“Whatever fundamental reality might exist, we live out our lives in a subjective reality defined by what we agree to attend to.”—Maria Popova
Greetings, you precious beings! I’m just back from a travel assignment to Door County, Wisconsin and thought I’d answer a question someone posed on my last blog post.
I mentioned what I called “the droop” and this particular reader asked to hear more about that.
While I appreciate the question, I thought I’d explain why I prefer writing about kinder, truer, bigger things.
In the quantum field, an infinite number of possibilities are on the menu: sorrow, joy, pain, glee — you name it. And I believe (and have fashioned a career writing about this) that from this unfathomable field of potentiality, we generate our personal reality with our attention and focus. What we’re interested in, where we shine our spotlight nurtures into being the life we experience.
Consciousness is more than just a cognitive function. It plays the starring role in the creation of reality. What we attend to renders the world we see, taste, hear and smell. This is the startling conclusion of quantum physics.
As I said in one of my books, no one in their right mind would go into a department store, pick out the dress they most dislike and bebop up to the counter with their credit card.
Likewise, I get to curate where I place my attention and focus. That’s not to say I don’t droop from time to time.
But because I know my attention is a rare and precious superpower, I choose to turn my focus to a more pleasing page on the menu. The life wonderland page.
As always, my friends, go out there and have the most extraordinarily epic weekend of your life.
“You do not ask too much from life, but far too little.”—A Course in Miracles
Miracles, as most of you know, are my jam. But the word “miracle” is actually shorthand, a convenient description for making sense of those times when life’s fathomless, ever-changing reality pops out into the patterns we’ve all constructed to make us “feel safe.”
Despite the patterned overlays, life can’t really be collapsed into a manageable framework.
So when things happen that defy our dumbed-down version of reality, we call them miracles. The dictionary defines a miracle as “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws.”
The Course in Miracles defines miracles as everyday occurrences, says they’re natural, goes so far as to claim that if they’re not happening on the daily, something has gone wrong.
Let’s take this weekend, for example, where, in America at least, we celebrated Mother’s Day. According to consensus reality (that manageable framework we construct to feel safe), I probably shouldn’t expect a gift from Taz. I mean, it’s rather difficult to deliver physical items when you’re bodiless, right?
Except if you manage to “whisper in the ear” of a former colleague of your mom’s, direct her to a 222 necklace and ask her to buy it, drive it over to Lawrence and deliver it just in time for the big holiday.
Some will roll their eyes and write this chain of events off as coincidence. But keep in mind that I have only seen this photographer once in the last 40 years. She didn’t even know where I lived.
But then, she “just happened” to see FB pictures of the dedication of Taz’s Hangout and well, the so-called “miracle” was set into motion.
After the ceremony—which was the coolest thing ever (Taz’s friends came, Big Brothers/Big Sisters made cookies and coasters and the perfect space for Bigs and Littles to hang)–I was feeling a little emotional and overwhelmed and wishing I’d told more stories about Taz. I let myself droop for a day.
And this is the real kicker. Right before Kate, the photographer, walked out my front door, she said, “You should forgive yourself!”
Say what? I mean, that’s exactly what Taz would have wanted me to do. So what if I got nervous and blew my little five-minute speech, didn’t take advantage of that opportunity to gush about my Tasmanian supernova?
So not only did Taz manage to deliver a physical gift, but she comforted me with the exact words I needed to hear.
So I’ll pass her words on to you. FORGIVE YOURSELF!
And trust that if you can loosen the reins of “safety” and drop the need to “see reality” according to conditioned patterns, miracles will drop into your life on the dippity-do-daily!
“Pessimism doesn’t change the world. Seeing the bright possibility on the horizon, and declaring it real, is the act of faith that can get us there.”—Barbara Kingsolver
I have to restrain myself from starting every post with “OMG!” Blathering on about my lettuce patch and climbing purple clematis and the fox who makes his rounds in my neighborhood probably makes me sound uncool, unworldly.
But dang it! Why not find the wonder within the moment, revel in the life that’s exploding everywhere around me?
Cynicism has long been the prevailing fashion, but is it really true? Is half-full all there is to see? Or just a conditioned viewpoint we’ve spent years building up and believing in?
Today’s Course in Miracles lesson asks us to refrain from dismal thoughts and meaningless laments. It asks us to see a different world and to think a different thought from those we have thus far been practicing.
It says any thought that’s not life-affirming is a lie. Any thought that doesn’t take possibility into account is limited and untrue.
And while a lie believed might temporarily act as law, by shifting our gaze slightly to “the now,” we can neutralize and dismantle it.
Looking at life with wonder and thanksgiving is the doorway into a higher dimension, a place where another, more beautiful voice will always have the floor.
