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The Art of Play

When you get older, your childhood becomes more and more distant until one day you forget. You forget what it was like to be a child. You may remember being young but you forget what it was like to be a child. Which, is nothing short of a travesty. You don’t forget because you choose to. You forget because you are conditioned to. From the first day you are presented with adult problems you are forced to grow up. For many this is the transition from one school to another, for some it is a challenging life event that comes too soon.

Whatever the reason it is not too late to recapture that lost youth, that lost child. We can play, and we can enjoy it. The question is – How do you play again?

On the day you are born you are told how to think. You are told what to believe. It is the rule makers,the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, the religious authorities that try to form in your mind their vision of life. You know what it worked. But, it is time to move forward, time to let go of their vision, their dream of reality. You can start by playing.

Playing doesn’t have to be hard, and if it is you are probably worried about that perceived view of reality in your mind.

Let Go.
To start you must let go, you must for a moment or two, forget you are an adult. Set aside your responsibilities. Look at the world around you for the first time. Really, stop reading this and look up. Look at everything around you. Look near and look far. What do you see? Now think about what it would be like if everything you have been told didn’t matter. Look again. What do you see?

Re-imagine.
You know what you are supposed to be doing because you do it. Now what if you didn’t know about the world around you. Children learn by doing, by exploring. When we have explored and tried enough times, we form ideas of how things are “Supposed to work”. We work with minimal information based on lessons we’ve learned previously. Only when we can see our surroundings with a new light can we begin to re-imagine.

Interact.
Get up and walk over to something, anything, it can be a chair, a television, a drinking glass, anything. Now interact, if it is a glass of water play with the water. Pour it out study it, notice how it feels on your skin, give yourself permission to learn again. Give yourself permission to just be in the moment. Only when we are ready to let our inhibitions go are we free to interact with the world without judgement.

I am sure you may be feeling self-conscious right now but if you did what I suggested above then you are ready to play.

Create.
Pick a medium it can be pen, paper, markers, blocks, needle, thread, clay, paint. With your chosen medium find a space where you will be uninterrupted. Then just start creating. You can do whatever you think of. If you have blocks build a tower, an airplane, a wall. If you have paper and pen start writing, or drawing. Allow yourself to just create, you don’t need an end goal, just a moment to scribble, stack, cut or sew.

Destroy.
Now destroy whatever it is you made. Knock over the tower, rip up your paper, smoosh your sculpture. Whatever you did undo it. Don’t just undo it because you have to do it because it’s fun. Without an end there can be no beginning.

Play.
If you have done all of the things above then you are ready to play. Let go of your inhibitions, let go of all those things you’ve been told you should or shouldn’t do and go into the world and have fun. Run outside, jump up and down. Do things that make no sense but are just enjoyable. Be a child. Children are always running, jumping, picking things up, dropping them, stacking and knocking over. They don’t know what the world wants of them so they try everything. They learn what happens when you knock over a stack of bricks. They learn what happens when you scribble on paper.

Children learn to make a mark, they learn to leave an impression. Then somewhere along the way they forget, and they are told not to pour water on the floor, or draw on the walls. They are taught how to act to fit in to our collective view of reality. Then time goes by and they forget that they can have fun with the simplest of things. That is our gift. We can make something of nothing, we can enjoy or hate the simplest of things.

One person can change the world. You can alter the course of human history, you just need to be mindful, and not let those inhibitions stop you. Bring joy and happiness to yourself, bring joy and happiness to the world. The universe has been waiting for you to start fulfilling your divine purpose. Now, forget what you’ve been told and play!

How to Pray

Intent
Intent, intent is the key. Many people for years, decades, and generations, have said their prayers and seen no results. They become echos, mere words said to the air. The first key to having your prayers answered is intent. Not want or desire, but intent, knowing this is what you want and how to get it.

A prayer for money, wealth, or success will often fall short of any manifestation. This typical prayer may go something like this.

