My intention in doing the course was to let go of my desperation to be this mega TV star I’d dreamed of becoming. Notice I’m not saying I wanted to let go of the dream, only the desperation attached to it. You see I had clung like a Rottweiler so very tightly to becoming this country’s next Oprah Winfrey that I could think of very little else. Practically every waking moment was filled with what became an obsession.
I’d had relative success: at one point I was presenting three concurrently-aired shows for the BBC and was always busy. But it was never enough. You see, as soon as I’d hit one major milestone, like when my dream of becoming a TV Presenter actually happened with a regional show in the Midlands, very quickly I wanted more. I wanted to present on Network TV. Before too long, that happened. I got a presenting job on the BBC. Great! For about 10 seconds, because then I wanted to have my own show on Network TV. And guess what? Quite quickly I got my own show. But…you’ve guessed it, I wanted to do a show similar to Oprah’s…and so it went on. I was not celebrating my successes, but focusing on the next thing I wanted, all the while not being present to myself, my achievements and my gratitude for what I was getting.
In fact my goal was costing me my presence. Because I was always focusing on the next big dream, I was never where I was.
Back to the workshop. About half-way through the course in one of the group sessions, Brad called me up to the front of the room. I went and stood next to him. We were both a little flummoxed as to how I could shift my space from this desire-ridden, stressed and obsessed hunger to a more peaceful and accepting state of mind. And then I suddenly got this awareness: very excitedly I said, “Brad, I think I know what the problem is. My here is there!” He and the group looked at me quizzically as I was pointing forwards. I explained. “You see, when my here is over there, then I’m not here. And when I’m not here, in this moment, being present, I can never be happy or contented because I’m focusing on what’s over there, not here! But here is where I am!” It felt like a bit of a Zen moment. Brad of course understood what I was saying. My presence, my awareness, was in a goal, and not here, in me.
I remember my meditation teacher saying to me once that if I were only to sit daily in meditation, I wouldn’t have to try so hard to achieve the things I wanted. That things would come to me as a result of being calm and present. I call it Effortless Creation. And this has been true for me on many occasions. Today I do less chasing and practice more mindfulness: being in the presence of myself and my environment.
Bringing our attention to here and now, we open up and expand the possibility to create – our awareness grows to take more in than one single goal – that goal is still a part of the field of awareness, but it is a part of, and not the whole picture. That way, you are open to receiving more of what you’re possibly not even consciously aware of. My writing career was forged in that way. I wanted desperately to be a famous TV personality, but actually the bigger vision was to communicate with people, inspire people and help people. Writing and Speaking have become my vehicles for that larger intention.
When we have our minds fixed on a particular goal, we are by definition not open to any other way or means to achieve the vision behind it. I was so fixed on being a TV star that I wouldn’t consider doing anything else. Yet here I am, doing what I love, because I was willing to stop forcing, chasing and controlling, and instead just breathe, relax and open to possibilities beyond my focus and conception. I brought my There, Here.
Hold your vision, your plan, but don’t forget to enjoy the passing scenery on your way there. By that I mean stay present with your here, now. If you do, something may grab your attention in that field of possibility and creative opportunity, because by bringing your there here, your awareness and vision expand.
Today’s here will be tomorrow’s back there, and tomorrow’s there will become today’s here. No rush, be still, be here, now.