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.

Trusting the Tao

Trusting the Tao

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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!”

 

Re-awakening

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and much has happened.

Not that you would know it. Work has been very busy with little energy left when I’ve come home except to have tea, stare at the telly for an hour or so before wondering if 8.30pm is too early to go to bed.

But there’s been stuff happening, internally. Not my digestive system, I’m glad to say – but in my heart and my head. I’ve been going through one of those times where you question where you’re headed, where you reassess what’s important to you, and you refine your trajectory for where you want your life to head in the future.

I’m lucky in that I have a fab husband who lets me bounce all this stuff off him, and he’s always there as the person who supports me, who encourages me and who, often as not, rips the piss out of me when it’s required. Yes, I’m very lucky to have him.

Its always interesting when these phases strike, like a caterpillar going through yet another phase on the road to butterflyhood, each one builds on the one before.

I can trace these phases in my life going back to 1995. That was the year my mum died and my spiritual education took off with a blast. Suddenly I was propelled on a fast track of information soaking into me like I was a sponge. I was led to the right people, the right books, the right places and all at the right time. It was like I was inhabiting a parallel world for a few years. One where I would go to my work and look after my family on the one hand, and on the other I was slowly learning to  create the future I wanted.

After a kind of incubation and learning period of about four years that included me being introduced to numerous spiritual practices – both ‘New Age’ and very ‘Old Age’, I launched.

In the past 14 years I’ve managed to achieve all I had visualised; I gained the right job at the right time to get the points required to get our family to Australia; I gained my freedom from a bad marriage on my terms; I learned the difference between thinking I was in love with someone because I wanted what they had in life (and I was living it vicariously), and actually being in real love. The first situation is where you’re pulling that person’s energy out of them to fill your void – not good as it depletes them. The second situation is where you can’t help but spontaneously send out your energy to the other for their well-being and happiness – and when two people are in a relationship that’s a mutual outpouring of energy to each other, its just the best thing ever.

And then, after all that activity and learning and manifesting, I seemed to forget all about these amazing tools and connections I’d learned. It all totally dropped from my radar and I became so grounded, I lost sight of all I had learned. I’ve spent the past four years being ‘totally human’ and not really regarding my spiritual side at all. Of course what’s learned has never gone away, but it feels like it has been sleeping, like part of me who sees the bigger picture has been asleep.

And now, it has awoken again and there’s a sort of surprise that the sleep happened. Not that it hasn’t been great and restorative, but now I’m back again, feeling more whole than I have in such a long time, that it feels like another launch period isn’t far off. I’m immersed in a revision process, my old sources and helps are coming to the fore. Certain books, like old friends, are reappearing and waiting patiently in line to be re-read, other books are being offered for reading by old friends. Conversations with those friends that never before touched on the spiritual are now springing up of their own volition, and the synchronicities are happening more and more – the right people, articles, pointers are all amassing.

I wonder if there’s a wave of energy happening; perhaps I’m not the only one experiencing this reawakening, perhaps now is the time for all of us to start getting to work.

Is there anyone else out there feeling this?

Have a great week!

M 🙂

An Intriguing Challenge

It’s been a massive week in some respects, not least in the realisation that I need to remember more frequently to count my blessings and that what I want is actually where I am.

It sounds simple but if you’ve spent the best part of your life trying to get to somewhere better, the autopilot kicks in and the impulse is to relentlessly move forward despite the terrain about you being your desired destination.

So, a new challenge for me – learn how to stop and enjoy what you’ve been striving for when you realise you got there – and its an intriguing challenge.

It seems to mirror my main philosophical/spiritual guide, the Tao Te Ching in its focus on the small, the familiar, and in the eyes of the world the very tame, aspects and issues of our lives to become our real teachers. And yet it isn’t small – the contrast between momentum and control, mirrored in the practice of tai chi is subtle, yet profound.

Swinging kinetic movement is fun and gives at least the appearance of change and progress. Small, controlled and smooth movement appears to be unchanging, too slow for our modern tastes, stasis. But in these small slow movements new universes unfold.

I observe the movement of my hand as it waves across my field of vision. Its slow smooth action allows me to see the wrinkles and lines in my skin, observe the muscles containing their movement to my will, the colour and pigmentation, lines of blood vessels, calloused and smooth spots.

And so it is with life. The slowing down is allowing me to observe in closer quarters the beauty, both temporal and spiritual, that I may have missed in all of my activity.

This slowing of the pace, I do believe I like it.

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In some ways connected with the above thoughts, this week I performed what I intend to be my last standup comedy gig. It was a spot to help entertain some of the 500 volunteers who provide such necessary services to people in the community where I work. It was a privilege to be there and a good one on which to step down.
Comedy has given a lot to me over the past eight years – not least some great friends – and taught me much. I don’t know what happens from here, just that it seems like the right time to close that particular door, so thankyou to everyone who’s helped me, performed with me, and come to see me. Its been a lot of fun.

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If you’re interested in the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu there’s a great translation by Stephen Mitchell at:
http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html
Its my favourite translation and a copy of it sits on my desk at work for quick reference.

Have a great week, everyone!