“Please, God most holy of holies, I do most humbly beseech thee. I need money to pay my bills and to get my family through these rough times. I ask that you please help me through these difficult challenges. Thank you God Amen.”

This is wrong. Not because the intent is missing, because the prayer has authenticity and selflessness. It is wrong because you are begging, you are asking, you are lowering yourself to the divine admitting that you are unworthy. The holy spirit can sense your intent and your confidence. You must demand from God what you want.

Demand
There is truth in making demands of God. God created you in his image. You are a microcosm of the macrocosm. You deserve more and need to demand what you need. Instead of begging approach the divine as an equal, as part of a whole. You wouldn’t ask your hand to please reach for your food and bring it to your mouth. So instead of the above try.

“I am a divine child of heaven, as your child I ask for my share of wealth. I will get past these tough times because you will guide me to what I need. I will not want I will only have what I seek. Amen.”

The intent and demand help define what God will hear and answer. But, this often is not enough to simply demand as an equal you also need to have a humble heart and be sincere.

Sincerity
Saying a prayer with demand and intent are not enough without sincerity. Remember there are no secrets between you and God. The divine knows you better than you do. God knows what we are all capable of. So when you speak to God with an insincere heart God knows. This is the death of lip service. You must kill the mechanical automatic prayer and use your own words. When you demand prayer from the heart with sincerity and intent, God knows it. This is only achieved by using your own words. No one else’s words will do only your own will be answered.

Knowledge
Knowing that you are one with the divine reflect on how you would perceive someone asking for money every day. Surely giving them money once might solve their problem, but is the lesson learned? As Jesus said “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” God wants you to learn life’s lessons so you can grow and become closer to your true divine nature.

When you make your prayer demands do so with intent, sincerity and knowledge. God wants you to be happy, but God also wants you to follow your inner divine voice.

When I was a child, I had the traditional view of many Christians that God was an old man sitting in a throne who ruled in the clouds above. I also would pray to God for most everything. “Help God, I lost my favorite lego piece, will you help me find it?” I would have those prayers answered more often than not. But, as I grew older, my needs and wants changed. I stopped praying to find toys, or to make small scrapes on my knee stop hurting. For a while I stopped praying altogether.

Until, I was a little older and my friend got cancer. She was always sick, and I didn’t really understand why. I would pray to God every night with tears in my eyes. “Please, God help Sarah heal, she is too young to be sick.” I would then recite the same prayers in church. But, nothing happened, she got worse, and I lost. That was the first time anyone had died in my life.

I lost faith in God and Christ for a very long time and I thought how could there be a God if he let a child die. Someone who does not understand what is even going on. Were my prayers not heard because they were hollow and repetitive, and insincere? No. My prayers were not answered for many reasons. Perhaps it was karma, or a selfless lesson her family and friends needed. What ever the reason it has only strengthened my relationship with the divine.

It is only when we pray with intent, demand, sincerity and knowledge that our prayers will begin to be heard. Do this in all your prayers and your relationship with the divine and your basic needs will be closer to being fulfilled.

How to Develop Your Intuition

The fastest way to improve your intuition is through continued and persistent meditation. Once you start on a consistent meditation schedule then your being becomes more in tune with itself. When you are more in tune with your self and your surroundings you are better able to react and make snap judgments, or as it is called follow your instincts.

Tranquil

Your gut instinct versus spiritual intuition.
Some people describe it as a feeling they get in their stomach, almost like butterflies, but more insubstantial. This in many ways is common sense. It’s knowing when you walk down an icy road that you might want to be careful so you don’t slip and fall. It’s also a feeling you may get when you realize you locked your keys in your home. It’s a guttural feeling.

Your intuition is a feeling of knowing. Knowing with every fibre of your being that something may happen, that maybe you should go right instead of left. It is a feeling of knowing like you know the number 2 will always come after the number 1. It is irrefutable, and it is sometimes confused with destiny.

