Infinite riches are all around you if you will open your mental eyes and behold the treasure house of infinity within you.
There is a gold mine within you from which you can extract everything you need to live life gloriously, joyously, and abundantly.
Many are sound asleep because they do not know about this gold mine of infinite intelligence and boundless love within themselves. Whatever you want, you can draw forth.
A magnetized piece of steel will lift about twelve times its own weight, and if you demagnetize this same piece of steel, it will not even lift a feather. Similarly, there are two types of people. There is the magnetized person who is full of confidence and faith. They know that they are born to win and to succeed.
Then, there is the type of person who is demagnetized. They are full of fears and doubts. Opportunities come, and they say, "I might fail; I might lose my money; people will laugh at me." This type of person will not get very far in life because, if they are afraid to go forward, they will simply stay where they are.
Become a magnetized person and discover the secret of the ages.
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Chapter 1
Just for today, I will radiate success with my whole being. Not tomorrow, not next week, and not someday. But today.
What makes me feel successful today will change tomorrow. And each day after that it will change, as I change and evolve my idea of what success even is. I know that today I am further than I was yesterday. I'm a little wiser. A little stronger. A little more centered.
Today is the day that I won't just believe, but I will know, I am successful. It doesn't matter if I haven't achieved the thing I set out to achieve. It doesn't matter if I'm not holding the results of my dreams within my hands.
What matters is that I valued those dreams and gave them space to breathe and grow. What matters is that I dared to believe in the value of my own ideas. I am successful because I took the first shaky steps in realizing my full potential. I am successful because I am here, learning, growing, facing my fears, embracing my fears, embracing me, and becoming one with all that I am, in all ways.
What makes me successful is personal to me.
No one knows where I started. No one knows what I went through just to get to this moment. No one knows the mountains I climbed and the valleys I traversed just to show up today and say, "Here I am day. Bring it on."
Today I will celebrate my own personal idea of success. I will look back and realize that I have overcome a lot. I have achieved a lot. I have done things that shook me to my core. I have changed in ways no one will understand the impact of but me. I have even torn down my idea of self, questioning the very nature of who I am and what's possible for me, without any idea of how I would land safely on my feet.
What makes me successful is not always even success.
Sometimes I fail, and in that failure, I know I succeeded because I tried something. I dared to step outside what was familiar and known and tested the boundaries of my world. My failure is the seed from which my dreams will take root and grow.
And when I fail, I allow myself to be one with my disappointment and insecurity. I remember that success is not always about winning and being the best. Sometimes, success is about honoring where I am, nurturing my wounds, and taking time to rest before picking myself up and trying again.
No matter where I am at, or where I'm trying to go, today is the day I believe in my success.
Today, I am successful because I refuse to let other people project their fears and limiting ideas onto me. Today, I believe in my own idea of success, and I don't need anyone's approval in order to declare, "I am successful!"
Even if no one sees it but me, I will value and cherish my success. I will nourish it with my love, and I will guard it from the judgement of others.
And by the end of the day, if I no longer feel successful, if I feel down and defeated, that's okay. This is only for today, and tomorrow will be a new day, full of new opportunities, new people, new ideas, and new energy. I will wake up tomorrow and tell myself, "Yesterday I tried my best. And for that reason, I am successful."
But tomorrow isn't here. There is only now, and so for today, and only for today, I will believe fully in my success.
Have you ever seen this photo of a potato? It sold for a million dollars. It's by the artist Kevin Abosch.
One potato. One photo. ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
For real. No tricks. No gimmicks. It wasn't being auctioned for charity, so no one did this out of the kindness of their heart. Someone wanted to pay it, and someone wanted to sell it for that amount. I don't know about you, but when I hear this it triggers all kinds of intense thoughts in me.
The idea that someone did this forces me to question my feelings about greed, value, self-worth, and limitless potential.
On the one hand, I'm amazed that someone valued themselves and their work so highly that they didn't bat an eye at this. On the other hand, the idea of doing this myself terrifies me, and so I want to judge the people who participated in this.
