My New Home and the Art of Patience

Right now in this moment, I’m in the process of purchasing my next real estate investment. It is the culmination of years of disciplined saving, sacrifice, and most of all, patience.

This has brought about more lessons in the fine art of “non-judjment” because as with any big challenges or changes, nothing really goes exactly as planned, and it can be hard to stay in the moment.

Me and Melissa moved in with her parents at the end of may last year, so I could be rent free and really step up my savings even more aggressively. This has certainly been a challenge in some ways, but never the less a blessing that has allowed me to get further ahead than I originally planned.

I had planned to start the house search this spring, and while we waited, me and Melissa developed a “watchlist” on realtor.com using the apps on our mobile devices. There were many nights we would lie in bed just before sleeping and would¬†be scrolling through all the options, price ranges, and locations.

Eventually this led of course to some road trips to go see our favorite listings in person. The funny things being that the ones we seemed to love the most we found fairly dissapointing in person, and the ones in my preferred price range/location had become a very sparse list.

There was one home on the list that didn’t really look all that impressive, but I was really drawn in by the location so we made a trip out to see it. As soon as we pulled up I can remember her saying “wow that house is kind of sketchy looking”, because it was wildly over grown and the paint was peeling.

But as we sat in the driveway for a minute something happened. It was almost like “potential” started to creep in and I started to get that intuitive sensation that I can only describe as a “knowing”. It flowed over me like a wave and I somehow just knew, without seeing the inside, that this was the next step I had been preparing for.

I inquired about the property when I got home, and I was informed that it was indeed a foreclosure which required a septic system and a new well, which suddenly put it out of my comfort zone price wise.

This was a dissapointment, but we kept it on the list and just kind of waited. A few weeks later the listing dissappeared and I was informed that someone had put a deposit on it.

This struck a blow because there was just something about it that was calling us. I was prepared to just let it go anyhow, but there was still something deep inside that was just kind of nagging me.

About a month later while I was working I received an email saying a listing had changed. I took one look and saw non other than that same house looking back at me…20 thousand dollars cheaper!!!

The man who sold my previous home is one of the most personally knowlegeable people I know about these situations, so I immediately called him and we set up a time to go take a look.

As soon as we stepped inside, whatever intuitive force was driving us just escalated. All hardwood, all modern updates with a full basement and super solid construction for the nineteen fiftees era, a huge yard with almost 2 acres of privacy right off the highway? This was it.

Being that it was a foreclosure and needed some major things, I decided to try my luck and throw a low ball offer, but this is when I received my second scare.

We were quickly informed that the price drop had attracted two other interested parties and that the bank was going with the highest bidder. This was a nailbiter. I did not want to lose this property, but I had to take a deep breath and tell myself what I could really afford. I had already learned that no property was worth it if it crippled you financially, so I came up with the number that I was comfortable with and just let it ride.

This was one of the toughest periods being that it took the bank 4 or 5 days to come to a conscensus. I would catch myself staring at the ceiling and sporadically checking my phone at night and having a hard time sleeping. I had to really practice my breathing and empty my head to get to sleep. It was a challenge.

Regarless, one evening, probably around 930pm I received a single short text that read “offer accepted ūüôā ” and all at once it seemed tension and worry just drained out of me like a river. It was a fantastic victory and certainly took a load off, but it really was just the beggining.

Being that this was a foreclosure, it required what is known as a 203K loan because of the massive expense of the septic and well installation. This involved weeks of calling up contactors and specialists, getting bids, and harrassing them about paperwork. This also resulted in my closing date being postponed twice because of the legal complexity of the whole process, from getting me officially approved, and getting all the legal paperwork for the bank and contractors.

So after weeks of pushing hard to get everything done, I finally had a closing date at the end of December, just in time for tax season and I was ready to roll.

Then the night before closing I call the attorney in charge, and he gingerly informs me that a “Title Issue” has been uncovered, there is nothing I can do to fix it, and it’s going to take weeks for the banks attorneys to sort it out…

This had me in quite a mood. I hated being powerless. I was ready to do whatever it took to get things rolling, and after all the insane pushing of the past week everything ground to a halt and I was powerless to do anything about it.

This negative mood after awhile set off my “consciousness alarm” again and I had to really sit down and take time to contemplate and adjust my perspectives.

I had busted myself again getting attatched to the way I thought things should be, even though I’ve learned many times that there is always a bigger picture in the works. I found myself going through some of my hardest experiences and reminding myself of the joyous effect that they eventually produced.

