The Art of Finding

The Journey of Life is not about looking for answers,

it’s about finding them

I started spontaneously experiencing what is known as co-creation or manifestation fifteen years ago, before I even knew there was a word for it. All I knew was that I would ask the Universe for something and I’d get it. To be honest, it was a bit spooky, because sometimes it wouldn’t even be an intentional ‘ask.’

Sometimes it would just be a thought, wow, I really love that popcorn bowl – and then suddenly I would end up with someone’s extra popcorn bowl (the particular one I wanted). When books about manifestation, now more appropriately termed co-creation, started coming out, I was relieved. Oh good, other people have been experiencing this too, that probably means I’m not delusional.  🙂

At this point on my spiritual path, though, I’m exploring a new-to-me art; the ‘Art of Finding.’

Think of all the time we spend in life looking for things – keys, wallets, jobs, our life purpose, etc. Now, imagine we didn’t have to do that. Imagine that we could just find what we were looking for when we wanted or needed it. Think of how much more we could do if we didn’t fill so much space with ‘looking’ for things. I can see that future, I’m growing into that place.

What is the Art of Finding and How does it work?

Well, just like with co-creation, ‘Finding’ starts with a need or desire. Such as “I need to find my keys.” In the normal course of life, in the way we have been trained to ‘look,’ we would start with a methodical list of questions; where did I last see them? Where did I last use them? Did anyone else around here see them? We rummage through our brain for memories of where they might be so we can rummage through our environment for the keys.

We might find the keys quickly, we might not.

How does this work via the ‘Art of Finding’? Well, first I ask, “Can you please help me find my keys?” or “I’d like to find my keys, please.” Although, at heart, I believe this activity is about connecting into the energy field that surrounds us all and obtaining information that way – I don’t want to rule out that I have actual, non-visible entities helping me (like spirit guides or guardian angels or however you want to interpret that).

Out of respect for that and a desire to avoid the hubris of thinking this is about ‘me’ and what ‘I’ can do, I always ask – and I always say ‘thank you’ when I ‘find’ something. Releasing some of the definition that surrounds the ‘I’ is the first key to finding, anyway.

Then I turn down my mind and I actually ‘turn down’ my visual receptivity (think of when your eyes go soft focus during meditation). I keep my eyes open, though, so I don’t bump into things! 🙂 I turn up my awareness of my energy body, especially around my legs and feet. I let my feet walk me wherever they want to go and when they seem to have found a stopping point, I raise the awareness of my energy body to the upper half of my body – this helps me know what to pick up that ‘whatever-I’m-looking-for’ might be under, for example.

I turn up my visual receptivity and start scanning, but my mind is still turned down. This is key because I don’t want my intellectual or logical brain to direct where I look. When I can do this successfully, I can find whatever I need in a fraction of the time it would have taken me to ‘look. ’ (This conclusion is based on ‘finding’ a number of things where I would only have thought to look maybe fourth, fifth, or later in the logical chain – if I even thought to look there at all!)

I’ve used this technique to find a many dozens of things, now, including my husband or family in places where we’ve separated – like the mall or grocery store :).

It sounds easy, and in a way it is tremendously easy because you don’t actually have to ‘do’ very much – or, at least, your brain doesn’t. On the other hand, however, it’s more difficult to keep your brain or your ‘thinking self’ out of the way then it seems – even if you are an experienced meditator. It turns out, the dividing line between our spirit / intuitive self and our ego / embodied self is not quite so clear cut.[1]

For example – if I’m ‘finding’ my keys and a memory bubbles up of the last place I saw the keys, I can’t ‘find.’ It doesn’t have to be a ‘thought,’ it could be an image of the keys somewhere or just a feeling of where they must be. The power of that influence is great enough (for me, at this point) that I’ve lost the thread of ‘finding’ so to speak – now I can only look.

Interestingly enough, previously I would have thought that these images or feelings of the keys’ location were flashes from my intuition. From practice, though, I’ve learned that these are almost always distractions. They are doubly damaging because not only are they usually wrong, 🙂 but they also make me doubt myself and the process of finding in general.