I also want to let you know that this merry, merry month marks the grand opening of Taz’s Hangout at the Douglas County Big Brothers/Big Sisters headquarters. It’s a new space where Bigs and Littles can hang. Taz’s friends and many of my friends are gathering today to officially “cut the ribbon.” BBBS is even changing the official address to 222.
So I continue to be amazed, to celebrate and to see possibilities and declare them real.
“Miracles happen all the time. People just fail to notice them.”— Lorna Byrne
Tami Simon interviewed Lorna Byrne yesterday on her podcast, Insights at the Edge. I met Lorna in London a few years ago when we were both speaking at a Hay House conference. It was fun to hear from Lorna again, so I went back to read what I’d written about her in my book, Thank & Grow Rich.
Written before 2018, the year Taz graduated to the bigger, freer perspective, this excerpt about Lorna was the perfect way to re-boggle my mind, a trick I use whenever it tries to, as minds are wont to do, override reality. Hope you enjoy:
Lorna Byrne’s family was told she was retarded. She stared at walls, played with imaginary friends, acted “different” than the other kids. By the time she was 14, she was diagnosed dyslexic, so her dirt-poor Irish family saw no reason to continue buying schoolbooks and clothes and they pulled her out of school.
As it turns out, Lorna Byrne was actually a lot “smarter” than the rest of us. She sees things the rest of us miss. Miraculous things, beautiful things.
It wasn’t walls she was staring it. She was listening to angels, who forbade her from revealing their presence. Not yet, they said.
Her parents, the angels clearly instructed, would commit her to an institution if she told them. The angels had other plans for her life.
To this day, she sees these beings as clearly as we see our children texting their classmates on cell phones. “They are my teachers and friends,” she says.
One of her many “imaginary friends” was her brother Christopher, who had died before Lorna was even born. It wasn’t until she was 15 that she found out that the rest of her family, caught up in the limited physical plane, believed Christopher had left the planet when he was 10 weeks old. Their strict adherence to conventional reality precluded their seeing Christopher, the angels, and many things that, to Lorna, are an everyday occurrence.
Lorna sees spirals of light, sparkly colors, and waves of energy that the rest of us miss because we’ve been trained to block out all “atypical” information. She often sees dark energy, for example, in people experiencing illness in their bodies.
Her angels led her to interact with nature, taught her how to see. She grew to love and trust these angelic beings, who often asked her to open her hands to find holograms of stars or flowers made of light. They’d shine and expand from her hand as far as she could see.
Lorna, who grew up Catholic, uses the terminology angels to describe the magical entities she interacts with on a daily basis. It jibes with her religious beliefs, and it’s a useful word that most people can identify with. Angels— we’ve all heard of those.
Everything these magical beings ever told her came true.
Once when she was playing with a childhood friend, she could hear her friend’s father, who was far away at the auto body shop where he worked, calling for help. They ran to the shop and found him unconscious and bloody, under a car that had toppled on top of him.
Another time, she saw two young bike riders get hit by a bus. She saw them continue to ride, peacefully and without a care, on up to heaven even though ambulances and paramedics were scrambling around the leftover bodies.
When she was 10, one of her angels pulled down a big screen in the middle of the river. A vision appeared on the screen of a tall, handsome red-headed boy.
“Remember him,” they said. “You will meet him in a few years, and you are going to marry him, have children. You will be very happy.”
The angel also told her God would take him back to heaven when he was still young. Not the kind of thing you want to hear about your future spouse, but Lorna had long ago learned to believe everything they told her.
When she was 16, Joe, the guy in the vision, walked into her father’s shop and applied for a job. And sure enough, the two began dating, eventually fell in love, and got married, just as the angels predicted.
They were also right about Joe’s health. After marrying in 1975 and having four children, Joe began suffering poor health and died in 2000. Their youngest child was only five.
After Joe’s death, at the angels’ prompting, Lorna went public. Her angels had always told her she would eventually write books. She just laughed. But she’d also learned to heed their instructions.
At last count, this diminutive, soft-spoken, uneducated Irishwoman has written four books. She has gone on to appear on BBC, in The Economist, and at gatherings all over the world.
Lorna says all babies see angels and spirit, but about the time they speak their first words, they “learn” what’s “real” and what’s not.
It is only when we begin conforming to the strict paradigms of our culture that we lose touch with this magical world that surrounds us.
Methinks, it’s time to unravel our own strict beliefs about what is and isn’t possible and to reconnect with this magical world.
“In absolute reality—a reality unaffected by the beliefs or limitations of any finite being—the grace of God is always present.”– Bonnie Rose
One of the experiments in E-Cubed was called Nature vs. the News. Its hypothesis–that a vibrating, pulsing field of information is forever available–is showing off right now.
I love going out each morning to revel in the latest “news” erupting in my backyard—long-forgotten perennials poking through the ground, trees coming back to life and birds serenading me with such joy and promise.
