Thriving in the Ebb while Waiting for the Flow!
By Rev. Dr. David Phears



There have been many external and material things that have fueled our personal drive and goals to feel prosperous. Maybe it was a new home or a remodeled one, a large truck or SUV to haul the weekend toys or a student loan to help expand our minds, and hopefully later our career opportunities and successes.

Certainly, VISA® was living up to its promise to take you “anywhere you want to be” — as its line of credit seemed endless. A myriad of things and opportunities expanded our horizons beyond what we may have thought we were capable of owning or doing. For many of us, there were no limits to our spending potential and the “sky was the limit.”

As with anything in life, the vast global expansion of the past few years is now causing a large contraction. And we are all experiencing the major shift in our nation’s economy with its challenges.

How many of us, especially in these financially pressing times have heard or even uttered phrases such as: ‘times are tough all around, we might as well get used to it’ or ‘it’ll all be better when my ship comes in’ or ‘when a new president is in office’ or ‘if I win the lottery’ or ‘when the economy itself turns around’?

Waiting on something like external conditions to change, outside of our control or personal arena, is certainly fodder for foolishness, and a grand waste of precious time and energy.

It was the passion to fuel the desires for material wealth and validation that has now left so many feeling depleted of our most natural resource of all — our authentic spirit. Our energy reserves may have been used up so it is time to change our perspective of looking outward and turn within.

It might feel good to complain and moan for a second, but it is much healthier to get over it and move on. So take that complaining energy and transform it by changing your perception about your own experience in the midst of the perceived collective challenges and take action. It is time to learn how to thrive instead of just survive!

Thriving is defined as ‘to grow or develop vigorously or to flourish.’ To thrive in the ebb simply subscribes to the preposition that life itself is all about ebb and flow — the inflow and the outflow of energy as ideas, planets, oceans, breath and currency. The keys to thriving in the ebb of financial fluidity are to be aware and willing to make changes.

One must be willing to have an open mind and solid belief that there is always a better option, a better way, even during the most challenging times. There must be a willingness to accept, embrace and even initiate change when the opportunity presents itself. So cultivate a willingness to search, seek and open up to new ideas and processes to make a shift in your current experience — to truly thrive.

The major key to thriving is awareness. Conscious awareness is essential to being successful as you must continuously focus on, talk about and believe in your critical personal choices in any situation. Be sure to take responsibility for your own part (without guilt or blame) in order to move forward in ‘the flow.’

There are three acronyms I offer for your ‘thriving’ pleasure. These are simple mental tools that can shift your focus from the ‘problem de jour’ to what you truly want in your life, beginning at the point when you start applying these tools. The three acronyms are F.O.C.A., E.B.B and F.L.O.W. as follows;
An awareness tool for difficult times is F.O.C.A.:
F –  facts & information
O – options
C – choices made
A – application & practice

Become aware that facts are what we read, see and talk about, however the problem is many of us have been trained to worship these official facts (the final word). So be aware that a fact is simply a statement of current condition and they change regularly, which then frees us up to seek the truth behind the fact.

For instance, the fact may be that starting an exercise program can be painful in the beginning (which is when most people quit), but the truth is even the temporary discomfort of anything new is necessary for the desired goal of better health or good looks or both.

Awareness is important in seeking and finding new options as well as choosing to focus on new possibilities and solutions — since what we focus our energy on determines what we become.

A keen awareness of the beliefs behind the choices we make from this new perspective will begin to create options that we may have been blind to when we were stuck in the facts. At this point we begin to create a safe landing place for our greater personal good — no matter what the facts say! Finally, being aware of when to apply and practice these mental and spiritual tools becomes exciting as your choices are made, because the doing-ness and the ‘work’ is now performed with passion and confidence — both keys to thriving and prospering anytime!

There are two acronyms for the process of ebb and flow which may give you a shift in perspective in terms of empowering YOU in the midst of any perceived financial challenge. The first one is E.B.B. which is defined as ‘a point of decline’:
E – exercise
B – better
B – budgeting

As we are all feeling the pinch at the pump or grocery store, it really is the perfect time to take pause and look at how to refill our spiritual surplus by practicing these new tools. It is time to look at how we can become more conscious consumers and evaluate when our ego is saying that we ‘need’ to have something versus what we actually ‘require’ in our lives.

For example, to begin to exercise better budgeting, start by taking an inventory of where your money and energy are being circulated. Secondly, set up a monthly budget of your necessary payments and identify what is left for general expenses.

Prior to going to the store, make a list of what you are going to buy and stick to it. Exercise restraint by staying present in the moment and remember to consciously choose (and breathe deeply) before you buy!

Many of us spend time and energy searching for the perfect gift or looking for the ideal way to spend ‘quality time together.’ Find ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of family time at a public park rather than an amusement park. There are many ways we can be together without having to go to the expense of “entertaining one another.” Being present with a loved one or friend can be the greatest gift we can ever give.

The second acronym is for F.L.O.W. which is defined as ‘to abound with something or to have abundance.’ In this case, the goals are to have abundant and affluent financial comfort, excellent health, and continued sustainability. It all begins with your willingness to shift your traditional belief system and enter the...
  F     – fully
  L     – living in
  O    – optimum
  W   – wealth!!
Wealth is defined as ‘an abundance or profusion of anything or having a plentiful amount.’ Fully living in optimum wealth is not just having your life be defined by financial circumstances, but truly embracing the fluidity of all forms of energy that flow into your life. Money is one form of energy that manifests in a joy-filled life, however there are other aspects you can fully focus your appreciation on during these more challenging times.

Learn to navigate by taking inventory of what you are currently blessed with in your life, rather than focusing on any lack or limitations that seem to be showing up. And most importantly, believe in your own power, wealth and authentic spirit (while dissipating any fears) with bold applications of a higher belief!

Positive psychologist, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, defined the concept of the Flow as “the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.”

If you are interested in manifesting your prosperity in the E.B.B. and the F.L.O.W., please join us at Sangha Center for our 6-week Prosperity series Wednesday evenings September 3rd through October 8th (7-8:30pm).

Rev. David is the Community Spiritual Leader of Sangha Center for Spiritual Living (dba Huntington Beach CRS) and can be reached at (714) 596-0900 or online at We are an all-inclusive spiritual community which honors all religious beliefs and teaches spiritual success tools for abundant living while promoting compassion, prosperity and peace. Sangha Center is located at 7641 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92646.

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