Monday, January 25, 2016

"What If?" The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: Week One

Since the beginning of the new year, I have decided to pull out a book that I have worked with in the past and make it a part my daily practice again. The book is, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra. In it he lays out seven spiritual laws, one for each day of the week, that guide us through those things that are stopping us from living the life of our dreams, and fulfilling our purpose. I read one a day, but I thought it would be fun to take one each week for the next seven weeks and explore how each one can move our lives from where they are to where we aspire to be.

The First Spiritual Law of Success is the Law of Pure Potentiality. Did it ever occur to you that everything we see in the physical world came from someone asking themselves the question : "What if? " What if I could harness the power of an electrical storm and create electricity? What if I could invent a way for people to talk to each other over long distances? What if I could find a cure for polio? In the Law of Pure Potentiality we learn that everything in the Universe came from pure, consciousness ... "pure potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest."

Consider this: There is never only one way to do something or create something. If that were the case, we'd all be living in the same types of housing, driving the same types of cars, and eating the exact same kind of food. But we don't. There is an unlimited number of possibilities of how we can do something, or how, if we don't like what we do have, we can make something better. 

Take me, for example. I grew up in the era where good girls went to school, got a job out of high school, got married, had kids, etc, etc etc - you know the drill. Then some people came along and said, "not necessarily." People like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan opened our eyes to other possibilities, and gave us the tools we needed to be the creators of our own lives. 

Here is another example. I am a writer. I have wanted to be a writer from the time I was 5 years old. However, even though I "moved around the edges" of being a writer, like writing copy for someone else, or doing a company newsletter, I firmly believed that real writers were the ones that had books sitting on book shelves in bookstores with their names on the spine and great reviews. I depended on some lowly junior editor somewhere to decide if my work was worth of being published. For all I knew, they were having a really bad day and I reminded them of their mother (who was the cause of their bad day). I gave my power to someone else. Then came the Internet and the world of self-publishing. At the age of 63 I started writing a blog, which became an ebook, which inspired a second ebook. The potential for me to be a writer, and call myself a writer, was always there. Someone had to ask the question: "What if we created a place where people can publish their own work without depending on the whims of the traditional publishing houses?" The potential was always there for that, too. Someone just had to first ask "What if?"

So how do we come up with those "What If?" ideas? We have to connect to our most authentic selves, that place of stillness and silence where we can hear our thoughts and the whispers of our souls. Yes, I'm talking about meditation. I am a firm believer in the powerful way that mediation can change our lives, and living proof that anybody can do it. It doesn't require special training, or equipment, or going to India to live in an ashram. What it does require is that we find the space and time to sit quietly, focus on the our breath flowing in and out, and, simply listen. Start with 10 minutes in the morning, right after you get up. Your mind is fresh from sleep and open. Ideally, see if you can work your way up to 30 minutes, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. However, the 5 or 10 minutes you do will certainly serve you better than the 30 minutes that you don't do. If you go to the Chopra website, you can find dozens of guided meditations you can download. You can also go to which is the website of the meditation teacher I currently follow and who taught me that you can meditate any time, anywhere. By the way, it took less than a year from the time I sat back down and committed to a daily meditation practice, to the time I started my blog and began to call myself a writer. 

Another way to connect to your spirit is to spend some time in nature. It can be a few minutes walking outside, watching birds fly overhead, sitting and listening to the rain, or anything that brings you in physical and spiritual contact with the natural world. 

Finally, tell yourself that for a specific amount of time, you are not going to judge anything or anyone. Yes, I know, that can be extremely difficult given the shape of the world today, but being judgemental clouds that connection between ourselves and our Source of Inspiration. Non-judgement creates silence in your mind, especially if the one you are judging is yourself. No one is perfect. Everyone is doing the best they can, from where they are, and with what they have. So are you. I don't suggest that you try this for a whole day at first. Try it for half the day, say from breakfast until lunch. Then check back in with yourself to see how you're doing. You can then give yourself from lunch until dinner, or until bedtime. Slowly work yourself up to a whole day and see what happens. 

Every day, when I sit down at my desk to write, I look up at a sign that is hanging over it: "I live and dwell in the totality of possibility." What can't I do with an affirmation like that? More importantly, what can you do with it? I'd love to hear what you create. If you dream it, you can create it, guaranteed!

And so it is.