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Energy Flows Where Attention Goes

Written by Francois.

Last year, I decided to take up mountain biking. My default modus operandi is to play full out, so I picked challenging terrains and went fast right from the start. After crashing pretty hard a couple of times, I signed up for a Mountain Biking Skills Clinic with expert rider and master teacher Dylan Renn (www.asingletrackmind.com). The first tip he gave us was, “Look at where you are going. Not at what you want to avoid.”

This one simple tip improved my biking so much! I realized that my tendency was to look at the rock, ditch, or other obstacle I needed to avoid, instead of staying focused on where I wanted to go. And inevitably, my bike followed my gaze! No matter how I tried to steer my bike away from an obstacle I saw, it would keep going straight toward the danger. But if I just made a correction, let go of my compulsion to look at what scared me, and focused on my path, my bike followed my gaze with perfect accuracy. When I focused on where I wanted to go, my body’s innate intelligence was free to do what it took to get me there, in a way my mind never could.

Then I realized that this principle holds true for all of life, not just mountain biking. Our brains have a goal-seeking mechanism called the ‘Reticular Activating System’ (RAT for short). It creates images of whatever we think about and turns them into goals, especially for those thoughts that are the most frequent or emotionally charged. In this way, the RAT molds your life around where you put your attention.

Essentially, your RAT is one of the most important mechanisms of the Law of Attraction in your life; it is the reason why what you focus on expands in your experience. What’s important to realize, though, is that your RAT doesn’t understand negation. It can’t create an image of “No scarcity” or “No anger”. If you try to create your reality by focusing on what you don’t want, all your RAT can do is create an image of scarcity or anger, and unconsciously direct you toward this reality.

This is why, as compelling as our fears may sometimes be, we need to be clear on what we want to create, and claim that with positive affirmations. For instance, if you’re creating a sense of peace and freedom, you could say, “I experience peace and freedom.” If you’re creating financial abundance, you would say, “All my financial needs are continuously met,” and so on.

The key is to understand that when you focus on where you want to go, your path can open up for you in truly mysterious ways. It’s the difference between saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” and knowing that “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

My invitation for you over these next two weeks is to be especially aware of where you’re looking when you create your future. How are you stating your decrees or affirmations, in the negative, or in the positive?

 

Keep your focus on what you want, and enjoy the feelings that naturally emerge when you envision these possibilities. To me, creating your reality really is about where you choose to put your focus moment-to-moment. How happy are you now, with or without the thing you think you need to be happy? Stay in gratitude for what you have, knowing that something better is always on its way to you. Your deepest desires can only be fulfilled Now.

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The # 1 Secret To A Happy Life

Written by Francois.

When I graduated with an international business degree in 1995, I found myself deeply unsatisfied with the prospects that life was presenting to me.  Sure, I could get a great job, make a lot of money, and maybe even gain the respect of others with what I’d been given.  But somehow I knew that even if I achieved every marker of outward success, something would still be missing from my life – something that could not be measured or managed, but was nonetheless of vital importance.  So I decided to make the biggest bet I had ever made in my life, and the only one that I felt would be truly worth living for.

I decided that I would live from that moment on as though an infinitely loving, all-powerful and omnipresent God was a living reality, not just a fanciful myth. I would center my life around the belief that God truly had made us “in His image,” and blessed us with an infinite power and beauty that each of us could access within.  Fortunately I didn’t feel the need to walk around with a long white beard – I’m not sure I would have been very attractive to my wife if that was the case!  Rather, I simply chose to focus my life around the belief that in essence we are all Creators, with an unlimited capacity to live highly meaningful lives of service.

I decided that every choice I made going forward would be rooted in this foundation of trust and love, knowing that I had unconditional access to this infinite Divine source of spiritual, emotional, and material support. My only responsibility was to show up in the best way I knew, in every moment of every day.

Having firmly chosen this path, I left Europe for South America with $1,500 in my pocket and only a rudimentary idea of where I would go and what I would do.

Screen Shot Francois Backpack

My life changed radically during that first year, and I went on to travel around the world for six more years without money, armed only with my intuition and faith and learning from my extreme living and traveling conditions.

