Gratitude – The Law of Attraction’s Rocket Fuel

I have a fabulous friend and mentor, and when we get together our discussions around everything from business to peoples’ potential and metaphysics can really take us to places of new discovery.

One such discussion took place a few weeks ago that really gave me food for thought. We came around to the subject of  gratitude, and how, when we’re looking to bring about or manifest a situation, if it is visualised in a general atmosphere of gratitude then it tends to lend the whole exercise a power that’s not there without that mindset – I’ve started calling it Rocket Fuel for visualising!

And it’s great to know this, that it works and it can really power a visualisation, but how does it work? These were the things we were discussing when I realised the answer – currency and vacuums!

No, not money and carpet cleaners – let me explain.

When I was a much younger student of Tai Chi and Chi Kung, our Grand Master would teach us that to properly breathe deeply we must not begin on the in-breath, but on the out-breath.

He explained that we need to expel as much of the old air from our lungs as possible, and just when you think it’s all gone, then use your stomach muscles and diaphragm and perhaps even bend over (as in some of the Chi Kung exercises) to expel even more.

This space becomes a bit of a vacuum which then assists in drawing a larger proportion of new air in when you take your big in-breath. Try that two or three times and you’ll actually feel quite giddy because your body isn’t used to all that fresh air – its used to a good proportion of the old stale air.

The other aspect of our discussion about gratitude led me to thinking about energy. Energy isn’t stagnant – it needs to keep on moving to be effective, much like an electrical current.

And that’s when it struck me – conscious gratitude is an outpouring of positive energy from your being-ness to either a specific (God, the Universe etc) or non specific target (the world etc). Where it goes doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the mood and movement of the energy, and that outpouring of positivity then creates a space, like the lungs empty of expelled air.

And because like only draws to like, it creates that space specifically for positivity to enter, and that’s how it rocket fuels your visualisations.

The great bonus of cultivating gratitude is that it has a side benefit – it puts us in a better, nicer and more positive space than we would otherwise be if we were worrying or panicking because if that is what we’re sending out, then that is what  we would get back.

So, next time you find yourself with an air of negativity of whatever type, put it to one side, draw out your gratitude and send it out, creating the space for more good stuff to come right back atcha.

Mothering Your Dreams

The theme of Mothers’ Day and the contemplation of what it is to be a mother, to provide nurture, led me to think about the act of giving birth when it comes to bringing our dreams to life.

There is the moment of fertilisation – that time when an idea takes hold and declares it’s possibility of life outside your heart and head, and from there it takes root. You cogitate over its potential, play with it, work out where it could go and where you would want to take it.

Slowly it grows and takes shape. It begins to have an identity of its own. You may give it a name. It gets to a point where it is so large in your mind that you have to commit to hitting the keyboard.

The first time you write its name on the screen or sheet of paper it seems oddly familiar – it has been living with you for so long that to see it stand there, separate from you, on its own legs, can be quite scary. You wonder – can it have a life?

You probably then continue to develop and grow this dream that has now morphed into a project or series of projects that you’ve devised to bring it about. You put in hours thinking about it and planning. It’s almost like having a love affair – if it really is based in  your passion you will lose  hours to it as you work away without it seeming like actual work. You will start to reference parts of your life to  it that you used to defend from any kind of work or career reference and it will become a part of who you are and what you do, whether it is named or unnamed, every day you walk the earth.

And then one day, when it and you are both ready, you’ll launch it. You’ll cast it at the feet of the world and hope they love it as much as you do, because it has become a part of you and what you’re really doing is putting that part of you out there for the judgement of the world. You’ll worry what friends and family will say if this is a part of you they haven’t seen before. You’ll worry that you will appear foolish or getting above yourself. You’ll worry that you fail.

But that won’t stop you, because it’s born of your passion and a  part of you that hasn’t previously had a voice, so relax. There is no failure, only feedback, and the only fool is one who doesn’t try to push their boundaries to see just what they can achieve.

