I believe that we are all entitled to live a full and blessed life.
A life that measures up to our highest aspirations.
A deliberate life that manifests outwardly all our inner dreams and joys, whatever they might be.
For many years, my motto has been, “Live Your Dreams And The Money Will Follow.”
I do not know where I picked up this motto, probably in one of the bazillions of workshops and self improvement seminars that I have taken through the years.
Regardless, this motto has proved true for me and for many others whom I have encouraged to follow this advice.
Many years ago, I painted only as a means of self expression and for my own enjoyment.
It was my dream to become a professional artist.
In fact, it was WAY beyond my dream to even imagine that someone, anyone would pay me to paint.
Even when I started selling my art, all I wanted and HOPED for was to make enough money to buy art supplies like frames, canvases and top quality paints, which are so pricey.
In only ten years from the moment I made the leap from being a dreamer to a professional artist, I sold more than a million dollars’ worth of art across America.
The dream came true AND the money followed.
I also met my husband Jules in one of the art shows that I did, and our journey together has expanded us, and our union has healed us both.
Many times in our life since, we have made our dreams come true.
Again and again, we manifested in our life the things that we have craved since childhood, and we have seen our earthly dreams come true.
In the course of our life, we have met many people like us who have made their own dreams come true.
Some became our friends, and others were just like-minded people who we passed during the fascinating journey we all travel on this green earth.
I believe that the Universe is gracious, intelligent AND personal…. it constantly aims to help us if we are ready to receive help.
Help comes in many forms.
People that we cross paths with, are always there to either help and to bless us, or for us to help and bless them.
For example, just before Jules decided to take early retirement, when he was feeling very insecure about whether the money we saved would be enough for us to live on, he met three men who helped him make up his mind.
One man he met in Chiang Mai Thailand, in a cafe.
The man was a retired school teacher who told Jules that he had retired early and that he lives a comfortable life in Thailand, at a fraction of the expense that it would cost him to live in California, where he lived and worked in the earlier part of his life.
This man told Jules that he lived in Chiang Mai, in a charming garden villa at a private guesthouse surrounded with fragrant hibiscus.
The owner of the guesthouse did his laundry, cleaned his room, and served him three sumptuous meals per day, leaving him free to spend his days tasting the pleasures of the region, or to get a Thai massage every day.
He said that he lives on a ridiculously low monthly budget of $400 per month, yet he lives a better life of higher quality than many of the people he knew in CA.
The second man Jules met was a cyclist on a mountain bike in Chiang Rai, a bit farther north from Chiang Mai.
This cyclist was with his wife, both dressed in cycling outfits and both a bit muddy from the dirt roads they had cycled that day.
The elderly couple were from Belgium and their eyes twinkled with joy.
The man told Jules how they had retired to travel around Asia on their bikes.
They made few plans ahead and learnt to live only with what fitted into their panniers (bike bags).
They seemed so fit, happy and light footed.
Jules was totally inspired.
The third man Jules met was a British man named Henry, who lived in Jakarta. While we were all waiting in the outdoor central bus station, he candidly spoke with Jules about how he had left his old life and charted a new life for himself in Indonesia.
Again, Jules was inspired.
Oh, and there was one more couple that the Universe sent us.
This couple actually knocked on our door in NZ.
They had read a newspaper article about us, and decided to drop in to meet us.
Tanya and Alan became our friends.
They lived a creative life traveling the world and splitting their time between NZ and Guatemala.
Alan used to be a plastic surgeon doing reconstructive work on people with disfigured faces.
Alan had retired very early in his life, and their traveling schedule of adventurous trips inspired us.
I believe that the Universe conspired for Jules to meet those people at an important junction in his life, to help him envision an exciting and deliberate new life for himself.
The American corporate structure had cradled Jules for so many years with promises of financial security, but also demanded of him a high personal price of his time and energy, along with the anxiety and burden of handling other people’s money.
Though the years, we again and again met people who had left successful careers to chart new lives for themselves around the world.
We always felt inspired and proud of our brothers and sisters who, like us, dared to break the mold and create themselves anew.
Until…. A few months ago when we met another brave couple in Seville, Spain.
We made our way through the stunning architecture of this old city to a vegetarian restaurant set at the end of a small alley.
We chose a sunny table on the patio and ordered our food.
The owner of this small place was a Moroccan man who had married a Spanish woman, and the food was a delightful mix of those two neighboring countries.
A couple about our age sat down at the table next to us, and a conversation naturally flowed between us.
We talked about how hard it is to get good healthy vegetarian food in Spain, about how they soak all the food in huge amounts of olive oil which is counted among the “good oils,” but must they pour half a cup of it on a thin slice of pepper or eggplant?…
We spoke about how hard it is to explain the concept of wishing to eat less bread, in a culture that has never heard of gluten.
The women said that she suffers from gluten allergies, and that most traditional restaurants refuse to cater to any special dietary needs.
Most restaurants are so full of tourists, that any dietary requests seem to be a burden on the kitchen.
They were a smart, well traveled and friendly couple.
We spoke about many many things.
As the afternoon unfolded, they shared their story.
She was originally from Ecuador and he was from England.
She moved to America and became a U.S. citizen.
Later when they met, she moved to England.
They fell in love and after their kids had grown up, they decided to travel the world.
They bought a yacht and sailed around the world, making every place that resonated with them, their new home.
That is… until her heart failed, and she needed a heart transplant.
