Have you ever noticed how opportunities seem to drift your way at certain times like big waves that suddenly wash ashore? If you were a surfer, you might wait all day to find the right wave to ride -- that incredibly big one with all of the power behind it.
You would watch the tide and wait for the right timing. You would notice the regular wave action, but then observe how every so often a really huge wave would come along. That's the opportunity you seek. You get ready for that big wave and then hop onboard for a big ride when it does finally come your way. Watching for the right wave and getting onboard on time is the trick to the surfer's success.
That's true of opportunists in any walk of life. They watch for the right wave to come along and then climb aboard when it passes by at full crest with enough power to take you where you want to go. Not every moment holds the same opportunities, of course. Picking the right time is crucial.
An Optimum Time to Catch the Wave
There is an optimum time for just about everything, if you watch patiently and ready yourself for the opportunity. It depends on the sort of wave you want to catch and where you want to go. You can't really expect nature to freely give you a specific opportunity whenever you want it. Nature always extends opportunities, but not always in the order we might desire. Consequently, we need to get into synch with nature and determine her rhythm of life. This creates a certain harmonic balance and also improves your sense of timing for the natural opportunities that arise periodically in nature.
If you were to stay at the beach long enough with the surfers, you would notice that tides change periodically, and longer waves -- while not frequent -- do appear now and again with a certain pattern. Once again, the trick to catching them involves careful observation and patience.
How to Handle the Big Wave or Opportunity
Being present when the big wave or opportunity appears is only half the trick, however. What you do with the opportunity is the other half of the trick. Surf riders, for instance, want to catch the wave at the right time. They want to catch the wave when it's on the rise and beginning to reach its full size and power. They do not want to catch the wave when it's already on the decline. Also, if they catch the wave at its peak when it begins to crest, it will likely bowl them over with its brute force. So they prefer to catch the big wave on its way up and not on its way down.
That's true in many situations. In business, people often talk about catching opportunities as they are forming and having the right sense of time. When stock value is climbing, investors want to buy into a company before its market price reaches a high-water mark. Naturally, when the stock price begins a steady decline, many wise investors will jump off that wave and find another on the rise.
In marketing, business-savvy people want to catch a trend just before it reaches popularity to ride the wave of public interest all the way to the bank. Johnny-come-lately marketers who try to cash in on a trend when it's at the peak of popularity often find that they are gearing up too late, and then end up with a warehouse full of unmarketable hoops or gizmos. The trick is to get in there early when the wave is beginning to form, and ride it as far as it will take you. Then there's always another big wave to catch if you are willing to wait for it.
Gold rush prospectors who stayed too long at played-out strike sites went bust in California and Alaska with the false impression that the good fortune of the original strikes would prove endless. It's the classic problem of not being in the right place at the right time. Obviously, a person needs to keep both eyes and ears open to changing conditions and be willing to move around to find new, golden opportunities. Once again, timing is everything.
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Lightning Won't Strike Twice in the Same Spot?
It's been said many times as a bit of folk wisdom that lightning won't strike twice in the same spot. That may be true. Also, it may be false. It all depends on where you are standing in anticipation. If you are standing atop the Empire State Building, you might get struck by lightning several times a year. It's a fact that the spire of the famous New York skyscraper does attract lightning bolts.
If you stand inside a metal church steeple that resembles a giant lightning rod, you could encounter frequent electrical storm damage, as well. So don't think that ringing church bells could necessarily keep you out of harm's way. You need to remain observant and be ready to adapt successfully to changing conditions around you.
Opportunities, like lightning bolts, are all around us. They rain down from the heavens. The problem is perceiving them and having enough personal power to pluck the right one at the right time to use properly.
Certainly some people seem better at charming invisible forces around them and engaging their help than others. All of us, however, have this potential, as we are all exposed to the same forces of nature that surround us. Helena Blavatskly suggested in The Voice of the Silence that we serve Nature, and if we do, that she would serve us. It's easy to see the potential for assistance in that statement, and also the personality of natural forces around us.
