Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that on the way to wherever God has planned for me, I’ve had to go through at least 3 different stages to arrive at a point where I realize I am NOT really in CONTROL.
And neither are you.
Were you taken aback for a moment? That’s good! Continue on and see for yourself how I’ve arrived at that conclusion. The following are three phases I’ve personally experienced in my life. Perhaps you’ll recognize yourself in one of them or somewhere in between.
Phase One – “I’m a victim”
I felt that he was punishing me by bringing me into this world as a deaf boy. Even though on the outside I appeared happy- lucky-go (is that how you say it?), inside I was really angry with God, my parents and the world. I actually hated myself because who in their right mind would want to be deaf? Would you?
I went through periods when I hated the hearing aids and how they looked on me. Kids teased me mercilessly. Back in the day when I was in elementary school, I wore a monstrous hearing aid with two cords that ran up to both ears, not to mention I had yellow buck teeth! Not exactly American Idol material.
There are a lot of people who stay in this victim mentality. They think the world is out to get them whether it be the government, God, their parents, society, their boss, co-workers, you name it. This is the stage where we don’t feel we’re making a difference so we find it easier to complain, gripe, protest, judge others and much more. In other words, we abdicate responsibility and sit on the sidelines while life passes us by.
Phase Two – “Hey, I’m in control of everything!”
Somewhere along the line I had a life-changing epiphany (had a few of them actually). Among the first is when my fifth grade teacher uttered three words that forever changed my life. I wrote a story about that in my first book “Obstacle Illusions.”
Along the way I picked up “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale and not long after that Tony Robbin’s book, “Awaken the Giant Within.” These and many other motivational books plus the fifth grade teacher incident helped me wake up to my own power. I took to heart what countless self-help authors were advocating and earnestly put them into practice like affirmations, visualizations, writing goals and creating vision boards, to name a few.
This gave me the idea that I had the power to visualize what I wanted, take action and actually achieve them. Pretty soon I started to experience miracles. Things were happening and I was really pumped!
As a teen, I used to visualize myself as a pilot in my mother’s car, driving down the middle of the highway, pretending to take off and land. When I turned 40, I accidentally stumbled upon a website by deaf pilots and immediately began to learn how to fly. Right around that time, I set a goal to become the world’s first deaf instrument pilot and then 6 years later defied naysayers by doing exactly that in 2006. While on Wall Street, I won three major sales trips because I wrote down my goals and visualized myself having fun at the beach in Bermuda (one of three destinations I had won trips to).
Finally, I thought, I’m in control! YES! All I have to do is have a desire, write it down and visualize it!
Based on the things I’ve done with my life, you’d think I have found the secret to success, right?
Phase Three – “I’m Waking Up!”
My spiritual journey began in 2005 when I hit rock bottom from partying too much while living in New York City. I was still a stockbroker at the time. That’s when I began to devour anything relating to spirituality and began the journey to re-discover the divinity within me.
After over ten years of professional speaking, I decided to go back to school in 2009 and get a Masters degree in Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management. I studied consciousness, learned how to meditate (Transcendential Mediation) and went deeper within myself.
The deeper I go, the more I understand that setting intentions, putting up a vision board and writing down goals, while not a harmful thing, is actually limiting because God’s plans for me is so much better what I’ve envisioned for myself. God knows what I’m here to do. And He knows how I can get there!
Despite all my “newfound power” from the second phase, I’ve discovered I still don’t have control over everything. It’s an ego trip to think that my ego knows what I’m here to do or even what’s best for me. It wants to try to figure things out but how can it when it can’t see much of what’s going on beyond the normal senses?
Not only does the ego not know what’s best for me but it also tries to control other people’s behaviors. Have you ever wished you could change people so that you could be happier around them? Did it work? Did you do it through a show of force like manipulating the situation or plying them with threats (“If you don’t stop snoring, I’ll leave you!”). I’ve done that.
Did you know anyone who appeared to be healthy but suddenly died of a heart attack or got hit by a truck? I did. What a shock it was. I knew a healthy, well built man from France who looked like he was on top of the world only to die of a heart attack at the young age of 23. I was like, “What just happened?”
You were at the airport and they suddenly announced your flight was delayed due to severe thunderstorms. How did you respond to that? I’ve seen people scream at the poor airline representative probably thinking that they had control over the flights or even the weather.
Can you think of a time when you received a feeling in your gut about a situation that turned out to be correct? When asked about how you knew, you probably responded with “I don’t know, I just knew.” Where did that come from? Did you dismiss it as a fluke or did you know that a higher power was at work here?
One time I was in a bookstore not looking for anything in particular but a flaming red book somehow fell off the shelf and landed on my feet. It was called “The Purpose of Your Life” by Carol Adrienne which was exactly what I needed at the time. Coincidence? Or did my guardian angel do that?
