Law Of Attraction Lessons The Blackberry Bramble Taught Me

The blackberry bramble in our backyard is bursting with beautiful, shiny, berries. They are hanging there, within easy reach, ripe and ready to fall off into your fingers at the slightest tug and melt in your mouth with the sweet juicy yumminess that comes at this time of year. My daughter and I have been watching the berries ripen slowly over the last few weeks. And lately, we’ve been going out there almost every evening to pick some “best ones” as Ella calls them, to put into our yogurt.

Last night she got a scratch as she was reaching for one of those “best ones.” When she said, “Ouch, I got a scratch Dada.” I said, “Yes, that sometimes happens when you’re reaching for the one you really want.”

And as I said it I realized that this entire process of watching and waiting for the berries to ripen has been filled with powerful Law of Attraction lessons.

So in no particular order here are a few of the Law of Attraction Lessons the Blackberry Bramble has taught me:

1. Desires need time to ripen just like blackberries. Whenever you set an intention, there will be a period of growing and ripening. Patience is required during this time. If you pick a blackberry before it is ripe, the tartness or even bitterness fills your mouth. This can be an extra big shock for a mouth expecting the sweet juicyness of a ripe berry! So too, attempting to “pick” one of your desires before it is ripe can lead to disappointing results. Don’t be in such a rush to have your desire ripen. Give it the time it needs to become plump, juicy and sweet. And then truly savor the sweetness of it when the time is right!

2. It takes work to get what you want. Early in the season when the few ripe berries are hidden back deep in the brambles, you have to work to get them. You have to gingerly thread your hand in through the brambles reaching for that one that looks so plump and juicy back there. It is the same with our desires. Attaining them requires work. You need to focus on what you want and be willing to take the time and risk to work you way through the obstacles to get it.

3. Sometimes you’ll get scratched reaching for your desires. Blackberry brambles are quite adept at protecting their sweet prizes. If you’re not careful (and sometimes even when you are) you’ll end up with some scratches on your arms and legs. But (in my opinion) the reward of those sweet juicy berries is well worth it! Somehow the sweetness of that just-plucked blackberry immediately takes away the pain from any scratches you may have gotten. Likewise, when we reach for our desires, there may be some times that we get “scratched.” But if we can hold onto the taste of the sweet, juicy reward in our mind, those scratches will be worth it.

4. Desires have seasons. Right now we’re at the peak of blackberry season. And while that means that there are “best ones” everywhere we look. It also means that we are heading towards the end of the season when there will no longer be any blackberries. Already, with so many ripe berries on the bramble, there are far too many for us to pick. And every day we see more and more shriveled, dry berries that have gone past their prime. The Law of Attraction teaches the importance of continual expansion. When you attain one desire, enjoy it, savor it, celebrate it, but do not get caught in the trap of thinking that the process is over. Do not let yourself become dry and shriveled like those blackberries. When the season is over on one desire, move on to the next one. Enjoy the cycles of expansion.

What lessons have you learned from the blackberry bramble? Share them in the comments below!

Learning to flow with the rhythms of life

Today was supposed to be the start of the Awakened Man Summit. But due to a last minute scheduling snafu I don’t have a speaker for tonight.

Since I found out about this a couple of days ago I’ve been somewhat – to very – frantically seeking another speaker to step in at the last minute for tonight’s spot. And none of the folks I’ve contacted have been able to make it.

So last night – LATE – I got the message – loud and clear – to let go and trust.

What a relief it always is when I finally do let go and trust in the wisdom of Life! I could feel the tension release from my body and mind. After all, the worst that would happen is I would schedule the speaker for another date during the summit.

And this morning I found out why Life had different plans for me!

My daughter woke up with a tummy ache and ended up staying home from school. With her home, I haven’t been able to get some of the last-minute pieces in place for a call tonight, and she might not be feeling well enough to hang out with a babysitter later tonight.

What a mess that could have been… being on a live call with one of the speakers with a sick kid hanging out potentially needing my attention. Not sure how fully I would have been able to focus on the interview!

It’s just another reminder that Life is infinitely wiser than me!

Over and over again I’ve had experiences that have confirmed the truth that when I trust in the flow and rhythm of Life everything will work out!

And I must admit that I find it rather amusing (when I’m not kicking myself!) that I still have trouble trusting in the flow of Life. When Life has plans that aren’t exactly in alignment with mine I still feel the urge to push against those plans, trying to mold and shape Life to fit the picture I have in mind.

