Money in the Now

Cash rarely has Presence in the Moment

Because a Moment is rooted in our Wise mind, which is not grounded in the physical world, rarely does money have relevance. Money is a tool to be used in the quest for satisfaction, and it of course offers leverage when prying open puzzle segments in the escape room which is your life, but it does not meet your needs in and of itself.

Except the sensations of security, power and control.

Those are actually sources of imbalance because if you surrender to the moment you are living in total insecurity. You dwell in Schrodinger’s Box where all possibilities exist simultaneously until the Moment of choice comes where you have a chance to commit to one option. You relinquish control to the universe and allow its power to course through you as it will rather than attempting to bend it to your will or resist it.

Money is not something you need. It is a resource to be used at the right time. Were you to receive five million dollars right this instant in your bank account, it would require action on your part to convert that financial windfall from digital delight into satisfaction.

Think about it.

What would it translate into? And how long would it take to bring actual change in your level of satisfaction and contentment? Paying off your mortgage doesn’t change your home and the only time you really need that money is the day the bill is due. Otherwise, a need for money is a feeling, and feelings are not facts! So, paying off a mortgage only affects the Moment of payment, which is one or two days per month. If today is not that day, then thinking about your mortgage or rent means you are not living in the present.

Need a car? Is that what you would do with the funds?

Why?

If you need need to get to work, THAT is your need, not the car. Truly understanding what the problem is – getting to work – as compared to obstacles – lack of a car – will open your eyes to opportunities for meeting your need that get overlooked because you are only seeing obstacles. You focus on getting the money to buy the car and lose the opportunity to connect with your interesting neighbour who works on the same street you do and would love your company on the drive to work.

Visualize how you would spend every last dime of an unlimited bank account. And then examine the underlying need behind each purchase. Understand yourself better.

And realize that it is not lack of money preventing needs from being met. Everything you need will always be available to you in the Moment you truly require a specific resource.

Today, right this instant, what need is not being met? Our basic need for food and shelter is actually subservient to the need for psychological safety.

Emotional homelessness, the sensation where it is more comfortable to be without an address or a family or contacts, can happen even amongst those with copious funds in the bank. Freedom from the perceived injustice of social expectations can drive someone from the comforts of home into apparent privation but the safety of the mind overrides the safety of the body. An extreme example of living in the Moment, where feelings of imbalance turn a life upside down yet the person living it feels more stable in the uncertainty of the street than the certainty of a unsatisfying life

The universe gives us what we truly need but we tend to get wrapped up in or distracted by what our emotional and judgemental minds tell us we want.

We may feel like we want money and think that we need it but we know we don’t.

Relevance

What matters right now in the escape room which is your life?

There are countless things to think about. Yesterday’s events. Tomorrow’s promise. Where you are. Where you’ve been. Where you’re going. Where society’s been. Where it’s going. All very important.

But are they relevant?

Do you need to consider these things right now, in this moment? Does the identity of the person who keeps stealing your lunch from your work fridge matter on Saturday afternoon? Will pondering the global economy make a difference in your spending habits today?

Filtering important thoughts from necessary ones protects and focuses your energy and grounds you in the present. Putting topics on the back burner is not dismissing them; in fact the most delicious scents emerge from simmering pots and you know they’re ready to be enjoyed when the smell gets so tantalizing you can’t resist opening them up.

We have all we need in front of us each day. But we are bombarded with stimulation from the larger world. Whether our street, our municipality, our region, our country or our planet, very few of us actually have an impact at any given moment. If we dedicate our time and energy on finding solutions in our very own limited present, ideas for the future will percolate through our wonderful mind all on their own.

That is what acceptance does. Resistance is futile.

When you accept everything – including the worrisome, the painful, the toxic – then you stop worrying, you stop feeling pain, and you stop acting toxic. Our world is what it is today. It was something else yesterday. It will be something different tomorrow. You can make a difference only by living in the Moment and taking action that is available right here, right now.