There is one event in particular that not too many are familiar with. This being the fact that I had once had a son, who was born at five months but did not survive. It was many years ago now, but always serves me as a strong reminder for non-judgement. This being that it was a difficult event to go through, but so far in this life, it was by far the strongest factor in pushing me into where I am today.

That time in my life there was alot of ignoring my intuition and not taking that path I felt I should, and this short but powerful event was the equivelent of the Universe slapping my upside the head, and without it I would not be who I am today. This has ultimately led me to no longer using the word “bad”, being that something bad refers to something that should not be, but alas when a bigger picture is involved it really changes everything. I can now look back and be thankful for the presence of that child, even if it was only a few months, because he accomplished exactly was he was born to do and then moved on, as we all must do eventually. Chaning my life dramatically without a word or action, just presence.

So I can say that this event was difficult or terrible, but I can not honestly say that it was bad, because in the end it the greater forces in this Universe knew it was exactly what I needed to get me on track, and I cannot judge it.

I came up with my own saying recently. “There will always be hard times, but there will never be bad times” and I can use it in almost any situation.

So I hold this lesson close now. I have had three weeks of waiting for this latest issue to be resolved and have had lots of time contemplate. I know now, that there is a bigger picture reason for this delay, and I will own the property precisely when I’m supposed to.

I think it’s so easy to get sucked into impatience because human life really is so short. Whenever I’m reminded that Im reaching mid-thirtees its so hard to believe, because inside I still feel like that young kid riding his bike through Billerica at 1am. But the kicker is is that being patient and making smarter choices in the end leads to a higher quality of life. A crazy kind of paradox that we all have to learn the hard way.

This business of being human…it’s one hell of a ride isn’t it?

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Non Local Consciousness

      I had an interesting realization recently. The downstairs neighbor has a large dog, I believe it is a Mastiff St. Bernard mix, and it is often chained outside on nice days. I was out on the porch watching the dog and I noticed that the only thing that was keeping her in place was basically a large nail fixture that had been driven into the ground. It occurred to me that this is one powerful animal, and that it could easily free itself with a little leverage in the right direction, but what is it that keeps it from doing so?

¬†¬† I guess the real answer is that it’s level of self awareness is limited by the size of it’s brain, or as I like to think, the make and model of it’s particular vehicle of consciousness.

¬†¬† Shortly after, this idea had me looking out at the stars, thinking of how incredibly vast and complex the universe really is and I had to wonder, “what kind of things do we as humans miss because of our brains limitations?” I had to wonder if we are in fact watched by an advanced species somewhere out there, that views us in the same way I had viewed the dog. Seeing us with lots of strength and potential, but held back by very simple truths that we are unable to comprehend yet.

¬†¬† This then has me looking down at my own hands and pondering “what am i?”. Surely we label ourselves as humans and have made up ideas to explain things in ways that our brains can grasp, but how much our we truly capable of understanding? My body and brain are truly just¬†vehicles that has been fine tuned for survival over thousands of years, and does a decent job at attempting to understand things, I just often wonder how much it is unable to grasp yet. Science has pointed out there are all sorts of goings on that can’t be seen by the human eyes, and so much we don’t understand in the universe like dark matter etc.

¬†¬† This again leads me to a different realization that I have been testing and building upon for many years, and that is the realization that I am able to see my thoughts and perceptions from an outside perspective. Alot of contemporary science follows the idea that our brains, bodies, thoughts and perceptions are what make us what we are, but I’ve started to disagree. If I am truly just my thoughts and perceptions, than why am i able to look at them from an outside perspective? What part of me is it that can stand outside of the mind and look at it analytically? I have learned to know that there is a very fine line between “awareness of thoughts and perceptions” and the “thoughts and perceptions” themselves. It’s almost like if you were born driving a vehicle, grew up in it, never realized you were seperate from it, and one day realized¬†that it was not your true self, and that you could step outside of it.

¬†¬†¬† I’ve come to accept this “awareness” as my true self, and the part that carries on after death. In fact I think it is this same awareness that drives all things and forms. I often find myself running my hand across a stone, knowing that from my bodies perspecitve it looks solid and lifeless, but if I were to examine it under an electron microscope I would see that it is moving and alive on a microscopic level. Miniature eco-systems of energy working in harmony to produce the particular form of a stone. It’s quite a facinating concept that there is awareness driving that particular form into existence, just on a lesser collective level that the human brain.