Catching the Time Wave
Another author, Genevieve Paulson, works with students in workshops in this general area. She is the author of Kundalini and the Chakras and Energy Focused Meditation. With her son, Stephen Paulson, she's also written the amazing book Reincarnation. Together they have led workshops on time waves. They see time as radiating toward our world like rays or waves. There are different kinds of time waves -- some longer and some shorter. Some have different properties. It's almost as though you could ride the right time wave, if you could find it and grab it.
You could live your life trying to select the right time waves for every situation, as you go through each day. My own lifestyle is an example of this approach. Sure, I prepare short-term goals, intermediate goals, and even long-term goals. I think them through carefully, internalize them, write them down, and determine what is required to bring them to fruition. I realize, for instance, that I may need help to accomplish my goals, either in the form of assistance from other people or circumstances that need to be correctly aligned. I realize that I need to charge myself with the responsibility for becoming an agent of change. Then I need to work out all of the steps required to bring my goals into being. I need to visualize the goal becoming realized, and even the steps toward achieving the goal.
I even plan my days and weeks with somewhat detailed to-do lists. These are activities that I hope to accomplish in a more or less descending order of importance. Where I break with the gurus of day planners, I suppose, is over the timing of my daily and weekly goals. I refuse to force myself to commit to a very specific time of day when I will accomplish any task. For people who have worked with time management systems or day planners and had to plan out their daily and weekly activities by the time of day, this might seem a little odd. The whole point behind these workbook systems, of course, is to make an appointment with yourself to do something at a specific time of day. Most of these day planners want you to commit to a precise time within fifteen or thirty minutes and stick to that plan no matter what.
Day Planners May Obstruct Perfect Timing
I refuse to do that for a very good reason. The timing might be wrong. Sometimes you can just sense that the timing is wrong. I don't mean that you can't drive to town at 5 p.m. via the interstate or can't do your grocery shopping between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., for instance. You can go ahead and follow such a preordained schedule. The question of the moment, however, is whether that's the best use of the time immediately available to you. Does it feel right to go shopping at 6 p.m., or do you feel that something else would work better at that time? You can only determine this on the spot, when the time comes. It's a little like sizing up the waves on the ocean. There's a pattern to the way things come your way, but you need to watch very carefully for the big wave that comes only every so often.
To size up the situation, you need to slow down everything around you in your mind's eye and control your sensory perception. You need to survey the theatre of moving reality in front of you and all around you. You will begin to access the situations you have been given. If you are a baseball runner who wants to steal second base, for instance, you might stop down all the action in your head and stop the surrounding sensory irritations that might distract you. This might mean internally controlling crowd noise, confusing blurs of other activity, odd smells, and the aching feeling of your sore feet on the ground. You need to focus. You have been given some useful information and helpful circumstances. You focus on these things. You observe that the pitcher and catcher are not aware of your intent to steal second base, and are not watching you. You notice that they are moving slowly and look preoccupied with their own thoughts, not wary of activity in the infield where you are planning your theft. You notice that the second baseman is straying far from the bag and not anticipating any theft on your part. You observe that the ground is in good shape and offers a fast track for your sprint to second base, should you try to steal a base. These are the givens of the situation. They are physical certainties for the most part. You can weigh them in your focused assessment of your chances to achieve your goal.
Is the Timing Right?
Then you consider if the timing is right. This is not a physical reading you can access in the same way. It's a little more like taking a wind reading to see which way the wind is blowing. Determining the best timing for a situation is an intangible. You will need to put your feelers out. To do this, you must alter your consciousness momentarily and enter a different state. If you stop the world in the sense that you turn off sensory perception and make everything slow down in your mind's eye for only a split second, you can enter a meditative state where answers are available to you. You can enter this altered state of consciousness quickly with practice, as we have seen. You can exit it just as quickly, with practice. You can enter and exit this state of higher consciousness any time you desire, with experience and focused attention. You don't need to assume a perfect lotus position or hum a mantra. The warrior athlete is disciplined to control the world around him, and enter the world of spirit at a moment's notice to retrieve needed insight.