So, What’s the Secret?

I learned so much in my travels and did all I could to integrate every lesson fully, until I felt I had become someone I could love unconditionally: my True Self who was made in the likeness of God.

I promised to share with you my #1 secret to a happy life that I learned in those years. It is very simple, yet I believe it truly has the power to create Heaven on Earth. The secret is this:

“Don’t judge.”

This simple commitment freed me to be and do my true Self in all ways, following my heart to be and do all I was inspired to. I simply decided to give myself and everyone I met full permission to be whomever we were choosing to be, always. What I discovered was that this permission allowed even the killers and rapists that I met to make new choices that were more aligned with the essence of Love inside of them.  They made these choices freely, not out of guilt, an outcome that I knew was possible only because I had offered them unconditional acceptance first.

Somehow I instinctively knew that any resistance or judgment on my part would only strengthen the positions of others and cause more resistance.  I knew that it wasn’t up to me to try and change others because of the law of free will, but I also knew that it was my very lack of attachment to their choices that allowed them to make a different choice.

Seeing an Old Myth in a New Light

I could share uncountable stories that substantiate the importance of non-judgment (not to be confused with lack of discernment), but first, I want to back up a bit and offer a more detailed explanation of how this understanding came together for me.

Before I left on my travels, my dad had given me his copy of the New Testament, the one he had used himself as a teenager and later at seminary.

Nouveau Testament Voyage

While I considered myself to be on a path of spirituality rather than religion, I accepted his gift and read the whole thing through a few times during my years of travel, finding great nuggets and guidance within its pages.

It was only when I returned home from my seven years’ journey however that things came together for me in a surprising way.  While I was visiting my parents I was guided to open up their copy of the Old Testament, and it was as if I was struck by lightening because what I read there crystallized my understanding with a power that changed everything.  Here is the insight that I had, in a nutshell:

Through my reading of Genesis within the Old Testament, I saw that humanity had “left Heaven” by making a specific choice known as original sin: eating an apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In other words, our original sin had been to start “judging” people and things as “Good” or “Bad”! I had never heard it put that way…

Furthermore, did you know that the word “sin” comes from an old archery term that means “to miss the mark?”  For me, the implication was crystal clear: if to sin simply means to miss the mark, then there is no need to believe ourselves to be inherently unworthy or flawed.  Rather, all that’s needed when we “miss the mark” is to correct our aim and then try again, making a new choice that is aligned with what might be called “Heaven”: with the Divine Truth that we can all access within.  

I was further struck by a possibility that these insights pointed to: might this new understanding allow us to simply give back that apple and make a different choice?

IMG 9121

Are you finding yourself judging the fact that this is not a red apple? ;-)

In my mind I knew that the answer was ‘yes,’ but I also saw that religion has distorted the concept of sin to reinforce the idea that there is something inherently wrong with us, and this is what keeps us stuck both individually and collectively.  Upon seeing these things, I was struck with disbelief that people have actually bought into this distortion for so long, and are still buying into it! No wonder our world is so at war with everything; this belief system puts us at war with ourselves, and from there conflict with others becomes all but inevitable.

Whose Business Are You In Right Now?

Myths have a tremendous influence on how people in cultures around the world think and behave.  The myth of the apple and “original sin” may be one of the most widely known and accepted myths in the world due to the global reach of Christianity and Western culture.  Yet it is also very active behind the scenes, affecting even people who don’t profess any conscious belief in it.  There is nothing more disempowering than this belief that we are inherently flawed – for if that is the case then why try to improve? – yet it drives the thinking and behavior of much of the world today.  It’s my firm belief that if we can replace this core assumption that so many of us make with true self-love, we can bring about much more compassion and understanding in the world very quickly.

Spiritual teacher Byron Katie has said that there are only three kinds of business in life: my business, your business, and God’s business.  Judging people, places and things is definitely God’s business. When we refrain from judgment – that is, from believing that we know what is good and what is bad – we can put that apple back where it belongs: in God’s hands.  When we do, we immediately find ourselves back in Heaven on Earth or Eden, living a life of peace, abundance and joy.