The only way Kevin could sell a photo of a potato for a million dollars is if he believed he could. If Kevin believed in lack and scarcity, and if he believed art has no real value, then this photo would probably be in a flea market right now, where Kevin would be struggling to sell it for $20. But Kevin doesn't play small. Kevin doesn't limit his potential. Kevin clearly believe that all possibilities are available, and that his work is worth whatever he damn well decides it is.
Now, let's be clear here - the price was a million from the get go. Non-negotiable.
Potato #345 (2010), as the photo is known, was always priced at $1,000,000. And that was exactly what Kevin told people when he showed it to them. The fact that he had the chutzpah to do this blows me away.
Because I don't believe in myself in that way, and I don't believe this is possible, I want to be cynical about this.
I want to believe this is just a reflection of the absurdity of wealthy people. I want to believe this is ridiculous, and the reflection of one man's out of control ego. I want to believe this is greedy and wrong.
What I don't want to do is ask myself why I would never value my own work in this way. I don't want to have to consider that when I say all things are possible, it includes this. I don't want to have to consider that I am a firm believer in thoughts become things but ONLY in a way that makes me comfortable.
If I'm being honest, this challenges so many ideas I have about myself and my potential that I can hardly sit with it. It makes me realize I have constricting and limiting conditions attached to the idea of value. It makes me so uncomfortable I don't want to believe Kevin and I exist on the same planet, with the same sets of Universal, cosmic laws.
And yet we do. If I really wanted to, I could stretch and expand myself and face all my worthiness issues until I too did this, in my own way. But as I write this, I don't believe that I can. And since I don't believe it... well as Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!"
Come, gather round the fire. It's story time. Here now is a fable as old as time... the story of the invisible door.
You see that sweet pup below? Yeah, he thinks that his family has closed the screen door on him. It hasn't. But he won't come in until someone "opens" the door. So someone does. Except the door was open all along. He just needed someone to help him BELIEVE it.
This "door" represents all of the reasons you have that you can't have or be or do that thing. It represents all the things in your way. Because all those things... they're an illusion. The way through is open. Has been all along. You just need to believe it.
I know you can have or be or do anything. But do you? Do you believe the door is open?
You are an unlimited being created from the same cosmic star dust as the highest mountains and the most powerful rivers. You are the mountain. You are the river. You are as worthy and valuable as the wild flower in the spring and the colorful leaves in the fall.
You have all the tools and resources you need to achieve anything. But maybe you're still waiting for someone to open a door. Maybe you're waiting for that obstacle to be removed, without realizing the only obstacle is your power of belief directed in the wrong way.
Maybe today is the day you stop letting illusions hold you back. Maybe today you'll stop waiting for someone or something to open an invisible door. Maybe today you'll realize that belief is so powerful, it can stop you from walking through a wide open doorway.
I'm currently enrolled in the mindbodygreen course 'Guided Visualizations' by Emily Fletcher. I bought this program for myself, but am now an affiliate for the program, which I have linked below.
I initially began with the video to help put a person at ease when interviewing, hoping it would help ease my anxiousness whenever I have to pitch a story idea.
At first I wasn't sure if it was working, but I have been noticing lately subtle changes in how I feel. I feel less afraid overall, which I think is in part because in the visualization she says to see yourself walking into the room and knowing you belong there . This in itself caused a big shift in how I view myself and my place in this world.
I stopped playing the interview video and decided today I was ready for the one that really scares me - public speaking. Eep! I have tangled with my fear of public speaking for years. What I know about this fear is it's the fear of being seen and not being liked. On a deeper level, it's the fear of confrontation, because I'm afraid I'll say something someone won't like and they'll want to confront me about it.
When I sat down to play the video I wasn't as nervous as I expected I would be. Yes, even the idea of visualizing public speaking makes me nervous. This tells me that perhaps the first visualization was doing more than I realized.
Emily began by talking about when she was nervous to give a talk at Google Headquarters, and her husband said something to the effect of, "Stop thinking of it as having only two possible outcomes - success or failure. There's a whole range of points on the scale in between!"
