Day 1: Be Open to Everything
Refuse to allow yourself to have low expectations about what you’re capable of creating. As Michelangelo suggested, the greater danger is not that your hopes are too high and you fail to reach them; it’s that they’re too low and you do. Have within you an imaginary candle flame that burns brightly regardless of what goes before you. Let this inner flame represent for you the idea that you’re capable of manifesting miracles in your life.
Understand that what you think about expands (“As a man thinketh, so is he”). If your thoughts are filled with doubt and you have a closed mind, you’ll of necessity act upon those closed-minded doubts, and you’ll see evidence of your thinking virtually everywhere you are.
On the other hand, should you decide (make no mistake about this, it is a choice) to have a mind that’s open to everything, then you’ll act upon that inner energy, and you’ll be the creator as well as the recipient of miracles wherever you are. You will experience what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote, “To me, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.”
Day 2: Be Attached to Nothing
Suppose you had a choice between two magic wands. With Wand A, you can have any physical thing you desire by simply waving it. With Wand B, you can have a sense of peace for the rest of your life regardless of what circumstances arise. Which would you pick?
A guarantee of stuff, or inner peace for the remainder of your life? If you opt for peace, then you already have Wand B. Simply have a mind that is open to everything but attached to nothing. Let it all come and go as it will. Enjoy it all, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any thing, any place, and particularly, any person.
In all of your relationships, if you can love someone enough to allow them to be exactly what they choose to be—without any expectations or attachments from you—you’ll know true peace in your lifetime. True love means you love a person for what they are, not for what you think they should be. This is an open mind—and an absence of attachment.
Day 3: Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You
Henry David Thoreau put it, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”
Be willing to accept that others may even see you as having betrayed them, but you haven’t betrayed your music, your purpose. Do what you know you have to do to feel whole, to feel complete, and to feel as if you’re fulfilling your destiny. You’ll never be at peace if you don’t get that music out and let it play. Don’t die with that music still in you.
Day 4: Being Passionate Means Taking Risks
The only thing that will keep you from your passion is fear. According to A Course in Miracles, there are only two basic emotions: One is fear, the other is love.
You may fear the disapproval of others. Take that risk and you’ll discover that you receive more approval when you don’t seek it than when you do. You may fear the unknown. Take that risk as well. Wander in there, asking yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if this doesn’t work out?” The truth is that you will just move beyond it. You’re not going to starve to death or be tortured if it doesn’t work out. You might fear being successful. You may have been conditioned to believe you’re inadequate or limited. The only way to challenge these absurdities is to go toward what you know you’re here for and let success chase after you, as it most assuredly will. Or, you may fear the biggest one of all: You may fear failure.
Day 5: You Can’t Give Away What You Don’t Have
When someone squeezes you, in some way puts pressure on you, or says something unflattering or critical; and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, tension, depression, or anxiety, it’s because that is what’s inside. The irony is that you can’t give away what you don’t have because you’re always giving what you do have. If you want to move into the realm of purpose by giving and serving others, ask yourself, “What do I have inside?” and “Why have I chosen to store these kinds of energies in me to give to others?”
Day 6: Your Purpose Is to Serve
One good way to serve is to practice being generous as often as you can. Promise yourself to extend some kind of unexpected generosity to someone, preferably a stranger, every single day for two weeks. This will not only help you develop a habit of giving, but you’ll also discover how wonderfully inspiring your generous nature feels. The more you practice being charitable, the more you’ll impact others and encourage them to help and serve others, too.
Day 7: Embrace Silence
It’s really the space between the notes that makes the music you enjoy so much. Without the spaces, all you would have is one continuous noisy note. Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. Those who will supersede us are waiting in the vast void. All creativity requires some stillness. Silence reduces fatigue and allows you to experience your own creative juices.
Day 8: Making Conscious Contact with God
When you merge into the silence and become one with it, you also reconnect to your Source and know the peacefulness that some call God. “Be still and know that I am God,” says it so beautifully in the Psalms of the Old Testament. The key words here are still and know.
Be still actually means silence. Mother Teresa described silence and its relationship to God by saying, “God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” This includes your soul!
The second word in the Old Testament observation, know, refers to making your personal and conscious contact with God. To know God is to banish doubt and become independent of others’ definition and description of God. Instead, you have your own personal knowing. And as Herman Melville reminded us so poignantly, “God’s one and only voice is silence.”
Day 9: Give Up Your Personal History
You’re not an American, an Italian, or an African. You’re a member of one race, the human race. You’re not a male or a female, a Democrat or a Republican. You are one with the true oneness, God. You are not athletic or magical, mathematical or literary, or any other label. Transcending labels, particularly those that have been placed on you by others in your past, opens you to the opportunity of soaring in the now in any way that you desire.
Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play. Embrace them all, and move on to the next act.
Day 10: All You Get Is Now
The past has gone, the future is still to come, so the present—the here-and-now—is all we have. This is our topic for today.
The willingness and ability to live fully in the now elude many people. While eating your appetizer, don’t be concerned with dessert. While reading a book, notice where your thoughts are. While on vacation, be there instead of thinking about what should have been done and what has to be done when returning home. Don’t let the elusive present moment get used up by thoughts that aren’t in the here and now.
There’s an irony to this habit of having your mind drift to other times and other places. You can only drift off in the now, because now is all you ever get. So drifting off is a way of using up your present moments. You do indeed have a past, but not now! And yes, you have a future, but not now! And you can consume your now with thoughts of “then” and “maybe”, but that will keep you from the inner peace and success you could experience.