Yesterday my company had another round of layoffs, from which I was spared. Last night I talked to my friend, expressing to him I felt so powerless and frustrated about the whole thing. He reminded me I’m not powerless, I’m not helpless. Just as I project thoughts into the universe about my needs and wants, so too can I do the same thing for the world. Obviously this entire blog is an expression of that but really his comment got me thinking my dreams do make a difference.

The whole conversation reminded me to keep dreaming, to keep projecting what I want this world to be like and eventually, in the proper moment, that world will manifest. When God deems fit, the world we wish to see will rise to the surface like a bubble fizzing through carbonated water. In the meantime it’s important to keep dreaming, keep talking about the world we’d like to see. To dream collectively, if you will.

I see how it’s important not just for me to declare what I’d like the world to be, but for others to do the same. If a bunch of us keep talking about how we’d like a peaceful world, a loving world, a world where people are valued above all else, where all our needs are guaranteed – God has no choice but to make it happen. The universe has to grant that wish – isn’t that what the law of attraction is? Project what you’d like and eventually it will come to fruition? So wouldn’t it follow the same is true on a grand, macro scale? The same is true for how we’d like the world to be?

To that end I encourage everyone to start dreaming, and dream collectively if you can because united we are more powerful than we are individually. (For anyone in the Bay Area I’ve created a meetup in September for expressly that purpose.)

I know and trust a better world will grow like a sapling coming from the earth. I know and trust the force of our collective vibration will burst out like the sun after a rainy day, drenching us in warmth and light. I know the world we wish to see will manifest if we keep on projecting what we want.

So here are some of my dreams:

I dream of a world where people are treated as the valuable creatures they are. I dream of a world where all our needs are met. Where we are guaranteed food, education, clothing, shelter and medical care. A world where we wake up each morning secure in the knowledge we are all taken care of. I dream of a world where each person can realize his or her full potential because we recognize the only barrier in life is our own mind. I dream of a world where love reigns supreme. Where we do cartwheels in the fields of life and laugh uproariously. I dream of a world filled with joy and ease and grace. A world where we know love, give love, receive love. A world filled with peace. A world where we live in the moment, enjoying what’s before us, feeling grateful for what we have. I dream of a world where we know anything is possible through God’s grace and we only wish for what’s in our best interest. I dream of a harmonious world, a peaceful world, a loving world.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Ego

This week I finally understood the law of attraction. I’ve been writing about it for a while, but on Tuesday something finally clicked.

I used to think of myself as a passive participant in life. I used to think the Universe acted upon me and there was nothing I could do about it. I guess I held a bit of a victim mentality, a “the world does stuff to me and I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it,” perspective.

I finally understood though that’s not true. That for the most part what I experience in my life comes from the thought-waves I project. Enlightened beings – angels, gurus, etc. – intervene from time to time but mostly I’m responsible for my own reality. For the most part, my life is what I make it. If I choose to be stressed, I will be. If I choose to be relaxed I will be. But beyond my mood and how I choose to react to things, I also create situations for myself. If I worry I’ll be stuck in a dead-end job, I also create that reality.

From that point I jumped to the understanding anything is possible. I realized thought-waves and mental vibrations can truly create anything and everything. From there I took a dangerous, ego-filled step to believing I can do anything. I even wrote, “The universe is my plaything. It’s a big ball of clay to be molded.” And while I do still believe anything is possible and the mind can accomplish great things, I overlooked some important points. I started on an ego-trip, feeling puffed up by my own power.

What I stepped away from is knowing I do not run the show. There is an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent entity that has a much broader perspective than I do. The things that happen in my life? God/Paramapurusa/the Supreme Entity/the Universe/Cosmic Consciousness allows them to happen. I don’t even know “allow” is the best word but it’s the best I can come up with. I’m stepping back and remembering God truly makes everything happen. I may be given the capacity to do things, but that capacity was given to me by God. Everything I do in my life, everything I’m capable of, everything I experience is because of God’s grace. Yes, there is an interplay of energy, I send out a thought-wave, God sends something back, but that’s the crux of the matter: God sends something back. “I” do nothing.