And how amazing it is that Life continues to have the highest good in mind when it “overrules” my plans!

This is big piece of what I consider to be the new model of manhood. In the old model, men were taught that imposing our will over other people, nature, the Earth and Life itself was the way to express ourselves as men. We were taught that we must be able to bend – and, if possible, break – the will of Life in order to prove ourselves.

Well, that model has definitely not worked. And, to be quite honest, I have a feeling that Life has been laughing herself silly watching us run around thinking that we’re getting her to change her course.

Patience is not one of the strong characteristics in the old model of manhood whereas LIFE has infinite patience.

Now it feels like the tide is turning. Life is ready to gently, and perhaps not-so-gently, remind us that force will never get her to change her course.

The way we get Life to change course is to, quite literally, BECOME LIFE. Men (and to a lesser degree women) haven’t been so good at that. Now is the time for us all to learn this new skill, one that will enable us to work in harmony with the flow and rhythm of life to create the New Earth that is awakening.

Have there been times in your life when Life has “overruled” your plans? How have you flowed with that? Are you able to trust in the wisdom of Life? Have you experienced this merging with Life? How does it feel, how do you know, when you are in union with Life?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

And if you’re interested in joining the Awakened Man Summit – that begins WEDNESDAY evening! – you can register for fre-ee here!

Awakened Man Telesummit – Begins Wednesday, may 25th!

Your partner in TRUE Abundance

Edward

Vision Quest Journal #6

This morning I was thinking how strange it was that I had not seen, or heard, any raptors since being here. Just now, I saw my first hawk. A small one, slightly smaller than a Cooper’s Hawk with thicker wings. Almost all white or light gray underneath. Slight darker above. No other distinctive markings that I could see. Flight pattern was several quick wing beats with a moderate, circular glide in between. No call that I heard.

The water is even closer than I thought. I’m sitting on a new rock that’s at the northeast edge of my site and it’s clear that the creek is just a little ways into the brush. Probably no more than 40-feet away.

It’s still difficult to believe that it’s been bubbling this entire time. When I was scouting the site, I walked right over to the edge of that brushy area to see if I could get closer to those big old pine trees. Strange.

[Note. I looked on the map and there is a spring above where I was camped. My guess is that the spring fills up a pool during the night which overflows down the mountain in the morning. But by the afternoon, the sun dries it up. Because by late in the day, the sound of water was gone again.]

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Midday. Feeling antsy. Having a hard time finding a comfortable spot. Trying to stay naked as much as possible. But today, without much wind, it’s too hot in the sun and the slight breeze makes it too cool in the shade. I’ve compromised and put on my t-shirt and am sitting partly in the shade.

Antsy too because I don’t know what to do. The excitement of the first day has passed and now I’m in a place of trying to figure out what to do, how to have a vision. As I recall from previous quests, the second day seems to be the hardest.

The first day is new and exciting, in some cases you’re dealing with the discomfort of your body’s detox reaction from the fast. And while that’s unpleasant, it is a distraction from the isolation and emptiness.

Now, near the halfway point of my quest, I begin to wonder why I’m here. I begin to doubt the confidence I had earlier about the hunger as I notice the emptiness of my stomach more keenly. I begin to wonder if the insights I’ve had already are “enough.”

Isn’t it time to end this a go home? And even as I sit in the quiet of meditation I find myself reaching for something more. “Where is the vision I seek?” But nothing comes.

Just the peacefulness of this place. But I am too distracted to let that comfort me. Now I will try once more to drop into that peacefulness and allow it that to be enough.

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It’s amazing how quickly your body gets weak when you don’t drink water. I’ve had only 4-5 small sips since last night and my body has definitely hit a wall. It’s an effort just to stay upright. And I’ve spent much of that last couple of hours curled up in a ball on the ground.

Now I’m realizing this is where I’m meant to be. This is the place I’m supposed to get to. This is the place where I realize that I can’t get through this on my own. Alone I’m not strong enough. Certainly the strength of my body, without food and with very little water, is not enough to get me through the rest of today and tomorrow.

This is when I call out to God, Source, Great Spirit. This is when I open myself up to the support and strength of a force far greater than myself. This is when I begin to act in harmony with the words I heard earlier: “It is your vision that brought you here, but it is MY strength that will get you through.”