This shift in perspective released so much weight off of me. I could see how this more open perspective applies to so many things in life. More often than not, we do a good enough job. There are hardly any times when we do such an atrocious job that we feel we totally bombed. And yet, we approach most things with the expectation of either knocking it out of the park or blowing it in epic proportions.
And when we don't have a slam dunk success, we automatically deem it a failure. But what about all the shades of gray in between those two black and white points?
Before this, I really was fixated on two ways my public speaking (and most things in my life) would go - absolute success or absolute failure.
That doesn't leave a lot of room for growth. It doesn't allow me to start at hey I didn't pass out from nerves, that went better than I thought! It doesn't allow me to start where I am and then say, you know what, that was good enough. I got up there, I did my thing, and it was fine.
I know it's not exciting, but sometimes aiming for "good enough" is just what we need to calm our minds and stop the anxiety train. It feels great to know we nailed something and did the absolute best we could, but starting with "good enough" or even "I made it through" might be what we need in order to get to, "That was the best I've ever done!"
I'm going to try using this new approach when I feel overwhelmed by the fear and doubt that tends to creep in when I'm putting myself out there. I believe it could help take the pressure off, and when there's no pressure things tend to unfold as they're meant to.
If you'd like to learn more about Emily's course hop on over to mindbodygreen. The course is $59.99 and presented in six modules.
Often times, the things we want to accomplish or do seem overwhelming and even impossible in their scope.
This is usually because we are looking at the whole thing as if it all has to be done now. No one, in the history of humanity, achieved their dreams or ambitions overnight. It is a step by step process.
Sometimes, that step is to simply take rest. We often fear taking downtime because we associate that with being lazy, or worse, with the fear that if we aren't constantly going and going nothing is happening.
When I look back over some of the incredible things that showed up for me, they always worked out when I least expected it. It wasn't when I was stressed out, burning the candle at both ends. It was after I put in the effort, set my intention, and then turned my focus else where. I let it go. Sometimes consciously, sometimes not.
Trusting it's being worked out behind the scenes, and that powerful forces are assisting us, is crucial to not only our success, but our well-being and happiness.
Consider today what choices you make in a moment to moment basis. Are they bringing you closer to what you want, or perhaps entrenching you deeper in habits you wish to release? Your life, and your dreams, are built of those small moments.
If you find yourself in a moment of worry and exhaustion, pause, breathe and pivot your thoughts to what's going right. And if things are going right, notice how you feel, breathe into it, and expand that feeling of joy and gratitude.
Have you ever planted the seed of a flower? How did you know it would grow?
The seed has no brain. No eyes. No map to the surface. There's no switch you flip that says, "And now you are in soil so you will grow!"
The seed just knows it's in soil. But what is it that understands this? Again, there is no brain. How is it the seed understands that the pull of gravity is where roots go? How does it even sense gravity? What is it sensing this with? And how does it process this and react accordingly? What if the seed misunderstood and grew sideways?
What if it didn't understand what roots are for, and it didn't absorb nutrients from the soil? Worse still, what if it came thisclose to sprouting, but it gave up because it believed the darkness would go on forever?
The idea that a seed has no idea how to become a flower seems illogical.
We know the seed's roots will grow down and it's head will reach up. We know the soil pressing upon it isn't suffocating or crushing it, it's bringing it to life. Even though we can't see it, we know it's growing, we know all is well. We know that in a single moment it will break free of the darkness and spring forth into the light. No matter how long it takes, we keep watering it, because we know there are divine forces guiding it.
There's a magic to the whole process, a magic we rarely think about, we simply take it for granted.
And yet, when it comes to our own dreams, desires and lives we lose all belief in the magic of this world. That very same divine energy that guides a growing seed permeates us too. It has to. How else could we go from being one single cell to a dynamic and complex being with a head, arms, organs and so on?
We do not live by different rules than the natural world. We aren't separate from nature. We are as natural and divinely guided as every flower on this earth. We are created from that same magic and we are the magic. It's in our DNA. It's in our life force. So why do we doubt that our dreams have their own divine forces guiding them to the surface?
