In his book, The Code of The Extraordinary Mind Vishen Lakhiani writes, “There is beauty in the dips.” And when you can see the beauty, miracles will follow.
In 2018 I faced many dips. Maybe more accurately described as periods of plummeting into deep ravines that seemed to have no end or bottom to speak of.
January 24, 2018 started off like most days. Getting the kids up and out the door for school, planning their after-school activities with my husband, figuring out who would drive each of them where they needed to go, and hopping on various conference calls and running my business.
I had left the hustle lifestyle behind roughly two years before and finally been able to live fully present each day despite the seemingly hectic schedule. Busy? Yes. Frantic? Not any more.
But as the morning progressed, I noticed something strange happening. As I was engaging in various conversations, I kept losing my train of thought. My mind would go blank for a moment and I had little recollection of what was previously said. This was unlike me. I remember feeling embarrassed about it. I kept having to ask my team and even clients on my calls if they could please remind me what I was saying so I could pick up the conversation where it had left off.
I chalked it up to a lack of sleep the night before, maybe not enough food. I was in the middle of a three-day green smoothie cleanse, and thought it could be low blood sugar. So I muscled my way through the day, like any sane person in total denial.
Standard family logistics were at play: my husband Mike was going to grab our older daughter from school while I was finishing up a call, we’d meet at the commuter parking lot in town for the handoff, as per usual. I would then drive her 45 minutes to her dance class down the busy interstate while Mike went home to get our younger daughter off the bus from Kindergarten.
I remember gathering my things and grabbing my daughter's black nylon dance bag. I remember climbing in the car and driving down the back roads through our small town towards the commuter lot. I remember looking at the cup holder to make sure I had both my green smoothie and my daughter's water bottle. That’s the last thing I remember before everything went dark.
When I finally came to, I was laying in the back of an ambulance. The EMT’s began asking me all sorts of questions: Did I know my name? What day was it? In my mind, I had all the answers. But speaking them was an impossibility. When I moved my lips, nothing but gibberish came out. Something was lost or broken. Why couldn’t I talk? What the hell had happened to me?
The paramedics began to unravel the mystery. They told me I’d been unconscious for nearly 30 minutes. A half an hour. They’d been called to the scene when a passerby dialed 911, only to find me unresponsive in the driver's seat, after crashing my car head first into an oak tree. I had so many questions: How did this happen? Why did this happen? And again, nothing came out of my mouth but disjointed letters and sounds, all of which bounced off the inside of the ambulance.
My husband had called my phone, which was politely answered by one of the paramedics. He and my daughter soon raced to the scene. I vaguely remember them climbing into the back of the ambulance to hug me and kiss me, though I was still not able to speak coherently. Soon after, I was taken away to Yale New Haven Hospital where I would stay for the next four days undergoing intensive testing to uncover the mystery of what happened.
One test I remember quite vividly. The team of neurologists placed EEG nodules on my brain and hooked me up to something that resembled a small time machine. The team huddled as the machine started spitting out brain wave activity. Finally, one of them calmly said that they needed me to remain hooked up to the EEG overnight, but couldn’t say why. Why is this happening to me? What is happening to me?
Exhausted and still in recovery mode, I slept most of the day and through the night, despite the frequent visits from the nursing staff. Finally, the next day, I was told the team of neurologists would be coming to discuss their findings. And so later that morning roughly seven neurologists formed a half circle around my bed. I knew what was to come next would not be good news.
“We’re sorry, Megan. You have been diagnosed with epilepsy. On the day of your car crash, you suffered a major seizure which caused you to lose consciousness and resulted in subsequent confusion and your temporary inability to speak. We know this is a lot to handle right now so we will let you digest this news and will be back to create a plan.”
An adult diagnosis of epilepsy is quite uncommon. Most often, epilepsy is diagnosed in children and young adults and they learn how to manage their seizures from a young age and adapt accordingly. As a 41-year-old otherwise healthy female, the news of a severe epileptic seizure and the implications of the diagnosis threw everyone for a loop. Though the real truth is that my diagnosis was just the beginning of my journey.
First, my license was immediately suspended. Understandable. That said, as a mother of two busy kiddos with a demanding work/life schedule darting all around, not being able to drive had incredible consequences. Luckily for us at the time, my husband worked mostly from home and was able to do the majority of the driving. But eventually, we enlisted the help of friends, family, and even hired a private driver to help. I was initially told that it would take between three and six months before my license would be reinstated. Okay, not bad I thought. I’ll be driving again by Spring.