I also struggle with finding when people (even my immediate family) are around because my self-consciousness gets in the way. Do I look silly? What if I can’t do it? Suddenly, I’m not finding anymore I’m performing – or at an even deeper level – I’m trying to prove that I can do it. All of that gets in the way of simply ‘doing’ it. When the stakes are high, especially the emotional or personal stakes, our abilities can be significantly impacted.

So what’s the difference between the Art of Finding and Co-Creation?

Since I started this post talking about Co-Creation, you might wonder what the difference is between the two. They’re certainly related. Both require active connection. Both involve putting what you want or need out into the Universe.

Co-creation is usually about influencing the future (specifically your future), moving energy in such a way to bring about what you need / desire, or building something new where there wasn’t something before. As a result, we can perceive co-creation as taking some amount of time to manifest in the physical plane.

Finding, on the other hand, happens in the ‘now.’ Finding is about gaining access to all the resources available to you at the moment, (including the ones you don’t logically know about, but you have energetic access to), and ‘finding’ what you need. When you turn the helm over to your energetic self (or –as I like to think of it – your whole self) you are not impeded by your own limiting beliefs about what you can and can’t know.

Here’s a particular instance that demonstrates this beautifully. My husband was helping to bathe our young daughter and asked me to get her bath crayons. I didn’t know where they were and decided to try to ‘find’ them. I half-closed my eyes, turned down my mind, and let my energy body take over. In this manner, I walked into our second bedroom and stood by the bed.

I opened my eyes fully… scanning the bed… I didn’t see them… doubt crept in… maybe I was doing something wrong. Then a memory bubbled up. Why on Earth would they be in the bedroom? I had last seen them on the bar, surely they were on the bar. Of course, now I can no longer ‘find’ because I can’t get the idea out of my head that they must be on the bar. I go over to the bar and start looking… sifting through papers, turning things over, etc.

My husband comes out to see what’s taking so long. “I can’t find them” I say, “the last time I saw them they were on the bar.” He immediately goes to the second bedroom, rifles through the blankets on the bed, and pulls out the crayons. “The baby and I were playing with them on the bed this morning after you left” he tells me.

I am shocked. I had been in the exact right place, even though I had no knowledge that my husband and the baby were playing with the crayons on the bed. My own self-doubt had gotten in the way and blocked me at the very last moment. It was then that I realized ‘finding’ encompassed much more than simply tapping into my own deep knowledge.[2]

Finding doesn’t just work for bath crayons and car keys, though, it can work for anything. Most importantly – Co-Creation and ‘Finding’ can go hand in hand.

One of the earliest posts I wrote for this blog was called ‘Ohm away from Home’ and was partly my lamentation that I could not find a good place to meditate in downtown Chicago close to my work. I had resorted to using conference rooms (not the most meditative of spaces) over my lunch hour. One could say I had begun co-creating – putting my desire out into the Universe for a place to meditate freely (ie, not subject to someone else’s program) a couple years ago.

A few weeks ago, I was again feeling this incredible longing for a space to meditate during the day. Suddenly the thought occurred to me to look for yoga studios in the area – maybe one of them offered meditation. I did a quick search of the internet and found a studio, Bottom Line Yoga, four blocks from my work that offered free meditation (free of cost and dogma 🙂 ) for a half hour at 1pm every day!

When I went to the studio, I asked the owner how long they had been open and it had only been about six months. I thanked her for offering a place to sit for meditation and told her that I had been wishing for something like this. “Well, it’s here for you, then!” she said.

This is the important time to remember the Trickster lesson of the Bait Thief… I know this studio is not here just for me or even offering meditation just for me (although interestingly I’m usually the only one there for meditation 🙂 ). However, it is also true that it is here for me. That is, in essence, how co-creation manifests in the physical plane.[3] I am one of the reasons why this studio exists, but certainly not the only or even one of the most important reasons.

