January 2, 2005

Samuel: Well greetings, dears.

Greetings, Samuel.

S: Do you feel like a very busy, sometimes frantic, perhaps stressful time is over, or do you feel like somehow it’s just begun? Say that again. It’s never over. It’s never over. And that’s pretty true. Yes, indeed. It’s never over.

It’s not about—wait, let me back up and start that differently—in your life chaos, times of chaos. Times of stress and expectation and frustration, or any of the sorts of things that often come with huge amounts of custom, tradition and expectation squeezed into a very short period of time. Any time that you’re looking at a time like that, whether you think of it as chaos or not, it’s never about—and help me here. What are the sorts of things that fill up holiday times that can seem stressful, too much? It’s not about . . .

It’s not about my pipes that burst, and added to all of the other things that you think you need to do. You have to get a plumber on Friday, New Year’s Eve, and then it’s impossible to get fixed, and so you don’t have water anywhere. It’s just one of those things. You do the best you can with it.

S: That one might should go in the “yes, that is stressful” side, don’t you think, but it doesn’t change the point that, yes, it’s not about the havoc that comes about when you have pipes that burst, no matter what you told them they could or could not do. Yes, it’s not about . . .

Shopping and cooking and parties.

Finding just the right gift that somebody might really want.


[. . .]

S: It’s not about traffic. It’s not about . . .

Canceled flights and airports.

S: Canceled flights and airports. It’s not about will this person judge me harshly because of . . . ? It’s not about those things. The chaos, the stress, the frustration is all a work of what you do with the chaos, the stress. It’s not the shopping, it’s how you react or respond to it. It’s not the family. It’s how you react or respond to it. It’s not the shopping that you have to do, the meals you’ve got to make. It’s not. . . . It is about your reaction or your response.

And very quickly, what is the difference? Reaction and response.

Well, they come from different levels of the self. The reaction is typically the survival-oriented, gut kicks in and you react. And the response is the conscious. You catch that in the split second before you start expressing the reaction, and you change it.

S: Perfect. Perfect. That’s right.

So it is all about how you choose to function with all of those interesting things going on in your life, or how you react in spite of all you know, even all you are.

It is a very busy time, but you have a lot of very busy times in your life, don’t you? And it’s really good—this is just an aside before I get going tonight—it’s very good if you can allow yourself to look at what specifically seems to be the catalyst for the most stress for you. And again, look at it as in, “Well, it’s almost always really busy. I’m always doing a lot of cooking. I’m often buying presents for others.” What is it about those things—that make up half your life anyway—that turn it into trouble? And give yourself the gift of taking a look at that and determining what you can do to change that.

And even if you are finding that you are responding, rather than reacting—well, take a look and see what skills you use to respond well, so that the next time you’re in a situation in which you feel the gentle breath of chaos down your neck, then you can remind yourself, “All right this is what’s worked before. I’ll use it again now.” Make your life worthy of you.

Part of the things that are going on within this time is that you have a whole lot of major life—what do I want to look at here—intersections, perhaps. Intersection—you drive down the road, and there is a traffic signal or a stop sign, and then there is a road that intersects. Right? Oh, of course, intersection. All right, I knew that. You have a lot of points going on at the end of your year and at the beginning of another one, points in which you are at one of those traffic signals that says stop a bit, hold up, and then keep going.

Now, just for a moment, remind me about your driving. All right. Not as in are you a good one or not. The rules of the road. You have a traffic signal—yes?—or you have a stop sign. Is there one that would be easier to work with than the other. Nay? All right, we’ll just say that you’ve got a traffic signal and it shows you a red light. So you drive forward and then come to a stop. Yes? All right, when do you know to go?

It turns green.

S: It turns green.

Well, not always. There’s a yellow light too, because I got a really good collision on me one time when I went when it turned green and I didn’t look.

S: And that, right there, that fast, is the key to your life. Oh, don’t you wish it was that easy? You come to an intersection of life; you come to a point in which—for whatever reason—you are stopped for a bit.

