I had recently began to notice that my great nephew Mr D as I like to call him, had gone from being a very outgoing totally charming and delightfully engaging 2 year old to a very self conscious and shy not quite 3 year old. I discussed my observations with my niece and she agreed that she had noticed the same thing. I explained that I thought this was happening due to his extremely sensitive nature causing him to develop an over awareness of self. This then resulted in him becoming shy and self conscious. I was saddened by the fact that his natural charm and confidence was being over shadowed by his sensitivity.
Knowing my ability to develop creative solutions to problems my niece and I agreed that I would look into finding a simple way to restore Mr D’s natural charm and engaging ways.
In looking for a simple solution I decided to employ my usual trick of using the creative part of my unconscious brain whilst I slept to reveal to me the perfect solution when I awoke the next day.
The next morning I woke up and the solution that presented itself to me was acting. I then started to receive thoughts of why acting would be the perfect solution for Mr D. Acting teaches you that you can be anything you want. You learn you always have a choice of who and what you want to be. As I have said on many occasions the brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and imagined. Of course there is only one caveat in all of this and that is always be as well as do what brings you joy. Don’t be anyone you don’t want to be. Be the person who deep in your heart you know you really are minus your conditioning.
The great advantage children have over adults is their active imagination. Fortunately their conditioning isn’t quite strong enough to prevent them from choosing their best self. They are always willing to imagine the hero within. Interesting enough I was discussing this concept with a friend of mine the other day and she told she recently saw an interview with Hugh Jackman who he uses this technique to ensure his amazingly successful life.
I knew Mr D’s birthday was coming up soon so I decided to try and find a present that involved acting. To help with this I went online and did some research and finally came up with the idea of puppets. I then rang my niece and shared with her the concept of acting and also buying Mr D some puppets for his birthday to get the party started. She was delighted by the concept of acting and also excited by the idea of puppets.
Great I thought all sorted. I had managed to track down some puppets at Toys R Us. I looked up the address of the nearest store and found that it was located in a suburb 30 minutes away. I then went downstairs to my car and entered the address 9-49 Chapel Rd Bankstown in my cars GPS. However my GPS told me the closest street number was 342. Hmmm I thought something is not right. So I went back upstairs to recheck the address. The address was correct so I decided to look it up on my computers navigation system.
The address displayed a huge shopping complex called Home Central, so big in fact I thought there was no way that I could miss it. Just to be sure I also noted down the nearest cross street so I could enter it into my GPS. I then went back downstairs and entered the cross street only to be greeted by the message no known street. Okay I thought let me just drive to the street, I know I can’t miss it because of its size. I might add that I had never encountered this problem before. In the past the GPS system may have been a couple of street numbers out but never hundreds especially in such an old and well established suburb like Bankstown.
When I arrive in Bankstown I saw this extremely large shopping complex called Bankstown Central. It was located approximately where my computer navigation system indicated, so I thought this has to be it. Surely they are not going to have two large shopping centres located in the same street and suburb ending with the name central. The large car park was packed and fortunately I managed to get a parking spot close to the centre’s main entrance. Good sign I thought.
The shopping centre was huge and it took me a while to find the information desk. When I asked whether Toys R Us were located in the complex I was told no, they are located at Home Central. Hmm I thought, everything was indicating that it was located here. I then enquired as to where Home Central was located and they gave me the name of the nearest cross street. This seemed rather strange to me because the cross street they gave me was a well known street that was built at least 60 years ago and this should have shown up on my computers navigation system.
It was at this point I started to reflect on some of the concepts I had been living by over the last month. I had been practising living in the moment a lot more and allowing life to come to me rather than chasing it. One of the strategies I was using to help me with this was the notion of flow. If things flowed I went with them and if they didn’t then I would stop and wait for the next move to reveal itself.
As I was walking out of the complex I thought maybe there is a reason I was led to this shopping centre. Things certainly hadn’t flowed with my GPS system and finding the Home Central shopping centre. They had flowed with finding a parking spot located close to the front door especially given that the parking area full of drivers eagerly looking for parking. I realised that if I was going to live in the now then I needed to be in the moment and not in my preconceived thoughts of buying puppets. I also needed to heed my famous line ‘there are no accidents’. As this thought entered my mind I noticed a Kmart store directly in front of me so I decided what the heck, I will pop in and have a look around surely it can’t hurt.
