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Fox Magic & the 7 Rules of Quantum Cookery

By Seamus Anthony

fox magician tarot cardYesterday, walking down our driveway, I came face to face to with a fox!

The fuzzy-tailed fellow paused for but a moment, shocked at my sudden appearance, before bolting across the road and through the garden of my neighbour. Thankfully there was no car coming, and he got away clean.

I got a good look at him, although not for long. I’d have liked to assure him I meant no harm so I could have checked him out for a minute and taken a photo for my daughter who would have been thrilled, but I guess it’s not in a fox’s nature to dilly-dally when it sees “a farmer”!

Unusual to see a fox in broad daylight; I had to wonder why he was up and about (I say “he” because he looked pretty big for a fox).

Partially inclined as I am to the woo-woo, I of course later looked up some keywords like “fox energy” and “fox power animal” to see what an appearance from one of our foxy brothers might be interpreted as.

After some research I decided that Fox’s message to me on this day was about focussing your power in specific directions in order to make your desires manifest on the material plane. Think of Mr Fox, hunting to feed his family, his body in a straight line as runs, focussing only on his work.

In non-woo-woo talk this simply means focussing your mind and activities on “making it happen”.

And Now … A Quantum Cookery Class!

Although this is a simple concept, I am always fascinated and slightly amused at the roundabout way that woo-woo writers go about discussing this. The best way to paraphrase their usual lines, with which, despite the leap of faith required, I concur, is that we exist in a Great Sea of Potential – a Quantum Pantry – and by focussing our minds on what we want to make out of the ingredients in the Quantum Pantry we can garner the support of God (Universe, Great Spirit, what have you) who will move what we need in our direction if we but follow the simple rules of Quantum Cookery.

These 7 rules are:

1 – Clear Conscience

You must give up feelings of guilt associated with wanting or receiving wealth. You should truly accept that God desires that we all enjoy the abundance of Nature, so long as we do it in a respectful way and with good intentions. In order to enjoy abundance with a clear conscience you must create wealth for yourself and your family on the Creative Plane not on the Competitive Plane, as the former creates more wealth for everybody and furthers the positive evolution of life on earth, while the latter is a zero-sum game mentality that seeks to gain by taking wealth from others without giving back in equal or preferably greater measure.

2 – Good Intentions

If we desire to subtract from others in order to gain ourselves then, while we clearly may achieve that in a material sense in this lifetime, it is well agreed that it is unlikely to provide true happiness in this lifetime and potentially will result in horrible material karma either in this lifetime or, one hopes when one thinks of so-called people like Pol Pot or Stalin, terrible karma in the next.

3 – Gratefulness

If we cannot be grateful for the blessings we already have, then it is doubtful that God is going to feel obliged to send more your way. Gratefulness puts one in direct alignment with the energy of God; it removes barriers to direct communion with Great Spirit. And it is only through direct connection with God that we can call on Universal Power, the source of true success.

4 – Clarity

You must be very specific about what you want for if you do not clearly know, how is God supposed to know what you want in order to give it to you? So make a specific plan.

5 – Action

Non-woo-woo people would of course point this out as being the main or only method by which gain is acquired, however even if you disagree with this, one thing is for sure, you don’t get what you want by visualising it and then sitting back in your comfy chair waiting for your ship to come in. Doesn’t work like that.

6 – Giving

In order to receive you must also give, they are like breathing in and out. If you do not provide value to others, you will not receive value in return. And it is probably in your interest to give without direct expectation of return, although this sounds counter-intuitive, even non-woo-woo types can see that a good reputation as a kind and giving person is optimal in furthering your own success.

7 – Focus

You must direct your energy like a magnifying glass directs the energy of the sun, focus it in one spot so that you can have effect. Too many fronts and you dilute your armies and lose the war. An important part of focus is persistence, which requires maintaining focus over long periods of time.