Believe in yourself and in your dreams – they are your future. Nourish them, nurture them and whether you are man or woman, let the Mother in you birth them to the world. They are your contribution to your community, they are your legacy, and they will keep you sane when everything else seems a bit bonkers.

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

It’s been a while since my last post, life seems to have sped up.

Work is busy as always, plus getting a new job that I start in a few weeks time. Add to that preparation for the Adelaide Fringe including production and publicity work as well as actually writing and rehearsing with my Three Stuffed Mums buddies Kate and Kehau, it seems my time has flown.

In between it all was a sojourn to Sydney to see no.1 son off on his travels once again with the Navy. It was great to spend time with him and very sad to wave him off. The up part being that it will be only six months and he will be home again.

And in between all of this action trying to observe, to stay true to myself and my path, to learn about what’s transpiring and to simply enjoy life.

Because when it all comes down to it, I think that’s the crux, the meaning of all of this life stuff; living it and creating joy, however you find the expression of that to be.

Some people write, some perform, others love to cook, or make things, or ice cakes or climb mountains or talk to people or any other of a million things. And if they express and engender joy through that activity, if it results in you and others feeling uplifted by it and benefitting from it, there isn’t that much more to aim for, is there?

We Three Stuffed Mums have been talking a lot this week about what our comedy means for us, about what we’re trying to do with it, and we all agree that it’s about the following:

-Do no harm

-Uplift ourselves and others

-Have people leave the show feeling better than when they came in

Sounds good to me!

Have a great week!

M 🙂

Trusting the Tao

Trusting the Tao

73

The Tao is always at ease.
It overcomes without competing,
answers without speaking a word,
arrives without being summoned,
accomplishes without a plan.

Its net covers the whole universe.
And though its meshes are wide,
it doesn’t let a thing slip through.

From Steven Mitchell’s translation of the Tao Te Ching

The words above have been a very real, very practical lesson for me recently.

We’re getting ready for another great Adelaide Fringe, and I’m writing a new show with my Three Stuffed Mums colleagues called Still Stuffed. Its a brand new show, with all new stand up comedy and songs, following on from the great success we had last year.

The songs are fine, they’re all written and being arranged right now. All new stand up – that’s another story. I don’t know how other writers operate but I cannot just sit at a computer and write funny – especially when the funny is for spoken delivery.

For me, that means it has to come from spoken origins. And its not a linear process either. Ideas, or phrases or sentences pop up, that generate further ideas that progress out from that original trigger like the ripples on a pond. The most important thing then is the idea, and the next important things are the words that convey that idea. The words can be swapped around like the idea trying on different outfits, but as long as the idea is intact and still inhabits my mind in its original form, there’s that leeway to play with. And then after a few days of musing (or weeks) it gets commited to screen via the keyboard. The words, if you’re not careful, have a way of pegging the idea down like the guy ropes of a flyaway tent. Done properly they neatly package and deliver the idea concisely, precisely and with punch. Done badly they bog it down and kill it. So you can see where I’m starting from.

So, all of this is to say that you cannot force the process. At the same time you have a deadline called ‘opening night’ looming ahead that tends to focus the mind and has the capacity to instill panic. So, what to do?

Me, I have learned to pick up my copy of the Tao Te Ching to remind myself to chill out and that all will be fine. That calms me enough to trust again that what I need will be delivered as long as I do my part in the process. And when I do, its a kind of self fulfilling prophecy, the ideas flow more freely, the mind is more open to receiving new ideas, not tense with panic, and things start to shake up in good time. And I have to say, things are coming together very nicely re the stand up, much better than I anticipated, actually. Adelaide Fringe 2012, I cannot wait for opening night!

If you’re in the vicinity you should pop down and see our show at The Maid, which also has some great comedy shows not featuring us. Our senior Stuffed Mum, Kehau, runs the venue with an aim to helping new comics put on their first Fringe shows without going into bankruptcy to do it. She and her husband Glynn work their butts off to make sure this happens so they deserve support for that alone, I reckon.

