“Until one acknowledges the genius within oneself, one will have great difficulty recognizing it in others.” — Dr. David Hawkins
Consider that all human beings have within them the same essence of consciousness, and that the process of creativity and inner genius are attributes of human consciousness. Therefore, genius is a potential that lives within you and every other human being.
Many people never get acquainted with this inner world of their personal genius. I’d like you to consider what may seem like a radical idea: Genius can show up in as many ways as there are human beings.
With this idea in mind, remember that every person you interact with should feel the inner glow that comes from being appreciated, particularly for the ways in which they express their creativity.
Appreciating the genius in others attracts high levels of competent energy to you. By seeing and celebrating another’s creative genius, you open a channel within yourself for receiving creative energy from your Divine Source.
Speak Your Own Language, Sing Your Own Song
My son, Sands, has a unique way of riding a surfboard unlike everyone around him in the ocean. I encourage him to do what comes naturally and express it with pride.
He also created a unique language for communication, similar to my brother David, which others in the family and close personal acquaintances emulate. Creating a language that others use is the work of a genius! I tell Sands this, and my brother, too, whose unique language I’ve spoken for over half a century.
My daughter Skye has a distinctive one-of-a-kind singing voice that I love. I tell her so, and point out that it’s an expression of her genius.
Do you have any unique talents that are a unique expression of your own language or metaphorical song?
Celebrate & Rejoice in Your Uniqueness
All of my children—and yours as well (including the child within you)—have unparalleled and unique characteristics in many of the ways they express themselves.
From the way that they dress, to the little tattoo, to their signature, to their mannerisms, to their unmatched personality quirks, you can appreciate their genius.
Notice and appreciate your genius, too. When you’re just like everybody else, you’ve nothing to offer other than your conformity.
Genius can show up in as many ways as there are human beings.— Dr. Wayne Dyer
Do you feel different from others? Notice whether you celebrate your differences or try to hide your differences. Your differences are a natural expression of your own creative genius, so I encourage you to share them with pride.
Know That We are All Connected
Take the road of seeing the face of God in everyone you encounter. Look for something to appreciate in others, and be willing to communicate it to them and anyone who’s willing to listen.
When you see this quality in others, you’ll soon begin to realize that this potential is available to all of humanity. This obviously includes you. Recognizing your inner genius is an integral part of the dynamic.
As Dr. David Hawkins tells us in Power vs. Force: “Until one acknowledges the genius within oneself, one will have great difficulty recognizing it in others.”
Comfort and luxury are usually the chief requirements of life for your ego—its top priorities tend to be accumulations, achievements, and the approval of others. Consider a new alternative for what makes you happy, one that soars beyond the superficial demands of the ego. The only thing that you need for this state of joy is something to be passionate about. Something that speaks only to you…that gets you tingling inside with excitement…that will not go away…that radiates within you…that sends you into a frenzy of good feeling because it makes you feel purposeful and connected to your Source of being. It doesn’t matter what it is. The only requirement is that you feel intensely about it and are willing to act with enthusiasm, awakening the sleeping God within you.
As Abraham Maslow once observed about self-actualizing people: “They must be what they can be.” Take a moment to think about what you can be, and contrast that with what you’ve chosen to be up until now. So what can you be? Perhaps you have an idea you’ve been carrying around with you for decades, such as a book that you know needs to be written, which only you have the wisdom to create. Can you get so passionate about realizing your vision that you activate the presence of God to assist you in co-creating your dreams? Remember, the mere presence of that passion, nothing more, is evidence that the energy of the Divine creating spirit is alive and well in you. That’s all you need—just the willingness to allow your passion to speak up and awaken from its dormant status. You don’t have to know how to activate your long-buried enthusiasm or precisely what to focus on. Continue Reading
You’ve often heard me say that the Tao is filled with paradox. In the 59th verse of the Tao Te Ching, for example, we find what looks like the paradoxical idea that a no-limits life begins with self-control, moderation, and thrift. Living in thrift and moderation means being in harmony with the world through your generous nature. Be one who accumulates a warehouse full of virtue by living in accordance with the Tao. When virtue is what you have to give away, you’ll naturally be more moderate, humble, and less demanding. Feel joyful knowing that the example you’re setting is helping others make the right choices, too. Practice living without limits by gathering virtue.