Then Spring came and went, and so did Summer. Fall arrived and turned into Winter, and the calendar then changed years.
I have had several more EEG tests during the past 12 months. It turns out that choosing the right epilepsy medicine to treat each patient’s seizures is very unique to each individual and often takes many tries before doctors can get it right. This has been the case with me.
In the fall of 2018 I was placed on a new kind of medicine and after a few weeks of letting my body adjust, another EEG test was performed. And a few days later, my neurologist called to deliver the news: I was finally seizure free—the new medicine was working beautifully! After I hung up the phone, I wept quietly by myself. I sat and reflected on the past year.
Rather than focusing on the couldn’ts and didn’ts and unable to’s, of which there were plenty, a flood of appreciation began to flow through me. Immense feelings of gratitude for what the past year has meant enveloped me. And the tidal wave of love for family and friends, and their unwavering support filled every cell of my being. Miracle after miracle began to show itself to me.
At the time of this accident and subsequent diagnoses, my father, who had been ill with cancer for quite some time, took a turn for the worse. Unable to drive myself, friends and family hauled me to my father’s bedside, one hour each way, so I could sit with him until his last breath, almost one month to the day after my accident.
My doctor visits were plentiful and my kids had their usual business of activities and play dates with friends. Again, friends and family were there to help us every day. Neighbors, parents of our children’s friends, my husband, my newly widowed mother, the faces of each and every person who quite literally lifted us up each day to be sure everyone got to and from where we needed to be flashed on the screen of my consciousness as I wept in a flow of gratitude for each of them.
And in classic fashion, I decided to end the year with a bang! As a family, we’ve decided to relocate and press the reset button. My husband has reclaimed his freedom and taken advantage of an incredible career opportunity that was presented to him nearly 1500 miles away. This windfall of goodness also came with a handful of challenges: namely single parenting without a license, with a husband who is 1500 miles away.
Once again, friends and family have risen to the occasion.
My children have been resilient and patient. Their inner spirits and light shining so bright that it leaves me breathless. They witnessed their mom’s car crash and endured the impact of my epilepsy. They lost their beloved “Pa,” with whom they have unbreakable bonds. They watched from behind isolation glass as I was again hospitalized for two weeks in April due to a near-fatal bacterial infection that took over my intestines and caused sepsis. Then their dad moves to a new state while they finish out the school year. They have handled these challenges with grace and elegance and have become such an inspiration to me in so many ways, as has my devoted husband, who has literally been the glue holding our family together through all of this.
And though I am still not able to drive, I can see the light. My neurologist has cleared me to get my license and submitted my records to the medical board at DMV for review. Now it is no longer a matter of if, but when.
In reflecting on the dips of this past year three things are crystal clear to me:
- Meditation is like magic. Had I not been a regular meditator prior to these experiences, these dips would have turned disastrous and completely derailed me.
- Being grateful for the present while simultaneously having massive visions for the future is one of the secrets of true and lasting happiness. Most people are good at one. Few are great at both.
- Children are more resilient than most of us realize. They are so much closer to God, Source, and the Universe than we know. Often our biggest life lessons come by being silent, joyful witnesses to children.
Vishen is so right. There really is beauty in the dips. Dips are a part of life. But knowing what to do when the shift hits the fan is what matters most. Miracles will follow. You just have to be willing to look for them…
For most of my life, I lived in darkness. I lived a life void of purpose and meaning. I chased outward success and thought that material possessions and achievements would bring me the life of happiness and joy I craved.
But I was wrong.
As the recipient of horrific bullying in middle school, I lost nearly all of my self-worth. My confidence had been so badly bruised and I thought that the only way to regain self-esteem was by attaining outward material success. And that is how I lived my life for two and a half decades.
I was out to prove the bullies wrong, that I was not the loser they said I was, and thought material possessions would be proof of my success, thus restoring my self-worth that had been stripped away from me years earlier.
The problem with this though was that I defined my existence through the eyes of the ego, as so many people tend to do.
And when we look at life through the lens of the ego, we measure our value from three pivotal viewpoints. First, what we have. Second, what we do. Third, what other people say about us.
The ego loves labels. And we fall victim to believing these definitions and living our life according to them. This inevitably leads to a life void of purpose and meaning. In fact, this will prevent us from ever discovering our true life’s calling 100% of the time.
For most of my life, that’s exactly what I did. I lived my life according to these definitions and labels. The problem was that each time I succeeded by material standards, I was left feeling even worse than before. My successes came and went. They were always fleeting because success gained on the competitive plane of existence is rarely, if ever, permanent.
