Using my superpowers for good

You know that very famous quote from Marianne Williamson about how it’s not our darkness that we fear, it’s our light?

Well, here it is again:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

She is so brilliant.

For most of my life I’ve been afraid of my light. I’ve played small.

See, the thing is, I stayed in a job too long and picked up on the belief of others that good jobs are really hard to come by, that it was safer to stay where I was– until basically, something happened that brought me to a fork in the road, and I took the road less traveled. I quit a decent, stable, secure job seventeen months short of retiring and being able collect a pension.

My gut told me I needed to do something else.

A couple of months later, I decided to seek a contract job. I didn’t know how long it would take for my house to sell. I spent a day updating my resume, and the next day I responded to one ad, and before the day had ended, the recruiter who placed that ad called me about interviewing for the job.

So I interviewed and got the job. (And got a contract on my house right after that!)

Proof that if you have skills and a track record, you can find another job “even in this economy.” It just takes one yes.

That job ended at the beginning of June. I’ve been in massage school since the end of June, living on my savings. I was sort of looking for a part-time technical writer job. Part-time jobs in that field do exist, but they are few and far between.

Last week I decided to get serious: I updated my resume and made sure that each place it was posted had the same version with the same objective: part-time technical writing work.

The next morning I got a call from a recruiter about a part-time job at a very prestigious technology company.

Holy manifesting, Batman, I am powerful beyond measure. When I put a message out there, stuff happens.

I interviewed with a local team that was screening the job candidates. This team would be training me. The hiring manager was in San Jose and would do phone interviews with the top candidates submitted by the local team.

I made the cut.

Then I began to have doubts. I could not put my finger on why. It’s a good company and a good job, from all I know. But when I thought about actually doing the work, something inside me balked.

I bailed on the phone interview 10 minutes before it was to start. I’ve never done that before. I couldn’t give a coherent reason why, either. My body just gave me a very clear “no” signal. I didn’t want this job, and it seemed insane to go through with the interview knowing that.

The other parts of me besides this gut decision-maker weren’t entirely behind my action, either, and it took the rest of the day to integrate what I had done.

Part wondered if I was throwing my technical writing career away. Thirteen years. It’s been very good to me. I’ve found niches that I enjoy and am good at (that have to do with teaching people how to do things), but it just doesn’t feel satisfying to me any more.

Part said, “Maybe you need to work with a different kind of technology, such as medical technology.”

Part said, “It’s too hard to switch back into deep left-brain work while going to massage school three days a week.”

Part said, “Whew, even if you could have telecommuted from home after the initial training, you would still have had to drive 20-plus urban miles each way twice a week for the first few weeks to get trained. That is stressful. Good decision.”

Part said, “You are exactly on track, receiving training to do work that you love. You made loving your work your primary criteria. You cannot make exceptions and do work that you don’t love.”

Part said, “You are in-between, finding your way. Much is unknown, but you know it’s a path with heart. Trust it. Jobs may come that get you closer to where you want to be. It’s all an adventure anyway! Enjoy it and have fun.”

Part said, “Okay, now you know you can manifest. You have super powers. You must use them for good. Get centered and clear about your intentions. Allowing yourself to exist peacefully in the space of not knowing is the real challenge here. Your basic needs are met. You needn’t fear. You would be wise to meditate every day.”

And part said, “Your brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous self is unfolding! Enjoy the blossoming!”

Oh, yes, and the recruiter placed the other candidate she submitted who also made the cut. She said she appreciated my honesty, and it wasn’t a big deal. (I felt terrible about behaving like this, so those were welcome words.) The company got someone who really wanted the job, and I got…a new path.

Several hours later, all my parts had caught up with the decision-maker, and my own little private, personal drama became boring and a thing of the past. Next!

Did Marianne Williamson and legions of angels help Egypt?

Just came across a blog post by the spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, dated Feb. 2, during the darkest days before the Egyptian people prevailed and dictator Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

Maybe she’s onto something!

February 2, 2011


In a radio interview this morning I was asked if I have hope for the future… whether I think love will ultimately prevail on earth.

From a spiritual perspective, yes love will ultimately prevail. Buddha became enlightened; the Jews made it to the Promised Land; Jesus resurrected. All those are religious tales that inform us of the basic imprint of the universe. No story is over until the happy part, and if it’s not happy yet then the story isn’t over.

But that is only the beginning of a framework for understanding. We mustn’t let the phrase,”Love will ultimately prevail,” be a mere platitude that serves to justify complacency…either spiritual or political. For whether we learn to love one another through wisdom or through pain is completely up to us. How long it takes before love prevails is completely up to us. How much human suffering occurs before love prevails is completely up to us. Free will does not mean we get to determine what ultimately happens, but it does mean we get to determine what happens in the immediate future to us and to those we love.

When you have thousands of people acting out a high-emotion, high-stakes drama such as that which is occurring in Egypt today, almost anything can happen.

On the one hand, we are witnessing the purity and power of the quest for freedom. The demand for basic human rights, the repudiation of a dictator, and the protest of an economic order in which 40 per cent of one’s population lives on less than 2 dollars a day – all of this is a pure, democratic rising up of the human spirit. And if America doesn’t stand in support of those things, then we’ve completely lost our own moral center.

At the same time, this situation has gone from volatile to violent. Freedom is rising, but the forces of oppression are cracking down. Chaos overrides not only the impulse to freedom but also the impulse to basic human decency. Blood is spilling. People are dying. The situation has gone from liberating to tragic.

Right now, let’s pray for a miracle.

May a great wave of sanity and peace flood the minds and hearts not only of the protestors, but also the military and police and government. The phrase “may cooler heads prevail” comes to mind. May men and women of honor and good will within every corner of Egyptian society be listened to, and their words and ideas heeded. May thousands of small miracles that you and I will never ever know about quiet down a conversation over here, cause a peaceful solution to emerge in a neighborhood over there. May a general sense of peace and good will – something we’d seen almost miraculously on display at the beginning of the protests — return to the streets of Egypt.

Try closing your eyes and see, with your mind’s eye, legions of angels roaming through the streets of Cairo. Do this as frequently as you can throughout the day. It is no idle fantasy. This is the exercise of spiritual power, and in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., such power is “more powerful than bullets.” Even when we are materially passive, he said, we can still be “spiritually active.”

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle means that as the observer changes, there is a change in that which is observed. Worldly news anchors report the news: miracle-workers help change the news by the nature of their thoughts. And the greatest medium of miracles is prayer. So today, let’s pray for Egypt.

Dear God, please pave a miraculous path for the people of Egypt, to peace and freedom and joy unending. Bless their hearts. Guide their minds. Illumine this moment. May love prevail. Amen.

I’m ready to visualize legions of angels roaming the streets of Tehran. And Washington, DC.

How about you?