“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
After following Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work for the past few years, I made a promise to myself that this year I would attend a workshop to hear him speak—in the flesh—and participate in experiential exercises. When I was applying for my final flood insurance claim, I set the intention that my drowned Barbie collection would make it so. Barbie came through.
Last week I took a road trip with my mum to the Okanagan and then drove on to beautiful Vancouver for the workshop with my reluctant sister.
I was thrilled when midway through the first morning, I saw the AH-HA spark of understanding hit my sister. For Christmas I’d given her the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself along with two meditation CDs and I knew she hadn’t cracked any of them. She’d argued why she couldn’t attend the workshop and only after I gave up trying to convince her did she acquiesce. I actually saw the moment she grasped how this philosophy could work to greatly improve the quality of her life.
In my life, I am long overdue to break the habit of being myself. Neither I, nor Dr. Joe, are implying that we are not good enough as we are. His life’s mission is to show us how to get back to our peaceful and powerful essence, the one we came in with before shit happened.
We develop beliefs and habits based on our environment and circumstances. Our self-talk can become something so insidious and seductive that we don’t even realize the harmful stories we’ve been telling ourselves, sometimes for decades.
In the modern world, a vast and wide cornucopia of addictions are escalating at startling rates. A recovering heroin addict, Russell Brand spoke eloquently on Oprah about the nature of addiction. He nailed it when he expressed that it is the desperate longing to escape from our emotions that sends us into the arms of an awaiting temptress of choice.
Most addictions are obvious: alcohol, drugs, gambling, cigarettes, porn, food, etc. A well-kept secret is that the compulsive and obsessive emotional states we harbor are just as addictive. Ever burgeoning scientific research now exposes how the chemicals of negative feelings such as anger, resentment, fear, and unworthiness operate in the same way as an addiction to cocaine.
The incoherence created in the body, the mind, and the heart makes us reach for something to ease the discomfort. If left unchecked for too long, this disharmony can create disease and chaos.
Thankfully I don’t have an addictive nature when it comes to mind-altering substances. Although I am a student of personal growth and the philosophical, I had yet to find an instrument for lasting change, one that can appease the lure of oscillating emotional states—my addiction of “choice.”
If you’re honest with yourself, what in your life might you be addicted to?
With the new science of neuroplasticity (a brain that can fundamentally and permanently change), we are empowered in ways previously considered impossible. Is it easy? I would say that vigilance is the key and that desire and dedication to change is imperative.
So how do we do it? First and foremost, with time spent in meditation. A brain in constant analysis or high alert mode is not a coherent brain. We have all read or been told about the benefits of meditation, but do you know how exponentially transformative the effects are through daily practice? I didn’t.
Prior to the workshop I tried the prescribed meditations and my inner whirling dervish kicked and bucked like a wild bronco. My analytical side didn’t have enough personal evidence to inspire or motivate me to continue and my body cunningly convinced me not to bother.
What I discovered is that underneath our jumping thoughts and pinball-like worry lies not only our aching or yearning, but our truth. On the other side of our churning discontentment lies peace. In the power of the present moment, we can create a new future.
What I love about this work is that it aligns with my deepest wish to help people change tracks before the train hits them. We’re often motivated to change after the diagnosis, or bankruptcy, or accident, or divorce. But why not before, while the Universe is giving us signs and messages that we are off course? Ennui, despair, resentment, dysfunctional relationships, seething anger, anxiety, sleeplessness, jobs we hate, or weird new health conditions are all signs something is amiss.
If you think this is all too dry or not worth the effort, au contraire mon frere. Dr. Joe had us do one of the rehearsals (visualization) for something playful and fun; he’s a strong proponent of using these tools for light and joyful little happenstances.
In one meditation in Vancouver I imagined that a man (or men) would flirt and the evidence of my efforts would be that one such man would buy me a drink. The next evening my sister and I ate at a buzzing little Greek restaurant on Robson. The craggy Greek man at the door lit up and insisted we wait out the line. He was eager for us to stay, and so we did. Inside, he bought us both a generous shot of ouzo and his son stopped to tell us that the old man is the original owner and intimated that it was an unusual honor for him to make such a gesture. I realized 5 minutes later, that the ouzo was my drink (okay, I didn’t specify hot guy)! The waiters were warm and friendly and spent a lot of time chatting with us. My sister’s playful visualization came through a day later (and it had to do with a “Greek god” nudge, nudge, wink, wink). That’s the fun stuff and a great motivator to continue.
Over 200 people attended the workshop, most with a profound commitment to bring about freedom within to create change without. I believe most left with renewed hope and all left with a ladder to climb out of whatever pit—shallow or deep—that they wanted to rise above.
What if … we all made quiet meditation each day a priority in order to heal our inner worlds instead of allowing our outer worlds to dictate our states of mind?
What if … the great paradox is that if we could fall in love with life and with ourselves first before we see our dreams show up—plus live in gratitude—we could find a little slice of heaven while on Earth?
What if … this is the science behind what Jesus and Buddha taught?
And what if … planet Earth could hit the tipping point for peace by individuals letting go of their past pains and old grievances with fervor and devotion to become a light for others to follow?
In my quest to live my life by heart and inspire others to do the same, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time learning how to cultivate grace. I pray to be stronger than my history, to rise above my demons, and to be the miracle I seek.
And I pray the same for you.
A formidable courage resides inside you
The path to your dreams is sometimes treacherous
But cast aside the shroud of skepticism
Ask your imagination for the stepping stones to your aspirations
You have but one fleeting moment here with two choices:
The dark imprisonment of I can’t
The enchantment of …
-Of Love, Life and Journeys, Wanda St. Hilaire