My invitation for you today is this: during your day, hone your awareness of the many ways that you pass judgment on yourself and others, both consciously and unconsciously. See this judgment as the result of having eaten that apple, then imagine simply offering it back to Source, thus correcting your aim. Then go about your business and enjoy your newfound freedom and joy.

Please take a moment now to make an internal commitment to correcting your aim, so you can live your highest truth going forward.  This is the birthright of each of us – all we have to do is choose it.

Thank you for reading!

***** 

PS: Check this out! 

Here is an old Zen story that illustrates our total inability to judge the goodness or badness of things:

An old Chinese farmer had a mare that broke through the fence and ran away. When his neighbors learned of it, they came to the farmer and said, "What bad luck this is. You don't have a horse during planting season." The farmer listened and then replied, "Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?"

A few days later, the mare returned with two stallions. When the neighbors learned of it, they visited the farmer. "You are now a rich man. What good fortune this is," they said. The farmer listened and again replied, "Good fortune, bad fortune. Who knows?"

Later that day, the farmer's only son was thrown from one of the stallions and broke his leg. When the neighbors heard about it, they came to the farmer. "It is planting season and now there is no one to help you," they said. "This is truly bad luck." The farmer listened, and once more he said, "Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?"

The very next day, the emperor's army rode into the town and conscripted the eldest son in every family. Only the farmer's son with his broken leg remained behind. Soon the neighbors arrived. Tearfully, they said, "Yours is the only son who was not taken from his family and sent to war. What good fortune this is..."


Story found at:  http://www.beliefnet.com/Wellness/Health/2005/06/Bad-Luck-Good-Luck-Who-Knows.aspx#MlJ43idWjgIrzPKE.99

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6 Easy Steps To Living In Joy

Written by Francois.

This morning after realizing that she wanted to ‘consistently experience Joy’ in her life, one of my clients asked me, “But isn’t it selfish considering there is so much bad stuff happening in the world?”

I asked her a couple of targeted questions, and she soon realized that her desire to experience Joy wasn’t the issue; what was selfish was for her to continue indulging in her familiar pattern of worry, scarcity and fear. She saw that the times when she had made her biggest contribution to the world were those times when she had felt “connected” and in a state of Joy.

IMG 7015

My client’s best moments were often those when she brought joy to simple things, acknowledging the cashier for her patience or kindness at the store for example. When we bring genuine, inspired joy to our daily interactions, we become a source of healing for others. Think about it: when you are out in the world feeling bad about all the terrible things that are happening and worrying that they might happen to you too, you are actually adding to the depression and hopelessness. However, when you are in a state of Joy from being aligned with your True Self, you are serving as a beacon of Light, offering everyone a reminder of what is possible.

This is a new way of thinking about service for many of us, but it is much more helpful and effective than trying to serve from a low vibration that matches the problem. Will you be that person in your family and community who helps others stay focused on the light, even when darkness seems to reign?

Radiant Sunset or Sunrise

The human race either moves forward through inspiration and creativity, or backward through reactivity and fear. Standing in our True Truth is a radically transformative act, and it is a choice each of us can make at any time.

The question is, how do you support yourself in living your True Truth and having the consistent experience of Joy that is your birthright?

Here are 6 easy steps to help you get started:

1. In this email, I hereby give you permission to be in your Joy. Accept it!

2. Be willing to surrender your ‘small self’ to a higher power. Call it God, Source, the Universe, Mother Nature, Holy Spirit, higher self, it doesn’t matter…the important thing is to trust that it will lead you to your highest and best good, and do everything you can to let it do so.

Higher Self Lower Self Small

3. Do whatever it takes to “know yourself” as spirit, so that this knowing becomes clearer and stronger than any fear-mongering ideas or entities. Carve out daily moments of stillness where you step away from your social duties, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Meditate, dance, pray, paint, be in nature, hug a tree – anything that gets you out of your analytical mind and lifts you up to a higher, clearer, freer and more intuitive place. There is a field beyond your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs… meet yourself there!