Now, that stop could be a plateau time, you know, and in this life that is a roller-coaster—which is healthy and good—you run into trouble when it’s not doing this. [Gesturing] You get bored when it’s doing this [Gesturing], but that’s all right because plateaus are a rest time. If it was all those great highs or all those deep lows, well, you’d be in a different kind of group right now, wouldn’t you? And that’s—the therapists in here are really laughing at that one—and that’s because this is healthy. Now, you don’t like it too much, do you? You really like it better when instead of being like this, it’s more like this. Aye? You wish.

When you are moving through the typical experiences of your life in which you’ve got a change that’s happening and you’re moving forward to it, and you’re learning what you need to be learning, and you’re gaining wisdom from it and you reach that point that you’ve got what it is that it’s teaching, you’ve got the knowledge—notice I did not say, “You’ve got the wisdom. I said, “You’ve got the knowledge.” You get it. All right. Then immediately, as is the nature of life, you go into the lab—right?—the lab portion of the class, the actual experience. You begin having it show up at breakfast in the morning, and it follows you to work that day. And it shows up with the first person you meet, and the second one, and the third one—you know what I’m saying here. Whatever it is you’re learning, the Universe, that loves you so very much, makes sure that it’s going to do all it can to make sure you really get it. So kind. So kind. And it’s probably with that first opportunity to experience it; you might fall flat on your face, so it goes down a bit. And you get up and you start trying again, and you get a little basic, and then down, and then down, and then down, and then down.

And depending upon how you choose to see what’s going on in your life, those experiential opportunities that take you from knowledge to wisdom, from student to teacher, and from teacher to master, they can be the best or the worst parts of your life. If the knowledge works for you, you’re not afraid of it, you don’t resist it because it’s unlike what you’ve known all of your life, or what your mother knew all of her life, or the many other things that cause you to accept or reject information or change of one sort or another. If you can get it after just a couple of experiences, you don’t have to do the whole leap down into the trough. You don’t have to do that.

The wisdom is a function of experiencing the knowledge. Wisdom is knowledge tried, acted out, worked through, tried out. So from the point of immediate change to the point of mastery, you gather information, live that information. The way that you respond to the living of it determines how quickly you move from knowledge to wisdom, and then the opportunities in which you consciously use that wisdom in your life takes you from student to teacher and teacher to master.

And I want you to remember that because I’m going to be talking tonight specifically—but only for a short time, unfortunately—about the things that you do that keep you from experiencing life at its best. I want to warn you, you are not going to be hearing anything new. I beg you, listen to it with new ears. Listen to it with the ears of somebody who made it through 2004. I almost said 2004 years—now wouldn’t that have been an interesting picture. You’ve made it through 2004 and you’re looking at 2005, and who you were in 2004 is not who you are right now. You are more than even the sum of all you were in 2004, because in 2004 you took the knowledge and transformed it to wisdom in many, many areas of your life. And you have the opportunity to do that again in 2005, which you remember from previous conversations together is starting out coming off of a very big manifestation time. Moving into, by nature of a new year beginning, an open doorway into the land of “what if.” “What if I do this this year, I wonder what would happen? What if this happens this year, I wonder how that would go? What if . . . ?” Or, to say it another way, looking into potential. And the potential that you eventually make into mastery is that which you choose to handle not in the same old way you always have, but with the eyes of a wise one moving forward into mastery.

It’s comforting though, isn’t it, now and again to think of yourself as a student. “I am a student of life.” Doesn’t that sound nice? Sort of sounds like you have some humility in you. And yet, the reality of it is, you are no student. You learn from everything that you do, if you are wise. You learn from everything that you see. You learn from everything that you watch around you, if you are wise, but you are not a student. You’ve grown beyond that, and you know it.

So let me move into where I’m going this night. We were at the intersection. We stopped, and before you go again, right there was the key. The light changes to green, you just move out or you look both ways and make sure it’s as clear as it’s supposed to be, and you move on. Remember that as I talk about the things that provide the greatest wrecks in your life, the challenges, the things that are going to be showing up in your life over and over and over, and keeping you from manifesting the most positive experience you could be [have].

I want to remind you: abundance is a state of mind; prosperity is a state of being. Don’t get those mixed up. Abundance is a state of mind. Do you think that the souls in Sri Lanka right now would look at your meager, tiny little house and say, “Oh my gosh, the abundance you have is remarkable.” That’s why I said abundance is a state of mind.

