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On the Path No. 11
Old 12-15-2006, 02:17 PM   #1
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On the Path No. 11

Living In The State of Gratitude and Abundance

I have been RE for about 5+ months now (it seems much much longer, in a good way) and I have been thinking about “living in the state of gratitude and abundance”. During my travels out west I would often stop in mid step and take in how great a place I was in that moment. The air, sky, clouds, mountains, trees and ground beneath my feet all were beautiful at that moment. This also applied to the people I would meet. I was able to be there and appreciate them what they allowed me to see of them. And the more I allowed that appreciation to happen to me the more often it occurred. Now I sense feeling of gratitude and abundance all around me and I try to nurture it in my life. Also and I come to expect it the more it happens wherever I go be it Walmart or just out for a walk.

Have I changed from a pessimist to an optimist? I don’t think so. It is more of a change in focus. And in a way I mean that literally. I choose to focus on things and people that inspire to improve and challenge me to be who and what I want to be. I try to avoid people and things that “bring me down”.

I read the book “You Will See It When You Believe It” By W. Dyer and understood the concept but I did not experience it personally at the time. I am guessing that some of my interactions were based on fear: What is lurking around that corner that can hurt me? What does that person want from me?

It may be that the working life contributed to my blindness towards gratitude and abundance. Work is not often about the abundance of life but of the scarcity and fear inherent in it. I felt more feelings of doubt and fear before I retired than I do now.

Now that I experienced this gratitude and abundance it is something I definitely want to cultivate in my life and I think I know the signs when I am deviating from its path. The warning sign is that fear steals the enjoyment of the moment and positive excitement for the future.


“A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.”
Anais Nin
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-15-2006, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Thank you for a beautiful posting ...
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-15-2006, 09:03 PM   #3
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Much more elegant than my usual "Dude, life is good!" sentiment...
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 06:09 PM   #4
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Dex, that is the nicest post I have read in a long time. It expresses exactly what I want from ER. Thank you!

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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: On the Path No. 11

A wonderful post.

Thank you
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: On the Path No. 11

A beuatiful sentiment.

Reminds me a lot of the midset Tioga George seems to exhibit. Must be something to do with freedom and RVing.

One thing you wrote really struck me: "The warning sign is that fear steals the enjoyment of the moment and positive excitement for the future."


I am without a doubt a victim of fear stealing away the moment. How do you actually go about stopping this vicious cycle? I really struggle with it, in part because I am a born schemer and planner and not too good at living in the moment.
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I am without a doubt a victim of fear stealing away the moment. How do you actually go about stopping this vicious cycle? I really struggle with it, in part because I am a born schemer and planner and not too good at living in the moment.
It gets a lot easier when you're not commuting back & forth to hold down a job...

The only time I had that moment during my working years was an occasional 3 AM when we surfaced south of Oahu, well over the horizon, and popped the bridge clamshells to enjoy the night sky and the surface phosphorescence. After a few more minutes of hooking things up and getting settled, we'd be able to kick back with a cup of coffee and watch the Honolulu city lights coming into view.

But about eight seconds later someone would want us to do something and we'd be back to work.
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 10:22 PM   #8
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
It gets a lot easier when you're not commuting back & forth to hold down a job...
Absolutely true. It also gets easier when you get to the age where you truly understand the amount of time you have left to 'live in the future' is in short supply.

Not that I would know anything about that, mind you...


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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 10:38 PM   #9
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Dex, this is beautiful! Thanks so much for posting something like this in the forum. 8) Feels great!

Quote:
The warning sign is that fear steals the enjoyment of the moment and positive excitement for the future.
Quote:
I am without a doubt a victim of fear stealing away the moment. How do you actually go about stopping this vicious cycle? I really struggle with it, in part because I am a born schemer and planner and not too good at living in the moment.
When I find myself drifting off into fear (watching the news? family health problems? doubt about 'xyz'?) I do an exercise that author John Gray (of Venus and Mars Fame) suggests.

He stands with his arms outstretched and above his head and says: "Oh Glorious Future! My heart is open to you. Come into my life." He repeats this phrase over and over until the 'dark mood' shifts.

