by Rene'e La Montagne Dunn
I have been broken. My heart has been crushed—two times! I was afraid to trust, to believe, to even hope that true love could be found again. For many years I longed for a mate that was gentle and kind, who adored me, cherished me, put my well-being above everything else. I prayed and prayed for God to find me a mate that would make me feel safe, secure, unafraid. I dreamed of a man that truly loved the Lord; a man that walked with integrity; a man of my same faith, that wanted to be married to me for all eternity; a man that chose the right, kept his word; a man that held women in high esteem, who loved family, and would encourage me to be the best me.
I believed there was such a man...somewhere...
I had no idea back then how powerful my dominant thoughts were. I had no idea that (with God) my very thoughts were leading me and guiding me to a beautiful destiny. I had no idea the universe was aligning my future! making puzzle pieces fit! bringing together the very things in a man that I had only dreamed of!
And then, I found Jesse Dunn....
When I met Jesse, I was so intrigued by his teachings. He has taught over ten thousand people all over the world the power of thought control and thought navigation. I devoured his lessons, poured over quantum thought research, studied everything I could about how the mind can manifest its own reality. I embarked on a path that catapulted my life to overwhelming purpose and joy!
Jesse and I met in November, 2016. We fell in love. We married in October, 2017. We were sealed for Time and all Eternity in the (LDS) temple in October, 2018.
As I sit here and ponder the significance of this journey, writing my life story in my journal, I marvel how God led me to such a man.
My very thoughts led me to my soul mate! AND I ONLY REALIZED THIS TONIGHT!!!!!!!!
Little did I know that the thoughts I kept at the forefront all those years, the thoughts that I pondered so often in my heart, the thoughts that dominated my mind and thinking, would lead me to such a man! What an ah-ha! moment!!! OHMYGOODGRACIOUSMYGOODGOLLYGOSH!
I stand as a witness to the truth of the lessons we teach in our VisionLightTM Essentials Thought Training classes: “We ignite lives to live by intentional creative design rather than default, transforming problems into solutions, barriers into breakthroughs, “I can’t” into “I CAN!” and defeats into victories.”
The joy I have found is available to everyone. What I thought about, what my mind focused on, came to be. And now, as Jesse’s wife and partner, as I PRACTICE (and teach with him) the miracle and marvelous navigation of quantum thought, I am very careful where I lead my life. I know the power of my thinking, and I choose carefully what I put into my brain!
On page 29 of the VisionLightTM Thought Training Workbook, Jesse writes:
“We each create the world we live in. We make our own story. Through our thoughts we choose actions which, in turn, determine our results. Our roots determine our fruits. Chosen thoughts are the roots; our world and life circumstances are the fruits. For good or ill, we are what we have created over the years; we have the kind of life that has flowed from our thoughts; we have attracted the success and relationships and spirituality and physical reality irrevocably connected to the thoughts we have chosen to dwell on.”
I sit here tonight just shaking my head! I marvel at this journey and thank Heavenly Father for leading me, for aligning all that was necessary to find such a delicious mate! I didn't know about quantum thought, but--EVEN IN MY IGNORANCE BACK THEN--IT WORKED! Jesse is not perfect, but he is perfect for me!
MY SUGGESTION TO YOU: WE THINK ANYWAY. WHY NOT THINK BIG?!
by Rene'e La Montagne Dunn
Through the science of quantum physics, we know that “thoughts are things.” Thoughts have vibration, frequency, light and power.
Did you know that there are demonstrable effects on plants and even animals by “projecting” thoughts to them? Example: thinking “love” towards one plant will cause it to grow faster, while projecting “hate” towards another plant can cause it to stunt or even wither and die.
Positive thought energy in the form of collective meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce violet crime!
In 1993 a study encouraged by one the world’s leading physicists was undertaken in Washington D.C to determine if focused meditation could have an effect on that city’s crime rate. The results were astonishing.
During the two months that several hundred volunteers meditated, crime rates fell dramatically by 25%! This was no accident! This was scientifically validated and proven to be an effective means of countering the criminal inclinations of a very large group of people, an entire city, in fact!
Thoughts have energy. Negative thoughts create negative events. Positive thoughts create positive results. The energy of thought is transmitted into the universe; it never dies. Consider what this means. Think about the ramifications.
Have you ever had an experience with someone that disagreed vehemently with you about a decision you made? If your decision is not truly accepted, and unless that other person can completely honor and respect your decision, their negative thoughts still permeate the atmosphere. The negativity can be felt. People react accordingly.
I WONDER…what if I projected my positive thoughts towards a wayward child? Toward an ornery boss? Toward a problem team mate at work? Toward a difficult mother-in-law? Toward my soul mate? One-by-one we could literally change the world for GOOD!
WHAT IF…we were all to take 10 minutes a day and think positive thoughts about reducing violent crime, the safe guard of innocents, physical healing of cancer patients, or emotional healing of those who have been abused? I mean, what if we truly made those kinds of hopeful thoughts our dominant thoughts?
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE…We think ANYWAY! SO…let’s think VERY BIG! Let’s THINK WORLD PEACE!!!
ANOTHER THOUGHT…If thoughts are truly “things,” and if thoughts have vibration, frequency, light and power…then it’s no wonder OUR SINCERE PRAYERS (heartfelt DOMINANT thoughts) truly DO have the power given us by God to change circumstances in ours and other people’s lives!!! (GOD IS AMAZING!)
SEE THESE ARTICLES:
This Is The Song That Never Ends
By Jesse L. Dunn
A generation of children growing up in the U.K. and United States during the 60’s and 70’s will likely remember Shari Lewis, a children’s entertainer on television. She was a ventriloquist who introduced delightful sock-puppet characters like Lamb Chops, Hush Puppy, Wing Ding and Charlie Horse. Her show would often end with the characters singing a song that runs in an infinite loop:
This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on, my friends.
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue singing it forever just because
This is the song that never ends…
While I enjoyed the cleverness of that chant as a youngster, I must confess that when my own children picked up the lyrics and melody years later it somehow had lost its cuteness and luster, having morphed into a headache inducing drum-like beat.
With the benefit of age and at least some maturity, I have come to recognize a profound lesson in “the song that never ends.”
This is the song that never ends…
I know a couple—husband and wife—who started singing a never-ending song of criticism and one-up-manship. They wrestle ceaselessly in verbal power struggles, shooting little barbs at each other over and over, ceaselessly bickering and fighting. They have become victims to their own thinking and behavior choices. They are caught in a trap, not knowing how to end the cycle—it is their song that never ends…
It just goes on and on, my friends…
In my various roles in the world as a CEO, consultant, entrepreneur, community volunteer, speaker and leader, I’ve noticed people from all walks of life who get themselves into a rut. They robotically wake up, go through the same routine every morning, go to the same (ultimately unrewarding) jobs, operating with the same traditions and habits day in and day out, daily numbing themselves with the same anesthetics of TV or alcohol or online games or whatever. They have become acceptors of the dull and the dreary, singing their unending song that just goes on and on and on…
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was…
Few in life have a crystal ball that consistently and accurately shows the future and points the way to “success.” Most of us have to develop the muscles of making good choices through effort and discipline fueled by our vision, thoughts and desires. That means we make most choices not perfectly knowing where they will actually take us, and most of us have to therefore make course corrections along the way in order to achieve a life lived by intentional design. We begin singing our song not really knowing what it is. It is when we repeat our mistakes and failures over and over and over that we remain in our (not so) blissful ignorance. I know a woman who has been married and divorced four times, never really learning lessons that can lead her to the choice of happiness. I know a business owner who has stagnated and stalled because she started singing her song in a small box that has not grown with the times and technology of her industry. She started singing it, not knowing what it was…
And they’ll continue singing it forever just because…
Because the melody of routine and tradition is seductive and soothing. Because the steady drumbeat of blindness and veil of ignorance screens out the vision of a new view with greater opportunities. Because singing within a single octave of habit is easier than expanding and growing and disciplining to explore the full keyboard of possibility. Because the Victim’s tune or the Acceptor’s jingle relentlessly play on the airwaves of their radio sets called thought. Because the soaring symphony of success requires the dedication of a Victor’s mentality. For most, it’s just not within the scope of imagination.
