One moment it happens. Your book is accepted or you land the biggest contract of your life. Perhaps you stake a dream plot of land or finally drop into the sweetness of a deep meditation. Maybe the love you never knew could existed now wakes up next to you and says “good morning” with a lustrous smile forged just for you.
What was once a string of feeling states and desires playing across your mind and gut now stares you in face, and the precarious sentiment that you actually belong to the greater matrix of life flutters in the soul.
Eyes widen in humble disbelief.
How can it be so?
Most of us believe these breakthroughs require loads of work (ie. 10,000 hours) on yourself and in your world. Most of us are busy pursuing whatever that is. Work and progress get a lot of press. I used to graze in these pastures as well.
These past weeks I’ve been showered with goodness and I’m stumbling to figure out why. I didn’t work hard over the winter. I kept mostly to myself. I felt terrible for quite a few stretches. At times, sadness became my immovable bedfellow. Slowing down seemed to hurt as I avoided and felt blocked from the things I love most: writing, working with my clients, yoga, and travel.
One auspicious afternoon, I stumbled across an Alan Watts clip (link) the other day, and in starry fashion, that British Accent of his nudged me along an astonishingly novel but clear line of thought.:
~ That which we desire actually desires us. Our dreams are just as intelligent as we are, if not more so.
~ What prevents this desire from arriving is all the focus on outward push, and a colossal lack of sweet, surrendering inward flux.
~ Hard work contributes to the fulfillment of our dreams, but the full attainment cannot take place without a moment or period of full surrender. Nothing is accomplished alone; we must let the web of life contribute.
Just as a body builder works hard to break down his/her muscles, it is the periods of rest that produce the conditions for success and the muscle builds. It is at the moment when we let go of our own efforts, that the breakthrough happens.
Let me explain, (it’s kind of relieving…)
A friend of mine took a step back from his business after weeks and months of driving the hell hounds to doomsday.
… One moment it happens …
The paradox of meditation is much the same. We try to empty the mind, to force attention on the breath, to hold up your spine and lower the hips with all one’s might- most become aggravated. Yet the magic begins to occur when all this effort is released.
After weeks of brooding in darkness, that smile-staring-back of another’s love arrived in the first light of morning. I began designing landscapes using sacred geometry, plans were accepted, full installs implemented. An article surfaced wrote an article with the most weekly views in January 2016 (How to recognize a conscious man).
As I struggled to write this piece, it became evident that my efforts to find words had exhausted my energy. So, in the spirit of my own advice, I stopped trying to figure out how goodness comes, and let the words come as they would, of their own accord (there is a difference!). This is what transpired:
Goodness arrives in supportive environments. When we remove certain characters from our life that bring stress, confusion, and a general sense of unease, we convey a message of self-care. Something inside of us responds to this with gratitude. As I told a client lately: we cannot meditate, eat good food, or form good relationships in a moldy room and expect to be healthy. Get out of the room, and goodness just happens.
At the moment we recognize our value when we are doing absolutely nothing, goodness begins cooking us breakfast. When we can swirl up a smile inside, just at the fact of being aware of our own existence, we know we are ready to receive. When we’ve done nothing for days or months but sit and feel whatever it is that happens to be passing through, and a sense of wonder develops in its wake, then we are ready for goodness to appear.
Feeling your desire, the part of it that is billowing in your body, is more important than thinking about it. Thoughts are like prayers, they have an outward motion into the cosmos. Feelings are like lightning rods, attracting the events that bring us goodness. Spend more time feeling – it’ll come. We do enough thinking – trust me. Some people are really good at going out and getting things. Few people are really good at allowing things to come to them.
Practice saying “yes” to as many things as you can, especially those difficult encounters. Find the yes in rainy weather, communication breakdown, tiredness, sadness, or laziness. Say yes to your noes.
Imagine what it is like to be the beloved or the recipient of love. So many seek the love of God, angels, spirits, a partner, their children, or animals. Imagine and play with the idea that those Beings are perplexed at your striving and are waiting for you to just receive. What if it was all just one big inundation of love with the compass pointing at you. Would you, could you, accept and absorb it? Are not all the colours, sounds, and impressions of the world not knocking at your door, wanting to give you goodness?
Nothing is as good as the discovery of our individual uniqueness when it feels at home in the world. Our natural state of expression, the perfection of each weather system passing through as an intimate connection with our body, and the beauty of our mind and the potential of thoughts, are all organic processes mirrored in nature. Spend time there, and discover that, like the trees and the clouds, who never pretend to be something they are not, we too have a natural function to be wild and free to be.