For years I practiced gathering virtue without realizing it. I sent hundreds of thousands of books to individuals and organizations at my own expense, getting into the habit of beginning each day with this act of love. I spent a great deal of time giving away much of what I earned, almost all of it anonymously. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was doing was accumulating virtue, or what I facetiously call “God points.”
I then found that not all of my life was to be peaks and mountaintops. Yet when I succeeded in getting out from under what felt like a mountain, I was virtually unscathed. This is because I was so deeply rooted and firmly planted in the Tao that my original vision was to be a lasting one, impervious to external circumstances.
Change the way you look at your life by moderating your ego. See yourself as a being who gives rather than collects, and live on what you need rather than practicing conspicuous consumption. You’ll begin to see that your purpose has more to do with Tao consciousness than ego directives. When you moderate your demands and use only what you and your family require, you’ll gather virtue points by serving rather than accumulating. Lao-tzu reminds us that this is “the secret of long life and lasting vision.”
Make a commitment to gather five virtue points today. Imagine how the Divine Source must be operating in order to maintain the creation cycles of life, and do five things that match up to it. Pick up a piece of someone else’s trash, which is an example of excess; anonymously give a gift to someone in need; or perform any other actions that help you accumulate virtue and remain deeply rooted in the Tao.
Ask yourself what you have to give away. Keeping in mind that your purpose is always about giving, loving, and serving, the question of what you will be able to give away as your purposeful mission becomes paramount. It doesn’t take any extra special intelligence to know this simple truth: You cannot give away what you don’t have. If you don’t have any money, obviously you can’t give money away. The same principle applies to your contribution to the spiritual revolution that is now taking place in our world.
If you don’t have love, harmony, and peace within you, then you can’t contribute these qualities. If you have anxiety, stress, fear, anger, and tension within, that is all that you will be able to give away. We cannot go on thinking in divisive ways if we want to bring about unity on our planet. We cannot go on thinking in militant ways if we want to bring peace to our world. We cannot go on thinking in hateful ways if we want to bring love to our world.
Each thought that develops into a helping, purposeful, loving act is your contribution. It matters not what others say or do—they have their own destinies to fulfill. When someone sends you criticism or hate, you can respond only with what you have inside. If harmony and peace reside within because that is how you have chosen to think, then that is what you will have to give away. In that moment you have made a difference. Continue Reading
How may I serve others so that they may have what I desire? The answer to this seemingly contradictory question holds the key to authentic inner peace. Many callers to my radio show are struggling with fears, worries, and concerns that stem, as they see it, from unfulfilled desires. I usually suggest that they try wanting something more for others than they want it for themselves. The love required to do this turns their focus away from the constant turmoil of the ego and instead opens real possibilities for living their highest and most joyful purpose.
Supportiveness, or service to others, is one of the four cardinal virtues described by Lao-tzu. When you extend yourself in a spirit of giving, helping, or loving, you act as God acts. Imagine shifting your attention off of yourself and asking the universal mind: How may I serve? When you do so, the message you are sending is: I’m not thinking about myself and what I can or can’t have. Your attention is on making someone else feel better. Continue Reading
There’s a wonderful Turkish proverb that succinctly relates a message underlying both the movie version of The Shift and the book of the same name. It says, “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.” It doesn’t matter how long we’ve allowed ourselves to travel the road of our false self. We know when it isn’t leading us to a sense of purpose and significance, and we can admit we’re on the wrong path. The awareness that our life lacks Meaning is more than enough evidence that it’s time to make a U-turn.
In The Shift movie, I relate how I found the road that resonated with the calling of my soul. I did so by listening to what I was feeling deep within me, rather than what my ego was saying to me about how to capitalize on my fame by writing books to make more money. By trusting my inner excitement, I was able to make a big shift in my life, a real U-turn, away from writing about psychology to writing about living life from a spiritual orientation. That shift away from the Ambition of ego, which tried to control my writing and speaking career, put me on the path of Meaning.
When you turn away from ego control, what is it that you trust to guide you? There are three markers to look for on this road—trust in yourself, trust in others, and trust in the Source of being. When you trust in yourself, you listen to your soul speak and hear what your intuition or the “voice within” is saying. When you trust in others, you practice noninterference and free yourself from trying to control others who have their own inner voice to follow. When you trust in the Source of being, you trust the mystery of creation. The universal Source of all creation, invisible though it may be, guides you just as it guided your development in the womb. When you trust in Divine intelligence, you cooperate and invite the shift to Meaning.
