Start Up Of Me

Photo: Vladimir Kush

Photo: Vladimir Kush

Somehow I find myself in my 50's with a pretty incredible story.  Funny thing is,  I spent most of my life feeling like my story sucked.  It was so boring.  At best there may have been a little bit of romance to it, sprinkled with a tad of drama but nothing to traumatic.  My career as a pastor, had allowed me to be privy to tons of heroic stories.  I knew a miracle when I saw one. Blessed would be a good word to sum up my life.  

I created a habit to carve out time to document and hold in a sacred safe place for keeping my Defining Moments in life thus far.  

Defining Moments are markers that can serve as insight in retrospect.  Remember that no one is where she is by accident. Chance plays no part in the Divine's plan. I have found that my Defining Moments hold the recipe of my Elixir of Life encoded into them. I am here sharing in hopes of highlighting how there is always a Divine Plan at play.  

One of those moments was in the spring of 2010 - I was laying in an ER bed, asking the doctor -  is my life in danger.  He replied - well you do have a bacteria staph infection which resistant to Antibiotics inches from your brain, that is cause for concern.  I spent the next 5 weeks in and out of hospitals until they arrived at a drug cocktail that shut down the MRSA infecting my face.  For the first time in 18 workaholic years something had stopped me cold in my tracks.

My personality and disposition is highly directional. I am a visionary, with strong gifts in leadership.  In 1992, my husband and I moved to Arizona and launched a non-profit startup, a church. I had an entrepreneurial spirit to my core.  Both my father and mother were successful entrepreneurs,  it ran deep in my veins.  We zeroed in on targeting people who had never been to church before.  We may have been pastors of a church, but Monday through Friday we were business owners, on a mission to create a safe place where people could explore the spiritual side of life.  This approach gave us great success.  It was an incredible adventure. 

I was content to work my ass off - night and day - often behind the scenes.  The core of the people that I surrounded myself with - knew the valuable role I played.  In the end - this did not serve ME well. Twenty years of investing the very best of me into a business, yet as a woman I had nothing apart from my husband.  I allowed the world to view me as part of a package.  I was so buried in the work, I never once stopped to contemplate the magnitude of how I was designing my life.  

The vulnerability I faced with healing from MRSA on my FACE changed me.  Something was off, nothing quite gelled the same.  Over the next two years it was much like pressing a pause button that allowed me to take a heavily outward focus lifestyle and begin to shine a light inward.  I started actually having thoughts and concerns as to the life I was building for me. 

There was actually one person who I highly respected who pointed out to me - that everything I did was incredible but it was making a huge investment in everyone but myself, and had I considered the long term ramifications of that?  I have to say this stirred concern in a deep secret place inside and I knew it was a feeling I had to investigate further.  And this sent me off on a path that became The Start-Up of Me.

The Magic Of Believing

Photo: Nic Gibson/Newspix/REX

Photo: Nic Gibson/Newspix/REX

I love Tony Robbins, I consume every piece of content I can find of his on You Tube.  Kelsey Humphries interviewed him a couple of weeks ago on The Pursuit.tv.  Slipped into that interview Tony mentioned one of the first triggers projecting him down the path he took in life was reading Claude M. Bristol’s, “The Magic of Believing”.  This was the first time I heard him refer to this book and the impact it had on his life.  I immediately downloaded this book published in 1948. 

Mr. Bristol recounts many stories of people who did great things from a place of imagination. He recounts an interview by Mildred Mesirow for Reach Magazine with Angela Lansbury, a Tony Award-winning actress of the stage and screen, now in her 90’s.  Here is a snippet from the interview retold in Bristol’s, “The Magic of Believing”. 

“I think I’ve learned how to tap the resource of the subconscious (read Imagination). Everyone knows that the subconscious mind (imagination) stores all sorts of abilities, memories, and aptitudes we don’t ordinarily utilize …What I’m trying to say is that, when you’ve learned how to draw on your subconscious powers, there’s really no limit to what you can accomplish.”

Angela had schooled herself in the technique of self-suggestion.  Since she first chose acting as a career, she has constantly held in her mind a picture of what she aspires to achieve.  From time to time she has even written down the goals she wants to reach. Obviously, she has tapped the reservoirs of creative material which few of us know how to use.  Within the subconscious lie the materials of genius itself; of powers which when properly recognized, may burst into the mental field of activity in patterns which surpass our conscious abilities …

“And how do you go about tapping your subconscious mind?” Mesirow asked.

“Heavens! I don’t want to sound stuffy and highbrow, but it’s really awfully simple.  If you tell yourself over and over again that there’s no limit to the creative power within you, that’s about all there is to it.  Honestly, I believe that’s true.  Whatever intelligence or creative force, or whatever it is, that reside in the world is like…” she waved a strong, beautiful hand expressively… “oh, like light or air, or something of that sort.  It doesn’t belong to me, especially.  It’s there, to be tapped and expressed by anyone who knows how to get at it.

“This isn’t a cut-and-dried formula for success by any means,” she continued. “It doesn’t let you off hard work.  You’ve got to keep plugging like mad, perfecting whatever kind of expression you’ve got; adding constantly to your skill, whether it’s in acting or painting, or even making a dress.  So that, when the chance for self-expression does come, when the time arrives for you to call on your subconscious power to express itself, you have a good set of tools for it to work with; a proper medium through which your creative urge can be portrayed … Catch on?” she added with humor.

“About the suggestibility of the subconscious?”  Mesirow prompted. 

“Oh that! Well, when you’re about to drop off to sleep, just tell yourself that tomorrow’s the day you’ve got to surpass anything you did today.  That, whatever demands are made upon you, all your abilities, all you’ve learned, perhaps things you’ve forgotten you ever knew – all these will be available to you…”

“Bearing in mind an actual mental picture of the situation is even better.  If you’re scheduled to do a screen test, for example, you see yourself acting–out that test better than anyone’s ever done it before.  Act it like mad in your mind!  Be Duse; Be Bernhardt!  In your mental picture, be the best there is!  And when the actual test comes off you find, often to your surprise, that you’re acting better than you know how. 

“The subconscious is a pretty dramatic factor in personality.  I believe.  It likes to act and sing and paint and express itself.  It likes to surpass in anything it’s called on to do.  Your responsibility is to equip it with tools for expression, to give it a chance, and then make it an ally behind the scenes…”

Brutal Honesty

Back in 2012, I went through a season of life, where my thoughts turned scary.  The places my mind would take me seemed profoundly strange.  My thoughts left me feeling alone, with a deep sense of loss.  Yet, nothing in my life had changed on the exterior.  I came across a book by Byron Katie, “Loving What Is”.  Her writings opened up a whole new world to me.  A world that proved to serve me very well.  Little did I know that things were about to change big time, that indeed I would be alone and would experience loss.  But, I knew I had been gently led to Bryon’s writings, and had somewhat of a process to navigate where my thoughts would take me.  I knew to sincerely ask, Is it true?  Can you know absolutely for sure that it is true? I needed the brutal honesty.  My Source knew this and had given me the precious gifts of Katie’s writing in anticipation of the journey ahead.