I guess what I’m saying is God ultimately decides everything. God decides whether to “grant” me my desires. God decides the timing for everything. God decides. Yes, there is some autonomy on my end but mostly it’s a partnership with the Universe. I am neither superior nor inferior to God but my human mind can only grasp so much whereas God can see the past, present and future, so God can determine whether my desires are in the highest good for all parties involved.

Lastly I wanted to say I am a divine instrument. God works through me, through everyone. God uses me as a tool to accomplish certain things. The more I brush my ego aside – my wants, my desires, my way of thinking – the better. Getting caught up in my own selfish yearnings will ultimately be my undoing. So again, this is where surrender comes in for me. Aligning my will with God’s will, wanting only what God wants for me and also recognizing everything in my life is through God’s grace.

And I also wanted to say there is no separation. I am God and God is me and we are united. “I” ultimately do not exist, rather I am a specific manifestation of God, pieced together in a certain way to accomplish a certain task at a certain time. I am one with the Supreme and the Supreme works through this human body to achieve things in the physical realm. We are one and the same. So truly the only barrier between me and God is my ego, which is why it’s all the more important to realize what entity truly holds all the cards.

I dream of a world where I and others like me do not fall into an ego trap. Where we crumble our egos and allow God to work through us like the divine instruments we are. Where we truly remember everything in life comes to us through God’s grace. Where we strive not for money, prestige and occult powers, but for love, liberation and pure bliss. Where we know anything is possible but ultimately our power comes from a source greater than ourselves. Where understand we each have a divine purpose and we try to attune ourselves to what that purpose is. Where we see God in everyone and everything and know we are special because we are a specific incarnation of divinity put on this Earth for a specific reason. Where we give love, receive love, know love. Where we wake up and try to realize our true potential as human beings. Where we surrender our desires and strive instead to know God’s will for us.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Stress

Today I’m feeling stressed about the Non-Violent Communication Workshop I’m organizing (if you’re in the Bay Area I’d love to see you there!). I took on this task on top of all the other things I’m doing and I’m obsessing because I still don’t have a venue.

On Wednesday I overheard a great quote. The woman spoke about her life in Alcoholics Anonymous and how her sponsor said to her, “Do you think you get yourself sober?” When I heard that something clicked into place for me. It reminded me that what happens in my life is not because I made it happen or figured it out. What happens in my life is by the grace of God. Everything is a gift to me. I’m not saying I now have a license to sit on my tush all day and eat cookies, but it takes the outcome of things out of my hands. I still do the footwork, I still have to call places and leave messages and ask for help but ultimately I’M NOT IN CHARGE. Ultimately I do not decide where the venue for this seminar will be. Or how many people will show up. Or what will happen to me in the next 10 minutes. There is a power far greater than myself that runs the show. Why do I even pretend otherwise?

The reason I bring this up is because this stress? This drama in my life? It’s completely self-induced. It’s completely my own mind stirring up a hornet’s nest. The truth is whatever happens, happens and there’s nothing I can do about it. The sooner I learn that, the better. But I also know I can cope with anything. And I know I have power over my mind and my actions. I know I can choose to make my life light and easy and joyful. That I can choose to not stress myself out over the small things. I am doing the best I can in this very moment and the rest is up to God. I can surrender my drama to a higher power. I can let events/situations move past me like a river flowing around rocks. I can relax and release and surrender.

I dream of a world where when we get wound up we wind ourselves back down. A world where we recognize the power of our minds to solve anything. A world where we do not get stressed out because we are fully surrendered in each and every moment. A world where we know and believe and act as if a power greater than ourselves is in charge. And instead of feeling scared by the prospect we rejoice because that means we can live footloose and fancy free. I dream of a world where life is light and easy and joyful. A world where we change our perspective on things so we can truly live joyfully at all times.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Right now I’m feeling some tightness in my heart because there are some things I want so badly. I’m comparing myself to other people and wanting what they have. Inherent in those feelings of jealousy and envy is the idea of “can’t.” Why can’t I go to Italy? What can’t I do X? Yesterday a friend reminded me I can. I can go to Italy one day, I can publish a book; I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s not a matter of wishful thinking, it’s a matter of flipping the switch in my head that thinks I cannot. It’s a matter of getting out of my own way, of not going down the road of, “Yeah but. . .”

