Wealth LIVES

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What does the word “wealth” point to for you. What is it? How do you get it? Do you even want to? Why? Why not? Like so many words we use every day, its sense has been overrun by a lot of different meanings we give to it. Let’s reconnect with its sense, in Living terms.

P1150509What is wealth, say for a plant growing in the wild, a deer, a tree, or a frog? How does wealth rise forth, grow, connect, thrive, mature, surrender, feed, rise forth anew with a million set of eight feet? Wealth lives, it grows. Naturally. What is it? I go out into the Natural Intelligence that bursts forth and notice that Aliveness is designed to thrive – or quickly become something that does thrive.

How do YOU count your Wealth? Is Your Wealth Alive?

When I go out into a forest, a desert, a mountain or a coastline, I see ecosystems where the majority of living beings are thriving. Granted, all of Nature is cyclical. Not-thriving is part of the cycle which nourishes the rest. That which is not thriving is decaying.

Vitality has Qualities
Vitality has Qualities

Instead of just cogitating over this in my head, to truly make sense of it, I had to go out and spend a few years noticing how non-domesticated life does Aliveness. At the same time I noticed how domesticated humans do what we do. I began to appreciate the qualities that make vitality recognizable; scent, color, firmness and the community of Alive Beings that surround, nourish and are nourished by what is Fully Alive. We exhale and we are feeding CO2 to something… to what?

We feed our breath into an environment that’s richly alive and then breathe that Aliveness in. What differences do we notice between breathing deeply in a deep canyon and breathing inside a building? Noticing. Naturally. Witnessing the vitality and wealth of squirrels, ants, caterpillars, trees, plants. They move in something. They breathe and sing themselves into something, as if surrounding themselves with and jumping, climbing, growing in an aura of Aliveness… Wealth Lives… Naturally…

There's Grace to Aliveness
There’s Grace to Aliveness

The proposition and the Nature of being Alive has a grace to it. It’s not just struggle. Sure, there are challenging moments, but struggle is not how challenges are approached. There’s a mastery, a concentration, fluidity and POWER to Aliveness. There’s a fluid wave to it, an effortless accord out of which Power springs forth with focus, intelligence, efficacy, the suppleness of deep river currents. Life moves in the essence of What-It-Is, in accord with its own Design. After the rain, the sun, and laughter… Water flowing…

That’s us… naturally… Wealth LIVES.

Anything that is not the human expression of Aliveness is water flowing at the stone, seeking the opening…

Find the opening…

We go to the etymology of wealth, directing our attention to the actual, the real, to What is. (logos: ”word, thought, attention to” of the etymos: “the true, the actual, the real”) We discover powerful wisdom, or clues for finding our way.

Wealth comes from the Middle English wele: “well-being” on analogy of health, which is wholeness. From wele we also get the English word weal which points to well-being, prosperity and abundance and the English wellness. These words, in turn, come from the Proto-Indo-European *wel: “to wish, to will.” Will, in turn, come from the Old English *willan, wyllan “to wish, desire; be willing; be used to; be about to.”

As I discover these connections, my attention is drawn to the truths, the actualities and realities that the word “wealth” points to: In order to realize my wealth I must also realize my health and my wholeness. I must not only wish but be willing. I must engage my will until I get used to doing so. Wealth reveals itself as something inherently Alive, something Vital.

When I direct my attention to the Reality that words point to I reconnect to the textures of a World that is Alive and unfolds in the Logic of Aliveness. I reconnect to my own Aliveness and the Intelligence by which to grow, expand and connect my Aliveness to that which surrounds me: wealth, health, being well, getting used to exercising will. These all point to qualities of BEING.

Wealth is a coherence between our aliveness and the aliveness around us. It connects our attention to the nature of whatever realities we are inhabiting and the relationships that they are woven out of. In the tale of The World Transforms in Natural Intelligence, an Aboriginal man in Australia shows us, with surprising ease and delight, what wealth is, as a state of being. This man is wealthy. His property is, literally, limitless, being proper to himself and his capacity to connect with the limitless Living Wealth all around him. He ventures forth with empty, yet intelligent hands which are soon filled and giving forth, emptying themselves into our mouths and bellies.