Prosperity is an accounting word. “You are prosperous” does not necessarily mean that you live in a state of abundance. “You have prosperity consciousness” implies that you understand the rules of abundance, but it does not necessarily imply that you have prosperity. I’m asking you to look at it as two different things, because I want you to realize that there are a lot of things that show up in your year that the attitude about them affects the getting of them.

The ability to stop at the light and remember, when it turns green, to look both ways before you keep going, even though it’s your turn, it’s your right, you were correct, it was . . . the law was on your side, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get hurt if you’re in the way of somebody who’s not following the rules.

And so the master learns to look twice. And let me also toss it in, because some of you are starting to make a lifetime decision based on that. When you’re driving, and the master realizes you’ve got to look both ways and keep going, let me ask you—those of you who do that—is that a pronounced stopped, carefully examining the road, gently easing on . . .

Getting hit from behind.

S: No, it’s a part of a fully awarized experience. You have a look at the road. You have already glanced both ways before it was your time for that light to change and you to move forward. You are already looking at the options. So for those of you who are thinking, “Well, what Samuel is saying is that you’ve got to be very careful and not leap into anything. And when an opportunity shows up, you’re given the chance to stop and look at it and then you’ve got to watch out because you might get smacked from the side,” no, that’s not at all what I’m saying. That would be a justification for you to let your fears rule you, and that’s not what I’m trying to give you.

Awareness is the key. Here is where I’m going. Here is what I’m doing. That does not mean that I put on the blinkers and all I ever see in life any longer is the way I’m going. What’s the problem with that?

The choices are too limited.

S: Bingo. Right there. Because you may not see, because of that—well, you may not see that there’s a car coming along the side, and you’re going to need to move around from it. You may not realize that there is a detour coming up ahead, and you’re going to need to be moving over a lane as people start moving into yours—whatever it happens to be. Driving is not a very safe place for me to be making examples for you. But your awareness encompasses a large picture.

And the number-one thing that you need to be doing in the year 2005 is looking at the big picture. Stop acting on the first small piece, getting caught up in it and missing the point. Stop putting all of your focus on one part of the picture so that you’re constantly surprised when the next part shows up. Stop presuming you know what is going on so that you put your own blinders on to anything else that could be out there, and as a result you miss opportunities. Stop thinking you know what your mate is saying, your boss is saying, even what you are saying. Stop and listen with new ears. Watch with new eyes.

One of the pitfalls that show up when you are working to open your vision to a greater view is that you feed yourself negatively framed information or you surround yourself with negative people. Now when I say negative I am saying, for instance, when you expect the worst to happen. I’m going to invade the privacy of the Form here, but I think it’s quite funny, so maybe you will, too.

As a child she grew up with the idea that if you expected the worst, you certainly weren’t going to be disappointed, and you might be surprised happily if it did not turn out that way. Now, that’s sort of a funny thought for those of you who know her now, but still, how many of you can relate to that because you have found that very same attitude a helpful way to armor yourself against the pitfalls of the world?

So the first place that you need to look for that negativity is your own self. I think it’s very possible that some of you don’t even realize how negative you have let yourself become, how willing you are to prepare yourself for the worst so that you won’t be disappointed. And instead, what happens? Well, you get to have the worst just like you thought. And when you don’t, it’s a pleasant surprise. But is that really the way that you want to experience your life now? Is that really the way that you feel safe? And the reason that it’s important for you to look at this is because you are in a time—2005, as I have said to you—of powerful, powerful—better word for that—intense creation energy, manifestation energy. The problem is when you surround yourself with negative thoughts, words, deeds, it’s going to be a lot easier for that creation energy to go through the biggest door in your mind. And the biggest door is the one that gets used the most, and if those are all negative uses, well that energy is just going to flow right in and help you be sure you manifest all those negative things you’re worried about. And that was meant to be a threat.

Negativity also shows up not only in your own self when you are looking at preparing yourself against the worst. It also shows up in those you surround yourself with. Unless you are being paid to listen to somebody dump on you, don’t encourage it. What are the ways you encourage it, somebody would encourage it?