I even get a kick out of the bachelor robin who keeps banging into my windows as he tries to “protect his territory” from those “other” male robins he thinks he sees in the reflection.
The experiment asks us to question whether we’re seeing and believing in “news” that has no real relevance. And to find out if we’re missing life (that vibrating, pulsing field) by paying attention to the wrong things.
The news (I like to call it “the olds”) specializes in focusing on irrelevant things—often a sound bite or a news peg that will scare us into paying attention.
Putting our faith in such nonsense wouldn’t be an issue if our thoughts and their resulting beliefs and consciousness weren’t such powerhouses. But our consciousness and our thoughts are muscle men, stepping out into the field of potentiality and bringing back the very circumstances, weather, disease, and dysfunction we invest in. Because we form so many of our opinions from the almighty news media, we should all be high-fiving and fist-bumping each other for the mere fact that we haven’t put a razor blade to our wrists yet.
But here’s what I know. What we see in the news media is a tiny speck of a reality far removed from true Reality. It’s so limited in dimension and scope that when we pay such close attention to it we completely miss nature’s Divine Broadcast. This sacred buzz can be heard in every crocus poking through the ground. In every mockingbird ditty. In every cool breeze caressing your cheek.
My main news broadcast comes from my yard, and when I take time to listen, it imparts volumes of information. Getting jiggy with the natural world will always be my main news source.
“If we can pay attention to things that really matter, there a revolution starts.”– Robin Wall Kimmerer
I always liked blogging on Friday, partly because I could end with my favorite intention. “Have the very best weekend of your life.”
So even though I sent out a post earlier this week (in case you didn’t notice, I have no schedule or agenda for these posts), I thought I’d send out this tiny little reminder that even when it feels like your life sucks the big one, there is an inner light and an inner joy still going on within you.
I know this is hard to believe, ridiculous even according to the cultural Kool-aid we’ve all been gulping. But it’s true. That inner pilot light is always present.
Yes, our sacred gift of attention has been hijacked to pay attention to problems, products and other people’s agendas. But if we turn our attention ever so slightly, catch a tiny glimpse of that inner light, we’ll see that we remain as the Course promises, “as life created us.”
The inner light, the inner joy cannot be extinguished. Clouds can cover it. Our focus on others’ agendas can obscure it.
But it’s always, always, always there.
Remember this news flash as you go out and “have the very best weekend of your life.”
“The world is an exquisite place if you can just stop for a moment.”—Chris Rush
The above headline is from yesterday’s Course in Miracles lesson. It might be my favorite lesson. But then I say that about a lot of the lessons.
Preparing for miracles is more or less my intention every day. To open my mind, to change the story I’ve long believed. As long as I limit myself to what everyone else accepts as possible, as long as I cling to what my culture tells me is statistically likely, that’s all I will ever see.
The Course says life comes with miracles a thousand times as happy and wonderful as those I could ever dream of or wish for. And that if I just surrender what I learned is possible, I will be led and guided every moment of every day.
As you know since you’ve joined this party called a blog, miracle stories drop like rain into my inbox.
I got one yesterday from a brilliant filmmaker in Moscow who was reading, E-Squared. She asked to see something that everyone knows is impossible—something that just couldn’t happen because of the snow, the cold, the….you get the picture. Yet, the very thing she asked to see (a butterfly) appeared within moments.
She said she was covered in goosebumps and wanted to cry from delight. Me thinks, that’s a reasonable plan (being covered in goosebumps) for every day.
And why not? I’ve been thinking about how we create reality. And how we don’t really start “creating” until the third act when everything on the stage of life has already been drawn up and decided upon.
But what if everything that has been drawn up, always by someone other than me, is completely wrong and only appears to be true because that’s what was created back then.
If we truly create our reality, then we need to let go of all beliefs that were automatically bestowed upon us by well-meaning parents and a culture that has historically invested in fear and scarcity.
Here’s a story that happened this weekend that I was trained to believe is preposterous, outlandish. The adjective “crazy pants” might have even occurred to a couple members of my possibility posse when I shared this with them yesterday.
But you know what? I am tired of believing in limitations and beliefs that offer so little, that preach protection and safety and you better watch out for those “other guys.” Why would I need to protect myself from life that only wants to give, that only wants to love me fiercely?
So I’d had a restless night and was sleeping in Taz’s room. The sun hadn’t yet come up. The birds were just barely starting to sing so I decided to go out and join them, to walk to where I could bear witness to the sun as it rose above the horizon.
All my clothes, of course, were in my bedroom where my partner was offering a contented lullaby of his own (read: quiet snoring). I did not want to wake him. Something told me to look in Taz’ closet. Say what?
