In a previous post, I talked about a recent tarot reading in which the Oracle outlined the energetics of receptivity and how, when you are receptive, you are able to access more information in any given moment.In essence, receptivity makes you smarter.

Today I want to talk about the second message of that tarot reading: how receptivity can make you wealthier. While this doesn’t have to mean financial wealth, it certainly can, but it also refers to health, relationships, and all of the other facets of wealth.

The Oracle explained that, as physical beings, we are only able to receive in the present moment. We can’t go back and receive something yesterday, nor can we skip ahead and receive something tomorrow. Let’s say you’d like to make more money. That money will come to you in a present moment; it might not be this present moment, but when the money arrives, you will be smack dab in the middle of your current present moment. Make sense so far?

If we are in the habit of not being present, which usually takes the form of mulling over things that have already happened or projecting our thoughts into the future, we are not in the present moment. Think about all of the little ways we step out of the present moment in any given day:

  • thinking about what we’re going to eat later
  • venting to a friend about an annoying interaction we had at work yesterday
  • scrolling through Facebook, letting our mind flit from one past event to another, totally ignoring what’s actually going on around us
  • freaking out about how we’re going to pay our bills this month
  • feeling shame over an embarrassing thing we did a few days ago
  • and on and on it goes

Now, I’m not suggesting that you never think about anything beyond the current moment. I think our ability to be present, totally immersed in the moment, and our ability to think about things that have already happened and those that haven’t yet transpired are both useful, but the key is not to get stuck in one or the other. The problem is that many of us, if we were to look objectively at an average day, spend far more time anywhere but the present moment.

Let’s connect this to receptivity and wealth. Every moment, you are given a gift, a “present,” in the form of the present moment. If you are routinely checked out of the present moment, you aren’t receiving this gift.It’s as if the universe is standing outside your door with presents…and you’re not answering.

To extend the metaphor, imagine now that this gift of the present moment is in the form of a box tied up with a bow. Inside the box is whatever this present moment contains, which might be anything from a smile from your spouse to a pile of dog poo to be avoided on the sidewalk. When you reject the present moment, you also reject the awareness of whatever experience it contains.

If we look at this in terms of financial wealth, more money will come to you in the form of these presents. Perhaps one present contains a chance encounter with someone that leads to a new job and another present contains a flyer for a class that equips you with precisely the skills you’ll need for a dream job that arrives in a future present moment. If you’re rarely in the present moment–in other words, if you’re rarely receiving the gift of the present moment–all of these opportunities go unreceived.

Many of us say, “Oh no, I’ll be present for those moments, trust me!” But when we’re so out of practice with being in the present, we can’t help it; we miss out. Couple this with the fact that we don’t always know which moments will lead to the experiences we’re after, so there’s no reliable way to determine ahead of time which moments are worth showing up for and which ones aren’t.

Psychologists have coined the term “selective attention” to explain how our brains filter out information so we’re not constantly overloaded and we’re able to focus on “the important stuff.” For example, at a crowded party, you have the ability to filter out background noise so you can focus on a conversation with your friend. Your brain does this filtering automatically when, say, you’re driving to work. Your attention isn’t captured by every single detail on the drive, otherwise you’d crash.

I believe that when we train ourselves to step out of the present by repeatedly checking out, we filter out more and more information in favor of devoting brain power to the stories running in our heads–stories about the past and the future.

This is far from scientific, but here’s an example: I’d convinced a friend of mine who isn’t big on outdoor time to go on a short hike in the woods with me. He spent the entire time either checking his phone or talking about everything but the experience we were currently having. I saw a deer, an owl, a raccoon, and countless beautiful trees, flowers, birds, butterflies, and more…all of which passed right through his conscious awareness while he was Googling what the weather was supposed to be like later or talking about his boss.

It’s easy for me to believe that this practice of not being present is happening in other contexts, outside of the woods, when opportunities are presenting themselves and my friend is simply not aware that they exist. Interestingly, this is someone who routinely complains about how “he never has any luck” with women, work, his health, and so on. Coincidence? I don’t think so.