”Oh, that’s too bad. I’m happy to listen.”

S: Sympathetic, and feeling as though you are doing the “friend” thing by making sympathetic noises of give more, give more, give more. Poor baby. And, of course, the difficulty there is, who’s getting something out of it? Well, that person that’s needing to dump may be getting something out of it, because they needed that place to dump. I can assure you that if it’s not on you, it will be somewhere or someone else. But you’re getting something out of it, too. You might be getting “This shows you what a good friend I am. I am allowing you to poison me.” Which is what it is. Be aware. Steven.

You can encourage it by complaining yourself, and letting them know they have someone to commiserate with and open the door to joint complaints.

S: Yes, yes. By putting it out there yourself. You are the example that your friends look to whether you want to be responsible for that or not, it’s true. And when you just gripe and complain, when you let out your frustrations with—what’s the proper way of saying it—when you vent, yes, because everybody needs to vent, and you’ve got to let somebody say what they feel, right?


S: Trick question. You are letting them know that that behavior is acceptable, and in fact expected. Bonnie.

I’ve even heard of people who try to fix the problem.

S: The reason that people like to dump on you is because you’re going to tell them what to do that will make it better.

Wise person that I am.

S: Of course. Of course. And you know, darling, that’s so true for everybody in this room. All right, almost everybody in this room. One of the most wonderful things about a meeting discussion at Phoenix is that it’s hard to get the group to be quiet, because they love giving their opinions. And your friends want to know what you think. And so when you train them that if they start dumping some negativity on you, you’re going to instead shake it out and make it better and prop them up so that they know they weren’t the bad, evil, dirty person—whatever it happens to be—and here is how it can be made clean and new and fresh again, well, once again you’re back into that “What are you getting out of that? Why do you need to do that?”

Yes, your getting to fix everybody is a big addition to the “Dump on Me” bucket, doormat. It’s a dangerous one. Frank.

By letting the common denominator you share with someone’s negative things. If I’m not careful, it’s real easy to start a conversation by griping about what’s going on politically.

S: Sure.

And then you’re just dwelling on negative things.

S: It’s so easy to come up with the lowest common denominator to be a negative function. You’re looking to chitchat; you want to just pass the time in the elevator so you just come up with the weather. Well, do you like it? Do you not like it? Well, if it’s cold and slushy and snowy or icy or rainy or anything that causes the littlest bit of challenge, it’s going to be really easy to get people talking about how negative it is. So it’s important that you work on not making the common denominator a negative function. That’s good.

How about one more version? Paula.

By being passive in the face of it. By simply letting it happen in front of you and not doing anything to change it.

S: And yet doing something does not have to be painful. You may not have the nerve or the tactfulness—and it requires both—you may not have the nerve or the tactfulness when somebody starts laying out why their life is so bad and you have regularly been the one who told them how to fix it, all of a sudden there is a change. You may not be at the point where you feel comfortable saying, “Wait, you know, I realize that I am not being helpful here. I am not functioning positively. I’m not looking at positive options. Let’s just start this all over.” You might not be comfortable, but you know you could be comfortable with, “I hear my dog calling me,” and leaving.

Your family might get together and fight over politics, and all of your life it’s been a rousing fun version of “Let’s figure out what everyone thinks,” but afterwards you leave it feeling exhausted and tense, and you find that you’re not looking forward to family occasions because of that thing.

Well every time that you’re looking to make a change in the way it’s always been—whether that always is the last three months or the last thirty years, the way it’s always been—one of the things that you want to look at is why is it worth it to me? Why does not matter? The second thing that you want to look at is ,why does it matter to them or this person?

A quick aside about that one: It’s very, very possible that the only reason that they’ve ever gotten into these political conversations and back and forth fighting, arguing, lovingly joshing—whatever it shows up as—might be because that’s the only thing they’ve ever been able to talk about. It might be because that’s what you’ve trained them to, and so you want to look at that. But what are they getting from it? If what they’re getting from it is an opportunity to talk with you, give them another opportunity that does work. Don’t just back out of their life assuming they can’t change because it’s always been that way. Don’t assume that they don’t care enough about you to care about how you feel, and as a result, you never mention it. You just get frustrated and angry and more and more separated, and more and more backed away until the time comes that you want nothing to do with it any more. That’s pretty disappointing if all it would have taken, maybe, was, “We always talk politics. Let’s not do that this time. How about them Cats?”

