeated in tribal thought that we may be challenged daily or hourly to avoid regressing into our old ways.   “My religion is the only right religion” or the condition of Political Hypochondria that has infected our world are both good examples.

 

Day 1. Taking the first step – discovery: Here is an exercise I use. When a situation brings up stress in my life (in whatever form that might be)  I go inside and look for where in my being the stress was triggered, what kind of stress is it – fear, anger, resentment, disappointment, disgust? With clarity on the emotion, I am better prepared to drill into the root attachments.

Day 2 – 3 Investigation: The goal here is to take your awareness of the emotion and allow it to guide you to find what you are attaching to.  Being complex individuals, we each respond to our attachments in our own way, so you will have to use your own life experiences to help you in the process.

Some tips that may help:

  • Recall similar situations where the same emotional response surfaced.  What is common between them? 
  • Fear is sometimes masked as anger.  For instance the fear of losing something might result in anger surfacing. It looks like anger, might even feel like anger but something in the pit of your stomach tells you it’s fear.   Fear of judgement can manifest as anger when a person lashes out from a comment or remark they find demeaning.
  • If your anger is a fight or flight response, there is a good chance it’s based in ego.  Something in the ego feels the need to defend or protect itself so it does so with a show of superiority through aggression.
  • Sadness can be a sign of grief and grief can be an indication of loss. Look for what you “lost” in the situation and this will lead to finding the attachment.
  • Fear of loss may bring jealousy – an example of multi-layered attachments.  Fear and loss are two separate yet connected issues.  Each can exist without the other, but one can trigger the other.  Loss issues arise from attachment to some “thing” in your world and fear is based in a perceived lack of safety or security.  A jealous lover may be attached to control (security) in the relationship (the “thing”)

When I first began healing attachments it took some time to get my head fully into the action of investigation. After practice, when the emotion is discovered, the attachment often reveals itself right away but sometimes it ,might be a little stubborn and I’ll have to “sit” with it for a while. My method is to hold the “intention” to discover and heal the attachment, but I won’t actively pursue it. In its own perfect time it reveals itself.  So if the attachment does not come to you, that’s perfectly fine. Don’t let yourself get attached to finding the attachment!  Let go of any feeling of need to find it. In time it will reveal itself.  Plant the right seed, nurture it and it will come to bear fruit.

 

Day 4 and on. Once the attachment is uncovered, the release work begins.

Giving yourself permission to heal is critical.  The suffering may be so deeply integrated into your life that you have resistance to to letting it go. You may feel like you don’t know any other way to live than the way you are living now.  In other words, you are attached to the suffering that comes from attachment!

  • Can you allow yourself to be okay with not being okay? This is to say that you give yourself permission to accept that you have room for healing. Without this, you will experience persistent resistance to change.

For some it may have to begin with forgiveness work.

  • Forgiveness is for the benefit of self first. Carrying resentments and pain towards others does nothing to the other person, but instead toxifies our own life. Refusing to forgive is denying yourself the power to make a positive change – it is much like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to suffer. Give yourself permission to put down the burdens and move on.
  • A lost friendship from misunderstandings may require forgiving yourself for your part in the exchange. This is not to say you should dwell on your being “right”, but coming to a realization of how you may have handled it better and forgiving yourself for your past actions.  Once you clearly see your part in the matter, you are far more prepared to forgive your friend.  Look for the log in your eye before trying to remove the splinter from theirs.
  • Childhood related issues such as abuse, bullying and neglect may have serious effects on adulthood.  One of the joys of attachment work is the freedom to live in the moment rather than dragging around the past.  Our past prepares us, it does not define us. As our own best guides on our paths, we are free to change our minds and make the choice to live in the now, free from the illusionary bondage of our past.

You may work through the grief process when releasing long held attachments that were falsely associated with their personal view of their identity.