In taking action to meet our own needs we ensure we have the strength and stability to meet the needs of others. Place your own oxygen mask before assisting others with their survival lest you suffocate while saving them.

You can be an anchor thread which changes the global picture but only by whittling away distracting thoughts and irrelevant feelings to leave behind a clear perspective on what is possible in this Moment.

Satisfaction is Gratitude

Synergy doesn’t need your thanks.

Make no mistake, she appreciates it when we shower her with sincere praise and glow with gratitude but like all good mothers she is taking care of us because she loves us, not because she needs to feel good about herself!

Selflessness is in her nature and her reward is seeing your satisfaction with the banquet of opportunities and blessings she provides.

When you open your cupboard door and see the plethora of gadgets there, and it feels satisfying to think you have a choice of what delicious meal to prepare using nifty devices, don’t scorn her gift by feeling ashamed at the idea that someone somewhere does not have those blessings. Not only is it not your fault they are without, but rest assured Synergy is doing everything she can to change their circumstances to give them what they need to be satisfied.

And also don’t compare your requirements to those of another thinking they couldn’t possibly be satisfied eating the same thing day after day. To assume their sources of satisfaction are the same as yours is hubris.

Fairness is not about treating everyone the same. It is about meeting each person’s individual needs. Yes, there is unfairness in the world and people with unmet needs but if we try to speak for those people when we are not those people, we are taking away their dignity and we are blocking Synergy’s connection to us and to them.

Each day, each of us has what we need right there in front of us. And we also have the opportunity for satisfaction every moment of every day. Finding satisfaction, taking pleasure in what we have, is all the gratitude Synergy needs. And if that satisfaction happens to overflow into joy or outright blissful gratitude, then she’ll be smiling along with us.

Today, the world is exactly what it is. Right or wrong, here we are. Reflecting on your blessings and comforts is good practice if it brings comfort but if there’s guilt and shame in doing so, realize Synergy doesn’t want that for you! She gave you everything you have because that’s what was necessary.

But if there are things in your life which do not bring you satisfaction, then offering them to others just might. The items you no longer find pleasurable, the books you no longer read, they reflect the person you were yesterday. Don’t judge that person or the things they found satisfying. Don’t question why they bought that car or wore that watch. Just accept the opportunity to share those unneeded items with someone who will take greater satisfaction from them.

If you measure the value of objects by the satisfaction you receive from them, then you will find them easy to exchange. Before looking at market values, trust your instincts to tell you what figure would satisfy you and then accept Synergy’s will. A house, a car, a painting, a watch, their cost is immaterial if they give you no satisfaction.

Satisfaction is priceless.

Synergy knows this.

What you have to hunt for will not satisfy you. Synergy knows that. She doesn’t play games or tease you. She will present you with what you need when you need it, but opportunities to achieve satisfaction can seem hidden if you are not present in the moment. You do not need to seek satisfaction, you simply need to notice it.

If you are not paying attention you will miss the connecting thread dropped by your neighbour when you are seeking a job. Don’t ignore the bulletin board posting in your apartment when you need a vehicle. And don’t allow a boundary violation to proceed when an opportunity for the satisfaction of safety can be taken.

It is very satisfying to feel safe. Saying no is one way to feel safe but often it triggers negativity in others. Receiving a No answer is definitely not satisfying which is why some people become enraged when they hear a no! A No is a boundary you have set, such as your valuation of an item, your personal space, or your tolerance of a behaviour.

Obtaining satisfaction through the violation of another’s boundaries, entitlements, or feelings is not ok! Exploitation and manipulation are not part of Synergy’s basic designs for us, but there exists temptation to use them to find satisfaction. Resisting the impulse can be difficult. Especially if a pattern was established long ago.

Synergy resonates with us when we feel sincere satisfaction. To her it feels like gratitude. But the satisfaction – and there is no denying it is satisfying to take, to exploit, to win, to conquer – those things do not ring with joy or bring balance so the satisfaction is artificial and quickly replaced with guilt and shame which then drive a pattern of negativity.

