Okay, first of all a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who donated the past few days. I am tremendously grateful to each and every one of you and I’d like you to know that yes, your gift makes a big difference. Not only that, it’s been really cool to hear some of the stories that have come forth after donating. For example, one reader/friend donated to me and also wanted to get a new pair of dance shoes. She then shared with me that the very next day, her dance teacher flat out gave her exactly the dance shoes she wanted and wouldn’t let her pay for them. Get this… the cost of the dance shoes was exactly the amount she’d donated! It’s really cool to see this flow of giving and receiving, how it works in both directions, and it’s on this note that I’d like to begin this post.
It seems like a big part of “being in the flow” is not only being open to receiving abundant blessings from the universe, from other people, and from every which way, but also being open to give what you have to offer. It’s important for both ends of the giving/receiving pipe be open for the best experience of flow. Now by giving, this doesn’t necessarily imply giving physical stuff like money or your possessions, although that’s certainly just as much a part of it as anything else. Less tangible things like a helping hand, a kind smile, an encouraging word, or even your time… these things can all be HUGE gifts… It seems like the greatest gift you can give is the gift of yourself in whatever form you show up. I don’t mean to make this sound like “I’m all that” or “I’m God’s gift to humanity” in an egotistical sense or any of that nonsense, but it seems like when you just naturally show up and shine your light, that seems to impact people more than anything you could possibly do by trying to give for whatever reason. It’s pretty surprising to me still to see over and over that life, for whatever reason, simply works best when I just give up trying to manifest this or make that happen or get this person to respond that way or any of that effort-based stuff… When I say “enough already” and just be myself and enjoy and appreciate what I already DO have, life is FAR more enjoyable, new things and people show up much more easily, and everything just works BETTER.
Since I’m enjoying just being myself more and more these days as opposed to trying to deliberately play the role of teacher or student as if this was all so serious :lol , let’s have a little fun here. Let’s tell a little story today… and since we’re playing like children, let’s make this story like a picture book. How ’bout that?
Okay, so the weather forecast this week called for sunny and clear skies up in the mountains, so I headed to the local REI to talk to people about places to go camping. Sure enough, I stumbled right into a couple talking to a guy about this exact thing, so I mozied right on in to the conversation. Synchronicity, you rock! The guy suggested two different places, one of which intuitively lit up more for me than the other. After picking up a detailed map of the area, I hopped into the car and started driving. The trail I was going to visit was actually a snowshoe trail and I don’t own a pair of showshoes yet, but the intuition said go anyways so off I went regardless!
There’s a road that heads up into the mountains through a canyon from Boulder to Nederland. You gain about 3,000 feet of elevation here. At the bottom of the canyon there was a guy thumbing it so I pulled over and picked him up. Turns out he was a really cool guy, lived in Georgia as well, and even knew my friend who lives up in Ned. Small world!! Apparently it’s really common to hitch between Ned and Boulder. He told me that the nickname for that road was the hippy elevator and I had a good laugh about it… At one point during the drive I happened to glance over and notice the two cup holders in my car, only one of which had a bottle of water, the one I drink from when driving. I naturally asked if he wanted one and he eagerly accepted, saying that he just had some cocktails with his friends and could use some water. I reached back behind my seat and pulled out a fresh bottle for him. With this experience I really took note of how easily the water I had available blended with his desire for water, like two pieces of the puzzle. The link between the two was a very natural flow that really didn’t take much conscious thought. It’s as if I was guided to look in a certain place which triggered an idea within me.
This is a big part of how I am now transitioning to experiencing intuition.
You see, it used to be that I’d have a few options in front of me and I’d stop and picture myself doing one of the options. Usually one of them would feel more light, expansive, spacious, joyous, exciting, free, light-hearted, easy, and fun. That sense of openness would be my answer. Yet doing it this way, I’d have to stop and deliberately ask and try out a few things, waiting to get that feeling of expansiveness before continuing.
After a while, you start to develop the ability to make that feeling of expansiveness your home. It’s not just your answer to questions, but because a feeling-based way of life. When you start to spend more and more time in this empty expansiveness, you find that there’s a natural arising of things to do, words to speak, places to go, and so on. It’s not just about big things like “Should I move here,” but it also helps guide conversations and the next topic to bring up as we speak. Certain topics have a sort of “vibrational signature” of expansiveness, openness, and light. I like to allow conversations to flow by maintaining that feeling first and foremost and bringing up words and ideas that also “fit” with this feeling.