And so they continue singing it forever. It is the song that never ends.
At New View Concepts we teach the harmonies of a better way of thinking that breaks out of the monotonous songs that never end that we have learned to sing in our lives. At NVC, we ignite lives lived by design rather than defaulting to the dull tones of tradition. We train the mind to access the thrilling arias of success and the concertos of a significant legacy. For example, our VisionLight(tm) Essentials Course gets to the roots of a new song, a new paradigm of the mind, a new view. Look us up at www.newviewconcepts.com.
Meanwhile, Light your Vision and see the change!
by Rene’e La Montagne
Several years ago I consulted a neuro-mapping specialist. With the wires glued to my head to evaluate and stimulate my thoughts processes, the technician said he could “see” the part of my brain that showed insomnia. With his talents we began the “magic” that would help my sleeplessness.
Neuro-mapping is a breakthrough in the non-drug, non-invasive treatment of emotional, learning, and stress-related conditions. Patients can sit back and relax while an innovative EEG brain mapping system measures electro-activity and graphs information through brain waves. Capturing and observing these neuronal interactions (by brain mapping) are not only helpful in our understanding of information processing, behavior and subjective experience, but also in identifying and correcting (by neuro-feedback) dysfunctional patterns.
Neuro-feedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. The brain is observed in action from moment to moment with EEG electrodes placed in various places on and around the head (brain mapping). The brain is “rewarded” (neuro-feedback) for changing its own activity (thought) to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to an aspect of brain function that can be measured.
Issues that respond to neuro-feedback include the anxiety-depression spectrum, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PMS, emotional disturbances, seizures, autism, cerebral palsy and addictions, (this list is not all-inclusive).
The specialist asked me if I wanted to see how powerful my THOUGHTS truly are. “Of course!” I said.
Through quantum physics we know that “thoughts are things.” Our brains have power and create frequencies and energy from our thoughts! Thoughts are a force within themselves.
John C. Maxwell said, “People who embrace possibility thinking are capable of accomplishing tasks that seem impossible because they believe in solutions.”
The specialist told me to, “Move the Pac Man with your thoughts!” (At this point in our consultation, I thought HE needed a bit of brain magic!)
“What? You’re kidding!? Don’t I need a joy stick or something?”
“No,” he said. “Just THINK about moving that Pac Man. You can do it, Rene’e! You can do it with just your thoughts. Your thoughts will emit the frequency and power needed to actually move that Pac Man.” (I remembered Buddha’s quote: “We are what we think. All that we see arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.”)
It took me a minute to really focus on my thinking. But, finally, when I concentrated hard and thought about moving the Pac Man, visualizing it, seeing it, “feeling” it, it moved! With a little practice, I was gobbling up those little ghosts and cherries like a pro—just by thinking about the various moves!
Then….the specialist challenged me. “Would you like to play a game against the computer?”
“The computer against my THOUGHTS?” I asked. “Incredulous!”
....The computer against my thoughts! Hmmm. WOW! I admit, I was skeptical. But, it wasn’t long that I recognized the power I had with my own thinking. I could move the Pac Man backwards and forwards—just by THINKING! Faster and faster! And….I BEAT the doggone computer! It was amazing!
William D. Wattles said, “By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it.”
We learn in the VisionLightTM Essentials course, “thoughts are (indeed) things!” As we intensely visualize consciously, sub-consciously our mind goes to work to make those thoughts a reality.
With the Tools taught in VisionLightTM Essentials, we can learn and practice changing our negative thinking patterns to positive and more productive thinking patterns. When any thought becomes a DOMINANT thought, our sub-conscious sees the thought as REAL and goes to work for us as though it really is, and makes it happen. Consequently, as we think more and more about that one dominant thought, we—as well as the universe--starts to react as though those thoughts are real also. Our thoughts become our reality, and the universe (God!) begins to design our life wrapped around the power of our thoughts. (Remember, He said, “As a man thinketh, so is he!”) Well, now I understand the absolute magnitude of what God said.
