Acceptance: Key To Continued Growth.

I wanted to discuss the concept of Acceptance, and what it means in particular to growth, or developing as a person.  In my personal experience negativity will often hinder growth in many areas of life.  Having an outlook of 'grim' on any instance of growth can damper the resulting effectiveness of the person attempting to grow from it.  Thus when I talk of acceptance, its the concern that being unaware of our current emotional and psychological states, is having a dangerous effect on our ability to grow.

Acceptance means we understand where we are, who we are, and what we are, and are completely OK with it.  It's the feeling that despite any particular outcome from a variety of sources, we will still remain happily steadfast in our decision to grow.  We, by accepting ourselves, as we truly are, conquer the common necessity of outside forces to give us the means to continue in our growth.  No outside force can tell us what we are, we already know, and have made peace with that.  No job title, income level, body type, or anything you can imagine that can be seen on the outside world, defines who we are.  We are completely disassociated with the outer world, and completely fulfilled within.

How many times have you gone about achieving a goal, and upon failing initially, given up and taken that cue as the ultimate decider of your fate.  How many times have you felt an urgency to grow in a certain situation, your job, your love life, or anything relating to your personal growth, and that urgency gives rise to fears and worries, that give you no help, only rifle the focus you've had, and deter you from your initial path.

Acceptance can break this cycle, or sense of urgency.  Take stock of your current situation, and then detach from it.  Look at who you are on a deeper level.  In all of us, there are times when we are at our highest (to the outside world) as well as our lowest, the person who can still love and accept who they TRULY are, despite their current set of circumstances is the one who has the ultimate power to decide their own destiny.  So I urge everyone reading this to reason with themselves, and ask the question.  Who am I really?  Am I my job title?  Am I my income level?  Am I merely the product of significance to my relationships, or is there something deeper, larger, that defines who I AM.

It won't take long before you realize that everything surrounding your current situation can quickly and easily mean nothing, if given another set of circumstances.  A good way to see this is to look at your life in the past, say 5 or 10 years ago, maybe even more if you've been a routine person for quite some time.  Look back at your life to a time when something meant EVERYTHING in the world to you.  It could've been a relationship, a job, or any pursuit that you had at the time.  When you find a situation that meant the WORLD, in literal terms to you, back then, look at it now.. How trivial is the concept now?  Doesn't it seem silly that we find ourselves so wrapped up in the current state of things.  Look especially for situations that didn't end up the way you had originally planned them.  Go ahead and let any feelings that come along ride through and pass, but during that time, think seriously about how much emphasis you put on that particular outcome, and how little it matters now.  I'll give an example myself.

Many years ago I was completely wrapped up in a video game.  It was an online game, with a community, that at the time meant the WORLD to me.  Everyday I would focus all of my energy towards becoming the best, and literally did achieve my goal.  Don't get me wrong, I don't regret it, I honestly didn't realize I had the potential for such focus, and that I could apply that skill to other areas in my life before this situation.  Now that I look back though, I have no intention of being that person.  The game is nothing to me now, it never had to me all that defined me.   It is completely meaningless to who I am NOW, and it helps me realize that who I AM NOW, is completely meaningless to who I might be in the future.  Even though I did learn some lessons, and definitely took everything I could from it, it's end outcome was still pointless.  This thought process now takes a conceptual seat in most of my decisions.  What I'm doing to better myself now, will it mean anything to me in the future, and how does it resonate with who I TRULY AM.  These are the kinds of questions that can dig deep and really give provocative answers, answers we're not always ready for.

So the main point is to find out who you are.  Since we've already covered that we aren't the combined summation of all our titles, or classes in life, what are we then?  This is where it gets a bit fun.  We are the summation of our core beliefs, our attitudes, our thoughts, and feelings.  I AM.  is simple enough.  The concept of what we believe ourselves to be, is the most unchanging thing we'll have in our entire life.  Our particular code, our beliefs, and our feelings are what define us.  Having this "tether" to an unchanging system, I can continue to grow in any matter I decide, without the requirement of my identity flowing from an outside source, or without the necessity of changing my identity through growth.  We often look at certain situations and say, well I couldn't do that, its just not me.  Well if we really dig deep, perhaps we could change our diet, because after all that isn't what defines us, we could be that disciplined person who works out everyday if we so desired, it won't change who we are, only on the outside.  We could pursue our wildest dreams, and FAIL miserably, and still know that we have the ability to get up and go do it again, enjoying every minute of the experience.  We still won't lose ourselves, because we know at our core, who we are.  I know at my core WHO I AM.

So that is what acceptance is to me.  Knowing who I AM, and loving myself for who I AM.  Everything else is just circumstantial and in the end meaningless.  P.S. In case you were wondering about the first picture, it is actually the dachshund puppy my family recently acquired, he's adorable, so I figured it fitting that he find his way into one of my posts.

Intention Manifestation

Wouldn't it be great if you could simply close your eyes, state a desire, visualize that desire, feel it coming true, know it to be true, then sooner or later the exact desire you had is realized?  What if I told you you can?

I often struggle with explaining intention manifestation for two reasons.  Firstly, when I discuss such a thing, it seems so contrary to the beliefs I was brought up with, that I feel I'm actually going a bit insane talking about it.  The other reason is that there are so many different definitions, practices, and procedures I've heard associated with intention manifestation, that its even harder to grasp than it is to practice.  In this post I'll give my most simple definition of what intention manifestation is to me, how I apply it in my life, why I feel it works, and how you can apply it if you would like to.

