An Open Letter of Hope, When Life Seems Hopeless

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This Blog is based on a letter I wrote to a client recently who was going through some very difficult and hopeless feelings.  Upon reflection, I realized it is the basic message that I have been assimilating and learning for many years now to find my own peace of mind and ease in the face of my own despair and hopelessness. It is about loving myself and giving myself the gift of a joyful, free, expansive life.  These understandings are at the core of every session I co-create with my clients.

An Open Letter To Myself and All Others Who Struggle Mightily To Have Lives That Flow Smoothly, Abundantly, and Joyfully:

There are many things you can do to begin to reverse the downward spiral you sometimes have been getting into, and to begin to feel hopeful and more excited about creating the relationships, the work, the health and whatever else you want for your life.

Probably the main thing I can say is that it is in your control to change your state. We can get into this place where we reinforce one negative thought after another, and then when our feelings are also reflecting our thoughts that things aren't going the way we wish they were, we sometimes can get into that downward spiral. It’s just because that’s what we are focusing on too much. In reality, every moment we have the capacity to choose other thoughts.  Our unhappy or frustrating feelings are telling us that our Inner Being, our Source Self, sees things differently.  It knows that there is not only a way to have the life we desire, but also, how to get to that result, that manifestation, in the most pleasurable way possible.

First of all, you might consider listening to what you are telling yourself about your situation.  As you know, if your thoughts and feelings are about what's not working for you in your life, and you believe that you are spiraling down, and you focus on this state of being often, then by the Law of Attraction, you will, of course, attract more of the same. 

It is my experience that you can choose instead to believe, trust and know that a way to have what you want is already created for you in this place Law of Attraction advocates call your Vortex, or you might say, your "reservoir of expanding, fulfilling possibilities” in the Unseen Realm. 

I would suggest that you consider that a way to have the relationships, health, money and work you want is completely within your realm of possibility.  In fact, it is a done deal already in your Vortex of expanding possibilities!  It is your sincere desire to have that wonderful, wonderful relationship, and the ideal job, income and health you want, combined with your belief that it is definitely coming, combined with the feeling of hopefulness about that possibility evolving and coming to you, that opens the doors for the Universe to begin to bring that to you.  Feeling the good feeling of allowing your good to come to you is what will bring it to you.

In other words, you can slowly learn to choose to take your focus off thinking and feeling constantly that things aren't working the way you want them to in any area of your life.  Instead, you can ask yourself to begin to embrace the belief and the good feelings that come when you accept that you are well on your way to having what you want. Remember that whatever you focus on is what you will get more of in your life.

Often a belief and a feeling is so strong that things aren't working out the way we want them to, that it seems impossible to feel hopeful and expectant that we will get the things that we want. But this is where all the work (or play!) needs to be done, in relaxing and trusting and allowing ourselves to believe, and even better, to know that the better life that we imagine for ourselves is possible.

The way I see it, it's a choice that we make over and over and over, a choice to get back to feeling good no matter what conditions we are facing.  We need to accept and feel the not so pleasant feelings, but know that those feelings are just telling you that there is another way to go about this, another way to imagine all that is happening.  Your Source Self is guiding you and loving you through all these trying times.

Know that there is a presence of Divine Love in your life that is focused on you very intently and wants only your success. In the eyes of that Higher Love, your Higher Self, you are completely taken care of, and you will succeed. Your Higher Self sees you as already successful in every way you wish you were.  This is no small thing.

You're coming out of a long period in your life of believing in struggle, and frustration, and a belief that things are hard. Though you may not always recognize it, and may often forget it, you have also learned a lot about how to relax, how to trust, how to love yourself, how to allow Life to show you its magic and its blessings.  Something basic to who you really are knows how to choose happiness over fear, how to choose confidence over doubt, how to choose having fun over stressing out.  That’s because those qualities come built in with your human Being-ness. 

Life is actually very abundant, and you have every right to have a ton of that abundance in your relationships, your work and your health. Believe and know that this is possible for you. Begin to focus more on the positive expectation that it is coming to you. 

When you're in that place, that is when the things that you want can begin to easily flow into your experience. That is when you get impulses and inspirations that lead you towards how you can more openly allow, or do actions that will further these wanted things coming to you more readily and easily. 

It's amazing that all of this comes down to the thoughts and the feeling state that we create within ourselves, and that we are not the victims of our own thinking, or of anyone or anything. We can make a choice to stop telling ourselves and others any stories about how things aren't working out for us the way we want them to. 

I know it's hard to stop thinking that and telling it to ourselves or to other people.  I deal with this myself, as do all of my clients, and most all of my friends and family. But we can choose instead to begin to tell the story of how we want things to be, and to get excited about the possibility of that emerging in our lives. And the cool part is that when you are in a good mental place with hopeful and expectant thoughts, and the good feelings that come with that, will you attract and allow the things you want to unfold for you.