When things we want don't blossom right away we tend to fall into despair and doubt. The more we doubt the more we give up on the seeds growing within us. We turn away from them, refuse to nourish them, and believe there is only barren soil within us. We neglect our inner garden and allow it to be taken over with the weeds of fear, anger and disappointment.
But it's okay. No matter how deeply they have taken root, all weeds can be ripped out. The soil can be replanted with love, happiness and excitement. And even though we can't see it happening, we will know, our dreams will blossom. We ourselves will blossom.
All we must do is trust in the divine forces that guide everything and continue to follow our intuition. Our intuition is the same thing that guides a seed's roots down and its head up. As our seeds grow within we can nourish them with positive beliefs, loving thoughts and encouraging feelings.
That's all we must do. Trust in the magic. Believe in what we can't see. Nourish the good stuff. Keep the weeds away.
And when there is that moment, that single moment, when it all breaks free from the darkness of gestation and springs forth into the light, we might take a moment to marvel in the magic. To give gratitude to the divine forces. To give gratitude to ourselves for bringing forth roses and orchids in a world that too quickly expects weeds.
Many years ago, after a few half-baked attempts, I finished a novel.
Once finished, I began the process of pitching and submitting. As it goes with most writers, I received a lot of rejections, one after another, endlessly. I had always known this was a possibility, that this was the reality of the business, but experiencing it was more crushing than I had anticipated.
After a while, my resolve broke and I stopped submitting. Despite this, I still believed in myself as a writer. It was the only thing I’d ever really felt sure of – I was meant to be a writer.
Unable to let go and move on, I did something I would forever regret. I self-published the book. I just wanted it to be out there, and I figured once it was, something, anything would happen. After I put together my whole package, the thing I feared worst happened – nothing.
I became a drop in the ocean of self-published works. I was a nobody in a sea of nobodys. This step was harder on me than all the rejections combined. I sold few copies, and of those I did, the reviews that didn't come from friends and family were negative.
At this point, my fear turned to shame. I had failed. There was no denying it. The fact that I had self-published the book meant everyone knew. I had desperately tried to get book sales to happen, and in doing so, had told everyone about my book.
The realization that this project had imploded settled into me. I was drowning in feelings of failure and inadequacy. I needed to feel supported, and so I began talking to people about what I was feeling. And this was when the cheerleading began.
Every time I tried to tell someone I had failed they would nearly shout at me “NO YOU DIDN’T!” They wanted to tell me that I had WRITTEN A BOOK (I was aware) and that I had PUBLISHED THAT BOOK (I was also aware of this). The way people reacted to my feelings nearly gave me whiplash. All I wanted was space to feel what I was feeling, and everyone around me was denying my perspective of it. They refused to even let me whisper “I feel like a failure.”
In order to respond to other people's experiences we'll often ask ourselves how it would feel if it was us. Sometimes, we just can't handle the pitfalls of other peoples' lives. We want to change them and fix them because they scare and hurt us by proximity.
The desire to tell me I hadn’t failed was well-intentioned, but it didn’t help. Instead, it solidified for me that failure is the worst thing that can happen, and it’s so awful, you have to deny it’s existence.
This denial negated my experience and my journey. Yes, I wrote a book, and for a lot of people that would be considered a huge accomplishment. But that wasn’t what I wanted, my goal for success was something else, and I had failed to reach it. Because no one allowed me space to breathe into this, I learned to smother my feelings.
I buried all this fear and shame and doubt and covered it with a million pounds of rocks. But burying unresolved feelings just pollutes the soil of your soul. You can bury it, but it’s still in there, seeping into the ground you’re trying to rebuild on.
Eventually, I got the courage to begin writing again. I switched gears and began writing screenplays. But this time, I felt uncontrollable anxiety around the entire process. No matter what I did, I was stuck with a rock in my stomach and a lump in my throat.
It wasn’t until I sat quietly with myself, and looked back, that I realized what I was so afraid of was failure. Because I had already failed once, and had never dealt with it, I was terrified of it happening again. I needed to move through those feelings, to accept them, to love them, and to know they’re just that - feelings.
There’s a big difference between feeling like a failure and believing you are a failure. It’s okay to fail. It happens to everyone. In fact, the more success someone has, the more likely they are to have a stack of failures. Learning to navigate these feelings, and to not make them into something bigger than they are, is an essential part of the process.