I must say that it has the tendency to clear out my head, and opens my heart.

You can laugh... but I must tell you that I do it 'secretly' (no outstretching of arms, no speaking out loud) when I stand in line at the farmer's market, or looking at the sunrise on my morning walk, or any time my confidence shakes...

You might feel silly at first, but it's hard to be depressed or cynical when you're asking for a glorious future!

And it costs nothing to try it. No one will ever know, except by your huge smile...

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-16-2006, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Wow - that's so great about living in a state of gratitude and abundance!

And it does seem like it is something that has to be cultivated - it seems rather to be a habit, a matter of choice, and very courageous too considering how easy it is to be a cynic, and how if we try to protect ourselves from bad outcomes (fear?) we often end up stressed and miserable - putting all our energy into worrying about and trying to prevent things that might not even happen - or might still happen no matter how much effort you pour into trying to prevent them or hoping they won't happen.

This year has taught me some interesting lessons about living in the moment (and I'm still learning!!!). We've just been in a situation where we have little control over our daily lives right now, unable to make plans more then a few days in advance - and that's been true for most of 2006! Learning how to really enjoy most days even in these circumstances has been a huge challenge for me, but amazingly I have discovered that it IS entirely possible! It's more about being willing to take advantage of what ever unexpected opportunities present themselves each day and seriously and deliberately shut out the uncertainties involved in tomorrow.

Certainty about tomorrow is an illusion anyway....

And you can't sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop!

Audrey

P.S. Audrey is in Albuquerque. She hadn't planned on spending Xmas here - certainly not in a Cummins Service shop parking lot. A week ago she and DH discovered a leak in their motorhome radiator - turned out to be extremely bad news. But today she and DH had a wonderful time driving up to Sandia Crest to see a couple of species of birds that are almost impossible to see due to their extreme habitat. This is something that they never would have done if they hadn't been "stuck" in town and thus visited the local nature center and gotten all sorts of fantastic ideas of things to do around Albuquerque. She and DH are even hoping they might finagle a visit to Santa Fe on Xmas - maybe something will come available even though most hotels/B&Bs appear to be booked for the holidays.

Oh, and it should be mentioned that her MIL was diagnosed with cancer this past April, and much of their year has been spent helping out parents and being around (and waiting around!!!) for surgeries, etc. rather than roaming all over the country in their motorhome like they had dreamt of doing.
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 07:52 AM   #11
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
When I find myself drifting off into fear (watching the news? family health problems? doubt about 'xyz'?) I do an exercise that author John Gray (of Venus and Mars Fame) suggests.

He stands with his arms outstretched and above his head and says: "Oh Glorious Future! My heart is open to you. Come into my life." He repeats this phrase over and over until the 'dark mood' shifts.
Billy, I will need to remember this exercise.

Thanks for all the kind words about this post. I think if I experienced this feeling of gratitude and abundance earlier in life it may have changed my path in life. But I guess I had to work through childhood issues first. How an individual gets there may be different from mine. Unfortunately for me I am thick in the head and it takes a good knocking before an idea can gain entrance. One aspect to this relevation is that I wasn't looking for it.

I am listening to a Podcast of a university course on astronomy and that also plays an interesting part into my mindset. That there is life on this planet and that there is intelligent life on this planet is so amazing that if it was a story it would be considered fantasy. This planet is a fragile grain of sand in a perfect spot. We are in the life zone (temeratures where water neither is constantly frozen or in gas); a relatively circular orbit around the sun and with a perfect tilt to the earths axis. Look into it and you will see how truly amazing it is that there is life.

So when I look at the beauty in the world I now see how amazing it is ... and how fragile.

Now, to look at me or hear me speak you would not think I am happy - my face doesn't smile, I'm not cute and I have a certain accent in my voice. But I sense my happiness is growing and changing.

Finally, There are many different types of post that are of value to people at the time they need them. To me RE is about changing, growing, experiencing life and giving back. The experiences of those who have RE are some of the most valuable to me because they remind me of the purpose of RE. If it helps someone along the path to RE then it has done the job.

