A Starting Point

I thought it was a great idea to have a “Make an Offer” garage sale.I mean whenever you have a garage sale, people will normally look at whatever you’ve priced your item and then make you an offer for a lower amount.So, I thought why not just skip the pricing step and just go to hearing what they would offer.Besides, it’s way easier not to have to price every stinking item in the pile right?

Well the “Make an Offer” sale didn’t work out too well.People would pick-up the ceramic coffee mug, turn it over a couple times and then ask, “What do you need for this cup?”I’d respond with, “Well make me an offer.”Then they would shake their head and say something like, “Oh I don’t like these kind of sales.”So, then I would end up saying, “How about a quarter?”They would then usually nod and say okay.And so it went on like this until I would just tell them a price right off.The upside is that they usually agreed immediately.I found it interesting that very few people would actually haggle on the price.Come on people, you need to haggle.

So what does this have to do with anything?Well, I was thinking about how the sale customers didn’t know what to offer unless they had a starting point.I suppose that some of it might have been that the people didn’t want to offer too little and offend me or it is a cultural thing.Moreover I think that most people need to have a point of reference to be able to function in most areas of their lives.For example, when you drive on a newly paved road that hasn’t been painted with stripes, you have a general idea of where to drive; but when it is painted it feels much safer and you feel more at ease when driving. You have a point of reference or boundaries which makes your decision making “engine” kick in and move you through the situation.

I was thinking about how when I’ve been faced with a mountain of work tasks to complete and feeling a bit frozen and overwhelmed with what to do.If you are in an employment situation your boss will (sometimes) give you the starting point or priority task so you know what to do first and then what is next.If you are self-employed, this isn’t so easy because you (as the business owner) have to prioritize and self-motivate to move through the tasks in an order you think will work best.This starting point is what makes the cascade of decisions fire and for you to take action.So, if you walk into a garage sale where there is a huge variety of items with no prices, it actually makes it harder to decide to buy something and you may just leave with nothing.

When I look at the various decisions I’ve been faced with in my life and I focus in on the hard decisions, I think most of the reason they were hard is because I didn’t have a point of reference, guidelines or a starting point (I was on my own completely).When I compare this to the flow of energy in the Universe around me, this decision point (where nothing is actually decided yet) is an energy blockage or the proverbial finger in the dam holding back a flood of possible outcomes.I can feel the tension of these decisions build the longer I procrastinate and then once I decide (for good or bad) the tension releases and the flow continues to its natural outcome.The problem comes in (for me) after the decision when I start to regret the decision or berate myself for making a bad one.This once again becomes a blockage of energy or natural flow.I’ve found recently that no matter the initial outcome, it’s the longer term result that you want to wait for because the flow of the Divine Universe will take you to the best possible outcome that your intention desires.It’s important to not focus on the initial decision, but rather your goal and the flow will guide you there every time.Along the way, you need to be open to the possibilities and opportunities presented to you and to embrace their meanings and gifts.Be aware of the Universe speaking to you from all sides (people, nature, words, song snippets, wildlife, bumper stickers, billboards, etc).The things that catch your attention are there on purpose, but it’s up to you to relate their meaning to what is happening to you in your life at that time.You must see the perfection of its synchronicity and patterns over time and seek help with its interpretation if necessary.

Step into the flow and float with the waters of the universal energy.You will find that you may get exactly what you desire, just around the next bend in the river.

Dwight Raatz

The Moments in Between

There are two significant events happening in my life this week. My youngest son’s birthday and I am celebrating my wedding anniversary. For my son’s birthday we joined him, his fiancé, their newborn son (hehe – yep I’m a grandpa) and his soon-to-be family-in-law out at a nice area restaurant. These celebrations gave me pause to step back and consider all that has happened in my life. I think it’s natural, as a parent, to review life a bit when one of your children celebrate a birthday or some other significant life milestone.

As I was pondering how fast things seem to have gone, I’m amazed to consider all the events and decisions that I’ve made in my life that have guided me to this very moment in time – right here, right now. I think about how all of the things I’ve done and all the things everyone else on the planet have done that created the perfect combination of events to make this current state I’m in. I mean it’s wild to consider that a decision I made years ago has resulted in the birth of my two sons, the meeting of my youngest son with his fiancé, and now with a the birth of my grandson. Not to mention all the relationships that were made along the way to bring us all to this moment in time that had a direct and necessary part in my grandson’s birth.

I feel, as most of you probably do, that life for the most part has seemed like a random bunch of events that are served up to you one-by-one for your consideration and decision. Should I get up (yes/no)? Should I wear the same clothes as yesterday (yes/no)? Should I eat cereal (yes/no)? Etc, etc, etc. On and on we go hour after hour, day after day, year after year with these Yes/No decisions with each one guiding us forward on a path that doesn’t exist until we make the decision Yes or No for each question presented. So from a current perspective “looking forward” it all seems so random. But when I look backward to the series of events, it is all perfection in its design. When I look to the future, I feel as if I’m only looking at but a few tiles on a larger mosaic; and when I look backward at what I have experienced, it’s like I’ve stepped farther back away from the mosaic to see the bigger picture of my existence.

As I live, there are many times in my life that I have regrets about something I’ve done or said. I have thought that if I had only made a different decision, I would be better off than I am now. This perspective is a very narrow view of life, not considering all of the wonderful things that have happened or that you have learned because of that “bad” decision. So when I look at my grandson now in all his wonder and splendor, I shiver to think that if I had made the “good” decisions every time in my life – he might not even exist today. And that is a scary thought indeed.

We are faced with challenges and decisions our whole life and we need to act upon them. It is in these actions that God’s creation happens. You might think this is a bit odd to consider that you and I have anything to do with God’s creation. After all, isn’t it all pre-designed and we are destine to the fate He has planned? In my perspective, no AND yes (perfect right?). No, it’s not ALL completely planned out as to what we do or how are lives will go moment by moment. After all, we do have Free Will and can mess with the plan all we want. The beautiful thing about this is that, that’s exactly what He wanted for us and Himself. The only way for Him to know who He is and how awesome He is, is through experience. So, he gave us all Free Will to do with life as we please and at every turn He has been with us, experiencing his Creation by having us create it for Him through Him. We were created in “His Image” as creator beings ourselves. We can choose how to live our lives and do whatever pleases us and He will ALWAYS be there no matter what we do. This is true because God is beside us, in us, around us and we are part of Him. There is a quote from the movie, Eat Pray Love that I really like and it is:

… “God dwells within you…as you.” God’s not interested in watching a performance of how a spiritual person looks and behaves. The quiet girl who glides silently through the place with a gentle, ethereal smile…who is that person? It’s Ingrid Bergman in “The Bells of St. Mary’s” – not me. God dwells within me…as me.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I like to think about God’s creation as the, “moments in between” those decision points in our lives. The decision points are Free Will (us) and the moments in between is God’s grace unfolding that Will in ways that we could have never imagined and for the Divine to experience his creation. His Will is my will.

And the “yes” part of, “… isn’t it all pre-designed and we are destine to the fate He has planned?” means that the Divine’s “plan” is that we have the life experience that we want for ourselves. This life I have was MY plan all along – even before I was born I knew what I wanted to experience here. God’s blessing to us is that we fulfill this life plan and then we will return unto Him. Our experience of life is His experience. We are infinitely creative in how we want to experience life and this is “the plan”. We are born, we create life and then we die and the cycle starts again with a new plan of experience.

Remember the Moments in Between as the life you have created with the ones you love – all with Divine blessing.

Dwight Raatz