  • Brea the Beekeeper:  “I am a beekeeper and was fired”  –  Brea, is not realizing that the truth of who she truly is as a loving expression of the divine – a spiritual being having a human experience. Beekeeper is a job, not her true identity. Releasing the attachment to the job as her identity might be difficult for Brea as she deeply feels she has lost a part of herself.  By freeing from the attachments of the job title as identity, she is now freed to discover greater truths and higher possibilities in her next career.  The divine never closes a door without leaving another one open. Attachments can blind us from seeing the open doors that are right there in front of us.
  • My mother was an addict and I was withheld affection and stability as a child. When sober, she was engrossed in her distractions and as the day progressed so did her state of intoxication. I and a few of my siblings were born with physical defects as a result of the daily toxins she ingested during her pregnancies.  My upbringing was filled with family anger and resentment. While my father and my siblings did their best to be a stable presence in my life it didn’t overcome the repercussions of the anger.  I used to identify myself with being the child of an alcoholic. In school it served me in an unhealthy way.  Counselors first,  then teachers would give me a break when homework was late because “you know… poor little John’s mom is a drinker.”  I learned very early on that this would get me out of certain things at school. In my mind, it was the perfect excuse! Unfortunately, I fully bought into the story and gradually identified with it.  With my attachment to it, I fell further into self-pity, self-doubt and low self-esteem.  Eventually, I grew to understand that this past did not have to define me. I remember, as I began the release work, I would go through typical stages of grief – the sadness, the bargaining with God, emotional swings, and more. While I have come a great distance, over two decades later, from time to time I still get opportunities to work with this.

Like any skill, practice makes better. The great joy in this practice is that you reap amazing rewards in the quality of your life. You blossom, your relationships sweeten and peace emerges where once there was suffering.  Embrace your past for it has brought you to where you are today and prepared you for your new, fresh and exciting life that is unfolding before your very eyes right here, right now.

Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

A Path to Peace – Spotting Attachments

It is fairly easy to spot attachments once their symptoms are in your awareness.

Some spiritual teachings offer that the ego is the enemy. I see the ego as potential master or potential servant. The ego can serve us if we are willing to keep vigilant awareness to its attachments. The ego is not just the base survival instinct that can pit us against each other, but it also can be the driving force that will move us out of suffering and into a better space.  When anger arises out of ego as a result of an unmet expectation or from a word or two that offended you, or from someone cutting you off in traffic, you have an opportunity to seek what it is that you feel the need to protect.

Attachments lead to lack of compassion and understanding in other’s situations. When things become all about “me,” this is a solid sign that an unhealthy attachment is at work. We are all one with the Divine and with each other. There is no me and you, only us. We are here to work together in each other’s best interests.  My way or the highway mentalities create limitations in our lives that would not exist if we were fully co-creative with those we share life with.

Closed-mindedness from selfish attachments manifest actions that damages us, and puts others at risk for harm.  Closed-minded attachment to religious beliefs, dogmas and philosophies have been at the root of violent psychotic behaviors for millennium. These “I am right and you are wrong” attachments have caused immeasurable death, destruction and suffering.   From the basic back-yard childhood brawl, to all-out genocide, unhealthy attachments are at the root of the behavior.

Part one of this series briefly mentions the sneaky and hard to spot nature of some attachments, so here I offer a few places that I have discovered sneaky attachments in myself and others.

Argumentative or aggressive listening: Are you actively listening with the intention of hearing and valuing what the other person has to say with the same level of respect you deserve, or are you formulating your rebuttal, your argument or your disagreement?  If you are not listening properly then an unhealthy attachment to your point of view may be at work. It’s perfectly okay to have an opinion of your own, but when you are closing down to the thoughts and opinions of others, you may be limiting yourself and them from discovering together a better way to a higher end result.

Being too agreeable: In almost stark contradiction to what you just read, constant agreement could be a sign of attachment to being accepted by others, or it may manifest from an attachment to avoid conflict.  If you have something valuable to contribute that may go against the opinions of the status-quo, refusing to add it to the mix could easily be a disservice to the highest and best outcome for all involved. The key is to present it from a point of view that is helpful and constructive to the conversation, and avoid dismissing other views as being incorrect, invalid or simply wrong.  Focus on communicating in a way that lifts up conversations and those involved rather than tearing things down.

Loyalty to a brand or style of music:  Seems crazy doesn’t it? After all, when you like something, you just simply like it. What could possibly be unhealthy about that?  Liking something is just fine, but when it comes to a point that you like it so much you dismiss other options simply because they don’t fit the mold, then you have crossed the line into attachment.  We like things such as a type of music or a specific brand of ice cream because it brings us some form of pleasure or maybe we trust a brand of car for it’s dependability.  It’s perfectly fine to like something, just don’t close your mind to other alternatives. When we refuse to see or experience other options, and sometimes  we do so with great disdain, we limit our possibilities for something greater to unfold.