So now I pray. To God. To Source. To Great Spirit. To the Earth. To that is greater than me. I pray for strength. I sing for strength. I open myself to receive you strength.

You can read all of the posts in the Vision Quest Journal Series here.

Why I’m Going On A Vision Quest

desolation-wildernessTomorrow morning I leave for Desolation Wilderness. Even though there are LOTS of wonderful wilderness areas to explore in Northern California, something about Desolation Wilderness keeps calling me back.

This time I’m going alone for 7-days with no distractions – no camera, no books, no music, no journal – nothing that could get in the way of my connection with myself, the wisdom of the Earth and the guidance of my Source. And from sundown on Friday night until sunup on Tuesday morning, I’ll be fasting and meditating and praying as I seek guidance and clarity.

Some of the reactions have been quite amusing as I explain that I’m going out into the wild world alone for 7-days with nothing to read, write, listen to, or take pictures with.

“Are you nuts?” seems to be the meaning behind the befuddled looks on their faces.

Perhaps I am nuts!

There is certainly a part of me that feels as if I”m nuts. The part of me that is scared sh-tless about heading out there alone for 7-full days. I’ve been out on my own for 4-days, and that was a long time. How will I survive on my own for 7-days? Well, I’m about to find out!

But why? Why am I taking a week out of my already quite full life to sit in silence with nothing around me other than the granite boulders, mountain water, marmots and ground squirrels and trees?

The easy answer is that I received clear guidance that it was time for me to do this. I was wondering how I could celebrate my 45th birthday in a way that would symbolize the transition from the very challenging period of my life that I am moving out of  and into the new phase that feels expansive and peaceful. And it was clear that this was the perfect time for a Vision Quest.

And what, exactly, is a Vision Quest?

A Vision Quest is an initiatory experience or rite of passage. It is most often associated with Native American traditions, though almost all indigenous cultures have some form of vision quest. There are as many ways to quest as there are cultures. But, regardless of how one quests, the purpose is the same: To seek personal growth and spiritual guidance from the world of Spirit and the wisdom of the Earth.

Here is what Black Elk wrote about the Vision Quest:

A Vision Quest is an experience of deeper understanding of Nature and Spirit. It is a ceremony practiced by American Indians. To prepare for this “insight” one must first cleanse the body and mind by going through an Inipi or sweat lodge. Then with the help of a Holy Man is told certain things and must go to a spot, usually on a holy mountain, and stay 2 or 3 days. During this time no food is eaten and one does not sleep but spends the time in deep prayer and observation. Many times, but not always, there is a vision. This vision is then shared with the Holy Man to help learn of its meaning. Sometimes the meaning is not shown for several years afterward.

I will quest in the Lakota tradition. On my second day out I will find a spot that calls to me, a space that feels sacred. I will prepare my questing space by smudging the circle, setting up my prayer ties for protection, placing my water and laying out my sleeping pad and bag. Everything else will stay outside of my questing circle.

After a light dinner, at sundown on Friday night, I will enter the circle and I will not leave the circle until after the sun has come up on the morning of the 4th day.

While I am questing, I will meditate, pray, probably do some crying as I shed old beliefs and patterns and thoughts about who I am. And if I open myself enough I hope to receive guidance and perhaps a clear vision of my path. But, whether or not I receive a “vision” I know that this time will bring me into a deeper connection with my true self and my Source.

The Vision Quest is a powerful tool for personal growth because it integrates a deep connection to nature with solitude and silence.

If you have ever been on a silent meditation retreat, you understand the power of silence to catalyze great shifts in your awareness.

Likewise, if you have ever spent any extended time in nature, alone or with others, you understand the power of the Earth to awaken long dormant wisdom.

The wilderness has always been a place where humans can connect with spirit and seek answers to questions and solutions to problems of the physical realms.

But all of this still has not answered the question of why I am going on this Vision Quest.

Certainly the answer I gave earlier – that I received guidance to quest at this time – is not a clear answer. But unfortunately, that may be the best answer there is at this time.

Admittedly, this is a time of some inner turmoil and confusion for me. I have been questioning my path, my purpose, my meaning. I have been struggling to understand why I am here. Certainly, I would welcome clarity and a deeper understanding of my purpose and the next steps on my path.

I am also experienced enough to know that I could come down from that mountain as confused as I am now! As Black Elk said, “Sometimes the meaning is not shown for several years afterward.”

Will the meaning be clear to me when I return, or will I have to wait several years? I will let you know!