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¬†¬†¬†¬† I see it also when I occasionally cut myself. I do not tell my body to heal, it also has a collective awareness that takes care of itself. In fact, most of the human body is not even human, just eco-systems within eco-systems working in harmony to surive in whatever form awareness can conjure. I have started to see the Universe as one big Russian nesting doll. Eco -systems inside of eco systems from the tiniest particle to edges of the cosmos. And it’s all driven by this…”awareness/consciousness”, which in my experience, seems to actually filter in through somewhere else outside of space and time. It does not really seem to be subject to the same laws as the physical world but simply an outside force that drives it. This concept is what has been come to be known as non- local consciouness.

I borrowed the term from a documentary I’ve seen called “The quatum activist”. It was mostly about a doctor in mainstream science who supports the theory that consciousness creates reality and not the reverse. And also supports the idea that it is not of this world, or maybe interdimensional.

My first experience with such a thing came from many years ago, when I was part of a group that dabbled in meta-physics. I woman in the group had a sick mother in Florida who had just gone into the hospital, and had asked the group to conduct a “healing session”. What this basically was was all of us coming together in a circle and passing around pictures of this womans mother, since non of us had met her before. Once the image was firmly implanted, we were talked through guided visualizations of this woman being healthy, and doing normal activities. It also required images of healing energies etc, and the whole process took atleast an hour.

   The next day we got an excited call from the lady in our group saying she just spoke with her mom. She told us excitedly that her mother was very aggravated with the medication they have her on, because the previous night she had constant halucinations that she was surrounded by a circle of people!

   This was when i first came to understand that the awareness behind my thoughts was not limited to space and time. We as a group were able to connect with a person in Florida in real time, regardless of distance and time, and it was truly eye opening.

This for me is personal evidence of why prayer really works, and spell work really works, as well as thoughts becoming things. Our true self is that awareness behind all things, and it’s intentions can be consciously weilded through us regardless of time and space.

I guess I could say that this world is like a sewn fabric, and consciouness is like the needle that weaves it.

From this perspective I can truly see “God” in all things. From my computer monitor to a single blade of grass. Deep down it’s all made of energy, and very much alive.

It’s this knowing that allows me to let go of my mind and perceptions. Sure they are fantastic tools, and sure it is in our nature to grow and evolve as far as possible, but getting stuck in the mind is really what holds us back as a whole. Eckhart Tolle holds the belief that we have reached an evolutionary breaking point in self awareness, and I am certainly starting to agree. Let’s see if 2012 holds up to the hype?

Contentment

So I have today off from work, and it’s one of those days when everyone else is working and I find it slightly challenging to find something productive to do. I had an odd realization today. I was thinking about how half the time I’m working 11 to 12 hour days at work, which towards the end I’m just aching to go home and relax. But today, I don’t have much to do at all, and in alot of ways it feels depressing. This is an interesting paradox, and one that sort of sets off a “consciousness alarm” that I’m missing something. I’ve learned the hard way that being caught in any cycle of negativity like that is always a wake up signal to take time for self reflection.

Actually, any pain in any form is a signal to take time for self reflection.

So after meditating on this concept for awhile, I reach the same conclusion that I seem to almost always reach, which is that I’m suffering from cultural conditioning. Coming from a culture that has thousands of non stop sources of outside constant stimulation, it can be challenging to take a deep breath and enjoy these quiet days.

Like almost everyone I know, I was raised surrounded by television, video games, and lots of toys, and the funny thing is that it seems today I have even way more choices for stimulation than I did as a child. Stimulation is certainly one of the strongest industries in America, and not that I don’t appreciate it, because I really do, but I think it would be helpful to be taught to self soothe also. Thankfully this is something that I’ve learned on my own, but it’s something that I so often forget about, because it’s still a somewhat foreign concept to most people.

I guess I’m vaguely refferring to meditation, which actually comes in different forms, but ultimately has the same goal. Achieving a state of “no mind”. This can be ackward to discuss with alot of people, especially coming from a conservative christian background, I think alot of conservative¬†christians automatically scoff at the concept because they associate it with other religions, but I assure you this is not the case. To me, meditation is simply turning off your mind, and really getting in touch with the awareness that is behind the mind, or as some people refer to as “God”. Herman Melville was once quoted saying “silence is the only voice of god” and it’s one of the truest things I’ve ever heard.

