Archive for July, 2010

While wrestling with my fears and wondering how to move beyond them, my Angels gave me a most vivid lesson in stagnation, that is, what will occur if we choose not to move beyond our thoughts and the fears which might beset us.

A few days ago, I happened on a co-worker, a pretty, young African woman, Eden, quietly reading a book. She commented on my polished appearance (new hair-do, new skin, new clothes, new lipstick, new makeup, new jewelry, new attitude) and complemented me. When I told her that another co-worker, Vanessa, had been helping to enhance my physical assets (which I did not think existed), Eden mentioned that Vanessa had been giving her suggestions, too. She went on to say, dismissively, that she, Eden, was “a certain way” and that these suggestions were not for her. As I listened, my left ear “grew” and vibrated with her words. From this, I instantly knew that a message from Heaven was being given me and that the ideas to follow were so significant that I must pay very, very close attention in order to pass them on to you, dear readers.

The message came in bursts of visions and ideas. The Angels showed me immediately how utterly important are one’s thoughts and attitudes. Despite Vanessa’s encouragement and concrete suggestions for enhancing Eden’s beauty, Eden’s self-image was set in stone. She described herself as being “a certain way”. Vanessa’s suggestions for bringing out this inner beauty did not conform to Eden’s thoughts about herself, so Eden dismissed those suggestions out of hand. This thought, “I am a certain way”, and the consequent dismissal of suggestions which contradicted that thought were what would keep Eden single, alone, in a dead-end job, quietly reading a book in a corner. Eden had no openness to new ideas; no openness to input which did not conform to her current self-image and thus was not open to the rewards which would come from stepping out of her comfort zone (see April 27, 2010, Your Guides vs. Your Comfort Zone). The thought that “to get something you never had, you have to do something you never did” was not only foreign to Eden, but completely out of the question. My heart went out to this pretty young woman with the totally closed mind.

I reverberated with the utter and total importance of our thoughts. As we think, so we are. As we think, we literally create our inner environment and the way we regard ourselves. With our inner environment we create our outer, physical environment. We then look around at our outer environment (which we have created) and use it to reinforce our inner thoughts of ourselves, which we conveniently forget that we created in the first place. What a revelation! I could just see Eden’s thoughts: she thought of herself as “a certain way”. With this thought, she created a mousy little loser, forever dreaming of male companionship and other good things in life, wondering why these things don’t appear. Not finding them in her outer life reinforces her idea that she is “a certain way”. Were she willing to give up the idea that she is “a certain way”, she could be on her way to creating the inner environment which would bring about the outer environment which she desires.

Pondering this insight from my Angels, I realized that as thoughts are important, the necessity to act on them is vital in order to effect change in both our inner and outer states. So, dreaming big is really changing the thoughts and attitudes we have habitually had about ourselves and moving on to create a new, improved version. Fear comes when we don’t recognize ourselves or when our logical mind gets in the way of this creative process. When we realize just what we are attempting to accomplish with our big dreams, and if we can stay in that creative process, fear becomes irrelevant. Being only too human myself, though, I know only too well how quickly one can move from lofty, philosophical ideas of creation to mind-numbing terror as we leap out of our comfort zones. Frightened though we may be, we must continue to move ahead with courage—the ability to act in spite of our fears—in order to effect the changes we desire. In this regard, I am sincerely grateful for all of the outpouring of support from my dear and faithful readers, which is so inspirational in allowing me to continue to dream the impossible dreams, despite my own personal terrors. ­čÖé

Yesterday’s post (July 27, 2010) addressed the roadblocks that can (and do) come between you and your big dreams. Fear, lack of self-confidence, doubt, anxiety, embarrassment all take a toll on that steady, steadfast desire to rise above your common thoughts. I would like to share with you one of my first lessons in having faith in the face of no apparent results, although at the time I did not realize that this was, indeed, a lesson.

In January of 1994 I left New Hampshire and Dartmouth Medical School for another post-doctoral position at Washingon University in St. Louis, MO. The winter was really cold and the snow heavy. I had had to postpone the start of my journey just because of an especially severe snowstorm that had closed many roads in the frozen Northeast. Packed into my car were my plants and my two cats, George and Rutherford. Among the plants was my fig tree (ficus prunella), which I had had since living in Georgia in 1987. This fig tree was a hot-house flower of the truest kind. If it had been sitting in one spot in the living room and it was moved an inch—in either direction—it would lose its leaves. While in NH, I had desired to take it outside so it could get some fresh air and sunshine, but was reluctant to do so because of its propensity for losing its leaves. Having asked a variegated philodendron to grow me leaves as big as my hand (which it did), I hit upon the idea of telling my fig tree my plans and so perhaps enlisting its cooperation. So, quietly, in my mind, I talked to the fig tree. I told it that I had plans to move it outside into the fresh air and sunshine and that I would really appreciate it if it would keep its leaves. I told it how beautiful it was and how it would enjoy its new position under the carport. With that (seek with expection), I moved the tree and hoped for the best. Peeps, it never lost a single leaf! I was aghast. When it was time to move it back into the house (New Hampshire winters are brutal), I again told it of my plans and then thanked it for not losing any leaves. Once again, it cooperated. After that, I was able to move it back and forth between the carport and it kept its leaves intact.

