Seek: To go in search of; to look for something that is missing; to try and find, discover, or obtain something.
Cultivate: To promote or foster the growth or development of; to develop or improve; to enrich a situation by giving special attention to it.
If we equate seeking to a journey, it starts with lack and a desire to find and can end in one of two ways: finding or not finding.
If you view cultivating as a journey, it starts with having. Everything that followings is an increasing, improving, and enriching of that initial having.
Let’s apply this to the subject of finances. When you seek income or wealth, you are starting with the notion, the idea, the belief that you are lacking money. Motivated by your desire, you search for what is missing. You try to fill the empty space. However, in that trying, you are acutely aware of the lack of answers, the lack of ideas, the debt, and the emptiness.
Now consider what it is like when you cultivate wealth. You start by noticing, acknowledging, and focusing on the fact that you already have some amount of money and/or income. You are not in a stake of lack (as in missing something). You are in a state of having. There are things you can afford. There are things of value you already own. You simply desire enriching the experience of having, buying, acquiring, doing, owning, and spending.
As another example, let’s apply this to romance, love, and relationship. When you seek a mate, a lover, a boyfriend, a wife, or a husband, you start with the idea that you are lacking a partner. You seek a beloved. You think to yourself that you cannot begin to have or experience the relationship you desire until you first meet that person. And so you look for him, all the while telling yourself that you have not yet found him. You thus feel lonely and longing. Maybe you think you’ve found him, but he’s not coming along the way you want, so you are trying to convince him, in which case you’re still focused on what is not happening, rather than what is already happening.
Now, when one cultivates romance, love, and relationship, he or she starts by noticing, acknowledging, and focusing on the love, romance, and relationship that already exists in his or her life. You can here and now name people you love and people who love you (even if those lists are not exactly the same list). You have experiences of romance too. Romance is a mood, an ambiance, an atmosphere. You can bask in the romance of a nice meal in a dimly lit restaurant no matter who you are with. You can enjoy the scene set by the full moon, which occurs every single month. You can notice the feeling of warmth that fills the room when you gather with good friends, family, or even when you hang out watching TV with your pet at your side or near by.
And there is NO shortage of relationship in your life. There are people around you: either physically or in your thoughts. There are strangers you see nearly every day. You can’t help but be affected by your thoughts or observations of others. That is what relationship really is. Relationship is noticing how you feel when you think about someone else.
Yes, the desire you may have is for specifics within the relationship you seek: intimacy, affection, and all the delicious expressions of love you want to share with that extra-special someone. Through cultivation, you simply start by recognizing and appreciating the pieces and parts you already have, and through special focus, enrich them, foster them, and nurture them into more and/or better.
Because seeking starts from lack, it carries lack forward. That is why it doesn’t feel good to seek. Think about times when you’ve actively looked for an apartment, or a house, or a job, or a mate, or an object that you think is lost. Those times rarely feel good. In fact, you probably felt stress and anxiety in the midst of them.
Now see if you can remember a time when you cultivated something, when you recognized that you already had something, and were intently and actively molding it into more.
I remember times when I had a job, and decided with intent that I wanted to do better, create more, and receive more through it. I remember when I had a house, and consciously embarked the journey to improve it based on my specific tastes. I chose paint colors and imagined the kind of furniture I wanted to buy for it. I imagined improvements; some which I made over the years; some which I never got to.
Cultivating feels good in the moment. It is not work. Within it is anticipation and often excitement. When you really get into it, you can hardly hold yourself back.
So, with any desire you may possess in this moment, change your focus from seeking the fulfillment of it to cultivating the experience of it.
A trap that exists within the idea of seeking is the idea of finding. The journey called seeking has a beginning and an end. You start by thinking that you currently do not have, and that once you find, you will then have. It is a very black and white perspective.
The journey called cultivating has no beginning and no end. You start in the middle, by noticing and acknowledging an experience of having, no matter how small it may be. You then grow it from there. There is never an end because no matter how good the experience becomes, it can always get better. “Finding” or “acquiring” the object of your desire is not the end of the journey.
When you train yourself to think in terms of cultivation, you don’t ever miss your goals either. You may meet someone, have a few dates with them, and then decide they are not what you desire. You nonetheless have successfully cultivated your experience of relationship some. You’ve added more experience to your history and have had more time experiencing at least pieces and parts of what you desire. You most likely had moments of receiving something you wanted from the experience, and regardless, have achieved a greater sense of clarity about what you desire even if the experience showed you mostly what you didn’t want rather than what you did want. You are simply not yet done. And cultivating isn’t something you ever complete anyway.
Since the idea of cultivating always starts with the recognizing and acknowledging a current having, you never end up empty handed. Through cultivating, you remind yourself that you do have and you can forever move toward better and better and more and more. It may not be a monotonically increasing function, but when viewed over time, it is always increasing in either quality or quantity or both.
Because in order to cultivate, you must pay special attention to the experience you desire, you will increase your appreciation for what you already have (your imagination if nothing else). Once you begin increasing the appreciation for what you already have, your contentment and happiness grows, even before anything more comes into your life. The rest simply follows.
You’ve all heard that adage: It takes money to make money. Yes, there is some truth to that. But it doesn’t specifically mean you must spend money to make money.
In financial terms, appreciation occurs when something increases in value. It can be a gold coin, a piece of property, or a stock. In fact, the way people make money through investing is precisely via appreciation. Well, appreciation occurs because people are focused on that thing. A home increases in value because more people want it. So financial appreciation is the direct result of appreciation.
