For the past 15 years I have been riveted by reading all things Louise Hay. Louise Hay is the grandmother of positive affirmations, author of more than 300 awesomely inspired books and creator of Hay House Publishing. I continuously credit Louise Hay and her authors with teaching me all kinds of techniques that have changed my life in remarkable ways.
Listen to that voice
Over the years I have read dozens of works from Hay House authors. Many of them sharing all types of methodologies on how to create a life you love. A common theme in many of their books is to become keenly aware of those little thoughts that creep into the back of your mind. You know the ones, they are typically a little strange and out of the blue; ideas that pop into your mind, seemingly out of nowhere. For example, “you could open a vegan ice cream food truck or why not become an acupuncturist or small batch chocolatier?”
These authors say that these are types of thoughts that you want to pay attention to and ultimately act on. They believe (and so do I) that these ideas are coming from your highest and most connected, true self. The universe or god or whomever you send your requests to for a more awesome life are trying to answer your requests and send what you desire.
Here’s the thing though, the answer will most likely arrive in a form that you don’t recognize or expect. For instance, if you are seeking more abundance in your life, do not expect the funds to just show up in your bank account or driveway. Your new financial freedom may come in the form of a million-dollar idea. It will arrive in a way that feels unfamiliar because in order to have a new experience you must be willing to try something new.
So, all along this notion of being open to change has totally made sense to me, but how do you actually put this into practice? How do you listen to, then explore those little ideas that come seemingly from nowhere? The answer is, you just start. You build your internal listening ability the same way you would build any muscle, one experience, one day at a time.
Like a good student, I began to observe my thoughts and to listen. When a strange but intriguing thought popped into my mind, I would give it some room, let it expand and pursue it, then see where it took me. After practicing this for several years, it became a habit. I no longer shut down or dismissed ideas that initially seemed strange. This new practice brought me to some of the most incredible discoveries and changes in my life, including becoming a yoga teacher, moving to the beach and owning a yoga studio.
A smiling octopus?
When the day came that a vision of a smiling octopus and the idea of writing children’s book began popping into my mind, I was ready and practiced at being open to crazy new ideas. Violet came to me first as a pink octopus. The image of a smiling, pink octopus just flitted through my brain. She popped up in my mind out of nowhere. Several days later it happened again. I said out loud to my spouse Sandy, “I think I’m supposed to write a children’s book about a pink octopus.” That was on a Thursday.
Two days later we were at an art fair in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. We walked by the table of an artist and there she was on a piece of framed art, the smiling octopus that had been invading my thoughts. She was in the color of violet. It felt very serendipitous.
Several days after that we were in Stuart, Florida sightseeing and shopping. We walked into a boutique and right in front of us, hanging on a sparkly, white Christmas tree was a smiling, pink octopus Christmas ornament. I knew my fate had been sealed. I was to write a children’s book about a smiling octopus. I literally had no idea how that would happen, but knew beyond a doubt that it would.
Okay universe, show me
Shortly after that experience in Stuart, I grabbed my journal, a pen and sat on the couch. I was going to do this. In a gracious but firm way I put the Universe on notice by saying, “Okay Universe, you sent me this crazy yet totally cool idea of writing a children’s book, so now you have to bring it. Send the words, bring the opportunities and allow it to flow through me because I seriously don’t have a clue.” I expressed gratitude for the opportunity to write an amazing children’s book then began to write.
The words fell out of my pen that afternoon and the outline of the story was written in that first sitting. I didn’t question the process or where the words were coming from, I just let them flow. For the following several months I took my beach chair and straw hat, pen and journal to the beach and allowed the words to come. At the beach I worked on editing, writing and rewriting the story. Because the heroine of our story was an effervescent octopus, it felt right to make the effort to work at the beach.
February 2016, the story of Violet the Hugging Octopus was finished. I had written a children’s book. Three years later, almost to the day, it will be published.
Stay open, no matter how crazy the ideas seem
Had I been stuck on the fact that I am a childless woman with no previous experience writing for children, Violet would never have been written. If I had shut myself down because it really, seriously felt like a ridiculous idea, I would not have a children’s book being published. Now, I am thoroughly convinced that Violet will help people of all ages love themselves more and that makes me feel so proud.
Your next great opportunity is on its way to you and is going to arrive in an unfamiliar package. It will most likely show up in a way that feels crazy and scary because awesome life changing things are crazy and scary. This does not mean that they are wrong, it simply means that they are new. So, when a crazy, scary, new thought creeps in to the back of your mind, listen to it. If it lights you up, even for a second, go after it as if the rest of your awesome life depends on it because frankly it does.
We have a finite amount of time to rock out our lives in ways that surprise and delight us. The time is now for you to go for it. Write your book, become a dog groomer or learn how to make Kombucha and open a stand. Do what lights you up because that is what will make you happy. When you are happy, your confidence and life affirming joy vibes will be contagious and that is something we would all like to catch.