Sometimes there are things I could say that feel like closure, judgment, and egotism. I’ve noticed that every time I bring up those words or ideas, conversations hit a snag. People don’t react as well. I don’t feel as good. It’s like anything that doesn’t match that feeling of openness and expansiveness doesn’t fit as part of the flow.
And so instead of stopping the flow to ask the intuition ahead of time if this or that is better, it becomes more of a natural continuous flow that you fall into, and you allow every action, word, and movement to be a natural expression of that expansiveness. Instead of a clear “this way” or “that way” that practically beats you over the head with an answer, it starts to become far more subtle so you really have to tune in and pay intention.
That feeling you get from your intuition becomes more than just an answer. It becomes a way of life…
and so it is on that note that I headed out into the woods. Putting on my snow gear, I headed out into the woods to find a place to set up camp. One of the first potential camp sites I came to was this big clearing which looked to be like a meadow. I considered setting up my tent here, but got a feeling that I should keep walking. It wasn’t until afterwards that I remembered from the map that that wasn’t a meadow, but a frozen lake! Yikes.. that wouldn’t be a comfortable feeling to sleep on top of that…
Continuing to walk along the trail, I spotted this little area next to the trail that offered a perfect place to throw up a tent. It was surrounded by trees which offered a natural windbreak and was still right next to the trail which made for easy access.
That first day I simply sat back and relaxed. In the mountains. Finally…
Above is an afternoon shot. If you look at my boot, you’ll notice how the sun shines in from the side, from the southwest. In the mornings, it would rise from the southeast, right in the dead center of this shot. It would make for a brilliant morning…
One amazing thing about this area is the sound… Atop the spectacular limitless silence you have the wind as it blows across from peak to peak, rustling my tent as it blows by, the very occasional hikers (and dogs) that walk by, the rustling of my gear as I move around, the occasional plane that flies overhead, and the little birds that like to come by. Not much else…
I loved these little snow birds that were super friendly and curious. They’ll fly on over and land on a branch right over my tent or even come down and hop along the snow right next to my tent. I loved the little footprints they’d leave… You know how humans walk one foot in front of the other, leaving a trail of left, right, left, right? Well these little guys hop with both feet together so their tracks are a series of parallel lines that jump across the snow. Here’s one of the birds as he hopped right up to my tent and shared my view with me.
A little backstory about how I wound up coming to Colorado in the first place…
I’d been wanting to go set out and move somewhere more outdoorsy and spiritually open for a while now. Years even. The thing is I’d been too flat out terrified of doing so. Scared of life, basically.
Eventually I worked out the courage to go for it and started considering places to go: California, New Zealand, Colorado, etc. The synchronicities started popping up everywhere… Colorado. Colorado. Colorado. A friend of mine suggested I come on out to Boulder. Of course I’d still have the option to go somewhere else if I didn’t like it, but at least I’d be taking that first step. It sounded like fun, but for some reason I met a lot of resistance to the idea. A lot… I’d really like to do something like this, but could I really do it??
Since I’d been developing my intuitive capacity, I decided that I’d ask it whether or not now was the right time to go, and I’d go with what it said either way. The thing is, I COULDN’T get an answer from it no matter what I tried. How frustrating! It wasn’t fun feeling so indecisive, especially when another person’s plans depend upon your decision…
That whole thing fell through. It wasn’t until later that another friend suggested I check out Telluride, a small skiing town in southwest, CO. That sounded superexciting and when I checked it out, it felt like all systems go! Alright! Got a target! As I started making my plans, selling off the things I didn’t need, my excitement slowly started to fade from Telluride for some reason and Boulder started lighting back up for me. Fine! Alright! You’ve got my attention now. I now see that Telluride was simply being used as bait to get me to MOVE in that general direction. Once I did, it was easy enough to change to Boulder instead.
Here’s a map pointing out the two cities:
I bring up this story because on the second day of my trip out here to the mountains, I was wondering what I should do that morning after waking up. Should I get up and go hike out, hopefully not encountering deep snow along the way? Should I spend time meditating? What would be best for me to do right now? Again, no answer from the intuition…
As I sat in my tent, a few sets of snowshoers hiked past my tent along the trail. Most of the groups were your typical looking hikers, just kinda in zombie-mode as they walked through the woods. Then these two women walked by, both utterly radiant and beaming with joy. One was practically bouncing along the trail while the other looked over at my tent, smiled, and simply said hello. There’s my answer. I quickly put my shoes, grabbed my pack, and hit the trail.