With these VisionLightTM Essential Tools I am learning to stop my negative thinking patterns as they pop into my mind. I replace them with positive, productive thoughts. I can direct my thinking. I can control my emotional upheavals and downslides. I can productively design my life around my own dreams and goals and not be subject to default thinking and behaviors. My relationships are better, my communication and listening skills have improved, the chaos in my life has abated, I am calmer, I feel more focused, my financial goals are being met, and I have more confidence, determination and designed direction! I am impacting my life, rather than my life impacting me.
THOUGHTS have frequency and power—and when the VisionLightTM Tools are used to control, navigate, and manipulate that power, we truly become what we think about.
NOW, peoples…..if that specialist was just playing with me by moving the Pac Man with HIS computer joy stick….or whether my thoughts were actually at the control wheel, at least I walked away feeling confident that MY thinking patterns can, indeed, change my world! AND FROM WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT QUANTUM PHYSICS….THEY CAN!
(Just so ya' know, y'all, I originally went to that specialist to help with my insomnia. But WOW! This was so exciting, (sadly), I will never sleep again! (Giggle.) Meanwhile….Light YOUR vision! See the change!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW THOUGHTS CAN ACTUALLY MOVE THINGS, SEE:
Thought Control: Move Objects With Your Mind! (Virtually) | TIME
How Brain Waves Can Control Physical Objects
by Jesse L. Dunn
Someone pointed out, “The brain is a marvelous, magical instrument. It begins working the second you get out of bed and never ever stops—until you get up to speak…”
The brain is the most sophisticated device known to man. Behind the scenes, operating even the most basic of functions, there are up to a million electro-chemical reactions occurring every minute. Some interesting tidbits I recently came across illustrate the amazing qualities with which this organ and the nervous system it controls are typically constructed:
We thus see that the brain is an amazing instrument. We need to take care of it, nourish it, protect it. Brain health is so overwhelmingly vital and its preeminence among the organs of the body so lofty, that the brain sometimes gets confused with the mind. But the VisionLight™ System says there is something more, a force or energy that says we are not merely the product, we are the producers. The Brain is not the Mind. We are not only the creation of neurons, synapses, or conditioned responses—we ourselves are innately creators, with energy gifted from the Creator. That energy in quantum state is light, an astonishing element possessing the attributes of both energy and matter. Albert Einstein famously recognized that energy and mass are really different forms of the same thing; energy is matter and matter is energy.
You matter (unless you are multiplied times the speed of light squared—then you energy…). Energy equals Mass, times the square of the speed of light; the formula at the heart of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. So, matter cannot be created out of nothing. Matter can’t be destroyed, either. The same is true of energy. One can be converted to the other (energy to matter or matter to energy), but neither can be destroyed.
Light baffled physicists for years chiefly because it lives in two states simultaneously—matter and energy. Was light a form of energy because its wave properties were observable? Or was light a form of matter, because it clearly possessed properties of particles? Light is both energy and matter. Your vision, your thoughts, are both energy and matter, though invisible to the naked eye.
The brain is the tool; the mind is the fuel. The brain is the instrument; the mind is the conductor. The brain is the mechanic; the mind is the engineer, the designer.
Our VisionLight™ Essentials Course takes the science and melds it with the art of living your life by intentional design, transforming your problems into solutions, barriers into breakthroughs, “I can’t” into “I can,” and defeats into victories. Learn more at www.newviewconcepts.com
In sum, Henry Van Dyke's poem is thought-provoking:
I hold it true that thoughts are things;
They’re endowed with bodies, breath and wings;
And that we send them forth to fill
The world with good results or ill.
That which we call our secret thought
Speeds forth to earth’s remotest spot,
Leaving its blessing or its woes
Like tracks behind it as it goes.
We build our future thought by thought
For good or ill, yet know it not
Yet, so the universe was wrought.
Meanwhile, Light your Vision and See the Change!
by Jesse L. Dunn
Life. A truly wonderful adventure! And we might as well think of it as an adventure, with its roller-coaster ups and downs, thrills and disappointments, victories and defeats, joys and griefs.