One of my personal heroes is Mother Teresa, who spent her later years teaching and serving others. She once remarked, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love must be put into action, and that action is service.” These words have inspired me and have helped me make the shift away from my ego’s Ambitions for serving myself toward a life dominated by service to others. Today my life is almost 100 percent devoted to service in one way or another. Each day begins with a prayer of “Thank you,” which are the first words out of my mouth as I awaken. This is to keep me in a state of gratitude for all that I receive, as well as for the opportunity to live my days in service to others.
Before beginning my day, I make every effort to do something for someone else. Since I receive volumes of mail, I often send off a book or a DVD of The Shift, a set of CDs, or a DVD of a PBS special—something that I feel will brighten the day of a total stranger somewhere in the world. As I affix the postage, I take great joy in knowing that a surprise package of love in action will send a message to someone that there are people out there who care, and I am one of them.
Often I call someone I’ve been told is grieving the loss of a loved one or is ill in a hospital setting. Other times some money in an envelope goes to one of the many people who serve in my community. If I’m on the road in a hotel, I seek out the maids who serve me so anonymously and surprise them with a gift of some unexpected cash. The things I’m doing aren’t reported here for recognition, but to provide real-life examples of how shifting from Ambition to Meaning affects daily life. The ego seeks recognition, but in a life of Meaning, loving action is its own reward. I’m reminded of Ram Dass, who told me that his years of putting his ego aside and being of service to his mother, father, and stepmother; as well as to people with AIDS and cancer, were the most fulfilling and meaningful times in his life. There are a multitude of ways in which we can give. It doesn’t really matter what we do—the point is to get in the habit of replacing our attention on ourselves with attention toward others and take loving action.
In the movie version of The Shift, I have a brief discussion with several of the characters about the following key concept: Everything in the material world must be like what it came from, including each and every one of us. In the film I refer to a slice of apple pie on a plate, asking, “What is that one piece of pie like?” The obvious answer is that it’s like apple pie because it must be like what it came from. This is a familiar concept if we think of blood being drawn for a diagnostic test. A small syringe of blood provides medical practitioners with information about the entire supply of the person it was drawn from. Why? Because the sample must be like what it came from.
I extend this logic to myself and you as well. Since I didn’t come from my parents, it isn’t a logical conclusion to state that I must be like they are. Since I didn’t come from my culture, my religion, or anything in this world, it isn’t necessarily so that I must be the same as my surroundings or my society. But since I did come from an invisible energy Source that some call God, or Tao, or Divine mind, then I must be like what I came from. My conclusion about my origination is that I came from Spirit, and my true essence is that I am what I came from. I am a Divine piece of God. I am first and always a spiritual being inextricably connected to my Source of being.
Understanding the answer to Where did I come from? involves, more than anything else, attempting to live from a perspective that’s in rapport with our original nature. We must become more like the spiritual nature of our origin. By recognizing the expression of Divine consciousness that is our physical being, we in turn make the choice of how to express that Divine spirit.
I’ve been engaged for many years in helping people (including myself) make the shift towards their highest potential. I have now made almost 70 trips around our sun, and the one thing that stands out very clearly is that all of us want our lives to have purpose and meaning. What does it take to reach a state of consciousness that nurtures a life of purpose and meaning? First, in my movie The Shift, and now in the companion book of the same name, I’ve tried to map things out.
The Shift—illustrates how and why to make the move from ambition to meaning. Such a shift eliminates our feelings of separateness, illuminates our spiritual connectedness, and involves moving from the ego-directed morning into the afternoon of life where everything is primarily influenced by purpose.
As we contemplate leaving the morning of our life, where ego has played a commanding role, and entering the afternoon (and evening), where meaning and purpose replace ambition and struggle, we may encounter unexpected occurrences that accompany this new direction.
It’s almost a universal law that we’ll experience a fall of some kind. Yet these falls or low points provide the energy we need to move away from ego and into a life of meaning and purpose.
The Shift doesn’t mean that we lose our drive and ambition; it signifies that we become ambitious about something new. We make a commitment to living a life based on experiencing meaning and feeling purposeful, rather than never-ending demands and false promises that are the trademark of the ego’s agenda.
What is The Shift?
The first shift that we all make takes us from nonbeing to being; from Spirit to form; from the invisible to our corporeal world of things.
The next shift is the phase I call Ambition where we take on an ego self that is the opposite of the place of Spirit from which we came. Ego in this context is our false self.