Dreams calibrate our inner disposition. They teach us that our experience in waking life is very important to our well being.
There are countless definitions of what a man essentially is. To be strong, safe, firm in resolve, compassionate yet driven, able to navigate the expression and cessation of emotional impulse, to make intelligent decisions in the face of calamity, well dressed, good with kids, etc. Yet the ideal that seems to rise like cream to the top, unflinchingly, is a man’s realization of and dedication to his true purpose, calling, or, to use a more antiquated term—dreams.
Dreams in this sense are thought forms and associated felt senses that live and breathe within each one of us as a precious seed. They ask to be germinated in the physical world, and fling stress and illness through our nerves if we ignore their impulse. Dreams are also illusions, or a word to describe a lover or an infatuation. But the dreams we are referring to here combine all of the above. They are the Universes we sail through during sleep.
In recent weeks I have had several clients report violently chaotic day or night dreams. Some reported dreams of war or malicious relationships. Others would close their eyes in broad daylight and witness severed limbs or fatal falls on the screen of the mind. Within the week I had a zombie dream.
Many men I know rarely go beyond, “I wonder what it means?” stepping short of the rich displays, images, and characters that communicate in cryptic symbolism.
To open the dream and apply its wisdom to our conscious everyday lives and encounters, we need to have a clear understanding about the purpose of the dream world, the nature of its contents.
Keep in mind—dreams are multilayered with meaning and messages. There is usually more than one arching message. I once fell asleep inside a dream, into another dream!Here are six ways to interpret your dreams, to get in touch with your life dream, and wake up from the life-hobbling dream most of us are living. Oh, and these may assist you in finding your dream partner as well.
1. Everything (absolutely everything) in your dream … is you. That drug dealer in the alley, the murderous monster who is driving a tank, the cloud, the colour of the water, your family, or your ex, even the emotions, are all different aspects of yourself.
I worked with a man who had a dream he was being chased by a helicopter. The pilot was mean-faced and bent on destroying this man who ran from broken building to broken building trying to find shelter. My client was suffering from small bouts of depression, and I asked him to close his eyes and become the pilot (which is fully possible since everything in the dream is you). His feelings of helplessness and victimhood were immediately replaced by power. Consequently, he didn’t feel so bad about hunting this part of himself that was no longer serving him.
Upon waking, try becoming each thing in your dream, have conversations between objects and characters, write stories about these things interacting, and try new ways of behaving that are impossible in the physical world. You might find that suddenly, they become possible.
2. Dreams Compensate. Their very nature is to make up for our lacks and excesses in the real world. If we are too nice, we will be faced with a situation where we might have to kill to save our lives. If we are celibate, it is common to dream of wild orgies or evocative vampires and succubi. Should we acquire great wealth beyond our need, we may dream of losing everything. Individuals who isolate suddenly find themselves in an overwhelming crowd.
Dreams calibrate our inner disposition. They teach us that our experience in waking life is very important to our well being. Dreams are like medicine that both heal and lend suggestion on how to navigate our outer world in a way that fosters health. They tell us when we are out of balance.
3. Symbols in dreams are personal and universal. Some folks who dare go past simple remembrance, look up the symbols in their dreams: lost teeth, missing a flight, a hole in a hot air balloon, or various animals, etc.
These can certainly be helpful, but not until they are reflected against one’s personal opinions, past experiences, or intuitive sense. Say for instance you have a tree standing the middle of the field. One person beholds the Great Oak, and fears falling from its limbs, should they decide to climb it.Another sees the tree and wants nothing to do but sit underneath its calming shade, nourished by the beautiful halcyon.
If you look up the symbolism of oak, you will find descriptions such as strength and wisdom, yet it applies differently to the two cases above. Some find strength in facing their fears, and overcome by moving through them—a challenge. Others find strength in yielding, and allowing. There is wisdom in both. Figure out the meaning of the symbol, but make sure it is decorated with your personal vestiges.
4. Dreams like your attention. The old adage that you get what you put into something remains true. The more you reflect on your dreams, the more they appear, the messages are more interesting, and the chance of having lucid dreams (where you are conscious as yourself inside the dream) increases. The best time to recall a dream is immediately upon waking, without moving or thinking.