4. At the beginning of every day, from that intuitive place that connects you to Source and your higher knowing, find your intention for the day. Who will you BE (that is, what are the qualities you need to embody in order to co-create the world you truly want to live in?). If you do not consciously do this for yourself you will allow someone or something else to do it for you, and if you’re reading this I’m guessing you’ve had enough of unconscious co-creation.

5. Remain focused on what you wish to create throughout the day by “being” your intention, embodying the qualities or virtues you intended in the morning. There are many ways to do this; ask for spirit’s guidance regarding what will work for you.

6. At the end of your day, give thanks for the myriad blessings that have graced you that day, and set your intention for the nighttime so that you may wake up in the morning nourished and inspired.

Baby in Lotus watching shooting star

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, there are many meditation teachers out there. Each style of meditation has different approaches and outcomes that they attempt to create. Some aim to simply still the mind. Others, such as the one I teach my clients, include stillness but are also dynamic, engaging, and focused on reclaiming your inner peace and intuitive abilities. This type of meditations helps you get past your internal blocks and limitations, propel your spiritual growth, and become an active co-creator in the world.

Email or call me at any time if you’re interested in receiving personalized support.

I wish you a happy and prosperous holiday season!

***

"The unalloyed happiness I find in communion with the Lord no words can describe. Night and day I am in a state of joy. That joy is God. To know Him is to perform the funeral rites for all your sorrows. He does not require you to be stoic and morose. This is not the right concept of God, nor the way to please Him. Without being happy you will not even be able to find Him....The happier you are, the greater will be your attunement with Him. Those who know Him are always happy, because God is joy itself."

–Paramahansa Yogananda

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What you can do to handle terrorism

Written by Francois.

“As above, so below, as within, so without...” –Hermes Trismegistus

In light of the recent spreading of terror through senseless violence at the hands of fanatics around the world, including the mass killings in Paris on Friday, I am called to address how we might begin to heal the anger, hatred, and terror that gives rise to this violence so that all of us can feel safer and clearer than ever.

Although I was born a peaceful and happy baby, as I grew older I developed anger and resentment toward what I believed was unfair and wrong. These feelings arose initially in reaction to being physically disciplined by my parents, and they continued to be triggered from that point on by anything and everything that crossed me. I was constantly fighting at school, and as a young adult I continued this pattern with increasingly dire consequences. By age 21 I was fighting with knives, baseball bats, and even guns, leading to broken noses, hands, and ribs. I was caught in a downward spiral of violence that I felt powerless to escape from, and no one else seemed to know how to help either.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.42.21 PM

Yes this is a 125g stick of dynamite...

Then one day that year, I had a vision that saved my life. In this vision – which I understood to have come from a higher place even at the time – I saw myself being shot dead. I knew with utter certainty that I had just glimpsed my immediate future if I didn’t change my ways. I resolved to change then and there, and this choice put me on the path that has led me to where I am today. I later discovered that at the time of the vision, the council of Black Panthers in Bordeaux had already gathered to discuss killing me, and that they had been observing me in preparation for pulling the trigger. The vision hadn’t come a moment too soon.

Was I a bad person? Did I deserve to die? Was I confused? Quite possibly. Was my confusion wrong? Not necessarily. It is so compelling to react to violence with more violence! It is so compelling to act on our fear by trying to “eradicate” the perceived sources of violence and terror outside of ourselves. Over and over again, we succumb to the mistaken belief that the solution lies in eliminating the players in the drama, rather than actually bringing healing to the situation through the timeless spiritual principles of alignment, awareness and love.

As my story illustrates, there is a terrorist inside all of us, a part of us that believes the problem is “out there” and can be solved by something other than love. This inner terrorist leverages our deepest, darkest fears to make us to forget our true nature and the power that comes with it. Its aim in doing so is to force us into reaction rather than choice, thereby giving away our power. No healing can come from this dynamic, only an ever-escalating cycle of violence. That’s the bad news.

However, the good news is that we can move from reaction back into creation instantaneously, just by re-aligning with and re-membering our true selves. You are always free to do this, and the best part is that it gets easier with practice. If you look, you’ll notice that the word ‘creation’ has the same letters as the word ‘reaction,’ just in a different order. I believe that there are no coincidences, and to me this is a constant reminder that we always have a choice.

