I was standing in the check-out line of a grocery store the other day and the woman in front of me began telling another woman about the difficulties that she was having with her adult son. In a very short period of time, I heard this woman’s story (regarding her son). The “story of her son” was one that I could feel had been repeated by her hundreds, if not thousands, of times: he’d always been difficult, always struggled with anger and depression, she was at the end of her rope with him, she was worried sick about him.
This unhappy story was a huge part of her life. At one point, the woman listening to her said, “He hasn’t always been in so much trouble. Remember when….” but the woman cut her off saying, “And now, his doctor wants to take him off all of his medications……” Her friend had tried to crack through that dense, dark, sad, story but this woman’s ego was having none of it, so she escalated her story. She was, “Arguing for her limitations”, and she was doing it for both herself and for her son….and it is so easy to see when someone else is doing it…not so easy when it comes to our stories.
When we lock into our minds dramatic, highly charged, scenarios about ourselves or anyone else, they stay locked in, in our experience, and it doesn’t matter if they are scenes that we hate or love. We become mesmerized by these images, believe them to be true, and they come to life.
A few years ago, I sat with my mother and my son Matt, and I asked them both where they saw themselves in a couple of years. Matt saw himself in LA (he was not living there at the time) working in films, doing what he felt passionate about, and also becoming more recognized for his work. When he shared his vision, I didn’t start a conversation about how it could happen. I didn’t give him any advice or “helpful ideas”. This was not a discussion, it was a vision.
At one level, this is a fun game to play, but it is also a powerful way to gather two minds for a common vision. From that day forward, when I thought about Matt, I held a snapshot of what he told me, in my mind. If I started to become worried (because he didn’t have a place to live, or that his total wreck of a car, cracked windshield and all, would break down, etc.) I’d get quiet, close my eyes, and pull that “success image” to mind. I’d see him happy and loving his work. He also held his vision, and he worked for it. Every opportunity presented (even the smallest) that felt like a step in the right direction, he said yes to. A couple of years later, when Matt and the film crew from that season of The Deadliest Catch, accepted their Emmy, no one in our family was surprised.
But it wasn’t the outer manifestation alone that we had seen. It was the feeling of the vision (which is ultimately the important thing). When I see myself and others as peaceful, loving, and happily fulfilling our purpose for being (awakening and thus helping others to do the same) I have become a conscious creator.
Our minds are continually creating our worlds, whether we are conscious of this or not. Release your limited, unhappy, visions. Set them free, let them go. Open your arms and your heart to a new vision.
“If you look within rather than only without, you discover that you have an inner and an outer purpose, and since you are a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosm, it follows that the universe too has an inner and outer purpose inseparable from yours. The outer purpose of the universe is to create form and experience the interaction of forms–the play, the dream, the drama, or whatever you choose to call it.
Its inner purpose is to awaken to its formless essence. Then comes the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose: to bring that essence, consciousness, into the world of form and thereby transform the world. The ultimate purpose of that transformation goes far beyond anything the human mind can imagine or comprehend. And yet, on this planet at this time, that transformation is the task allotted us.” pp 281, A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle