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Sorry for the Delay

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hi guys, I really didn't mean to leave you hanging like this. However, in my immediate family there have been some serious health challenges - and at the moment I am finding myself unable to muster the time or energy to finish this project up in a proper way.

So, let's just say that the Prosperity Project is on hiatus for the moment. Hopefully, I will get the "Creating Work You Love" project wrapped up sometime soon - and in the mean time - Blessings and love to all of you.

Winding Down

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And so this project comes to a close. Now it's time to share how your life was changed (or remains unchanged) by having considered and possibly even acted on what was shared this time around.

Here are some questions to get your mind in motion:

  • Did you work this project every day? And if so, in what way?
  • Was it helpful? interesting? informative? useful?
  • None of the above?
  • All of the above?
  • Has anything changed for you during the course of the project?
  • Have you had any insights? ideas? inspirations? opportunities? life changing epiphanies?
  • If so, would you mind sharing them?
  • If not, do you have any ideas as to why this project wasn't effective for you?
  • Would you recommend "Creating Work You Love" to others?
  • What were your favorite parts of this particular project?
  • What did you like the least?
  • How do you think it could have been improved?
  • Have you enjoyed participating in the Prosperity Project as a whole?

First Step - Last Step

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"The first step is the last step."
~Krishnamurti

It is the living, the offering of our energies to the machinery of the world, that is the challenge, and this is why the heart center is the place of courage and action. Without the courageous actions to live what we know is true in our hearts, we remain on the outside. Taking time for another, widening the perspective of the job search to see how it can support existence, risking rejection or failure, and believing in our God-given abilities - these qualities will move us into work that will be effective, no matter where we are in space and time.

webLOVE-OF-SKIING


And so we ask with every career move, "How does this support life?" Trust, Ask, Listen, and Live. The reward of the heart is community in it's highest sense.

Support flows from the open heart

Monday, August 18, 2008

There are a number of methods you can use to facilitate the opening of your heart space.

One of the strongest is the creation of a ritualized sacred space, a place in which people can share from the heart. The advantage of this is that you acknowledge your human limitations and create a safe form to explore your edges. You do not try to dissolve into a sea of loving bliss with everything and everyone, and then kick yourself every time you fall out of it. Rather, with each person's agreement and support, you create a sacred circle. You might meet once a week or perhaps on every full moon.

The circle is the nonhierarchical form of sharing that allows hearts to open to each other. There are only two rules for communication and participation in the circle - love and trust. You may like or dislike someone, but within the circle you can love them. This allows the creation of deepened mutuality that enables the heart energies to be expressed beyond romantic or family bonding.

Another practice of unconditional support that can be done individually will open the flow of giving and receiving. Simply choose three people who you want to work with and internally send them a flow of loving support every day. No one else needs to know about this - this is work on the nonphysical plane. Quietly support their essences, their heartfelt desires, and their truths. In doing so you begin to experience the joy of blessing others as opposed to experiencing the "other" as a threat.

Another heart opening technique is applicable to any emotional reaction we experience, especially the so-called negative ones. Instead of riding the roller coaster, we can actually bring our reactions into the heart and work with our experiences of them, as opposed to projecting them onto some one or some situation. At first the heart may remain closed, but by gently bringing our reactions into the heart we begin to acknowledge the possibility of a new kind of resolution, a resolution that is not dependent upon an us-against-them mentality.

~Rick Jarow

ENVY - The crowning emblem of our scarcity

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wherever there is envy in our lives, there is a place where we believe that we do not have enough, or worse, are not ourselves enough.

seven-deadly-sins-envy



Envy is the serpent's tongue. It bites us and holds on, poisoning every part it touches. For many, the whole career game is based on envy, and all the traditional metaphors for getting ahead are tied in with it. Artists and career spiritualists are not immune. How often do we hear the tinge of envy in our critique of another's work or another's teaching? As long as envy holds sway in our hearts, we cannot function in a free capacity, For envy is based on a sense of poverty and nonacceptance of ourselves.

