What Birthday Candles & Deepak Chopra Taught Me About Becoming a Writer

Do you make wishes? I do. I am a wish-maker-die-hard. I wish when the analog clock reads 11:11. I wish when I blow out birthday candles. I wish when I see a shooting star. I wish when I pluck a white-headed dandelion, blowing its seeds away as they swirl off on a breeze. That is my favorite form of wishing.

I believe in wishes, in part because I’m a six-year-old at heart, in part because I truly don’t see the harm, and perhaps most realistically, in part because I believe in visualization and its correlation to manifestation. If you wish something, and then not just wish it but really begin to concentrate on it, you begin to pour energy into that wish becoming a reality.

One of my favorite recent reads is Deepak Chopra’s The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. Deepak’s work discusses the mind-body connection of health. In this book he explores coincidence, synchronicity, and the power of intention to change our lives. His metaphors are grand, and his syntax lyrical. However, even with my science-based bachelor’s degree, Deepak’s scientific reasoning is a little heady for me. I live in a very artistic feeling-based world, where sometimes physics data and neuroscience information doesn’t appeal as strongly as the lyricism of his spiritual teachings. Those I cling to.

In the book, Deepak quotes an ancient Vedic text, called The Upanishads, which state, “You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny.”

Stunning, isn’t it? It traces the path from desire to destiny.

In this year of immense change, I’ve been thinking frequently about where my next step is. I end up swirling in anxieties about how to get from Point A to Point B. I am impatient, and I am hungry for the manifestation of my career. In Point B, I want to be sitting at my local bookstore signing copies of my memoir. It is so easy to visualize! What is harder to visualize is the scrappy, gritty, daily grind – the practice of writing daily, the networking with other bloggers, the desire to build readership one person at a time. It is not as pretty to visualize. In one vision, I am in my favorite linen pants and funky jewelry, addressing a small group of readers interested in buying my book. In the other vision, I am holding my early morning coffee mug like a security blanket as I huddle in my old gray sweater, typing away at the keyboard. Point B and Point A do not look the same at all, and it feels like a quantum leap across an unknown middle ground.

I find this proverbial section of The Upanishads helpful because they emphasize the process, which does not easily lend itself to patience. We reach the finish line one step at a time, as frustrating as that truth is. We follow the process – first understanding our desire, then setting the intention, then focusing our will, then performing the deed, then becoming our destiny. It is a process; it is all a process.

Wishing, then, becomes more than wishing. If we take off its mask and strip away connotation, wishing is really desiring. To me, there’s nothing wrong with wishes. Because each wish, followed by intention, will, and deed, brings us a few steps closer to our destiny.

Little Winnowers, for us today, the challenge then is to move past the first step – past the step of desiring and onto the next step of intention. If I desire to be a writer, I set an intention for myself: I am going to write every morning.

Honoring the process moves us one step closer to actualizing those desires. Today’s reflection, this glimmer of The Upanishad’s Vedic wisdom is something I will keep close to my heart.

Keep what is necessary. Let go of what is not. Today is a step toward clarity.

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nurse. writer. poet. (414) born & raised.

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