Because he has taken the time to know his world, and to avail himself of the wisdom of Aboriginal Elders to guide him,  he has literally made the world his, in his being. His is a very different and much deeper sense of property, than the “property” of the man who fences off the land and guards it with a gun, all the while ignoring just about everything that can actually sustain him on that land. The latter’s claim to property is an artifice of violence but not of belonging. It’s a false wealth. His claim of property soon diminishes, rather than increases, the variety and health of the Aliveness of what he claims as “property,”  because it is neither proper to him nor he to it.

The Aboriginal man’s wealth is not some imaginary or idealistic state. It’s more real than 300 dollars of groceries at the supermarket and more varied, vital, fun, delicious, abundant and resilient to all kinds of economic turbulence. If I spend 300 dollars on groceries I soon come to the end of my money. But our Aboriginal friend’s wealth is inexhaustible. It LIVES and grows.

He has become wealth, naturally. His Aliveness is coherent with the Aliveness that surrounds him.

It is a surprising example of Wealth that Lives, how he cultivated it, what he connected it to, lent his attention to, creating relationships with plants, animals, insects, fish and wise elders, that lends powerful keys to how we can grow our own wealth, and what it is, as something we are and can learn, patiently, to grow into. I ask myself, “How can one apply that same Natural Intelligence, not only with hunting and gathering in the Natural environments nearby, but also in the midst of a city or any other contemporary reality?”

As part of the conquest of our indigenous ancestors we were dispossessed of wealth and even of the awareness of what wealth is, in natural, living terms, as qualities of our very own Aliveness and capacity to connect and be sustained in and with the Aliveness all around us.

If you’d like to reclaim some of your Natural Wealth in very practical terms, pick up a copy of Katrina Blair’s
THE WILD WISDOM OF WEEDS: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. I’ve supplemented my diet richly over years of travel worldwide with many of the plants which she chose to include in her wonderful book. They are tastier than anything I can buy in the organic produce section of any grocery store and I often collect them right in the middle of cities. Take some first steps to enrich your connection to the deliciousness that’s ready to become you, if you invite it to.

We can either spend thousands in the produce section or invest a little attention at the library or $30 to get the book and really take the adventure into discovering how our world truly welcomes us. This takes will. Wealth comes from getting used to exercising will in the adventure of becoming wealthy.  We can either spend thousands in the produce section or invest a little time and attention and really take the adventure into discovering how richly our world welcomes us.

In the history of European peoples, and many others, the overwhelming majority of people were conquered and forced and subjected to a life of labor. We got cut off from the intelligent recognition of and engagement with the abundance that non-domesticated Life surrounds us with and invites us to. Our lives began to be measured in terms of output instead of wise enjoyment of and capable connection to our world. The degradation of our human biology through the eradication of even the most basic notions and practices of hygiene led to wave after wave of plagues and massive die-offs in Europe. Let’s say it simply: life in Europe was reduced to an institutionally brutalized, mystified and stupefied existence for over 1500 years.

We cannot fully grasp our modern challenges without understanding how we came to relate to ourselves and life as we do now, in a way of life based in struggle. We struggle to acquire while at the same time we struggle to avoid noticing. Many believe that “if I just have more I can finally relieve myself of poverty.”

Reawakening our capacity to live richly is easy, once we reorient our Intelligence to focus on connecting with Aliveness.

What we have and how we live only reflect our wealth, or lack thereof. Wealth is a Bio-Logical (Life-Logical) state of being. Wealth is health is wholeness is will, all qualities which also reflect the quality of our Bio-Logical, even cellular states.

The Neuro-Anatomy of Wealth

Neuro-anatomist, Elizabeth Gould Ph.D., discovered surprising connections between health and wealth when she began to revisit the question of whether it was possible, in adult primates, for new nerve cells and connections to grow. I became profoundly interested in new nerve cell growth and connectivity once I realized how challenged so many of my clients were to actually engage in coherent, self-led learning that actually led to their acting in their own favor.

MonkeyMonk, Artist:hkd,Flickr

Prior to Gould, an eminent neuroscientist, Pasko Rakic M.D., Ph.D., had done a small study on laboratory monkeys and concluded, in his 1985 paper, “Limits of Neurogenesis in Primates,” that “All neurons of the rhesus monkey brain are generated during pre-natal and early post-natal life.” The great white-coated priesthood of “science” then bowed to this neurological “high priest” and it was concluded that there is no new nerve cell growth beyond very early infancy. All the rest was just working with what you got. When I started working in Neuro Intensive Care back in 1992, all of our work with patients recovering form head injuries, strokes or surgeries were premised on Rakic’s conclusions.