Fox Magic has many flavours, but for me on this day it is to focus on what you want without allowing distraction to dilute your energies; it is to make manifest your desires by realising the truth about power and how it can be properly implemented, that is by honing your energy in on the one spot like a laser beam in order to more efficiently cut through what separates you from your desires. (See also the Magician card in the Tarot.)

 

The Ultimate Currency

By Seamus Anthony

Yes, it’s a cliche, but regardless, it is very important to realise that Life is all a game: if you play by the rules and play well, you score points and win prizes.

The other day I was emailing my partner to tell her I had deposited some money into our shared account. Being a freelancer the money income is irregular, and some weeks are better than others. As I sent the email this week I felt a little flush of triumph because it had been a good week and I’d paid us more than usual. Inwardly at least, I punched the air and did a little victory dance.

Then, suddenly I got a very strong “outsiders impression” (think “alien who has never been to earth or seen our way of life before”) as to how odd this whole money palaver is. Basically it is like a game in that we just need to score points to win prizes (things we can buy). If I don’t win enough points we can’t buy food. If we win enough points we can eat like Kings. If we really win enough points we can buy more than we can ever use, or *gasp* help other people who do not have enough points to get “ahead of the game”, as the saying goes.

Basically, and not surprisingly for a sports-crazy race, we have turned the stuff of life, surviving and thriving, into a game with a points scoring system (money), prizes (house, car, early retirement)and rules. Break the rules and you will probably lose points, or privileges (freedom). Really break the rules and you may suffer the penalties of ill health or even death (so game-winners go to the gym, eat their greens and don’t murder their spouse even when they are sorely tempted to do so).

But how do you score points? You create “value” or “wealth” for other people and convince them to trade some of their points in exchange for what you have created. Value or Wealth can be defined in this case as something (a physical good, information or service) that the other person either needs or wants or both. If they need it, it has value to them; if they want it, same.

Creating things of value to trade always takes some time. If you can figure out how to trade your time (whether it’s your own time or other people’s time that you purchased from them) for a greater amount of money, then you stand to win. The ultimate winner in the game of life gets to use all of the time he has left in whatsoever manner as he chooses, whether productive (in earning points) or not, because he has enough points to easily provide all the value he personally needs for the rest of his life, therefore has no genuine need to trade his own time at all.

Interesting how time then is the ultimate currency – why? Because on an individual basis (i.e. per individual human) time is finite. It is scarce.

Invent an Elixir of Immortality and the very fabric of society would unravel completely. It would change the Game entirely.

 

A Passion for Process

By Seamus Anthony
We’ve all heard the cliché “it’s all about results”. But is it?

It’s easy to have a passion for results. Bank robbers have a passion for results, so do suicide bombers. But results don’t really last long. If you need to rob your way to wealth, then you probably don’t understand life or money well enough to hold on to your cash for very long. And some results, let’s face it, are probably fiction.

You can dream up the result for your business in a moment and put this into a detailed plan in as little as an hour. Then what stands between yourself and the end result? Process.

Process is going to account for countless hours whereas results are fleeting (a glance at your bank balance, a thank you speech, an article about yourself in the newspaper). So if you’re doing it all because of a love of results, which in and of itself is not bad (probably necessary), but you don’t enjoy the process, well you’re either a rare bird who can work relentlessly with only the thought of the dangling carrot to motivate you, or you’re never going to stick with the process long enough to succeed in achieving any results (let alone the rewards of this result).

Results Come to Those Who Enjoy Process

I used to be in a band (cue eye-rolling).

It was doing pretty good but we had a long way to go. But then it was suddenly over; we were young, restless and back then 5 years seemed like a lifetime. We had only made it so far in those 5 years (further than most) so we figured this was a problem and quit. Trouble was, two of us didn’t really want to quit, and kind of had a tactic agreement to continue at some point, preferably with the 3rd band member.

Years flew by, as I now know they do, and due mainly to geographical separation, me and Pete couldn’t put the band back together, but we kept talking about it. I had many adventures, so did Pete. But in and around study, travel, careers, home buying and child rearing we continued the conversation about how one day we should get it together and pick up where we left off.

