BUILDING THE BRIDGE
In the words of Charles Fillmore, from his book Prosperity: "The German philosopher and poet Goethe says, 'The highest and most excellent thing in man is formless, and we should guard against giving it shape in anything less than 'noble dress.' This is a recognition of the truth that man has the capacity within himself to give form to the formless substance."a
These are beautiful, inspiring words, aren't they? Let us realize that the most excellent thing about us is formless and it is our job to bring it forth in the most noble way. In other words, our hopes, dreams and aspirations have been planted by the Divine, that they are there for a reason. Let us know that they are there so that God can express Itself in this world, in this way, AS you.
Say with me, "I am here so that God can express AS me."
Do you believe that? Say it again, please. "I am here so that God can express AS me." Let us know this to be true and then let us get about God's business.
I love the time when the Master Teacher Jesus was just a young boy and his parents had brought him into Jerusalem for Passover. When the feast was over, his parents headed back to Nazareth. Jesus wasn't with them, although they did not know that at the time. They thought he was with the other children in the group they were traveling with. But when they looked for him, they couldn't find him anywhere, so they turned back to Jerusalem.
They looked all over the city and couldn't find him. After 3 days - 3 days - they found him in the temple, sitting with the teachers, listening to them, asking them questions, conversing with them.
When she saw him, Mary ran up to Jesus and said, "What the heck are you doing? Where have you been? How could you do this to us? We've been frantically looking for you!!"
Well actually the scripture says that she said: "My son, why have you done so to us? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you with much anxiety."
And his answer was profound, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I would be about my Father's business?"b
At the time Mary didn't understand what in the world he meant, but we do. We too must be about our Infinite Mother/Father/God's business.
You're the only one who can know, specifically, what this means for you. You are the only one who can say what the call of the Divine is in you. But whatever that happens to be, it is a part of who you are.
What you decide to do with the call is completely up to you. You can smother it and not admit to yourself that it exists. You can daydream about it. You can say you want it all day long while you hang onto the edge for dear life.
Or you can go for it, which requires bridging the gap (the Grand Adventure in Purpose) between incubating the idea and manifesting the dream.
This month we are bridging that gap and today we are going to look at the idea of actually building the bridge. Because often when we take that leap of faith (which we discussed last week), we don't see the bridge.
Do you remember the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"? Harrison Ford, or Indiana Jones, has a dream. A big dream, and it is to find the Holy Grail. He's been on a Grand Adventure in Purpose (he's been living the GAP!) for the bulk of the movie, but he is now getting close, very close to his dream, but no cigar quite yet!
In fact, he suddenly finds himself faced with a big, big, big, chasm he has to get across. Literally. If he doesn't get across it, not only will he not find the Grail, but he'll be killed because the bad guys are in hot pursuit! Remember that scene? And what happens?
He steps out into the void, and the bridge does appear. As he takes the next step more of the bridge appears. Step by step, he walks to the other side.
And as the camera pans back, we see that the bridge was there all along, but the color and formation of the rocks created an optical illusion so that neither he nor we could see the bridge. And, of course, on the other side he finds the Holy Grail.
So, today and the next couple of Sundays, we are going to explore some tools to help us build the bridge, as we walk across it - actually more accurately, these tools will help us see the bridge that is already there!
1. THE OPEN MOMENT
And here's the first . . . cultivate the Open Moment. 1. The Open Moment.
What is the Open Moment? The Open Moment is that moment when we deliberately choose to open just the tiniest corner of our minds to the possibility that things can work out the way we would like them to. It is the moment when we accept that perhaps, just perhaps, better than what we have imagined from where we now stand can actually occur. The Open Moment is the willingness to believe in possibilities even when we are feeling hopeless and discouraged.
That is so rich and is a mouthful, so I want to say it all again. The Open Moment is that moment when we deliberately choose to open just the tiniest corner of our minds to the possibility that things can work out the way we would like them to. It is the moment when we accept that perhaps, just perhaps, better than what we have imagined from where we now stand can actually occur. The Open Moment is the willingness to believe in possibilities even when we are feeling hopeless and discouraged.
Possibilities are always right here and available to us, right on the other side of the boundary of our comfort zone. However, they cannot insert themselves into our experience.
We have to make the deliberate choice to look for them with the willingness to find them, and when we do, they appear to us. But we have to be WILLING to see them BEFORE we will ever be able to see them.
Let me tell you a friend's story, in her own words. She said, "My husband was out of town. We had a dog, Hattie, who had severe separation anxiety, so I was working from home a lot while he was gone. But one afternoon, I had a meeting at church. So, I loaded up Hattie and my purse (with keys inside - my set of keys as well as the extra car key) in the car and then realized I left my phone inside. I went inside for a brief, brief moment to get my phone, and as I was inside I heard a familiar sound, but not a sound I should be hearing at that moment. It was the double beep of my car horn which occurred when I locked the doors. But I didn't lock the doors. How could that have happened?