Being one of the pioneers of current neuroscience, several times Rakic denied studies, done by others, that showed that neurogenesis did indeed happen in adulthood. To cross Rakic, was to trade one’s career as a budding neuroscientist for one as a dishwasher or vacuum cleaner salesman, testimony to how political what we call “science” is today.

Elizabeth Gould did not question Rakic’s findings that his rhesus monkeys, raised under laboratory conditions, did not show signs of new nerve cell growth past the early post-birth period. What she did question was how the highly-stressful living conditions of animals spending their entire lives in laboratory conditions unnatural to them affected their neurological state.


So she began to raise marmosets in environments much more conducive to their natural social interaction and without human interference. Her discoveries are startling:

The structure of our brain, from the details of our dendrites to the density of our hippocampus, is incredibly influenced by our surroundings. Put a primate under stressful conditions, and its brain begins to starve. It stops creating new cells. The cells it already has retreat inwards. The mind is disfigured.

The social implications of this research are staggering. If boring environments, stressful noises, and the primate’s particular slot in the dominance hierarchy all shape the architecture of the brain—and Gould’s team has shown that they do—then the playing field isn’t level. Poverty and stress aren’t just an idea: they are an anatomy. Some brains never even have a chance.

-Jonah Lehrer The Reinvention of the Self, Seed Magazine, http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/the_reinvention_of_the_self/ (highly-recommended reading)

Gould’s research highlights how incredibly sensitive all primates, including humans, are to stress. In her research with marmosets, even a single early episode of separating an infant marmoset from her mother for 15 minutes led to changes in that individual’s place in the social order and to permanent, visible, microscopically-recognizable alterations in the density of neural connections in that individual’s brain, as an adult.

But her research also revealed something just as surprising: in the same way that we are highly susceptible to stress and to diminished neurological development, we are also incredibly capable of increasing our neural complexity and developing new capacities, given the right conditions and setting.

After spending decades in Critical Care, specializing in Trauma, Neuro-trauma and Neurological Illnesses, I returned to studying current neurological research as I gave workshops and worked with clients around the world, individually and in small groups .

Time after time, with friends, clients and acquaintances, I saw individuals who were not wealthy come into inheritances, windfall profits, a divorce settlement or some sort of big payoff from years of sustained efforts. Rather than improving their lives, in most instances I witnessed, it wreaked havoc. Many lost the money in a very short period of time, or “invested” it in a way that, rather than supporting their well-being and comfort, disrupted whatever stability and health they had, becoming one more source of stress.

The examples I’ve seen of this are sadly predictable. Wealth or poverty are not monetary problems, although the latter are all too real as well. They are states of biological coherence and incoherence.

I had a number of clients whose ways of engaging with their stated goals reflected the same neurological deficits. It was only when I began to get curious about this exceedingly-common phenomenon of self-sabotage that I began to appreciate what underlies it. I soon began to see that people only have as much of what they say they desire as their capacity to actually manage it. Giving a poor person more money is oftentimes absolutely devastating to their lives and actually makes them poorer, in the long run.

Studies of lottery winners show, time and time again, how devastating a large amount of money is in the lives of many people. It overwhelms their capacity to coherently organize and direct such overwhelming amounts of potential. The potential of that money rapidly diminishes to fit their biological and neurological potential to manage it. The old adage, “a fool and his money are soon separated” actually reflects an underlying, biological condition. Huge numbers of lottery winners are dead within the first year of receiving their winnings. Poverty is not a lack of money, it is an anatomy developmentally challenged to come into coherent engagement with their world.

The solution to poverty is not money: it’s wealth. Wealth as a state of well-being, of active, rich, coherent, capable engagement with the world, with pleasure, connection and contribution, naturally attracts all of the external riches we desire simply, easily.

Seeing first-hand, how many millionaires today live lives of extreme stress and impoverishment has been surprising. They have the large home, the luxury cars, the latest of everything and yet their health and relationships are in disarray. They are continually juggling five balls, struggling, thrashing to and fro.