Over time the “should” turned to “would” and in time, slowly, we started actually doing it. We are soon to release our first single under the name Zuiiza. (Watch this space baby!)

It’s been about 15 years since we started having the “we should get the band back together” conversation and I can tell you, it’s been quite a process. Along the way we’ve had to deal with things like:

  • the fact that neither of us wanted to live in the same place
  • the fact that the 3rd band member didn’t want to reform the band
  • finding a suitable 3rd band member
  • deciding that this was in fact a new band
  • naming it
  • finding the money to buy equipment
  • buying equipment
  • finding the time to cross the country and get together
  • collectively exploring new music ideas (i.e. jamming)
  • turning these ideas into actual compositions
  • recording… the list goes on…

And all of this against a backdrop of collective “wisdom” that said “this is a fool’s mission: why make it hard for yourselves, form a band with some locals and get on with it”.

But we did it – we made it to “Start” again – it took us 15 years, much longer than we thought it would (to say the least) but we made it – and my point is we wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t enjoy this whole, belaboured, inefficient, foolish, illogical, protracted, process.

But we did enjoy the process. We enjoyed catching up sporadically and having some beers and talking about how we “should” get the band back together.

And we continue to love this process. We enjoy emailing back and forth and figuring out when the three of us can all swing a weekend away from the demands of family and work to travel halfway across the country to hole up in the studio and jam.

If we hadn’t enjoyed the process – there would be no band. But we did – and so against the odds, we have now created a platform with which to, well, rock out, for years to come.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t frustrating, it certainly was just that and still often is. And not every moment was in and of itself specifically “enjoyable”, sometimes just the opposite, but happiness is not the sum of many happy moments strung together. If it were, believe me, there would be no rock bands – and probably no families either!

How To Be Good At Stuff: Enjoy It

Meditation is a similar deal. If you don’t enjoy the process of meditation (overall, the painful or boring moments notwithstanding) then you are never likely to get to the end pay-off, the elusive good feelings of inner peace and physical bliss, not to mention increased health and well-being in your daily life. But the fact that a lot of people never manage to get to a place where they enjoy the process means that most people never get to experience the benefits.

Writing is a classic for this. A lot of people seem to fancy themselves writers but from what I can tell they do a lot more drinking and talking about writing than actual writing. I suspect these people haven’t actually learned to consistently enjoy the act of writing, which can be a long, lonely and hard slog, and are in fact enamoured with the results of successful writing, none of which they’ll ever get to enjoy because they simply don’t produce anything publishable.

So if you want to bask in the glory of “results” then you’d better find a way to enjoy process or give up now. I personally have given up on a lot of things, because I liked the idea but the process gave me the shits. In the end, I think this is best, because process is what fills your day, not results, so filling it with something you love makes sense.

Maybe this accounts for the clichéd Billionaire entrepreneur who just keeps working to accrue ever more wealth, leaving ordinary mortals to roll their eyes and ask “how much do you need?”. “More money” isn’t the point, they keep at it to experience more process, because they love the process that made them rich in the first place.

The Wheel of Fortune

By Seamus Anthony

wheel of fortuneThings run in cycles – what was will cease to be, before coming around again into its time, back into existence. But we must learn to prepare for these times of opportune conditions so that we are prepared to capitalise on them while the going is good, before the season changes and the window of opportunity closes again (until next time). This is magic: working with the elements of nature, the stuff of life, the swirling fields of potential.

The cycle of life is represented by the seasons of nature – we sow the seed in spring, tend the garden in summer, harvest our produce in autumn and this sustains us through the fallow ground of winter. By seeing in advance that winter will come, we know to work hard in spring, summer and autumn.

This applies not only to the macro-version of this that plays out in our lives (working hard in our youth to prepare for our old age) but also in many micro-aspects. For example an artist may experience inspiration and energy in her youth, followed by a time of success where the world opens their arms to her endeavours. This may be then succeeded by a (seemingly) long winter where neither does she feel inspired nor does the world pay her and her art much attention.