Satisfaction comes from accepting what is, from truly seeing what is present in your life and how it meets your needs. Allowing yourself to be satisfied with what is creates gratitude and invites more of what you need.

Servitude verses Service

The distinction is in the mindset.

Being of service is a fundamental impetus in all of us. To be useful. To be necessary. To be part of something larger. To serve a purpose.

The smallest of acts serves a purpose but so often gets dismissed and ignored because of the apparent insignificance. Yet for want of a horseshoe nail the kingdom was lost. Finding the comfort of meaning in the minutiae lends courage on the path to larger acts of service. Taking pleasure in the daily routines of maintenance or rituals of support brings satisfaction to the most menial of tasks. Never more than in our present global situation has the importance of service been so clear.

Servitude is a mindset where the person being of service, or the one being served, feel entitled to the interaction in some way. Either the person receiving feels they are above doing the deed, that they deserve to be waited on, or the person providing the assistance feels in some way obliged to do so. Truly, they both may BE deserving and obliged but choosing to occupy the feeling of obligation or entitlement is to lose an opportunity for intimacy. Obligation and entitlement are states not conducive to making Moments, but every second of every day in any role in any place is an opportunity for a Moment. Serving is an incredibly fulfilling experience if you choose to embrace it as the powerful and necessary role it is.

Even if you perform the same act one thousand times each day, you are what determines if it is an act of service or an act of servitude. You can choose to find meaning and satisfaction in the sameness while watching for opportunities to get what you need, since Synergy makes sure you have available to you the resources you need when you need them.

Finding satisfaction in service brings pleasure to both sides of the equation and opens doors to opportunities for greater service. Sincere service floods both parties with gratitude for the service rendered and the opportunity to serve.

Have you felt it?

Have you experienced a Moment when someone made you truly feel blessed as they completed an act on your behalf, like it was their honour to be a part of your journey?

Or the reverse, feeling humbled as you gave support to someone whose authenticity and character made you feel you would do anything for them?

Be the horseshoe nail. Take pride in being of service knowing you may seem insignificant or invisible yet Synergy knows your worth. Every act we do is important and an opportunity to share a Moment with ourselves, with Synergy, or with others.

The Culmination

Mindfulness and faith propose that every moment is exactly what was meant to be and that you should surrender yourself to each moment and accept the reality of it. From that acceptance, peace will flow, satisfaction will arise, and joy will blanket you.

But if we follow that philosophy outwards from our limited perspective as an individual, we must also accept and embrace ALL circumstances as having purpose, as being necessary, as part of our requisite circumstances to grow as human beings or the human race.

Mindfulness and faith espouse not judging what is, simply acknowledging what is and reflecting on how that reality influences your satisfaction with the moment and how in turn this moment can be influenced by you.

So, to truly and completely embrace this concept, we must embrace and accept what is present in the world. Without judgement or fear or thought or emotion. And act only upon what we can do in this instant, in this immediate environment, with the tools present and available to us. To do anything else is to leave the moment.

An example is to see the conditions of 2020 without emotional trauma. Yes, the conditions have victimized many and are not peaceful, pleasant nor desirable. But feeling victimized, traumatized, or devastated does not change the circumstances of this moment. Judging any of the political, social, environmental or biological circumstances of 2020 does not make this moment better.

Today’s world is the outcome of cumulative events. Although the impacts of these events are profound and far reaching, which can be overwhelming to consider, the most important focus is here and now. The causes of our situation are irrelevant in this moment, but awareness of the imbalances that led here may be important for you.

Or not.

You are exactly where you need to be. Regardless of how you got here or where you are, you also have everything you need to get where you want to be.

Look around you. What do you need TODAY? What is essential to your survival in this moment and what action can you take today to obtain it. Not future actions or future goals. Here and now is all that counts and is perfect to take you into your next moment.