I have a few millionaire friends who are true artists in the medium of Living, truly wealthy. Their focus is not on having more but on being more. They invest in capabilities, in the quality of their attention and connections with a simplicity and grace that are surprisingly relaxed. They invest in free time and activities that connect them deeply to Nature, to their Joy and to others. They actually gain property in their endeavors by comprehending the Nature of what it is that they are doing, with what, with whom, where and what the desired outcome is. Naturally, they soon discover easy access to anything they desire. There’s a different quality to their lives. They are at ease, often living lives much simpler than those with much less money. They invest in wealth, not stuff, and understand that Wealth, to truly BE wealth, adds to and supports their Aliveness. They have time for an actual conversation, for their spouses, their children, themselves. Money and opportunities seem to “come to them.” They have the time, attention and skill to recognize them, to seed and to cultivate them, and do. Their wealth actually puts them at ease.

Wealth Has to be Grown
Neurons Grow Wealth by Connection

It is far easier and more affordable to live RICHLY, to grow one’s wealth and to activate whatever resources actually enrich us than most people will ever imagine. Wealth is natural to us. Our neural complexity and richness grows in the measure that we engage with greater delight and coherence with our world, not from an endless to-do list, but from a relaxed, attentive openness to truly noticing who, with whom and where we are and how we can contribute to our well-being and the well-being of others.

That growth happens when we create circumstances wherein we enjoy life, where we are well-nourished, with low distress and inspiring challenges, in beautiful surroundings, with good, constructive company and activities that vitalize our aliveness, connect us and challenge our bodies, senses and intelligence to constructively engage the delights of this Alive World!

Many people today are living lives that are so stressful that integrating new learning in a way that actually improves their lives is beyond their capacity. Now, when I work with clients, I typically start with a 10 to 14-day retreat, during which we experience deep nourishment, support and ease first-hand, along with how simple they are to achieve.

Life-enriching practices get integrated into daily living in a way that’s a deep, rich, pleasurable turn-on. When we experience integral support, from our nourishment, our environment, our activity and the skillful guidance of a companion who’s experienced and aware of how to support Aliveness, we suddenly discover a level of Genius and Creativity arising spontaneously from inside of ourselves.

Every one of us can discover our Natural Genius, once we relax our habits of making everything harder than it is, by Nature. Our Whole Body is Wise in ways that we rarely get led into experiencing in modern cultures. Our intelligence has a capacity to connect and create that blows our many years of struggle out of the water. We quit assaulting our neurology with chronic stress, toxicity and inflammation. We replace them with relished pleasure, deep nourishment, inspiring challenge, deep relaxation.

The art of living in a way that awakens our Natural Wisdom by supporting our Natural Design and the actual, Living Reality of our Being is not exactly what’s promoted on television or popular culture, is it?

Classical elegance is the application of least effort to maximum effect. It leads us to Opulent Simplicity and True Wealth. We thrive and are at ease.

With skilled guidance in supporting how we are Designed for Aliveness, we begin to notice the Greater Patterns that both the details and the larger themes of our lives arise in. We come into coherence, first with our cells, then with our selves, then with our engagement with others and the world. We discover connections that our health makes for our wealth, our full and sacred connection to BEING. The world comes on board to support our Aliveness as our Brilliance awakens to working with reality rather than struggling against it, or escaping to some unreal fantasy land.

Few of us imagine how this works: Aliveness is profoundly drawn to Aliveness. This world is not designed for struggle. It is designed for alignment with, rather than frustration of, our Living Design which emerges out of the Designs inherent to this World. Align with your Design and, surprisingly, the whole World comes on board. We become co-conspirators with a Living Reality emerging in a Pattern Language of Aliveness. When we live in accord with our capacities and vitality we activate reverberating alignments. The World recognizes that we have learned to co-operate rather than counter the Nature of Her Design.

The curious, and actually common sense, thing about this Living Reality is that it favors those of us who act in favor of our Aliveness. Our Aliveness is the Aliveness of the Totality. They are not separate.

We struggle when we are pushing against, failing to see the Nature of things and that it is full of openings and 99.9% spaciousness.

Life Speaks a Pattern Language
Life Speaks a Pattern Language

All initiatory traditions tell us to STOP, to REALLY stop – not just pause for a second – to STOP, to calmly NOTICE, with our actual senses and integrate the Pattern Language of Aliveness that Aliveness in-forms us with. Only then do we move to engage-with, not against. We move in the openings, rather than struggling against the mountain.