Every new moment it's a brand-new possibility for how your future might unfold going forward. The past is completely gone. When the future comes, it will always be the present moment. So the present moment is the only thing that we have. We can either fill this moment with doubt and worry and fear and frustration about not having what we want, and thoughts about how things aren't working out the way we want them to, or we can begin to think thoughts about how it's going to feel so good when things work out the way we want them to, and how we have trust and faith that the Universe has got our back!  God, our Higher Power, the Universe, whatever you want to call that Source Love, is orchestrating things in our favor all of the time, if we would just relax and begin to notice how much good there is in every moment.

Get a notebook or create a file on your computer where you write often the things you are appreciating or grateful for in your life.  See how many things you can write down, and how you can begin throughout your day to notice things you appreciate that are already working well in your life.  Make appreciation your dominant thoughts and vibration if you can, and watch the magic it will bring into your life!

Hold yourself gently and kindly if you seem to be backsliding or still struggling or getting overwhelmed.  There is no right or wrong way to do any of this.  You can choose to be your own best friend and dearest lover, and make a decision that you are going to begin to consider giving yourself a break and forgiving yourself no matter what is happening. Be unconditionally kind with yourself if at all possible, and remember that you are unconditionally worthy!  No one else can or is judging your self worth other than you.

Problems can just be seen more and more as temporary “bumps in the road” instead of huge insurmountable mountains.  Feel the difficult or troubling feelings as long as you need to, and don’t repress them, but just know that they are there to point you back to how your Source Self is seeing things, as beautiful, filled with solutions and ease, and working out well.  Just because you may not be seeing and feeling your life the way Source does at any moment, doesn’t mean things can’t change in the next moment.  It also doesn’t mean you are “wrong” for however you are seeing and feeling things in your life.

Life is actually very magical. The only thing stopping you from seeing and feeling that your life is magical, is your very strong belief that things are difficult and a great big struggle, and that because things have been difficult, they will continue to be difficult. It's just an old habit most of us learned growing up.  Sometimes it will take some time to let it all go.

To learn a new habit of believing in and expecting good things to work out for us, and a new habit of choosing to feel good about this moment and each brand-new moment, is where our work and play lies. Focus on a good feeling thought for 17 seconds, and it will automatically attract another good feeling thought. Stay with good feeling thoughts about the possibilities of things working out for you for even one minute, and you will begin to develop the new habit that will bring better and better results into your daily life.  It takes some practice with this a little every day.

Meditate daily if you can because it puts you in that place of openness to the realm of infinite possibility. Write down the story of how you want your life to unfold, and read it every day or often, and visualize it happening for yourself. Visualize yourself enjoying doing the work you most want to be doing and spending the money that you want to make in a joyful way. Visualize yourself in the most wonderful relationship you can dream of, and know that this is going to happen in your life, even if the details aren’t exact.  Go for the essence of what you feel you want your life to be, and the details will take care of themselves.

Be easy about it. Become confident and determined that it will happen, and that life is already unfolding for you the journey towards having what you want. Remember, there are no happy destinations without happy journeys, so look for ways to be happy every day and to have more fun, and know that in enjoying your life, you begin to open the doors to everything that you want coming to you.

I know that sometimes all of this seems impossible in the face of how strong our feelings of frustration or hopelessness may be. But all of this really does work when we relax and trust and do the next best feeling thing that occurs to us. It really is one moment at a time. What feels good right now? And what feels good next, and next, and next?

And if we are feeling bad, we can go ahead and feel that feeling, and it will begin to diminish. Relax, notice your breath going in and out, up-and-down, and find some peace in that. That peace is who you really are. There is a great Love that cares for you. That great Love IS YOU!  Your life is meant to be fun and satisfying. Find ways to enjoy this journey one moment at a time, and those moments will add up to an enjoyable life.

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Living From Your Heart

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What does it mean to you to get out of your head and live more from your heart?  How do we "open our hearts" to ourselves and others?

“Well… what does your heart say?”

“Your heart knows best.”

“Just listen to your heart.”

“Follow your heart.”

We've all heard people make these statements to us and to others.  Maybe we've even heard ourselves say these things to someone.  I, for one, even find myself often reminding myself to listen to what my heart is telling me.

I have often wondered, for many years, just what exactly does it mean to have an open heart?

What does it really mean to not be “coming from my head”, and instead, to be “coming from my heart”?

It's pretty common to refer to the area of our solar plexus as the location of our “spiritual” heart. It's not exactly our physical heart,(or is it?), but instead, some kind of energy center, (chakra) where our most profound, knowing, intuitive, deeply felt wisdom abides. If we somehow are able to listen from there, to think from there, to feel from there, to act from there, then we are likely to be on the right track in any area of our lives, or so it seems.