I think about the book/movie that came out a few years ago, “The Secret,” which details the law of attraction. In essence, the recommendations are think about what you want, really believe you will get it with all your heart, think about it as if you already have it, visualize it, feel good and positive in your life, and feel gratitude for what you already have.

I’m reminding myself the only barrier to anything in life is my own mind. I think about how I’ve always gotten what I wanted – not necessarily in the timeframe I had in mind, but it’s always come true. I think about how a few years ago I walked past the National Cathedral and said to myself, “One day I want to live in this neighborhood.” Three years later I did. I said the same thing about living in Cleveland Park. And union square in San Francisco. And working for a magazine. Any many, many other things. Guess what? They all came true. Why would I think my other wants and desires would be any different? Why would I think the things I want most in this world won’t manifest? When the timing is right, when the stars align, it will happen.

My point though is I’m not a special case. It’s not like only the things I want most in the world come true. Our minds are powerful beyond measure. If we get out of our own way, anything is possible (and probable). Instead of spiraling into negativity saying things like, “Oh, it’s too expensive,” or “I’ll never get the time off,” or whatever it is, I’d rather be in a place of complete trust and surrender. I’d rather be in the place where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt all my deepest wishes will come true at the proper moment. Where I believe there are no blocks in my life, there are no hindrances, only open skies and smooth sailing.

I dream of a world where we all move through life with love and ease and grace feeling at peace with our lives because we know what we wish will come true. Where we are each our own biggest ally, where we know the mind can accomplish anything and indeed it will. I dream of a world where we feel gratitude for our lives knowing what we want comes to us, because it always does. A world where we understand our own power. A world where we experience life as the magical existence we always thought it could be.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Lately I feel like I’ve been getting steamrolled by life. All this change has been taking place both internally and externally that I’m having trouble assimilating because it just keeps going. I like change in small doses but this has been massive. Each day I wake up, look in the mirror and say, “Who are you?” I don’t recognize the person staring back at me. I keep hoping things will stop or go back to the way they were but they haven’t and won’t. Because life continues, no?

What I’ve been doing is resisting this change like anything. I’ve been thrusting my arms in the air, turning my head in the other direction and screaming, “Nooooooooo! I don’t want it!” I’ve been futilely trying to stop the change from happening, believing that if I resisted it, it wouldn’t come (hahaha). I’ve been confronting the dogma that “change is scary.” I guess I bought into the idea change is a bad thing and it’s better for me to just stay where I am where things are familiar. It’s better for me to remain the person I’ve always been because that’s all I’ve known and I’m quite comfortable with the way things are, thank you very much.

Today though I experienced a shift.

In yoga philosophy we have this concept of dharma, which translates into the essential nature or characteristic of something. So the dharma of fire is to burn, the dharma of human beings is to evolve and to move toward God. So actually, what could be more natural, more normal, more dharmic than growth and change? Why am I resisting this so much?

I also realized the growth will keep happening whether I like it or not. I can continue to resist and feel like I’m getting flattened, or I can accept it. I can embrace it and go with the flow or I can keep beating my head against the wall. Isn’t there some movie quote that says, “We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way?” I want to do it the easy way please. The easy way means accepting the change, embracing it, letting it happen.

I dream of a world where we recognize change is normal, natural and precious. A world where we love change because we see it as an opportunity for a better life and a better world. I dream of a world where I and others like me can accept the things that happen to us. Where we can dance in the divine rhythm with our heads held high. Where we let change wash over us and cleanse our souls. A world where we not only accept change, we cherish it for the gift it is.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

For a long time I used to believe if certain things happened to me my life would stop or the world would stop spinning. Something like that. I walked around bracing myself for future events in the hopes of staving them off. (How does that even make sense?) I attempted to control future events by worrying about them and praying they wouldn’t happen (like that works).