Another side effect I’ve seen of our culture is when people say they “try” to meditate. I think this shows that letting go of the mind is a very foreign concept these days. I think the point most people miss is that meditation is actually the opposite of “trying”, it’s actually all about “surrender”. Not unlike when you finally lay down in bed after a long day and surrender your body in relaxation. As long as your away from any physical stimulation, letting go of the mind requires no effort, just simply surrendering to your senses. Once you catch onto the idea, you may quickly notice there is a clear difference between the thoughts and perceptions in your head, and the part of you that is aware of your thoughts and perceptions. To me it’s almost like I suddenly realized that I had been asleep at the wheel of a vehicle this whole time. For most of us this is a constant in and out of sleep process, but once you fully experience that silent awareness, it never fully goes away. Eckhart Tolle reffers to this as “the silent watcher”, not just of the outside world, but of our own thoughts and perceptions.

Getting back to my original point, when I stepped out of my mind again and took a good look at myself, I realized that the frustration and boredom I was experiencing was simply because I was stuck in my head again, or “asleep at the wheel” as some might say. The human mind wants constant stimulation, and when in doesn’t get what it wants it always results in some form of negativity or pain. I have experienced this personally as boredom, jealousy, annoyance, impatience, or even lonliness and depression. When i took a moment to shut off my mind, not only does the negativity fade, but the world becomes much clearer. The things I need to do, or more important the things that I really want to do come back into focus, and I’m able to get myself motivated again. Such as…sitting down to blog!!

Now for going out to enjoy the outdoors, grocery shop, and do some more listings on Ebay!!

Visiting old haunts

I recently moved from Hudson Ma., but while I lived out there I used some of my spare time setting up motion sensing cameras in the woods for a local non profit group. The idea was to capture images of the local wildlife to show to the public for awareness and such. I had set up a camera before I moved, but had forgotten about it for awhile. Basically it had sat out in it’s location for around a month and a half before I made time to venture out last week.

It was funny, but for those of you familiar with the law of attraction, I had an interesting meeting at my arrival at the propert last week around 10am. Just as I was getting out of my car an unusual looking fellow, probably in his 50’s walking with an senior bulldog, was just coming out of the trail. I stopped to pet the dog and began asking questions. It turns out that he was born and raised in Israel, which instantly made sense because he had dark wirey hair and those incredibly dark brown eyes that i’ve only seen in middle eastern folks. He told me the story of how he moved here at 20 years old, but came to Massachussetts so his son could attend a special school. It sounded like some form of a charter school because he said it focused on allowing the children to follow their own interests instead of a forced curriculum. Soon after we were engaged in a conversation about “conscious living” and some of the struggles of getting past old conditioning. He said it could be tough because being raised in Israel they had a fairly strict mindset, but over the years and especially in the U.S. he had to learn to be more self aware so he could allow his son to find his own way. I knew I could certainly relate, being raised in a baptist tradition and the bias it tends to create.

After we parted ways I was just thinking of that whole coincidence. I had been really into self awareness and started a blog around that theme. Then after a morning of lounging and having a hard time getting outside, I just “happen” to pull into the parking lot at the same moment this individual was leaving, and just happen to have that conversation. It’s just such a neat thing to experience. Once you really give yourself over to an idea and focus on it, the universe just seems to respond and it’s amazing.

Anyhow, I had a pleasant hike fetching my camera to the sound of a Red Tailed Hawk and found a whole ton a deer pictures. One of which is shown below.

Deer at Memorial Forest in Sudbury

After that trek I decided to drive up to one of my old haunts on mount wachussett. One of the few places in the State where areas of forest have never been cut. It has a spectacular spiritual value to me, and going up alone once awhile is always refreshing. When it gets cooler I hope to do a few meetups up in this area, but it’s horsefly season right now which can be a little distracting.

 