Once a year I offer a fun, relaxing and revitalizing retreat in a place of tremendous Beauty and Vitality for a handful of select, inspiring, passionate individuals. We Journey into Wealth that’s Vital and Alive. We discover and grow the Qualities and Capacities of Aliveness, Brilliance and Connection to Living Abundantly and Creatively, including earning money, living in gorgeous homes in gorgeous places around the world. If you’d like to find out more and Journey with us in discovering deeper aspects of our Human Adventure and simpler ways to support it, sign up for our complimentary newsletter in the blue box at the top of the right column and start your Adventure right now!

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6 Responses

  1. Roberta

    Caro amico,
    thank you very much for your genuine, enthusiastic, clever advices concerning the most precious aspects of our precious life. Your glance leads to what is really essential and feed every levels of our being, not only material, recovering that connection that is the only possibility to participate to the life’s dance. Everybody who got over any serious illness knows well the difference between being “healthy” (taking it for granted) and being “recovered”(the unfolding of all inner resources that transform and lead to awareness). As a personal experience, after that my mother got permanent invalid and then died due to surgeons experiments and mistakes, I turned my gaze to “alternative” approach. I suppose in many places around the word, there is a “business” also in this area. In the kali yuga confusion is everywhere. Years ago I met “urotherapy”, something totally free, something ours. I got perfect health (I had also to adjust the diet, since living in the kingdom of pizza, pasta and thousands of different delicious cheese it was necessary to reduce them considerably). Now everybody invoke the bio (organic) products. Another business. Many farms got certificate of producing only under bio procedure, the final products cost to consumer double or more, but the terrain and the water are the same of the adjacent field, “traditional”. We have above our heads, lands, cities the toxic substances of the chemical tracks, our bodies are full of barium. It seems we are facing a new chapter in this search of “being healthy”…Warmly, Roberta

  2. Michael Ivan

    I welcome and em exploring the edge and the invitation in allowing myself to grieve, honoring and allowing people their choices and their path and the consequences of their path, and welcoming the cycles of life. I’ve been exploring and feeling into this for a number of years, and experientially exploring what it means to me to be a man for my people. When I see a snake strangling my people–My people–I want to and am willing to “go in” for them. In late 2009 I answered a call from a brother-in-law, and sat with him and my sister for a few hours. I’m quite certain that had I not, there would be a little niece and two nephews without a father present. I wish to live and be in connection wisely in a way that honors all–myself included… and I’m keen to keep exploring that.
    I find I’m quite skeptical of other’s ideas of spiritual maturity, manhood, freedom or connection… yours included… and I welcome the invitation to feel into my own experience and pay attention in this arena, which I feel is your larger invitation. Thank you.

  3. Michael Ivan

    Thank you for the response. The invitation to honoring the ‘seasons’ of life, and grieving as integral… resonate. This is the path I’ve been walking with family and loved ones…

    And, I see grandmothers and grandfathers as welcome, honored and re-membered members of families in indigenous wholesome communities. And I intend to bring forth rituals of remembering in my life and with my communities. And re-membering tends to include grieving or at least the welcoming of deep feeling. I grieve the forgotten members of my family, and I have felt this grief over the years, I have carried it. And I will. I consider it who I am for my people. And its not about getting heroic and imposing my will on others, it is simply holding all my people in my heart. And I desire this.

    An antidote to your invitation to Pay Attention to discover the Wealth of Life Supporting Nourishment and Wisdom that surrounds us: I remember one day returning from a walk with you in Brussels. You stopped on the way home to pick some weeds, and that evening over conversation in a cold apartment you served me nice hot Cream of Weeds. I was amused, and wondered if maybe I should be insulted. Now I feel honored that you served me some of the finest nourishment that Brussels had to offer.

    It was the Fall of 2010 and I was allowing myself to fall and “fail.” I was welcoming the season of letting go. And it would be a long season. At the same time I was welcoming the invitations and wisdom you invited me to notice and trust: Those of my body. Now I notice the slightest sensations of trauma in my belly, and usually feel them as a warning to slow down and honor my Aliveness, rather than get heroic. There’s a really heightened awareness now. I hear it clearly as a No from my body–or a Slow. I walk cautiously now in business and family arenas. I treasure my newfound freedom and aliveness, and am not willing to sacrifice or compromise them for some imagined future of “Wealth.” There are real riches on this path, and I trust that only going slow and paying attention will bring them.