In fact, leading-edge biological research is delving into just how this “heart knowing” takes place in a neuro-physiological way.  In an article entitled Thinking From The Heart - Heart Brain Science, Dr. Dominique Surel explains:

“The heart is in a constant two way dialogue with the brain. But… the heart and cardiovascular system are sending far more signals to the brain then the brain is sending to the heart.”

“Recent work in the relatively new field of neuralcardiology has firmly established that the heart is a sensory organ and an information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system that's sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a heart brain. Its circuitry  enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the cranial brain. To everyone's surprise, the findings have demonstrated that the heart’s intrinsic nervous system is a complex, self-organized system; its neuroplasticity, or ability to reorganize itself by  forming new neural connections over both the short and long-term, has been well demonstrated.”

So that’s a bit of the amazing neuralcardiology of it all, but what about how we are affected in our ability to live our lives masterfully day-by-day, based on whether we are able to live “heart-centered” lives or not?

I have often wished that I understood, or knew, how all of this heart stuff worked to affect my happiness, a little better then I seemed to. I was alternately told by various people throughout my adult life that, on the one hand, they could really feel what a heart-centered person I was, while others would say, “Wow, you are such a thinker!  You are so in your head!”

From where I was sitting, I was pretty much also experiencing both things. At times, such as when feeling deeply for the plight of others, or my love for someone close to me, or when deeply immersed in the beauty of nature, or music, or dance, there would be no question that I was feeling something that could be called “my heart”. On the other hand, I was continually noticing how much time I put into reading and listening to all kinds of wisdom teachings and self-help gurus in order to arrive at intellectual understandings of how life works, and specifically, how could I get my life to have less problems, and more ease, fun, and insight.

I especially noticed how intellectual understanding alone, could only take me so far. The real transformations, or shifts in my consciousness, shifts in my actual life experience, seemed to always depend more on how in touch I really was with the realm of the heart. I often observed how there seemed to be a general consensus among those in the know in the spiritual-psychological community, that unless one immersed themselves in “the work of the heart” or, “the healing of the heart” then no true transformation would take place.

Yet I often felt that knowing how to work with myself in the realm of my heart, was virgin territory for me. For the last 45 years, I have relied on doing meditation for approximately one hour per day, as my daily dose of medicine, or nutrition, or “beingness” that hopefully guarantees that my connection to my heart is alive and well. I have come to equate my level of joy and inner peace throughout my day with the degree that I have managed to connect to my heart during my morning meditation, and to the degree that I can relax, feel and trust that inner connection throughout my day.

Still, I have sort of envied the many women in my life (and a few dudes), who seem to so readily and easily “come from their hearts”, or their intuition, in approaching and successfully addressing the various areas of their lives.  I often wondered, “How do they do it?  How can they be so in touch with their tears, or their joy, or their knowing?  How could I ever get in touch with my heart and my intuition to that degree?”

I've done a lot, especially over the last 10 years, to open myself more to my heart and intuition. My divorce set me firmly on that path. Perhaps the most powerful experience was the time I spent journeying into the inner realms of my being, under the influence of the plant medicine, ayahuasca, while spending time with the Achuar Indians in the Ecuadorian rainforest. I also spent a good deal of time training in a heart-body-centered form of life coaching with Gay and Katie Hendricks, called Conscious Living/ Conscious Loving. I have spent hundreds of hours out in nature just sitting in astoundingly beautiful settings, letting myself simply feel whatever would come up within me. Most recently, a dear friend and psychotherapist has trained me in a form of heart meditation she calls Samyama.

I’ve also been doing what is called “Automatic Writing”, as described by author and teacher Tim Kelley and others, as a way to connect to your “Higher Guidance” or “Trusted Sources” that exist in the unseen realm.  This is a practice of asking a question that is concerning me, perhaps around some issue such as relationships, money, right livelihood, health, self-worth, or similar concerns, and then seeing what flows automatically out onto my paper as I allow my pen to write rapidly with little or no interference from my analytical mind.

One of the key ingredients of successful automatic writing is to determine carefully just who or what are your “Trusted Sources” of Higher Guidance that you can fully rely on to communicate with you from the unseen realm.  It took me a while to get clear on just who or what I felt I trusted to communicate with me in my automatic writing.  I had to feel real to me.

Interestingly, I ended up with a list of who I call upon for guidance that goes something like this:  My Heart, My Soul, My Inner Being, My Infinite Source Self, My Loving Ancestors, All-That-Is, Great Mystery.  I trust that all of these Beings, or Quantum Fields, or Entities or whatever they are, are actually there ready to assist me in any moment I call on them, whether via automatic writing insights, or just in asking for, feeling for, or simply trusting their presence to be there for me.

What’s interesting here, in considering what it means to “live from my heart” is that to me, My Heart is synonymous with all those other names of loving forces that I am addressing.  Thus, being in touch with My Heart means the same thing as being in touch with My Soul, My Inner Being, and all the rest of these “Divine Allies” I rely on.  I don’t really know the difference between them all, nor do I care to.  I just want to feel my alignment with them all, just like I want to feel My Heart.