Again, this was another example of not needing to ask and get an answer, but simply relax and allow life to show me the flow in its own perfect time. I met up with these two women along a frozen lake at the end of the trail and sat down with them while we all had lunch together. Turns out that like most people I’d met here in Boulder, they were amazing! It’s soooo common here to be able to approach most anyone and be dive right into a conversation about energy, living in the moment, consciousness, spiritual awareness, following your joy, intuition, and so on. Back in Georgia people like this certainly existed, but it seemed to be more in small pockets within a larger bubble of Christianity. Here finding people who are more open-minded is basically the norm! It’s not that you have to deliberately talk about spirituality per se. You just be yourself, talk about how you live your life, ask them how they live theirs, talk about what you enjoy, ask them what they enjoy, and just talk about whatever comes up in the moment… Remember what I mentioned earlier about being in that feeling place of expansiveness and talking about whatever seems to naturally come from that space?
The three of us had an amazing time together and I really enjoyed their company… It’s so much easier to find people I click with out here.
Another great thing I love is how free and playful people can be out here. It’s so common to see dirt-covered cars out here. You can tell they’ve been out playing! The other day I was out hiking closer to Boulder with a meetup group. We were walking through a muddy patch and looking down at our footing to make sure every foot was placed in a good spot when I heard the familiar sucking sound of someone making impact in the mud. I look up to see this one woman laughing, having landed butt-first right in the mud, just covered in a splattering of brown goop. Since she was down, she played around in the mud a bit and made sure to get some pictures before finally getting up and out of the mud. People aren’t afraid to get dirty here…
On that note, here I am, sitting in a coffee shop back in Boulder, smelling like, well… smelling like you’d expect a person to smell after a few days of being out in the woods.
It was a wonderful drive down out of the mountains… after 3 days and 2 nights. The roads were nice and clear and the drive was so scenic and enjoyable…
It’s great to be down at a lower elevation. It was a bit tough to breathe at times up at 10,000 feet, especially the very first day. Coming back down nearly a mile in elevation it’s a bit different. It’s kinda like when you fast for a few days and then try eating again. Even though you haven’t eaten for days, you can’t eat a normal sized meal. It’s almost like your stomach shrunk. Coming back down from 10,000 feet, I could take a deep breath but it’d be slightly painful with my lungs expanding a bit more than they were used to. Fortunately it doesn’t take very long to acclimate.
It was a really cool couple of days… I got to experience receiving from a lot of people and giving to a lot of people, giving out rides to those who needed them, giving time and sharing joy with those around me, giving food to the homeless on the side of the road, receiving food and snacks from others… There definitely seems to be a sense of liberated and open balance when you’re in the flow. When you need something and ask, it is given. When you have something which someone else needs, it feels great to give. You get to enjoy the way it feels to give and experience what it’s like to have enough NOW.
Also, there’s DEFINITELY a difference between giving from a place of abundance and having more than enough versus giving and feeling like you have less in the end but you do it anyways because it’s the “compassionate” or “spiritual” or “loving” thing to do. It seems like when you give from a place of lack, you experience yourself having less at the cost of the other having more. Win/lose. That’s a good start and it’s well-intentioned, but there is something better. When you give from the feeling place of having enough, the other experiences having more and you (seeing yourself as a Source with yet even more to give) experience having more as well. It winds up being win/win. Again, the key is to come from a feeling place of having enough. It’s not about what external circumstances are showing you. It’s about what feeling place you come from. That’s the key here.
So getting yourself into a place of abundance, well-being, and having enough, that seems to be super-important when it comes to giving. Giving seems to be most enjoyable and most beneficial to everyone when people choose to be in a place of abundance and are open to both giving and receiving. Life flows both ways. In truth, there’s really only one flow happening here, and we’re all open vessels allowing (or resisting) the flow, but never controlling.
Gratitude… gratitude is awesome. Being thankful for what you do have… it’s like this one simple state of being opens you up to the flow, thereby opening yourself up to receiving even more and being able to give even more. It’s almost like gratitude and appreciation (and I’ve never heard anyone say this this way… it’s just coming to me now) opens up a valve for the flow. Saying it now and understanding the LoA, it makes a lot of sense. Abraham calls it “being in the vortex” and this is basically the same thing. This is that.
So “be happy for what you have”… It’s not something your parents tell you when you used to whine about what you wanted and they wanted you to quit whining… Okay, so it may be a little bit of that too but there is a deep wisdom in that statement. “Be happy for what you have.” Really. It’ll transform your life…
and last but not least, let’s play a game called “Spot the Picnic Table!”