Why -Abundance (1.5.0)

Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Welcome to Journey of Abundance! Are you ready to explore your inner abundance depths? Or, perhaps first, there will be a period of time of exploring your inner poverty depths–clear the crap, make room for the gold. I usually have a lot of crap to clear, so don’t worry–you’re in good company.

Even though I’ve been clearing the poverty crap for many years, and increasing my actual experience of abundance, there is still more crap: I still have some resistance to having money (more on that in a minute); I still have a cantankerous and belligerent relationship to bills (they get paid, I just really need to talk myself up to get it done); I still do not have clarity about the relationship between work (spiritual and material) abundance; I still feel like I’m in kindergarten regarding abundance, even though I have come a really long way.

For those of you new to the Journeys: today is Why day. This is the day I write about why it’s important for me to focus on abundance: what I hope to learn, what I hope to clear, what I aim to work on for 40 days.

For those of you who will be joining the Journey this time around: start your thinkin’ and writin’! Why are you interested in focusing on advancing your understanding of and relationship with abundance?

Here we go!

I grew up in a household in which money was “the root of all evil”. During all of my formative years, emotionally and psychologically, I learned to reject money, because to accept money was to invite and allow evil.

While at the same time, I was learning that in order to be a productive and contributing member of society, I had to work to make money.

What a contradiction! How was I to embrace work, which brought me evil in the form of money?

My solution to this contradiction for most of my young-adult life (18-24), was to work, but act like I did not have money. The way I did this was to just put money in a savings account and only use it “if I had to”, as though the money only existed if “I needed it”…and I was very clear about the difference between needing something and wanting something. I only used money if I needed something, and I needed very few things. I probably set it up that way, to limit my “need” for money, limiting my relationship with that evil.

I was around 25 before I understood that the actual bible quote is not that “money is the root of all evil”, but that “the love of money is the root of all evil”. In other words: greed is the root of all evil.

But by then, I had been steeped in a belief system that equated money with evil for over two decades. Now, it’s been over two decades that I have been clearing that crap, and there is more to clear. If you have any childhood “baggage” you know how these things stick with you…you think you’ve got it all, but then it peeks out and sabotages something and you think, “Gosh darn it, I thought I was done with this!” You know? (this is what I was referring to in the second paragraph; sometimes that old resistance-habits-emotional sense rears its head and I can see/feel how blocked I still am to receiving money).

Nonetheless, to give you a sense of how far I’ve come, here are some things I have worked through over the years:

  1. I can confirm 100% that I am not greedy. I have been…at times…it has cropped up in the form of jealousy or coveting or hoarding (in the sense of not sharing or not being generous), but really I don’t see it anymore.
  2. I can confirm 100% that I am generous. Practicing generosity was one way that I worked through greed issues. And I am still working on this. I want to be even more generous, in order to do that, I need to work on…you guessed it…abundance!
  3. Despite my cantankerous and belligerent relationship with my bills, it’s so much better than it used to be (like when I used to just ignore money…which meant ignoring bills for as long as I could…)
  4. love working and I love being paid for the work I do. I have not reached my own personal ceiling with either work or getting paid, so that is another reason why abundance is important.

Generally speaking: I now have a good relationship with work and money. It’s like I went from a  minus 10 to a neutral zero point. Everything is good.

Why, then, abundance? What is next? What do I need/want to work on?

Now I want to move from neutral zero to a positive relationship with work and money.

The philosophy that I am going to use to guide this next step of my abundance evolution is the aspect of Hindu philosophy called Artha.

Artha has three meanings:  1) “meaning” or “significance” 2) anything that gives temporary relief from suffering. 3) “wealth” or “money”.

The way I understand how Artha is understood in Hindu philosophy is this: There are material things that human beings must have to live: food, shelter, clothing. There are spiritual things that human beings thrive with: A life of meaning and purpose. There are intellectual and emotional things that provide human beings with a sense of fulfillment: (this varies greatly between people). Whenever any of these is deprived, there is the experience of pain and suffering. Artha is anything that relieves that pain and suffering.

