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We come from the stars. According to Carl Sagan and Professor Brian Cox, we are made of the same stuff as stars. The identical elements that make up our world, make up the stars. It’s just a matter of differing proportions. Evidently, we were formed from a dying star.

This is exciting information. Does it mean we have the capacity to shine and reflect light? What if we were all glowing inside? Take a look at people like The Dalai Lama. Certainly he is shining. There are others, too, in your own town, who are not famous, but have a glow, nonetheless.

Perhaps this is what miracles are. Small released bits of star stuff.

Kind of makes you think twice. I am a star. We are all stars. Shining in the firmament. How cool is that.

I woke up the other morning thinking these two thoughts.  For me, this is another one of those elegant, but unlikely combinations.

Many times when we think of Perseverance, images are conjured of gritted teeth and clinched fists.  Stiff backs of determination to pursue, no matter what the weather.

Grace, on the other hand, evokes the feeling of moving easily.  It has a reflective quality.  A deep down assurance of Purpose.  Grace makes one think of charm and balance.  It’s got forgiveness all over it.  Seems so gentile next to Perseverance.  But the truth is, Grace may move delicately, but it continues to move.

Grace, I believe, is also the stuff that Miracles are made of.  Grace from the light of God fills Miracles and makes them shine brightly. Grace keeps the dazzling light going.

What if we use Grace with Perseverance?  When we add them together, we have far more powerful fuel.  With Grace by our side, we can keep going with ease, we can flow along willingly and with agility.  And a song in our hearts.

Julia Cameron’s book, “Finding Water” gives us a powerful but softer way to look at Perseverance.  She shows us that it can be a very spiritual tool in living our lives well and doing what we choose to do. With these two features working hand-in-hand, we can keep moving with ease and willingness.

In Chellie Campbell’s wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, she talks about how with all our mod cons (modern conveniences) we’ve lost the art of doing nothing.  After spending 2 days without power, I’ll take the mod cons, thank you.

The experience of being without power reminded me how blessed we are to expect to wake up warm and able to choose from a wide variety of foods.  What magic it truly is to flip a switch and have light, turn a knob and have water.  With a little patience, it will get hot, too.  Put pressure on a handle and whisk away any offending odors.  Push a button, click a mouse and have instant access to almost limitless entertainment and information. The immediate communication of email is the stuff of science fiction.  Mod cons do so much for our lives!  We felt lucky to have mod con cell phones when the land lines were down, plastic containers to collect ice, and an efficient refrigerator.

The mod cons are so integrated into our lives we barely take notice of how amazing they are, until they’re absent.  In the midst of it, when I knew full well we had no power, every room I walked into, I’d try to turn on the light.  Without thinking we pass by  these marvels day in and day out.

Perhaps we find it hard to do nothing because it’s so easy to do something. We’re not used to having to find something to do. The sun rises, the Internet is up. Television.  Pandora.  Phone. In my house, it’s movies, but the effects are the same.  We have all become just a little too addicted to these constant companions.  Life seems empty and boring without them.

During the outtage the neighbors gathered at the house with the generator.  There was much flurry around the television, charging cell phone batteries and checking emails.  It had only been 12 hours!

I missed my favorite TV shows, of course, but I also found myself longing for even a glimpse of another series we’ve been watching.  Sapphire and Steel.  It’s very 60’s stylish sci-fi series, I find hard to follow and left with nightmarish images.  But even that I would prefer to the same four walls.

Another neighbor, without cell phone or computer on a normal day, admitted how much she missed her TV.  And that she and her boyfriend talked more than they usually did.

Our mod cons are so important to our lives and how we live them.  But maybe they do prevent us from having to face our fellow beings on a more intimate and deep level.  It’s certainly possible.  It could be though, that we just forgot how to make idle conversation or sit quietly with another person.

I’d have to say it would take more than 2 days for me to detox.  But I intend to be better prepared in the future. There are practical matters I can take into consideration for staying warm and eating.  I wonder if I can better handle the denial of my plug-ins?

I’ll start by remembering how truly miraculous our mod cons.  And try not to take them so much for granted. And I will watch my dependencies and see where I can reduce.  Maybe start small and try music from time to time instead of television and see where it leads.

I wanted to go to a concert a good distance from my home.  I could take the train to get there, but wasn’t keen on doing that at 11 or 12 at night. So, I needed a ride home.  A week before the show, a friend told me she’d be happy to give me a ride.  But the night before the show it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen.  Still, there was hope.  By the next morning, the ride had fallen through.  What was I going to do?  It would be hard to find another ride this late in the game.

At the very last minute, the perfect ride (there and back) materialized.  The weather, which was supposed to be cool and rainy, turned out sunny and 70. I even got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants!

It all came together, I believe through this process:

1)  Decide what you really want.  In other words, set an intention.  I could’ve stayed home, but I decided I really wanted to go this concert. If I had been too ambiguous about this, it might not have worked so well.  Sometimes I may say I want to do something, but I’m not fully clear on it.

2)  State the reasons why.  As I went over this, I saw what the important features were –eating at the restaurant, hearing the performance, seeing some friends and contacts.  It fueled me and solidified my desire.

3)  Imagine yourself having it, being with it.  Being able to see myself there, smiling at good friends, eating good food, enjoying the concert, made it more real for me.  If I could see it, maybe it could happen.  As in all attraction, it helps very much if you can generate a good, strong feeling around it.

4)  Expect a Miracle.  This means acting as if it will happen.  Through the morning of the concert, I did as planned just in case.  I set my sites on that miracle and was determined to be ready if the opportunity arose.

5)  Let it go.  This may be the hardest step.  After all that build up, you need to allow yourself to be okay if it doesn’t happen.  Make a plan B and be comfortable with it.  Find the benefits in doing the alternative.  I resigned myself to the fact that I might well be staying home and looked to see what I was going to do instead.  I thought about how it might be a better thing if I stayed home.  I could get some things done, rest, make phone calls . . .  The more you can let go of needing plan A to happen, the more you open to the possibility.

Can you imagine all the things you could do, how magical your life would seem if you did this all the time?  I’m going to try it next on healing a relationship which could surely use a miracle.

I believe in miracles!

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