Someone has pointed out that, when it comes to life, none of us get out of it alive. Meanwhile, all of us will experience those times when life breaks us--those truly mind-blowing, soul-stretching periods that can be devastating for a time. Yes, there are times we become broken. We cannot always know what or when, but it's axiomatic that each of us will experience one or more types of breaks during life's adventure: broken minds, broken bodies, broken hearts, broken finances, broken spirits. Whether we grow from or are beaten during those times ultimately depends on the thoughts we choose to handle them.
The bowl you see above is a Japanese art form known as kintsugi. While most of us want to hide or disguise imperfections or our broken pieces, kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with gold dust or other precious metals. Something broken becomes something beautiful and precious—more beautiful and precious than the original.
Whatever the past has been—good or bad, positive or negative, success or failure—the principles undergirding the VisionLight(tm) System (www.newviewconcepts.com) can guide you into a path of understanding yourself, of faith, and capacity to take what you are and make something of you mentally, physically, financially, socially and spiritually more beautiful and precious than before.
Here are five ideas to help with that journey:
1. Realize that your broken parts are not the same as your worth as a person. Remember that all and each of us will have broken pieces: death, divorce, financial loss, career disappointment, family troubles, addiction, disease, disability, conflict; the way life can break us is endless. Like a Japanese bowl, being broken, however, does not lessen our value or significance. In fact, like the bowl, we can become more valuable as a result of being broken and repaired. Sometimes our hearts are set on the wrong things and it is only a heart that is first broken that our purpose, passion and true worth are revealed to us.
2. Pay attention to physical health. Whatever the hardships that break us--physical, mental, social, financial or spiritual--to the extent we are able, now is the time to be good to yourself. Exercise. Eat the right foods that can heal the brain and the soul. Get active in mind and body. Eliminate the negative thoughts that invariably try to creep in on the stage of your mind; replace them with good thoughts. You can thereby direct the actual chemistry of your brain and body that affect mood and capability.
3. Walk away. Move forward. Grant yourself permission to let it go. You really can heal from your brokenness. It was meant to be a lesson, not a life sentence. Be grateful today for the good you see. Be happy in this moment, whatever is going on around you. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Make the journey toward healing. One step. Then the next step.
4. Make necessary course corrections. Do the work on yourself. Make the changes you need to make. In our courses we teach how to overcome the barriers and roadblocks that are stopping you from healing. It takes effort. It takes growth. Sometimes there might be discomfort or pain of various sorts in making the progress to repair your brokenness. You might find our tool helpful, called ICE Tool: Breaking Through Your Roadblocks and Barriers. We are offering it to you free at www.newviewconcepts.com/ice-tool-request.html "ICE" your broken parts and transform problems into solutions, and defeats into victories.
5. Serve others. Service is light and light is life; therefore, good service is good life. Perform five random acts of kindness this week and note the change that comes over your broken self. It's like the gold cement in the broken bowl--you become more valuable and beautiful. You grow. You enlarge. When you lose yourself in serving others, you end up finding yourself. And the broken parts become stronger.
BONUS: Prayer. Both science and religion have shown that people who have been broken heal much faster if they have a faith tradition that relies on the power of prayer. That data show that those who pray (and, remarkably, those who have a prayer network, i.e., people praying for them), are able to more readily conquer the "dragons and demons" that life inevitably presents, whatever way they show up.
Whatever the past has been, walk forward in faith, confidence and light that you will heal from your brokenness.There are great blessings that await you. Be open. Receive them.
Meanwhile, See the Change and Light your Vision!
by Rene'e LaMontagne
EMOTIONS: ARE THEY AUTOMATIC? (by Rene’e La Montagne)
“...for all practical purposes, we choose everything we do, including the misery we feel. Other people can neither make us miserable nor make us happy. All we can get from them or give to them is information. But, by itself, information cannot make us do or feel anything. It goes into our brains, where we process it and then decide what to do....we choose all our actions and thoughts and, indirectly, almost all our feelings and much of our physiology.”
–William Glasser, M.D., world-renowned psychiatrist
A few months ago, I was teaching a class to about 20 women, ages 20-75. I asked the question, “Can we control our emotions?” The majority of the attendees stated that emotions are automatic, that life situations cause certain feelings, and emotions are not consciously fostered or deliberately chosen, but are just a mindless reaction to life. Most felt that as women (especially), we are “controlled” by our emotions, and that our reactions are (just) “programmed.”