Looking at my thought patterns now all I can say is, “Well that’s silly.” It’s silly for me to worry about the future and hope things don’t happen. It’s silly to hold on so tightly to what I don’t want because the truth is even if it happens I’ll get over it. Whatever “it” is I’ll move on. Life goes on. Human beings are resilient creatures. I’ve already done things I didn’t think I was capable of. I’ve already moved past certain traumatic events I thought I would never get over. My life continued, will continue, does continue.

I guess I’m saying I realize even if the “unthinkable” were to happen, so what? I can get over it. I can move on. I am strong and powerful and resilient. I am capable of anything the universe throws at me so what am I worrying for? Why am I walking around with some tightness in my heart believing I can’t handle certain things? I can handle anything. There is no difficulty greater than my capacity to overcome it.

Realizing I can overcome all obstacles also coincides with looking my fear in the face. Not only does fear dissipate when I examine it head on but also I know if my worst fear came true I could cope. I already have with many, many things.

Instead of praying, “Dear God, please don’t let X happen,” I’d rather embrace the idea I can survive anything. I’d rather accept my fate and surrender to God’s plan for me. I’d rather move through life joyous and free, letting the current take me where it will. I’d rather let go and release my worries. I’d rather my creator use me in whatever way he deems fit. I would rather surrender.

I dream of a world where people quit worrying about the future and rather live in the present. I dream of a world where people realize they are powerful beyond measure and whatever crops up in their lives they can manage. They can overcome. They can survive. I dream of a world where we open our hearts to a power greater than ourselves and surrender to what life has in store for us. I dream of a world where life is light and easy and joyful for everyone. Where worry and anxiety vanishes like the mist. Where people live life to the fullest feeling carefree and full of joy.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

“Life is so hard. Why does everything have to be so difficult?” is a tape I often play in my head. I used to walk around life bracing myself for hardship, waiting for my next obstacle, expecting the other shoe to drop. I am much better now because I’m learning to live life in real time but a part of me still clutches to the belief life is grueling. A part of me still thinks life is a series of obstacles but I tell myself it’s ok because, “Struggle equals growth! And struggle is the essence of life!”

I am quickly abandoning that belief.

Yes, struggling is an asset but I’m rejecting the notion it has to be hard. I’d rather move past my obstacles like a river coursing around rocks – with ease and flexibility. I’d rather it were easy. And you know what? It can be. I’m reminded of the saying, “As you think, so you become.” Our thoughts are powerful – changing our thought patterns is the whole premise behind affirmations, the use of mantras, etc. If I think life is hard and difficult and complicated, guess what? Life becomes hard and difficult and complicated!

Sometimes my life feels a little bit like gears grinding into place. Rusty old gears. That take a lot of exertion to click into position. Why would I choose for my life to be like that?

I would rather my life were light and easy and joyful. I would rather do cartwheels in the grass and smile broadly. I would rather feel happy and at peace. I want my life to be easy. Life is what we make it, what we tell ourselves, how we approach things. Life is easy when I ask for it and when I think it can be.

Do I know for sure changing my thoughts works? I’ve heard tale but I personally don’t know yet. What I can tell you is it feels much better to say to myself, “I now choose to make my life light and easy and joyful,” than, “Life is hard and filled with struggle.” It feels much better to believe I can have an easy life so I’m willing to try to replace the tapes I play in my head.

And I have the same wish for others.

