Epiphany: There's a state of innocence involved in true prosperity. When you're able to be innocent, you're able to open to everything that's around you on a more profound level. This is the key to true prosperity because it allows you to fully embrace all that's in your life. That may sound trite but so many people are on the hamster wheel, either chasing the next acquisition or experience or running away from debt and discomfort, that they fail to be in the moment where they have everything they need. Until you're able to be present with yourself, appreciating what you have is elusive. The relentless noise of the turbine is ever present and consuming. In our sleep as well as awake, the constant drone of what needs to be done or worry of what may happen, eats away at the precious short moment we call life. Many people look to escape the combine that's pursuing them with activities, events, drugs, alcohol and exercise, but most of these simply add to the roar that fills our awareness. These all become only temporary distractions and many become an addictive distraction that ends up adding to the problem. If you're not careful, even meditation, yoga and other healthy practices can lead to the treadmill rather than to the moment of innocent prosperity. How many times have I seen people hiking (fixated on a goal to achieve some destination) and not enjoying where they are; not seeing, breathing, hearing and feeling everything that's around them. Think about it. Remember when you were a kid and could spend hours fascinated by looking for insects, salamanders or snakes, frogs or other wonders? (It's not just a boy thing? I recall girls doing this as well.) Remember being so immersed in your curiosity that everything else would disappear? I feel sorry for kids today who are raised on TV and iPads. They are indoctrinated at an early age into a digital distraction that separates them from the world and other people. The parents who eliminate the digital distraction and introduce their children to nature are giving them the best gift they can ever have. Nature heals, teaches and stimulates true curiosity and awareness. But mostly, nature is innocent. So the question is, how do we get back to innocence. How to set aside all of the distractions, expectations and commitments that run our lives. How to be truly present in the moment where we can experience everything and be prosperous. Observing babies, of all species, is a good starting point. Human babies are the easiest to perceive since we share their experience. When you look at the different age groups you can see the pattern of lost innocence and apply it to looking at your own life. And you can look at baby pictures of yourself (if they exist) to try and reconnect with the simplicity that was your reality. Meditation, nature walks, gardening, art, music and dance are all great activities that can help provided you can be present with each one. Simplifying your life is another area that can make a big difference. Slow down and stop every few hours to just breathe and observe how you feel and take in all the smells, tastes, feelings, sounds and vibrations around you. Notice your heartbeat and breathing. Give thanks for being alive. Focus on nature, the sky, water, wind, plants, insects and rocks. Give thanks for each of the things you see. Give thanks for everything you feel. Give thanks for your thoughts and your ability to think. Relax into letting it all in. Don't set innocence as the goal. Just be mindful and let innocence emerge. You will know it by it's symptom: A feeling like you are too small to hold all the joy and love that deep gratitude produces in your life. That is innocent prosperity! Kris p.s. As always, your thoughts and questions are always greatly appreciated.

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