Most often, because of its third meaning, “wealth”, Artha is seen in purely the material sense.

Even though Artha is about having material comfort, it also means living with that material comfort in a way that also serves your personal meaning and purpose and provides you with personal fulfillment. If wealth does not do all these things, it is no longer Artha (because if it does not do these things, it is contributing to suffering…the opposite of Artha).

For my purposes, in my next stage of learning about abundance, Artha is my guide, because this is exactly the sort of positive relationship I want with money: I want it to have meaning beyond mere money. Using money/wealth for Purpose and Fulfillment is just the right perspective to bring about a positive relationship with it.

For me, Artha is the convergence of loving the work I do (fulfillment), my Highest Purpose (to serve God and humanity), and the means to do those things in a comfortable, easy, joyous, pleasurable way.

Thus. Why am I doing a Journey of Abundance?

  1. to move from neutral zero to a positive relationship with work and money
  2. to begin to receive money easily and freely, doing meaningful and fulfilling work
  3. to increase my generosity

How about you?

 

 

Ummm, what’s the alternative, exactly? – Journey of Gratitude 2017, day 07

“If you are not really living, this moment, you are not really living.” -Random internet quote

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Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Life is beautiful. There is nothing other than Life. Life is within me; Life pours out from me. Everything everywhere is Life. Life is Being. I am Life. All that I am, I offer in praise and thanks to all of Life.

Reflection

Can you hear my boisterous laugh?

I saw the quote above about “not really living” and thought, what a great contrasting quote for today’s Guiding Thought. I mean… how can anyone be “not really living” in any moment?

Yes, I know, I get it… it’s supposed to be a motivation to live life to the fullest in every moment, or something like that. But, it sounds as though there is an alternative, when there isn’t. When you say, “you need to eat” it’s not like you can say, “hey, you need to eat, but you can’t swallow your food”. Or “we want you to pre-pay after your purchase”. It doesn’t work that way.

Life is. You are. Life is FULL. You are FULL. You are Full of LIFE. You are always Living. There is no alternative.

Stop thinking that you are not “really” living. You are. This is life, you are in it, start seeing it. (there’s that seeing again).

However, I acknowledge “the gap”: If you don’t feel like you are “really” living; if there are parts of your life that you “really” don’t like; if you look at a picture of someone living in a treehouse, on a yacht, or travelling the world, and you think “now that’s really living”, then there is something missing from your experience of Life. The gap is between what you think life is, and how you experience it.

It feels like, it seems like, it appears as though there is a life that would be better, think about what message that sends to the life you are living: “Not good enough”. “Dissatisfied”. “Never enough”. Think about how those messages limit Life from fully expressing through you.

It’s not about having life, or having a life. It’s about being life. How can that ever be less than, or not good enough?

Pearls of Vision (Join in on Twitter, #pearlsofvision)

Keeping with today’s theme: May we all Know ourselves as FULL, and as Life, and as Full of Life!

 

“Damn Skippy”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 15

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

In Divine Mind, you are filled full! All are equally filled full. All are equal in Love. Fill your mind with thoughts of fulfillment and remember what you already know. Be determined to fulfill your purpose, to know your Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness you are.

 

Sharing

“Be determined to fulfill your purpose”!

Sometimes it’s easier to be determined, when there is a tangible goal, a point at which you know that you’ve arrived, or that you have accomplished, or attained.  “I have a plan and I’m working my plan…”

It’s less easy when the goal is abstract, or intangible. I mean, what kind of goal is there to “the journey”, it’s so vague?  What about when the goal is actually NON-attainable like “Divine Love” (since that is infinite)?

But on the other hand, how many people do you know who have attained those tangible goals (graduating from a certain level of education, getting that dream job/spouse/home) and they still feel unfulfilled, while people “on the journey” seem happier, less stressed, and more care-free?

This is a bit more of that material-spiritual dichotomy I talked about yesterday. There is a need for balance, for understanding of both approaches, while applying the appropriate tools for each. Meditation is an appropriate tool  for achieving the abstract goal of “Divine Love”, but it is not an appropriate tool for passing a test—study and hard work are tools for passing a test, right?

