#304 GREED

GREED. Think of it as a virus. A virulent, insidious virus. A pandemic from which the world has been suffering for a very long time. But perhaps we can help this virus to decline. Perhaps the more people who heal themselves of the virus, the less likely it is to spread.

There are many symptoms of this virus, and you might want to check yourself for them. Stinginess, of course, is one of the first symptoms that comes to mind. Ask yourself if there is any way you’re stingy. With your money, sure, but not just your money. With your time, with your openness, with your compassion, with your energy on any and every level.

Fear is another symptom. The urge to acquire stuff, another. Judging others as “less than” is yet another symptom of greed. Racism, created as a justification for slavery and oppression, is a particularly ugly symptom of greed. Can you suggest more?

You want to know if you’ve contracted this virus! Pay attention to your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs. Make a list of your symptoms.

Because there is an antidote — generosity. (Lack of generosity is certainly a symptom.)

Practice generosity in ALL ITS FORMS, and you just may save yourself (and help to save others) from the scourge of our time, greed.

#303 Imagine this:

Imagine this: Your body is the merest shimmer of energy, barely discernible, in the field of pure potential. In that shimmer is the essence of you, the you that is more than just the physical you.

Consider this: Your beliefs and your thoughts, especially your repetitive thoughts, fill in that shimmering outline of your body. Your beliefs and your thoughts created and continue to create the body you have.

Wonder this: What are your beliefs and thoughts that create the physical you? The thoughts come first, the physical manifestation follows — isn’t that what the Masters teach? Here’s an example — I have some arthritis, which seems to me to be the result of certain patterns of thought. I think of it as the calcification of a pattern of thought. What are those thoughts? What beliefs helped in the creation of that arthritis?

Know this: You can return to when your body was just a shimmer of energy in the field of formlessness, the field of pure potential. Use your intention and your imagination. Close your eyes, become a shimmer of possibility, releasing unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. In the field of formlessness, what beliefs, what thoughts, will you use to create your physical self? Choose!

Now, it is entirely possible that some beliefs came very early, riding on sperm and egg, passed down through generations. Only return to the shimmer of pure potential, and you can release that inheritance. Choose!

#302 Deep Gratitude

Try this:
Close your eyes. Take your attention deep into your body. Get a sense of your blood. Get a sense of various organs, various cells, various molecules. Name what it all feels like.

Be grateful. Be heart-swelling grateful. Be joyfully grateful. For something, for anything. Feel it.

Return your attention to your deep body. Is there a difference?

Let me know.

#301 Breath and Water

A reader writes:

“Thank you for starting up Breath and Water again. It is so exactly what I needed (you have a way of doing that). I felt better physically and emotionally within 2 weeks. Still, it took an effort to stay regular with the practice. Then my daughter told me to do this: drink 4 cups of water immediately when I get up in the morning, then wait 45 minutes before I eat or drink anything else. I was skeptical, but I started it.

Here’s my new morning routine: I drink 4 cups of water right away when I get up, then I set my coffee maker to start in 30 minutes. In the meantime, I have time for my 15 minutes of Conscious Breathing and a few Sun Salutations (I do them from a chair now).

Somehow, adding the extras has made the practice easier for me. Go figure.

I used to get up at 7:00am, just in time to dress and fly out the door for the 7:30 bus. I was always frazzled in the morning. When I returned to Breath and Water, after your last newsletter, mornings became less fraught. Now that I’ve added the 4 cups of water and the 45 minute wait, I get up at 5:30! And amazingly, getting up earlier is better! I have plenty of time for water and Conscious Breathing and a little yoga. By the time I leave for work, I feel rested and grounded and pretty darned pleased with myself.

Thank you, Jett. I know I don’t often reply to your Tenacity Notes, but please know that I relish every one. Your wisdom has guided me for a very long time. Thank you for making my life so rich!”

#300 Breath and Water

Do you remember The Breath and Water Club?

I’ve returned to my Breath and Water practice. My life is in some kind of major transition, so I figured there couldn’t be a better time to begin Breath and Water again. I invite you to join me! That’s how the club began, back in 2004, as an attempt by me to gather the support of a group to practice Breath and Water together.

I’m on day three, and I’ve already forgotten my evening breathing once. I was going to get the string out to tie around my finger, but we just moved, and I can’t find it. But I can find you.

Maybe you don’t remember the Breath and Water Club. Here’s what it’s all about: Drink 8 glasses of water a day, and do conscious breathing for 15 minutes twice a day. Do that for 6 months and your life will change in ways you never dreamed of. It’s as simple as that.

The Breath and Water Club newsletter — 70 issues over 6 years — is full of suggestions and reports of results from me and many other club members. Check it out and join the Breath and Water Club.

#299 Just because you believe something

JUST BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE SOMETHING, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Just because someone told you something is true, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it. Just because you’ve always believed something, doesn’t mean you must continue to believe it. Just because everyone in your family believes something, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it. Just because people have believed something for thousands of years, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it too. Just because you really want to believe something, doesn’t mean that you should believe it. Nor, actually, does it mean that you shouldn’t believe it.

What all of this means is that it’s a good idea to know what you believe, and why you believe it, and make a conscious choice about all of it.

#298 Remember to Remember

I stalk beliefs. Why? Because by and large, beliefs are limitations. They limit my expansion into who I am capable of being.

What’s the procedure for stalking beliefs? There are many, but here’s a good one: catch your automatic responses. For example, when you make a mistake, do you automatically say something to yourself like — that was so stupid! Catch that automatic response, and unpack it. Follow it to its source. Investigate it. You’ll find beliefs in there, and those beliefs will be limitations. Can you stop right now and list some of your automatic responses?

It’s a good idea to practice the things I teach all the time, especially when life is flowing smoothly. That way, when life is fixin’ (as they say in Texas) to become overwhelming, you’ll have your practice to guide you through.

For example, my wife and I decided that, after 13 years, it was time to stop living full time in our RV. That was the first decision, and the easiest. We made that decision in September. Many, many decisions followed that one, and a few weeks ago we signed a one-year lease on a house in Blanco, Texas. Our beautiful RV is for sale. We’ve moved into the house. We have actually moved to Texas. (!!!)

The whole process has been a bit overwhelming, so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to stay grounded in what I know — breathe, drink water, investigate my automatic responses, stalk my beliefs, dwell in appreciation, radiate love, keep a little smile on my face, be grateful (thank you, toaster), be kind, never pass up an opportunity to be generous, remain curious, be aware of expectations, don’t do anything grudgingly, be glad, embrace not knowing, and the foundation — 15 minutes of conscious breathing morning and evening. And tie a string around my finger to remind me of all this!

I have been more or less successful, but every time I remember to remember what I know, I celebrate. I congratulate myself. I am hopeful.

All these practices and more can be found at my Tenacity Notes blog — you’re reading it now — and believe me, I’ve been perusing the blog myself the past few months! It’s been an important and grounding support for me.

Even though we have moved to Texas full time, I’m still every bit as available for readings as I ever was. Call. Email. Contact me through my website. Get in touch.