Then I asked another question, “Do you think that emotions could actually be choices?” That sparked an interesting discussion. Not many had ever contemplated that thought. Rumblings in the room came back to me as, “I can’t control what I feel!” and, “We (as women) are just built that way.” and, “We are women; we FEEL everything!”
As a woman, and prior to learning the tools and concepts taught in VisionLightTM Essentials, I, too, believed I was at the mercy of my feelings, my emotions. My whole life has been run by my emotions. Boy, was I in for a wonderful discovery! I pondered how many times I had “reacted” to life negatively, adding more turmoil and more complications to certain life issues and situations.
Fortunately, I have learned I CAN control—and even direct--my emotions.
Our paradigms are built by life experience. We choose to live by certain beliefs, philosophies, personal boundaries. We “react” to situations by an emotional filtering system that brings about a negative or positive response. Our past paradigms typically guide our interactions in life. People naturally respond to stimuli based on past experience—or, reactively, in response to an issue that “feels good,” or “feels bad.”
We can learn to control, foster, develop and manifest our thoughts. We can learn to navigate this world by deliberate choice, even how we feel, how we react, and how we ACT as a response to certain stimuli.
In the process of “unwinding myself,” I am learning what paradigms evoke negative reactions. (This is an on-going exercise for me, so I am still discovering and rebuilding the inside of me.) I analyzed my hot buttons, evaluated my belief system, and began unraveling the complicated past traumas that bring about certain negative emotions even today. I am recognizing triggers. I am exploring my fears, evaluating my comfort zone, my attitudes.
I am learning to STOP my deleterious thought processes that cause my negative reactions. Emotions ARE a choice and can be controlled and relearned. I certainly do not want to carry bad experiences with me throughout my lifetime; nor do I want to react to life unconstructively as old, ugly feelings surface. The “pits in my stomach” can be deliberately emulsified and dissolved. I choose to foster love and compassion, and if that is truly my life mission, I can assess what in me sabotages my deliberate choices to be a better me.
I recently lost my dear brother to cancer. We were close, and his journey through the agony of this hostile disease was courageous. We all knew he was dying, but, still, when that kind of news comes, it seems unreal, a dream, and hard to comprehend. He was here one minute, and the next, he is gone. I will miss him dearly, and cherish the memories we had together.
Walking through the grief process, the mechanics of thought choice is a new experience for me. Though I am practicing and (hopefully) mastering how to deliberately choose my thoughts, this is a big test. When I find myself caught up in the grief, I assess what is blooming in my head. If my thoughts are productive, I leave them and allow them. If they are debilitating and too hard to bear, I chose a new thought to replace the painful one, and my mind takes me on a journey purposely to nourish the good that has come from my brother’s death: he is out of pain; he is with the Lord; he is with my parents; he is safe and happy and is now awaiting my return to heaven. My heart still aches, but I am steering the ship in safe harbors. It would be dangerous to “mask” my feelings over his death. I believe I need to feel the loss, the pain. But I also believe I am approaching this in a very healthy way so that the loss does not overcome me or paralyze me. My emotions are “in check,” and though I have allowed myself to cry and feel the pain, I do not dwell there. I choose to re-direct my thinking and plant the seeds in my heart and head that will allow me to process and grow.
I submit to you that you, too, can learn to weed out and re-direct the thoughts and feelings that cause you distress and physical/mental anguish. It is a process; but it is still a choice. We can either let sleeping dogs lie, or we can proactively disarm those feelings that bring about negative gut reactions that sabotage our desire to grow/overcome/become.
I am learning to ignite my life lived by intentional design rather than default. I am transforming my problems into solutions, my barriers into breakthroughs, my defeats into victories. My personal relationships are improving, my business is thriving, my attitudes are expanding, I am realizing success in so many areas of my life. With the VisionLightTM tools, I am rebuilding me from the inside out….and I like who I am becoming! I REJOICE at all the possibilities ahead!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS, SEE:
The history of the United States' Revolutionary War honors George Washington as its greatest general. He is known as the "father of the nation." His birthday was made a national holiday. His leadership style is studied and emulated. A great monument weighing 81,120 tons and rising more than 55 feet above the earth stands as a tribute to him in the great city named after him. All because of the choices he made in the hard circumstances that were thrust upon him.