In addition, the more we pay attention to our dreams, the more our everyday environment lights up with corresponding experiences. When this starts happening, your dreams are literally coming to life.Our dreams can definitely come true.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. ~Carl Jung
5. The Emotion of the dream is your key. Look back and ask yourself how you felt when you were being chased. What was it like being back in your childhood home, out on the farm?The emotion of the dream gives you a clue to how it is compensating for your waking life. Become the chaser. Feel its emotion. Become the house, and feel its emotion. You will find that many affective states can be experienced within the same dream, depending on where or who you experience it from. Perhaps as the old house you feel lonely, and forgotten, but as the sky you see that everything is beautiful and in its proper place. These are parts of yourself that are not yet acquainted, yet need each other for health and aspiration. Feel these parts of yourself alone or in the company of trusted friends, or talk to a therapist.
6. Utilize Free Association. Freud original developed this technique. While recalling your dreams, or writing them down (which I highly recommend), other memories or situations from waking life will emerge alongside the recollection. If you dreamt of a baker pulling bread from an oven, and suddenly you are back in your grandparents place, watching your grandmother do the same, write that down too, alongside it. Feel it. Become your grandmother and see how she is feeling while pulling the bread. Become the oven. Look up the symbols. Allow the meaning to emerge on its own.
May your dreams wake you up to a better and more enriched reality!
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations She’s giving me excitations I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Oom bop, bop, good vibrations)
—The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations
If you’re reading this, you’re probably eager to get past the preamble and find out now what these thoughts are that will supercharge your mood and make life feel happy again. So here they are, without introduction.
1. What would I be doing if instead of stoking sexual fire and getting moist with a lover, I was committing that very same act with life itself?
Think about it.Get on top or receive from underneath.During our everyday life, interactions, and engagements, the magmatic waters are constantly flowing, and the chamber of magic is upstairs in our thoughts.Thoughts are like hydroelectric dams—I’m serious.Stop the flow long enough on one and that thought will amplify.This is not some new age secret affair.One need only start worrying … and the result is foreseeable.As your thought amplifies with this arousing energy, it kicks up the waves around you, and what I have found, through years of working with clients and studying this process myself, is that thoughts eventually become people.Yes, I just said that.If you tend to think poorly about yourself, guess what—your next partner will be there to show you just what a wretch you are.Your boss will overlook your strengths.Conversely, if your lust pours into that book you are writing, people start showing up and giving you characters and situations to write about.The ardor you put into a pair of weights as your lift them gives you that extra rep and respect at the gym.
When I make love to life I throw on the vibration I feel when I’m engaged in sex.I let it dance through my fingers while typing this article.I feel the excitement in my mind as endorphins playfully glisten the air around me.“You like that?” “Oh yeah” I say to the salad I chop for dinner.So, foreplay your drive to work.Massage that pavement with your feet.Penetrate your conversations as you breath them in.Receive the gifts from another with good appetite.Kiss a difficult conversation.While doing these things, use that good energy to seed thoughts that will grow into the people of your dreams.Relationships are the essence of life.
2. Everything is currency.Compound interest is exactly what you should be doing with your emotions, thoughts, dreams, and your money (the way the credit card companies are doing it to you).
I’m going to preach.That Old Proverbial Rabbi had a way with words, when he said, “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew, 13:12)Say you’ve only got a few dollars to your name.Well, sad to say, but it’s going leave you quick quickly as the World consumes it in exchange for survival and/or the ability to cope.
Say you have a few million dollars.The world is going keep giving to you in interest and opportunity (if you’re not stupid and blow it all).So if you’ve been meaning to write that book or song, open that business, find that love of your life, or show yourself, once and for all, that you can really love you—your deposits of time and intention work no less effectively than that millionaire’s bank account, or that savings plan your parents or someone told you to start feeding when you were young.Thus, the currency you do not invest will be taken from you and given to someone else. Yet the investment you continually feed promises to return more of what you do, and anything, absolutely everything, is currency.Think about it, and try it while having sex (see number 1. above) for a double pulse.
Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it. —Albert Einstein
3. Your soul is a childlike version of yourself in a field of wildflowers, heroic quests, and sublime romances, waiting for the right inheritance of hormones and brain size to turn that field into life.