    I notice also that I don’t feel good creating promises or pitches to sell people who have a scarcity of connection/well-being… I’m not going to commit myself to creating their results, even if it could make me “rich.” I sense there’s such a beautiful invitation here for seekers/do-gooders/visionaries/entrepreneurs caught in the trap of going further into debt to learn to sell others into debt so they can all get “rich.” I sense a lot of promise in this path I am exploring. This path you’ve invited me to notice my body–my biology–making to me…

    And as I embody this wisdom more and more, I’ll have more Natural Authority when speaking of it to loved ones and others. It is a gift I desire to share as I move through the world, a currency, a Life-Giving offering.

    • Journeyman O

      The essence is in the Cream of Weeds, naturally… I start out caramelizing some shallots and garlic in an oregano and thyme infused, generous helping of molten pig fat… not too hot, giving time for the essential oils of all involved to find their moment of conjoining interweave, letting the shallots bubble in the heat and brown gently… A cast iron frying pan, you know, the regular or large size ones, is nice, because of how it’s density radiates heat into the food.

      I usually put a good dollop of pan-roasted (in lard) jalapeño, serrano and habanero peppers, garlic and onion blended into a smooth paste and kept in a nice, big Mason jar of “love sauce” into the mix. (that’s just an aside – so that your food always has a hot, sexy little dance partner handy, “una bombita,” you know… if it’s in the mood… mine usually is…)

      Once all of that has just heated up into a sweet, pungent, spicy, rich and PHAT brew, just smother it all with nettle leaves, ease down the heat to about 3.5/10, throw a lid on it and let it steam in the sweat of nettles easing into their hot jacuzzi of buttery flavor. Invite them IN for a good 10-15 minutes, low heat. Then turn up the heat enough to get the pan hot and throw in some water to release all those caramelized and rich sugars off the bottom. Fill the pan with water and heat some more in another pan. As soon as it has the slightest hint of a boil, shut it down, throw it into a blender and liquefy it into the pure Cream of Weeds. Take your time and enjoy yourself with that whole symphony of Living Intelligences finding new transitions as they ease into their soon-to-be adventure of being you… deliciously…

      To LIVE, as if everything that Lives as you is worthy of Being You Deliciously… With Delectable, Enjoyable Simplicity…

      “Une soupe aux orties, ” Nettle Soup… they’ve got all kinds of names for it anywhere there are nettles from here to China… Ask anybody who still knows what’s alive and good for them where they’re living… enjoy.

      Deep Freedom Now is all about enjoying what’s Healthy and Truly Wealthy, like Cream of Weeds, as you put it, and not settling for poorer, and more expensive, imitations.

  4. Michael Ivan

    What a beautiful invitation this post is to My aliveness, to My wealth! I am right now in a position of choosing My Life over the next several months. When my client (I love that I only have one) canceled due to stressed finances, I had a choice to make: Get heroic and help him help himself, save the day for both of us and return to the US to make everything go as planned (This is what I would have done five years ago), or allow him all the time he needs to get himself in a place to reinvest in himself with me–and meanwhile stay in Thailand where life is simple… OR do something even more nourishing to my aliveness. The idea that lit me up was: Brazil! Still I was unsure about it as I wanted to be sure the journey there would also not be heroic, and reading through this post crystallized a standing invitation I have there from beautiful friends, who live closely with nature and in community. I now pause when its time for such decisions AND when I “hit the lottery” in terms of an influx of more cash than I need for a few months of living simply (which I just did).

    For me, my primary orientation to wealth has been caring for my family of origin traumatized by a 7-year-divorce and separation from life-long religious community. It’s not been just “me” I’ve been caring for, but at the same time, I’ve not been caring for me, in being the older brother/father/hero as best I could. Money was often tied in here, as money was something to be shared among us, not something to keep to ourselves. But I’ve seen the disfunction in these patterns, and its taken the last several years, but I’ve had to free myself to care for me, even as I free them to care for them. In the mean time what’s happened is the “family” I was holding together is again deeply divided bringing more trauma and suffering to all. One thing I now notice is my own sense of trauma in my belly, which I used to ignore “heroically.” Some family should probably not be together. But there is something about Wealth and money here… I notice a similar dynamic in relationship–that trying to grow ‘wealth’ of relationship/family/community/humanity by holding the vision for them all being united while trying to solve all their relationship crises… is ultimately a formula for my own stress, and ultimately not the answer to what I deeply desire, which is deep connection with loved ones. I’m still working all that out. Because wealth to me doesn’t mean just living well on my own–I’ve got my people I really want to help.