As a culture, we are constantly encouraging people to go chase their dreams. This is a wonderful thing, and a big part of why I began at all. But until we learn how to let people stumble and fall, we’re encouraging based on the caveat that only success is acceptable. That’s a level of pressure no one can live up to.
Putting yourself out there encompasses all aspects – success, failure, and everything in between.
Trying isn’t just about getting out there and conquering any and all obstacles. It’s a whole journey, and we are still learning how to give ourselves and others space to move through all parts of it. All parts are valid and important, and all feelings, when expressed and moved through fully, lead us into greater awareness and depth of being.
I remember hearing once that if you frame a desire in the form of "I wonder..." you will take the pressure off of it.
In other words, thinking, "I want a new car. How will I get a new car?" is one kind of energy. It's the kind of energy that asks what you are going to do to get that car.
It doesn't ask what the universe is going to do. It doesn't ask what can be done to align all the stars in your favor. It puts it all... on you.
But when you ask it a different way, "I wonder how I will get a new car?" the energy flows in a completely different way. For one thing, it assumes you will get the new car. Alright! That's a relief already.
And for another, it doesn't ask how you will do it. It just assumes it'll be done, and it will surprise and delight you in how it happens.
Try playing with the "I wonder..." wording today and notice how you feel. It might be just the shift in energy that you needed!
I have been working through this fear, and I know it's a fear a lot of people struggle with. It's the fear of putting my work, my creations, my passions out to the world, and then realizing I did not make the world a better place.
This is a fear I face from both an artistic and an entrepreneurial standpoint. I know that other artists feel this fear. Those that create a business, a dream from within of what they know is their unique gift, they share in this fear too.
In our hearts, we all want to believe that our creations will add color to the spectrum of life. We hope that our work sparks something in other people. Something that might start a conversation that needs to be had. Something that lights a fire in someone else, a person who was experiencing their own inner fire dimming of life. Something that wasn't there before, and because we breathed life into it, it has spread wings and flown right where it was supposed to.
We hope and we pray that what we create will enrich the world. That it reaches people and they think, Yes... thank you. That's exactly what I needed.
But deep down, I am always fearful that what I create will be more of a dark stain. It's the fear that says I won't get it right, I'll upset people, I'll even hurt people by sharing something that sounded good to me, but came across more like I let my dog take a shit in their yard.
I know I shouldn't compare my work to dog shit. But sometimes I do. Telling myself over and over to believe in myself and think positive can get frustrating. Downright annoying when it's not helping. And really, truly, when I'm feeling alone and lost, it just pisses me off.
It makes me feel the energy within me closing down, the doors of my inner world slamming shut, as I wrestle with this doubt and fear.
Instead of repeating what hasn't worked, which is the repeating of, "I am good, I am worthy," I have begun working on a new way to work through this fear.
And I know I will work through it. I know because I have made a choice to, and I know that's all life is. Choices. One after another.
I choose to feel this fear.
I choose to acknowledge it's here.
I choose to look at this fear and say hello.
I choose to to look at this fear and say goodbye.
Goodbye fear. I chose to create you, for many reasons that seemed logical at the time. And now I choose to release you.
What I choose to focus on instead is the love.
Hello Love. I've missed you. I choose to hold you so tight now you and I become one, and you're all I know.
It always comes back to this. To choosing the love over the fear.
When the fear is taking over, I remind myself that behind every desire and intention I have is love. I am not trying to create from a place of anger or hate. When I envision one of my screenplays being made into a movie, I feel excitement for the actors and hope that the patrons enjoy the movie. I don't create these visions with the intention that my vision destroy someone else's life.
And yet, this is the kind of fear that seeps in. I begin to wonder, what if my script is made, and the movie bombs? What if I ruin someone's career? What if people lose a lot of money on my idea? What if people feel they wasted their time seeing my terrible movie? What if I -
And then I stop myself. I stop and refuse to let this train chug even an inch further.