This does not mean that we arm ourselves with goodness and go out to vanquish the enemy of negative emotion. That only leaves us with a humble and frustrated ego. Like any other so-called negative emotion, envy begs for care and investigation. And as we trace it down to its roots, we see our hidden hopes as delicate flowers that have been stepped on and damaged. We find things that we always wanted to do but never did, and ways in which we always wanted to be but never allowed ourselves to be.

Here's another thought:

The places where we cringe are our personal edges. They are the doors we have never been quite able to walk through, although we have always known they are there waiting for us. The edge is the place where we get tied up in knots in the presence of another person, where we panic at the prospect of turning on the light even when the darkness feels overwhelming.

In order to establish life work that will support our fullness, we need to challenge this place, to walk through this door and others like it, even if we start by just sticking our big toes in the water.


~Rick Jarow

More on Giving and Receiving

Saturday, August 16, 2008

In order to get right with money, we must get right with ourselves; we must establish our sense of self-worth and enter fully into the wheel of giving and receiving. We need not be afraid to receive because we have given, and we are certainly more inspired to give when we feel we are not being taken.

One thing that appears time and again in career counseling is, "How am I going to get paid for it?" Many people, especially those in the public service and helping professions feel guilty about receiving payment. We tend to be uncomfortable with "taking money" from an individual and yet when it comes to "taking money" from insurance companies - for example - we are "OK" with it. In this way we give away our power because most of us are ashamed of the ways we give, and many of us confuse receiving with taking.

When we are willing to receive from another (notice I did not use the word take), others will want to give to us because their true need is to give, rather than to "be taken."


Money is round, keep it rolling.
~Swami Jnanananda Giri

To "keep it rolling" means to enter into the practice of giving and receiving. When we start doing this consciously we actually begin getting paid for our work because we value it, and others receive that which is of value. Our work itself becomes our way of giving back to life. It is an expression of our fullness rather than a need to extract bread from the earth.

~Rick Jarow

The Seat of Prosperity

The heart is the seat of prosperity. If one's prosperity is achieved without an open heart, one will still feel poor. No matter how much is accumulated on any level, something will be missing.


SilkArtNZ


What needs to be fully appreciated for prosperity to manifest is the way of the heart in the world, the way of giving and receiving. The basic movement of the heart is mirrored by the in breath and the out breath; the inhale receives from life and the exhale offers itself back to life.

Receiving is conspicuously absent from our lives. Notice how most people react to compliments, for example, it is not unusual for any of us to shy away from them, saying - often with our body language - that we are unworthy of receiving such recognition. On the other hand we might be so starved for support that we are continually seeking new ways to market ourselves, thrusting ourselves on people whether they would benefit from our gifts or not.

Both sides of this polarity indicate an inability to receive. Receiving has to do with having a fundamental openness toward experience, a willingness to accept all that life has to offer - the good and the so-called bad. Often we do not allow ourselves to receive because we have not developed a strong, centered ground. We simply cannot hold the energy of bounty. We are bowled over by heightened spiritual experiences or by perceptions of "too much" money, authority, responsibility, and so forth. In order to receive we must begin at the root, establishing ourselves in our fullness and in our right and need to be exactly who and where we are.

Receiving can operate on many levels. We can learn to receive praise or constructive criticism; we can allow ourselves to accept money, beauty, and affection, as well as quality friendships and quality items, not feeling unworthy or awkward at participating in all of life's treasures.

Receiving also involves accepting rejection and pain without blocking it out and forming judgments that will not allow us to transform the energy. When it is our time to drink from the cup of poison, we can drink it completely. In this way we receive the impact, and hence the wisdom, of the experience. In the midst of our darkness we then find a jewel forming, a treasure that is ours to share because we have allowed it to form through our genuine openness. If we are unwilling to open to rejection, criticism, or illness, we waste much energy trying to push these things away and are therefore constantly in a defensive position.

In order to receive such gifts, we must be convinced of our innate goodness and value. We must believe that we are inherently worthy.