So in terms of the Law of Attraction, which affirms that like vibrations attract like vibrations, when I align myself with being receptive to feeling the blessings and help that are constantly raining down on me from all my loving Divine Allies, I am really just aligning with who and what the greater part of me actually is. I am My Heart, I am My Soul, I am my Infinite Source Self, I am one with my Loving Ancestors, I am one with All-That-Is.  Whew…what a relief!

According to the Law of Attraction, being receptive to my own Well-Being, being receptive to the blessings that are constantly raining down on me, is 100% of my job here on this planet. My work here, which is ironically also my play here, is to listen to the intuitive impulses arriving from My Heart, from my Inner Being. It is to enjoy the journey moment-by-moment, the adventure, the thrill of being alive.

As Abraham (as in Abraham-Hicks) says:" You didn't come here to fix things that are broken, or to know things that you don't know. You came because life on the path of least resistance is a delicious state of being. And you are in love with your life, and you are in love with you, and you are in love with being in love with life.”

When I encounter resistance on my path, when my thoughts are telling me that I am immersed in a challenging or distressful situation, what results are often emotions or vibrations of sadness, grief, despair, anger or any vibration on the lower end of the emotional scale. But those vibrations are there to indicate to me that my Higher Source Self, my Heart that is aligned with my Inner Being, with my Soul, is thinking differently about my situation that is troubling to me. 

Those uncomfortable feelings are there to inform me that there is another way to think about my situation, and to find a way to move up the emotional scale toward hope, possibility, ease, peace, joy.  As I intuitively choose “the next best feeling thing” throughout my day, I am really just choosing to listen to my Heart, rather than the thoughts that are bringing me down.  My  Heart knows the way.  My Inner Being is always loving me unconditionally.

When I search for even a little bit better thought or feeling than the bad feelings I may be having; when I count my blessings and look for things to appreciate in myself, in others, in my situation; when I relax, and chill out, and take my mind completely off my problems and go do something fun or that beings me joy; when I take a nap, or meditate, or create a better feeling story in my mind about the situation that is bothering me; when I choose that I am worthy and loved by me, no matter what;  when I suspend my judgments, or critical attitude; when I trust that my Inner Being has always got my back; all of these things are ways that I call upon My Heart, My Inner Being to care for me. For me, that’s Living From My Heart.



A Smorgasbord of Gratitude - by Tom Wells

Have you ever sat down with a piece of paper and a pen, and began to write a list of everything that you are truly grateful for?…the things that you feel like you really appreciate about your life? It's a fun exercise to do and I've done it a number of times, and I highly recommend it as a way to raise your vibration whenever you're in any kind of a situation where you feel like you want to get reoriented to your best energy and the full on power to go forward with all the possibilities of your life at your fingertips.

For me, what is key is to begin to recount the things that I'm grateful for. I can really get precise because there are so many things. I guess the greatest of all is probably my breath, because to be alive seems to be first and foremost! If we’re not alive then of course we wouldn't be having this discussion. So our breath going in and out is incredibly precious.

I like being simple. I like thinking of things that are sometimes so easy to take for granted. I like looking at the four walls that are surrounding me and the roof above and the floor below me, the room I'm in, and realizing that it's giving me so much comfort.  On a cold day when it's 20° outside, just to be able to be in a warm safe room is something I can appreciate so sincerely.

Sometimes when the weather is beautiful outside, and I don't want those four walls around me, then my gratitude flows to the chance to be outside, perhaps surrounded by trees, and rocky mountainsides, maybe sitting on the banks of the river bathed in brilliant sunlight, gazing at the clouds floating gently across a deep blue sky. There's so much to be grateful for when I'm out in nature… it feels like a smorgasbord of gratitude!

I love cultivating that sense inside myself that I do care really a lot about being in appreciation, about being thankful. It's funny to me how as human beings that seems to be the key to our thriving… not only our surviving… but our thriving!  And hey, even when we're trying to survive, if we can't feel gratitude, and are always at odds with what's around us, with what's going on in our environment, there's a pretty good likelihood that our “feeling at odds” vibration is going to lead us right into some kind of a disaster! 

And how about noticing our appreciation of other human beings?… That each one of us is a unique soul, if you will, occupying a human body, each of us on a unique journey. It's impossible to know what really is going on in the minds and hearts of other people. Of course we get some insight from what they tell us, just like you're getting insight right now into who I am, and if I listen to you speak for a while, I get some idea of who you are, but wouldn't you agree that’s still just a tiny fragment of who each of us really is?  There’s a lot more to appreciate in each other if we take the time.

