Chapter 12: LISTENING TO THE UNIVERSE
As you might have guessed by now, I read a lot and I attend a lot of seminars. At one of these seminars I met Dr. Lona Cook, an amazing chiropractor, speaker, and author. She currently practices in Wisconsin where she owns and operates two clinics. She was one of the speakers at the seminar I attended, and a story she told that day changed the way I look at life.
When she was trying to decide where to open up her practice, she was having trouble picking between two locations. She really favored one location over the other, but everything she tried to do with that location didn’t seem to work out. She was having trouble finding the appropriate sized building, and when she did the people that owned it were difficult to reach. You get the idea, one thing after another. With her second choice, however, everything just seemed to fall into place. She quickly found the ideal sized office, and the realtor she was working with was expedient, friendly, and knowledgeable. But it was her second choice! How many of us would have fought, pushed, kicked, and screamed our way into the first office? That was Dr. Cook’s first instinct, which is understandable. We are trained to fight, fight, fight. Never give up. A champion never quits, etc. But what if we are choosing the wrong battles? What if we are trying to force our way into a place we were never meant to exist? Luckily, Dr. Cook had a mentor that told her to “listen to the Universe”. She did…and it changed her life. She decided to focus on her second choice and the magic began to happen. Without giving away the entire story, let’s just say she became wildly successful in a very short time at the “second choice” location.
I started thinking about what she said, and it made me realize that I had spent much of my life trying to force things. Jobs, relationships, you name it. When I realized that you could quiet the mind and focus on what the Universe is trying to tell you, amazing things start to happen. Relationships improve, you become more honest with yourself and everyone around you, and you become detached from results and expectations.
Upon further consideration I came up with a scale of proficiency for Universe Listeners: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Are you curious to know where you stand on this grading scale? It is simple to self-assess.
The beginner is disconnected from the Universe and does not take time to quiet their mind. They don’t meditate or visualize themselves being successful. There are clues all around the beginning Universe listener but they never listen to them. The trademark of the beginner is to try the same method over and over and expect a different result. Attempts are repeatedly made to force a square peg into a round hole. I speak from experience, as I was a beginner not too long ago. Before reading Dr. Cook’s book, Just Tell Me Where to Start! I never considered that the Universe could whisper to you, leading you in the right direction if you are just willing to listen. Does this sound too mystical? Consider the following: as a society we even have well-known clichés to describe the people that don’t listen to the clues the world is giving them. We call them “lost” or “misguided”; we comment that he/she is “going down the wrong path”. We can all agree that there are infinite roads of possibilities in our lives, represented by choices, and we can all agree that there is a best option at any given fork in the road. I encourage you to open your mind to the possibility that there are subtle clues that can help you decide which direction to travel. You just have to listen.
A few years ago I met a friend who was into meditation. Like most people I thought that it was weird. Isn’t meditation something that hippies and Buddhist monks do? She invited me to a session that she was hosting and I politely declined. Then the strangest thing happened, I couldn’t go a day without running in to meditation in some form or fashion. If I were reading a book meditation would be mentioned. At seminars, lectures, and even in conversation it kept coming up. Finally I realized that this was the Universe whispering in my ear, “This is something you need to look into!” I had already decided that I would attend the next session my friend hosted when I saw the billboard. I was driving along the highway and there it was, as plain as day. MEDITATION SEMINAR was big and bold and staring me right in the face. I couldn’t help but laugh and yell as I passed the sign, “I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR UNIVERSE! I WILL START TO MEDITATE!”
Such is the plight of the beginner. Repeated taps on the shoulder, signs, and clues may go unnoticed. Perhaps they are stuck in a relationship that they shouldn’t be in, or working in a field that they are not fit for, but despite all of the results they plod on in the wrong direction. The good news is, it is easy to get started!
There are plenty of books, audio files, and even YouTube videos that can teach you how to meditate and visualize. Spend some time each day quieting your mind and tapping into the fabric of the Universe. This is the first step in reaching the intermediate level. The intermediate Universe listener is able to pick up on clues that lead them in the right direction after just one or two nudges. I knew I was an intermediate when I would hear something a second time and know that it was meant for me to head in that direction. Before I began to pay attention to the clues around me, I might hear a book, movie, or idea dozens of times before I looked into it. When I finally bought the book, watched the movie, or tried the new idea I always thought to myself, why did I wait this long? The next evolution was hearing something mentioned twice and realizing that it was time for me to investigate. Now when I hear a book mentioned more than once I get online and order it. The only down side is I have a stack of books that I have not been able to get to!
As of now I consider myself to be an intermediate Universe listener, but I aspire to become an expert. Not being one myself I can only postulate how they exist. The expert Universe listener doesn’t need any clues or taps on the shoulder. Instead they seek out the direction that suits them best in the fabric of space, before it materializes in the physical world. We have common terms for these people as well; we call them those who “make things happen.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. Instead of waiting around for someone or something to guide them in the right direction, these bold pioneers create their own reality and are admired by the rest of us.