Last week we looked at how powerful a person is when coming from a place of inner and outer story alignment. One reader commented that encountering such a person makes him feel "more alive, inspired, and slightly jealous."
To allay the jealousy, this week we'll introduce the first of two strategies for creating that kind of power for yourself: transformation from the inside out, whereby you first change the story you tell yourself, and then watch how it impacts your outer life.
Once, a neurologist asked me to squeeze her fingers dozens of times before telling me that over the course of the coming days I would grow weaker and weaker, until I was totally unable to walk; that the paralysis might then progress to my diaphragm and require a breathing tube; and that in the "best case scenario" it would take up to A YEAR before I could walk again.
To make it extra incredible, she told me this just eight months after I'd finished walking 2,200 miles across the United States - from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail - with a 35-lb pack strapped to my back.
I was 26 years old and in peak physical condition, and here was this "expert" insisting that soon, the basic human activity I'd performed for 10 hours a day, every day for 6 months straight, would become physically impossible.
Needless to say, I was bummed. But I also knew that this "expert" was statistically unable to give me anything other than her best guess, since my condition was exceedingly rare and she had only anecdotal evidence to rely on.
Some people might take a doctor's best guest as fact. But in my world (built on the foundational idea that "rules are for other people"), that statistical uncertainty contained within it the potential of an entirely different outcome.
So I looked back at that neurologist and said, "I think I'll get better faster than that."
She said, "you're setting yourself up for disillusionment and despair when you don't."
At this I nodded sagely, letting her have the last word. But inside I was thinking: "let's just see about that."
Immediately, I started telling myself a different story. I made up a mantra to repeat every day: that my myelin sheath was quickly regenerating, and I was healing faster than anyone expected.
Each day I scanned my body, looking for evidence of healing and magic, and scribbled down my findings in the little black Moleskine my father had given me. I visualized myself wrapped in a golden cocoon of healing energy. I marveled with immense gratitude at the wonderful people who came out of the woodwork to offer me love and support.
I marveled at small evidence of beauty: the wind in the trees, the symmetry of my cat's snoozing face, the whole universe contained in a single cherry blossom.
When I found myself dreading physical therapy because the therapist didn't have an ounce of emotional intelligence, I found a new physical therapist who had the courage to say that if I wanted to wear heels to my cousin's wedding ten weeks away, well then, gosh darn it, I would.
At the end of that summer -- after just 3 months -- I not only wore heels to that wedding... I danced.
My outcome was so unusual that a reporter from a local news station requested an interview, and at the very end she asked: "So Jessica, would you call this a miracle?"
Taken aback, I responded with a small speech about all the conscious choices and hard work that went into my "miraculous" outcome that others could emulate for themselves -- but when the segment finally aired, all they included was the cute lead-in soundbite: "miracles exist, but you have to believe in them."
Watching it, I was pissed. However predictable it may have been, I saw it as a huge disservice to anyone who wants to know how to create their own miracles. And so I bring the story to you, an example of impacting your external reality by first changing your internal one.
This method of transformation requires a conscious re-writing of the scripts inside your head, and an irrational commitment to believing in them as already true.
And then, it requires being extremely selective of which evidence you pay attention to, and which evidence you ignore.
But BEFORE transformation is possible, we must first get clear on what we're transforming, and why.
So what would you change, if you knew YOU could create miracles?
Often, it's simply knowing what we want that is the hardest part.