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1) Ask For It
You can’t expect anyone, not even God or the Universe, if you prefer, to give you what you want if you don’t ask. Getting clear on that is half the job. But if you don’t ask, it’s unlikely to make it past the dream state.

Getting clear is not always easy. It can entail some soul and heart searching. Choosing whether you want a blue  or a green one can have an effect on the asking. The clearer you are, the better your chances of getting what you really want.

It does work better if you can divorce yourself from the concept and feeling tone of “want,” which indicates lack. Upgrade it to something more like a wish or a desire. Wanting adds a note of desperation which lessens the power in asking.

In mythical legends, there are often questions that must be asked before the hero can proceed. Asking is often more important than getting an answer.

Get your asking right and you are well on your way.

2) Be Sure
This is a more difficult and less concrete step. Sometimes I will ask God for something that I’m not entirely sure I want, or not completely convinced I deserve. “Be careful what you ask for” often holds me back. This is tantamount to not asking at all. The Universe cannot deliver on a request that is not sure. God cannot give you what you don’t really want. You might say, I really want this amazing job, but what will it do to my life, can I handle it? If there’s a conflict inside of you, it can stop your asking from being heard.

I’ve seen this in my life. When I have that kind of surety in me, it came a lot faster and with far more accuracy. When you direct unsure asking to the Universe, It may not always understand your request. If you’re not wholehearted, there’s not much It can do. We do have free will and you can’t be given something you don’t really want.

In spiritual circles we talk about moving into knowing whatever we’ve asked for is already here. That’s the fastest path. The deeper your belief in this, the swifter the delivery will be.

3) Take It
This may seem obvious, but is often overlooked in the process. So many of us ask God for something and He tries to hand it to us, but it’s not quite what we asked for . . . and so we dismiss it. Not a nice thing to do, is it? If God is trying to give us something, can we have enough grace to accept it? The good news is, God will keep offering until we take hold of it.

If you ask with clarity, are sure as heaven of what you’re asking for and you gratefully accept it when it comes – whether that’s healing or a new bicycle – there’s nothing you can’t have!

 

Sometimes I find myself waiting for inspiration. I don’t know what to write, what to say about what I’m preparing to write.  It’s almost as if my mind goes blank!  Where has my muse gone?

Now, I don’t believe in the term Writer’s Block.  For one thing, it’s not something that happens exclusively to writers. (Though writers may be more sensitive to it than some, we also carry effective tools for dealing with it.)  Secondly, I don’t like imagining it as something as solid as a block.  I’ve found it a lot more malleable.

The opposite of waiting is flow.  So the best way to get things flowing again is to stop waiting and move in a different direction.

Sitting and suffering when things are stuck isn’t going to get the crops to grow again.  You don’t have to wait for everyone else to act, for all conditions to be perfect.  In some very difficult cases, taking action toward therapy may be what’s needed.  There are stories of those who sought to take action through drugs or drink, with less than adequate results.  But most of us can just get off our duffs and do something about it.  There are plenty of simpler, more healthy things that will do the trick.  The means are open to anyone, too, whether writer or not.

The key is to find something else to occupy your mind for awhile. Very often a walk, preferably outside, can open the channels again.  Just changing rooms could spark a few things. Anything which changes your perspective, can free your mind from the illusion of the block.  Taking action primes the pump for creative ideas to flow.   I like using music, especially live music.  Moving to music always inspires me!  Some may prefer a bath or shower.  Julia Cameron says that creativity is a spiritual issue.  It’s not about ego.  Anything you can do to ease your mind, find a place of peace in the situation, will support your creativity for whatever is needed.

As writers, we can bust through by putting pen to paper or fingers to keys and writing.  Anything at all.  It matters not what.  The physical act of writing can open lots of pathways. You don’t even have to be a writer to do it.  It’s perfectly acceptable to write that you can’t think of anything to write (or what to do about something), that you have no clue where to even start. In a few sentences you may be saying something like, “Well, I could do this …” and before you know it, you’re writing!  (Or painting, or composing, or looking into going back to school.)  I always support writing it out.

The lesson is that waiting does nothing to help the situation and there are a whole slew of actions you can take which do help.   Kristen Moeller wrote in her intriguing book “Waiting for Jack” asking, What are you waiting for?  It’s a study of why it just doesn’t pay to wait.  How many wonderful things you miss!  How not waiting can put you somewhere you’d never imagined.