Finally, in order to receive we must give, for giving opens up our field and steps up the flowing circuit of prosperity. But in order to give, we must believe that we have something to give.
~Rick Jarrow
NOTE: So this explains why the project on giving was no where near as effective as we had hoped. It's because first we have to be on the receiving end! It makes so much more sense now!

The Lodge of Earth Community

Friday, August 15, 2008

The final stop on the wheel fittingly belongs to the earth community. What will be the ramifications of our actions for those around us, for the Earth, and for her future generations? What legacy will our vocation leave behind? Will our children's children and their children be proud of what we have done? Will the Earth herself appreciate our endeavors?

In this, the last lodge, we test our careers against what is truly needed, we make our work part of the work, and this automatically lends dignity to the seemingly smallest task.

As we begin to nurture our ideas and move into action, we will inevitably be presented with obstacles. At times we will be tempted to take them as signs that we are on the wrong path, but there is no wrong path. Every experience is a learning one, so there can be no failure! Whenever you did something that seems like a wrong move in retrospect, remember that you believed it to be the optimum thing to do at the time. Otherwise you would not have done it. The fact that you can now see it as a mistake indicates tht you have grown, that you have learned something. There is no point in retroactive judgment.

What we need to do is to act and adjust, to flow with circumstances and let them bend our actions, to constantly reprocess our intentions into greater alignment, and to use resulting feedback from the world to move into ever deeper levels of right will.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Lodge of Guidance

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The next place on the wheel is the North, the world of the Gods. It is here that, after we have done everything we can - nurtured an idea, made peace with it, mobilized our energy, visualized, dreamed, felt, and planned - here we can do nothing more except give it up to the universe, to God, to our own sense of the Higher Power.

butterfly


Here is where our plan moves into alignment with the universal plan, and so we are very conscious that it is not just ours alone. Here we actively ask for help from the gods, and in so doing we begin to align our will with the greater will. This can only work if we have made all the preparations. You can fail a math test and say it was God's will, but if you didn't study for it, you rigged the deck and you will never know whose will was stronger in this situation.

Asking for guidance may be the key to feeling that our work is genuine. Here is where we experience the inspiration and the exhilaration that tells us we are not alone in our endeavor. Here is where we actively enlist the higher forces. Instead of believing in them, we begin to work with them. This is also the place where little miracles start to occur because here we move beyond the egotism of I, me, and mine.

There is admittedly an element of risk here, but if we do not take this risk, we paint ourselves into our own little corner. To ask for guidance does not guarantee any particular result, but it does place our work in an entirely new context. We no longer carry the entire burden; rather, we begin to acknowledge that our life's work is, in fact, life working through us.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Lodge of Administration

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The next lodge is that of the administrative chiefs. This is where daily planning and strategies are taken into account. If we want to acknowledge our priorities, we must be willing to give them time. It usually takes a minimum of three hours a day to work a new idea or project into manifestation.

drawing_hands

The day-to-day sculpting of life is the essence of this lodge. Our ideals need to be supported by our form of daily living.

The strategy for managing your time and energy is to have your priority, your goal so rightly and deeply ingrained in you that you can naturally work your day around its power, as opposed to working around other people's agendas. In this lodge, we make a craft out of life because we employ the discipline of the artist every day.

  • Are you scurrying around all day answering the phone?
  • Are you playing therapist to all of your friends and receiving no compensation for it?
  • Are you letting your husband or children set the entire agenda for your day?

It is your responsibility to manage your daily energy flow, to know what is important to you, to know when and how you want to spend your time and how you are going to administer your own day-to-day life.

Space is one of the important elements most lacking in our modern lives. I am speaking of something more than the need for a cushion and time to allow room for reflection. I am speaking of the quality of space that allows for new people and possibilities to enter our lives, of creating enough room for the creative flow to come in and dance with us.

