Photo credit: 7-themes.com
PRACTICE MAKES POSITIVE:
A millennial perspective to calling the Universe a Friend
How I Found the Universe
At a very young age my mom sat my older sister and me down to tell us a story.
“Imagine there is a majestic ship sailing the ocean blue on a long journey. To get through both the calm and rough waters, the ship is equipped with a capable captain, and a hardworking crew. Every day, the captain gives the crew specific orders to keep the ship in tip-top shape and on path. The crew listens to exactly what the captain says to guide the ship and navigate the unpredictable waters.”
My sister and I were used to stories of Disney princesses and Barbie worlds, so you can imagine we were bewildered my mom thought this “once upon a time” was captivating. But before we could question, the story took a shift as she continued.
“Both of you are the captain speaking to the crew of your life,” she explained. “Your words, directions and thoughts have great power. The crew is always there to listen, and will act and do what you tell it to do. If you are kind to yourself and others, and stay positive through life’s ups and downs, the crew will position your ship for a peaceful and happy journey. If you are a negative captain, filled with fear and self-doubt, the crew will mirror your attitude and the waters will only become rockier.”
Yes, my mom is basically Yoda. And this was my introduction to the Universe: a brief anecdotal story that spoke to the power of our thoughts on our reality. Because of this nugget of wisdom, I was able to grasp at a young age that my thoughts and approach to the world is directly linked to my happiness.
But that girl grew up and became a captain of a 20-something vessel that has gone through quite a few storms. There are times I ignore this lesson altogether. Acting in fear, I plot and plan strategic maps to conquer the seas my own way in an attempt to get faster results, stabilize or gain validation from others. This plan did not work out for the Titanic, and I assure you, it never works out for me. In this column, we will talk about these times, and the lessons I have learned from how I handled (or didn’t handle) life this way.
Then, there are times I am determined to flood the fear and doubt with positivity and faith. My boyfriend, Erik, was a solider in the Army when I met him, headed off for a deployment just two months later. Leading up to his departure I was convinced I was living out a Nicholas Sparks novel that was bound to end tragically – two soul mates find each other, only to be torn apart forever by the brutal consequences of war. There was no way I could have made it through those six months functioning in that overwhelming fear. So I didn’t.
With help from my Yoda, family and friends, and a slew of positive mantras and vision boards surrounding my daily routine, I positioned myself daily to be a strong and positive captain that trusted in the Universe to bring him home safe. And the Universe delivered. Not only did he have 10 fingers and toes – he came home two months early. I will share with you times like these when trusting the Universe paid off in ways I had always hoped and sometimes, in ways I could have never expected or planned for myself.
Since then we have continued to live a more normal love story – one with ups and downs of its own. We will talk about this and other relationships, and how they can influence the way we behave as captains.
But mostly, we will talk about the most critical part of the story. A part I chose to ignore for the majority of my life. A part of the story I still struggle with every day, even though the message has been clear all along. “If you are kind to yourself and others, and stay positive through life’s ups and downs, the crew will position your ship for a peaceful and happy journey.” The key word here? Journey.
So often I direct my ship believing and hoping I will one day land on the island of forever happiness. But that is not the promise of the story, or the promise the Universe has for our lives. The promise is that you will enjoy the journey. Happily ever after is a falsity because happy is not a destination. It is a daily practice that takes the partnership of your heart and the Universe (the captain and the crew) to live every day intentionally and spread light to a broken world.
This column will be a safe place for all of those stories. The ones of great triumphs and failures, the ones of lessons learned and lesson yet to learn. Each from an honest heart that often feels she is going through a quarter-life crisis of her own. It is a vulnerable story I am excited to share with a community of people that have the same objective I do – to align your heart and mind to live happily and call the Universe a friend.