In many ways we’ve become ingrained in waiting. Waiting in line, waiting for others to show up or do something, waiting for our favorite show to come back with a new season.

It seems to me that waiting tightens.  It interferes with free movement.  One could say, quite dispassionately, that they are waiting for a bus.  But more often than not our waiting is accompanied by feelings of anxiety.  Will the bus be on time?  Will I get a seat . . . ?  And therein lies the culprit.

The bad feelings we get around waiting do Nothing to open the way for the line to move faster, your friend to show up sooner, or writing to come. In fact, I would say, energetically, the more angst you produce, the more constricted the flow, and the longer you have to wait.

The quickest way to get over waiting is to just do it, if you can. When you’re able to move again, the anxiety slips away.  If you can’t do it, see if there’s some place to release the negative feelings.

Acceptance of where you are and what’s going on can eliminate plenty. Very often the simple act of acknowledgment that words (money, solutions) are not coming jogs things loose.  If we can just stop waiting and take some kind of Action  ~ even mentally releasing the present moment to be what it is ~ we are surprised by how things get going again.

Giving presents is what everyone does – especially at this time of year.  Can we be more creative and find other ways to give?

What may come to mind first is giving money.  That’s an easy one to do, if you have it. You don’t have to have a fortune to give money, though.  In some spiritual circles, you’re encouraged to give, even when you don’t think you have it. Giving money can make you feel abundant.

Another one that comes readily to mind is giving time.  This kind of giving can manifest in many different ways.  You could, of course, give your time to help someone with a chore.  Sometimes just showing up and spending time with someone can be a gift.  It might only be your company that makes someone feel less alone.  Other times your presence might support what someone is doing.

Giving time, of course, can be about volunteering.  So often our time is taken up in self-centric activities, such as earning our wages or tending to our surroundings. Volunteering your time, giving it freely for the good of someone else can be very freeing.

Giving can mean handing over some of your possessions to those with less.  Maybe it is a gift you’ve purchased just for someone special. A phone call or letter might touch someone’s heart at just the right time and be a gift.  As I’ve found recently, giving my attention to a project can make a real difference.

An area of giving that doesn’t get talked about much is giving to yourself.  Maybe there’s something you’ve really been needing lately.  If you take the time and the money to go out and get it for yourself, that can be considered giving.  You might just decide to give yourself permission to go after what you want or to be sad because you didn’t get something you wanted.

Giving can happen spontaneously.  It can be so fast you could miss it, if you’re not watching. You could be walking along the street and come across someone who’s dropped their packages, stoop over and help them gather their things. Opening the door for someone who’s struggling. Giving someone space to express their opinions without interrupting or arguing could be a generous gift at times. Others may just need you to give them permission to be who they are or your acceptance for what they’re trying to do.

Perhaps you could give of yourself – something you know, what you’ve learned or what you think.  You could give a recommendation, a referral or a kidney.  I often like to give compliments. Giving encouragement can also be very helpful.  You could give a day off, a free pass, or a leg up.

Whenever you can give something to yourself or someone else, most particularly something of your own, it warms and expands your heart. And strengthens your giving muscle.

It’s a Loving Universe

As I write this now, I’m thinking that this should be Part 1. When you see that the Universe is a loving place, it makes it that much easier to accept and allow.  From that place of acceptance, you are more able to access the present moment.

Be that as it may, all it takes to know it’s a Loving Universe is simply to take the time to look.  When you begin to search for evidence, you will find plenty.  Everything, I mean everything that happens to you is for your best good.  It may take some time and space to see it, but see it you will. Even (sometimes especially) things that look “bad” like losing your job, for instance, often turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.  Over and over, you will see evidence if you but take the time to observe the results.

What’s truly amazing about this is that while the Universe is busy loving you and delivering good things your way, It is also doing the very same thing for everyone else.

It’s at this point I wish to bring in the word God.  Personally, it seems like fanciful thinking to say that life sprung up out of nowhere and developed a species that can build a city, make love and create music. It seems far more rational to think there’s an intelligence, a plan behind it all. What else could make everything perfect for everyone?