Old Growth Tree on Wachussett Mountain

Intuition Experiments

Around 3 years ago, I went through a divorce like many other people in America. One of my decisions during this process was to spend some time with a local “shaman” group, because they really focus on serious self reflection and self healing.
I was just thinking about one of the most important things I’ve taken away from this was learning to detect intuition. Intuition is that inner feeling that just lets you know something is up. It’s a bit hard to put into words, because it really is a feeling more than anything else. Alot like when you suddenly remember where you put something, but it has nothing to do with your physical memory. It’s almost like an idea pops in your head, your read about a local event, or your about to be introduced to someone and you just get this positive sensation flow over you. I can only describe it as a “knowing”.
I had one of those moments about a year ago when I decided to start my own meetup group on meetup.com. I was lying in bed on my day off, staring at the ceiling and wondering what I should do that particular day (nice problem to have) and this idea came flowing over me.
I had a love for the outdoors and hiking, but my experience with shamans and metaphysics had also become part of my life, so the idea to combine them crossed my mind. I had been hiking on meetup before and found it pleasant, but aggressive. I would be noticing all of these cool things and nice scenery in the trail I really wanted to take in, but no one else had any interest at all.
When the idea to start my own meetup crossed into my head I immediately got that surge of positive “knowing”. I somehow knew that it I needed to start the group on that particular day and I knew it would be popular.
It’s been a year now and I’ve met so many wonderful people and shared alot of peaceful outdoor excursions with them. Open minded people who will talk about anything and really enoy the
“spiritual” aspect of the natural world.
It just blows my mind sometimes when I think of all the waves I’ve made in this world simply by following such a little intuitive sensation.
How every little action creates such a large chain reaction, especially when it’s a positive one.
If anyone out there is ever up in the central mass. area take a mintue to check out the “new age hikers of central ma” on meetup.com. We would love to have you.

Contemplations of neutrality

How did I end up here? Did you ever sit down and sift through all the tiny little events and experiences that brought you where you are? I know for most of us, some of these experiences were fantastic, some were almost unbearably painful, and some of them I really just didn’t know what to think.

The funny thing is, the older I get, the more I’m starting to get a hold of this “Big picture thinking” concept, and really seeing that what I used to consider good or bad, is ultimately neither. The scariest or most painful events in my life are the ones that were always the most important in shaping what I really needed to be.

For instance, when I was younger and still largely ignorant about my finances, there was a time when I got laid off without severance pay, and I had no savings to fall back on. Being that I was a few years into home ownership at the time it was quite scary and shocking. I was self aware enough to know at the time that harping on it was of no use, so I got myself out and searching.

Two weeks later I started a new job that led to a 9 plus year career with the best company I had ever worked for. Not only that, but it triggered a change in me. A realization that I had bad habits that really needed changing. It was one of many hard mistakes I made that really led to my “awakening” as I think of it.

It can be a hard concept to embrace, because I come from a culture that is heavily addicted to drama. It’s become habit for most people to label things and constantly focus on what’s bad with other people, the world, or their own situations. When things go bad, people tend to feed the pain of the situation instead of embracing it, learning from it, and taking positive action as a result.

The only reason I say it like I know it is because I’ve been there. How easy is it to blame outside sources for our pain and then just throw own your favorite show and escape from it? I have slowly and steadily come to a realization over the years on how detrimental it is to be a finger pointer and “escaper”. It’s been so slow because most of us are completely surrounded by them, and it’s very addictive. We are a tribal species and our need to be accepted often trips us up, and being surrounded by entertainment often slows us down.

The funny thing is, if I had the option to go back and change anything I really wouldn’t, simply because every mistake or situation no matter what it was, has directly taken part in evolving me into who i am today. Everyone I know, everthing I’ve done, everywhere I’ve been, and everything I’ve learned is a direct result of everything I’ve been through, whether easy or difficult.

I guess I’m just saying that I’m finally learning to stop labeling things as good or bad, because it’s really just part of some bigger picture we cant see yet. I agree things can be very difficult, very painful, very fun, or very confusing, but there is always something positive¬†to be learned from it.

Another thing I’ve come to realize is that alot of my previous suffering was self created. It’s not something that I ever did on purpose, but because I wasn’t being conscious, or as I also like to say, “I was running on auto pilot”. Stuck in my thoughts without being fully aware of what I was doing.

Have you ever did something really stupid or really mean, and then looked back and said “what was i thinking?” That’s what I mean by running on auto pilot. Our conditioned thinking and habits that we’ve picked up throughout our lives will take over when we aren’t paying attention. I think anyone would be amazed at the changes in their lives when they start taking full responsibility for everything in their lives.

I’m certainly not saying it’s an easy task because I catch my self everyday losing sight of my intentions or falling back into a bad habit. But I believe that’s just the trick. Catching it and being aware of it is the start to real change. One little bit of awareness at a time will eventually change hose habits over time, creating a healthier situation for yourself and everyone around you.

My suggestion to myself and everyone out there is to pause often and ask yourself this question about everything you say, everything you think, everything you buy, and everything you do. “What good¬†is this accomplishing?” Hey, it works for me when I do it. Maybe it will work for you too?