Excerpt from Inspiration: Your Ultimate CallingHay House, Inc. | June 2007
In this final chapter of Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, I offer my own very personal view on how the world looks when I feel inspired:
I’d like to acknowledge right from the outset that I don’t live at this level of being in-Spirit 100 percent of the time—like most everyone else, I occasionally have lapses and feel uninspired. Yet these moments have become rarer and rarer; in fact, it’s difficult for me to recall a day in the past several years when I felt completely uninspired.
What follows is a personal account of both how I feel inside and what seems to take place in the world around me when I feel connected to Spirit in the ways that I’ve written about in the pages of this book.
The same day that I completed Chapter 17 and read it over the telephone to my editor, Joanna, on Bainbridge Island, Washington, I had the most profoundly mystical experience of being in-Spirit in all of my 65 years. The photograph on the cover of the book is a re-creation of what happened.
When I finished up with Joanna, I went for my daily hour-long walk along the beach…but for some reason I elected to take a slightly different route along a grassy area adjacent to the beach.
I was recalling my friend Jack Boland, a Unity minister in Detroit, who crossed over about a decade ago. Jack loved monarch butterflies, often telling stories of how he marveled at these paper-thin creatures who migrated thousands of miles in high winds and returned to the same branch on the same tree where they first emerged from their cocoons.
Before Jack passed away, I presented him with a beautiful paperweight containing a dead monarch that I’d found in perfect condition. When he died, his wife returned it to me, telling me how much Jack loved that gift and how much he admired these amazing creatures who had such mysterious intelligence built into their brains, which are the size of a pinhead.
Jack always told me to “be in a state of gratitude,” and he ended every sermon with this message to God: “Thank You, thank You, thank You.” On three occasions since his death, a monarch butterfly has landed on my body. Since these creatures studiously avoid human contact, each time this has happened I’ve thought of Jack and thought, Thank You, God—thank You, thank You.
Anyway, as I walked, feeling grateful for having completed the second-to-last chapter of this book, a monarch landed on the ground, three feet in front of me. I said Jack’s magic words to myself (Thank You, God—thank You, thank You), and felt deep appreciation for my life and the beauty of the day. The butterfly stayed right there until I approached, then he flapped his wings several times and flew away. Thinking of Jack and feeling a little bewildered and immensely thankful, I watched this creature in flight, now 40 or 50 yards away.
As God is my witness, the butterfly made a U-turn and not only headed in my direction, but landed right smack on my finger! Needless to say, I was shocked—but not totally surprised. I must confess that it seems to me that the more I stay in-Spirit, the more I experience synchronicities similar to this one. But what followed did border on the incredulous, even for me.
This little creature became my constant companion for the next two and a half hours—he sat first on one hand and then moved to my other hand, never even coming close to flying away. He seemed to be trying to communicate with me by moving his wings back and forth, and even opening and closing his tiny mouth as if attempting to speak…and as crazy as it may sound, I felt a deep affinity to this precious living being. I sat on the ground and simply stayed with my new fragile friend for 30 or so minutes. Then I called Joanna from my cell phone, and she was also stunned by the synchronicity, insisting that I somehow get a picture of this event.
At this point I decided to return to my home, approximately a mile from where I was sitting, with my new companion. I returned along the beach walk, where the winds were brisk—the butterfly’s wings were pushed by these high gusts, but he clung to my finger, and even moved to another hand without making any effort to leave. As I walked, I encountered a four-year-old girl with her mother. The girl was sobbing over some perceived tragedy in her young life, and when I showed her my “pet” butterfly, her expression went from sad to blissful in one split second. She smiled from ear to ear and asked me all about the winged creature on my forefinger.
When I got home, I was talking on my cell phone to my friend Reid Tracy as I walked upstairs. He laughed with me as I related the bizarre synchronicity at play in this very moment. I said, “Reid, it’s been 90 minutes, and this little guy has adopted me.” Reid also encouraged me to get a photograph of this, since it was obviously in complete harmony with what I was writing.
I left my new friend—whom I was now calling “Jack”—sitting on the handwritten Chapter 17 on my lanai, and went downstairs. I found Cindy, a young woman who works nearby, and asked her to run to the store and purchase a disposable camera. She did, and I went back to the patio, put my hand next to Jack, and watched him jump right onto my finger! (The photo on the cover of this book is a re-creation of that magical moment.)