So we see our first-base runner about to steal second. He assesses the situation and determines what given circumstances help or hinder his goal to steal a base. He tunes out distracting sensory perception, slows down the world for a split second, and enters a heightened state of attention. In slowing down the world, his momentary departure into heightened awareness takes very little time at all. In that state of heightened awareness, he assesses whether the time is right for him to steal the base. This is not simply a determination of whether he can run fast enough or outmaneuver his opponents. It's a reading on the strength and quality of the energy surrounding him. Sometimes, as we have seen, there seems to be all the time in the world to accomplish some feat. At other times, there's seems to be little or no time at all. Time varies from situation to situation.
How I Handle Events of the Day
I can explain how I handle events of the day in my day planner. I might have four or five things scheduled for the morning in descending order of importance. When I am ready to tackle any of these goals at the time I expected to approach them, however, I step back and assess the situation to take a time reading. I take a quick reading to momentarily enter a state of heightened awareness. With practice, I have learned to pop in and out of this state very quickly. I must confess that I once had trouble popping into this state carelessly at almost any time, because it feels so good. Now I plan my little departures into this state.
In this state of heightened awareness, you can read the invisible world around you. This is the world of energy, spirit, and time. It is an elastic world. In this world, things can stretch long or contract short. It's a world outside of physical restrictions.
When I take a reading of a situation, I want to know if there is enough energy around me to accomplish what I have in mind. I want to know the quality of the time around me. Does it feel like the sort of time for the goal I have in mind at the moment? If not, I consider the other activities I have planned for the same morning. I take a reading on these other activities to see if the time feels right for any of them at the moment. Then I go with the feeling. Always trust your instinct. Never doubt what you bring from the spirit world in your meditations. They call it heightened awareness, because your awareness is raised in that state. Do not doubt that, or else the magical formula conceive-perceive-achieve-believe is broken. Then your reality base is broken.
I never doubt my readings when I assess the timing for a situation. If it feels like I shouldn't be at a certain place, or doing a certain thing at that specific time, then I postpone that activity. I perceive that there isn't the quality of time energy to support that activity most successfully. I make apologies to friends sometimes for these postponements and attempt to reschedule. I try to avoid forcing the issue. You can't force nature; you can only work harmoniously with her, or suffer the possible consequences.
"Catching the Wave" Exercise
Here's a simple, but telling, exercise you can try.
* An ocean beach
* To put yourself on the shore, facing out to the ocean
* To make certain that the tide is an incoming tide (consult a newspaper or a tide book, available at sports stores)
* To be sure that you have enough light to watch the waves carefully
Watch the waves of the ocean as they strike the shore in front of you during an incoming tide. Get a sense of timing for the pattern of the waves. Note the pattern for larger waves that hit the beach. Feel the power of the waves. Feel the energy of the waves. Sense the timing. There is a pattern to nature. Timing is everything. Develop a keen sense of timing with regard to nature and nature's energy.
Alternate Exercise - "Catching the Wind"
If you do not live close to a beach with an incoming tide, then stand outside facing the wind on a windy day. Get a sense of timing for the gusts of wind that strike you. Note the pattern for the larger gusts of wind that pass through every so often. Feel the power of the wind. Feel the energy of the wind. Sense the timing of the gusts.
Recognize the patterns in nature. Attempt to acquire a sense of timing with regard to nature's energy.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd. ©2002. www.llewellyn.com.
Perfect Timing: Mastering Time Perception for Personal Excellence
by Von Braschler.
This book will show you the secrets of athletes who 'freeze' time to accomplish amazing feats, and of inventors who seize opportunities at the perfect moment. You will witness ordinary people enter heightened states of awareness that saved their lives. And you will learn how to control time. PERFECT TIMING incorporates scientific evidence that time is elastic and subject to our will and intent.
About the Author
Von Braschler (Minnesota) is a former editor and publisher of community newspapers and magazines. A lifelong Theosophist, he has led workshops on energetic healing, meditation, and Kirlian photography. He is a certified massage therapist who specializes in pet massage. He is donating half of all personal profit from the sale of this book to animal charities.