"Your life "purpose" is to simply be yourself." - Mike Dooley
The headline says it all: make miracles in forty days. Would you like to join me in an experiment?
At the same time, I've noticed that although I've a flurry of audacious ideas and intense emotions, that I refrain from sharing any of them. "Biting my tongue" in my both writing and speaking--purposefully holding back anything strong (and thus compelling!)--from views to possibilities to feelings--whether outlandishly negative or positive. This has ripples way beyond creative writing, and it affects expression across the board, including being in the flow of....
....Miracles. Yes, miracles. There I said it aloud.
"Until then, I'd kept making miracles to myself. I didn't want to share it with anyone. Anticipating other people's reactions to the word miracle made me cringe." - Melody Beattie
I know just the thing to prime the pump, and allow physical expression--be it speech or matter to run its course. This is your open invitation to participate in Project Miracle as author Melody Beattie calls it in her newest book with me. We can pair up, and/or I can pair you with another partner--your choice. (You can also do it solo.)
A small investment of ten minutes a day for forty days will yield a miracle? Melody Beattie and her workshop participants enthusiastically say yes. I have my own hunch that it's the ticket right now.
So what's involved? We'll jot a list of thankfulness for what we're authentically feeling--no holds barred--in regards to daily life in a private one-on-one email each day for forty days. As Beattie states, "I said Thank You for exactly what I thought, how I felt, and what I did and didn't have. I expressed gratitude for who I really was." We won't criticize, we won't advise, we won't fix, we won't convert. We listen. That's it. Powerful things are often deceptively simple.
Beattie shares in the book that she fell into this daily "gratitude" listing when she was in a period of her life where she was having trouble seeing all her options. She only saw what she hated about her situation. "All I remember clearly is my decision to practice gratitude instead of misery for who I was, what I had, and how I really felt." This small perceptual shift started changing her life. It's essentially non-resistance to reality. Paradoxically, accepting reality as it is allows far greater possibilities to be suddenly clear and accessible.
For the purposes of our experiment, as Beattie states on the first page: "A miracle is when something happens that we couldn't control, create, conceive, or do on our own--whether by using willpower, strength, spirituality, skills, money, or any and all resources available to us. Miracles aren't supernatural. They're how Life naturally responds when we practice universal laws, the unwritten rules governing nature, the human psyche, people, spirituality, and the world. . . . The only qualification for it to be a miracle is that the problem or situation we want changed is beyond our ability to control or fix on our own."
Other snippets from Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have into What You Want:
"It helps to know someone is reading what we've written, especially if we know that person genuinely cares."
"What if instead of griping ["I practiced misery with discipline"], I practiced gratitude? Not the "count my blessings" thing. What if I practiced gratitude for everything just as it is--for what I hated and disliked."
Before you decide, ask yourself these two things:
1. Can I commit to Project Miracle for forty days? (It takes about 10 minutes per day to compose and send via e-mail approximately our lists to each other.)
2. "Ask yourself this question, and then write your answer: If I had a magic want to wave over my life and it would create whatever I want, what miracle would I make?" Keep this private, including myself or whomever is your project partner. It's for you to crystallize your intended outcomes.
To join, email me if you'd like to join in at the name of this blog @gmail.com, and/or indicate your participation in the comments below (your email is kept private).
Again it's forty days, so if we begin sharing lists Tuesday, December 7th, we'll continue through January 16th. (My invitation to be your partner is open through December 17th, as I know for certain I can commit the time to give undivided attention to listening intently to your lists through January 2011.) Here are some notes from the book to help you prepare.
You can also email for more clarification to decide one way or another.
If perchance you miss this timeframe and stumble across this post after December 17, 2010, please write anyway, I'll probably be able to pair you with a partner that just happens to ask for a partner the same time you do.
Here are a few notes from the book if you'd like to do Project Miracle yourself. Plus check out Melody Beattie's book, Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have into What You Want. It'd make a great holiday gift for someone you'd like to be your miracle partner as well.
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
Bonus: By game-ify life, I mean I'm into playing and developing games that facilitate perceiving and playing as if we're in a game right now, rather than adding a game layer to real life. Here are two recent, relevant articles about the topic of game-ifying life. One's here: "How Video Games Are Infiltrating—and Improving—Every Part of Our Lives", Fast Company, November 29, 2010 and the other is this month's Scientic American available solely in print, unless you're a subscriber--snippet below:
"Game-ifying" a real-world system still requires more than just adding avatars and points. It requires fast, personalized feedback. . . ." [psychologist Richard] Ryan observes.
. . . [Psychologist and games expert Byron Reeves adds,] "We have only one brain. The reward centers that are lit up by well-designed games will light up when we engage with any well-designed interactive system. They don't have to to be labeled 'games' with a capital 'G'." - "The Game of Life" within "World Changing Ideas 2010" section, Scientific American, December 2010
Update Dec. 6, 2010: I believe Project Miracle has similar benefits to author and filmmaker Julia Cameron's "morning pages"--except perhaps simpler, faster (10 items in a list, rather than three handwritten pages).
Snippets from this one-page PDF summarizing "morning pages":
They are not supposed to be "art" or even "writing." They are to help recognize and release the critic (Cameron's 'Censor') inside. So the pages are often stilted, filled with self-doubt, angry, whiny, and petty--and that's a good thing. Why is that good? Because that stuff is what's in the way of creativity, and you want to bring it out to the light of day.
Cameron states that, "Morning pages do help us get to the other side: the other side of our fear, our negativity, of our moods. Above all they get us beyond our Censor. Beyond the reach of the Censor's babble we find our quiet center, the place where we hear the still, small voice...."