It’s hard to let this kid down, seriously.While you are picturing your soul in this field, the motivation to be who you really are surfaces.Upon opening our eyes, one begins to curse the cubicle surrounding them.Clouds roll by outside the window and a sudden urge to paint them arrives from seemingly nowhere.A stranger passes us along the roadside and a conversation opens our heart.The urge to create magnifies, then sours any activity that takes the smile off that kid’s face or hurts the field he stands in.That child’s presence pollenates the field (see thought number 1.), and his or her numerous thoughts of living joyfully are an investment toward your best life possible (see number 2.).Let us spend some more time there, shall we?
Few realizations render as much guilt and shame than recognizing how we hold our heart back from vitality and thriving.
It appears, as far as I can tell, that humanity has been endowed with particular blindspots.Inheritance is a tricky thing.Hey, Welcome to Earth.You’ve been given, along with original sin, the following:
-a dying body
-physical traits that may not be seen as attractive, and if they are, people will forget about other parts of you
-emotions to go with every occasion, some of which might stick for years like cooked rice to the side of a pot.
-patterns that will develop through childhood, then go under your awareness and bleed out into the rest of your life without you knowing about it (until you take proper steps to become self-conscious)
-and last, but not least, a stark raving mad ability to avoid what is best for you, to sabotage the interests of the self based on the above inheritances and more …
Self-Sabotage arrives when:
We are in a mind storm.Thoughts are uprooting our ability to stay present and we end up in a cigar shop, needling through porn, or going back to an abusive partner while our body is clearly running for the hills to safety.When caught in the mind, we ignore even the strongest pulls of the body.After a while, the body tries to follow suit.When eventually we want to do something for ourselves, the body will feel tired, agitated, or anxiety at the thought of self-improvement.
Our ideas of success are tangled in the appeasement of others.We feel like we need to make others happy at our own expense.When someone who we think cares about us (but actually doesn’t) puts us down, the momentum of that insult can funnel our own anger deep inside.Internalizing negativity ends up another excuse to become couch-tied and bed-ridden.Contributing to the happiness of others is a by-product of self-enhancement.If the vestiges of your self-worth disappear in certain ongoing relationships, those relationships are not healthy.
We use substances.Alcohol and constant use of drugs can veer us toward getting a dopamine increase rather than the natural thing from doing what we love.While there are many incredible uses for drugs, even to help us wake us, the mainstream attitude is one of escapism rather than immersion.Many narcotics give us ideas that feel good, but when we come down, those same ideas fall by the wayside because of the alteration of brain chemistry.That same high can be achieved naturally, by giving your gift.
We burn out before we flame.Ever have a candle that lights for a few moments, then recedes into the wax that ought to keep it ablaze?We are about to do something we love, maybe even feel somewhat excited about it, then all of the temptations, addictions, and distractions we have entertained in the past, come swooping in like ravens on a carcass.
We are not ready to admit what our gift is.I’ve worked with many people who say they do not know what they want to or like to do in life.Within a few minutes we will locate several things and their eyes go to the floor, and they say something like “ya I guess.”It may be weeks or months before they actually pick up a pen or brush to write or paint.We all know what we need to do at some level, and perhaps this is even accentuated in childhood, but we all may not be ready for the knowing.
I’m not sure if Adam and Eve ever found a way back to paradise, but I believe the way out is the same way in.We go out wild eyed and distracted.We must go in the same way.Here are the ways I have found to sabotage self-sabotage.
Don’t plan to do something you want to do.When the urge or even thought rises, move your body and do it quickly without thinking.Put a twinge of madness in your eye and a goofy grin on your face.In much the same impulsive way we dodder off into a self-destructive tendency or avoidance of our dreams, do the same when returning to them.
Hold up the incense of your inner standard to vampiric criticism.When the burning fire of criticism lands in your lap, when someone is mean to you or invalidates your existence, use that opportunity as life’s alarm clock telling you to take care of yourself.These criticisms are fuel for manifesting what you want.The greatest in the world see criticism as fuel.This does not mean we learn to love it, it means we learn to make it work to our advantage.The first few attempts are very hard, but hey, if we can follow our path when we are feeling lowest, we can certainly do it any other time.
Destroy Routine.Despite this counter-intuition, and with great respect consistent behavior in the right direction, routines will have taken from us much more than we have gained, until we imbue them with conscious certainty.When we destroy routine, we allow fresh magma to surface, the light of our inner world to flash open to the surface.Do not be concerned.New routine will be established.We are creatures of it, after all.