I stop, I breathe, and I remind myself, my intentions come from a place of love. First of all, because I am love. If I am love, if I am created from the same Universe that I pray to every night, the Universe that I believe with my whole being is an infinite source of love, then how could I ever dream something up that isn't, at it's core, love?
I AM LOVE.
Love is powerful. If love is behind everything I do, then all of my worries really are unfounded. All I'm sharing is love. All I'm doing is adding more love to the world.
It's just little ole me reaching into myself, to my divine inspiration, my connection to my higher self, and pulling back things I flow into the world. Which is actually kind of amazing.
Love is the bird soaring with ease and grace through the sky. Love is the sunset that reminds you how beautiful this world is. Love is the feeling of expansion. Freedom. Happiness. Love is everything good, and if love is good, then what I create, no matter how it's received by other people, is and always will be good.
There is no need to fear my creations and dreams.
They are love. I am love. You are love.
We're all love, and it's all good.
Lately I have been practicing using a new phrase. You may have heard it before, it's not actually a new phrase - I'm just new to using it.
I started because I've been having a hard time letting things go. I want to know WHEN and HOW. I'm getting caught up in the making it happen, which usually results in nothing happening. I wanted to get back to the allowing, but I felt like I had fallen down a well and there was no rope to climb back out on.
The more I've been falling into these angsty feelings of control and doubt, the more I can feel myself contracting. The more I contract, the more I'm not receiving, and that just makes me more angsty, like I'm coiling up tighter and tighter.
As I looped round and round in this, I decided to change the wording. I know what I want, but now I'm asking for this or something better. If I don't get it, no big deal. Something better will come along.
This or something better
Whew! That took so much pressure off. I felt like I could breathe again, and like I opened a window to fresh air for the first time in months. I had found my rope, and I was climbing back out of the narrow confines of angst.
If you are spinning around in your own head, try using this phrase. It might be just what you need in order to relax, let it go to a higher source, and let in the inspiration, support and energy you need.
"I want this apartment, but I'm letting it go, because I know I'll get this or something better."
"I would LOVE to get that job, but I'm not worried about it, because I know I'll get it, this or something better."
"I really really really super duper want to manifest a million dollars, but whatevs, because if I don't get it, I'll get something even better."
You probably already know the name M. Night Shyamalan, but if not, he's the director of The Sixth Sense, which was followed by two other successful (though not quiet as profitable) films - Unbreakable and Signs.
After this, things took an ill-fated turn, and continued to get more grim with each movie he made. The lowest rated of them is The Last Airbender, which has an aggregated score of 6% on Rotten Tomatoes. That's pretty brutal.
During his post-2006 run of critical and box office failures, a campaign started online to send Shyamalan back to film school. When I read about this, I thought about how that would feel if it was me, and needless to say, it felt like shit.
It would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for me to read that kind of mockery and criticism and continue on.
But M. Night Shyamalan pushed that aside and continued on. This is something I find inspiring and fascinating about him.
For a lot of people, their worst fear is to fail. An even bigger fear is to fail publicly, and to be humiliated on a grand scale.
I'm sure, some of those people (or maybe most) who fear failure more than death are the ones who attack Shyamalan. He triggers their deepest anxieties about life and their sense of self-worth. The fact that he refuses to see failure as a stopping point upsets people in ways they can't explain.
It makes them question their own fortitude, willpower and sense of self.
This might sound like I'm analyzing people I don't know, but from what I've seen time and again, things don't bother people unless it feels personal to them.
Things don't sink in and sting and rile us up unless we either agree it's true about ourselves, or we fear it could be true. So the fact that people are so relentlessly obsessed with cutting Shyamalan down says as much about them as it does about the director's career.
Everything we do and say is a reflection of ourselves.
There is a tendency to think that failure and criticism doesn't hurt famous and/or rich people the way it hurts everyone else. There's almost an expectation that not only does it hurt them less, but they deserve it in some way, like they should have to "pay" for being so successful.
In truth, a painful experience is not dulled because of your success. In many cases, it's the opposite. Your failure is witnessed, talked about, digested, made fun of and examined by MILLIONS of people.