It appeared that my butterfly companion had decided that he was now going to live with me forever. After another hour or so of meditating and communing with this little creature of God—and pondering this event as the most unprecedented and out-of-the-ordinary spiritual episode I’d ever encountered—I gently placed Jack back on my manuscript while I proceeded to take a long, hot shower. When I returned to the patio, I placed my finger near my winged friend as I’d done many times in the previous 150 minutes, but he now seemed like a totally different little critter. He fluttered away, landed on a table, flapped his wings twice, and flew off, straight up toward the heavens. Moments with him were now history, but I still had the photographs, which I treasure.
The next morning, I decided to watch one of my favorite films, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, which I hadn’t viewed for more than a decade. And sure enough—in the opening scenes of Franco Zeffirelli’s interpretation of the life of St. Francis, there he was…with a butterfly alighting on his fingers.
When I live my life so as to be open to the language of Spirit, I find almost overwhelming rapture overtaking me. For several days after my experience with Jack, people kept telling me that I seemed so peaceful and content, and one woman even suggested that I was “walking grace.” This episode with my butterfly friend and the communiqués from Spirit touched me at an unprecedented level. From the perspective of being in-Spirit, I’ve seen Its hands embrace me and heard It say: “You are not alone. You can count on me to guide you—and whatever you do, do not doubt My presence.”
This makes me feel safe, comforted, and that I’m not alone. I feel good (God) because I’m living in almost perfect harmony with the Source of my being, living on purpose and writing from my heart. The reason I feel inspired isn’t because the world looks perfect. Rather, it’s the other way around: The reason the world looks perfect to me is because I’m in-Spirit—a person who chooses to live an inspired life. I’m able to stay in a state of gratitude from the moment I awake early in the morning right up until I close my eyes while falling asleep; and throughout each day, I’m reminded that staying in-Spirit is really about staying in vibrational harmony.
I don’t find it necessary to change anyone or anything that I encounter or read about in my daily life. Each time that I’m tempted to, I catch myself and return to a mind-set that calls to me to be more like God, right here and right now. I stay inspired by making an energetic shift within myself; when I do, the world looks completely different, and I move inwardly toward peace and kindness. The energetic shift is merely a way of processing people and events from the insight of being unified with the All-Creating Source—that is, by eschewing judgment and allowing the world to be as it is, rather than as I think it should be.
By keeping my vibration aligned spiritually, I see the ecstasy in the present.
I stay inspired by encouraging others to live out their destiny and allowing the world to unfold as it will, and I’m much more likely to feel peaceful. In fact, when I’m living my life from this perspective of inspiration, my vibrational energy is more attuned to that of the creative energy of the Universe, and I find that my effect on others is far more spiritually aligned. Furthermore, I know within my own being that I’m doing something very powerful to make this world a more spiritually oriented place for us all.
You see, when I resonate to anger, shame, hatred, or revenge, I add to these decidedly nonspiritual energies by joining in what I find to be so objectionable. But when I remember to bring nonjudgment, love, tolerance, and compassion to these low, ego-dominated energies, I see how different the world looks, and even how different those around me act in the presence of these God-realized energies. I feel optimistic when I’m in-Spirit, with an inner knowing that nothing can interfere with an idea whose time is coming or has already arrived.
I trust that our Creator knows what It’s doing, and that good triumphs over what ego believes is bad or evil. I sense that we’re all moving toward a world that will no longer know the horrors of war or practice our long-established habits of inhumanity toward our brothers and sisters around the globe, who may have different cultural views and their own unique physical distinctiveness. By staying in-Spirit, I’m truly inspired to see the potential for greatness that’s in all of us, as one people, and I turn from anguish to faith that at least I can live from a place of God-realization, and practice being a force for good (God).
Staying in vibrational alignment with Spirit allows me to be more present in all of my life activities. I find myself less concerned with goals, outcomes, winning, and accumulations, and far more involved in the process of enjoying the activities of my life. Arriving seems to replace striving, and being in a state of flow is far more common that my old uninspired state of worry and anguish. I remind myself that Spirit is only here and now—not yesterday, not tomorrow, only now.
By keeping my vibration aligned spiritually, I see the ecstasy in the present.
Everything else that once was a source of worry doesn’t come up for me, since the outcomes are already handled for me in my own mind. What will be, will be, I remind myself. The world looks so much more peaceful when I approach it this way, and my ego, which once needed to win at all costs, is relegated to a distant seat in a stadium in another galaxy!
Reprinted with permission