The Richness of Life

The Richness of Life3

Who of us doesn’t want a rich life? Is that not, in itself, one of the main reasons why we desire to create deliberately? We want this, that, or another thing–be that a possession, the feeling of love, more success, greater health, increased wealth–and we usually want such because we live with the mistaken belief that these will make us happy. By living in this manner, we unknowingly place ourselves at the mercy of our own ignorance, for we live as we perceive. We are the ones who ultimately decide just what holds meaning and value.

What if, however, we were given wakeup calls–or reminders–that have the potential to transform our experiences and also deepen our appreciation for the richness that is inherent in life as it is? Everyone who lives long enough will experience such reminders. I know I have. Of course, it’s also true that we may be oblivious to them. Today’s wakeup call arrived as news that my neighbour who shone as an example of a wonderful human being has died. Unassuming, quiet, honest, kind, a gentleman and a gentle person–these terms described him well. For the purpose of this article, I will refer to him as Richard, for he deserves his privacy in death just as much as he valued it in life.

Given some of the conversations we shared, I think Richard would have agreed with the following: That we are immersed in a society–at least in the Western world–in which we honour things, degrees, achievements, money, fame, and prizes to an outlandish and unhealthy extent. Daily, we are bombarded with messages implying that if we purchase this or strive toward that we will be happier. Such distractions may initially yield a sense of happiness, but that happiness usually fades or fails us to some degree or another. In our private moments of the soul, we may repeatedly experience a subtle and unsettling feeling of discontent: “Why is this new house, car, or relationship, stock dividends, mountain climbed, first-place finish, or trip to the moon not making me happy?”

As we mature and evolve, we may consider ourselves fortunate if we awaken to the answer, which is simple yet profound: Because those things can’t. When we mistake symbols of wealth or achievement as the source of true joy, we will always lose. Not once or twice, but always. Until we learn the lesson, we will continue to experience the subtle or even painful suffering of the soul. The good news? That there is nothing we have to do, chase, or deliberately create to inherit the true richness of life. As the saying states: The sun shines on all of us.

So what, we may ask, is the true source of joy, and where can it be found? In simple but glorious moments of life itself. Such is often hidden in plain view: In the gleeful laughs of children playing in a yard; in our breath; the beat of our heart; a freshening rain; the smell of newly-mowed hay; the holding of hands; the flight of a soaring eagle; the funny walk of seagulls scrounging for scraps; a starry night; sunrise and sunset. We may also find it in wonderful individuals such as my neighbour, now transitioned to life much greater, who gave of his time to share in our short but meaningful visits. May he rest in peace. And may all of us appreciate the true richness of life that surrounds us…right here, right now.

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

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The Way of Trust

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All of us bring attitudes to the situations of our life. Some situations we may label as good; some we may label as bad; some perhaps a mixture of both. Whatever the case, it’s unavoidable that we will bring our habitual thoughts and feelings with us. However, for the sake of manifesting the best of life, let’s share a perspective that may help us greatly.

We dream of the way we’d like life to be. We want this, that, or the other thing. We want a relationship to be just so; our career to happen this way but not that; travel to unfold according to our expectations; and solutions to arrive on our schedule. Alas, this is often not the case. Life surprises us, shocks us, knocks us, confuses us, and downright rebels against our most valiant efforts. However…

What if we adjusted ourselves–and our beliefs–to life; rather than expecting life to adjust to us. Would there be a benefit? Could we actually find ourselves flowing with the tide of life, rather than against it? The undeniable and unequivocal answer is yes! Could we arrive at a state of Being–deep within ourselves–in which we accept every moment as it is? And could we adopt the belief that life is always working in our favour, even if at first glance it appears otherwise?

Think: As life is always changing, is it safe to say that we never truly arrive? Is not every moment merely a stepping stone to the next? Can a supposed arrival ever truly be static? And with this knowledge, may we conclude that the outcome we have desired–which has not yet appeared–doesn’t have to be labelled as disappointment? Could the fulfillment of our desire still be on its way? Or could that which didn’t occur, still turn out to be for the best? And could we, thus, learn invaluable lessons?

To live in this manner is to live by the way of trust. We may believe that whatever happens in life–the loss of a recent relationship; the end of a business venture; an unexpected displacement from the workplace–is in our best interest. From our limited and small perspective, we so often assume that we know best. The truth, however, is that life’s detours often yield the best results…and the greatest joy!

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

To Think Deliberately

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Eckhart Tolle is well known as one of the most influential spiritual teachers of our time. In the last several years, he has risen to prominence not only for his books–which include The Power of Now and A New Earth–but also for his television appearances and spiritual seminars. Although he has much to offer us on the discovery trail to our deeper nature, he is also skilled at teaching us the art of deliberate thinking. It’s for this reason that I include him in this article.