Space is the fifth element, the complement to earth, air, fire, and water. Space is the container that allows creativity to unfold. Space gives birth to different dimensions and qualities of time. Space allows one to maintain an inward dimension, a sense of connectedness to the whole. If we do not develop a very real, palpable sense of space around ourselves, we got caught in the unreflective net of linear time. We run on the treadmill until our time runs out and we completely lose the moment of incarnation, the intersection of the timeless wih time, which is the possibility that authentic work offers us.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Women's Lodge

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This is the place where we begin to connect with our inner feminine wisdom. Once your priority has been extended, you must go back and ask, "Does this really feel right?"

The women's lodge is also the place of the dream. Dreams, while connected to the visionary state, also indicate your feelings about things. If you are about to embark on a project but keep getting contrary information in your dreams, or if in your dreams you continually have images of being chased, judged, or examined, then there are feelings that have to be processed before you can manifest your vision.

Until feeling and will are aligned, until our unconscious and conscious places move into dialogue and cooperation, we will always be at cross purposes with ourselves, and no matter how hard we try to shore things up around us, our outer life will reflect our inner disharmony.

Just as a vision may take us up the mountain, the dream leads us into the valley, into the hidden corners and densely covered regions of our interior. As dreams are not consciously conceived, they may be even more insightful (and sometimes disconcerting) than visions.

We want to create a situation where our dreams are working on our work, and our work is working on our dreams. The woman's lodge is the place where we listen to the wise woman within. It is here that we gestate our dreams and let them contribute, in their own ways, to our priorities and ultimately to our vocations.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Lodge of Prophets and Visionaries

Monday, August 11, 2008

Once we streamline and empower ourselves, our visions take on meaning. We move from fantasy to creative vision, acting not from haphazard energy bursts, but from naturally occurring dreams of the possible. When your purpose is clear and your energies are focused, the vision of what is possible will begin to manifest though you.

You won't have to use manipulative visualization methods because your own natural enthusiasm will lead you into the visionary realm. You will begin to dream, imagine, and feel the future, allowing yourself to be led by the future instead of trying to plan it and thus losing all the magic in your life. To live in vision is to ever be created in the here and now, to defy the limitations that others put on you and, above all, to allow yourself to be led by the unknown.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

henna_hands

The Lodge of War

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Once you are at peace with yourself, then and only then are you ready to go to war. War, in his context, refers to the ability to mobilize energies, to discipline yourself, and to eliminate whatever is not carrying you toward your goal.

In terms of personal manifestation, you must be clear before you can mobilize energy. And how does one mobilize energy? Through the power of the warrior.

The warrior energy, or energy of mobilization, can be activated through dual movement. To activate the warrior you must bring in energy, resources, and allies to accumulate power, and you must eliminate whatever is obstructing the primacy of the priority in order to streamline and focus on your goal.

Receiving support from others is a natural outcome of alignment. When we are clear about our intent, others whose intentions consciously or unconsciously resonate with our own will appear. We need not even call them in; it is enough to be open.

In order to receive this kind of support, there has to be space for it. That is why one of the strongest means of mobilizing energy is to begin getting rid of what you no longer need. On the literal level, this means cleaning stuffed file cabinets and address books with dead people's names in them, throwing away your third-grade biology notes, getting rid of the clothes your mother bought you that you never wear... etc.

Streamline. Simplify. This is the way of the warrior. This is the way to invite more life to enter.

When your talk and actions are pared down to essentials, you will immediately find yourself taken more seriously. For you transmit the energy of the warrior: the one who is single pointed and willing to sacrifice for the mission. Until your priority is aligned in this way, it will remain weak: the book will remain half-written, the song unsung, the house just an idea on paper.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Lodge of Peace

Saturday, August 09, 2008

holding-peace-by-howe


Once our goal or priority is set, then we ask, "Am I at peace with my goal? Does it ring true? Does it make me want to get up early in the morning and get right to it? If our priorities are still couched in "shoulds" and "oughts," we do not really move with them. They are masks for other, more important issues that we have not yet uncovered. So the next activity on the wheel of manifestation is working to be truly at peace with what we want.

