Ashes

Ashes4

There’s an Eskimo Proverb that goes as follows: Yesterday is ashes. Tomorrow is green wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly. In a few short words, the proverb offers wisdom that–when applied–can improve our point of attraction now. And with a good point of attraction (predominant perspective or attitude) we’re going to attract better experiences. That doesn’t mean maybe; that doesn’t mean possibly; that doesn’t mean perhaps. That means we most certainly will! It’s universal law.

One of the key teachings regarding the Law of Attraction is that all of us–in some way or another–may unintentionally disallow the good we seek by viewing the world through a perspective that doesn’t serve our best interests. When we don’t see clearly, we may miss opportunities to mine golden experiences right here and now. One of the ways we do this is by focusing on either the past or the future. “This and this and this was wrong in the past; and that and that and that is going to be wrong in the future!” The proverb, however, serves as a potent reminder of the truth: Only today does the fire burn brightly! Only now matters. And only in the present moment do we connect fully and vibrantly with power. The thoughts we engage in the living moments of our lives are, indeed, creating our future experiences.

So what does this mean? It means that whatever we experience–perhaps divorce, the end of a career, a financial loss–becomes ashes the moment it’s experienced. The experience only continues if we mentally carry those ashes forward. The same is true of positive experiences. Repercussions of either may reverberate for some time, but the actual events are over. In short, we are always creating. The decision of what we create–be it joy, misery, or a degree somewhere between the two–is up to us. And here, another expression offers great truth: Pain is inevitable; suffering is an option. We suffer when we resist what has been created in any moment.

Are we to give up on any future goals and just float around like ducks in water, waiting to bump into whatever drifts our way? No, not at all. We are co-creators and we’re meant to create; but from a balanced perspective that reflects an understanding of what’s truly important in life. We’re also wise to drop our concerns about the past, for it’s senseless to worry about that which cannot be changed; and equally as pointless to forfeit today’s richness by fretting over an imagined future!

Regarding actual ashes: Good friends of mine recently shared an account that holds great value. It relates to an elderly aunt of theirs, and the death of her longtime partner. He had died about three months prior; his body cremated. They told me that during a visit with her they watched as she surreptitiously spread her partner’s ashes in a location that had held special meaning for both of them. His ashes had been contained in a cardboard box lined with plastic. Their account reminded me of the Eskimo Proverb. I thought: All that we fret about, stew about, worry about, lose sleep about; are anxious or angry about–all of it will be reduced to this: ashes.

Is this–to know that we will undoubtedly die–cause to be maudlin? No, not at all, at least from my perspective. To know that dust will, indeed, return again to dust provides us even more reason to live–fully, joyously, and gratefully in the moment! Aware of this, we may ask ourselves what gold surrounds us here and now. Is it not waiting to be mined by individuals who possess the right attitude? Are we fortunate enough to have family, friends, bread, water, a roof over our head? And certainly not least: Love? Does love not hold the greatest value of all? Truly knowing this–not just parroting the words–has the potential to change our life for the better; and not at some distant point in time. 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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Preemptive Strikes

Preemptive Strike

Most of us, unfortunately, will have heard the term preemptive strike, usually in the context of war. From Wikipedia, its basic definition is as follows: A surprise attack launched with the stated intention of countering an anticipated enemy offensive. The premise is that the first to strike will gain advantage, likely by catching the enemy off guard or unprepared.

As this relates to the Law of Attraction, a preemptive strike is not against an enemy but against ourselves and our goals! In many cases, such action reveals hidden fear or a subconscious belief in unworthiness rather than any real reason why our goals can’t be achieved! This covert operation is often habitual, a mechanism related to memories of past goals attempted without success. It works thus: Instead of allowing our goal to manifest, through intuitive guidance toward action required, we unconsciously defeat it with our negative thinking. Once again, this type of mentality offers proof that we bring about what we think about! It is destructive in nature, not constructive. This is the strike; the attack against our own aspirations.

Why, though, would our mind attack a goal that could potentially enrich our life? Because a new goal requires us to shift out of our comfort zone, and that can be a terrifying experience! In fact, many motivational speakers claim that if a goal doesn’t scare us a little that it’s probably not big enough! When the mind strikes down a goal, we may temporarily feel some relief, just to have the matter settled. However, in the quiet hours of the soul we realize what’s being sacrificed.