It's kind of funny that we’re sort of like these lone travelers, yet at the same time, we all seem to be traveling together through this lifetime, hopefully sharing a lot of good times with each other. That seems to be one thing that makes our journey here so worthwhile, at least it is to me, when I'm able to share beautiful times with other people… laughter, music, food, dance, good conversation… the things people all around the world have enjoyed together for countless centuries…

How Good CAN You Actually Feel? - by Tom Wells

Ever wonder just how good you can actually feel?  Is your normal daily consciousness filled with ease and deliciously good feelings for most of your day and night?  If not, would you like to feel that way most of your days?  I know I would.

Today I was realizing for a few moments just what might be possible.  I was feeling so still inside, just sitting in my living room chair, gazing at the light highlighting each slat of the closed wooden blinds, the morning sun penetrating in precise lateral beams surrounding the outline of each slat.  And in that moment I knew such deep fulfillment and happiness, such gratitude to our Grandfather Sun, illuminating my open heart and mind with that old “peace that surpasses all understanding”.

And in those moments I knew that this love, this kindness, this ease is with me, with us, all the time.  It’s so reassuring to know that; so hopeful, so encouraging, so simple, so joyful.  It’s all just up to me, so it seems; my letting go, my relaxation, my stopping all my busyness, my choosing to be still inside, to be home, to not be going anywhere at all, though I suppose the journey is always moving inexorably on, happily on, easily on, like that gentle river of light, flowing there before my eyes, so beautiful, so endless, so full.

It’s My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To! - by Tom Wells

Do you ever wonder what makes life work?  Like, what makes everything just click and seem right on time, right on the mark?  With you, feeling good...maybe even feeling really good!??

It may not be the mystery we sometimes make it out to be.  What if it was all based on our attitude, and what if our attitude was constantly open for tweaking, for adjusting?  What if what we call “reality” was a constantly morphing phenomenon?  And guess who’s got the remote in their hands??  You guessed it...each of us, me, and you.  We can change the channel, and it can be as easy as pushing the button.

No, I haven’t always experienced this as true, and sometimes still, I feel a bit trapped in my own skin, trapped in a feeling of heaviness, or fear, or sadness, or self-doubt.  But you know, I’m getting better and better at realizing that my mood IS in my control.

There’s a line from an old best-selling pop hit, “It’s my party, and I'll cry if I want to”.  And lots of times in my life, I’ve felt that it’s good to own my own sadness, and let it rip.  But when it hamstrings me in having the life I really want to have, I realize I don’t want to feel like I’m at the mercy of feelings that seem to be overwhelming me.  After all, it’s a party for God’s sake, if you go along with the song title analogy anyway.

My life has been quite a “never-ending journey” of learning how to give myself a break.  I mean, who really makes it hard on me?  Who really?  I am so much the only one in my head, in control, in the driver's seat.  That has been such a huge and on-going revelation for me.  No one else can ever encroach even a fraction of an inch into my head-space (unless of course I imagine I’ve let them in.)  But are they really there?  No, it’s always me, here alone with me, telling myself things, all day long.

So what if I took more control of what I tell myself?  What if I listened more to what I AM telling myself, just noticing for a while what I hear myself saying, what I see myself imagining in pictures.  What I’ve come to see so much lately is how much of my life I haven’t really been a true observer of all this inner dialogue and pictures and movies.  And the crazy thing is, this stuff is what’s determining my moment-to-moment experience of life!  You may have heard the old saying:  “As a man thinks, so he is”.  Well, yeah, how true it is!

What if we accepted that we are the combined writer, producer, director and actor in our very own movie, called our One Precious Life, (this one anyway, whether there are other lives we’ve lived or will yet live)?  I mean, isn’t that cool?!!

So many of us just love to spend so much time in our lives watching movies and maybe even TV, and it has struck me so poignantly for so many years now, just how ironic it seems that we watch these amazing actors act out these amazing stories and dramas and comedies and it’s all so absorbing and engaging, yet do most of us live lives that we find as wonderful, or interesting, or as funny, or as tragic as what we see on the screen? Maybe some of us do, and maybe some of us don’t.  

Of course, I wouldn’t want to live out most of the tragedies I see in movies or on TV, or so I think, but the rest of it can be pretty interesting or exciting or at the least, often “bigger than life”, that is, perhaps grander and more spellbinding than the life I’m living day in and day out.  And, I suppose, the on-screen tragedies may serve many useful functions of touching our hearts in ways they often need to be touched.  So many people point out that “without the darkness and the pain, how would we be able to so profoundly appreciate the light and the happiness?”

Still, the contrast that is definitely the stuff of dramas and tragedies has always been something I wanted to be taught GENTLY by.  Devastation does happen, or rather, we attract it into our lives sometimes, but if I can learn my awesome life lessons through kindness, ease and compassion, I choose that method.  I think lately our modern society has gotten a bit addicted to tragedy and drama as a principal default assumption of “just how it is” that many of us subscribe to. 