Intention manifestation to me is a mixture of art and science.  The idea behind manifesting your own personal reality isn't something completely new, and it has been discussed in various ways all throughout the history of mankind.  Intention manifestation is literally thoughts, becoming reality.  You think something is going to occur, or appear, and like magic it does.  Of course it isn't always instantaneous, in fact its rarely so.  It isn't every single thing you ever think that occurs either.

I first heard of intention manifestation a long while back, while reading a poker book.  I had a huge interest in poker during the time, and I read many books relating to the subject, especially anything dealing with Texas Holdem in particular.  There was a brief paragraph in one of Roy Rounder's (a professional poker player) books that discussed his pre-game practice.  He would visualize his win, before ever playing a hand.  He would do this for a good half hour before sitting down to enjoy his game.  He noted that he didn't always win, but that he seemed to have more success when he vividly and actively visualized winning the game.  This intrigued me to a great degree.  I had been knee deep in numbers, figures, and mathematical algorithms that gave me a scientific perspective on how managing probabilities leads to long term winning, and right in the middle of my research I was thrown a huge curve-ball.  A superstitious thought, from a pro, that had all the answers when it came to the mathematics of the game, that visualizing had a great effect on his winnings.

I didn't give much thought to it at the time.  I rationalized it the same way he did, that visualizing yourself win is a boost in confidence, a much required attitude in a game like No Limit Texas Hold 'em.  I of course added an occasional visualized win to my pre-game, and had varied results, but thats not really all there is to it.

I again head more of intention manifestation under a different name.  They called it the Law of Attraction.  The movie "The Secret" was discussing it, and at the time I had literally laughed my way through the whole movie thinking "There is no way you can just imagine things happening to you, for you, and they appear."  My mind wasn't yet opened to the notion, it required additional prodding.

I eventually softened up to the idea, thinking, if I try it and it works for me, then I've gained something, if it doesn't, I really haven't lost much, other than some time spent daydreaming.  Armed with information from earlier sources of intention manifestation from two authors, whom I highly recommend, Wallace Wattles "The Science of Getting Rich.", and Napoleon Hill, "Think and Grow Rich."  I decided to give it a try.  I started by following the instructions to build for myself a fantasy world, in which everything was perfect, I was healthy, happy, and wealthy.  My specific visualization was me on the beach with my family, watching them enjoy the sunshine and water, while me and my cousin wrestled around like we always do.  Something awesome happened while I was visualizing, I became incredibly happy.  It was like a flood of emotions had opened up, and during my visualization I was being filled with all of these incredible feelings of joy and bliss.  I decided to continue viewing due to these emotions that grew stronger as I delved deeper and experienced more within my mind.  For several weeks it seems I was naturally high, with emotion.

Some other parts of the practice involved avoiding negative thoughts, by denying them outright, or visualizing their desirable opposite.  Staying away from negative imagery or news.  Persistence being key is duly noted in much of the information with regards to intention manifestation.  Another important part of the process is to feel real gratitude for what you are receiving.

So did I ever make it to the beach?  As a matter of fact I did.  That very year my in-laws had came upon some money, and decided to spend it on a family vacation, for myself, my wife, and our four children.  We wound up on the beach during one of the days, where my cousin had somehow managed to tag along, and almost exactly as I had imagined it, I was experiencing my visualization, through no action of my own.  Of course there are definitely tons of practical, and reasonable explanations, the simplest being that of pure coincidence.  I wasn't completely satisfied yet, but I knew it was something worth exploring more.

Another successful manifestation (and a very powerful one to me) was that of a piano.  For weeks I held the distinct image of my daughter learning to play the piano beside me.  This particular visualization led me to new emotional highs.  It seems some of my most powerful emotions are found when watching my children develop and grow.  One day it had brought me to such a highly powerful state of joy that I was literally jumping up and down with glee.  The very next day one of my co-workers asked me if I wanted a piano.  As he described the piano I stood there with my jaw agape, puzzling over whether or not it was a real inquiry.  It turns out, him and his finance decided the night prior that there just wasn't room for their 400 lb piano, and they were going to just give it away.  I gladly accepted the free piano, it now settles in our hallway, and I'm teaching my daughter to play.

This scenario can also be explained away as just a coincidence, but I don't really care.  The truth is, I've never been happier than I am now.  When I visualize, I see my life, exactly as I want it.  I feel it, and envelope myself in the boundless feelings of joy they provide.  These feelings give me motivation to achieve what I want.  I've never been more productive in my life.  I'm going to college, writing a blog, starting a new career with better pay and advancement opportunities, having far less financial issues than in the past, working out consistently, eating better, feeling healthy all the time, and all of this was visualized before it came to be.  I was even able to stomp out the tooth pain that was haunting me for years simply by visualizing myself without it.  My life is growing, in the manner I desire.  It might be simply because I'm giving more attention to it, being more positive about it, and less reactive, more pro-active to my life.  Or it could be that the processes of intention manifestation truly do pose real results.  Either way I don't care because the results are far worth the effort, the state of being I find myself in nowadays far more desirable than before.

So that's my take on intention manifestation.  It may or may not work, but its worth a try, especially if you feel you could do more with your life, and you aren't quite sure how to start.  Try visualizing your goals, affirming positive things about yourself, feeling them, and allow those feelings to give you a passionate boost in motivation towards your goals, and who knows maybe while you are working towards your goals, they are working themselves towards you, manifesting your desires.