And the extra sneaky: Attachments may have layers. One or more attachments may be the symptom of a deeper attachment at work.

Some example standout symptoms of attachment to watch for are:

  • Anger
  • Jealousy
  • Envy
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Sadness
  • Grief

Any of those may be an outward expression of an unhealthy attachment to something tangible, such as a relationship or material possession, or something less tangible such as an unmet expectation  – like a son or daughter not cleaning their room.  While having a clean room is a good thing, your response to the child not following your direction will help guide you to discovery of any attachments. Is your ego under attack because they failed to honor your parental authority, or can you respond to the situation without fear, anger or resentment?  There is little we can actually do to “control” another human being. Even at a very young age we have our own capacity for thought and decision making.  Having attachment to being “right” and “in-charge” as a parent can reach an unhealthy level.  Control is an illusion anyway.  Teach right thinking and right choices get made. Try to control someone, even a child, and they will seek to express their own control over the situation and resistance ensues.  We can always try to use fear, but is that what we want to teach our future leaders; that ruling with fear is better than careful listening, proper thinking and proper action?  Pick your attachments carefully and thoughtfully.

Feel free to chime-in with any attachment symptoms you have uncovered in the comments below.

Next up: Moving past the attachments.

 

What does your heart know?

colored heartsI remember when I was a kid, awake in the middle of the night, I would lay on my side and feel my heart beat in my body.  Last night was like that, the rhythmic motion soothing and hypnotic.

Just as I was starting to drift off to sleep, I thought about my heart.  What does my heart know?  What story does it tell me?

In the silence, it kept its secrets, gently rocking me back to sleep.

Hearts are like that.  They don’t share their story.  They rejoice with you, break with you, flutter in a moment of recognition but they don’t share.

Hearts are very in the moment, very in the Now.  You can’t conjure up that same feeling of heartbreak.  You can’t make it leap with joy.  And yet, we know it will break in the future just as it will jump with joy.

There are whole sciences around the heart.  The experiments being done on heart energy alone are staggering and mind boggling.  But I don’t really need to know any of that to know that my heart soothes me, carries me and provides for me more than just pushing fluid through my body.

My heart knows my story.  My heart recognizes another’s pain and happiness.  And in the middle of the night, when I’m still, I simply allow the resonance of my heartbeat to carry me back to sleep.

A Path to Peace – Are You Bound by Your Attachments>

Imagine an individual who was self-absorbed to the point of being narcissistic, prone to outbursts and fits at modest provocations sometimes leading to self-destructive or outwardly abusive behavior. This person will swing wildly from rational to irrational with accompanied mood swings and personality shifts at the mere mention of certain words or names.
Does this person strike you as someone who could benefit from some clinical help?  Would you label them a little crazy?

Certainly sounds like someone who could use some help, but these are the outward manifestations we experience from attachments.  They are like a greedy little bully inside of us who absolutely must get it’s way or it lashes out in some harmful manner then burdens us with the consequences.  It may manifest internally as disappointment, depression, anger, resentment, disdain, disgust, or other ugly darkness. Outwardly, attachment might show up as tears, tantrums, aggression, verbal abuse, physical abuse and more.  Like a two year old screaming “mine mine mine!” unhealthy attachments open the door to acts of complete irrational behavior. Our responses to unmet attachments lead to physical and emotional stress that we could avoid if we could lose the attachment.  Detaching from unhealthy fixations in our lives is our path to peace.

Attachments show up in many ways, some obvious and some so are so sneaky it takes practice to spot them. Not all attachments are unhealthy as some serve us rightly. But even those can become harmful if not properly tempered with wise discernment. As the old saying goes: “There are two sides to every coin” and our attachments are no different. As with all things in life, there exists a balance between the dark and the light, the Yin and the Yang, the additive and reductive, the progressive and regressive… you get the point. Too much of a good thing can be harmful.

Basic human needs drive some of our attachments. The need for nutrition and sustenance can drive our attachment to food, which we might label as a healthy attachment but using food as a substitute for actually addressing some sense of lack in our lives can be harmful. For example, if we connect food with happiness and joy, we may tend to reach out for food anytime we feel less than happy and perhaps overindulge or consume items that are not in our highest and best interest.  Buying material goods can certainly serve us properly in life to meet basic needs. Shelter, safety, personal growth, etc, but spending with the expectation that an object will fill an internal void or fix an internal issue. This “Shopping Therapy” may lead to a temporary distraction from the pains in life, but this neither solves root issues within us that could be addressed, nor bring us actual peace.

Understanding when an attachment is healthy and when it is unhealthy is in my opinion the most important factor towards inner and outer peace. My benchmark for determining the healthiness of an attachment is this question: Does the attachment do myself or another individual any harm? If the answer is yes, then I take that opportunity to look within and drill down for the actual motivation for the attachment and when it is discovered, it is noted and work can begin to heal it.

Next up: Spotting Attachments so you can release towards peace.

 

Yesterday’s Thinking

I just finished Marianne Williamson’s book The Law of Divine Compensation.   Marianne and I have a love/dislike relationship. (Disclaimer:   I don’t know her personally, she’s never heard my name so this is nothing personal towards her.)

I’ll be reading along and a paragraph will just be so true to my heart that it takes my breath away.  And then there’s a whole chapter that I’m tapping my toe, wondering how many more pages to go.

Marianne Williamson authored one of my favorite quotes:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne WilliamsonReturn to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

This is a glorious call to claim your greatness!  Just when I start thinking, “who am I to think I can do _____,” I hear these words in my head.

However, there are plenty of her thoughts that don’t speak to me — and that’s okay.  There is a quote attributed to Buddha:

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Which, apparently is a very poor translation.  Here’s a better translation:  

“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.

http://www.fakebuddhaquotes.com/believe-nothing-no-matter-where-you-read-it/

(Very interesting reading on the above website!)

The point of this post is — read inspirational writings!  And know that not everything is going to make sense to you, or speak to you or will you even agree with it.  From the time that man could discuss beliefs, we’ve disagreed.  Some of us are born “old souls” with wisdom beyond our years, some of us earn our wisdom in our lifetime and some of us don’t care.  We talked about the lesson that most of us need to learn about not touching the hot stove by actually touching the hot stove.  The reality is that using your own inner barometer, your own experience and your own judgment is the only way to discern your own Truth.  And you should be willing to change your mind!

How many times have you heard a phrase or a concept and  the meaning suddenly hits you.  You understand the concept in a deeper, more touching way.  And you’ve thought, “gee, I’ve heard that story/phrase/thought a thousand times and never really got it.”  Perhaps an experience made that teaching come to life for you.

So pick up those authors who write words of encouragement or challenge.  Don’t get stuck on the stuff you don’t agree with — you may change your mind later, or you may always have the same opinion.  But be willing to look at what they have to offer.  Be willing to challenge your way of living and your level of awareness.  And be willing to share the gems that help you change your mind or that lift you up!

The last paragraph in The Law of Divine Compensation reads:

Today’s reality is simply a mirror of yesterday’s thinking. Now, in this moment, standing in the field of miraculous possibility, you can disenthrall yourself from the limits of your past. Nothing binds you except your thoughts; nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.  Think God, think Jesus, think Light, think Love, think whatever form of divinity calls to you.  And all else will fall away.”

Amen.  You said that very well, Marianne!

 

Zen This!?!!

A few days ago, when we had  the umpteenth April snowstorm, to say that that I was cranky about yet one more long commute on less than safe roads with the thousands and thousands of other commuters, is an understatement.  My darling husband tried to pull me from my funk.  He made me my breakfast juice and tried his hardest to make me smile about the snow.  It didn’t work.  And so, as I pulled on my coat and my gloves, his last hurrah was to tell me to “try to find the zen in the drive.  Look for the beauty in the surroundings.  And enjoy your drive!”

Ahem.  I would like it noted that I did not throw anything at him.

He clearly had not heard how tired of the snow I was.  He clearly did not know the darkness in my heart and the sheer wrath and frustration with the weather.  He CLEARLY did not know the whole story!!!!  And if I’d had the time, I surely would have cleared all of this up for him.  But I didn’t, so I chewed on his advice, and I was chewing with my mouth open.  An angry “zen this!” was all that repeated in my head……

About an hour into my commute (which is usually 25 to 35 minutes), I found the zen.  It was pretty, all that white snow covering all the tired winter’s muck. The DJ’s on the radio were trying extra hard to be entertaining.  And traffic was moving so slowly that I did not see one accident.