My life lacked meaning and purpose. It lacked pure joy. It lacked time with those I love.
And I reached a point where I just knew there had to be more to life than this. As a result, I started out on a quest to find out who I truly was and what I was put on this earth to do. I started questioning my very existence and in the process discovered many truths that were previously lying dormant in my soul.
See, I spent my whole life trying to BE ACCOMPLISHED until I decided to BE FREE.
What I discovered is that each of us comes into this life with a purpose, a dharma, and it is up to us to find out what that dharma is.
It is up to us to find out what we signed up for when we came into this human life. All too often people get sidetracked. They get stuck living a life they don’t love void of meaning and purpose. And then it’s too late.
Imagine if tomorrow was your last day on earth. Could you comfortably say that you fulfilled your destiny? Or would you be filled with regret that you never did or accomplished what you really wanted to – what they knew you could do, what you know you were meant to do?
In her book entitled, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying,” palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware, interviewed her patients who were on their deathbed, literally, and asked them if they had any regrets.
The number one regret that most people had time and time again was not living up to their full potential and following their dreams.
And this is what “Don’t die with your music still inside of you” means, and that’s why living a purpose-filled life is so important
But what if you don’t know what your dharma is? How do you find out? Where do you being?
I have identified a three-step process to discovering your dharma and living a purpose-filled life.
Step 1: Turn Inward
To begin, you must first turn inward and connect to your true essence.
Discovering your dharma is an inward process. It must come to you rather than you going and finding it somewhere else, somewhere outside of yourself. The best way I know how to do this is to meditate. You must quiet the chit-chat of your own inner dialogue and let Spirit, Source Energy, the Divine, speak TO you.
When you listen to the Universe you will always be led in the right direction. It’s when we think we are smarter than Spirit that we run into problems. And when we meditate, transcend to Source, and allow Source to speak to us, many of our questions are answered.
Step 2: Surrender
Second, you must surrender to the care of the Universe and let the Universe lead the way. In doing so you can feel confident knowing the answer will come to you.
“If you knew. If you knew who walked beside you at all times on this path that you have chosen, you could never experience doubt or fear again” says a Course in Miracles.
So be gentle about it. Don’t try to force it. Be gentle with yourself and let go and surrender.
Step 3: Enjoy the journey!
It’s all part of your Divine plan and the journey can be just as fun as the actual discovery itself if you allow it to be.
Remember the wise words of Buddha who said, “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”
“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made. And which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the inner space of the Universe. A thought in this substances produces the thing that is imaged by the thought. We can form things in our thoughts and by impressing our thoughts upon formless substance can cause the thing we think about to be created.” — Wallace D. Wattles
Many of us have heard the phrase, “That which you focus on expands.” In other words, “thoughts become things.”
But how many of us actually understand what this really means and why it is true?
Before I discuss how our thoughts create our reality, I need to take a step back so we can understand precisely WHY this is true.
Stick with me and I promise this will all make sense in the end and you will have the keys to manifesting anything you want.
Enter the weird world of quantum physics.
For most of my life, I was caught between the worlds of science and spirituality. I wanted to believe what the great spiritual teachers were preaching — it felt so right and natural, and it made perfect sense to me. But just when I was on the verge of becoming a believer, my scientific intuition would kick in and make me want to prove everything these masters were teaching.
Luckily for me, I was raised by a self-proclaimed quantum psychics fanatic for a father.
If you aren’t familiar with quantum mechanics, let me explain.
You have probably heard that everything in the Universe is made of atoms, right? And for centuries, scientists believed that the atom was the smallest unit of measure. They believed that all physical matter was made of these atomic particles. But it turns out, there is nothing really physical about these atoms at all.
Using particle accelerators, physicists have been able to break down the atom into smaller units called subatomic particles. But what they discovered is that subatomic particles are not really particles at all.
They are simply impulses of information and energy. So everything we perceive as solid matter is actually not solid.
What this really means then is that everything we perceive to be in our physical reality is made up of non-physical material!
The only difference between one material thing and another material thing is the quantity and arrangement of the subatomic particles. Everything in the entire universe is made of these amazing subatomic particles in different quantities and arrangements.
Moreover, what makes these subatomic particles even more fascinating is that they can behave like both a wave and a particle at the same time and they have the ability to be in more than one place at the same time.
OK—so if these subatomic particles can be a wave or a particle, how is it determined which one they will be?