But if she continues to work and to hold on for better days, eventually her inspiration and desire to shine returns, and fresh new art follows. This new spring may be followed by another summer of growth and in turn by an autumn of harvest in the form of recognition from the world.

We see this cycle play out time and time again for many artists and public figures. Take Leonard Cohen’s long roller-coaster of a career. Of late he has been more popular than ever after some years in the career wilderness. However, while he is obviously enjoying his renaissance, at his age, he must be well aware that even this latest triumphant career upturn will not last forever.

To develop a sense of where we are at in the various cycles of our lives, the little ones and the big ones, is a useful skill indeed. Sometimes it’s easy – it’s not hard to tell when it’s time to move house: for whatever reasons, usually practical, you just know it’s time to go. However at other times it can be more difficult to know how to read the signs accurately. For example: if you have been feeling sick to death of your boyfriend for a few months, is this a sign it’s time to end the relationship or is it just a natural energetic fluctuation in an otherwise healthy relationship?

Here enters free-will. We have the ability to step in and put to use the “stuff of life” to attempt outcomes. You can work for the outcome of becoming a free-agent again, or for the outcome of seeing the relationship through to a return to fun and fulfilment.

This is the magic of our lives … but the magician gambles because we do not always know if our work will actually deliver the outcomes intended and, if it does, whether those results will bring us the benefits we hoped they would.

Beware the eternal deep-fryer!

Christians are fond of little bumper stickers that state “God is Love” and I believe this to be true, God actually is Love, it’s not an abstract idea, it’s literal.

But, having decided that I believe this (belief is a choice remember?), I cannot then stray off into beliefs that contradict this.

Therefore I do not believe that all the Christians (or Jews, or Muslims) will get to go to Heaven (if one even exists) at the expense of the other two and also of the Buddhists, Hindus and all the rest. If He is Love, then why would he send perfectly decent humans off to the eternal deep-fryer just because they were born over here instead of over there?

What I do believe is that legitimate spiritual growth and connection to God is available via all the great religions and many of the lesser known and, yes, downright kooky, ideas and practices that exist. Basically, to me, if it’s all about love, compassion, forgiveness, joy, peace and unity then it’s all about God. Different names and practices are just the logical extension of the human race’s former inability to travel with any great efficiency. The race as a whole is still struggling to play catch up with the rapid advance of technology, which has rendered previous limited worldviews obsolete.

So that’s what I mean by Rebel Zen – “Rebel” as in “Choose Your Own Path”, “Zen” as general stand-in for “Spirituality” with a particular emphasis on being chilled – as opposed to being all hung-up about a bunch of labels, rules and arbitrary stuff that God probably doesn’t give two hoots about…

P.S. Love is All You Need.

God Is Not Petty

I’m sorry, but you have to draw the line somewhere and frankly I just do not believe that He is going to condemn those who don’t join the Blue Team or the Red Team because He only digs the Green Team. I just don’t think He is that small minded and silly.

I don’t think he wants you to wear a particular kind of hat or go to church on a particular day of the week or call him by a certain name or even call Him a He at all – you can call Him a Her and that’s ok too.

I believe He gives us choice and I don’t think he will condemn you for making the “wrong” arbitrary choice. In fact I am unconvinced that there is any condemnation at all; fire and brimstone just reeks too badly of manipulative medieval, fundamentalist clap-trap to me.

Maybe there’s bad Karma – but who’s to say God’s dishing that out? Maybe it’s actually beyond His control?

Certainly misery, pain, fear, hate, despair and terror exist –but I suspect God – who embodies the opposite of these things – has nothing to do with this and perhaps has little or no power to stop it from happening. The Yin Yang model suggests that joy and despair, hate and love, evil and compassion are simply the opposite halves that together form the whole we’ve been lumped with.