Are you morally at peace with your work? Does it feel right to be doing what you are doing? Is your conscience clear? If it is not, there is some part of you that will rebel or will sabotage you efforts.

This lodge of peace is really about getting honest with yourself, about feeling right about what you are doing down to the bone, which is quite different from wasting energy trying to convince yourself and others that what you are doing is good. In the manner of conferring with others, if you are asking too many questions or seeking a lot of advice, you are not yet at peace. Take the time to process whatever needs to be processed. Allow the vision to crystallize. The feeling of being in the flow is well worth the wait.

~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Lodge of Ideas

Friday, August 08, 2008

lightbulb


The idea is the first lodge. It can be called the place of initial desire. Here we ask, "What contribution can I make to my community, to my world? How can my desire serve the whole?

The first lodge works with the element of fire, with the ability to assimilate and choose, the ability to direct energy. It is in this lodge that we say, "This is what I want to accomplish during the next six months. This is my goal. These are my priorities." Goals need not be external. One can name "developing patience" as one's priority, or choose the goal of increasing one's income.

What is important here is clarity and direction. The quality of focus is what we seek, and this focus manifests as the ability to pinpoint your commitments in a given period of time. If the priority is thoroughly genuine, the energy will be there.


~Rick Jarow, The Lodge of Manifestation

The Wheel of Manifestation

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This is an interesting idea of using a Medicine Wheel as a framework for manifestation. The wheel itself is based on the Lakota medicine wheel as shared by the Rev Rosalyn L. Bruyere.

There are eight areas or lodges of the Lakota wheel, and each one enables us to better understand and strengthen our priorities. You would start in the East with your idea, (your goal, your priorities, your plan), and then continue around the wheel in a clockwise motion.

Here's how it looks:

mw-fx

  1. The Idea - East - Begin by defining your contribution to the world.
  2. Peace - Southeast - Make peace with this desire within your nature.
  3. War - South - Enthusiasm/motivation, mobilization of energy allies.
  4. Prophet - Southwest - Visualize, allow future to bring its path.
  5. Women's Lodge - West - Dream time, true feelings, is this idea nurturing to you and others?
  6. Council - Northwest - How will you execute this desire in an effective way?
  7. Sky - North - Is this desire in harmony with evolution/the planet?
  8. Law Dogs - Northeast - Will this desire benefit future generations?

Moving Ideas Into Action

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

As your inner consensus moves into focus, it is possible to create a set of six-month priorities. Six months is not an arbitrary number. It is one full course of our earth's travel around the sun, from solstice to solstice or equinox to equinox, reflecting the contrast and balancing of darkness and light. Moreover, it seems to work as a strong cycle within which to gestate an idea and move it into action. Depending upon your own rhythm, however, you may want to alter this time frame, and that is fine.

What is important is to begin to frame your ideals and ideas into units of space and time. Writing them down begins the process of their incarnation.

The development of a soul-based career is an organic, step-by-step process; it does not come in a sudden flash. The process asks us to be realistically idealistic, that is, to find a focus and then to patiently allow the path to unfold. Our priorities will change over time. This is only natural, and knowing this can fuel current projects. We understand that they are not forever, and so for now we can give them all we have got to give, for they are aligned with the ongoing process of our coming into wholeness.

We are therefore neither identified with nor attached to our priorities. They have grown out of our lives and their energies will lead us, but we are not beholden unto them. our doing flows in and out of our being. Our being need not subordinate itself to our doing.

You can set several priorities to work toward in this six-month time frame, but do not set seventeen. In other words, do not set yourself up for failure. Know where the bulk of your energy needs to be focused. Understand that this is neither a goal nor a fixed decision, but a beginning, a galvanizing of your energy that will permit you to define and focus your career.

Ideally you would write your priorities on index cards and keep them in places where you will see them every day. Some people even color code these cards or write their priorities, not in words, but as symbols, and leave them in strategic locations throughout the house. In this way, you are continually feeding the message to your unconscious, which actually does the work.