Our decisions and the impact of the decisions of others creates our situation. But Synergy puts in front of us the tools to change our situation and opportunities to do so if we are patient, present, and persistent.

She’ll be with you in a Moment if you quietly wait, watch and believe.

Contempt, Compassion, and Empathy

Empathy really is a buzz word nowadays. It’s held up by many as the standard of excellence in emotional functioning and the antidote to contempt. Empathy is seen as a higher level of awareness and the solution to social ills. But there is a problem with this ideal.

Empathy is feeling someone else’s emotions as if they are your own. Although on the surface this would seem a noble and compassionate thing, especially when held up in contrast of contempt which is judgement of someone else’s emotions, to feel someone’s emotions is…well…immature, selfish and in fact a form of contempt!

This is not to say understanding someone’s feelings is inappropriate, not in the least. That is the root of compassion, which is a healthy respect for and awareness of the emotions of others.

But in its truest form, empathy is an example of someone with poor boundaries who is unable to distinguish between themselves and others thus feels a strong need to fix the problems for others in order to find peace themselves. Many empaths talk of being overwhelmed and taken advantage of, which is a way of blaming others for their failure to protect themselves by establishing healthy boundaries. To act to change someone else’s circumstances can often be a form of contempt because the message is you know better then they, the victims, do.

Contempt and callous disregard for the feelings of others is an easy target to disparage and the narcissist easy to blame for society’s ills. The person exhibiting contempt is demonstrating rigid boundaries with complete distinction between themselves and others, which is viewed as toxic and dysfunctional. True, there is an imbalance present in this way of coping and to reach authenticity and enlightenment a shift needs to happen away from a focus on the judgemental coping mechanisms into wise and compassionate processes. Yet empathy is not the answer either.

The empath is also often toxic and dysfunctional yet in a way deemed acceptable to society because the appearance of helpfulness and caring, yet the drive is just as internally motivated as the actions of the narcissist. There is an imbalance present here, too, and a shift away from the emotional coping mechanisms into wise and compassionate processes needs to happen.

Compassion does not mean your are suffering with the people you feel compassionate towards. They are not you and you are not them, their emotions are not yours to feel. But compassion does elicit discomfort when imbalance, injustice, or negativity is witnessed. Compassion involves the desire to see balance restored, in whatever form the victim might feel it needs to take. As soon as you decide what form restitution or balance must take, you are no longer being compassionate, you are being contemptuous. To demand anything on anyone’s behalf except your very own, is to show contempt of that person’s or groups’ ability to determine their own needs. And unless they asked for your help, you disempower them by taking up their cause unless you yourself are directly affected by the imbalance.

Don’t mistake activism for compassion and empathy for support. Those without voices do need to be heard, but unless you are one of the voiceless, your sounds will drown out the meaning of their silence. Speaking from a place of experience is the only way to drive change, and listening from a place of compassion if you are not the victim, is the only way to support change.

Forrest, Dory, and Anna

Want to see what living in the Moment with acceptance and surrender looks like?

Open the box of chocolates with Forrest Gump.

Find Nemo by just letting go with Dory.

And don’t be Frozen, do the next right thing with Anna.

Each of these characters exemplifies living in the Moment. Living in the moment comes naturally in some cases through birth or early exposure, while in other cases adversity brings it on, or a combination of predisposition and outside forces culminates in a mindful approach to life. But that approach faces ridicule, scorn, and judgement in the doing so. Because from the outside looking in, living in the Moment appears abnormal. Idiotic at times. Vulnerable and stupid.

Yet it works. Not because of smarts or knowledge or strength. But because of faith and trust in the balance of the universe. Because Synergy keeps us safe if we let her. Yet to trust someone we can’t see, to believe in something without proof, to walk blindly through the lion’s den is so incredibly risky, so amazingly courageous, that the majority of people can’t fathom it.

So they see delusion where there is faith. Mania where there is joy. Stupidity where there is serenity. And naivety where there is openness.