If I want to attain a higher level of education, I have to get into a school, do the coursework, jump through some hoops. I can’t just sit and meditate and expect to achieve it.

Or can I?

Two things come to mind.

First: “seek ye first the Kingdom of heaven and all things will be added unto you”. If this phrase is to be believed, it’s saying that even passing a test can be achieved (“added unto you”), if you first do the spiritual work of seeking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Second: There is a story in Autobiography of a Yogi, that keeps coming to mind regarding this very thing. Yogananda was in school primarily to please his family. He did not want to be in school, he attended sporadically, he maintained very low grades, even to the point of near-failing; he spent all his time in meditation, or with his Guru, or both. The day for his final testing approached, and he had to pass in order to complete his education, as he had promised his family. He did not study…he meditated. He continued seeking God, and relied on God to provide him with the means to pass his exams and graduate. At the last minute, one of his friends came over unexpectedly to tutor him for his exams. When exam day came, the very-same-exact questions he had studied with his friend were on the exam, so he knew all the answers and passed. (I may have gotten some of the details a bit off here, I am relaying this story by memory, but the gist is accurate.)

My question is: what is the point where the seeking the Kingdom of Heaven is enough to get us through daily life and activity in such a way? Do I need to meditate 2 hours every day to see results in my life? 3 hours every day? 8 hours every day? What is the point at which seeking the Kingdom of Heaven first brings about “all things are added unto me”?

I am not a Yogananda, I don’t meditate for 8 hours every day; I don’t have that lifestyle, but I do strive toward the Kingdom of Heaven every minute of every day (barring my admitted occasional forgetfulness).

If seeking the Kingdom of Heaven can bring about things like passing a test, why don’t more people do it? Why don’t more people seek the Kingdom more? Or meditate more? Or do any of the other practices that are being proven scientifically to bring more energy/relaxation into the mind and body?

I think the word I used above is a big part of the reason: lifestyle. Many people have a hard time finding 30 minutes a day for intentional spiritual practices. WHO has time to do that, when there are jobs and homes and kids and responsibilities?

This is what I am getting at, and this also addresses the material-spiritual dichotomy I wrote about yesterday: Fulfillment comes through connecting with Spirit, with God, seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven (which is within you, by the way). Organizing a lifestyle to make room, make time for this seeking, this connecting to Spirit, to God,  is the first part of Fulfillment. Lifestyle provides the time/space to do the practices necessary to bring about Fulfillment, which in turn provides the lifestyle for the time and space for Itself—like Yogananda taking the time/space to meditate instead of study, and the meditation provided its own reward.

“Be determined to fulfill your purpose”? Damn Skippy. I am figuring this out.

 

“What is Fulfillment? Part II”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 14

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Your Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is your sole purpose. Your Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate you to fulfill your purpose and release your Joy.

Sharing

Please take a look at yesterday’s post, as the precursor to today.

Here is the idea I am working with today: How do we find the form of fulfillment that is the perfect expression of Divine Love? How do we live in such a way that is the perfect expression of Divine Love? And how do we know that we live in just such a way?

This is where I get hung up, sometimes…Am I doing what best expresses Divine Love, and how do I know?

This, to me, represents the classic age-old question of spiritual versus material dichotomy, which basically says you can be either spiritual and deny the material, or you can be material, which inherently denies the spiritual. (I am not saying this is actually the case; I am saying this is a long-standing formulation of it.)

In other words, If I am spiritual, doing the work of Divine Love, living through Divine Will, how do I incorporate the need/want for material goods? Aren’t material goals counter to spirituality? And if I put aside material goals, in order to live a spiritual life, does that mean I will be poor and destitute?

Sometimes I think I’ve had way too many lives as a monk in the woods, or in a cave to be able to understand it being OK to have, need, and use material things to live.

If I were a monk in a cave, it would be easy: deny the material things. Be spiritual. No conflict. No problem. Rely on God. Be fulfilled.