More important for this post; although energetically I probably helped co-create this space, I also had to find it.

Allow me to clarify that ‘finding’ is not better that Co-creation by any means. Both are tools that belong in your toolbox of engagement with the Universe.[4] In fact, if I were to pick one I would favor co-creation because absolutely amazing things can happen through co-creation. However, there are times when we really just need something right now and for that ‘Finding’ is probably a better bet.

What are the Limitations of Finding?

The previous story raises an important limitation of finding. Because finding happens in the now, there are limitations. With Co-creation you can influence energy in such a way to create something new.  With ‘Finding,’ although there are probably many, many more options that we are presently or logically aware of, we are limited to what actually exists in the now. So, for example, when I was wishing for a space a couple years ago, there wasn’t one, so I had to settle for a conference room.[5]

Furthermore, there are some things that can get in the way of ‘Finding.’ I mentioned a few earlier; our own impressions of what can exist and where to find it; other people and our reaction to them. The biggest blockers, though, are our own filters and attachments.

I haven’t really mentioned the connection yet in this post, but it’s important to note that Trickster governs opportunity and chance as well as being the energetic influence to open a way forward (illuminate the way out of a trap) or close the path (lead you into a trap).

I feel comfortable saying that the ‘Art of Finding’ lands squarely in the Trickster’s jurisdiction. If you’ve read my post Trickster Makes this Road, you may remember that Trickster is also the agent by which visibility into our deep wounds returns to us. All of these elements work together in ‘Finding.’ In other words, our inability to ‘find’ in a particular situation is also an opportunity to explore what’s getting in our way.

Often we are surrounded by an abundance of opportunities we just don’t see. We don’t see them because we are so busy looking for something specific that our filters and prejudices rule out lots of options that are going to help us get where we ultimately want to go.

Here’s an example. I have a close friend who recently moved to a city where it is very impractical to have a car. She was struggling with what to do about the car. She wasn’t ready to sell it because she was unsure whether she wanted to stay in the location long term or not and it would cost her a lot more to buy a new car than just hang on to the one she had.

After some discussion it was clear she had many options available to her – at least a half dozen. Because she wanted something very specific, though, she concocted lots of flimsy reasons (some of them only based on emotional dislike) why only one particular option – the one with the most resistance – would do.

When we find ourselves in such a situation it’s always an invitation to closely examine our own fears, insecurities, and other deeply buried attachments.  If we can face those, we will almost always find a shining opportunity that helps us get exactly where we want to be.

I encourage you to play with the idea of ‘finding.’  If it’s obvious where something is, don’t waste time trying to ‘find’ it.  When you have some private time and space though, give it a try.  Don’t be discouraged if it’s hit or miss. The experience itself should give you lots of opportunities for self-observation.

My default operation these days is from a ‘turned-down’ mind and I still feel self-doubt as I develop my understanding of this skill.  There are many days when I can’t do it all, I can tell I’m simply not in the right frame of mind to ‘surrender’ my logic brain to my whole energetic self.  I’ll keep trying though – all skills develop with practice.

 

 

 

 

[1] This idea will fill out more in my next post (a preview of the book I hope to write, Echoes of the Soul)

[2] Prior to this event, I had thought maybe ‘finding’ just enabled us to access our own deep memories of where we had left things without our logical mind getting in the way – I now know that we have access to a much greater information than we realize to ‘find’ with.

[3] It should be noted that typically the ‘co’ in co-creation refers to co-creating with the Universe (or spirit guides, higher self, etc.) not necessarily with other people. However, here I am calling out that (I think) in many cases other people’s wishes and desires can certainly be a factor – it is a particular beauty of co-creation in the universe that solutions can appear that meet the needs, wishes, and desires of many people simultaneously! 🙂

[4] I’ll talk more about my experience of co-creation and how I believe it works, on an energetic level, in an upcoming post.

[5] To be honest there were a couple other places I tried meditating, but it just didn’t feel right or sustainable for a regular practice.

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