But there, on a hanger, waiting for me to notice, was a long skirt and a jacket, perfect for my walk. I didn’t recognize the skirt as something Taz had ever worn and, believe me, I gazed on that girl’s beauty and style with great interest and love every time I saw her. The skirt was way longer than her normal size. I’m a good three inches taller than she was. The skirt was….drum beat…my size, my exact perfect size.
Needless to say, I went on a delightful walk in the outfit prepared just for me.
So yeah, it could have been Taz’s. But how much more fun to see it as a miracle that was prepared especially for me at the exact moment I needed it. And, from this point on, to know with complete surety that I don’t need to hoard things or prepare for things because what I need will always be provided by life that holds me in its ever-loving arms.
“The blue pill isn’t nearly as much fun.”—Donald Hoffman
So I love Jeff Bridge’s line from the movie The Big Lebowski. When bowling hotshot Jesus Quintana comes over to taunt his team, The Dude so wisely pronounces, “Well, that’s just like your opinion, man.”
Most of what we think of as fact is merely an opinion.
Because reality is so vast and unfathomable, we use our reducing valve, Aldous Huxley’s nickname for the human brain, to form opinions and beliefs that we then render into what we call reality.
The brain’s neurons form pathways that allow us to see only our opinions, only our interpretations. And as we focus there, those pathways harden like concrete.
We’re born as little human love bombs. Very quickly, we learn to sync our interface, our neural pathways with the people, the culture, the world around us. It’s an interface that sees reality as limited and separate. It’s an interface that asks us to be afraid, to be very afraid.
Today’s Course lesson (#95) asks me to examine my personal interface with reality, to look at how I so often allow erroneous interpretations and opinions to drag me around like tin cans on a “Just Married” car. It asks me to let it all go, to recognize my opinions and interpretations are simply NOT true.
Instead, it encourages me to see myself as united with all creation, limitless in power and in peace. It says there’s a much deeper and meaningful interface, one where I’m complete and healed and whole.
As for everything else? “It’s just like your opinion, man.” #222 Forever!
“The cheapest workout you can do is writing gratitudes.”—Neil Pasricha
I want to start this post with a big sloppy thank you for all you gloriously beautiful blog readers.
I am keenly aware that your decision to read and comment on my posts is a gift to me and my work. I feel extraordinarily blessed that you take the time to honor me this way.
I’ve been thinking about blessings and gratitude A LOT, noticing that when I fail to practice gratitude, the mind gremlins can get rather chatty. Noticing how much I miss when I don’t practice hour-by-hour gratitude.
When I forget to count my blessings, I tend to overlook the gazillion gifts life is offering me: beautiful songs, stunning art, four-year-olds skipping at the park, to name just a few.
It’s like being on a vacation to let’s say Paris and totally missing the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées.
I mean just seeing the light coming from every person’s eyes, every tree, every flower is wow! such a gift. I mean, what a world I get to experience. And I don’t have to do a single thing to earn this tsunami of love and care and blessings.
Except take the time to notice.
At all times, I’m either saying “thank you” or “woe is me.” One precludes the other. Both can’t exist at the same time.
That’s why every morning, I choose to put Newton’s first law of motion into action with my A.A. 2.0 proclamation (“Something extraordinarily epic is going to happen to me today”) followed by texting three amazingly awesome discoveries to my possibility posse.
Simply stated, ye ole Isaac discovered that “An object set in motion will stay in motion.” Until, of course, another force (say the “woe is me” force) compels it onto a different trajectory.
Hour-by-hour gratitude is by far the easiest, most potent spiritual practice I know. #222 Forever!
“Habits create a caricature of yourself.”—Marc Maron
You’ve probably heard of mirror work—where you gaze at your reflection in the bathroom mirror and tell yourself how strong and beautiful and capable you are.
Here’s why I never do that.
That woman who looks at me from the mirror is not the real me.
Focusing on that tiny sliver of a face and a body is like worshipping a single one of my 50 trillion cells. Without the other cells, that one solitary cell is useless.
Finding meaning or identity in my physical body blocks a deeper life force that wants to move through me. It blocks real meaning, real beauty, real substance.
Most of us squander our average 75 years on planet earth believing we are the image in the mirror. We slavishly work to protect it, to keep it going at all costs, to make it look as society tells us it should look.
As the Course so plainly tells me, I am under no laws but God’s. All the strange and twisted human laws of beauty, economics, medicine and nutrition are only enforced when I cling so desperately to that caricature in the mirror.
Imagine how different our lives would be if we didn’t feel the compulsion to perpetually ensure its safety?
When we believe the image is who we are, we’re stuck and scared and unable to see the bigger glories.
We are the life force itself, stars masquerading as separated reflections in a mirror.
Instead of talking to a mirror, I like to notice myself in the night sky, in the Milky Way, in the love that flows in and throughout the entire cosmos. #222 Forever!