If success softened the blow of failure, criticism and judgement, we would not bear witness to a multitude of celebrities having mental breakdowns, addiction problems and public meltdowns. But, the thing with success is, whoever you were before, that's who you are after. If you are sensitive now, you will be sensitive when you're rich. If you feel defensive when people criticize you now, you will feel that when you're famous, and at a higher level of intensity.
So if you have big dreams, the time to cultivate inner strength, peace and self-worth is now. It will not get easier later, but in fact, may only get harder as you find yourself in a new arena that triggers things in other people.
Which is what makes Shyamalan such an intriguing person to me. There is something about him that is so centered, so inwardly connected, so tuned into his passions above all else, that he can rise above the chorus of boos and negativity. He is a man that has never let outside circumstances dictate his fate. He has never let other people tell him what's possible, and who he should be. He has never let failure tell him he's not worthy of trying again.
He knows that the only thing stopping him is him.
This is a rare thing in this world. Most of us stop before we've even started. He has hit obstacles the size of which I cannot even fathom. But he sees them as just that - obstacles, challenges to be met.
They don't mean anything other than to find another way.
The last Shyamalan film I saw was The Visit. And I liked it. A lot. I didn't even know he directed it until I was talking to a friend about it afterwards. It was creepy and surprising and made good use of what looked like a low budget. And maybe this is what Shyamalan needed - to have the excess stripped away, to have to work with a small amount of money, so he would be forced to focus on his characters and storytelling.
I'm sure it was an incredible learning experience for him. And also, very humbling. But had he given up, had he let the cruelty that often accompanies being a public figure get to him, he would have missed out on making this surprisingly good comeback film. And I would've missed out too. Not just on enjoying an entertaining little film, but I would've missed out on what this taught me about resilience, persistence and embracing the art of failure.
Cheers to you M. Night Shyamalan. Haters gonna hate. But you're having a blast in this journey of life, and doing it in your own way, and for that, I raise my glass in a toast to you. I think of you and your work when I feel afraid of failure, and I then remember the only thing to be afraid of is my own inner voice, and for that, I thank you.
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
- Steve Jobs
There are times in my life when I get swept away by doubt and worry.
It always feels like I've swum a bit too far out in the ocean when there's an undertow. I try to tell myself I'm fine, I can get back to shore at anytime. But the more I fight, the more I seem to be moving further away from safety.
The further away I drift, and the more the shore shrinks, the more fatigued I get, until I give in, letting the current pull me down into the dark depths of fear, hopelessness and sometimes even despair.
Afterwards, I always wish I'd stopped this before it got so out of control. What did I achieve by allowing myself to be consumed by worry? Nothing in my life has ever been made better by worrying. Nor has anything ever improved because I fed my fears and sense of limitation.
After experiencing this enough times, I decided I needed to always have a lifeline to shore.
I needed a constant tether to my heart. It's my mind that whisks me away, and it is my heart that always rescues me.
When I feel my mind tempting me, just asking me to come out a little further, telling me it's natural, it's where I belong, it's familiar, I don't even consider testing the waters. I pull on that rope and go right back to the warm, sandy beach.
There is only one way that has ever worked for me for this. It's very simple, and sometimes the simplicity of it is what keeps other people from doing it. All I do is repeat the word trust in my mind. Slowly, gently, softly.
Trust. Trust. Trust.
If it feels right, I put my hands on my heart as I do this. I breathe deep. I close my eyes and put all of my focus on that one word, repeating. Trust. Trust. Trust.
As I relax and let go of all that unnecessary mental gymnastics, the mantra usually grows.
I trust myself. I trust the Universe. I trust what I don't see. I trust God. I trust God sees me, and is working for me, and it's all coming together. I trust. I trust. I trust. I trust I'm good enough. I trust I will know what step to take next. I trust all is well.
If you are struggling to overcome your own lingering doubts and fears, try this exercise. It's very simple, and in my experience, so reassuring. You can even make it a part of your meditation practice, which will layer the trust inside of you deeper and deeper each time you do it.
As Steve Jobs said, there are few things more powerful than trusting in forces, whatever those might be for you, that you can't see.