Your Weight And Your Fate

I ran across one of those old fortune-telling machines in an antique store in New Orleans. More than 100 years old, it proudly sat near the entrance of the store. Created in a time before bathroom scales, it promised to accurately tell us how much we weighed, and as an added bonus, our future.

Zoltar fortune telling machine

Zoltar - one of the original fortune telling machines

This one had a note that said, “Mechanism works, but out of cards.” It was on the little cards that your “fate” was inscribed.

Fast forward 100 years and some of us still believe that our future is already written. We believe in the “destiny” of meeting-up with special friends. We might have our fortunes read or pay to have our astronomical charts interpreted for us. We say that certain things “were just meant to happen.” We discuss fortune cookies over a plate of Chow Mein.

But I’m not buying it. It’s not that I don’t think these activities aren’t fun. It’s not that I can’t even see an element of truth in them. It’s that I know I’m always at choice.

Instead of “fate,” I just see these predictions as “possibilities.”

When I hear a prediction like, “The economy is bad, so you won’t get the raise.” I know that this is only one possibility. When the doctor says, “Your mother died of heart disease, so we need to watch your cholesterol,” I hold open the possibility for a different outcome for me. Anytime something or someone appears to “predict” my future, I stop and think. Is this really what I want?

I believe it’s up to me.

Science of Mind teaches that our thoughts and beliefs control what happens to us. Knowing this, if I change my thinking—if I create a new set of beliefs—I should be able to influence what happens to me.

I am able to live a long life—despite what happened to my parents. I am able to have healthy relationships—no matter what the ones from my childhood looked like. I am able to claim a measure of abundance and comfort—whether the economy is “up” or “down.”

If I believe, it is so.

Free will may not be entirely free. It requires believing, strongly, in what we want to experience. It requires changing some of our core beliefs and acting upon these beliefs even before we can see evidence of those changes. It means accepting a greater measure of life—even when other peoples’ lives may seem full of fear and doubt.

But it is possible to achieve everything that you desire. It is possible to bring your thoughts, ideas, feelings and intentions into alignment with what you want to experience. It is possible to write out your own fate according to your closely held expectations.

In short, it’s up to you!

A Change In Perspective

The South Jetty of Tillamook bay extends itself solidly into the Pacific. To the south, you can see the ocean at it’s most turbulent. Crashing waves, thunderous noise and white spray make for a dramatic picture. To the north, in the channel of the bay, all is calm. The water has a satiny calm sheen to it with just a hint of the powerful current underneath.

South Jetty, Tillamook Oregon

South Jetty, Tillamook Oregon

The fundamental power of the ocean remains unchanged. The feeling and sense of the scene changes dramatically with a simple turn of the head.

Such changes of perspective are possible in the mind, too.

If we choose to channel the chaos and upsets of our lives into something more manageable, the universe will cooperate. If we use our thoughts as a jetty to separate our lives from the turmoil and scarcity around us, we too, can enjoy the smooth satiny surface of life.

It’s not so much what happens, as it is how we view it.

We can view powerful world as chaotic and unfriendly. We can focus on the turbulence and trouble. We can be crushed by the tide of life.

Or we can turn our thoughts, just a bit, and see the clear channel.

Then the turbulence is power that we can harness. Then the tide is flowing with us. Then the boat skims across the surface easily and safely.

Our thoughts make the jetty a reality as we focus on the good, the positive and the helpful. We don’t ignore bad things that happen—but we choose to set our sights beyond them into the safety and love of what comes next. We plan to be supported by life. We make choices that are life affirming. We view the world as our friend and as our helper.

God responds to such thoughts. It says, “yes,” to whatever perspective you hold in your mind. If you consistently view life as the storm, God will say, “yes”—and watch out for those waves! If you view life as a calm and supportive channel, God will also say, “yes.” Then it’s a most wonderful ride over silver seas.

Writing, For A Change

Sometimes I just have to put it in writing. When I’m faced with an important decision to make, when I am experiencing an overwhelming emotion or when I’m picturing my life differently, I take pen in hand.

A Pen and Journal

Getting it down in black and white

Perhaps writing it down makes it more real. Perhaps it’s a way of “trying things out” before I make up my mind. It might even be part of the decision-making process. I’m not sure exactly—but I know that writing help me quite a bit.

It helps me think clearly. I have to choose the words as I write them down. Am I feeling “abandoned,” or just “sad?” Do I want to do something about it or just be heard? What word describes the situation: “hopeless,” or “complicated.”

It helps me size up all the possibilities. Is that my only choice? Really? Or is there almost an endless list of things that I might do or say? Which is the best alternative for everyone concerned? What are the plusses and minuses with each option?

It helps me validate the truth. Is what I believe right now the truth? Am I sure? Is this belief helpful or harmful? Can I choose to believe something different? Am I freer with or without this belief?

It even helps me move on. Sometimes just writing it down has the powerful effect of softening and distancing. It’s as though writing about pain helps me work through it. As I put down thoughts of discord or disappointment, they don’t seem as big as I thought they were. As I write about my emotions I seem them already starting to shift—I show how temporary they are. I see that things that happened don’t define me any more than the words on the paper.

Best of all, writing helps me to make changes. I can prototype them on paper. I can try out new ideas, new thoughts and new descriptions of my life. I can write out affirmations of how I want to think, feel and live. I can live, in advance, the way I want to live through the power of my mind and the power of my pen on paper.

If you haven’t, try writing for a change.

It may start a new chapter in the book of your life.

The Road Always Traveled

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Most of us exhibit some signs of this form of insanity, though. It’s part of living in a comfort zone.

Albert Einstein at the blackboard

Albert Einstein at the blackboard

We might wish that things were different, we might want a different result from life, but there we go again doing the same things. The same comfortable things are producing the same familiar results.

It’s as though life has to get really bad before we’re willing to do something different. That comfort zone can contain things that are downright un-comfortable, but at least familiar. Maybe a familiar situation of pain seems more tolerable than just a “hope” of something better, but unknown.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can push through that zone of comfort—really it’s just inertia—and experience something new. Something better.

I think the key is understanding the link between what we think and do, and what happens. If we really see that we’re creating our lives through our beliefs and our choices—then we can more easily make changes. Contrast this to the idea that life “just happens.” How can we hope to orchestrate beneficial changes if life is random?

Instead, I have learned to take full ownership of my life. I have learned to use discomfort as my “red flag” for change. Rather than waiting until things get really tough—I start evaluating the situation early on. I ask questions like, “How is this a reflection of what’s going on in my head?” and “Is this situation supporting a belief I have?

Usually I can link the discomfort to ideas that I’ve had, poor choices that I’ve made and errors in my judgment. I take ownership of the situation so that I can take ownership of making a change.

Then taking the road “less traveled,” seems more doable. Stepping out of a comfort zone is less risky when you know that you can change things for the better. You may not make the best choice every time—but then you can choose again. Life is unlimited and so are the chances for improving our lives. We may have to walk down several roads to find the destination we want. That’s OK.

We’re worth it