At the two hour mark, I’d lost the zen.

I could have kept my less than stellar mindset from you and let you believe that I’m pretty good at listening and following higher calls, but that’s not always the case.  I’m pretty good at listening and recognizing a higher call, but sometimes my response stays in the lower arena.

There were two things that came to mind as I processed my experience:  1.) Most of the time, we do recognize when we’re stuck in our story.  We know we’re not behaving in the manner we’d be proud of, but we’re so stuck that we just can’t get out of our own way.  And, 2.)  those who call us to step up higher are annoying.

Is there anything more annoying then when you’re having a tough day or dealing with a tough situation and someone says to “Smile! It’s not that bad.”  Really, because the last time I checked, you were not in my head.  Sometimes you do need time to process stuff on your own time.  Sometimes you do need to stomp, pout and get angry — just to get it out of your system.  And sometimes you need someone to invite you to step up to a higher perspective.

I recognize that John wasn’t telling me to find the zen just to annoy me.  But it did.  We were able to laugh about it later that day when I told him about my “zen this” thoughts.  We have that relationship where we feel safe enough to encourage and challenge each other.  But it doesn’t make hearing those call outs any easier.

I will tell you that the rest of the week, I’ve been very aware of any “suffering” I’ve been doing.  I’ve been looking for those zen moments.  And when I seek, I find.

I’m sitting here in my house with the doors open and sun streaming in.  The cat is in the window soaking up the sunbeam and the dog wants to be outside investigating.  It’s peaceful in my heart.

It may have taken a few days …. but the zen is here.

From One Parent to Another…..

We have one son, who is now 24, on his own, living the Army way.  It wasn’t in my plan for him to be an only child, but that’s what happened.  I’ve often said that God knew that it was going to take all my strength just to raise this one. I have to admit that while this is a sorrow of mine, when I look back, there are years that I don’t know that I could have successfully raised another one because the one I have was so all consuming.

I wanted this child, oh how I wanted him!  And there were days I could have walked away….. oh, I say this half-heartedly.  I couldn’t have, wouldn’t have EVER walked away from him.  But I did entertain the dream!

I was one of those young women who scoffed and scorned parents whose children were out of control in the store or restaurant.  “My child was NEVER going to do that!”  And, for the most part, my son was great in stores and restaurants. (There was that one incident in the middle of the drug store that gave me all new insight on what you can control and what you can’t.)  But my child made me pay in other ways, in ways that no one in my family understood, in ways that no one around me understood and in ways that I clearly didn’t understand.

Simple punishments did not work on him.  We had locks on our TV’s so he wouldn’t spend his life in front of one.  We couldn’t ground him long enough to get his attention (and we tried).  The more we punished him, the more isolated he became.  It was having the opposite effect.

His room was never clean.  I learned to help him sweep through it a couple times a year to get the trash out of there and then I’d close the door.

I thought I’d be the fun mom of the neighborhood.  I’m crafty and creative. I’d enjoyed fun gatherings when I was in high school.  I thought my house would be the hangout house with the cool mom.  Hah!

My son’s friends thought I was the toughest mother they’d ever been around. (This is in stark contrast to the adults who counselled me to quit being so easy on him)  One of his friends actually told me that for years he didn’t understand it but then one day, he clearly got why I was so tough.  My house occasionally had a kid or two in it but never the gang. This house just wasn’t the fun house.

Why do I share this with you?  Because sometimes your plans don’t go the way you think they should and there isn’t an option of turning around.

I tell you this because if we can raise a kid who this day is responsible and plugged in and happy, you can, too.

So, in those moments when you are wondering what you were thinking wanting to have a sweet little munchkin  take a deep breath.  And then take another one.  And take one more.  Your job is not to raise a straight A student (although it is a plus) or the star gymnast.  Your job is to raise a productive, responsible grown up.  I encourage you to look up and look around and look to the future person your child is becoming.  It’s really easy to get caught up in the small things that can ruin the enjoyment your own child.

And if you see a young woman giving you the stink eye because your child is misbehaving, smile at her and know that one day she’ll have clarity.

