Tapping into your inner resources

By 1996, I was burned out and needed an unlimited break. So I pulled the plug and moved from Los Angeles to Taos, N.M., to do absolutely nothing until my money ran out. It lasted for five years. I found a great hacienda located on 11 acres for $850 a month, less than a mile from the center to town, and got my first dog. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Early one morning, my doorbell rang and a 13-year-old girl named Olivia, who was my next-door neighbor, said she had missed the school bus and needed a ride. Being a good neighbor, I obliged, even though I was halfway through making my pancake breakfast. Later that same week, her younger brother, Andrew, appeared at my front door with the same request, and I accommodated him. The following week, both of them showed up as they had missed the bus again. Andrew’s school was across town at a good distance from his sister’s school. I even bought Olivia an alarm clock at a garage sale — to no avail.

I learned their parents would wake them and leave for work immediately thereafter. Sometimes the children fell back asleep again. They managed to pick the same time for their emergency when I was making my breakfast. Cold pancakes aren’t fun. I was curious how they had been handling the bus dilemma prior to my moving next door.

My patience was running out when Olivia showed up again. There was never any conversation from her during the ride to the school, as she was monosyllabic. That particular day, I had several of the books I’d written that I was donating to the library. When I pointed them out to Olivia, she said, “That’s all?’ I’m thinking, “Three books aren’t enough?”

I handed her one other book that was a Flintstone comic book, “Fred Protects the Vegetables.” Childhelp USA commissioned Dr. Joyce Mills and me to write a story in conjunction with Hannah-Barbera’s animators. The comic book dealt with children who had been neglected or abused. We wrote it using metaphors of a tomato and a carrot to symbolize children in harm’s way. The carrot had marks on its side from the gardener’s hoe and was wilted because of not being watered enough. The tomato showed the carrot where it had been poked and bruised by the gardener. The vegetables were then transplanted into another garden with a caring gardener. And the vegetables’ original gardener was sent to gardening school to learn how to care for vegetables properly.

As I was dropping her off at her school, I asked, “Wouldn’t you like to wake up and stay awake so that you and your brother wouldn’t always have this problem?” She said, “Of course.” I told her that I had an idea.

“Get an image in your mind of somebody or something that makes you fall back asleep after your parents leave the house,” I said. “Fred”, she told me.

“Fred Flintstone?,” I asked.  She nodded. I thought that’s not much of a stretch as I just mentioned him with my comic book. “As you look at Fred Flintstone’s image, tell Fred to transform himself into another image that will wake you up and keep you awake so you can be on the school bus without any difficulties.” She responded, “It’s a fairy godmother with bright light all around her.”

I suggested, “Ask the fairy godmother if she’ll wake you up and keep you awake?” Olivia replied, “She smiled and said yes.” I then had her imagine that positive image coming into the heart area of her body.

Months went by and no young neighbors came knocking at my door before or during breakfast. I never saw Olivia again until a couple of months later, when she was at a distance from me mowing her lawn. I had to yell to get her attention. “How did school go the rest of the year? Were you able to get up and stay up and catch the school bus on time?”

“Yes,” she said. “Every morning that fairy godmother would wake me up by shouting, ‘Get up. Get out of bed!’”

Try this exercise regarding any person, event or situation in your life that causes you frustration or conflict. Ask your imagination to give you an image that makes you have that problem. There’s no need to intentionally “think” one up. Just telling your imagination to do so will result in your having an image appear spontaneously.

Once you have an image, tell that image while looking at it to transform itself into another image that will give you the positive outcome you desire. Then imagine that image coming inside the heart area of your body. Use this exercise with yourself, your children or grandchildren. Let me know via email what you experienced.

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