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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 09:21 AM   #12
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
And it does seem like it is something that has to be cultivated - it seems rather to be a habit, a matter of choice, and very courageous too considering how easy it is to be a cynic, and how if we try to protect ourselves from bad outcomes (fear?)
I agree, Audrey.. Happiness is a muscle that needs to be used like any other muscle. The more one uses it, the stronger that approach becomes. Fear is a constricting viewpoint. It doesn’t allow us to see the opportunities or choices right in front of us. The exercise I mentioned above counteracts that constriction by purposely opening ourselves up.

Depending on how constricted (fearful) I am at the time, I can find myself resisting this and feeling ‘silly’. But I push forward! And it brings rewards.

Quote:
It's more about being willing to take advantage of what ever unexpected opportunities present themselves each day and seriously and deliberately shut out the uncertainties involved in tomorrow.
You have this so right! At least from my point of view..

Quote:
Certainty about tomorrow is an illusion anyway....
Exactly. People have this idea that there should be some sort of guarantees in Life. There simply isn’t. Knowing that can be frightening, but then again, it can open us up to a sense of awe, respect and freedom. (IMO)

I respect you for what you are doing with your MIL, Audrey... These are tender, poignant moments with loved ones that you will cherish.

Dex:
Quote:
To me RE is about changing, growing, experiencing life and giving back.
And you will be so well rewarded!

Quote:
That there is life on this planet and that there is intelligent life on this planet is so amazing that if it was a story it would be considered fantasy.
Have you ever read Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.’s book The G.O.D. Experiments How science is discovering God in everything, including us ? Dr. Schwartz is a professor of psychology, medicine, neurology psychiatry and surgery at the University of Arizona, and director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health. Has a doctorate from Harvard University.. Worked at Yale… the whole 9 yards. His line of books are fascinating. I read The G.O.D. Experiments and also his The Afterlife Experiments.

His scientific approach is paradigm-shifting and actually, pretty exciting!

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 09:34 AM   #13
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
That there is life on this planet and that there is intelligent life on this planet is so amazing that if it was a story it would be considered fantasy. This planet is a fragile grain of sand in a perfect spot. We are in the life zone (temeratures where water neither is constantly frozen or in gas); a relatively circular orbit around the sun and with a perfect tilt to the earths axis. Look into it and you will see how truly amazing it is that there is life.
Yes absolutely!

I am not a religious person. I don't know if God exists. But IMO the fact that the earth and the life upon it exists, and the fact that we as sentient beings exist to enjoy it and witness it is a miracle. This recognition alone is enough to provide a base for spirituality.

I have studied biology, evolution, etc. very heavily. The more I delve into it, the more mind-blowing it is! The more I become aware of how miraculous and amazing it all is. Truly order out of chaos. Life at the sub-cellular level is even more amazing than the life we see every day!

Audrey
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 09:41 AM   #14
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
I respect you for what you are doing with your MIL, Audrey... These are tender, poignant moments with loved ones that you will cherish.
Oh - there was never any question that we would put off our plans to do whatever we needed to do to help them out and spend time and try to ease things as we could. Any other approach was unfathomable. But it has required quite an adjustment for us in how we live our life. Now many months later I realize what valuable lessons I have been learning, and how lucky we had been to spend several years retired before a parent became ill or incapacitated.

Audrey
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 11:32 AM   #15
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
That there is life on this planet and that there is intelligent life on this planet is so amazing that if it was a story it would be considered fantasy. This planet is a fragile grain of sand in a perfect spot. We are in the life zone (temeratures where water neither is constantly frozen or in gas); a relatively circular orbit around the sun and with a perfect tilt to the earths axis. Look into it and you will see how truly amazing it is that there is life.
I like the optimism of your original post. In fact, I reserved the book that inspired you at the library to give it a look see. But I look at the statement above from a different perspective - maybe because I have been reading about evolution recently. The fact the we exist (and cogito, ergo sum tells us we do) requires that a place like this exist to support us. Thus it is not unlikely, it is absolutely certain to exist.
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 11:47 AM   #16
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Re: On the Path No. 11

It could be that our level of understanding of life, science, evolution, physics and all that really doesn't matter in this context. Inevitably, at some level of contemplation we will cease to understand and that fact generates awe.