Regarding the subject of deliberate thinking, many individuals may question whether such is, indeed, possible. Undoubtedly that’s because most people have neither attempted nor practiced it. For these people, thoughts just occur as they may, most often randomly and repetitively. Consequently, their lives are a reflection of thought processes that lack intention.

Some experts believe that we cannot possibly know what our next thoughts will be; that we are not, in fact, capable of producing them. This may or may not be true; but through deliberate effort, we can at least attune ourselves to the nature of thoughts we receive. In one presentation, Eckhart likened the process to the following:

Imagine that we are sitting on a park bench. We have no particular agenda in mind except to enjoy time in nature. A few minutes pass but then a dog runs into our field of vision. It sniffs the ground in one location; paws the earth at a second; stops to urinate at a third. The dog goes on and on. In this example, the dog–of course–is analogous to our thinking process. Must we follow that dog–and focus on it exclusively–merely because it entered our field of vision? If our answer is yes, we are training ourselves to be the subject–not master–of every other dog (thought) that enters our mind. Negative and ugly dogs undoubtedly lead to more thoughts of a similar nature, connected as though by an invisible leash. Fortunately, however, the same is true of positive thoughts.

What does this mean in practical terms? That we may choose not to follow painful thoughts related to our ex spouse, business deals that went wrong, or financial worries that would keep us awake at night. That we may choose not to focus on relationship thoughts–be they platonic, romantic, or familial–that would cause us stress, worry, or concern. We are not being negligent when we choose not to do so; we are nurturing a better state of mind and preserving our sanity. And we may remind ourselves just who gives importance, relevance, and meaning to all of our thoughts and experiences. Do they come labelled as Win, Lose or Place apart from our own thoughts toward them? Of course, not! We are the scepter holders of opinion.

With practice, we may train ourselves to follow the thoughts we wish to entertain. Thus we become the master. There will also be times when we may choose not to think; to remain, instead, in the bliss of present awareness without engaging the thinking process. We may also liken thinking to our arms or legs: Just because we have them, must they always be in motion? No, they may be at rest…as may our thinking. If we have nothing good to think, we may choose not to engage negative thinking just to fill time. Such, in fact, will benefit us greatly.

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

Tale of a Coffee Maker

Tale of a Coffee Maker

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there lived a wealthy king. He owned many great possessions–castles, prized stallions, and land as far as the eye could see. Of all of his possessions, however, the fairest of all was his coffee maker. For years, the coffee maker had brewed countless cups of coffee to the king’s delight. He happily anticipated his first cup each and every day.

One morning, however, a pall fell over the servants working in the kitchen. Bernard, the king’s faithful servant, delivered the news: “Dear Sire,” said Bernard, “I have something of great bearing to share with thee.”

“Speak,” said the king. “What have thee to tell me?”

Nervously Bernard shifted before the king. “Thy prized coffee maker, Sire; it has stopped working. A descaler symbol is present. We know not what to do.”

A grave expression fell upon the king’s face. Several moments passed in silence before he spoke. “We shall fix it. Surely there must be a way!”

“I have heard rumour,” said Bernard, “of desclaling tablets that can be added to the water to reverse the build up of lime.”

“Really?” said the king. He scratched his chin as he contemplated the situation. “Then go ye yonder and fetch these descaling tablets and fix the problem!”

“Yes, my Sire,” said Bernard. He bowed, departed, and then mounted the king’s fastest steed. For a full day he rode hard and long, searching the neighbouring kingdoms for the fabled tablets. After great effort–with the steed nearly dead–he located the tablets. They were as gold to him, and he guarded them with his life. When he returned to the castle, he directed his fellow servants to follow the instructions carefully. Accordingly, they added one tablet to a full tank of water and cycled the mixture through the coffee maker. Eagerly Bernard waited. And waited some more. Alas, when the tank of water had run through, the descaling symbol was still present.

The following day, the king summoned Bernard to his great chamber. “How fare thee with my prized coffee maker?”

“Dear Sire,” said Bernard with great trepidation, “I bear news that is not fair. Thy coffee maker still does not work! I fear we shall have to throw it out and get another!”

“Get another coffee maker!” said the king, his voice loud and forceful. “But I don’t want another coffee maker! It is my favourite! I want my coffee maker fixed, for it is the fairest in the land! Fix thee back to the kitchen and attend to the problem!”

“But, but…” stammered Bernard.

“There shall be no buts about it! Fix the problem!”

Bernard departed and conferred with the other servants. This time they placed two descaling tablets in the water and ran the solution through the coffee maker. The result was the same: the descaling symbol still remained. A great fear befell the servants for the situation appeared hopeless. The following day, Bernard was again summoned by the king.

“How fare thee?” asked the king.

Bernard’s mournful expression told it all. “I fear, dear Sire, that the problem cannot be fixed.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “We know not what to do.”

