Sensational Living®

May 2005
© 2005 by Bret S. Beall


Now is the time for another update on that New Year’s resolution to “go with the Flow.” The Universe moves in mysterious ways, and I have been finding myself in some unusual situations that mirrored issues I thought I had already “covered.” Of course, that is the cool thing about going with the Flow. Even when you think you have already arrived at the place you need to be, the Flow will carry you where you “really” need to be. Let’s look at some recent examples.

All of the examples that I am going to share spring from one freakish occurrence. For a variety of reasons, I found myself with a temporary cash flow problem. The details aren’t important, but I found myself asking, “Why is this happening?” As I have written so often, if one is “open,” one can get answers to almost any question. But … THAT is the first odd occurrence: despite being “open” to one degree or another throughout my entire life, I was totally “shut off.” I’ve discussed this with friends, and they suggested both “burn out” and “stuck energy,” but neither of those ideas felt “right.” I decided to just go with the Flow, to see what happened.

I knew from the start that I was dealing with a temporary setback, because every so often, I would find myself spontaneously opening, feeling the Divine joy about which I have written previously (http://www.saskworld.com/bodymindspirit/edition20/11_article_bret.htm). I knew I was not on this Path alone, but it was clear that I was going to have to get the answers to “Why is this happening?” by myself.

Now, looking back at this period, I can see that several patterns emerged. During the period, I kept “trying on” different lessons to see if anything resonated; sure enough, several concepts did resonate, while others didn’t. And, as I alluded above, these were all lessons that I have dealt with over the years, and thought I had left behind.

This simply drives home the point that we are all, always, imperfect “works in progress.” That is the purpose of our humanity, to keep improving, to continue learning, to become the best that we can be.

Part of a Community

I have always been extremely self-sufficient, even as a child. I have considered this a blessing. I have always had a relatively small group of very profound friends, rather than an abundance of mere acquaintances. As my strange “closed” period began, I started reaching out to my friends to gain some insight. What I learned was that LOTS of people were going through very strange experiences. Some friends known for their healthy lifestyles found themselves incapacitated. Other friends known for their calmness and patience found themselves agitated and uncertain. In my own case, I am known for having my act together, including my ability to budget and manage resources, yet I found myself with a cash flow problem. What was happening?

I gained some insight when I just happened to read an interview with the well-known spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson in Ann Arbor’s alternative publication, phenomeNews (“just happened”? Does anything “just happen”? One of my dear friends had brought the issue to me, not realizing the relevance of its content). In that interview, Ms. Williamson stated, “I think we’re living in a time of a great quickening – when everyone is moving through their issues at a faster pace than usual, with almost an urgency borne of the demands of the time.” Only time will tell what this all “really” means.

Respect for Myself and Others

I’ve written previously that I was once told that I didn’t get a major client contract because they felt I was too confident. I “am” confident. That confidence is hard-won, the result of a lot of hard work. For some, a high degree of confidence is a result of lack of self-respect, of unsupported bravado, but in my case, the confidence arose only after I had healed enough to have sufficient self-respect.

I’ve accomplished a lot in this life of mine, and have gained a lot of respect FROM others. However, to suddenly find myself taking consulting gigs that I didn’t want, to violate that “little voice” telling me to run, Run, RUN, to be put in a subordinate position in direct contrast to the purpose of my hiring, caused me to analyze the degree to which I did respect myself, and others. Truthfully, this wasn’t a matter of “not” respecting myself and others, but it was a matter of the degree to which I explicitly insisted others treat me with respect. Part of me just wanted to “go with the Flow” and avoid conflict, but I suddenly found myself confronting offenders, demanding the respect that every single one of us as human beings deserves … we are each on our own Paths, and this was my opportunity to help others on their Paths. Plus, I understood why they might not have the degree of self-respect that would cause them to demean (or attempt to demean) others, and I could empathize.

Empathy and Compassion

There is Empathy, and then there is empathy. Sometimes, we can actually feel the pain and other emotions of others, and that is Empathy (big “E”). Until we get a good sense of ourselves, Empathy is not something we often encounter. However, empathy (little “e”) is something we can experience every single day. We all know the expression, “Misery loves company.” When we are miserable, we appreciate being around others who share those same feelings; by working through our common feelings, we end up feeling better, and even there, when we feel good, we want to be around others who feel good. My recent circumstances put me in a place that I had never experienced, thus expanding my worldview, and giving me the opportunity to be empathic with people to whom I had never before been empathic.

Even if I had not been empathic with some people, I have been sympathetic, or compassionate, with them. That said, this side of me, the sympathetic, compassionate side, was not quite as well developed as the empathic side. I have known that I had room for improvement, and sure enough, my recent cash flow problem gave me much opportunity to grow! The coolest thing is that it really didn’t take any effort to expand my compassion … once I realized what I needed to learn, it just suddenly happened, and I truly felt like I had achieved a truly compassionate existence. The Universe knew what I needed, and gave it to me. I have been blessed!

Accepting the Kindness of Others

As I wrote above, I’m known for being rather self-sufficient. After all, I help others live great lives, and if I didn’t have the basic life skills, I couldn’t help others. But, with that cash flow problem, I found myself in some tight situations. Out of the blue came offers from friends to give me loans, treat me to meals, and to provide unconditional support. What a fantastic circle of friends I have, who gave me hope when I most needed it, who gave me the opportunity to learn to graciously accept the kindness(es) of others. About two years ago, I gave a lecture to a very small, cash-strapped organization on a pro bono basis; I was reading through my mail with a friend when I opened an envelope fro the organization and found a check. I said to my friend, “Now I’m going to have to return this.” She said, “You need to learn to graciously accept the kindness of others.” THAT was the beginning of the lesson that has culminated in my recent cash flow problem: I had no choice but to graciously accept the kindness of others! No man is an island; we must realize we are part of a community (see above), and work to sustain that community. I am grateful!


Wow. I’ve written so much about gratitude, and expressing it on a daily basis (for example, see http://www.soulfulliving.com/mindfulness_gratitude.htm). I believe in expressing gratitude for little things just as much as for big things. However, my recent circumstances have reminded me to be grateful for even those things that are unpleasant and seemingly undesirable. I have just outlined all of the things that I have learned by going with the Flow during my period of cash flow difficulties. As I write so often, I love learning new things (see http://www.god-dess.com/services_lifestyleAugust04.html). How grateful I am to have had these (on the surface) unpleasant circumstances that have taught me so much and expanded my horizons! Yes, be grateful for everything, good or seemingly bad.

As you can see, I have had a busy year so far as I continue to become a better human being. I believe that we are here to learn as much as we can. By consciously choosing to “go with the Flow” as my New Year’s resolution, I was open to opportunities to improve myself. “What was happening” was that I was being the gift of opportunities to grow and improve. Had I not been open to these opportunities and lessons, the going would have been much rougher (this I know from past experiences when I was not as open as I might have been). If you are having tough times, view them as learning opportunities, and grow into your full potential. Though I have helped literally hundreds (thousands?) of people though my services and writings, I know now I will be able to help hundreds and thousands more. Although I’m proud of the quality of that help in the past, I can already see that the quality of my offerings has improved.

Life is good here at Global Organic Designs Lifestyle Services with cash flow problems behind me (gratitude expressed!), and I hope it is good for you (and that you are grateful!). Let me know how good your own life is, and what your own current lessons are, at 773.508.9208 or email me. Blessings as you Flow along on your Path!