Until they hit a boundary with their judgement and find tempered glass where they expected plastic film. Or they witness miracles through their jaded lenses when they expected ignominious defeat. Or feel the power of a Moment of resonance and connection when they expected vapid insouciance.

Once you have met a person with Presence, you never forget how it felt to share a Moment with them. You might shake your head and convince yourself no one could possibly be that sincere and authentic and the longer you are out of touch the more you attribute what you felt to fantasy. Until the next time you’re in their Presence and it all comes rushing back to you like you’d never even left.

Yes, there are mental illnesses which share traits with enlightenment and mindfulness. And those who change from living a life immersed in material pursuits to pursuing meaningful Moments are most likely to encounter disbelief and resistance from their acquaintances. Commiseration is validation and if you choose to no longer engage in misery and resistance your decision incidentally feels like judgement to those left behind.

When you embrace surrender and see things like possessions and money as mere tools for exploring your curiosity and understanding, it creates tension in those who seek comfort and stability in material possessions. There is nothing wrong with finding comfort and joy in worldly things. Beautiful objects and places are treasures to be cherished and enjoyed. Fast, powerful cars are sensual feasts to be experienced and fabulous food is meant to be played with. Money is meant to be used to acquire what you need to find your purpose. You can be wealthy and enlightened, in fact enlightenment tends to accumulate valuables because you are attuned to the gifts Synergy scatters around you so immediately recognize the value in things before others do.

Like Forrest Gump, you develop an accidental, incidental wealth as you simply keep running on your path with intention, delight, and faith. Like Dory, you find your way home by looking for the patterns you trust in. And like Anna, you do what feels right, then the next thing that feels right, until all is right.

Children start in this world filled with trust, joy, hope, and curiosity. By age 17 they wear the lenses of the sensory and judgemental minds and no longer use the wise brain they were born with.

Only by regression can we find ascension.

Triggers

Every single one of us plays, and is being played, like the Operation game. And that game board sits on a pivoting table in a boat in the middle of an ocean of emotional turmoil!

We all have our sensitive touch points, our triggers that make us aversive and obnoxious when we’ve been poked with carelessness or imbalance. That’s our feeling mind or judgemental brain having a knee jerk response to a perceived threat and bypassing our wise mind to send out a growling response in hopes the source of discomfort backs off.

Effective, no doubt! But since it also sets off alarms in the other players, such a response heightens everyone’s anxiety and distress. Plus so very often, the source of distress is a memory, an echo of a moment, not the reality of the present.

The tighter those operating spaces, the harder someone is to get along with, the more people avoid trying. Unfortunately that becomes a positive feedback cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy because the more unpleasant a person is, the more people treat them with unpleasantness, the more intense their unpleasant responses become.

To escape the trauma drama of conditioned reflexive patterns requires stepping into the present in an intentional and mindful way. Seeing your own self from a distance and examining your Operation game to determine what spots you can safely widen, which triggers are legitimate boundaries that keep you in balance, and what parts of you can be cracked wide open and offered freely to any and all comers.

No expectations. Only boundaries. Don’t trust anyone but love them anyway.

We have every right to establish our boundaries but no right to growl and flare up and traumatize others without fair warning. In the Operation Game, the raw nerve edges are visible…and so are the contents of the target spaces. That makes it a fair game because the player can see the object actually exists and is available for pursuit, while they know what margins for error they have in the effort.

Life doesn’t come with that fairness so the only way one person learns to recognize the invisible bubble which is personal boundaries is to bounce up against it. To be fair, first offense demands a warning shot not a kill shot. That makes sense.

But that’s a loophole exploited by those whose elementary personality drives them to use others to either raise or lower their own energy level in their search for stability. Warning shots identify a boundary the first time. A second warning shot is no longer a warning, it’s a bluff, and becomes background noise. An expectation, not a boundary. Expectations are demands and demands are a type of resistance to Synergy and our purpose.