Regarding preemptive strikes in war, who would know the best action to be taken? This, however, is certain regarding the achievement of our goals: Unless we remain open to possibilities, we doom our dreams. The mind that’s launching preemptive strikes would have us believe that it’s being of benefit; that it’s protecting us from painful future experiences. But such a mentality negates the value of lessons learned from attempting in the first place! It’s actually sabotaging our dreams before they’ve been given a chance.

How do we counter these attacks if they occur? By recognizing them for the enemy they are! By questioning their validity and, if appropriate, refusing to accept that our goal can’t be achieved just because we don’t know the way now! Such requires patience, persistence, insight, faith, and action! The subconscious will undoubtedly attempt to convince us to be realistic; to accept that some people are lucky and some not. The truth, however, is that luck has nothing to do with it.

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

Applied Willpower

Willpower

Wallace D. Wattles (1860 – 1911) was a New Thought author who wrote many books on the subject of the Law of Attraction. In The Science of Getting Rich, he devoted an entire chapter to sharing his opinions about the proper use of willpower. His views are logical and helpful for everyone who desires to apply the Law of Attraction more effectively.

When the subject of willpower arises, the thought of New Year’s Eve might immediately spring to mind. We might think of the countless resolutions that are made…and often soon broken. We might also picture a struggle or battle; one in which we physically force ourselves to reach for a pinnacle that symbolizes success.

For some individuals, the use of willpower also includes the misguided notion of manipulating others through deceit and duplicity. Of this, Wallace Wattles is very clear. He states that mental coercion through the use of willpower is no less wrong than physical coercion. He also states that our willpower is not to be used outwardly, upon effects that already exist. We are to use it inwardly, at the level of cause. According to him, the purpose of applied willpower is to change who we are, at the core of our Being. And as we already realize, when we change within, the world without must also change.

How do we properly use willpower? By exercising our power to choose right thoughts. In any given situation, right nature thoughts create right–or betterresults. We, ourselves, possess the power to choose how we think and feel. With a clearer perspective, we may consciously and consistently engage better thoughts; thereby creating better outcomes. The key, of course, is to put these teachings into practice.

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

 

Be Strong

Be Strong

How simple it may sound, to be strong. And how annoying it may be, especially if stated by individuals who appear to be sitting on top of the world, seemingly removed from any trials and tribulations. Such advice may seem trite, useless, hollow, and worthless. It isn’t. Let’s contemplate this further through a brief detour into personal history:

A year ago, I had another knee surgery. Nothing major: the second tear to the meniscus of my right knee. It should be fine, but that wasn’t what my thoughts were telling me during the first few days post surgery, when my knee was sore and difficult to bend. And my thoughts didn’t serve me well when I recalled the surgeon’s words as he showed me photos taken within my knee: “And here’s what we didn’t want to see.” He was referring to arthritis, I assume, or definitely wear and tear.

The point of this article is not a pity party about one guy’s knee. The purpose is to offer real life strategies grounded in the effective use of thought. While the mind–that great trickster–would have us believe there’s something useful behind weak and fearful thoughts, we must ignore it. We must turn it off, as though a tap dripping acid on our head. Instead, we must turn on thoughts that empower us toward the results we desire achieved. In my case, that meant ignoring “What if this ends my career? What if the pain continues? What if I need a knee replacement?” and focusing on thoughts that served my highest good. The goodness appears when we learn to think effectively.

The late Wayne Dyer (1940 – 2015) expressed this simply and succinctly: The law of floatation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things. Meaning: We cannot possibly achieve what we desire by thinking about what we don’t! Ernest Holmes (1887 – 1960), who was a New Thought writer, teacher, and leader, expressed this in a different manner through the following quote: No soul can demonstrate two things at the same time if one contradicts the other. There is no way except to let go of all that you do not wish to come into your experience, and, in mind, take all that you do wish. If we don’t desire to spend our lives wallowing in weakness, we must first be stronger and more determined. This builds the character that helps us navigate through the storms of life.

How may we apply this to co-create real and lasting results? By focusing on empowering thoughts–perhaps through affirmations such as I am strong, or I am getting better each and every day–despite facing the most trying circumstances. This means overcoming the temptation to focus on our troubles–perhaps health issues, business struggles, marriage woes, or the death of a loved one. Weak and fearful thoughts can never create strength! When we break the habit of worrying upon weakness, our own natural strength will rise within us. We were born with it. It’s an essential aspect of our true nature.

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

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

The Way of Trust

the-way-of-trust

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

to-think-deliberately

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