And if you see a young mother trying to deal with a child who is having an unholy meltdown, smile at her and give her an encouraging word.

And if you see me laughing at my son when he calls to tell me how rotten his (not yet conceived) children are — you’ll know that God smiled on me that day!!!

Einstein’s Flow

Copyright John  G HarrisAlbert Einstein once said “Nothing happens in the Universe until something moves.”  The Laws governing abundant flow in our lives are very much aligned with that principle. For flow to occur in our lives, we must allow flow and an easy first step is to initiate the flow with an outgoing gift.

Anonymous Giving

Spiritual teachings of many cultures emphasis the importance of giving in an anonymous way. Anonymous giving, or what is sometimes called “Righteous Giving” in Christian teachings or “Perfection of Giving” in Buddhism is a form of flow with no strings attached – no expectations of reciprocation and free of wrong motivation. If we expect reciprocation, is it truly a gift? If we expect to be honored for the giving we are feeding ego and thus not giving in the highest intention. If you are looking for status or prestige, check your motivations.

Matthew 6:1-4, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Sufi sheikh Kabir Helminski states: “The Prophet Muhammad said, ‘the best of my people will enter paradise not because of their achievements, but because of the Mercy of God and their being satisfied with little for themselves and their extreme generosity toward others.’ “

Detachment

We give it with the highest intentions and completely let it go.  If we hold expectations on the gift, in a way we are still attaching ourselves to it, have we really given it away?  By releasing attachments and expectations we are allowing Divine Spirit to lift the end results to higher levels than we could ever anticipate.  Attaching expectation is a “My way or the highway” mentality, and who are we to judge what the recipients best interests really are? They know their life needs better than we do and certainly so does the Divine.
You may find it helpful to say a little prayer of intention and release as you give.

“Diving Loving Spirit, I am eternally grateful for the abundant flow of good in my life and the opportunity to share the good with others.  I release this gift into your Loving Guidance knowing that the highest and best possible outcome is unfolding right here, right now.  For this I say thank you God. Amen!”

To be in the flow it is vital to be open to the many ways you can receive.   Being in the receiving position of flow shows up many ways you may not have previously viewed as Divine Flow. When that co-worker offers to buy you lunch, accept it!  Someone offers to pay you for gas in exchange for a ride, accept it.  When we refuse these gifts we are creating two powerful blocks to flow:

  1. We prevent the other person from experiencing their highest potential for flow.
  2. We are telling consciousness that we don’t want flow in our lives.

By limiting others giving to us, we stand directly in the way of their choice to be fully in the flow.  They want to give and we are taking that away from them. Accepting their gift is not placing a burden on them, but rather providing them with joy.  If you are triggered by receiving, change your mind. If not for yourself, at least do it for them.

Once we open to receive, greater things will come to our attention.  Not because new things are there – the abundant flow has been there all along, but because we have begun the process of aligning our consciousness with flow. We awaken to see now what we did not see before.  By refusing to receive we tell our consciousness that we choose to step out of the flow – that we no longer wish to see the abundance of good that is always present, just waiting for us to open our hands and arms to receive.

Here is a wonderful metaphor that exemplifies the power of shifting awareness:

Driving home from the auto dealer you become amazed at just how many of the same model of car there are on the roads. They seem to be everywhere and you wonder why you had not noticed them before.  As you ponder this you pull onto your street and discover that the family two doors down has one in their driveway and it’s been there all along.

If you drive, the chances are very good you have experienced something very close to the example. This is shifted awareness. Now that you are consciously alert to the model of the car, you see them where you had not seen them before.  This is just the way our minds work. Seeing opportunities in life such as flow is no different.  Change your mind, change your life.

If you are ready to see greater good in your life, actively start the ball rolling. Move something in the universe and be open to receive.

Some simple anonymous gifts:

An envelope with some cash or a gift card mailed to a family experiencing lack with a nice unsigned note.
Donation / Tithe to a spiritual center that spiritually feeds you or someone you know.
The Starbucks Effect: Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in the drive-through behind you.
Visit department stores and offer to pay towards the lay-away of needy families. The clerks will often have an idea of who might be the most ready to receive.

Share your ideas for conscious and anonymous giving in your comments below!

You Improving Your Life