The Spiritual Pick-N-Mix

In the old days, before our time, before mass communication and ever-increasing ubiquity of access to information, people were mostly presented with a single form of spirituality – it was the same form as everyone else in the village and we were informed that this was the only way. People could either choose to ignore it or go with it, but were told often told emphatically that they ignored or defied it at their own mortal peril.

These days we can choose. Well, we always could, and everyone has always been called to make a spiritual choice, but these days we are presented with a spiritual supermarket – a pick n’ mix of religions, philosophies and belief options. Traditional religionists probably don’t like this, but I do. I think it’s a very, very good thing.

And I believe God agrees with me.

It’s Always Been A Matter Of Choice

While my Pick n Mix idea might sound like some cutting-edge shit to say, in fact it’s nothing new. People have always been faced with spiritual choices:

  • should I go with what my village’s local church says is gospel or shall I run off and join the slightly different Church down the road?
  • Should I pay lip service to belief in order to be a functioning member of society while secretly doubting either parts of the deal or indeed, the whole job lot?
  • Shall I stand up for change and be called a dangerous heretic and/or become an agent for change?
  • Shall I just defy the crowd and state that I think it’s all a load of bollocks?

We were always faced with choices and always will be.

The thing that’s changed is that the range of options we have to pick and choose from is much larger. We can now access as much information as we could possibly ever use on all the big religions, plus all the little ones, plus all manner of non-traditional options like all the varying ideas that get lumped together under the banner of New Age beliefs.

For example I have chosen these days to incorporate the Christian teachings and models that I grew up with and Zen and Taoist flavoured New Age ideas. I did it to resolve internal conflict between my Inner Child, still in the thrall of the Church I grew up with, and my much more liberal adult leanings. I mixed the two, added mental images of Jesus and some old fashioned prayers to my meditation and general open-mindedness towards all things New Age and voila! Inner child is cool with it; inner turmoil resolved.

And yes, I believe that God is ok with that.

Meanwhile, in the Distance, Screams

I have been absorbed in my work and in my personal missions of late, so much so that I have paid only minimal attention to the news of the world, strange, tragic summer that it’s been.

Today while eating my lunch, I was reading a book, by Seth Godin, his newest one called “Poke the Box
“.

I finished it quickly, feeling quite aware that the problem the book addressed, wasn’t a problem for me. The book addresses the need for people to stand up, take a chance and start things.

I start things all the time, and if I have a problem, it’s how to finish them successfully. I am actually under a self-imposed ban from starting any new projects, to give the existing ones a fighting chance.

So, feeling a bit bored*, I flicked over on my iPhone to read the news and read something about how Libya is in a  time of revolution and hundreds if not thousands of people have died in the violence, thousands more injured.

And it struck me how we all have problems that need solving, but they’re not all the same. Some people obviously do need a book to help them gather up the nerve to start something worthwhile. Some people need to find ways to take existing career projects to the next levels.

Meanwhile some people need a chance to live in peace, free from tyranny and fear.

Some challenges are ours to solve, and are not as important as we tend to think they are. Others should not exist, because their very presence is a violation of basic human rights.

*Not Seth’s fault, it’s a fine book and he’s a brilliant author.

Bringing It All Together

Sometime ago now, I posted a free e-book to the web called Curly’s Law. Thousands of people have downloaded it, and still do, but I haven’t read it for a while.

I probably should; I suspect it’s pretty crap. I was on a bit of an “online marketing” trip in a style that I’ve since moved well away from, but that’s not the point. The point is the idea in the book, which is simply:

Do One Thing.

This is something I believe in. It’s been my mission for some time to discover exactly what that one thing is (career-wise).

I actually discovered it ages ago, but I confused myself by thinking about it too much. However, I eventually worked through it and some time ago came around to being cool with my decision. Yet I’ve never really told anyone … so here it is…

It’s not JUST music.

It’s not JUST writing.

It’s not JUST my freelance business.

It’s not just any one thing that I do.

My one thing is my personal brand: Seamus Anthony.