Another man--equally fervent in the cause of independence as Washington--faced equally hard circumstances. His choices led him to a far different destiny: mockery instead of monument, shame instead of fame, traitor instead of triumph. His thoughts led him to feel he was betrayed by his country, which in turn led him to become the betrayer. Thought to be a greater tactical general than George Washington, Benedict Arnold's choices took him away from his friends, bringing the chastisement of superiors and rebellion to his heart.
Financially strapped and mired in thinking of deep unhappiness, Benedict Arnold nevertheless had command of West Point, a crucial defense post. In secretly coded letters, he actually tried to sell West Point to the enemy for 20,000 Pounds (about $3,000,000 USD today). He escaped capture, joined the British troops, relocated his family to London and died alone there in 1801. Ironically, he was unpopular in England as well. Seems like no one likes a traitor, even if he's your traitor. History has effectively erased his many acts of heroic valor in defense of liberty.
All in consequence of his choices.
In his great book Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes his experiences as a Jew incarcerated at Germany's Auschwitz camp during World War II. He noted that the Nazis took away every piece of property, including their clothes and even the fillings of their teeth. They took away every human right except one. He profoundly observes that they could not take away each one's ability to think and to choose for oneself what would become of them. He wrote:
Everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human
freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to
choose one's own way. In the final analysis, it becomes clear that the sort
of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not
the result of camp influence alone... Fundamentally, therefore, any man
can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him--
mentally and spiritually.
You are free to choose how you will deal with life's circumstances, both its challenges and opportunities. That is the power principle. Will you crumble or conquer? Will you cower or cope? You have the power and the decision is yours!
Meanwhile, choose the right. Stay strong. And See The Change!
Years ago, when our children were small, we decided to try our hand at gardening. At the time, we lived in the high mountain desert of New Mexico where there was not an abundance of rainfall. In fact, in our location the average annual precipitation was less than 7 inches--and most of that usually fell on July 28 in one torrential downpour. That phenomenon brought interesting lessons in itself, but I'll save the Big Flood story for another occasion.
At any rate, toiling under the scorching sun to grow a tomato may not have been economical in a financial sense, but real abundance is rarely about finances. Real abundance is about the humility in understanding one's insignificance compared to Nature. Real abundance is about the gratitude and joy in having life and working with universal laws of sowing and harvesting. Real abundance is about the peace and purpose and love created in working as a family together with Nature and its laws to bring about a true miracle.
I can without reservation or exaggeration say that we were lousy gardeners. We were as far away from being Master Gardeners as a tone deaf singer is from a Grammy award and super stardom. We tried fruit trees and produced mainly dried leaves and dead twigs. We grew melons and squashes of various sorts and yielded palm-sized gourds of bitter quality. Our beans died on the vine. Our peas never blossomed. We labored, and fertilized and nurtured and weeded and sweat all summer long, only to eat our entire harvest in one salad.
We actually did have modest success with two products. First, no matter how hard we tried to limit its fertility, our zucchini results were off the charts. They seemed to reproduce with a mind of their own. Large, small, long, short--they just continued to multiply beyond reason all summer long. We couldn't give them away fast enough.
Second, we had a fair tomato crop. One day in the early fall, my youngest son and I brought a tomato from the garden into the kitchen. There we proceeded to dissect it and examine the contents. We saw juicy meat arrayed in an engineered architecture that was complex and beautifully amazing. We saw hundreds of tiny yellow seeds, each with the potential of growing bushes that could produce dozens of more tomatoes and many thousands of new seeds. Incredible abundance, right before our eyes! My son and I concluded we gazed upon real abundance, multiplied, overflowing.
