One of the regular causes of suffering for me is neediness – needing attention, love, respect, and other gestures of affection from the people in my life. Though I understand this to be a cause of suffering, to some degree, for most people, I recognize it as one of my primary life lessons. I look back on my life and see that it has always been there – opportunity disguised as challenge. So much of my life has been spent focusing on what I need and want from others, from the world, and so little time/energy spent on what I am receiving (and what I can offer.) And therein lies the opportunity, a great one for sure: to shift the focus from needing and wanting to receiving gratefully and giving generously.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself feeling a bit “out of sorts” and was able to identify the primary cause of my unhappiness. Needing and wanting were occupying a big part of my mind, and heart, and really getting in the way of healthy, productive thinking/feeling/being/doing. I was able to clearly observe what was happening. It’s fairly new for me to understand, on a personal level, that we’ll never be truly happy when we’re focused on need and want. So, I celebrate that progress!
Once we are aware of the causes of our unhappiness/suffering, we can choose more positive approaches. Experimenting with the approaches we’ve learned about through our studies (external and internal), we begin to recognize what works best for us, which ways of thinking/feeling/being/doing bring happiness and health. From there it’s all about practice – practice, practice, practice.
“Just do the practice and all is coming.”
A favorite piece of guidance I received reading ‘Fully Fertile: A 12-Week Holistic Plan for Optimal Fertility’. It’s become a mantra I repeat regularly. Such simple wisdom – the best kind! By consciously shifting our thoughts/feelings/actions towards that which is positive and productive, we are doing the practice.
So a couple of weeks ago when I identified the main source of my unhappiness as needing and wanting, I remembered the lesson about how we get more of what we focus our energy and attention on – the Law of Attraction. It’s kind of like how when we give a plant water and nutrients, it grows and blooms. So the question we should ask ourselves, continuously, is,
“What do I want to grow?”
Whatever it is, feed that. That’s mindful focusing of our energy and attention. That’s conscious choice.
There’s no benefit to needing and wanting so that’s not something I want to feed. I made a conscious choice to shift my thinking/feeling towards the gifts I am given each moment. I thought about the people in my life, near and far, and all that they have shared and are sharing with me. I opened my heart to those offerings and the needing and wanting began to fade away. And into that open space came new gifts. I was receiving more of what I was focused on – the Law of Attraction at work!
The practice of Gratitude is very powerful. As we feed the gratitude tree, it grows healthy and strong. We see it’s fruit, flowers, shade and shelter more clearly and easily and, through our focused energy and attention, all of its best qualities multiply.
The abundance of life is there for us, all of us. It is there in the seeds which the winds of change blow and scatter on the soil of our life. When we tend to our soil, feeding and nurturing through our positive practices, those seeds take root and sprout, bloom and fruit.