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Following The Slender Threads
March 31, 2007

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #079, March 31, 2007

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· Eat Your Veggies

· Following The Slender Threads


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2007


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

When I was researching men's health for my website, two things stood out as far more important than anything else for a healthy body: diet and exercise. It turns out diet is important for healthy eyes too.

In many hero's journey stories, a couple of older brothers head out to accomplish some task, but fail. Eventually the father lets the youngest brother, the naive one, try it. This one pays attention to the chance meetings he has with old crones, beggars, or other characters, and treats them with respect. They tell him secrets that will help him accomplish his task.

This language is symbolic, and represents the 'inner knowing' we all have, if we don't let our egos override it. Some call it the "still, small voice of God", others call it "following the slender threads". Whatever it is, my experience tells me paying attention to the slender threads can lead to an exciting and fulfilling life, even if it is a bit puzzling at times.

There are about 870 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about two minutes to read.




Eat Your Veggies

A couple of months ago, my wife Elizabeth went to the optometrist for a new eyeglass prescription. As he was examining her eyes he asked whether she ate a lot of vegetables.

She said yes she did, and asked him how he knew. He told her she had the eyes of a 35-year-old (she is in her 60s), and that eating lots of vegetables helps keep eyes young.

So there you go... eat your veggies and fend off everything from cataracts to macular degeneration.


Here's an interesting website where you can quickly learn you BMI, weight-to-height ration, etc., and what each means:


Love: a temporary insanity curable by marriage. - Ambrose Bierce


Following The Slender Threads

Chances are you have had an experience that follows a pattern something like this: You are going on a trip, have made the plans carefully, and have your itinerary figured out. You set off, full of confidence, and then things start to go wrong. You miss a flight, or a train or bus, and have to spend an extra day somewhere not on your itinerary.

But while you are being 'inconvenienced', you meet an interesting person, doing work you have always thought would be great to do, and the person is looking to hire someone!

I think we all experience this kind of pattern in our lives at one time or other. Jungian psychologist Robert A. Johnson, in his book Balancing Heave and Earth calls it following the slender threads. Here is what he says about it (p.99-101):

The concept of listening to the will of God is difficult for many modern people to follow, as it collides with our love of freedom and our insistence on free will. However, I must declare that, with respect to the most important aspects of my life, I am not free. I am safest when I let go of trying to control my life and instead follow the slender threads. This is a religious perspective in the sense that the human ego must surrender to something more powerful than itself.

Freedom insists that the ego can do anything it wishes. I do not mean to toss the concept of freedom out entirely. Of course we have free will, but I am insisting that in every moment there is one right thing to do: we can choose to follow the will of God or not follow the will of God, and only in this way can we live meaningful lives.

I have learned to trust the slender threads for the big decisions in my life while using my ego to take care of the small details. I thought I was free when I willed my way onto a ship to Europe, but my plan soon broke under me. The concept of freedom can become an inflation. When my inflationary bubble burst, the slender threads in all their power continued to function and guide me in a particular way, connecting me with Art Meyer and ultimately taking me to Dr. Jung's study....

... How do we know if we are truly following the will of God? One knows instinctively; there is a sense of peace, balance and fullness, and unhurriedness.

I have found this in my own life. For years I wondered "what to do when I grew up". In other words, what is my "right livelihood", or my mission. When I joined AA, and along with getting sober, had a profound spiritual awakening, I began to realize that there was a Higher Power (God as we understand Him), who was far more capable of guiding me to my right livelihood than my ego was.

It was through following the slender threads (being open to guidance, chance encounters, and other 'coincidences' in my life) that I ended up at a church retreat that helped my find my mission (Helping people take better care of the earth). I quit my job as a television news reporter, went back to university, and eventually discovered and started teaching Holistic Management (

The slender threads also led me to a chance meeting with a fellow that Elizabeth and I invested money with to develop a device for harvesting water out of the air. It was a bad investment from a financial point of view (we lost our money), but it was good in that it led us to live in Vancouver for five years while we both went through major midlife transitions.

The midlife transition led me to build the midlife-men website, and start this newsletter!

Have you had 'chance encounters' that have offered new possibilities? Have you followed them up? Or did you simply carry on with your life, telling yourself the direction the slender threads would take you wasn't practical, or was just a coincidence and didn't mean anything?

If you have a story of following slender threads, I would love to hear it.


In Hollywood, brides keep the bouquets and throw away the groom. - Groucho Marx

Identity Theft is a growing problem, which is why I buy Identity Theft Insurance through Pre-Paid Legal Services. As an associate, I also sell it. Statistics say one if five North Americans is likely to be a victim of one of the several forms of identity theft. If you would like to protect yourself, you can find more information here: Identity Theft Insurance *************************************************

Wouldn't it be great to work less and play more golf? I do not of a better way to earn a part-time income, than a simple information Web site. I encourage you to check out Live My Passion. You'll be amazed at how you can turn YOUR hobby into online income.


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Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men DIY Retirement E-Report , and follow the instructions.



I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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