Whatever you do, and wherever you are please support your local artists, take part in your local culture and entertainment, and most of all, have fun!

Have a great week!

Maggie 🙂

NB: When looking for the correct stanzas to illustrate my point about trusting the flow in the writing process, I went to the internet version of the translation and blindly clicked on a chapter number. It turned out to be precisely the best chapter to describe what I was trying to say. Bravo Tao!

A Pleasant and Scenic Ride

I know that when I’m at one with my Tao, or engaged in the flow, or however you’d like to put it, that things feel easier. I know that right there in the pit of my stomach that it feels good and right. Its a deep and sure and steady feeling of just knowing.

Wu Wei - Image sourced from http://www.koanic.com/tao6.htm

At times, when there is action about and I feel like this, like the wind is at my back and all good fortunes are with me, then it is very easy to be carried by the motion, to surf along on the wave. It’s exciting. The metaphorical – or even metaphysical – wind is in my hair, I know I’m on the right track and whoosh, the old adrenalin’s up and I know I’m headed for something good.

But as there are times of action, so there are also times of non action, times when it is not the right thing to make a move, or a decision. And I know these signs just the same as those that indicate action.

And that’s when it can get kinda difficult. Sure, I get still in mind and body, and I’m ok with that, kinda. I’m sure its the right thing to do, to be still and do nothing, but action is a little addictive. It also gives me an illusion of control over external events, like I’m directing the wave rather than just riding on it. So, when it comes for time to be still and that feeling of control is debunked, a mild panic sets in.

What to do? I still the mind (again).

Then I become aware of the activity around me. People scurrying about seeking the same results that I want to achieve. From the outside, they seem to be in control, they seem to be taking strides towards their goals, they seem to be achieving what they’re setting out to achieve, and here am I sitting still, doing nothing.

Two things can happen at this moment; the first is that I can act out of panic. Inevitably whatever I do in this situation gives immediate satisfaction, like a sugar rush that spikes but then plunges me back down into a trough of self recrimination for not staying true to my path. The results of the action rarely bear fruit that’s  more than a momentary distraction.

The second thing I can do, if I’m calm and together enough, is to observe the people scurrying about in a detatched, yet compassionate manner. I am not them and they are not me. I have no way of knowing how connected or otherwise their activity is to their inner compass. In most ways its none of my business. My business is to be about my own business which is my path and my deportment in the world, in a manner as true to my own compass as possible.

This is what I try to do. I don’t always succeed, but when I do, and I keep my mind clear and ready to see the signs for action, expecting them, expecting only the best and trusting the Tao to provide them, things tend to go swingingly better. Patience (not my best trait) wins the day.

To finish, I was told this story by a man who was a soldier just after WWII, and I’ve often used it as a metaphor for myself and how to engage in Wu Wei:

“We were on manoeuvres on the Island of Arran. Arran has mainly two roads – one that goes around the perimeter of the island, and another, the string road, that cuts through a Glen  in the middle of the island and connects the eastern and western coasts.

I was dropped with the other soldiers in my squad on Brodick Beach, on the Eastern side. Our mission was to get to the other side of the island and meet there later that day. I really didn’t feel like it, I’d been out drinking the night before and I watched my mates all run up the beach in front of me with their ‘AAARRRGGHHs’  and war cries as they fought the sand, jumped up onto the esplanade, crossed the road and disappeared into the Glen that carried the String Road.

I managed to get  up the beach, climb the seawall and get up onto the footpath. I watched my colleagues disappear into the greenery – I was the last person there and I really doubted that I had the energy, never mind the will, to tackle the trek.

All of a sudden my vision of the Glen was obscured by a vehicle that pulled up in front of me. Turned out I had been standing at a bus stop and the door opened and the driver asked me where I wanted to go. I told him Dougrie and he said ‘jump on.’