I mentioned tactfulness. Tactfulness is not a genetic trait. Some of you may have noticed that. It is a learned behavior. It is a learned behavior that is based on the premise, “I like you.” Not the premise “I want you to like me.” Do you see the difference? “I like you” means all of the things that come with enjoyment of somebody. Do you purposefully insult your best friend? Do you have a few behaviors in your best friend that you really wish they did not have, but you let it go because what you get is bigger than that? Very likely. In fact, I have said, “Amongst lovers love is blind,” and that that is a very helpful thing to remember in a whole lot of your communications. There are things that it’s very useful to not see. And when you are in a situation in which you have opportunity to talk to someone about something that does not work for you—which is another way of saying when you want them to stop doing something—it is imperative, imperative, that the first thing you do is ask yourself, “Does this really matter?”and “Why?” In the scheme of things ten years from now—well, gracious, I hope you’re not here ten years from now. Let’s try that one different—ten months from now, is that going to matter? Is it the sort of thing that gets chiseled onto tombstones. “Did not use raggies. Wiped nose on arm.” Sorry. Should have done it that side.

Maybe the loving blindness is a good one to remember. I can assure you your friends are giving you that credit.

Thank you.

S: Tactfulness is an act of love, not an act of coddling. Coddling is a passive-aggressive behavior. Now, that’s a pretty strong thing to say. Why passive-aggressive?

You can use coddling to get someone to do what you want them to.

S: Well, all right, it can be manipulative, and ultimately manipulative. It wasn’t exactly the direction I was going, but yes, it works there.

Well, it can make someone beholden to you.

S: Yes.

They feel that they owe you something, and they can get away with stuff.

S: And that very much, that very much can be a part of it in there.

It’s also a way of avoiding being assertive and setting boundaries, and doing the sorts of things that need to be done, especially in my case with children.

S: Absolutely.

And to coddle is to avoid.

S: It’s to avoid dealing with the issue of teaching them how to do something, or working with them. It’s your way of keeping them helpless and yourself powerful, or of not bothering because they’re slower at it than you are. You can do it better. It is a manipulation. It is a control issue. You must take a look at it.

There is a right place for coddling Marj when she fell down the steps and broke her face. You give her a break—don’t ever do that, love. That’s different. What’s an example of coddling that isn’t helpful? Harvey.

Would this be the same thing as enabling or codependent behavior?

S: Oh sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. So anybody got an example of how that . . . ?

When somebody that you care about is obviously depressed and they’re doing a lot of withdrawal and maybe sleeping too much, and you call them like four times a day. Or if it’s somebody that you live with, you’re always going back to check on them, and it’s “Oh, poor baby, this,” and “Let me do that for you because you don’t want to move.”

S: Yes. That’s a very good and really sad observation, yes.

Do you want another example?

S: Sure.

Okay. You’re home-schooling your kid, and he’s really complaining . . . 

S: As a for-instance.

This is a real theoretical situation. He’s really complaining about he has to write a five-page paper and he can’t. I mean, he’s just complain, complain, complain about it, and so you say, “Well, don’t worry, you’ll only have to do two or three, because I know that’s really hard for you, and you’ve never done it before, and of course you won’t.” You’re right, you won’t be able to do it—I mean that’s the inference you’re giving.

S: Sure. And who was getting saved there?

Actually, the parent was getting saved with all the whining going on.

S: Precisely. Precisely. Going back to look at who’s winning out of it? Look who’s getting what out of it.

You lend someone some money or you give them a tool. They don’t return it in the time you agreed on, and you don’t say anything. They come up a year later and say, “Oh, my gosh, I forgot to pay you,” and you say, “Oh, that’s okay. That’s okay. We can let it go.”

S: Yes. Yes. Is there ever a place for doing that?

Yes, there is.

S: Good. Good. Just so you know, this is not a rule you must use in every situation. It is a reminder that you do much better when you are aware of the greater view.