This Universe (or God, if you don’t mind) is so loving that It has given us all the tools we need to manifest an awesome life.  We can create our life without money, time or help.  Everything each of us needs we come equipped with. Things like willingness, imagination and inspiration are standard equipment on all models.

One more important point I’d like to make about the Loving Universe is that It accepts us (as It asks us to accept It) completely and without reservation, just exactly the way we are.  No matter what flaws you may think you have, no matter how many “bad” things you think you’ve done, the Universe still loves you, still brings you the best.  Just because you’ve made a few mistakes (or even broken a few laws) doesn’t mean you lose your curiosity, the ability to take action, fall in love, or be committed to a goal.

If you’re not convinced it’s a Loving Universe just watch It at work and you will soon have all the proof you need.

Using the Twin Constellations of Acceptance and Allowance (from the book that never was)

Acceptance is an agreement or a choice. The first step is to accept everything that goes on in the Universe.  You really don’t have any other choice. What’s happening is what’s happening.  You might just as well tell the Universe to back up and turn around.  Good luck with that.

Allowing is the second part.  To give permission. This is not saying it’s okay with you. It’s merely a willingness to open the door, allowing life to be what it is. Allowing is a much better use of energy than trying with all your might to keep the door shut.

Another analogy might be a flowing river. The first thing you need to do in order to use it to your benefit, is to agree that the river is flowing. As long as the river remains free, there is nothing you can do to change that.. Then, as you allow the current to take you with it, you use the energy of the river, rather than fight it.

When you apply this to your life, you are able to move more effectively and easily. Understanding these powerful twin forces is the beginning of your journey across the Universe.

I call them elementals because they are elemental to us all.  Everyone has these things built-in.

 1.  Using the power of Dreams and Visions to create your intent.
Dreams and visions provide the most powerful information.  Those things you dream of or see in happy visions are the things you most want, that you have the most passion for.  This allows you to start off from the best possible place.

 2.  Using Clarity and Guidance to decide on your actions.
You use clarity to listen for Guidance. Clarity comes in between the breaths, in the silence, opening the portals for Guidance. Clarity can come into play after the Guidance, as well.  It gives your steps surety and the clear eye to see what lies ahead.

 3.  Using Discipline and Choice to fuel those actions.
Actions need choice.  You won’t do anything without choice. Discipline helps you to continue to make the choices.  Discipline keeps you coming back to what you’ve chosen.

 4.  Using Openness and Acceptance to allow what comes.
Life doesn’t always move in a straight line. You have to be open to what comes to you.  You many not yet see how it applies to your Intent.  Accept what you get.

 5.  Using Gratitude and Flexibility to listen for your next move.
Having gratitude for what you created expands and shapes it. It also put you in mind to be flexible if the Guidance should take you in a new direction.

If you use these elementals you will find life happens easily, almost effortlessly.

It’s always strange to me that spiritual teachers have notions which run contrary to what I was taught growing up.  The sacred and the profane, for one.  Also, this idea that it’s best to go through life easily, rather than Hard Working.

So, I offer, from my files, this brief synopsis of my take on the Path of Least Effort.

1. Accept What is ~ This always makes things easier. The more I accept what I don’t do, the more I can do.  From this place of Acceptance, I have a clearer view of what lies ahead, to inform me of the best way to change the situation or move ahead. Life is what it is. The more I try to make it something else, the more unnecessarily I struggle.

2.  Be Defenseless ~ This one tends to hang people up.  But I believe it’s about not having anything to defend.   I often find myself trying to explain my side. What a waste of energy!  If I’m truly accepting all, I am also accepting whatever I do, whoever I am.  That leaves me with nothing to defend.  As if I was transparent and everything flowed easily through me.  Water doesn’t work hard.

3. Take Responsibility ~ It takes an awful lot of effort to avoid responsibility.  It’s so much easier to just do what can be done.  With the knowledge of acceptance and the strength in being defenseless, it’s not so hard to take responsibility. Keeping the slate clean.

 3 small steps which create a way to move through life easily!

“You don’t have to make anything happen.  Just align yourself with what wants to happen and let it.” – Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen always gets me thinking with his simple prescriptions of ease.  I like this one especially. It seems to capture so much.

I am intrigued by this notion of “aligning’” myself with what wants to happen.  How do you do that?  I had a thought that it’s kind of like putting yourself in glory’s way.  Why put yourself in harm’s way when you can step into a spot where good things can get you?