Spiritual intuition is the only instinct you need, and the more you use it the more powerful it becomes. Until eventually, you use it the same as any of your other senses, without even thinking. So how do you improve or hone your intuition? You have to trust yourself. You may not always be right at first and it can be discouraging, but do not give up. Because, those few times you are right seem unbelievable.

By practicing meditation for a few years I started to pick up on subtle things, I normally wouldn’t think about. I had gone to stop at a yard sale with a friend, he was looking for some cheap furniture for his new apartment. There were any number of tchotchkes and old decrepit 70s furniture you might expect at a yard sale in a rural area. I looked over the wooden geese, and at the wicker baskets. Someone, was clearly liquidating their past trend worthy purchases or hand me downs. As my friend was ready to leave, something caught my attention in the distance it was an old pot, with a crackled patina and strong black and red patterning. I told him to wait a moment as I walked over to it. Yes, this was definitely old, I could feel the age. I looked down at the sticker price it was a bright neon orange $10. That seemed fair. I took the gamble and bought the pot. My friend asked what I was going to do with it, I said I have no idea I just got it because it was old. He laughed and said it was some tacky reproduction. Following my intuition paid off, the pot was actually an old Hopi jar from the early 1800s, worth substantially more than the $10 I paid for it.

I noticed the Hopi Jar not because I am lucky, but because I had worked diligently to hone my instincts over the years.

Pay attention, look around, look twice.
The first key is to improve your attention to detail. This is done by looking closely at random things throughout the day. Is there a house you go by every day? Stop and look at it, how many windows does it have, doors? What color is it? What is the condition of it? What is it made of? When you ask yourself these questions randomly throughout the day your mind starts to hone itself for clearer detail. You are able to see when something is new or old, valuable or cheap.

Take a risk.
This is a bit like gambling at some point you just have to take a risk. Will those cards you want come up? Most likely not, but if you have the spiritual intuition you will be able to walk by scratch off lottery tickets and know there is a winner among them. Then if you know there is, buy the one you think is the winner and take a risk.

Observe and try again.
Like meditation, repetition is the key, it takes 10,000 hours to make someone an expert in their field, and it takes practice to hone your intuition. At first your chances of success may seem pretty far fetched, but eventually you will know if you should bother.

Positive Reinforcement.
When I was younger I practiced developing my intuition with friends by playing a game of memory with a deck of cards. They would show me a card, then shuffle it back into the deck, and I would have to try and pick it out. Eventually, I had uncanny “luck”. Every time I found the card I reinforced that positive feeling I got for trusting my instinct. This positive feeling started to increase my chances to get it right.

Daily Meditation.
The best thing you can do however is practice meditation daily. Meditation is the key to improving self awareness and putting you in touch with the cosmic consciousness. With successful meditation, comes success, because it is the greatest thing we can aspire to.

If you follow all of these then in time you too will have amazing intuition and be able to “defy the odds” but this is not something that happens over night. It may take years, but the longer you practice the more natural it becomes.

The invisible prisons that bind us all

This is not the world the baby boomers grew up in, this is not the world of generation X. It is the world of the millennial. A world far different from anything before it, something more impactful than the industrial revolution. It is an era of technology, and consumerism, where the two shall intertwine and never be the same.

We are being controlled. We are losing our freedoms. Many of us do so willingly without thought of consequence or realizing the ramifications of our new found “freedoms”.

What do I speak of, I speak of the smart phones in our pockets, the contracts we sign to have these devices of convenience. Take the iPhone 5s it is a computing device that is far more powerful than the desktop equivalent 10 years ago. It has the processing power to accomplish so many tasks, and we use it to help the world keep tabs on us. The obvious Foursquare and Facebook checking to Twitter updates. These convenient sites all track what we are doing, what we like and how often we do it.

social media on mobile phone

I stop to look down at my phone. Google is telling me the distance and time it will take to get home from where I am. I opted into this convenience. It will also tell me of any traffic jams or unexpected changes. It also means that in addition to Google knowing where I live, it knows my weekly schedule, and places I frequent most. These are conveniences. At what cost?