These first two shifts are mandatory in the human journey.
Unfortunately, for many people, Ambition is often the end of their life story, but there are two more shifts open to us!
We can all choose to make the leap past the second shift of ego-driven ambition. We arrive at the third shift when we realize that we have an option to make a U-turn away from the false self. We can do an about-face and head back to the place of Spirit in a third shift.
And then, in the fourth shift, we achieve a life of Meaning and purpose by rededicating our Ambition to the fulfillment of our authentic self. We discover that the laws of the material world do not necessarily apply in the presence of the Meaning that is encouraged by our shift to Source. Manifestations of miracles begin to populate the landscape of life.
Meaning is now what defines all the moments of our existence. We can fulfill our greatest calling when we consciously undertake the journey from Ambition to Meaning. We can transform our individual lives and influence the destiny of our sacred planet as well.
This week you’ll have the opportunity to get a copy of Dan Caro’s life story—The Gift of Fire: How I Made Adversity Work for Me. Dan is a professional jazz drummer and inspirational speaker and a man of exquisite courage and spirit. You saw him play the drums on my most recent PBS special Excuses Begone! Dan banished excuses as a tiny child when he survived an injury by fire that destroyed both of his hands and almost took his life. Dan survived and grew up loving music and wanting to be a musician. He found a way to play the drums and play them well, proving to the world that the only limits in life are those you create for yourself. When Dan isn’t playing jazz in his native city of New Orleans, he is traveling the country encouraging others not just to overcome life’s hardships, but to view adversity as a gift that can drive us toward reaching our full potential. Dan is passing on the love and support that buoyed him up through the years, giving his all to life in a way that few of us are challenged to do. Dan also serves as an Ambassador for the Shriners of North America, whose hospitals provide specialized medical care for children, including treatment for burn victims. Think of Dan the next time you are tempted to pull out that ever-popular excuse “It will be difficult.” Dan took the gift of fire and used it to fuel the powerful spirit of his extraordinary life.
This has been called the age of information. There’s no shortage of information; in fact, there may be way too much. When a nominee was named for the Supreme Court, the Judicial Committee was given a list of every single movie that this person had rented for the past 10 years! If we look at this word information, in the very center of it there’s the word form. Form describes the world of the physical, the world of boundaries, the world of beginnings and ends. When we are in the world of form, what we get is information. But let’s shift our attention to another world which is the source of everything physical.
St. Paul said, “That which is seen hath not come from that which doth appear”—the source of everything in the world of form is not from the world of form. It’s from the world of Spirit—the world of the invisible which has no boundaries, no beginnings and no ends. When you are in the world of Spirit, what you get is “inspiration.” What we have in our world today is a spiritual deficit. We don’t have enough emphasis on the importance of being inspired and living in-Spirit.
One of the most important lessons I ever learned comes from the great spiritual teacher Patanjali: “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Imagine that just by moving into the world of inspiration you can activate “dormant forces,”—forces that you thought were dead, that you thought were not available to you—and you can make them work for you when you are inspired. You don’t get tired, you don’t get hungry, you don’t worry about money, and you don’t worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. You’re moving into the world of God. Being inspired is probably the most important thing you can do. Look at all the things around you and say, “Where did all of this come from?” It all came from the world of Spirit, the world of inspiration. It’s the spirit that gives life.
Among the callers to my weekly show on HayHouseRadio.com was a young man in Guadalajara, Mexico, who reported that he was able to turn his life around with the mantra “How may I serve?” He was able to make his business prosperous at a time of presumed deep economic gloom. He is one among so many who have embraced the message of love and service and is now passing it on. It’s as simple as tuning in to Spirit instead of struggling to figure things out by ourselves, and mostly moving in circles. When we shift our thoughts from fear to love, represented by the act of serving and giving, we align with the infinite abundance of Spirit.
It was Neville Goddard, a New Thought lecturer of the mid 20th century, who recommended that we “assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled” if we want our dreams to become real. Feeling good is feeling God—our good feelings align us with Spirit. Use your imagination to create an image, a picture, that will help you focus on the life you want to achieve. As you go to sleep, don’t review bad feelings, fears, worries—instead assume the good feeling of the wish fulfilled. Go to sleep with visions of what you love. Let your dream vision marinate overnight. Wake up with your positive, hopeful thoughts in place, ready to guide you through a day in which you step ever closer to the life you dream of. You align with God when you ask, “How may I serve?”