There’s also the job searching/networking theory of putting yourself out there.  I guess that’s good for a lot of things.  If you want something good to happen to you, it’s a little foolish to hide out at home, talking to no one.  It simply can’t find you.

Maybe it’s about flowing with life.  Letting go of the resistance and allowing it to happen, to come into your life.  Alan asks us to let it happen in the second part, but maybe it’s in the moving piece too, the lining up.  Makes sense that there’s a certain amount of letting go involved in getting in line.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this Resistance thing. Eckhart Tolle says it’s the ego trying to protect itself. Resistance causes blockage and dis-ease. (Doesn’t sound like a clear flow to me.)  I’ve always been taught to fight through resistance.  But I’m getting the message lately that it’s better to accept it. The tides of my life are trying to flow in a different way than how I’m going. That is Resistance.  If I let myself move where life wants to take me, perhaps I will align myself with what wants to happen.

I just love the ease in this.  It’s about surrender which – though I can’t say I practice as well as I’d like –  I do believe in.  It’s that softer touch, going with the flow.  Acceptance of what is going on is the only sane way to live. Anything else is useless, and perhaps bordering on madness. We haven’t yet figured out how to bend space.  You can exert effort, but you are not often enough to change the course of things.  You can only affect its path a little.

Perhaps it’s a daily practice.  Aligning day in and day out.  Trusting, sort of sitting back and watching life happen.  After all, we’re all conscious and aware.  We’ve set intentions. We can trust in that.  Making choices in the now, accepting and aligning with what is happening in front of us.

Sometimes life gets too absorbing.  My nose is to the grindstone, trying hard.  But it’s at times like these I need to step back and remember that it’s far more productive to use the “Elementals” to make things happen.

1)  The first step is always to get quiet and look inside. There I can find the inspiration of Guidance.  It is speaking to me through my dreams and visions.  Showing what I want and giving me the match to light the fire.  It reveals my Mission, what I truly want to do.

2)  Next I want to give my clear Attention and Awareness to this Mission.  Tell the truth and own what I want.  Listen, research, and learn what I need to do.  Give it thought and planning to know how to proceed.

3)  Back that up with Consistent Discipline, making the right choices, taking the steps I feel guided to take.  A small amount of effort, repeated regularly, produces results.  Keep taking authentic action.

4)  Along the way, care for myself and my actions with Acceptance and Flexibility.  Allowing myself to dance this way or that, fail or succeed, rest and play. Remaining open to whatever comes my way.

5)  I don’t want to forget to fuel myself with Gratitude and Appreciation.  Keep the talk ever positive, filling the well. Be grateful for whatever I create through my actions. Gratitude will multiply whatever I do.

Return inside for Guidance to check that my mission still feels right. Sharpen my awareness, keep taking conscious steps, take good care, and be grateful for everything I make happen.

Rinse and repeat.

Everybody is talking about Self Care.  Readers of this Blog know that I’m a big proponent of this important cause. I contend that a large part of it is in how you talk to yourself.  Self talk can make or break your Self Care program.  When you are the observer of your thoughts you are in the realm of Now. (And we all know how vital and powerful that is!)

So, observation is key.  It only takes a moment to be aware.  Once you hear what you’re saying, you have the opportunity to be proactive in your self-care.

Sometimes I stop and ask myself, “Is this what I really want to be doing right now?”  If I answer that it isn’t, I’m only going to cause myself suffering.  Instead I can turn it into an opportunity to say, “Yes.”  And allow myself to be more present to what I’m doing, rather than questioning it.

Another favorite question is: “Am I doing this well enough?”  This is where I can really step up and be on my side.  If I remember that I can love myself like I would a friend, I turn that thought on its ear.  What a wonderful way to show that I love and care about myself!  Close those thoughts down. Tell them to take a hike.

How about “Am I doing the right thing, moving in the right direction?”  I like to use this as practice in trusting.  Surrendering to whatever I’m doing.  That is the only place I can hear new instructions as to where to go next. If I’m constantly questioning myself I’ll never get anywhere. That’s a lousy way to treat myself.

I am going to listen to what I’m saying and change the thought if it doesn’t support me in joy and acceptance.  I think that’s a very good way to take good care.

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