But I live in 21st century American Society. I have to figure out what it means to be fulfilled in Love while being surrounded by materialism, how to use money and material goods but not be “consumed” by them, to be in the world, yet not of it, to contribute to the world fully in a way that really matters. You know what I mean?

I feel conflict with this. How do I want anything (material goods, money, etc.) without betraying my essence? What is the balance between material achievement and spiritual work? How can I create my life so that it can still be devoted to God, while living in a material society? How do I balance the time that I need to work to make money with the time I want to devote to God for spiritual practices?

I am working this out. It feels big. It feels like I have been working on this one thing for a long time. Thanks for being my sounding board. I look forward, already, to What is Fulfillment, Part III.

 

“What is Fulfillment?”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 13

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

What is fulfillment but knowing your Self as an expression of Divine Love? Your Self wills to create! Your Self wills to share! Your Self wills to extend itself! Your fulfillment is creation; your joy is sharing; your peace is extension.

Sharing

Your Self is Divine Love.

“In the beginning” Divine Love extended Itself, and created the world.

All creation is an extension of Divine Love, including you.

You are and have that essence of Divine Love, which created you. That essence is your Self.

Your Self, maintaining Its unity with Divine Love, wants to share the essence of Divine Love, just as Divine Love shared its essence in creating you.

Your Self wills to create, as it was created, in and through Love.

Your Self wills to share Itself, as it Knows Divine Love shared Itself.

Your Self wills to extend the Love that it Knows It is and always has been.

What is fulfillment? Knowing your Self as an expression of Divine Love; creating, sharing and extending the Love you are.

 

“Peace be with you”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 15

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

 

Guiding Thought

Your Inner Divine Love Presence Knows what you need or desire before you do. It is constantly providing you with ideas, material goods, situations, and interactions to fulfill all your needs and desires. Relax! and allow the Presence Within to supply you with everything you need.

Sharing

Today was a day for relaxing! A day for trust! A day for feeling good! A day for joy and satisfaction and simply being. I hope you have had a peaceful, relaxing day full of that natural communication with Self/Spirit, which simply carries you buoyantly through your day, through your life.

As you know, there are ways to communicate with Self/Spirit that are not verbal or mental. I have been so relaxed and in the peace of the moment all day that I wanted to continue it through the doing of the Journey—contemplation (thinking) would have taken me out of the flow.

Since I have the option of communicating with Self/Spirit through my coloring, I chose that today.

In my picture, I am relaxed with all my needs fulfilled. I am in a beautiful place, surrounded by beauty, with the perfect head/back rest, showered with sunlight. I am so thankful for this. I feel so much gratitude for all my needs being met, for feeling so at peace, so comfortable, surrounded by beauty…all I can do is thank God, thank Spirit, thank Self/soul/the Divine/the ALL that IS that surrounds me and contributes to my being. The blue from my heart is this thankfulness. I can’t tell you how calm and peaceful and right it all feels.

I wish for you an amazing, peaceful, trusting, relaxing day. If you didn’t have one as I did today, I wish it for you right now, or tomorrow, or when it is right and perfect for you (every day!!). Peace be with you, now and always.

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A Journey of Fulfillment: Afterword

I use terms like “simmering” and “stewing” a lot when referring to my thinking process. To me, they thoroughly sum up what is going on in my head: in cooking, simmering and stewing take items and cook them down, condensing them, allowing the flavors to blend, so that the final product is full of complexity and nuances of combinations of flavors integrated together. The finished dish is more than each individual ingredient, the flavors contributing separately, but coming together to form something completely different.

40-day Consciousness Journeys work in a similar way on my consciousness. There is input (each of the guiding thoughts), that has an individual impact or “flavor”, which then interacts with all of the other input. When simmered, they mix together to achieve a nuanced complexity that is absent from the individual pieces and only present after some time of co-mingling.

This is why I wait at least a week before trying to put it all together. And even now, I don’t think I am done cooking.