Allow emotions to do their work.Loneliness, fear, anger, sadness, and grief are serious gamechangers—if we let them be.I curl up in my bed or on my couch and let these emotions lather me up.I will not move until they’ve made their way through my system.Usually, this takes about 10-15 minutes.If I sit up and meditate on them, breathe into them, sometimes it takes little more than thirty seconds.Whatever energetic patterns we have in us, which keep us in a self-sabotaging circuit, they cannot be modified without a proper electrical blast.The above emotions are audacious enough to break down emotional patterns and recycle them anew.
Indulge.Rather than fighting our distractions, or subvert to them automatically and unconsciously, go into them with full awareness that you are indeed avoiding what you really like to do, and indulging in a golorified procrastination of your soul’s unfolding.Then, refer to the last suggestion, allowing all these feelings to surface.Allow them to do their work.Finally, in the blink of an eye, with the extra room created, slip onto your path of self-awesomeness.
Without it, relationships follow the Tower of Babel to lime-dust and ruin. It may be the platform on which wars cease, technology and nature merge and hearts blend. But it ain’t all good. Not even close.
Compromising the longing of our heart’s wish for expression, or our sense of health and wellbeing, is the ice-age of our era—the big meteor, the human apocalypse.
Erich Fromm, in The Art of Loving, concluded that people have love all backwards. The majority of the western world believes that self-love is unanimously equated with selfishness when this is actually the furthest thing from the truth.
Blame it on capitalism, “you are not enough” ideologies, or last autumn’s poor harvest, but if we’re not sui generis, surfing our groove, we’re making the whole damn planet sick—regardless of how many cows we don’t eat or how many solar panels are on our roofs.
Walling our hearts off from our own love is a tempestuous breeding ground for narcissism—the true definition of selfishness; the diametrical opposite of self-love.
Self-love is the platform from which all other loves spring. It is also what the Divine seeks in us.
So what if you can make people happy, give advice (a dangerous thing to do), boil everyone’s favorite ratatouille, or solve a million problems in a corporation that just can’t run without you? If your heart hurts, your gut leaks and the hardest thing to overcome is gravity first thing in the morning. Then its time to ask: “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest and most deserving of love of all?”
To which all the mirrors in your life respond: “It really is all about you. I know, it’s hard to face it, but we’ll keep reminding you until you do.”
So what if you can astral travel and consult demi-gods sitting on lotus flowers orbiting Sirius, with all the answers to the Universe except one: your answer—so intricately sketched onto the interior walls of your heart—mandala style.
Searching all directions with one’s awareness, one finds no one dearer than oneself. In the same way, others are fiercely dear to themselves. So one should not hurt others if one loves oneself.
It’s interesting the lengths we go to avoid standing out in health and success ‘’in the name of children”, because “our parents didn’t show us”, because “there isn’t enough time”, “we’re not feeling well,” or—my least favourite—“it will upset other people.”
No, it’s not interesting—it’s terrible. It’s religious masochism, rituals included, and we’ve turned our minds and bodies into martyrs.
Our children need us to show them how to burn for life. Our parents aren’t responsible for our callings; we are responsible to go beyond their limitations. The busiest people in the world always have time when their heart is the only set destination on Google maps.
If somebody wants you to change your Spiritual DNA, good luck, because they can’t. If you change it so that you can belong to their “likeable person” category, then get a therapist, read about codependency, see them for the narcissist they are and meditate until you fill their space in your life with self-love and massages.
Sometimes we diverge from our path, suffer illness, blame others, fail at relationships and consider jumping off the nearest cliff. But all this distance from our true footing is necessary. The distance created gives a splendid view. Our divorces, infidelities, betrayals, lies, addictions and downright pitiful attempts at life have left a mountain range at our back. If you’re like me and need to scour every wretched bog in the land of self-doubt, it is a quantum sigh of relief when we find out we don’t need to bear this cross any longer.
Living the path of the heart—which includes pursuing health, new experiences and the sharing of our gifts—is the only thing that helps other people. If we give up on our path then we blow a fuse in the Universal Network. We put out a star before its time. Planets rely on stars.
Don’t break the big dipper. (You get the point.)
“No pain, much gain.” ~ Byron Katie
So let us bear down—downward-dog style—dig those heels back and finally admit that the most terrifying thing in the world is not to die, but to thrive; to dance a lifetime jig on the javelin of joy.
Honesty is a good seed.
How do you self-sabotage? How do you overcome? I turn to your comments below…