    One thing I am enjoying about the Deep Freedom Now posts is their length combined with the invitation-to-integration and reminder-to-pay-attention writing style, as I find it a welcome respite from whatever else might be calling for my attention online. I slow down here. Thank you.

    The retreat you offer sounds incredible.

    • Journeyman O

      Thank you, Michael, for sharing your insights and the invitations you are making to you, to integrate some of the invitations from the posts. This comment contains a number of different comments. Each of them is a place where you can invite your senses and attention to really deeply connect, not just with what you are saying, but with the Nature, the Sensed Sense of what your comments point to in your experience.

      I have heard you touch on these themes frequently over the years, ex-pressing them, “pressing them outwards,” literally. They are recurrent. What other invitations can we make (plural, playful, curious) to our experience along with EX-pressing them?

      Because of the incredible turbulence and institutionalized disruptions in modern family life, each of us, as children, grow up and adapt to circumstances and relational dynamics in which many of our developmental needs are systematically frustrated. Nevertheless, our body, as a Bio-Logical (Life-Logical) Wisdom System still seeks to complete that development, often many decades past adolescence. In that seeking for developmental completion and inner and outer connection, we assume roles in Bio-ILLOGICAL family dynamics where we are trying to complete roles that we can’t actually fulfill, not with that cast of family characters. There is a cellular, Living Logic to Aliveness. And yet, since everyone in that family dynamic is also seeking completion and resolution of shared disturbances, there are also tremendous rewards for someone at least assuming a role that others never did, or didn’t quite fulfill. At the same time, we fail to comprehend that not only are they not our roles to assume, we cannot effectively assume them.

      In a very real way we avoid the deeply felt grieving and eventual acceptance of our actual experience and the Nature of what is going on in reality. Very often, we parent others, including our parents, at the expense of parenting ourselves toward our actual Aliveness and effective engagement in OUR Journey.

      Spiritual adulthood starts with taking response-ability for parenting ourselves into Aliveness. It also means recognizing that Life Cycles. The seed is not trying to rescue the withering plant from which it was born. Life is a continuity. It has a flow.

      Unfortunately, in cultures without initiation, the qualification for becoming a “parent” does little to guarantee the safety and well-being of those coming into these cultures. On the contrary. Let’s put it real simply: what are the qualifications required for being a father or mother? Exactly. Then you’re born and you get to adapt to whatever your parents are going through, mostly unconsciously, just as they adapted to habits, patterns, relational dynamics, culture and religious outlooks mostly adopted and adapt to unconsciously.

      When we begin to observe how Aliveness foments Aliveness in non-domesticated Aliveness, we begin to see the Pattern Language that Aliveness emerges and unfolds in. We begin to look beyond our moral “codes,” often camouflaging deep, unmet needs and unassumed response-abilities, and begin to pattern our responses to Aliveness in the Language of Aliveness.

      Grief is a part of it. True, deeply felt grieving. Life cycles. It is not our duty to stop Summer so that Winter does not come and take away what has grown with such vigor. Life Cycles. We begin to participate in the cycles and, with humility and ability, we find our Way.

      The Nature of things is revealed by their NATURE. You can reread your comments here and stop at every place that you point out the NATURE of something in your experience now. “Spirituality” comes from “spirare”- to breathe. To become a “spiritual” adult is to “receive the Holy Spirit” which, setting the religious mumbo-jumbo aside, is actually a Whole Breath. You go to each “pointing place” that your comments reveal in your experience and just do some deep, full, connected Breathing and pay Open Attention. Then you do it again.

      A deeply connected Parent will do that for a child in his or her arms when they are experiencing the normal stress of development; they reconnect deeply in themselves and model reconnection for their child. Each one of us can become that Parent we have so long awaited. Growing up also means we allow other people to grow up… or not to… We allow them their Journey. Life Cycles.

      As you live around the world try spending six months going daily to one place, say just a few square yards of land and get to know what Lives there. It could be a park, a garden you’re growing, somewhere where Life is, and see how Life does it. This is the Pattern. We unfold in that Pattern.

      Good Journeys and thank you for sharing your comments.

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