If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I experienced a big shift January 1st when I sat down to create my Intention Mandala for 2010. I shifted 180 degrees from focusing on what I want to focusing on creating the conditions that make all that possible. Many of you are making the same shift.
So, I thought you might enjoy hearing what has happened in the first five weeks of 2010. Think of this as The December Plan–January Report
I have stuck faithfully to my plan. Every morning before I get up,
I turn my face to imaginary sunlight, feel it on my cheeks, and commit once more to love my work and do it in joy. This new morning habit is now, well, a habit. A really nice habit. And it’s working. I wake up happy. Big happy. Smile-on-my-face happy. Leap-out-of-bed-excited-to-work happy.
Then, before I touch my computer, I stand in front of my Intention Mandala and look–really look–at the image at the center. I speak the six ways I create the conditions to become who I want to be out loud. That’s important, I think. I say my prayers out loud.
Then, I write down my soul and get to work. On the surface, nothing appears to really be all that different. I spend my days in my writing office at the computer just like I always did. But something is different.
And I have proof that it’s working. Here are two examples.
Two weeks ago, I sent Daniel Ladinsky, the incredible Hafiz translator, an email asking if he’d like to join me for a Hafiz Love Fest teleclass. I thought it would be such fun to just read Hafiz poems to one another. And I was confident that a hundred people would join us. But Daniel said no. Turns out he doesn’t like the phone. And he says his vocal renderings of Hafiz are, let’s just say, idiosyncratic. For lots of reasons, Daniel said no. Hmmph, I thought. So much for that great idea.
But you know that sweet saying, “From your lips to God’s ears?” Have you heard that? I think of it as a Jewish saying. Not quite sure why. But I do. If you haven’t heard the saying before, the idea is, “May God hear what you are saying and make it so.”
Well, the day after Daniel said no, Cherry Lea, owner of Dancing Moon Bookstore in Raleigh called. She was responding to an email I’d sent about my schedule. When I went online to make reservations for my trip, the Sunday afternoon flight I wanted disappeared off Southwest’s screen. I mean that.
It just disappeared and suddenly the only option was 7:30PM. So I sent Cherry an email saying she was kinda stuck with me on Sunday and I’d be happy to come to the store and sign books or whatever she wanted.
Cherry said they’d be delighted to have me come to the store on Sunday. I could certainly sign books, she said, “But you know what we’d really love you to do? It’s Valentine’s Day and we’d really love you to read Hafiz poetry while we serve tea and pastries.”
And that’s how the first ever Mystical Poetry Love Fest came to be. Straight “from my lips, to God’s ears.” In 48 hours, no less.
Want another example?
I sent an email to Sharon Jebbens, manager of Wings Bookstore in St Petersburg on Saturday telling her I’d be delighted to pop into Wings and sign the March Daily Word. (I wrote the feature article on deep soul writing.)
One minute later, I got an email from the new events coordinator at Wings inviting me to teach an all-day workshop. I thought, wow, that was fast! But when Andi called to talk about details, she knew nothing about my email to Sharon. She said she emailed me simply because so many people had come into the store talking about the book and asking when I’d teach again.
From my lips to God’s ear. In record speed.
I cannot predict everything that will happen in 2010. But five weeks into the year, here’s what I see:
- I am happy–deliciously happy
- Invitations to speak, teach, and be interviewed are flying in the door
- I ask for what I want and receive it (sometimes instantly!)
- January has been the most prosperous month of my entire writing life
Are all these things happening because I begin my day with my face to the Light? Because I commit to a day of love and joy? Because I keep my focus on creating the conditions that generate the life I want rather than on the things themselves?
I think so. I think this whole “December Plan’ idea that began on December 1 has been a divine adventure. And the best is yet to come.
What about you? What is happening since you set your Intention for the year? What words have emanated from your lips and landed on God’s ears? Tell me, I’d love to know.
Heaven communicates with us so many ways. Synchronicity. Animal messengers. Signs and symbols. Dreams. Nudging. Knowing. Intuition. And deep soul writing, of course.
But have you noticed that when you are ready to hear something really important, something that may well be the next step in your soul’s great human adventure, it falls into your hands through a human voice? It might be something someone says, but often it comes through the pages of a book.
That’s what happened to me. As you know, I wrote about how to create a magical new year throughout December. I thought about it every day and shared my experiences with you in this newsletter and in my blog. I thought I had the process pretty well figured out.
Until New Year’s morning.
I spent the morning in deep dialogue with my divine Voice putting 2009 to bed and calling in a magical 2010. It’s a process I’ve followed for a decade and I know it works. But this year, I did something different. Before I said my prayers, before I picked up a pen, before I did anything, I picked up a library book. As I sipped my coffee, I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s slender new book, you are here.
Midway through I had to stop and catch my breath. Because everything in my understanding suddenly shifted 180 degrees.
Let me explain.