With the tools for transformation all things are possible

So as world leaders urgently discuss how to “eliminate the enemy” in the wake of the recent attacks, the question we must each ask ourselves is this: am I dealing with my inner terrorist? Because guess what? Not only does that part of you play a role in all the large and small ways that violence shows up in your life, it’s the same voice that tells you to play small and do whatever it takes to fit in. It’s the same voice that insists you will never be good enough to live the life of your dreams, and that the world is a dangerous place because there are “bad people” in it. Name your fear-based limiting belief, and you can be sure your inner terrorist is behind it.

Challenges reveal who we are  small

At its core, your inner terrorist is the voice of fear. It is the voice of victimhood and limitation, and it will do anything to keep you from realizing the limitless love and power that is who you truly are. However, here is the most important point to remember: it cannot do this without your consent. We each hold the key that unlocks our own cage, and the moment you realize this, you are free to make a shift that will completely change your life both inside and out.

“As above, so below, as within, so without.” –Hermes Trismegistus

I interpret this statement to mean that what you align with as Spirit will manifest here on Earth. The seeds that you plant and nourish in your heart will be made manifest in your life, and the choice of which seeds to plant is always yours.

Now you may be thinking that this is all very well, but how does it relate to the immediate, practical task of staying safe in dangerous times? That’s the title of this article after all, so when are we going to get to the good stuff? Well, I’m living proof that all the things I’ve just spoken of are not just spiritual platitudes – they are universal laws that really work!

What do I mean by this? I mean that this process of aligning with Source and listening to higher truth as revealed by my intuition is what kept me safe during my seven-year journey around the world without money. I knew which garbage cans were safe to eat from. I knew which cars to take rides from when I was hitchhiking, and which not to. I knew on what street corner or under which bush to sleep, and I lived safely like this for seven years in countries all over the world. These are principles that simply work, because the fact is that there is nothing in the Universe more powerful than you when you are in alignment with your True Self. Often the challenge is learning to listen to the voice of intuition, because most of us are not taught this growing up. Like everything else it is just a question of practice, and of choosing to trust those messages when they come, even when they’re not ‘logical’.

I have dozens of inspiring personal stories offering proof that our inner alignment creates our outer reality. I also know that who we are being individually determines our collective reality, and that healing our own inner terrorist is therefore one of the best ways to ensure safety for all. Today, I’d like to share with you what I consider to be my very best story. It came at the end of my 7-year hero’s journey and sealed my deal with Source and my commitment to Love. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil, and emerged ready for my next adventure, which is still ongoing! Here it is in video:

If you watch the video, you’ll understand what’s behind my knowing that everyone has the right and the capacity to align with Love as a Higher Power, and be absolutely protected by it even in the face of a killer committed to hurting you.

Here is another short and fun video:

I hope you enjoy the videos, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about terrorism and what you believe is the opportunity here, for you personally and for humanity at large!

Remember that rather than giving your power over to any force outside of yourself, you can ask yourself what it is that you are committed to creating in this life. This is the greatest gift you can give not only to yourself, but to the world.

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Overwhelm No More

Written by Francois.

Do you want to create change in your life? You may even have...  a dream or a vision... but the mere thought of embarking on that journey has chronically brought you a pattern of "Overwhelm" that has kept you from ever taking the first step?
 
If yes, then you MUST read this short story. (Today could be the day you took your very first step!)
 
 
THE MAN AND THE SEE  
By Francois Levannier
 
Once upon a time there was a young man who lived in the state of Maine, on the East coast of the Americas. But really, he lived in a chronic state of okay-ness with an underlying feeling of boredom and anxiety.  
 



His life was okay, but he didn't feel alive. I mean ALIVE alive.


One night, he had a dream. On the other side of the Great Big Ocean, in a place called "La Cote d'Emeraude" - The Emerald Coast -- in Brittany, France, was a light. This light was calling him, beckoning him to come over to dance with it.
 



The next morning, something had changed in this young man. As if some of that light had penetrated him and he was now filled with eagerness and purpose.
 
He now had a vision: crossing the Great Big Atlantic Ocean and reaching "La Cote d'Emeraude" in Brittany, France.
 