Well, my sweet little dog had pushed down the inside door lock with her paws. So, here we are. Did I mention it was August in Phoenix? It is as hot as blazes in our garage and my dog and all of my car keys are locked in the car. And I don't have AAA. My husband always serves as my AAA if I need something, but he happens to be in another state at the time!
After the immediate panic, I had a thought, "I have an extra key in my car file in my home office." But then I dismissed the idea because I was pretty sure that the extra key was in my purse - as the extra key in case I ever locked the keys in the car! The thought "I have an extra key in my car file in my home office" came again, so I decided to go look in the file, and I swear to you, I didn't see a key in the file. The truth is I wasn't willing to see it because I didn't think it was there.
After calling a friend and using her AAA to come to the rescue, the dog (who, by the way, was perfectly fine in the car; she loved riding in the car and just sitting in it was OK too since I was right there - outside the glass - and she could see me!) and I went to the meeting. When I got home, something told me to look in that file again, and sure enough, there was an extra car key!! I couldn't see it when I looked originally even though it was right in front of me because I wasn't WILLING to see it! That, my friends, was a Closed Moment!"
If we are ever to become the person who is capable of living our dreams, we must nurture in ourselves the Open Moment - the willingness to shift the way we look at things.
So, are you feeling stuck or helpless or powerless thinking that your dream can't possibly happen? What if you could just be willing to believe that it is possible? Or have a willingness to believe that impossible things can actually happen!
I love this dialog from Alice in Wonderland. "There's no use trying," Alice said. "One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."c
Try asking yourself the question, "What would I see if I were willing to believe that my dream was possible?" That is an Open Moment. Be willing to have an answer come to you, and an answer will show up!
In her book Successfully Mid-Air, Sandra Daly writes: "Possibility and potential exist right here and right now. It's as if they are holding their breath, just waiting for you to focus on them so they can live their own purpose, which is to become. The Open Moment's purpose is simply to open the tiniest crack in the wall that stands between, 'I can't have this dream and here are all the reasons why,' and the actual experience of the 'better life' that already exists right in front of you. Open the tiniest corner of your mind to possibility and your experience of your life will never be the same."d
Our first tool of the morning for building the bridge is being willing to have an Open Moment. The second is found in one of our six mental faculties.
We've talked in the past about our six mental faculties - Imagination, Perception, Memory, Will, Reason and Intuition, and we aren't going to go over them all today, but there is one that is extremely important in building the bridge - and that is our Intuition.
Listening to and following our intuition is a huge tool in building the bridge from incubation to manifestation of our dreams.
In the Indiana Jones story about the bridge appearing that I shared earlier this morning, something happened before he took a step into the void.
Before taking the step, Indiana was guided internally to believe that if he'd just step out, a bridge would appear. He heard the guidance, but all he could see was the deep cavern. Should he fall into it, he will surely die.
He had this amazing dilemma. He must trust that if he stepped out, he'd be supported. He knew that his dream, finding the Holy Grail, required trusting that inner voice, but if it was wrong, he'd die. And then he heard his father's voice in his mind saying, "You must believe, son."
And that is all it took for him to have the courage to take the step. Our intuition, our inner guidance, won't steer us wrong even if it's in the face of illogic!
We call intuition our inner voice, but we have a lot of inner voices, don't we? You know, the critical one, the self-judging one, the one of self-doubt that creeps up for all of us now and again!
How about calling our intuition or guidance the "Voice that Loves Me," because that conjures up an entirely different image than the other voices, doesn't it?! Our intuition is the "Voice that Loves Us!"
Inside every single one of us is the "Voice that Loves Us." It is always present, and if we pay attention, we can hear it. It is always giving us direction. It is absolutely the perfect signaling device for our aliveness, health, well-being, and ability to live life fully. Most of us have been trained to ignore that voice; we've been taught to use our logic.
What we know is that the more we pay attention to that voice, the louder it gets, the more frequent we can hear it and the better and easier our lives become.
There is a beautiful passage about intuition in The Alchemist: a Fable About Following Your Dream written by Paulo Coelho in 1988. It reads: "The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it's all written there."e
Begin to trust your intuition to light your way and soon you will be on your way!
So, let us take the Open Moment by opening the tiniest crack in the wall that stands between, 'I can't have this dream and here are all the reasons why,' and the actual experience of the 'better life' that already exists right in front of you. Open the tiniest corner of your mind to possibility and your experience of your life will never be the same.
And let us listen to and hone our Intuition - "The Voice that Loves Us" -- knowing that it will never steer us wrong!
And use the Open Moment and the Voice that Loves Us as navigational tools to bridge our Grand Adventure in Purpose and heed these words written in The Alchemist: "'My heart is afraid it will have to suffer,' the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up to the moonless sky. 'Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.'
'Every second of the search is an encounter with God,' the boy told his heart. 'When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I've known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I've discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.'"f
So, let us remember this: every second that we bridge the gap, is an encounter with God.
aCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 75
cAlice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
dSuccessfully Mid-Air, Sandra Daly p. 49
eThe Alchemist: a Fable About Following Your Dream, Paulo Coelho p. 76
fThe Alchemist: a Fable About Following Your Dream, Paulo Coelho p. 131