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Living in The Vein of Gold and Falling out.

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Originally Published on FutureHealth

"Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps a few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of."
Jonathan Swift

We all have veins of gold-- fantastic riches-- in our lives, every one of us.

To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.
William James (1842 - 1910)

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Some of these veins of gold we know about, we can easily access them. Some we must still discover and some, which we know about, we need to learn how to reliably access more often.

These "veins of gold" include:
  • connection with God,
  • Courage,
  • ability to express and feel strong emotions,
  • Exercise
  • Dreams
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Work
  • Writing
  • Love
  • Meditation
  • Learning
  • knowledge
  • Quiet
  • Kindness
  • Friends
  • Athletic performance being in the zone
  • Family
  • Arts
  • Music
  • Appreciation
  • Awareness of....
  • Naievete, or new or beginner's mind

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) In "The Book of Success," ed. Richard Shea, 1993

There are even some "veins" which may not appear to be positive, but which are worth knowing, because of what we learn from them and what they show us which we would not otherwise see, such as:

It is not enough to know of, or, even better, to know how to access these veins of gold. We must know how to maximize their roles in our lives. We want to be living in our veins of gold as much as we are able..

"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more. A straw or feather sustains itself long in the air."
Madame Swetchine

For many of these, there are different levels of access, to different intensities and depths. There are things you can do to enhance your access to and experience of these veins of gold, and there are ways that we block or inhibit ourselves from making the most of them.

Ways we can enhance the amount of time we spend enjoying our veins of gold, or the level of access, intensity or depth include:
  • learning
  • Ritual
  • Practice
  • Meditation
  • Self talk
  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation
  • scheduling
  • Setting priorities
  • sharing

Ways we can block our access to, or decrease the time we spend enjoying and benefiting from our veins of gold:
  • Ignorance
  • Inhibition (feelings, imagination)
  • Workaholism
  • hurry
  • Not setting, or ignoring priorities
  • Fixing our attention on the trees rather than the forest
  • Over or under-reacting
  • stress

"The light shines in the darkness and there, man becomes aware of it. What is the good of light or learning except it is used.
Meister Eckhart

I've spent much of my life working in different fields that empower people to find their and their world's veins of gold:
  • biofeedback, self regulation and consciousness exploration training; teaching people to learn new ways to take control of their body, mind and life
  • Story- the art, science and application-- stories define who we are, where we come from and where we are going.
  • OpEdNews and New Media; empowering people to participate in the media, in the web, to wake others up to cast light where there is darkness, to reach people with the ideas and tools they believe in

In researching this article and idea, I discovered that perhaps more than any other writer, Thoreau wrote about and probably lived a "vein of gold" life. I've assembled a collection of his relevant quotations here. Quotations By Thoreau on Finding the Best Within Ourselves and Living It

Here are a few, to tease you to read the whole collection.

Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them.
Thoreau, Walden, Chapter 1

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Here I am thirty-four years old, and yet my life is almost wholly unexpanded. How much time is in the germ! There is such an interval between my ideal and the actual in many circumstances that I may say I am unborn.
Thoreau, Journal, July 19, 1851 (he lived to be 45)

Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.
Henry David Thoreau "Walden," "Conclusion," 1854.


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