But my point is, what if you were told you were the complete team needed to create your own unique and extremely good movie, called “My Life”, or whatever much better title you might be inspired to name it?  Are you up for it??

Finessing My BIG PROJECT … the Inner Game - by Tom Wells
“In the absence of resistant thought, your Vibration returns to its natural state of power and clarity and love.  In the absence of resistant thought, your true nature of resilience and replenishment and vitality returns.  In the absence of resistant thought, your true nature of eagerness and joy and fun returns.”   Abraham-Hicks

Worry. Concern. Struggle. Effort. Controlling.  These are the forms resistance has taken in my life.  Believing that it is up to me to make things happen.  “Facing” a “BIG PROJECT” and feeling such a heavy weight on my shoulders.  Hesitating before beginning, delaying, fretting over how I will ever make it all come together.

How different all that efforting and struggle is when contrasted with allowing, releasing, relaxing, letting go of all that resistance.  In my mind, it’s almost like the difference between being a child or an exuberant, eager young adult, and an older, more sophisticated, more complicated, more cautious and analytical adult.  To that older more concerned and controlling adult within me, those ways of approaching my goals, dreams and visions as the playful, trusting, relaxed and excited “young” person that lives somewhere within me, seems sometimes like a BIG PROJECT itself!! 

After all, I’ve spent the better part of this lifetime learning from the world around me and from all the hard, laboring efforts I’ve made to get things done in my life, that getting results, manifesting goals, takes great diligence, perseverance, control of my schedule, adherence to a strict work ethic, grit, determination, willingness to defer gratification, and usually a long uphill battle of “paying my dues”, before I should expect or even be worthy of receiving just compensation.

“If it’s hard, if it’s a struggle, then stop doing it!!  Don’t try to make things happen when it’s not happening easily!  Back off!!  Don’t try to force anything.  If what you’re feeling and doing isn’t pleasing you, then defuse it, release it.  Trying too hard is trying to make something happen from a vibration that isn’t cooperating.”  Abraham-Hicks

Of course, I find it reassuring that the very nature of my overall BIG PROJECT is to learn, apply what I learn, and most of all, enjoy this process of once again allowing myself to align with the well-being of my Source... to gradually release resistance... and to increasingly live inside this place within me, of allowing and ease.

Appreciating This Life! - by Tom Wells

Just being a human being, what is it to have a good time? 

Why did I come into this human body anyway? What am I doing here everyday? If I'm not having a good time, then I certainly want to be headed toward having a good time! I certainly want to be reconciling anything that's keeping me from having a good time, and letting go of any resistance or fear or anger or suffering of any sort that might be keeping me from having the life I really want to have… living full out… living life OUT LOUD!

I love the idea of living life OUT LOUD!  Being able to proclaim how awesome it is to be here! I guess in a way that's what my whole life has been about… slowly, over the decades, removing all the obstacles I have erected that may have blocked my appreciation of how cool it is to be in this body, to be alive.

I’ve tried to do that, no matter what age, and it seems to be a bit more challenging as I’ve gotten older. On second thought I guess it's been challenging on and off through my life to admit just how good things really are. Except when I was a kid… it was pretty easy then. I've got to say I had a really good time, not so great when school was in, but boy, when school was out, I was having fun pretty much 99 percent of the time!

Appreciation seems to lie at the heart of not only giving value to my time alone, but in valuing my relationship to others as well.  When I truly find things to appreciate in other people, and be in a sort of awe and open wondering about who they are, and what they're up to, and how they're shaping their unique reality.

I remember when I learned that if you want to have a truly successful relationship with your life partner, pay attention to how they mind map their reality. How do they put together their whole life experience? What's their map of reality? And if you can understand that a little bit better as time goes on, you learn to get along with that person a lot better because you begin to understand why they make the choices they make, why they say the things they say and do the things they do.

Of course I would like it to be easy and simple to understand myself and other people. I think that the more that I have deep appreciation of who I am, the more I can appreciate others. The root of so much that makes life worth living, is self-love. It's actually something that kind of alluded me for a long time. I always assumed I had a lot of self-love but when I really look at how I've acted towards myself for a lot of my life, I can see how I demonstrated a lack of self-respect for who I really am, sort of a lack of enthusiasm for my own awesomeness. I can remember sometimes thinking of myself as kind of a loser, not quite adding up to the high expectation I had of myself.

I love the fact that all of that's changing. I'm realizing that at the heart of everything I experience in my life lies my own self-worth. I can't be with other people, I can’t even be in the middle of the woods camping alone by myself, without a strong sense of self-worth, if I expect to have a really good time. After all, all my experiences are coming through me, and if at the core of my being, I'm not looking out through eyes of ease, and love, and pleasure, and kindness, and happiness, happiness to be who I am, pleasure to be who I am, ease and relaxation about who I am… if I'm not coming from that place, it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the forest, the beauty of the clouds, the rock formations, the rivers and streams.

