1. Tuning in to receive
Get in a good mood before asking for anything – whether from yourself, from someone else or from the universe – and then you are “tuned in” to receiving it. This is the practical and sensible side of the law of attraction and of manifesting. The simple theory is that if you are in a bad mood, it attracts the bad; if you are in a good mood, it attracts the good. Common lores follow this rule: what can go wrong, will go wrong; bad things happen in threes. But we get it the wrong way around – taking the negative slant, instead of the positive.
There is an age old NLP / law of attraction joke that plays to this … A struggling craftsperson / writer* (* delete as appropriate) is trying making ends meet in her new life as she follows her bliss. After another day of struggle, she grabs a beer from the fridge and addresses the universe for help. “Please help me follow my dreams, make my business successful.” As she takes a swig of beer, she gasps. It’s warm as her fridge is broken. In desperation, she cries out, “I don’t even need help with my dreams, just a new fridge will do.” Following manifesting convention, she writes her request for a new fridge on her vision board. Later that day, a good friend visits her. He is a banker, spending his days in the rarefied air of corporate offices in endless rounds of highly important jargon fuelled meetings. He asks her how she is and how her new business is taking off. Then he notices her vision board. “A new fridge? Is that the extent of your dreams? Bloody hell, I’ll buy you a fridge if that’s all you need!”
Recommended Listening: The queen of “tuning in” is Esther Hicks. If you can get past the bizarreness that the advice comes through her from a non-physical entity called Abraham, then the actual content in “Feeling Stuck in Your Life?” is superb. She is not my cup of tea, but I know many people for whom she is an inspiration, so give this a listen. (Listening time: 20 minutes.)
Recommended Watching: It is true that we only look for the things we want to see. So, on the one hand, it can be useful to really focus on what we want, rather than what we don’t. On the other side, we need to be aware that sometimes we need a wider perspective. Watch The Monkey Business Illusion to see how this works. (Watching time: 2 minutes.)
2. Getting there slowly
The greatest approach to life I discovered on my sabbatical was slowing down. This applies in general, but primarily I applied this to travel. I did this with cycling first – I cycled slowly (and avoided hills and wind) and it became the perfect exercise. I then ignored planes and cars where I could and used trains, then added overnight trains, then ferries and also overnight ferries too. Very quickly I was going around the world this way and everything worked out until I got to the car obsessed US of A …
More speed, less haste: I discovered a bunch of like minded people who have learned to erase haste and stress and so have improved the quality of their lives and of others.
Recommended Resource: My first sabbatical discovery was river route cycling as at its very nature there are no hills. Bicycle Germany is run by an American who is the founder of the Over 50s with Bad Knees Cycling Club (which sadly soon I will be a paid up member) and his website was my guide and inspiration to cycle the river routes in Germany. I still haven’t done all that are described on his website, but the ones I have done are all highly recommended.
Recommended Resource: For train travel (globally), look no further than the immense encyclopaedic knowledge base that is The Man in Seat Sixty-One. Named after his favourite seat on the Eurostar, the website aims to inspire people to do something more rewarding with their travel opportunities than flying on a soulless airliner and missing all the world has to offer and enables people to book such trips themselves with the information that the site provides – it even has valuable ferry timetables and information too.
3. Ask for help before sleeping
When you need some answers ask the universe before you sleep. Somehow this works. There is the life hack whereby, when you don’t know an answer, you ask yourself how it would feel if you did … and slowly the answer arrives. However, doing this overnight adds more credence. Somehow, once your conscious mind is switched off, the unconscious mind always manages to provide a wider perspective.
In his inspiring book “Travels”, Michael Crichton discusses change. He suggests that perhaps we accomplish change in a matter of seconds. He purports that maybe it only takes time as we don’t know how to do it or that we actually expect it to take so long. As per Neil Peart’s famous lyrics suggest: “Changes aren’t permanent but change is”. It is the unconscious mind that has to work through our transformations, rather than the conscious mind as it is far too busy with all our wasted thoughts and worries.
Recommended Reading: Dr. Richard Bandler in “Get the Life You Want” believes the power of the unconscious mind is the freeway to change. Your unconscious is the part of your mind that controls your functions, from your heartbeat to your breathing. It is also where all your memories are stored and where your wisdom, creativity and problem-solving capabilities reside, whilst your conscious mind is the part of your mind that analyses, criticizes and thinks logically all day long. So when you sleep, your unconscious can process what has happened. When we “sleep on it” the unconscious has the ability to help you see things from a different perspective.
4. Kindness matters
Most of the time we have no idea of the personal battles someone else is going through. So the next time someone bugs you, just think they may going through the same shit as you or, more to the point, something even worse.
Quite often, there is nothing a little tenderness or compassion cannot fix. If they don’t accept it, it is their loss.
“Nobody on this planet is going to ruin this day for me.” Wayne Dyer.
5. Vulnerability is strength
Don’t ever abuse this. The world seems to think being vulnerable is a weakness, but somebody is showing you a little of their true selves, opening up, and this is a trait to cherish. Treat this with respect and do the same in return. The world really has no place for big egos.
Think of your favourites books, songs and movies. It is usually the ones that are raw and passionate that resonate – that vulnerability hits home. It is said that great storytelling is either making the universal resonate personally or making a personal situation understood universally.
Do not take a mile, when an inch is offered – offer a mile instead.
“The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked, that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” Neil Gaiman.
Recommended Reading: Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart by Kamal Ravikant. Based on his experience of walking the legendary Camino de Santiago, the book tells a tale of rebirth, forgiveness, synchronicity and unexpected adventures that reveal who we are.
6. Go first
In every way, go first. Be the first to offer a smile or help. Don’t be defensive – it gets you nowhere. Always put the shoe on the other foot and imagine what it would feel like to receive that offer of help or that time out for a cup of tea when you really need it. It is the mark of greatness to make someone else feel better when you don’t.
I have just experienced one of the most drawn out and excruciatingly wasteful business negotiations I have ever been involved in …. and being defensive, closed and hiding behind positions just doesn’t work. Like in Amanda Palmer’s wonderful book, “The Art of Asking: How I learned to stop worrying and let people help”, I truly believe we should live in a world of trust and abundance rather than fear and scarcity.
Recommended Reading: Roger Fisher and William L. Ury’s “Getting to Yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in” is not only the classic negotiation text, it is a code for living. Most of what we do in life is a negotiation and therefore the principles can easily be adopted to most situations: focus on interests, not positions; separate the people from the problem, invent options for mutual gain and use objective criteria for legitimacy. The authors make no apology in the book that principled negotiations is likely to make the world a better place.