Turns out, this impulse, or vibration, of quantum energy remains a wave of energy and information until the moment it is detected by you or me. At the moment our attention is put in them, the wave becomes a particle! And then it attracts other impulses of energy that vibrate at the same frequency. This literally means that we create something out of nothing simply by placing our attention on it. And then it expands by attracting other things that are similar to it. Pretty astonishing when you think about it, isn’t it?
And, when I realized this, my two worlds of science and spirituality came dancing beautifully together. Suddenly, I understood what the phrase “thoughts become things” actually meant—and why it is so.
We can use the same principles that science uses to create physical reality out of non-physical essence and use it to have, do or be anything we want and experience happiness and fulfillment to any degree we choose.
So now let’s examine our thoughts. What IS a thought?
A thought—like a subatomic particle—is an impulse of energy and information. The only difference is that we experience thought waves as language in our minds. But before we experience a thought as language, it is nothing but an impulse wave of energy an information. And so the only difference between the waves of energy and information inside our heads and those outside our heads is that we interpret the ones in our heads as language.
And so, just like when we place our attention on a subatomic particle and it changes from a probability wave into a particle, the same is true with our thoughts!
So while our reality may appear to be just happening to us, we are making it happen by the quality and direction of our thoughts. So whatever we put our attention on manifests into our reality! And now we don’t just have to hope this is true—we can prove it with science!
Take a moment an examine your own reality for a moment.
Think back to any of the major events in your life—good or bad. And ask yourself if you consciously had your attention on those experiences? See, for me, nothing was truer than this. Even though I was raised by a quantum physics junkie, and now consider myself one too—I had not made the connection between quantum physics and my thoughts until much later on in life.
But when I did, it was like a tidal wave that came crashing into my face!
I immediately saw evidence of this in my own life—unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. I was so scared of being a failure as a result of the horrific bullying I experienced that all I focused on was what I didn’t want to happen. But you know what? Everything I didn’t want to happen was exactly what ended up happening because it was where I was placing my attention!
What I didn’t know then that I know now is that we are all the creators of our own life’s experience, whether we know it or not, and whether we want to be or not.
This knowledge is truly a gift for anyone who recognizes and knows how to apply it to their daily lives. With this knowledge, you can use your thoughts to become the deliberate creator of your own life experiences rather than leaving your life to mere chance, and know why it works.
As quantum physicist Niel Bohr has said, “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.”
Gratitude. It’s a word we hear a lot these days. In most personal development teachings, we talk about gratitude and the incredible power that gratitude harnesses. In my book, Give A Shift: 10 Simple Steps To An Abundant Life, I devote an entire chapter to gratitude.
In this chapter, I go to great lengths to distinguish what I call “convenient gratitude” from “deliberate gratitude.” Convenient gratitude, I argue, is when people wait for major milestones in their lives before they stop and show their gratitude for what has happened. A new job. A new home. A new baby. A new relationship. You get the idea. These are the things that cause people to pause and recognize the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed on them.
This, I write, is in contrast to deliberate gratitude. Deliberate gratitude is training your brain to be grateful for the seemingly small things that we experience in our lives each and every day. These are not things that happen to us, but rather things around us. The miracles that surround us every day. The feel of the warm sun on our face after a long winter. The blossoming of the flowers. The magic of a sunset. The miracle of reproduction—from plants to animals to people. And on and on.
When we stop and show gratitude for these miracles, more of them tend to show up in our lives. And the more we show gratitude, the higher we are able to raise our vibration and come into alignment with Source Energy.
As it turns out, this is only part of the story.
This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend my first Abraham-Hicks workshop. It was more powerful than I could ever have imagined!
Not surprisingly, the idea of gratitude came up. But not in the way I thought it would.
Abraham said that most people approach gratitude from the standpoint of acknowledging what was previously missing from their lives. From this standpoint, they are putting themselves in a negative vibration. Wow! I had never even considered that. This type of gratitude is, in fact, similar to what I call convenient gratitude; the “getting” of things previously missing from one’s life. But I had never considered this a bad thing, but rather just not the only thing.
Abraham continued to explain that not only does this type of gratitude focus on what was or is missing and causing a negative vibration but that this negative vibration will only keep more wonderful things from happening – the exact opposite of what most people think would happen by showing gratitude in these situations, myself included!