I love that I'm learning to appreciate more and more every day who I am, who you are, the beauty of this natural world, what this life is, what an amazing gift it is.  A lot of that comes from just constantly noticing what I'm thankful for. As much as I can, just noticing how good things really are.

Can you imagine how this world might be if most of us were spending our time just noticing how good things really are? I think a lot of things might get better, because we would bring that vibration of appreciation to everything! 

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who so impresses me, because she has this uncanny ability to find good in everything. That's all she’ll talk about! She loves to talk about how GREAT things are! Oh, she might occasionally mention about a bit of a struggle she's going through, but she doesn't linger there, she gets right on to what's good about the situation, and how GREAT things are, always finding things to appreciate no matter what!

I love being around someone like that… pointing out how beautiful the flowers are, how lovely the yard is…” Come and see my amazing zucchini plant!”…” Isn't our new puppy just so,soooo adorable?!”…” Oh my god, we had soooo much fun today!”  That kind of an attitude is so refreshing for me. 

Sometimes I've noticed in my life how I had this way of sort of downplaying things, kind of turning things to some shade of gray. You may remember the Rolling Stones song, “Paint It Black”.  The gist of the song was that no matter what the guy would see, he would always paint it black, cover it in darkness, take the light out of it. So unnecessary!

Maybe a lot of us have had periods of our lives where are we have done that. I certainly have.  Maybe from our depression, our sadness, our despair, our cynicism.  But I can see how I'm learning not to do that. As I learn to appreciate and notice all that I'm grateful for, and to expand my capacity to love my self more and more, I literally notice colors coming alive all around me, and it's so beautiful, and so exhilarating, that the last thing I would want to do is ever “Paint It Black”.

The Hens Of Aging - By Tom Wells

It was sometime in my late 20’s, (actually on my 29th birthday), when I started to realize I was aging.  It seems almost comical now to think that I would even bother to call it “aging” at that young age.  But I guess it was some kind of existential realization that I was no longer going to be “endlessly young”.  Finally, I was an “adult”, whatever that was. I remember taking on some sort of added weight, or responsibility, and it was a bit sobering, but no big deal.

Since then, my milestones of aging have been many and frequent, always weighing how I was feeling against the number of years I had reached.  These days, in my late 60’s, I feel it’s as if the many chickens of aging have come home to roost. Feeling “old” is still present in my awareness, but it has calmed down quite a bit, and there’s a lot of new, fresh eggs gently dropping. The once clucking chickens sit quietly now, on their eggs of possibilities, content to allow the process of ongoing life to silently and slowly incubate and hatch into eternal life.  

I’m letting aging be an afterthought.  Oh well, aging happens.  But Life, with a capital “L”, now that’s where the juice lies!  My frontiers of exploration lie in the fertile valley’s of what may now be revealed, imagined, chosen, embraced.  I hold myself with careful tenderness, relying increasingly on my relationship with what IS eternal to guide and inform me.  I’m not interested in putting any obstacles in my path, but rather in clearing as many supposed obstacles as possible, all the while being as gentle with myself as I can.  After all, I have eternity to enjoy this incubation and the raising of my newly hatched small chicks of realization and enjoyment.

Just knowing that what I have always called “Me” is never going to die, never going to cease to exist in beauty and passion and fun and happiness, gives me ample faith and trust to take on the raising of so many young, fragile ones, all my hopes and dreams and ideas and beginnings of learnings, of apprenticing, of spreading my little almost non-existent wings to take on my fresh career aspirations, my excitement to learn to play other musical instruments, to learn to be an accomplished partner dancer, to commit to speaking Spanish or Portuguese or both, to begin a new relationship to a delicious new lover and friend, even if I’m still a novice at it all at  twenty years from now.

Knowing that I will never really get it all done, and that I can never really get it wrong, is so reassuring, and still something I am learning to embrace.  There is a lot of freedom in being an Infinite Being, and in accepting that the Universe is fully benevolent and fully benign, though at times it may be hard to see it all as so very beautiful.  But it is.  I know that, I trust that, I believe that, I love that, and I’m learning to LIVE that a little more every day.

In fact, that may well be the most stimulating and exciting part of my whole journey these days.  Accepting that I am just now really beginning to wake up to how profoundly beautifully all of this is orchestrated by Source.  I feel now that all my exciting learning is on this very creative leading-edge of peering into the realm of the Divine.  Beginning to glimpse the magnificent halls and palaces and “Shangri-La” valleys of a perfectly functioning universe, where trillions of cells comprising the bodies of humans, plants, animals, and all Beings of every sort, from stars and planets, to black holes and bacteria, atoms, waves and quarks, caterpillars and sparrows, all function with such precision and amazing synchronicity that we could never grasp it all. 

Or could we? Consider how we conscious beings peering into it all, engaging with it all, have the opportunity, the chance, the privilege, to witness it all from a seat of ever deepening appreciation, gratitude, love and excitement, as we gently let go of fear and worry and mistrust, and begin to see through the eyes of our Source Self. 

 It’s too much fun, isn’t it!

Change Your Belief In What Is - by Tom Wells

Everything we experience throughout the day is filtered through our perception, which is colored, informed and shaped by our BELIEFS of what we think “IS”.

What "IS" is actually all malleable. The entire Universe is moving as a fluid experience. It is a work in progress. The vibrations of our old beliefs, which are previous thoughts repeated in the present, are coloring and causing all that we think is fixed as “IS”; "the hard facts of reality” as we say.

Whereas, if those beliefs/thoughts and their resulting feelings were different, if we were vibrating with different thoughts, then we’d see another “reality”.  For our purposes here, let’s not think so much in terms of the reality of trees and rocks and cars and chairs, but rather in terms of the “hard realities” we assign to our daily lives. This includes our feelings, thoughts, and the causes and effects we are seeing in our lives.

So the key is to think and feel more of what we prefer, and think and feel less of what we don’t prefer.  Be someone who looks forward! 

Perhaps that is what Life “really” IS.

Dreaming the World Alive - by Tom Wells
What lies within me? Within the glassy still pond of my inner world? Right now, I’m noticing a very, very large scum-green-brown dappled catfish! It sleeps on the bottom of the deepest reaches of my watery world, sleeping there unknown, undisturbed. Breathing the ancient timeless breaths of a long winters hibernation.

The waters are warming now, and my spring will certainly come early this year, but perhaps, or should I say, for certain, at the right time. She sleeps, her tail toward me, her head obscured in the murky darkness, and in spite of the muted blending green grayness, fading to black, I can see the massive outline of her fat, muscled body.

Is she yet dreaming the world back to life? Is she patiently awaiting the return of the light, or is she herself the creator of the life force we all depend upon?

I settle in, listening, feeling her gently rise and swell with each interminably long breath, her dreams holding together all the wide shore of upside down golden reeds and winter-stripped sprays of vein-like tree branches, black against the water in their naked starkness.

The geese alight somewhere high over her head, in a clumsy splash of raucous honking and chatter. But like festival revelers stumbling drunkenly into the sanctuary of the village church, the awe of her still world quickly silences them. Then as quick as they had stumbled in, they stumble out, honking and bellowing again in their celebration.

There is a delicateness to this life, a special reverence, a tenderness, even in all its immensity. It dreams, she dreams, so very much alive, yet so steeped in patience. There is a wisdom in that patience, in that knowing and acceptance of how life is ever-emerging from this dream, yet ever -dreaming as well.

And we, the festival revelers, stumbling in and stumbling out, drunken in love and raucous laughter, riding on the spreading green back of her dreaming all of this alive for us.

The Water Is Wide - by Tom Wells

Now we come down to the shore of the vast ocean that is our potential, that is all we have longed for, for lifetimes perhaps.  Remember the old song, “The water is wide...I can’t cross over...” ?

The water is wide, I can't cross over, and neither have I wings to fly. Build me a boat that can carry two and both shall row, my love and I.
There is a ship and she sails the sea. She's loaded deep, as deep can be. But not so deep as the love I'm in, I know not how I sink or swim.
Oh love is handsome and love is fine, the sweetest flower when first it's new. But love grows old and waxes cold and fades away like Summer dew.
Build me a boat that can carry two and both shall row, my love and I, And both shall row, my love and I.  
                                                                                                                  James Taylor

That feeling of reaching an impasse in my life, a challenge to move beyond the limitations of the very essence of who I have believed myself to be, a seemingly mighty expanse that I need to traverse.  I want to get to the other side, but where are my wings?  I have dreamed and hoped and prayed for wings to fly, yet I still stand on this shore, unable to comprehend this crossing over.

So I call upon my Self, I call upon my Ancestors, my Source, to build me a boat, that I might sail, endeavoring to carry all my sweet and precious longings and hopes for myself to the distant shore where lies the land of milk and honey, the fulfillment of these deep desires, this quenching of an inner thirst I have felt for so long.  Perhaps these wonderful loves of mine have grown cold and grown old, and no longer seem to have the beauty and freshness that once so inspired me to embrace them so passionately.  Yet I cannot abandon them, these dreams that have so shaped my searching and striving to finally feel complete.

Thankfully and amazingly, I feel in my heart that my love is so up to the task of carrying the precious cargo of my long and hopeful life toward that dream of a joyful fulfillment.  I somehow know that my love is even more vast than this seemingly endless ocean and the heavy load of all that I long for, and have ever longed for.  I know not how I live or die, I only know that together with my love, in that deepest regard and respect I have for my eternal Soul, for who I really am, I can row for that other shore, despite all odds.

Together, we “both shall row, my love and I.”