The king directed Bernard to sit before him. “I want you to listen well,” said the king. I have a story to tell you about my good friend Henry Ford, inventor of the automobile.”

Before he could control himself, Bernard spoke out of turn. “But, Sire,” said Bernard, obviously perplexed, “how can that be? Henry Ford is from a future era and cannot possibly be related to this tale.”

The king’s countenance became stern; his voice gruff. “Dost thou pretend to doubt my word?” said the king.

“Nay,” said Bernard, slumping back into his chair. “Continue, please, dear Sire.”

That’s better, said the king. “Well, when my dear friend Henry Ford–who invented the assembly line and automobile–directed his engineers to design and build a V-8 engine that could be fashioned in a single casting, his engineers insisted that it couldn’t be done! They said it was impossible, but Henry decreed that it would be done! Again and again his engineers faced failure, but Henry stood his ground. Ultimately, his belief won out, and as a result his company outsold all of his competitors. I am decreeing no less a task from you. Fix my coffee maker…now! It is because we believe that it can be done that it will be done!

“Yes, my Sire,” said Bernard. He shrank his way from the king and hastened back to the kitchen.

After much deliberation with the other servants, Bernard decided that this time they would dissolve three descaling tablets in the water. He cycled the solution through the coffee maker and waited desperately, hoping for the best. This was his day to rise and shine–he must! Ten minutes passed. Twenty minutes. Thirty…until the last drop of solution had finally flowed through the king’s prized coffee maker. And…lo?

The descaling symbol had disappeared! The solution had worked! All of the servants rejoiced and there was great merriment in the kitchen. Without delay, Bernard directed a fellow servant to make the king a cup of his favourite coffee. He then took it to the king post haste.

This time it was the king’s look that told it all. He lifted the cup of coffee from the silver tray that Bernard was holding before him. “Ahh,” said the king after his first sip of coffee. “Now, do you see the importance of continuing to believe and try?

“Yes, Sire,” said Bernard. Yes, indeed.”

* * *

And of our real dreams–of improved health, greater wealth, better relationships–that add meaning to our days and hold the promise of a greater future? Hold on, hold on, hold on! Their achievement may be much closer than we realize. One more faithful attempt may make all of the difference. So often it does.

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

Ride On

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I’ve just returned from a 13, 000-kilometer motorcycle trip in which I visited the west coast of Canada and also a few of the States of America. I was away for thirty-three incredible days. It was a great trip, and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel in a way that provides both excitement and joy.

My passion for motorcycling struck me when I was a teenager, and despite a period of over twenty years in which I didn’t ride, my passion returned several years ago. How glad I am that it did! Several friends I know also ride, but we have strikingly dissimilar belief systems when the subject of continued riding in future years comes up. Two people I know have even planned the exact age when they will quit riding–stating reasons such as, “Well, you know that your reflexes get slower as you age,” or “you have to be very sharp when you’re riding on two wheels.” I don’t deny that these statements are true; but both negate that safe riding can still be possible, in part due to benefits that we’ve acquired as we age. We’ll look at the subject from a Law of Attraction viewpoint:

The Law of Attraction basically states that what we think about, we bring about. When we apply this to the subject of safe motorcycling, it, thus, means that if we focus upon the day when we will quit–to be safe–we will actually manifest that as a consequence of our thinking. Our mind, when directed in such a manner, will offer ample evidence as proof of why this should be so. My approach is much different.

Yes, the day will undoubtedly come when I will stop riding, but until that day appears I’m going to focus all of my efforts on staying in the saddle. Why not? I’m going to tell myself that such is possible for as long as possible. The point? It’s definitely not solely about riding a motorcycle! It’s about indulging and enjoying all of our interests! Golfing, skiing, running? Travel, adventure, passion? Yes to all and many more of our interests! Isn’t it wiser to let life determine when the time is right to forgo an interest…and trade it in for yet another that can provide us great joy? The details will look after themselves. We need not plan for the day when we figuratively park our motorcycle for the last time or shelve our helmet. In fact doing so, only makes such occur that much sooner!

Why was my trip only 13,000 kilometers long? Simple: Because I started to entertain thoughts (which brought about corresponding actions) that it was time to turn eastward and return to life in Ontario. If I had continued to think about riding in other States–perhaps heading further south–it would have been much longer. This little example applies to so many of our other interests? Why are we not travelling anymore? Because we stopped entertaining the idea that we could or should? Why have we given up on driving, maintaining our own home, or hiking the surrounding parks? Quite often it’s because we stopped thinking that such was possible…long before any physical reason presented that actually inhibited our ability to do so.

