890th Week: Asking and Receiving

 The other day, I puzzled over a dilemma I had with one of the cats who live with me. She needs an asthma inhaler twice a day and for quite a while she has been very cooperative with the process. About a month ago, she began to run away from me and the process became quite arduous. Over many years, I’ve had a habit of asking for help from sources I don’t see but assume are present in this wide world of many dimensions and synchronistic moments. What the sources of help are, I can’t begin to say, but I have found that there are times when helpful responses are available. It may be that they arise from my own intuitive non-conscious awareness, where my questions prompt my own internal knowing that allows answers to pop into the foreground of my awareness.

Whatever the source, one evening, I asked for help around how to invite this particular feline family member more gently into the bathroom in the morning and evening for her inhaler. I woke up the next morning with a new plan around how to engage her without all the running away. It worked that morning and has worked ever since and she now again goes to the bathroom before I do and waits for me. 

Again, I don’t know if the answers I tend to get when I ask for help are my own non-conscious wisdom popping up or if they are inspirations received from sources I can’t perceive. It doesn’t really matter. The key seems to be to ask and then to be open to receive input. I think that being receptive and then responsive, i.e., to act on the information received, supports a “conversation” with a wider source of inspiration, be that our own deep wisdom or some collective or other source.

You may also find that when you ask for a solution to something, instead of receiving an idea or thought, you might find yourself watching something on the Internet that has exactly the information you need, or you might run across a magazine that has an article about what you’ve been needing. Responses can come from anywhere and everywhere, and synchronicity and our openness to receive something have roles to play in when and how the responses may arrive. They can come from anywhere at anytime.

For this week’s practice, I invite you to play with asking for input, help, or support, and then see what arises. Perhaps you have a dilemma that you haven’t been able to resolve, or something you want to do but you haven’t been able to figure out how to engage it. Whatever the question, take a moment to seriously ask for help and then let it go. That’s why I often do this at night right before going to sleep. Then, whatever the process is can unfold overnight. You may wake up with an answer or it may drop in at an odd moment during the day. The key is to be attentive to whatever comes and discover if it is useful. My grandmother taught me to write down any intuitive input I might receive because in that way I could look back and see what was accurate and what was just my imagination. 

Whenever I receive input of the kind I had with my feline family member, I experiment with the ideas that come to see if they work. That way, I find out pretty quickly if I’m working on an idea I’ve had that isn’t a real response to my question or whether I’ve received the solution I need. In this case, it was exactly what I needed to solve the problem. If it hadn’t worked, I’d have continued to ask and experiment until a solution emerged.

A useful perspective to have with exploring this kind of process is to stay as relaxed as you can. Tension tends to clog up the flow, so give yourself the opportunity to “play” with this process rather than grasp at it or demand it. Being too invested in the response, or too tense around it, creates a kind of interference, so an additional aspect to this practice is to track your state of being and orient to ease and relaxed openness as much as you can. It’s a process of being open to receive without tension, worry, or concern. I know that can be challenging when we really need something, but I think that being fairly relaxed is an important element in this kind of practice.

As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion. Also remember that curiosity opens us to move toward something, whereas fear and concern tend to constriction, to pulling in and away from things. Also, please remember to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything with or about them, and to allow room for mixed feelings.

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