Recently one of my aunts was in a terrible car accident which broke her neck and several other bones. During the healing process I was able to help support her and spent a lot of time with her and consequently with each of her 7 children as they rotated among themselves the love-journey of care for their mother. One of my cousins left behind a book by Oprah Winfrey entitled "What I Know For Sure," On page seven I read a line that made a resounding soul-echo within (you know the kind; when you find something that is simultaneously brand new and yet completely known at the most core level of your Being).
"What I know for sure is that pleasure is energy reciprocated: What you put out comes back. Your base level of pleasure is determined by how you view your whole life."
-Oprah Winfrey (italics mine)
Here is the journey-story of what came next.
I've long considered that in the act of serving or helping others, we often give from the dregs of our ability in the misguided assumption that helping others less fortunate will somehow make ourselves feel better, rather than giving from the abundance of our well-being overflow. Consequently, when we serve/give from crumbs of need, fear, desperation, we give crumby service which then returns to us in the form of others trying to help us but with awkward feelings of manipulation, or emotional blackmail, or hidden agendas. The (crumby) energy is reciprocated.
However, when we stand confidently in our knowing of our own well-being, to witness the flow of Divine well-being in others, and then offer whatever we feel inspired to offer, the results are entirely different. A feeling of empowerment, support, wisdom, compassion expresses itself for both parties involved. The(joy) energy is reciprocated.
This was not a new concept to me, but I had never seriously applied it to my own pleasure. That was new. I had always thought of it in terms of flowing energy out to others. But pleasure, now that was energy reciprocated entirely for my own benefit alone. How I treat myself, feed myself, dress myself, think of myself, move and exercise myself, is also energy reciprocated, and it has the potential to be pleasurable or, well, not.
I had done it by accident in creating something in my home that I enjoyed looking at later; taking care of it never seemed a chore because I gained so much enjoyment, or pleasure, from it. But I had yet to apply this concept deliberately. It seemed a rare, chance sort of thing.
I started thinking about Abraham Hicks and their teachings regarding 'finding the emotion of the why you want something, and as you focus on it, you begin to live in that vibration, which means the Universe begins to respond to your desire and orchestrates the how.' Energy reciprocated.
Combining the two concepts of the future why and pleasure is energy reciprocated, I noticed a subtle shift in my thinking. It first showed up in my garden. It is a wild, unruly thing that I feel functions more like a seasonal dragon to be conquered and in the process, I lose a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. It is not pleasurable. It is chores. It is hard. I conquer one small section each year and have to battle to keep it the following year and add on another small piece. Wild blackberries, trumpet vine, Virginia Creeper, and bind weed/wild morning glory flourish and swarm up trees and kill things with a voracious appetite. My love for bees and aversion to violent weed killers has handicapped me in this epic battle. It is not satisfying or fun. Walking through my yard I am reminded of all of the past projects I couldn't maintain and that have been swallowed back up in the sea of vines, or the future desires and visions that seemingly never bear fruit in the ongoing weed-war. This vibration of hopelessness and futility was my offering to the Universe, which of course became energy reciprocated and I received, wait for it...dun-dun-dun...more of the same!!
But one day as I walked past an apple tree, instead of seeing her all encumbered by crazy vines and wilderness, I saw her in my mind's eye as being properly pruned with a beautiful little border around her and tiny pansies growing below and nice, fat, bug-free apples dangling from her branches. I felt her joy and it became my own. I felt wild happiness in her existence and pleasure so profound in her future, that I unconsciously drew it backward, to the present, and just reveled in it as if it already had happened.
I warped time with energy reciprocated.
I had always been doing that (we all do), just in a negative fashion. I had been stewing in the soup of failure, exhaustion, frustration, overwhelm, and anticipating more of the same from the future. But to access future pleasure and pull it backward to enjoy during the process of accomplishment, to savor during the journey toward completion, to already relish what is to come, there is power in that, too. And I wanted it!
So that is 'the twist'. Instead of 'paying it forward', feel the pleasure of the future and pull it backward, so as you move forward, it already exists. "Pleasure is energy reciprocated: What you put out comes back. Your base level of pleasure is determined by how you view your whole life."
So tell me, how is the view from your shoes?