I’m not kidding about the subtleties and nuances, either. More than anything, I just feel different. More than any other Journey, so far, I feel like this one has worked mostly within my subconscious and energetic bodies—those areas that are just below the surface, where I can sense a shift and change, but not put words or identifiers to it.

If I had to guess, I would say the shift has grown out of the whole conversation with myself on day 16 in which I realized I needed to relax.

Relax. As in: let go, stop trying to control, predict, designate, pre-conceive. Relax. As in: Have faith, feel your higher purpose, work with your Self, rather than with yourself. Relax. As in: Trust. Trust what is; trust love; trust that the infinite intelligence at work from the microcosm to the macrocosm supports the perfection of my little life.

I have had some astounding realizations and interactions this past week—all a product of relaxing (as I have interpreted them).

First, I had a conversation with friend in which I said these words (which I had not pre-thought), “It’s about the Law of Attraction…but most people conceive the Law of Attraction to be, ‘I want THIS; manifest NOW!’ Instead, I want not to pre-determine what the ‘this’ is—I want to attract whatever is, whatever is highest, whatever divine is and simply allow THAT to manifest.”

Then, while doing some online research, I found a book and some mantras that I had never come across before. I started listening to the mantras right away, intending to just let them seep in slowly. One just blasted me, though. It says,

“As with all things in the Universes,

True Joy can only come from Deep Self-Realization;

Awareness and Love of the Other

Can only come from Deep reflective Self-Love.

And the Essence of All Living

Comes when one lets go of one’s life, needs, goals, and path.”

That last line was like a bugle waking me up, saying: “You need to just forget about what you think your path is. You don’t know.” In addition, the second line resonated with the beginning of what I had written at the beginning of the Journey: I intended True Joy, the Joy that is beyond the physical/mental/emotional, a Joy that is real and everlasting. I felt like this book and these mantras were helping me to shift into what I really want. I felt assured I was on the right path (whatever that is).

Then, while doing Si va na ta, I realized I do not do anything for the sake of itself. Nothing is “an end unto itself.” In other words, everything I do means something in addition to what it is. I don’t just do stuff. Everything has a meaning, a purpose that I bring to it, usually with full awareness. In fact, I try to bring as much as I can to every action; I bring as many layers as I can—mental (japa/mantra), emotional (awareness), physical (the action whatever it may be), spiritual (tuning in to the energy). I tried (yesterday) to just do stuff without bringing meaning and purpose to it. I tried just doing the dishes for the sake of doing the dishes, rather than as an act of service; I tried painting without having mantras running through my head; I tried interacting with people without bringing caring, giving, sharing to the interaction.

My day felt all wrong, I felt impatient, frustrated… until I let myself be myself again, until I relaxed into my Self.  It was what I have talked about before, about needing to compare/contrast actions and attitudes to see what works, what feels right, and then making a new choice—for me, making a choice for evolving into something better.

When I let myself be my Self again, that is, when I chose to allow myself to be caring, giving, sharing, involved, attentive, loving, etc. I again got a “message of re-assurance” (although, I do not know if there was a direct cause-effect relationship here).

A stranger, who I just started talking with, talked about the history of Christianity and about reading scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew. He said, “When you read it in its original language, you have to throw out everything American Christianity teaches.” I found out he is working on his Master’s Degree in History of Religions; he talked about how one little grammatical mark can change an entire meaning, and many translations did not take that into account, and therefore were faulty translations. He talked about Jesus preaching against the Pharisees and the Sadducees; he talked about trusting God, walking in Faith, knowing he was always exactly where he needed to be.

Out of the blue, this wonderful conversation happened. It was an interaction of connection, sharing, expanding, growth, and enthusiasm for being in the Divine Flow. And it was a message for me to trust, to have faith, to be open to Love, to continue to follow the voice that only my third ear hears.

In the past week, all of the ingredients of my Fulfillment Stew condensed into a few interactions and realizations. Trust my Divine Self. Trust that I am on the right path. Meet life with Love, openness, trust, listening, and acceptance. And most of all, relax.

The stew is in the pot. I think it still needs to simmer…for months, perhaps years. But when it’s done, it will be oh so Filling!