Being in a great hurry to leave before the next snowstorm, I stuffed cats and plants into my hatchback, neglecting to let the little fig tree know of my plans, and took off for MO. Somewhere between New York and Missouri, the tree lost every blessed leaf. Well, I couldn’t worry about it because I had two unhappy cats on my hands. Reaching MO safely, I hauled the fig tree into my new apartment and placed it in the corner where it stood, all twigs and wood. Spring was advancing, but no leaves were to be seen. I thought that it might have died because I had had no heat at all in the car and the temperatures were in the teens. Asking my Angels, an inspiration came to me. They told me to mentally bathe it in white light, every day. So again, I started out gung-ho. I was going to singlehandedly save that tree from extinction by bathing it in white light. The days came and the days went. No leaves. I began to doubt my sanity. I began to think that I was just wasting my precious time and what was the use anyway? So, sporadically, I gave the fig tree light. Sometimes my Angels drifted the thought to me “just keep going, it will be all right”. Sad to say, my skepticism kept me from putting myself wholeheartedly into the project, so I did not really believe my Angels. Frankly, I gave the fig tree sporadic hits of white light mainly out of guilt, because I really believed that I was wasting my precious time on a lost cause.

That little bit of effort must have made a difference, because several months later (months, mind you, not days….talk about delayed rewards), a tiny shoot broke forth from the trunk! I was aghast. I called my sister in Illinois, I took a picture of the little bud, I danced around the apartment in joy, thanking the little tree. Of course, now that I could see some reward, I bathed that little tree in oceans of white light. Soon enough, it had leafed out such that it was even fuller than before I had left New Hampshire. Faith and some small effort had brought forth abundant leaves.

My angels now use the image of the fig tree to encourage me to continue with my endeavors in regard to one of my Definite Purposes in life, a la Napoleon Hill. Approximately 30 days into my dreaming big, I developed a bad case of the willies. Again, it seemed that I was wasting my time trying to believe in an unbelievable cause and why waste my precious time? I asked them, please, give me an answer as to whether I should continue with this particular dream. In answer, they flashed the image of fig tree in my mind, an incident that had happened 16 years ago, and which I haven’t thought about since then. Instantly, I understood that my assignment is to supply energy to my dream through faith and steadfast effort, that I was not wasting my time, but that I was to keep going in this vein.

So, dear readers, keep at it. You are literally hauling yourselves up by your own bootstraps through faith and persistence. Keep at it, as you are changing your very DNA, one thought at a time. Huge beliefs bring huge rewards. Keep at it, even without obvious reward, because all of the work is going on underneath the surface where we are unaware of it with our conscious minds. To dream big means that big things will happen. Sometimes big obstacles need to be moved out of the way before big things can happen. I had to bathe my little tree in white light for months before a shoot broke forth. In all that time, all of the white light that I sent the tree was organizing energy to create a shoot. Because I couldn’t see this energy at work, I thought that nothing was occurring when in reality, everything was occurring to create those leaves. Keep at it. Drop by drop does the trick; every day a rooster-step closer to your goals.

Your Angels have encouraged you in several posts to dream big dreams:

April 27, 2010: “your guides vs. your comfort zone”
May 9, 2010: “as you dream it, so shall it be”
June 5, 2010: “seek with expectation”
June 6, 2010: “belief: the missing link”
June 7, 2010: “expand your belief”

They have given you concrete suggestions, as well as references, in how to accomplish this:

Dyer, Wayne, You’ll See It When You Believe It
Hill, Napoleon, Think and Grow Rich
Murphy, Joseph, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

What they didn’t tell you (or me) was the possible pitfalls and roadblocks that one can encounter in this quest to push one’s mind to its limits of belief—because this is truly what dreaming big means: pushing your belief to its furthest limits.

To recap, on April 14, 2010, I, decided that I would dream not only big, but huge, in the fashion of Napoleon Hill. I have my cards specifically detailing my (current) Definite Purposes in life; I read them out loud each evening before retiring and each morning on arising, as prescribed; I read, out loud, the formula for self-confidence, and have been faithfully continuing in these practices, without fail, every day, whether I’m in the mood or not. I am the perfect picture of commitment and persistence. Yet, I can now tell you with sincere confidence that I have hit the wall. I am beset by doubts. I am overcome with fear. I am besieged by a tremendous lack of self-confidence. My common sense/logical mind is telling me to give up, grow up, and get a life. How can I go on with all of this negativity in my head, especially when there appears to be no concrete evidence that I am any nearer to attaining my two Definite Purposes in life than when I started?