I dream of a world where people believe life can be light and easy and joyful. A world where people experience true happiness. A world filled with smiles and bliss and ease. A world where we all dance in the divine rhythm and flow along with life. A world where we believe we are taken care of in each and every moment. A world where we recognize the power of the mind and change our thoughts accordingly. I dream of a world where not only do we believe life can be light and easy and joyful but where it is.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

“In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete, and yet life is ever changing. There is no beginning and no end, only a constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or static or stale, for each moment is ever new and fresh. I am one with the very Power that created me, and this Power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we move from the old. This moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world.” – Louise L. Hay

What’s been coming up for me hot and heavy in the past two weeks is fear. I’ve been resistant to talk about it because I only want this blog to be uplifting and inspiring and positive. But perhaps by hearing my struggles and my willingness to overcome them it will inspire others. That’s my hope anyway.

I’ve been wearing my fear like a cloak. In my mind fear acts as a protective barrier between me and whatever it is I’m afraid of. If I’m afraid, I don’t push myself. If I’m afraid, I skulk in the background, creeping along the edges in shadow because the sunlight looks too scary. And what will happen if I tiptoe out of the darkness? “I could get hurt! Things could go terrible awry! I could fall flat on my face! It could be a disaster!” are all my mind’s responses.

Normally I try to rationalize my way out of these things. I tell myself, well, you’ve never been hurt, things go according to God’s plan and even your failures are successes. Ok, sure, but I still carry the cloak draped over one arm, prepared to pull it over myself at any moment. I’m finding what works best for me is to turn this stuff on its head, to look my fear in the face and say, “So? So what? So what if I get hurt? So what if I fall flat on my face? So what if I fail miserably?” And somehow by shining a light on what it is that bothers me the most, things shift. I experience a release. What’s that quote? Nothing is as bad as it seems when it’s examined in the light of day? Something like that. Instead of continually running away and convincing myself what I’m afraid of is not going to happen, I stand still. I confront my fear and little by little my cloak shrinks. It turns into more of a poncho.

It’s not like I do this once and boom, it’s gone. But I trust if I continue to face my fear, to confront it head on like the strong woman I am, eventually, gradually, my cloak will turn to dust. And I can start wearing something more fun. Like a feather boa.

I don’t know if this helps anyone else or not but I guess I wanted to say you’re not alone. I’m not alone. Everyone has a personal demon they are facing down. But I want to be one of the brave souls who does face her demons as opposed to playing hide and seek. And I want others to know when we do look at our fears perhaps we’ll find they aren’t so horrible after all.

I dream of a world where people overcome their fears. Where we all bravely walk ahead and confront our deepest demons. A world where we turn fear on its head, say, “So what? Bring it on! I’m ready!” A world where we know we aren’t alone, where it’s ok to ask for help on the battlefield of our personal issues. A world where we know we’re greater than our fears. A world where we realize we’re more powerful and more magnificent than we ever thought possible. A world where people know the only barrier in life is their own minds because anything and everything is possible. I dream of a world where we recognize life is better when we push past what scares us. Where we know all is well and if we can break through our fears we can finally step into the amazing, fantastic, powerful people we were always meant to be.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

The other day on my way to work I was stopped at a red light waiting for the little green man to indicate it was safe for me to cross the street.

A cab driver had the misfortune to be jutting out on the crosswalk and infringing in the space ahead of him, perpendicular to oncoming traffic. Cars driving past honked at the man; pedestrians shook their fists and called the cabbie a jerk (or worse). While stopped at the light, witnessing the spectacle, I could feel the anger/annoyance/frustration bubbling off those around me. I felt how their anger contributed to a bad vibration. To creating a sense of unrest and an emotion quite the opposite of peace.

The now famous Heather mentioned to me many moons ago about nonviolent communication, which basically operates off the premise language has a big affect on the state of the planet. If we communicate with each other peacefully, in a nonviolent manner, compassionately, we promote peace and harmony amongst ourselves. The harmonious environment creates a ripple effect, spreading from one person to another but also changes the Earth in an energetic way. The more peace we experience in our own lives, the more peace we can bestow upon the planet.