When you appreciate something in your life, you focus on it in a special way, which increases its value to you. When you appreciate people in your life, you focus on them in a way that feels good. The good stuff (about those people) then increases. You draw from people more of what you like about them…and then subsequently draw to you more people similar to them.
Say, for example, there is someone who treats you well. Maybe they are generous with you. Maybe they make you laugh. Maybe they complement you. Maybe they leave you feeling better about yourself or your life. The more you focus on your appreciation for what they do for you, the more they will do for you and the more you will notice what they do for you, and what others do for you. Pretty soon, you’ll realize how many people in your life do nice things for you and make you feel good.
Through your special focus (appreciation) you will enrich your experience of those people and others.
You already have money. By appreciating the money you have (even as you spend it…specifically as you trade it for things and experiences you desire) you improve its value to you. That is how all things and experiences are grown.
The universe, meaning everything in the universe, was created (is created) through focus. If you really pay attention, you will see that this is true. Study people who are happy in their relationships, and you will see the focus they have been giving their relationships. Observe people who are happy in their work, in their finances, in their home, with their body, and you will begin to notice the special focus they have been giving those very things all along.
Everything improves and/or increases through special attention. The attention is special when you feel good within the focusing. That means, if you are thinking about a desire and do not feel good in that moment, then you are not focusing with special attention (appreciation) but rather thinking in terms of lack. And in that moment you are seeking to fill a void rather than cultivating more of an experience of what you desire.
All you need do is pay attention to how you feel when you focus on any thing or person or idea. If you feel good within the focus, keep doing it. If you feel bad, focus on something different…or do something different. Don’t try to do anything. Just notice what you do that feels good and do more of that. And notice what you do that doesn’t feel good, and do less of that.
The Law of Attraction could also be referred to as the Law of Creating. In casual terms, it is How Things Really Work. It is the ultimate How To… guide.
In every moment, you are fulfilling your purpose for living; you are performing your life purpose.
When you don’t feel good, (for example when you are longing for something that is missing), in that moment you are focused on an experience you don’t want (missing something), which is simultaneously announcing to the Universe what you do want (the having of it). In those very moments, you are creating a new vibrational combination (a mixture of what you now prefer combined with your previous preferences). These new (and instantly created) vibrational patterns then line up to become future experiences.
When you feel good, (when you’re cultivating and appreciating an experience), in those moments you are allowing previously preferred and created vibrational patterns to flow into the experience you are having right here and now. You are actively receiving something you have created in the past, which can go on and on and on.
From this perspective, you see that in all moments, you are actively performing an act of creating, the front half (asking) or the back half (receiving).
Life (and the law of attraction) can actually provide a win-win experience. Cultivation / special focus / appreciation feels good when you are doing it. If you don’t feel good in the moment, then you are not yet doing it. So true cultivation pays off instantly because it feels good right then and there. Furthermore, it pays off a second time down the road when the created future experience flows in. Win. Win.
Many might think, “I have to have the boyfriend before I can appreciate him.” Most people think of having in terms of possessing. But that is not the best perspective. First, you never own anything…not in absolute terms. You don’t even own your body. Having is not possessing, it is experiencing. Relationships, physical bodies, homes, money, none of it is yours forever. You get to experience it as it flows through your experience.
Even while it is in your “possession” it is not always with you. You’re not always home. You’re not always in physical contact with your partner. You are not always spending some portion of your money. When you sleep at night, you are not even consciously inside of your body.
So, think of having as experiencing and think of experiencing as noticing, pondering, and imagining. Even when the boyfriend is here, you will still be imagining him all the time. You’ll be thinking about what he might be thinking whether he is in the room with you or not. You will picture him in your mind and recall what he feels like even when you are not seeing him or touching him in the moment.
Notice that with married couples, each is often speaking about or on behalf of the other: “John loves those too. He really doesn’t like that. He wants us to do this other thing this weekend. He’s doing well at work. He’s looking for a place for us to go on vacation.” A married person doesn’t just spend time with their mate, they think about them lots of other times too. They continue to cultivate the relationship while they are in it. And if they are cultivating desired aspects, the relationship is satisfying. If they cultivate the un-liked aspects, the relationship becomes unsatisfying.
It is the very same creating, whether the partner is there or not…known or not.
Cultivate. Start with anything you have or have ever had. If you can think it…imagine it…or remember it, that’s enough. Give special attention to the object of your interest. Special simply means “feels good”. If the attention you give feels good, you are cultivating. If it doesn’t feel good, you are not.
That’s all you need to know. That’s all it takes to create and grow and improve anything you desire. And the improvement you experience through cultivating will be instantaneous. Since cultivating always feels good, you can’t go wrong. You ARE improving your life here and now simply because you feel good here and now BY doing it. Win. Win. Win.
If you take the comparison of seeking and cultivating to an extreme, you get the following:
In all the days of your life, there will be something you desire that you do not yet have. If you are solely focused on seeking to obtain what is missing, you will be solely focused on the empty space that exists here and now. You will thus feel empty every day of your life.
However, if in all of those same days you are cultivating rather than seeking, then while you are aware of what you desire that is not yet there, you will simultaneously realize it is simply an extension of (more or better than) some experience you already have. In those cultivating (appreciating) moments, you will feel good; you will feel content. You will thus feel some level of satisfaction every day, which will grow and grow and grow.
The first part of the creation cycle is automatic. You can have as much of the second part as you desire. Turn your seeking into cultivating to move from the first part of the cycle (the asking) to the second part of the cycle (the experiencing).