A week ago, I decided that the perfect name for 2010 is “My Breakthrough Year.” It’s perfect because it captures where I am. I’m in the fifth year of my writing career: In 2006, I called in my publisher. In 2007, I wrote Writing Down Your Soul. In 2008, I learned what happens after you turn in your manuscript: editing, book layout, cover design… In 2009, I learned what happens when your book comes out: how to speak, teach, travel, communicate through social media, work with a publicist, interview and be interviewed… Whew.
And so, in year five, I’m ready for the big breakthroughs. You know: the income, agent, multi-book contract, well-paid speaking invitations. I’m ready for my ships to come in.
And reading Thich Nhat Hanh, I discovered how to do that. Which is a really good thing, because I had something wrong, and I’m willing to bet you do, too.
Until I read You Are Here, I visualized my year as me breaking through barriers to reach what I want. But listen to what the Buddha has to say about creating: “This is, because that is.”
Not clear? Don’t worry. That’s why God gave us Thich Nhat Hanh, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Vietnamese Buddhist monk. To explain this profound teaching Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “This refers to the manifestation of phenomena on the basis of the law of interdependent origination. When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.” (p. 87) To illustrate, he points out that in winter you don’t see sunflowers, but that doesn’t mean sunflowers don’t exist. They are just waiting for the condition of sunshine to call them forth.
My eyes couldn’t leave the sentence, “When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.” I wrote it several times in my journal. I wrote it on my white board. I sat staring in space letting it seep into my cells.
“When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.”
I am still calling 2010 “My Breakthrough Year,” but I see now that my way to get that to happen is not to focus on me breaking through to what I want; it is to focus on creating the conditions that allow everything I want to break through to me.
Do you hear the difference? It’s huge. And it’s the miracle-maker that will create the year I want — and the year you want.
So how do you create those conditions? Well, my Voice and I had long, rich talks about how I can create the fertile field for my “sunflowers” to break through the soil and grow, grow, grow. Well, actually we talked about lilies. Ever since Michael said, “You are a lily,” in an angel reading with Margo Mastromarchi in 2007, I’ve had lilies on my altar. I love seeing myself as one of Spirit’s cared-for lilies.
Once I was clear on the conditions to allow all I want to manifest, I made a prayer mandala to imprint that image in my sub-conscious. I traced a dinner plate on a large sheet of paper. I drew a lily at the center of the circle. On each of her six petals I wrote something I do to create the perfect conditions for my year. Around the lily, I drew twelve small circles, each with a symbol of something I want to break through to me in 2010.
I finished with an angel reading, using Doreen Virtue’s Archangel Oracle deck and pasted copies of the four cards to the corners. Delighted with the results, I pinned my 2010 mandala to the wall next to my desk where it will bless me for the next 365 days.
It’s the last day of Week 2 of our December Plan to call in a magical year. Today we finish sifting through the events of 2009 to uncover all the gifts buried there. It’s been an interesting week, hasn’t it? Some days, I have to agree, it hasn’t been so much fun. The “gifts” of our lives don’t always come in foil-wrapped packages with golden bows. I wish they did, but the truth is sometimes the most important gifts come in the guise of defeat, rejection, loss, pain, suffering. At the time, we sure don’t consider the experience a “gift.” But that doesn’t mean it isn’t. In fact, it may be more than a single gift; it may be a window your soul peeks through, or even a highway that leads to your soul’s fullest, richest expression.
Listen to Alexander Sozhenitsyn on his long imprisonment in a Siberian gulag. He’s describing one of those really big gifts: “It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirring of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not though parties, states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, either, but right through all human hearts. So, bless you prison for having been in my life.”
Bless you prison? Bless you prison? That’s not a man speaking. That’s a soul. That’s a soul pushing a dark door open, feeling the Light, and taking the first steps down a path that will inspire millions. His words give us a flash of Solzhenitsyn’s wise soul-self waking up. In those unbelievable words, we can see his small spirit blinking in the light as it senses its potential to express big Spirit here on earth.
I like to call that appearance of the soul-self your “Grandself.” Just as the honorific “Grandmother” is meant to capture a higher, wiser expression of the wonderful motherly qualities of love and grace, and “Grandfather” resonates with a higher expression of the fatherly qualities of wisdom and protection, your “Grandself” resonates with the higher expression of your soul. It is your God-self showing up.
So, looking at 2009, when did your Grandself show up? When did your spirit burst forth with wisdom and grace you didn’t know was inside you? When did the ideas in your head stun you? The words in your mouth bless you? The ideas on the page take your breath away? When was your heart so radiant that you thought you might float? When were people magnetically attracted to you? When were you at peace, not just still, but resting in real deep peace.
Next year, of course, as we call in all the magic, love, and joy we can, we will be creating a veritable playground for our Grandselves to show up. But this year, even in hard times, your Grandself showed up too. When did your Grandself tap you on the shoulder and say, “Hello darling, I’m here.”