I spend a bit of time wandering the shelves in the toy department. Definitely no puppets in Kmart and nothing else was standing out as a buying option. So I decided I would try and find the shopping complex where Toys R Us was located. As I am walking out of the toy section I notice located on the bottom shelf a jumbo size musical mat that children can step onto and play music. Now that looks like fun I thought. So I picked it and read all the fun things you could do to create your own music just by stepping onto the piano keys that were marked on the mat. It also had 20 different functions to add to the fun like record and play, various musical accompaniments, sound volume and much more. After studying the box for a while I decided to purchase it.
As I was walking to counter I started to second guess myself with questions like ‘why am I buying this’? ‘Wouldn’t the puppets be better for Mr D’s development?’ Then I started to try and justify the purchase with ‘well maybe Mr D is too young for the puppets’, and other thoughts such as ‘this toy looks like loads of fun’.
When I was halfway to cashier I stopped and re-examined the gift, re-reading all its features and started questioning myself again whether it was the right gift or should I go the Toys R Us and get the puppets. After a lot of toing and froing once again I decided to go ahead with the purchase. However, as I am waiting in line to buy the gift all my doubts and fears start playing in my head again. Finally I reach the cashier and I hand over my money still questioning ‘why am I buying this?’
The second guessing continued all the way as I was driving home, it was relentless in pursuit of disturbing my peace of mind. This was ridiculous I thought I was buying birthday present not a house. Thoughts such as, have I done the wrong thing not buying Mr D the puppets, especially as I discussed it with my niece and we had both agreed that the puppets would be an excellent choice for him. Side note: I had trying calling my niece whilst I was in Kmart but it had gone to voicemail. Something else that wasn’t flowing.
When I got home I noticed that I hadn’t bothered to turn off my computer and then I spotted something interesting. The Toys R Us website that I had been looking at was a US website. When I checked the Australian website guess what they didn’t sell the puppets. Mystery solved and all the second guessing suddenly disappeared.
Now the interesting thing was, had I not gone looking for the Toys R Us store I would have visited the Bankstown Central shopping centre. I would have gone to my local shopping centre which doesn’t have a Kmart and I am fairly certain that I would never have bought the musical mat. Ah the importance of living in the now and responding to the opportunities that present themselves in the moment.
This story is rich in its lessons on how our conditioned brain tries to prevent us from living in the moment and as a result allows opportunities to pass through our awareness due to our preconceived thoughts. In my case even though I was practising living in the moment my conditioned brain constantly tried to derail me from making the purchase. This is the problem when we become attached to outcomes.
My mind was fixated on the puppets because I had become emotionally invested in buying them for Mr D as I thought they would help with his development. Also my reputation for reliability and dependability was being questioned by the fact that I had told my niece I was buying puppets. This was why my conditioned brain was giving me such a hard time. It was warning me that I was going against my preconceived thinking and beliefs.
In every moment the perfect opportunity exists. However, when we become attached to outcomes and don’t listen to the flow of the moment we miss those opportunities. Every day that I practice living in the moment and following the flow I am becoming more aware of how perfect my life is. You can’t set goals or intentions and then decide how everything will manifest because your conditioned brain will keep you stuck in your preconceived perception of the world. The truth is that your conditioned brain is not equipped to tell you the best way to achieve your goals/intentions. It can’t because it is governed by thoughts that have nothing to do with the moment and therefore countless opportunities will always exist outside your awareness.
I love watching sport and I notice that the most successful sport stars are the ones who act in the moment. Their actions can never be read or understood by their opponents because they literally respond to the opportunity that exists in that moment. They are usually hailed as brilliant because they are often seen as unplayable.
My original intention for Mr D was to find a way where he could regain his confident, charming and delightfully engaging personality. My niece is already looking into acting classes for him. Will I go on searching for puppets absolutely not! If I am meant to buy puppets for Mr D then they will find their way into my life. Also in looking back upon the situation when I asked my creative unconscious to give me the perfect solution for Mr D I was given the answer of acting. It was my conscious conditioned brain that came up with the idea of puppets.
As a way of summarising the power of living in moment and going with flow I have found that it has assisted me to do 3 things:
1. Get out of my conditioned brain
2. See opportunities that have always existed but my conditioned brain wouldn’t allow me to see
3. Allow the perfect solution to present itself.
I am slowly learning to live in the moment and allow life to come to me rather than chasing it. This has bought me so much more peace and good fortune.
PS Did Mr D like his birthday present? Absolutely he and his brothers are having so much fun playing and experimenting with it. They get to jump around have fun and make well let’s say interesting music. Who knows one of the boys might even become a famous musician one day. Can’t wait to listen to their latest recording next time I visit.