Being a British citizen, her health insurance covered her operation cost in Spain and she was recovering in sunny Seville, away from the cold British winter.
She had learnt to improve her diet now by making vegan choices with little amounts of seafood, eating no dairy, no meat, no coffee, no gluten, no sugar and no alcohol.
The alcohol restriction apparently did not extend to her husband, who we could tell still loves to drink.
I sat there and my heart went out to bless her as I listened to her speak about the hard times she had been going through.
As I sat there, I remembered a lecture by Dr. Deepak Chopra that I once heard. .
Dr. Chopra said that many people likened the human heart to a machine.
He said that nothing could be further from the truth.
The human heart is a SMART, vibrant, adaptive organ which changes its size with the years, and has the ability to heal and repair itself.
The human heart is intelligent and STRONG, pumping an average of 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day, without any rest.
In a lifetime, the heart creates energy equivalent to what would be needed to drive a truck to the moon and back.
The heart has its own electrical impulses, and it can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen
Remembering all this, I was curious to hear what had caused her heart to symbolically “break….”
I had a feeling that there was more to this story than a woman who had made bad dietary choices in her life…..
With tears in her eyes she told me about her elderly sister, who had retired to live in a beautiful modern house on a remote beach in Ecuador.
It was her dream house.
She had lived in that beautiful place a quiet life until she was recently murdered in her own house by a group of bandits.
I now understood that this was what had broken her heart….shaken her reality and shocked her to the core…
We spoke for a long time.
I did not want to go on with our day nor see the sights of the city… I wanted to see if Spirit will guide me to help this woman in any way….
I always feel that beyond all else, I am here to help my brothers and sisters on this earth.
To help in shining a new light of understanding that might help them understand their challenges or connect with their own inner Spiritual wisdom and guides.
I never try to dish out more than people can swallow, nor offer spiritual advice beyond their comprehension.
In this case, the hunch that I got was that they were a strong couple, world travelers, sailors of many oceans and that by the fact that they had lived a daring life, they were capable of handling the difficulties in their life, AND they had each other.
We enjoyed our conversation and as the early rays of sunset descended on the beautiful buildings of Seville, we said our goodbyes and wished each other a safe journey.
She has stayed with me until this very day.
Even now when I write this, I can see her big eyes with a somehow frightened ‘Deer In The Headlight’ look on her face…
Who could blame her….First her sister so brutally murdered and then her own heart had failed her….
For days I walked the city streets, trying to make sense of why the Universe had brought us together…
The feeling I got was that the lesson for ME was that one must not be content to place her dreams in the earthly realm.
All earthly plans can go wrong; a fire, a flood, an earthquake can swallow your “dream house” and a dream of sailing the world can be turned into a nightmare by a serious health crisis.
We must remember that the ONLY dream that is worth pursuing during the sojourn we have on this recreational earth, is to KNOW THYSELF.
We must go deep into ourselves and discover who we TRULY ARE beyond our earthly dreams, beyond our ambitions, beyond all mad careers and beyond our cravings for relationships that we hope will make us whole.
Only when we find our own true Nature,
Understand our own Divine Spiritual Origin,
can we see that all those “dreams” we hold, are nothing more than children’s toys.
Toys do not bring us happiness nor anything else that is real and lasting.
I know that it is easier said than done.
Try telling a young kid that a shinny red truck with flashing lights does not mean anything… Or that one day he will willingly put it in the rubbish…
Many of us believe that there is nothing higher to find inside ourselves, and no other game in town but the pursuit of toys and earthly successes in what they believe to be a “one-shot lifetime.”
Everything can be a tool for your greater good, and used towards your growth in understanding. It is OK to have as many toys as you wish, just as long as you remember that they are mere toys, and that you do not believe them to hold any real lasting value.
You are a powerful spiritual being, capable of so much more than what you set your earthly ambitions to.
Do not settle for a toy truck or a doll when all of HEAVEN is waiting for you within….
You ARE the holy Son of God Himself!
Remember this, and earth and heaven become one.
It is your declaration of release from the bondage of the world.
What have you done that this world, so full of death, of sickness, of failing bodies, of hunger, of loneliness and failures should be your world?
What have you ever done that this is all you see?
If you deny your own true identity, this IS what you will look upon.
Deny your own identity, and you will not escape the madness of this world which induces this weird, unnatural, and ghostly thought that mocks creation and laughs at God.
Deny your own identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies.
Your enemies being sickness, old age, and the many forms of danger that fear can take.
Deny your own identity and you will look on evil, sin, and death.
Yet all of this is a game you play.
You ARE as God created you!
In this one truth are all illusions gone.
You are sinless, pure, forever part of everything, the central core of all existence, and its guarantee of immortality.
You are the holy Son of God Himself!
Be glad today how very easily is hell undone.
You need but tell yourself:
“I am the holy Son of God Himself.
I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain;
I cannot lose, nor can I fail to do
All that salvation asks.”
You, who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep, and suffer pain, hear this:
ALL power is given you in earth and Heaven.
There is NOTHING that you cannot do!
You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you.
Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.
Then let the Son of God in YOU awaken from his sleep, and opening her holy eyes return again to bless the world she made.
In error it began.
But it will end in the reflection of your holiness.
And you will sleep no more and dream of death.
You ARE the holy Son of God Himself.
Remember this, and all the world is free.
Remember this, and earth and Heaven are one.