Thankfully, my Angels know me very well and helped me realize that my dilemma is the same as that faced by a marathon runner, the Boston marathon, for example, which is a grueling 26-mile run (BTW, that’s too far for me to drive in my car, let alone run, for Heaven’s sake!). You start out fresh, after a good night’s sleep, your muscles are relaxed, you’re psyched for the trip. Surrounded by countless contestants, you start the run, setting an easy pace and watch your fellows drop by the wayside, one by one. But it’s a hot day, and by mile 13, you’re beginning to show some strain. Your breathing is heavy; your legs feel like weights; you’re thirsty, hot, tired, beset by insects sipping on your sweat (drat! did you forget the bug spray?); you have to pee, with no restroom in sight, you’re all alone on the road; and whose idea was this anyway ? That heady rush of self-confidence and euphoria at the start of the trip is turning in on itself and all you want to do is sit down at the side of the road and wait for someone to drive you home. Euphoria can also come as you near the end of your journey, because you know all of this pain and doubt and fear will end with a huge reward—the realization of your dreams. It’s in the middle, when you’re all alone, when you’re tired, hungry, thirsty, sore, and beset with no encouragement and no immediate reward that you’re the most vulnerable. It is at these times that you want to quit. Sure, you can tell yourself that a quitter never wins and a winner never quits, but you’re beset now, you’re doubting now, you’re afraid of both success and failure now. At these times, platitudes such as these seem to be all just philosophical mumbo-jumbo to keep you on a road that looks to be all pain and no reward.

It is at this crucial juncture that you must make the important decision to give up or to go on. You have put in hours of intense and committed effort which you might be sorely tempted to throw away. Now is the time to slow down, pace yourself, summon your reserves, and soldier on. Perhaps around the next bend will be a bystander who will cheer you on with encouragement, as my loyal reader, Sonia, has so unexpectedly done. Look each day for some little sign that a small step has been attained toward your goals. Consider, too, keeping a daily log of these signs and take time to re-read them to remind yourself that your Angels are helping you and are keeping you on track. And yes, now is the time to drag out those time-worn platitudes, really well summed up in the following verse:

“If you think you are beaten you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t, it’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost
For out in the world you’ll find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will—it’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re out-classed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or late the one who wins is the one who thinks she can!”

Your Angels, which seem to be a rather serious bunch if we are to judge by most of these posts, have lightened up just a little and have encouraged me to share with you more fun tricks to help convince you of the mightiness of your eternal self. They want to teach you to zap clouds. Yes, you read correctly: zap clouds. The technique is as follows.

Go outside on a bright, sunny day; on a day which has lots of fat, white, puffy clouds just hanging in the sky. Convince yourself that the wind is light and that any effect that you see would not be the result of the wind. If it is too windy, try another day. You want to be absolutely certain that the effect you see is not related to any other cause except for your very own energy input. Once you have established that you have the perfect atmospheric conditions, i.e., mostly clear sky, fat clouds, no wind or other meteorological disturbances, you are ready to begin. Pick a smallish fat cloud. Look at it closely. Observe its nuances, such as shape, color, shades of coloring, and whether it seems to be moving internally. If your intuition likes this particular cloud, imagine a beam of energy shooting from the top of your head right into the center of that fat, white cloud. Keep looking at the cloud and keep imagining that concentrated beam of energy (light) shooting laser-like from your head smack into the center of the cloud. Keep picturing this and just observe what happens. In almost all cases, that cloud will start to break up and dissolve! After a while, it just disappears into nothingness. Then, pick another cloud. As you increase your self-confidence, go after bigger clouds and keep at it until they, too, dissolve into thin air. It’s fun, entertaining, and brings home in a very real sense that we are much, much more than our training would have us believe.

For those of you who may already be proficient at cloud-zapping, your Angels have a more interesting challenge: that of creating clouds. Again, pick a bright, clear day which has a minimum of wind or other atmospheric disturbance, so that you can convince yourself that any effect you see will have been caused only by your own energy input. Picture a fat, puffy cloud appearing on the backdrop of that bright, blue sky. Again, send a beam of concentrated energy from your head toward the part of the sky in which you wish that fat cloud to appear. Then, keep at it until you have success.

I confess that I have only tried this on a limited number of occasions and only in absolutely clear, totally cloudless blue skies, with no success whatsoever. Each time, I stared at that sky and tried to picture a fat, puffy white cloud in it—to no avail. Perhaps my concentration was poor; perhaps I did not try hard enough or long enough; or perhaps I did not use the concentrated beam of energy around which to organize the cloud. In any case, I have never been successful at cloud creation. When one thinks about the Southwest and the clear, cloudless skies which can be famous for lack of crucial rainfall, one can relate to the difficulty of causing cloud formation. The rain dances of the native peoples sometimes resulted in cloud formation and sometimes not and it seemed to take a lot of positive energy input from a large number of people over a long period of time. In any case, cloud creation has an extra element of difficulty not found at all in cloud-zapping.

Can you imagine the euphoria, though, if you were successful in creating a cloud?! That’s enough to make me go out and try again! In the meantime, happy zapping!