It didn't take him long before he had built the perfect vessel for his journey. He set the rudder and his compass to the exact coordinates of his destination, and he set off on his adventure!
 


Our young man spent the next 26 years sailing back and forth between what he called "Heaven and Earth". He was alive. I mean ALIVE alive!
 
Until one day, something odd happened. That so familiar sense of okay-ness, this strange underlying feeling of boredom and anxiety had come back...
 

 
That night, he had a dream. On the other side of the Great Big Ocean but far, far south of "La Cote d'Emeraude" in Britanny, France, on the old continent of Africa he saw a light. This light was calling him, beckoning him to come over and dance with it!



The next morning, something had changed in this man. As if some of that light had penetrated him, but this time, hesitation had replaced eagerness and purpose was replaced with doubt. He had seen the light, but now he was afraid. He didn't have the youth and carefreeness that had once carried him forward to make his dream come true. 
 
If he wanted to reach that light far in the south of the old continent of Africa, then he needed to change his sailing course by 40 degrees; a huge stretch for himself and his navigation equipment!  



 
He was overwhelmed.
 
He decided to not heed the call of that light, and he took off, once again, for the good ol' "Cote d'Emeraude" in Britanny, France. But this time, no light was to be seen anywhere. Everything looked grey, dull and lifeless.  And his anxiety came back to haunt him.
 
He thought of his dream and the light far, far south in the old continent of Africa. But the journey to it seemed impossible, and the mere thought of embarking on this journey felt completely overwhelming to him. "40 degrees?! That's way too much. I can't do it. My equipment can't handle it.  No way!"
 
One night, when he was back home in the state of Maine, on the East coast of the Americas, he looked at the stars and prayed for guidance. A shooting star crossed the sky, and a thought made its way into his head: "One degree a day." He repeated this thought. "One degree a day." Then it clicked! "ONE DEGREE A DAY!" All he ever had to do was to change his course by one tiny little degree every day, to eventually reach his destination.  
 
 


"That," he said to himself, "I CAN do!" and he thanked The Universe for its guidance.
 
The next morning, he packed his belongings and ran to his boat as he had many times before, but this time, as he left the harbor, he gave his rudder a tiny little nudge. One degree to be exact ;-)
 
The next day everything looked just the same as it always had. But it felt slightly different, like everything was just the way it was supposed to be. And peace had replaced some of his anxiety. He gave that rudder another tiny little nudge. One degree... And every day our man changed his course by one degree. And everyday, he could sense a growing feeling of joy and light-heartedness in his chest.
 
Until one day, he noticed a bird he had never seen before. And what a joy, what a celebration! He was overcome with curiosity and awe. He wanted to know all about that bird! He felt incredibly alive again. I mean ALIVE alive!
 
The weather became warmer and warmer. So he let go of his many layers of clothes and opened himself to the sun's loving embrace.
 
The water became warmer too and he, for the first time, accepted the dolphins' invitation to play with them.

 
 
The light was in him.
 
 
And one day, he saw a small island. Music was coming from it. And as he got closer, he could see people dancing on the beach. Soon, they too noticed him and waved him over.  
 
 


He got off his boat and was offered food. Food he had never seen nor tasted before. Coconuts, mangos, pineapples, papaya, etc... 
 
He was in heaven.
 
He stayed for a while, then, when he knew in his heart that it was time to go, he took off again, changing his course by one degree every single day. And one day he arrived at his destination.
 
It is when he saw the land of his vision that he realized that indeed:
 
-       One can accomplish big things easily and effortlessly by making small adjustments daily.
 
-       One experiences "the Light" AS SOON AS one says YES to it and takes the very first step toward it. One experiences Joy as soon as one says YES to it and takes the very first step.
 
It is said that this man, an old man now, is still wandering the seas. He's been called many names, but the one that puts a big smile on my face is "Ocean Gump".
 
So my friend, let me ask you this: do you have a dream or a vision?
Are you moving toward that "light" or away from it?
What is the tiny little step that you CAN take today?  And tomorrow? What is that "one degree" for you?
 
I am asking, because the world needs your dream right now.

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