In a book entitled In The Flow of Life, the author, Eric Butterworth, tells the account of a businessman named Joseph McDonald, who, despite being eighty years of age, was vibrant, energetic, and doing the same amount of work of employees many years younger. At lunch one day, a young employee politely asked Mr. McDonald his age. Without missing a beat, Joseph replied, “My son, my age is none of my business!” What he was so wisely saying was that his age need not ever be his focus. Must we–should we–squeeze ourselves into the stereotypical definitions of someone who is sixty, seventy, eighty and beyond? No! We can let age take care of itself. It will. In the meantime, isn’t it time to be planning our next trip?

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

Calendar Days

Calendar Days2

One of my passions is sharing information about the Law of Attraction. The reason is simple: Because I so strongly believe in the truth of the teachings. Through my articles, published every five days, I hope to empower people to meet the challenges of life and achieve what they desire. Why? Because I believe that empowered people are happier and healthier; and, thus, positively contribute to the creation of a better world.

Regarding the title of this article: It might be easy to assume that every five days–because I’ve committed to that schedule–I just sit at my computer, bang on a few keys, and press Send. That’s not the case. From the minute that I publish an article, I begin to consciously think of my next article: of new angles; of new and meaningful information to share with readers. This conscious effort then prompts the subconscious mind. Initial drafts based on intuitive ideas lead to editing. And more editing. I share this to make a point: To achieve our dreams and goals, we must make them a relaxed but persistent focus. To think of them once every five days–five weeks or five months–is not enough. They must occupy the foreground of our mind, not the background.

This point may be made clearer via a phrase from Thessalonians in the Bible: to pray unceasingly. Many individuals interpret this to mean that we are to get on our knees and beg to a deity. However, from my understanding, the phrase means to concentrate our thinking upon what we desire–not on what we don’t! That could be the house we desire; a new car; improved health and fitness; a different career; travel to a foreign country; a spouse, partner, new friend; or whatever else we deem important in our life.

How may we apply this? Through various means, but all of them basically involve immersing ourselves–in a relaxed way–in whatever we desire. And we are always to imagine our desire from the end result, as though already achieved. An example may help: If we desire a new car? Visit car dealerships and bring home brochures of models that catch our interest. Go for test drives. Speak with people who already own the type of automobile we desire. Attend an Auto Show and sit in various cars. Set a photo of the car we desire as the wallpaper on our computer. Visualize–if only for a few minutes each day–how it feels to sit behind the wheel. Whatever our desire, it will manifest more quickly through our relaxed but persistent focus.

With practice, we will discover methods that feel natural and right. Nothing should be forced; nothing made of life or death importance. A detached and expectant perspective works best, for creation functions with ease, without stress or worry. And here, a positive reminder: As long as we’re giving positive thought to our desire, it’s reality in our life is that much closer.

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers

Awakening To The “Now”

Awakening to the Now4

There’s a paradox related to the Law of Attraction: From the beginning of our study, we’re told that we must govern our thinking; to choose our thoughts wisely; to concentrate on what we desire to experience, not on what we don’t! The importance of being the watchful guardian of our mind is stressed repeatedly. We’re taught that positive thoughts create positive outcomes; negative thoughts, negative. Intuitively, we realize this is true, for our instincts inform us nothing good can come from entertaining negative thoughts. So, what’s the paradox?

That thinking, the very tool we use to attract the good we seek, can become a hindrance. When used correctly, thinking is undoubtedly one of our greatest gifts. Used incorrectly, however, it can be more a curse than a blessing. Not only is it important to know how to direct our thinking, but also how to get out of it! Contrary to popular belief, we needn’t have endless thoughts and opinions about every aspect of life; nor in our best interests to do so. But how do we enter the transcendent beauty of the present moment?

By directing our attention out of the mind and into a dimension apart from thinking. Eckhart Tolle, a renowned spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now and A New Earth, advises us to leave the mind’s incessant chatter by focusing our attention into the body. A deep breath may help us enter–then anchor in–the present moment; for the breath is a potent reminder of life that’s happening right now, moment to moment. To exist in a conceptualized realm is not to live. An overactive mind, subject to thoughts that hijack our attention, may render us incapable of truly enjoying the fruits of our labours. What sense in that?

With practice, we may regain our sense of innocence and wonder, as though reborn into the world as a child. We may surrender to life as it is. By doing so, we discover that the good we sought is naturally present, closer than we previously thought. Awakened, we realize that our experiences come vibrantly alive. The difference is not related to the activities themselves, but to the degree of presence we bring to them! That sense of aliveness has been shining there all along, obscured by conceptualization.

Life happens now. Plain. Simple. Real. True. The present moment is all there is. When we think about the past, we do that now. When we think about the future, we do that now. There’s definitely a time to visualize, to dream and mentally reach beyond our current circumstance. However, there’s also a time to enjoy–fully engaged in the aliveness of experience. As always, balance is key.

Dare to dream.

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2017 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. To view my ebook entitled Hold That Thought, please press here.

“Thank You” & Note to Publishers