This is crucial to understand: To the degree that your priorities are clear and aligned with your whole being, the job, the place, and the people will manifest like clockwork, because you have done the necessary inner work. No more effort is needed, and there is no effort more important than developing this clarity of vision.

~Rick Jarow

Developing Working Priorities

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The most important question you can ask yourself at this juncture is, "What am I concerned about, and how much is this concern worth to me?" We are talking about values, and the question is so important because our values are often unconscious. If you believe this is not so, record an honest time log for one week. See if your hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute deeds match your image of yourself. If they do, put this book down or give it to a friend. You are an anti-career person.

If your time log, on the other hand, shows that you are scattering energy, wasting time, filling pages with to-do lists and not crossing them off, or more importantly, if your day does not make you feel that you are nourishing the soul - both your soul and the soul of the world - then it is time to act. It is time to become aware of the core beliefs that are actually dictating your daily life.

  • What is really important in terms of how you spend your days and nights?
  • What has empowered the basic movement of your life so far?
  • What are the passions that rule you?
  • Who are the gods and goddesses at whose altar you sacrifice your time and energy?

Until you have done substantial investigation here, do not enter into the activities of decision making and prioitizing. First you must see where your attention has been focused, and why.

~Rick Jarow

Hasten Slowly

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"We cannot invent ourselves with only the known parts of ourselves, but we can allow ourselves to be invented by the vastness of life.

jamey_stillings_photography_17


To be invented is to simply be aligned, to live in trust, and to follow the law of concern. Where our concern is, that is where we are, and that is where our pleasure is. When we are aligned with our self-worth, when we live our bliss, we can feel the creative spirit of life leading us in a particular direction. Then we can take initiative, for true initiative is aligned action. By being connected with our feelings and their energies, we can begin to cultivate intention and its power.

I use the word cultivate deliberately here. It is not sufficient to engage in goal setting, for our original choices are often as much a product of our denial as of our alignment. We must be willing to nurture our goals, to see if they are indeed being nourished by our feelings, our dreams, and our life force. Nevertheless, we must choose on some level so that we can move into active participation with our possibilities. If you don't choose your fate you'll lose it, you'll risk becoming another passive "being of light" who is so light that you are again and again crushed by the world."


~Rick Jarrow

For Truth in Each Moment

Here is a Sufi Meditation for truth in each moment, using the mantra: Al-Haqq

Center again in the heart. Breathe the sound Ya into the heart, and breathe out the sound Haqq from the heart, downward, all the way to your feet. Allow a door to be open to the inner self. Then release any tension you feel. Relax and allow the full embodiment of the One's truth for this moment to be absorbed into you like rain into the fertile soil. Breathe rhythmically in and out. As you feel more force in the sound, keep releasing more. Let go. It is Allah's force, not your thought of yourself that does the work.

~Neil Douglas-Klotz

The Localization of Will

Our choices around work, no matter what the field, are unavoidably influenced by historical notions around choice itself. The possibility that we can actually choose our way or create our career is the result of long-fought battles for freedom contested on many fronts. To speak of the right use of will is to speak of something more than immediate choices facing a single individual, for in many cases true choice is about choosing what or whom to align ourselves with - be it social or political movements, green businesses, or new ways of exchanging goods and services. The alignment of will, which is the alignment that takes place in the third chakra, entails more than personal preferences as we seek to make choices that are aligned with spirit and its power.

This is no simple affair, for it seems that choices that lead toward growth and individual freedom often do not possess much market value, and are therefore not encouraged. And there are all sorts of influences around us asking to be chosen. There are the voices that tell us, for example, that we have no choice, that all our career possibilities are determined by existing market conditions or by the government or by fate, and we should consider ourselves lucky to just get by. At the same time, other voices tell us that we have unlimited choice, that we can accomplish anything we want to if we just think in the right way. None of these voices, of course, are completely true, and it is therefore up to each of us to find our own voice, to choose from our own place of clarity and power.