The average smart phone plan comes with a 2 year contract and will cost someone between $70 – $150 a month to maintain. Pay phones are almost gone, the newspaper is dieing. Businesses that have been around hundreds of years are disappearing. All in the name of technological advancement. Not all of it is bad but there are the things we neglect.

Have you ever shopped on Amazon? They know you better than you do. They hold your items in their cart forever, or until you delete them. Amazon will look at your purchasing history and what you recently viewed to come up with recommendations on what else you may like. This convenience is our cage. Amazon is not the only one to do this, hundreds of other retailers do too and we stand no chance against it. Industries are quickly coming up with ways to part us with our money faster than we can earn it.

Target, Warby Parker, Cabela’s, and many other retailers are using that portable computer in your pocket against you. By offering free WiFi in their store they are able to target where you are in the store based upon the signals your phone is sending. This allows them to track where you spend the most time in store, as well as what products you look at and buy. This is just the beginning, there will come a time when this information will prompt timely notifications either via your phone or in store display. All to let you know hey that item you love in the electronics department is on sale. And we will accept this because we think the store is doing us a favor. The worst part is we can’t opt out of this invasion of privacy.

Jump to social media, Facebook allows users to check in their location share memories with friends and families, and companies they happen to like. Let’s assume for a moment that you don’t carry a smart phone on you and you don’t have a Facebook, or Twitter account. This still doesn’t stop your friends, family, or strangers on the street from capturing you in a photo then sharing it online. All of this without our consent simply because we live in an era of convenience. Let’s look at Google Glass, Google’s wearable smart glasses. Always on and always able to capture everything around them. They see what you see and can record whenever. They are not that prevalent yet but will gain momentum in time.

Let’s go back to the online shopping for a moment, there are any number of techniques to try and funnel you the user to achieve a certain goal a company has in mind. It can be clicking on a button, buying an item, or handing over your email address. Websites, applications, and most all digital media is engineered to get you to buy. These are called DarkPatterns in the industry. Using psychology for evil. It is as simple as having a check box pre-checked saying yes sign me up for your email newsletters.

As if this were not enough retailers have also learned to tap into our moral sensibilities, using psychology against us. It’s as simple as buying an item where a percentage of the sales will also be donated. Because now am I not only someone who like to buy bracelets but I am also someone who likes to buy American made bracelets to support working Americans. That donation you gave is also a massive tax write off for the company selling it. It makes us feel good inside, I didn’t just buy I donated. Our actions aren’t what we do it is what we buy. And buy we will. I know this because I used to be one of the people that engineered these experiences.

Imagine every smart device, glasses, watches, bracelets, phones, game systems, all linked and connected to the internet, recording every moment of our lives. Imagine this technology being monitored by an insidious outsider. Maybe, it is our government, maybe it is a private corporation wanting more money, maybe it is a terrorist hacker scheming from a far. Regardless, of the intentions, we are spiraling faster and faster towards a time of invisible prisons.

Nikola Tesla invented a system in the early 1900s that would have provided the world with wireless electricity. He destroyed it. He understood the world was not ready for such a gift, it would be used against us as a weapon. He destroyed every possible way it could be recreated. We do not have such a luxury.

Plans to print guns have already been leaked on the internet, and our lives are now quickly being chronicled and stored in databases across the world. But, there is no cosmic off switch. Is there?

I leave this up to you the reader. Figure out what needs to happen, and save us before we can no longer save ourselves. If the NSA can monitor us and was only caught thanks to one whistle blower who else is monitoring us that we don’t know about? Why am I telling you all this so you can save us dear reader , save us from ourselves. Think for yourself, question authority.