What excites me about nonviolent communication is it places the power to create peace in my hands, in your hands, in everyone’s hands. It feels like a tangible way to promote peace everyday. Instead of banging down the door of those in power, it’s a change I can make in my life with some very real results. Here is a youtube clip from the founder of NVC, Marshall Rosenberg talking about a mediation experience between two warring tribes:

I dream of a world where we live in peace. A world where everyone everywhere feels safe at all times, day and night. A world where violence is not tolerated on a global or a local scale. A world where we treat each other with compassion and respect. A world where we communicate effectively, really listening to one another and try to meet the other person’s needs. A world where we live harmoniously with one another in peace and prosperity. A world where we feel protected at each and every moment. A world where peace reigns supreme.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Surrender

I’ve been dancing around the topic of surrender since I first started this blog because it revolves around the issues of planning, control, trust and fear. Basically everything.

“But what is the best way to surrender? Prayer? Asking God for this and for that? There the responsibility for what you ask is yours – you might ask for something very inferior, although you approach the All-Powerful for it. The best prayer is, therefore, ‘Oh Lord! Do whatever you think fit and best for me. I do not know in which way lies my good – You know.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti

When I think of surrender I think of letting go. The phrase “letting go and letting God” comes to mind. I have had many conversations with my father where I’m blubbering on the phone about how stressed I am or how I want something or how I’m extremely frustrated, something like that. He’ll say to me, “Rebekah. Unclench your first. Soften. Soften.” I HATE it when he says that to me but undoubtedly he’s right. I’m holding onto something too tightly. I’m gnawing on an idea or situation like a dog with a bone. I’m clenching so tightly nothing can flow or move. Certainly not what I want to happen anyway. So surrender to me is loosening my grasp on whatever it is that gives me trouble.

In the past I’ve used the imagery of dandelion seeds blowing out of my hand and being carried by the wind. That imagery works for me but so do some other things.

When I’m holding tightly I say, “God, I just want what’s best for me. You know what that is. I want to align my will with your will and to know your plan for me. I give it to you and put it in your hands.” Some other methods I have for surrender are writing down everything associated with the event/person/idea, every thought I have, and then ripping up the piece of paper and burning it. Or flushing it down the toilet. The point is I’m getting rid of it, I’m letting go, I’m surrendering in a physical way. Some people do this same sort of thing with a box, called a God box. Another method I have is to get on my knees and imagine a lotus flower in my hands. I close my eyes and let a color spring to mind and offer it to God by placing it on the floor before me. I do this four times and on the fourth the flower is white because white is the color that encompasses all colors. It is the color of surrender and acceptance. I fall completely to the floor and prostrate myself before God in an act of humility and surrender.

Why surrender in the first place? Threads of this run through my blog – God has sweeter plans for us in mind, things are easier, etc. Mostly though I surrender and want to surrender because then it’s no longer in my head. It’s no longer something I’m worried about or obsessing over and I get peace of mind. I feel tranquil and calm. I feel better, easier, and yes, softer. I feel carried by a force greater than me and I can relax. I can sink into the feather bed my creator put before me and let someone else take over for a while. I get to nap instead.

Surrender is something I’ll have to do over and over again I’m sure. It’s not like I can surrender once and boom, that’s it. It doesn’t work that way because there will always be new situations, new people, new things. But what I hope is I will surrender faster and faster. Instead of waiting for my idea to fester, I want to surrender when it’s a mere scratch on my skin as opposed to a deep wound. I want to let go of it more quickly. And I trust pretty soon it will get to the point where I’m surrendered all the time. Where I’m dancing in the divine rhythm and surrendered at each and every moment.

I dream of a world where we give up our own notions and instead attune ourselves to God’s. A world where we say, “I do not know what’s best for me. You do. I give it to you.” A world where things are easy and filled with grace. Where we let go of the ideas that keep us fettered to our own minds. A world where we let go of the idea we know what’s best for us and instead turn to something bigger than ourselves. A world where we move in the divine flow and paddle with the current as opposed to against it. A world where surrender comes naturally and we live it day by day, moment by moment. A world where we sync up our lives with what God has in store for us and understand God’s plan is always better. A world where letting go is a good thing, a great thing, a God thing.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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