Examination of our personal triggers frees us from patterns of resistance, instability, and imbalance. We can set off our own raw edges just as easily as other people can. We must use our wise mind to calmly and serenely look upon our game play and remove our expectations of others while setting our boundaries. And then we need to offer our whole selves to others with open vulnerability, prepared both to gently advise when a boundary gets struck the first time, but firmly remove ourselves the Moment that same person intentionally chooses to touch that same boundary a second time. Boundaries protect our core selves. If we don’t enforce them, we lose who we are, we spurn that precious gift Synergy gave us, of curiosity and hope and joy.

A boundary is a plan of how to remove yourself from an unbalanced situation, not an action plan to stop the other people in the situation. You can’t control others, or situations any more than you can stop the boat rocking on the ocean during a storm. Yes, the patterns we have structured our Operation circuit board around do sometimes work to temporarily stabilize the game board but since those actions and reactions arise from feelings and judgements the balance is temporary. The eye of the storm. Setting the entire board game on the grounded Moment right Now keeps it level and firm for future game play.

Schrodinging Everything

Hedge your bets and prepare for all eventualities with the hopes that things will come out hopping when Synergy finally presents the opportunity to open the darn box.

Greeting every day with curiosity, hope and acceptance means being ready for anything in any Moment. Being receptive to whatever springs up on you means you’ll never be disappointed with the chances you didn’t take, the opportunities you didn’t seize or the Moments you missed.

Assume all possibilities are open to you until the moment you know the truth.

This includes options you may perceive as negative. Don’t rule out failure or hurdles…in fact, count on them thus they won’t devastate you. Have Plan A, Plan B, in fact prepare the entire alphabet just in case. The more you understand the parameters and possible outcomes for every decision you face, the stronger your position for satisfaction in a perhaps unexpected form.

We don’t know what is best for ourselves. We don’t know what we need. We often don’t know who we even are, so how can we be certain what is in our best interests?

Synergy knows. But it’s up to us to accept her wisdom and be receptive to her gentle guidance. We blind ourselves with our thoughts and feelings, setting our hearts on things that were never meant to be, because we are trapped in our past or dreaming of our future.

Obstacles, barriers and disappointments are merely rungs on the ladder ascending toward enlightenment and true understanding of self, others, and the universe. Our purpose is to discover our purpose, which can’t be chosen, can’t be predicted, only unveiled.

Every decision has a Moment for making it. Not talking about it. Not planning it. Not dreaming about it. Those are not decisions, those are efforts. Until the Moment of Truth, efforts encompassing all possible outcomes yield the best return on Synergy’s investment in us. So, Schrodinger’s cat is both alive and dead, treat it as such until time to open the box!

Having Faith

You either have faith, or you do not, in any given moment. It is hard to sustain faith, whether in Synergy, the universe, God or gods, and everyone experiences moments of doubt. Being alive is hard. Interacting with people is exhausting. Experiencing the world can be traumatic. Holding on to faith when it seems there is no purpose or reason for so much apparently senseless pain seems a monumental task.

Faith is the belief in the framework upon which you rest your faith. That framework exists independently of you and indeed independently of human thought at all if you truly believe in the system you subscribe to! Your belief in it does not create it, merely connects you consciously to it. Since it is independent of you, it’ll still be waiting there for you to come to roost when you’ve finished questioning your beliefs.

There are commonalities between many of the frameworks across millennia and geography. This increases the probability that at least one of those frameworks approximates the reality.

Eternal life is certainly a recurring theme.

At least one omnipotent being tends to be central.

Macrocosm reflects microcosm – the god(s) are human-like in behaviour and appearance – is another tenet.

Falliability seems to be common in spite of omniscience.

Either the majority of people on the planet are delusional, or there is someone watching over us! There is great comfort to be found in the idea of surrendering to a higher power, to relinquishing control and responsibility and resting like a child come home to a good mother for a respite. Even good mothers make mistakes and cause harm, but we have to trust that reparation will be offered, restoration will happen, and nurturing will resume.

No matter which framework you embrace, holding on is hard in times like these but hold on we must.