~Rick Jarow


Questions to think about:
  • What are your inner voices?
  • Where do they come from?
  • What do they say?
  • Are they in agreement?
  • Or do they disagree?
  • How do you know which voice to listen to?

What Feeds You?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Perhaps right now life is calling you to sense what is behind your senses. What is feeding you in your food? What breathes through your breath? What makes love when you do? Pull back the senses from always reaching outward, and try directing them inward by taking a few gentle breaths. Take this time to clear the senses, which may be overstimulated or exhausted. Fall back into the dark arms of Sacred Sense. Remain in the middle of things.

~Neil Douglas-Klotz

The Feeling Flow

Friday, August 01, 2008

NOTE: Hi guys! I know I promised to make recordings of the guided meditations, and I have figured out how to do it, I've got "the stuff" and solved the problems. The quiet time simply hasn't been available. So, hopefully soon I'll be able to get this done here in the next few days. In the mean time, you could simply read this into a cassette recorder and make your own.

fluidity2


The Feeling Flow Guided Meditation

Find a comfortable seated position in which you are aware of your body touching the ground. Feel your spinal column extending upward from your pelvis. Feel its strength and suppleness. Begin to breathe gently in and out. Allow your breath to flow freely and deeply, relaxing your entire being. Feel it flowing through your arms and legs, through your spinal column, and through the wide bowl of the pelvis. If any part of you feels tension or resistance, breathe into that place and gently release it. You may voice a long “Aah” on the exhalation.

As the breath drops you down deeper and deeper into your inner world, allow your body to begin to be breathed by the rhythm of the in breath and the out breath. Notice all the places where you are holding, trying to maintain control, and gently release your energy with deep trust into the ever-present current of life. With every breath feel yourself more deeply in the current, connected to the earth and its subtle power and great patience.

Begin now to focus on your second chakra in front of the sacrum. Let the breath rise and fall on the ebb and flow of the great inner waters. Breathing merges with the flow of the tides, the flow of blood rivulets and lymphatic systems, of the liquid life forces within the body: water, the great ocean, dancing coin waves and deep-cold depths, the faces of the Great Mother, unfathomable depths within. The past, the womb like folds of memory are protected inside. Allow yourself to enter into this great inner space through memories of your own life.

Imagine yourself walking backward now through an underwater cave. On the walls of the cave find pictures of your own life, of the roads taken and not taken, of times of hurt and times of joy. Move gently. If you feel stuck, ask for a guide to come and take you by the hand as you go back, back, all the way back in time, into the labyrinth of the past. Notice the roads you could have taken but did not. Notice the places along the way that are blurred and murky, the places where energy has been obstructed.

Now let your guide take you by the hand to the first moment in your life when you felt the swell of feeling, when the wonder of the world burst into your being and you suddenly realized that there was so much more to life than you had been led to believe. It may have been a moment of great joy or sorrow, a vision of the beauty of nature, the excitement of discovering how something works. You might be led to a different moment each time you do this meditation. Trust in the wisdom of your inner being and move deeply into that moment, into its form, texture, sound, taste, and smell. How did you feel? What was it like to be alive at that moment? Hold this moment for as long as it remains powerful and then slowly begin to let it go, leaving a door open, knowing that you can return to it at any time to be nurtured and empowered by its energy.

And as you breathe in and out and slowly return and reintegrate within your physical form, keep the imprint of the vision with you and, for a moment, juxtapose it with the life you are currently living. How does your current life reflect your deep inner experience? Have you let the experience of joy, of wonder, of passion, of conviction into your day-to-day life, or have you kept it boarded up somewhere? Now, in this moment, conceive of one thing you can do every day, be it the smallest thing, that will breathe life into your way in the world. What can you do, every day, that is an expression of your deepest joy? Be it singing, meditating, watering a plant, cultivating a garden, working out in the gym – whatever it is, let it become a practice that will begin to link your inner joy with your outer life.

~Rick Jarow

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