Ellen DeGeneres woke us all up. My last post, the one about her commencement address at Tulane, attracted a huge spike of readers. I think I know why. Ellen laid out a way — an incredibly simple way — to SEE your Life Around the Corner, by “seeing” it on the page in conversation with God. Ellen saw herself sitting next to Johnny Carson on the tonight show. Given Ellen’s situation at the time, that could have been labelled totally absurd, possibly delusional. But, guess what? It happened.
Her experience has really stuck with me. So, this morning, as I was saying my prayers, repeating my Covenant and my Writing Blessing, I closed my eyes and had a little chat with Spirit, or as Reverend Lauren McLaughlin, calls it, the Eternal Life Force — ELF. I was just saying something to the Elf, when I saw in my mind a bright white glowing light about the size of a basketball in my hands. Instinctively, I looked down into the white ball.
OH, I realized, this is how Ellen did it. She looked into the future, into her crystal ball, so to speak, or using my new favorite metaphor, into her spy binoculars and saw the Life Around the Corner. Clearly. She saw herself sitting next to Johnny Carson. Not wishing or hoping or “wouldn’t it be great if…” but saw it. Probably felt the chair beneath her. Felt the lights, saw his face close up. She simply was “there” inside her future experience. Did it happen because she experienced it a decade in advance or was it always going to happen and in that moment she simply got a peak? Interesting philosophical, metaphysical question there. And I don’t have the answer. Not an intellectual answer. And guess what? I don’t care how it works; I just want to have the experience.
So, looking into my white ball of light, I said, OK, I get it. I’ll sit down with my pen and have my own conversation with Spirit and SEE my future.
I asked on the page, “What is in my life around the corner?” Out gushed a bunch of things: Being on Ellen and talking about her experience, being on the Oprah Soul Series and on her TV show talking about deep soul writing, being interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, shaking Neale Donald Walsch’s hand and hearing him say that deep soul writing is how he had his Conversations with God, and signing a half million dollar advance. All delightful. All powerful. All big.
But when I looked at the list, I said, “OK, I love them all and I DO see them all happening, but what ONE event, what ONE experience would be proof that all of this has transpired and more? What one experience sums up my Life Around the Corner?”
I knew immediately. I drew a bold dark blue ink square around the words: Walk into the New York city library and touch a shelf full of my books.
Even as I type that sentence, I feel tears. Tears are proof that this is THE apex experience I will have. I don’t know when. (When is not my job.) I don’t know how. (How is not my job.) Just know that it will happen. I am standing there right now, in my mind, in my white ball of light, smiling and reaching out and running my fingers slowly along the ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen books that I have written. I turn to my son and with tears in my eyes, say, “Here I am, permanently, in the New York city library. Guarded by the lions.”
Close your eyes, hold the white ball of divine light or the spy binoculars or become a hawk who flies ahead to see your Life Around the Corner. The image doesn’t matter. Just choose one that feels right to you and ask, “How will I know that I have achieved my Life Around the Corner?” Pick up a pen and start writing. See what images come through. No matter how wacky or amazing or unlikely or impossible — write them down.
Why? Because Ellen sat next to Johnny Carson. Because I will run my hands over my books in the main library in New York. (Oh, and be on Oprah and Ellen, and GMA!)
How about you? What are you doing in your Life Around the Corner?
If you’ve ever heard me speak about Writing Down Your Soul, you know that the magic happens in and through and with the theta brain wave state. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise, but your conscious mind is useless. Unless you’re making dinner or filling the tank with gas or doing something else that requires conscious attention, it isn’t much help. To build a soul-directed, joy-filled, purpose-driven life, you gotta slip into theta as often as you can. Including–or especially–at night.
So, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was awakened in the middle of the night with a reminder: “Nice post, Janet, but you forgot something important about Lenox/Malcolm X Blvd. Tell them about the churches.”
Of course. I remember. I remember looking to the left and right and up and down and being floored by the beauty and size and variety of the houses of worship–one more jaw-droppingly gorgeous than the next. I saw traditional mainline Christian churches with stained glass windows that begged you to step inside. I saw Jewish temples behind ornate iron gates. I think I saw a Christian Science church with those classic pillars. And I’m pretty sure I saw something that said LDS. I remember being surprised to find LDS in Harlem. And I saw lots of store front churches with names that shouted: Get Your Salvation Here! On any given block between 116th and 125th, there were at least three churches.
So what, you ask.
So what? That’s a big clue to how you get to your Life Around the Corner. Maybe the biggest clue. Pray. Ask for help. Get out of your conscious, worry-filled, useless mind and access the universe of guidance and support that is everywhere around you.
Want to see the wonders of Malcolm X Blvd exactly where I was walking? Look at this glorious slide show. This is why God created Google, I think. I can’t believe how effortlessly this exquisite tour of the exact blocks I walked fell into my hands this morning. I know it’s for you!
But you don’t have to be on Malcolm X Blvd to find divine assistance. Or even in a church. Although, it’s lovely to sit in the cool dark of your favorite church or temple or shrine, you can commune with heaven anywhere and anytime.
My favorite shrine is St Michael’s in Tarpon Springs, and lord knows, I get amazing guidance sitting there, but day in and day out the Voice guides me sitting right here in my “writing chapel” (aka my office, aka my third bedroom).
However you pray–in a pew or in your yard, or sitting in your writing chair–the reminder is to simply do it. To connect. To ask for help. You are not alone. Heaven wants you to reach your Life Around the Corner. And it is reaching out to help you. Reach back.
So tell me, how do you reach back?