Abundance is not in the possessions we might accumulate. It is not in the money that comes our way. It is not in the number of honors or awards we might collect. Abundance is in our purpose. It is in the love we share, the hearts we touch, the minds we motivate, the lives we help transform. Even one soul ignited by our generosity and goodness ripens like the tomato and bears hundreds of seeds with the potential to multiply beyond imagination.
And that is real abundance.
Light your Vision! See the Change!
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. The color-wheel of productive thinking would not be complete without the brilliant yellow sunshine of JOY. Deepak Chopra, MD, has this interesting insight:
There exists within each of us a natural state of simple and open awareness in which we feel happy, light, and at peace. In contrast, the state of suffering or unhappiness is complicated. Complications take many forms, including an imbalanced lifestyle, toxic relationships, hidden emotional debts, resistance, indecision, addictions, and negative conditioned beliefs. When our life is overly complicated, we’re weighed down by superfluous things at every level.
We can begin to let go of the complications that cause us to suffer by cultivating a simple state of awareness. In this process, tiny steps yield big results, in part because simplicity is nature’s default position. Suffering and the complications that fuel it are unnatural; it wastes energy to maintain complexity.
As you focus on simplifying your life, make sure that your approach to the process is a loving and accepting one. Know that you are now doing all that you can do right now, and that is all anyone can do. When you stay in the moment, you have all the time in the world and whatever needs to be done will be completed in the exact right time.
Here is a practice that will help you let go of whatever is no longer serving you and return to your inherent state of wholeness, happiness, and well-being. First ask yourself, “Is there anything in my life that is causing me to feel a sense of unease, discomfort, or pain?” You can choose a persistent issue that has bothered you for years or it may be something that has recently come up for you. While it’s fine to focus on a chronic physical disorder, don’t approach this exercise as a cure—we’re focusing on patterns of perception that encourage us to hold onto suffering.
Here are some of the most common complications:
Disorder: Consider your physical environment. Is your house a mess? Is your desk buried under stacks of work? Are you letting other people leave clutter and messes in the space you share?
Stress: While the pressures of life are inevitable, if at the end of the day you are unable to completely let go of the day and return to a calm, centered inner state, you are overstressed. Make a list of the major stressors in your life and brainstorm ideas to either eliminate the stressor or to change the impact it is having on your emotional state.
Toxic Relationships: Are you in relationships with people who don’t have your well-being at heart? Make a list of these and consider what you can do to protect yourself from their toxic influence. Sometimes setting better boundaries and practicing the tools of conscious communication can be transformative. In some cases, ending a relationship may be necessary. At the same time, focus on nurturing your healthy relationships so that they are even more loving and fulfilling.
Negativity: Health and well-being are the natural state of the body and mind. By dwelling on negativity, we prevent ourselves from living in the simple state of well-being. Do you often gossip about others or relish their setbacks? Do you tend to choose friends who like to criticize and complain? Do you feel compelled to watch every disaster or catastrophe unfolding on the evening news? Remember, whatever we put our attention on expands in our experience, so consider where you are focusing your time and energy.
Non-nurturing Lifestyle: Do your daily routine, diet, and overall lifestyle support your health and well-being? When we don’t nourish ourselves with healthy food, restful sleep, regular exercise, a daily spiritual practice such as meditation or journaling, and other mind-body healing habits, we will inevitably feel tired, out of balance, irritable, and sometimes even depressed. What aspects of your lifestyle would you like to transform to bring you greater health and happiness?
For the next few weeks, sit by yourself for at least five minutes each day with the intention to clear away complications. In the time you set aside for this clearing, determine what area you need to focus on the most and work on that. It may be one of the complications mentioned above or a different area that is preventing you from experiencing a state of peaceful simplicity.
Start by thinking of the smallest possible action you could take—and then take it. Then choose the next smallest action, and do that. The action can truly be as small as opening your closet drawer to see if your gym shoes are inside. Then the next day you can commit to putting on your shoes, and the day after that you can decide to walk to your mailbox. Although such small acts can seem trivial, over time they help you build momentum and experience transformation.
Jesse L. Dunn is an author and sought after teacher and speaker on the topics of human and corporate development. His motivating, entertaining and content-rich sessions have benefitted thousands. To bring him to your next initiative, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org