Tactfulness is a learned process. It is a work of love. It does not involve manipulation or other control issues, and ideally it is in order to open the door to a more positive function together. The pitfall is familiarity, and familiarity, as I am saying it, is you take for granted, you’ve done it together so many times, you’re not putting on that new head, new eyes, new ears. You’re assuming they mean the same thing, or that they know what you mean, or that . . . so you don’t try.

I would like to give you a homework challenge. This is something that is a part of The Guardianship Program. Those of you who have taken the program will be familiar with this. That does not mean you know it, you’ve got it, you don’t have to give it a try. That is work this week—at the least, this month would be nice—work at being consciously, purposefully, overly polite. I’m not saying obnoxious. What is obeisance?


S: That. Don’t be that. Don’t be condescending either, or insincere. When to your best friend is the last time you said, “please,” “may I,” “would you please,” “thank you.” Now this is the season of thank you, right? And you feel that you’re able to get that thank-you handled in three lines and you’re really proud of it. And yet, that’s not the kind of thank-you I’m talking about. I mean the awareness of “Bonnie, thank you for your attention. I can sit across from you and talk with you, and I know you get it. You’re a good listener, and it really works. Thank you for that.” That’s very different than “Thanks for being here,” isn’t it? Look for ways to literally get more polite, because specific acts of—there has to be a box word that that fits in. Please and thank you, and may I. What are those?—



S: Gracious. Congenial. Civility.


S: Courtesies. The courtesies. I think I like that one more in there. Niceties. Amenities.


S: Rarities. Try to be very courteous, polite. Go out of your way to express yourself kindly, and to be as loving as you are allowed to be in that situation. Try to push the envelope a tiny amount, because there is a fine line between being courteous and being obnoxious. So find that line. That’s where the idea of “it needs to be sincere” comes in.

You may be surprised at the sort of responses you get, at the changes that happen in your communications with other people, at the way they begin responding to you. I encourage you to give that a try.

Now, tonight I have been talking about a larger view. You’re at this intersection and your year is going to be filled with those intersections. You’re doing the right thing, you’re keeping your vehicle safe, you are obeying all of the rules, and yet you still can get broadsided by the one who’s not following the rules. And that’s why I said you don’t just barrel on out there saying, “I’m doing the right thing. I know I’m all right. I’m the one with the right of way here.”

You take a look at the larger picture. You make sure that you’re keeping your eye on what’s going on around you, but one of the things that are going to make a difference, one of the things that will make a difference begins with your communication, and that first part of the communication is the awareness of negativity in your communication with others, in your communication with yourself, in the ways that you look to have a common link. When it’s based on a negative function you are not going to have a positive experience. Law, right there. Bigger than a red light. The next thing that you can do is begin practicing tactfulness, loving communication, tactfulness. And the third thing that you can do with it is turn that tactfulness to another step forward, and that is into lost courtesy. Bring it back. Make it stylish. Because all of that comes under “I care about you.”

These are acts of communication that create difficulties on that road of experience from knowledge to wisdom, teacher to master, and communication is the first of those intersections that I’m talking about for likely the next six months, unless a whole lot other interesting things pop up between now and then making it the next eight months. I’m going to be talking about specific ways to move beyond the difficulties of experiencing the most positive function you can in this world.

Communication. You do it every day. Every day. And, of course, that’s the problem with it. You do it so much you don’t think about it anymore. You do it so much some of you even talk in your sleep, which is interesting too. You do it so much that you’re not aware of the bad habits that have slipped in.

In this world, as much as it may be true that you are judged before you ever open your mouth—and that is true—it’s when you open your mouth that that judgment is confirmed or denied. What you say and how you say it. And even more than that, the belief structure that you have underpinning your communications with others has more to do with how you are able to function in this world than any other function of spirit.

[Aside] I think the pookahs are shedding.

And what I just said there, in case you missed it, was, Your communication outweighs loving intent. That’s right. And here is the good news: you have absolute, one-hundred-percent, total control over what comes out of your mouth. It’s a place in which you are free to make changes, to find out what works and what does not, to play with the different levels of awareness that you can use as the foundation for those things that come out of your mouth. Word is a very powerful function of Source in this world. Use it wisely.

Next month, fear. Glochanumora. Happy trails.