My mission is to build brand awareness and momentum and in the process make a sweet living doing stuff I love.

And, although there’s a LOT of work to do yet,  I’m well on the way. I don’t have a job, I am making OK money just being me doing things I like and am good at. But there’s one thing I have been trying to do which is pretty hard in a connected, Googlified world: I have been trying to keep the brand “Seamus Anthony” separate from the freelance business, mainly because to start with I just didn’t actually appreciate how cool the business is, and that I keep getting to do it instead of having to schlep off to a job I hate.

The business itself is becoming increasingly sophisticated in scope and much more in line with my actual talents, which just makes the whole idea of trying to keep the two identities separate even sillier.

So I am 99.99% certain that I am going to file the freelance business as a sub-brand under the mother-brand and bring it all together. I feel confident it’s going to work. It’s really going to add cohesion to the Story – and that’s what it’s all about in the end, Story.

Do What Scares You

Actually for some reason doing this, bringing it all under the one brand umbrella, scares me silly.

I’m going to do it anyway because, I’ve often found that if I feel frightened about an idea before starting, it ends up being a most exciting and dynamic thing to do.

P.S. that’s why I have started blogging here again too. Not the fear thing, the branding thing.

Be Demanding

It was a lovely, noisy dinner party we had last night, and then after our guests had gone I went out to the office and wrote songs until about midnight.

So unsurprisingly, it was bloody hard to get out of bed this morning.

But that was ok because I am my own boss!

So I eventually rolled out of bed at about 8:45am and then took my own sweet time getting ready because I didn’t have to pretend that I was at my best. It wouldn’t work if I did this every day, my business would soon fail, but today it was so damn nice to be able to just sit at the table, glowering at my coffee and groaning until I was able to get out to office and get on with work, without worrying that “the boss” was going to give me a hard time.

It wasn’t easy to work at first either; I was too tired to be highly creative or effective. So I did some admin type stuff that you can do when your brain doesn’t work. This was actually a good thing because usually I avoid this stuff because I would rather do something inspired and creative. But, hey, I was being inspired and creative at 11pm last night writing songs and I can’t be “on” all the time.

So I got some administrative chores done, and did some work for some clients, stuff a robot monkey could have done, and then as the day wore on I felt better and things started to tick along nicely.

The other really good thing about being my own boss is that when I feel all antsy and need to go for a jog, I can do so at the drop of a hat, like I did today. There’s no bloody boss to beg permission to go do that or to drop the kid off at kindergarten or whatever.

The Trade Off

I’ve worked long and hard to get to a point where I do not have a boss and I’m sure as hell am not going back now. So this means that tonight after dinner and after the kid is in bed, I will be firing up the computer again and working on and into the night. That’s the trade off, you have to work hard but if you don’t manage it at 9am, well it doesn’t matter – just as long as the work gets done in the end.

Working from home as a marketing consultant is not my dream, by the way, but it’s a pretty comfortable way-station.

It allows me to plant seeds and nurture the real career – which is of course writing and music and cool stuff like that.

To make this happen, to get paid full time to make music and to write and generally do and make cool stuff, may take some luck, but I believe you make your own luck by rocking up to do the work and also by being demanding. By “being demanding” I mean just saying “I am going to do this. I am going to make that movie. I am going to work from home for myself.” Or whatever it is you want.

You demand it upfront. Surprisingly the universe is very responsive to demanding. If you think about it, the people who really get what they want in this world are actually very demanding. They say I am going to do this – so move, mountain, move!

That was what I did with working from home. I demanded of my old boss that she let me work from home and she just rolled over and said yes.

Then I wanted to work for myself instead of a boss, so I got on the phone and did cold-call after cold-call, for months, until I had clients.

I demanded clients and then I did the work.

That’s the trade off, it’s all very well demanding things of the universe, but you need to realise that in return the universe demands that you work your butt off.

If you don’t ask you don’t get.

But if you don’t work hard, you don’t get, even though you asked.

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