Another time I was speeding down 8th Avenue on my bike (NYC) and suddenly pulled on the brakes even though the light ahead of me was clearly green. Seconds later, a car pulled out from the intersection and ran a red light. I shudder to think what would have happened had I ignored that urge.
On the upper East side (again in NYC) I was about to step off the curb to cross the street when suddenly I felt something pull me back. A moment later, a speeding cab whisked by within a hair’s length. I remember thinking, “OMG!”
One day a cab actually hit me and the force of the impact sent me tumbling over the hood and onto the windshield. I slid back down and hit the pavement with a heavy thunk. I was more embarrassed than hurt and reassured the cab driver I was okay. I suffered no bruises, cuts or anything and hurried away to wherever I was going. Was that divine intervention? Or sheer luck?
I could regale you with many more “near misses” but you get the picture. Makes you kind of wonder who’s in control, right?
Are you one of those people who has had an opportunity of a lifetime (that was just perfect for you) fall into your lap when you thought you were heading on a different path? I’ve heard countless stories of executives who had their eyes on climbing the corporate ladder only to be mysteriously pulled elsewhere. How in the world does that happen? Who did that?
Since 1995, I’ve been practicing the art of surrendering to a higher power (be it the universe, God, nature, etc). When I let go and trust, I receive divine inspiration that leads me to the right people, places or circumstances. When I am that mode of operation, everything falls into place easily and effortlessly – every single time.
For example, at the end of the school year in 2010, I had a strong urge from within to finally give birth to “Obstacle Illusions.” For over 10 years I had worked on the manuscript and despite attempts to get the book published, it never happened. The powerful urge from within grew so strong that it reached a crescendo. It became impossible to ignore it. When I made the firm decision to follow through, all of a sudden I was led to the right people to design the book cover and give the manuscript a final polish. Not only that, but the money was right there to pay for their top-notch services!
Here’s the funny thing – why didn’t this happen sooner? No matter how hard I tried, nothing worked. I even had an agent in 2000 who once represented Mother Teresa. He had helped me with my book proposal and then went shopping among the nation’s top publishers but every single one of them turned us down. Why?
Because apparently the forces of nature had other plans. Whatever your destiny is, it will unfold at exactly the right time according to the Divine.
None of us know what is going to happen so why try and control it? The best I can tell you is to rediscover who you are by going within and communicate with your inner Self, which is where God is. You do that by listening to your feelings, intuition. Take up meditation. Spend more time in nature. Learn to listen with your heart. The more you go within and take your attention away from the noisy world, stop worrying and really listen, the more you’ll hear God speaking to you.
Even while in Phase Two, I can remember pockets of times when I somehow knew enough to take inspired action to that voice inside me. It happened during the interview I had with Merrill Lynch when I felt God prompting me to forever change the course of my destiny when I bravely said during a very pregnant moment and said, “Sir, if you never hire me, you’ll never know what I can do for this company.” As soon as I uttered those words, it was as if something clicked into place and my entire future magically shifted in the right direction.
A few years after that interview, all of a sudden the clouds finally parted ways and all this money rained down on me. For years I struggled financially, never making more than $35,000 a year in a city where closet-sized apartments were renting for more than half my income! Looking back, I can honestly tell you I have absolutely NO IDEA how that happened! After all, I wasn’t taking any special abundance courses nor did I push very hard. Yes, I did have excellent work ethic and was also very focused. But I didn’t try to force anything. Thus the mystery.
What about the time when the bully in elementary school approached me in the playground? After the fifth grade teacher uttered those famous three words the week before, I somehow had the courage to stop the bully in his tracks because I was unknowingly in the moment and took inspired action. It was a moment that helped strengthen my inner resolve and stand up on my own two feet. If my ego had its way, do you think I would have chosen to confront the school bully that day?
As I continue with my spiritual evolution, I’m recognizing divine inspiration when it comes and then taking “inspired action.” What that means is I don’t really need to figure anything out because the right ideas will come naturally. The best thing I can do is live in the present moment, become totally aware of my intuition and continue to raise my consciousness. From there I trust and go with the flow like the river.
If an opportunity comes my way and it genuinely feels “right,” then I know I need to take action on it. On the other hand, if I feel a clutching in my stomach, it’s usually a sign that whatever it is, it isn’t the right thing and I pass on it. I haven’t yet perfected this technique but I’m getting better at it.
The third phase is where you learn to to release negative emotions, attachments and the tendency to control what happens outside you. The heart begins to take on a larger role while the ego becomes less important. In the process of becoming more centered, you become less judgmental and accept things as they are without the need to attach a meaning to them. And connecting nature becomes…..well, second nature! I often go for nature walks – barefooted and always come away refreshed.
There’s nothing like remembering who you are as a spiritual being living the life of a human being!
So there you have it. What do you think?