Furthermore, Abraham said that gratitude in this nature is usually based in resentment. Resentment! I was trying to wrap my head around what Abraham was saying. Yes, I agree that this kind of gratitude isn’t the best, but mostly because opportunities to express gratitude in this sense are typically few and far between, not because the basis of it was resentment!
I needed to stop and think about this some more. And when I did, it all made perfect sense.
What Abraham was saying was that when we finally show gratitude like this, what we are really saying is, “I was waiting for this to happen because I wasn’t really happy without it.” Bingo. There’s the resentment. And with resentment comes the negative vibration. With the resentment comes more things to be resentful for, as the universal law dictates. You attract the very things that match your vibration. Negative vibration, negative experiences.
Instead of using the term gratitude, Abraham suggests we use the word appreciation or satisfaction.
When you show your appreciation for someone or something, it is not based on the prior absence of it. Rather, it is based in the true sincere recognition and enjoyment of it. And this stance is only one of positivity. And this, in turn, raises your vibration and brings your vibration in harmony with your Source thus attracting to you more things to be appreciative for!
I suppose this viewpoint is more in line with what I refer to as deliberate gratitude, but I still feel there is a subtle yet important distinction. Appreciation has a more positive sound to me. It just feels better. It feels more natural. Deliberate gratitude almost feels like work, not at all what I had intended.
Thank you, Abraham, for this critical clarification. I sincerely appreciate it!
In order to live your best life personally, professionally, and spiritually, you have to live what is called a God-conscious life. Don’t get thrown off by the term “God.” Call it whatever you want. The term refers to the invisible intelligence that created the entire universe–the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent energy that is the source of everything else.
But what does it mean to live a God-conscious life, and how can it help you become the best version of yourself you can be?
First of all, it is a way of life. In fact, it’s something the happiest, most prosperous people on the planet deliberately strive for each and every day.
Second, it is a state of being that gets stronger every day. It is not a chore or a task. Eventually, it will radiate from the inside out.
Third, it is not a destination that is ever actually reached. Rather, it is a path, a journey that you continue throughout your life. You will walk towards but never reach. Reaching it would imply an end and Source Energy has no beginning nor end.
But even if we can’t get “there”, wherever there is, it’s still a way of life worth pursuing. Why? Because it is from here that you can ultimately have, do, or be anything you want and it is from here that you will see miracles show up time and time again in your life.
The Tao Te Ching teaches us that there are 4 virtues to live from and Lao Tzu promises that if you live your life according to them you will live a God-conscious life.
In other words, practicing these 4 things every day will help you become the very best version of yourself you can be and live your very best life. Isn’t that what we all want?
1: Reverence For All Life
Having reverence for life meaning loving all life forms including all plants, animals, and people. We must revere all life forms and see all life as individual expressions of God. When you do this, you instantly remove all forms of judgment from your life which blocks the flow of the Divine Spirit from coming to you. Live from a place of unconditional love for all life, including yourself and watch the miracles start appearing in your life.
Gentleness is exactly what you think: being kind to everyone and everything and having a deep sense of compassion for others. Kindness, gentleness, compassion, and love are at the heart of this second virtue. And when you live a God-conscious life, you will always put gentleness above all else. This means letting go of false beliefs your ego wants you to hold onto, beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad, and so on. There is no room for being right when you live from a place of gentleness. When you have the choice to be right or kind, always choose kind.
3: Authenticity and Simplicity
To live our best life, we must be true to ourselves. We must live from a place of authenticity and simplicity. Don’t over complicate your life by trying to be someone you are not. At the same time, you must also follow through on what you say. Be the person you say you are; don’t be a phony. Walk the walk and talk the talk.
This virtue teaches us to put giving and serving at the heart of everything we do. Each day, you must ask, “How may I serve?” And when you do so without expectation of reward, you are living from your highest self, and the Universe will respond by saying, “How may I serve you?”
If you look closely at all four virtues, and what it means to live a God-conscious life, it all boils down to one essential element: always choose love over fear.
To live a God-conscious life according to the 4 cardinal virtues you must let go of your ego, your false sense of self, and connect to your true authentic nature, your Divine source, your Spirit. And when you are connected to Source Energy, you become what I like to say is a magnet for miracles!
In fact, true God-conscious people actually become miracle workers themselves! They can create and manifest virtually anything they want. As Joel Goldsmith said, “In the presence of the God-realized, the laws of the material world do not apply.”
I encourage you each day to be mindful of these 4 virtues and live your life according to them. I promise you that when you do, your life will be overflowing with blessings and you will truly become the very best version of yourself you can possibly be! xx