For primitive cutlures it might be the sun rising and setting, or phases of the moon, illness or seizures, or any other unfathomable phenomenon. Thousands of years later, we add a pathetically small amount of understanding of our world and the "awe point" budges a bit. But it's still the fact that we are destined to be faced with intellectual ignorance and, maybe more importantly, awareness of our ignorance.

As I age, I feel more comfortable accepting the unknown as, well, unknown.
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-17-2006, 12:22 PM   #17
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Re: On the Path No. 11

About 35 years ago I went through a tough period because:
I changed jobs
I changed cities
My wife left working (permanently as it turned out)
We had our first child (after just meeting the new doctor)
My mother died of cancer
My pay was cut by 50% (to be made up by commission).

In dealing with the results of these life changes, I was able to get my mind turned around.

Now I believe that my mind will respond to the questions I ask it. So I am careful to always ask why things are really good now, viz.
I am happy because...
rather than
I will be happy when...

Dex, you seem to be well on your way to enjoying your newly found freedom. Welcome to our little club. 8)

Oh yea I do not worry about things over which I have no influence.
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-19-2006, 05:41 AM   #18
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Re: On the Path No. 11

one day last year we were driving somewhere off the beaten path in the southwest. We came upon a neverending field of orange flowers. We stopped on the side of the road and it was still except for birds chirping.

It was full of Butterflies as well. The scent was amazing. We didn't say a word to each other, just stopped and took in the experience. Every once in a while a car or RV would zoom by.

Every once in a while we talk about it. One of those in the moment experiences.

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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-19-2006, 01:46 PM   #19
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Kcowan
Quote:
Now I believe that my mind will respond to the questions I ask it. So I am careful to always ask why things are really good now, viz.
I am happy because...
rather than
I will be happy when...
I think this realization is remarkable and very wise. Our minds are built in such a way that it will search for the answer to the questions we ask of it. If we choose to ask in the negative: How are we destroying the planet?, We will get one set of answers, and those answers will frighten us, leading to despair. These answers may have some truth to it, but it will only be one side of the coin.

We could just as easily ask instead How is the planet re-creating itself? We will get another set of answers which will be more invigorating and inspirational, instilling faith in the ‘wisdom of the earth system‘ itself.. This is the other side of the coin and there is truth on that side as well.

We are the ones who choose which questions to ask. We choose which path to follow.
Rich
Quote:
But it's still the fact that we are destined to be faced with intellectual ignorance and, maybe more importantly, awareness of our ignorance. As I age, I feel more comfortable accepting the unknown as, well, unknown.
Humility is very useful in life. Some things are way beyond our current ability to understand. Even the ‘chaos’ that Audrey speaks of has been referred to as an order too large for us to yet understand.

There are many mysteries in life!

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: On the Path No. 11
Old 12-21-2006, 09:00 AM   #20
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Re: On the Path No. 11

Dex,

Great Post.

For a couple of years now, I have been taking regular walks in the early evening after work. Usually, the sun is setting while I walk. The feelings you described are very similar to moments that I've had.

There are times when I am “filled up” with a sense of Joy that almost overwhelms me. It’s actually a physical sensation. It’s a feeling that’s centered in my chest, sometimes I feel like I’m about to burst with it. I have described it to some friends of mine who are religious. Their take is that it’s a spiritual or religious experience. I’ve never considered myself religious and I’m not sure where the feeling comes from or what it is, all I know is that it’s real and wonderful when it happens.

As for living more in the moment and cultivating that feeling, when I’m walking, I look at the colors of the sky and the trees around me. I feel the breeze on my skin and changes in temperature as I move through the air. It sounds strange, but I have this vision of “opening up” to what is going on around me. I see myself relaxing and opening my hands and body to let everything come into me. I guess it’s similar to what Billy describes in his post.

John
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