In full uniform I didn’t have to pay a fare and I was at our muster point two hours before my mates after a very pleasant and scenic ride!”

 

The Pleasure Principle

Hang on – I’ll just go pour my coffee – BRB!

Aaah – that’s better. It’s a cup made in the little plunger with a nice blend of bean pulverised in my birthday present from lovely hubby – a coffee grinder. I’d never had one before and its a well used present. I think as I get older I’m appreciating some of my often ignored senses. I love the scent of the coffee as it’s released from the bean. It fills the head with its scent, almost like tasting it before you’ve tasted it.

I seem to be doing a lot of things like that just now. Small things that I’d ignored previously become huge pleasures. I’m becoming less tolerant of the mass produced, preservative soaked and additive addled foods we’re offered in the shops and heading more for the fresh, the fragile, the foods that are time sensitive and only edible for a certain period before going off. I’m learning not to trust eating or drinking anything that doesn’t age or rot. I guess I’m also soaking in the pleasure principle – just like the one advocated by Mireille Guiliano – where the chief motivators to eat and live well are;

  • the choice of quality over quantity and, ultimately,
  • savouring the pleasure in life, be it food, work, pastimes or anything else.

It’s not a staggering change though, or a violent revolution. It’s something that has begun quietly and continues as I follow my nose and my newish sense of prioritising the good things in life.

A short list of the things I’m enjoying right now, because I’m making a point of enjoyment include:

Being in the garden; family time; Tai Chi (and the heady – almost drunken – feeling of breathing properly); Our doggies; thinking; cooking; walking; writing (after many many years I’ve started writing poetry again).

On reading the list back, it does seem pretty mundane but it doesn’t feel that way. These simple things really do deliver great pleasure. They wouldn’t have years ago when I felt driven and that I had other stuff to do, but now that I’ve achieved a lot of what I set out to do I’m more relaxed about it all.

If you find that life seems to be whizzing by, why not try it yourself. Take five minutes to observe beauty, be immersed in fragrances of beauty whether foods or essential oils. Pat your dogs, taste a new, sensational cheese or practice active listening with your favourite music or the birdsong round about. Use all of your senses to absorb the pleasures of the world around you – just for five minutes. You never know, you might grow to like it! :o)

Have a great week!

M x

 

I’m Stuffed Just Thinking About It!

Well, with two shows under our belt and the third due today, the Three Stuffed Mums have got into the swing of Fringe 2011.

Its been a busy week with lots of radio interviews, dress rehearsals and then opening night on Friday night. So far audience numbers and reactions have been great. Everyone’s found something to relate to in the show – even young single males!

It finally feels that we’ve given birth (so to speak) to this vehicle where we can utilise our talents in a positive and progressive way, so onward and upward!
The comedy industry here in South Australia is so oriented towards young single men that previously womens’ voices (of all ages) haven’t had much of a forum. That’s not a bad thing, its just how it was.

Now we’re creating that forum for both ourselves and hopefully for other female comics to come forward. That’s probably going to be one of the best parts of the Stuffed Mums project – to help and nurture new talent and give it a voice in the world.

We’ve already been booked to play the Ascot Theatre in Kadina in March, and with a Mother’s day show in May and some interstate shows looming, its all looking rather good.

Internally, its an interesting time. I don’t feel that big high that I used to get at times like these when I was younger. In its place is a very deep calm and contentment that, paradoxically, seems to anchor me to the flow of what’s going on. Its not a new feeling, but its never been this strong before and I’m enjoying it very much.

Its a rainy, cool Sunday morning here in Adelaide. Between now and the 5.30pm twilight show there’s washing and tidying to be done.

No.1 (step)son Andy is home from the Gulf – his ship got in this week so its time to claw back his room from the tide of office and exercise equipment to make it liveable once more as a bedroom.

Jeez. I’m stuffed just thinking about it!

Have a great week!