When I was in high school, I lived in a very tiny town in northern Montana. There were 100 students in all 4 grades of the high school. The nearest big town was Great Falls, an hour away. It was a really interesting place to go to high school, for lots of different reasons, but one of them was Carolyn.
Carolyn was the archetypal crazy old woman who lives at the edge of town in every folk tale. She had a lot of wisdom, and a lot of crazy. She talked to aliens, having first met them back in the ’70s. In the ’70s, they had come down in their spaceship and asked her to go with them. At the time, she felt that she had too many things to accomplish, and she told them that she couldn’t go just then. They had never invited her again, and she had regretted it ever since. She used to tell me all the time, "DeAnna, if they ever invite you to go with them, it doesn’t matter what you think you have to take care of here on Earth. You just drop everything and go. It doesn’t matter what it is." I’m not sure how I feel about that advice, but I feel that I’m in no danger of being invited anytime soon.
Carolyn hosted a meditation group at her house on Wednesday nights during a couple years that I was there, and I would go often. One year for Xmas, she made presents for all of us regular meditators. I don’t remember if everyone’s was the same, but mine was a saying printed on nice paper and framed. She had even decorated it with a little spray of feathers in the corner. The saying was, "The Universe Rearranges Itself To Accommodate Your Picture Of Reality". At the time, I thought it was nice and all, but it didn’t seem particularly realistic. On the gift card, where the To: and From: were written, she had also written, "Dear DeAnna, Always know you write the script. You play lead part, you direct the whole production. If you don’t like it, you change everything." I was a bit of a drama geek in high school, so I liked that a lot. I saved the card, and the framed saying, and in fact I still have them. The card is tucked into the corner of the frame.
Over the years, the idea that the universe rearranges itself based on my ideas about it came to make more and more sense. The idea that I am in control of my reality became a very powerful theme in my life, and it took me many years to learn to create positive experiences and to not so much avoid negativity as to just not manifest it in the first place.
Probably ten years after Carolyn gave me that saying, I was hanging out with Preston in his family cabin in the Idaho mountains. Preston and I had talked a lot over the years about this idea that you manifest what you think of as "reality". He has an extraordinary ability to create his life the way he would like it to be, so the saying made a lot more intuitive sense to him that it had to me at first. In order to picture the scene correctly, you should know that his family cabin is one of those "cabins" that’s nicer than any house I have ever lived in. It has two main floors plus a finished basement. There are five bedrooms and untold closets and storage spaces. Preston and I were hanging out in the basement near the big wood stove, working on making it so warm in the place that it would be uncomfortable to have clothes on. All of a sudden, Preston decides that some waffles sound really good. In fact, he MUST have some waffles. This cabin is not located in the sort of place where you can just head down to the local Denny’s and have a waffle with the strawberry syrup and the whipped cream and everything. If we want waffles, we will have to make them. Preston has decided that just a regular old pancake won’t do, it must be a waffle. However, we have never seen a waffle-maker at the cabin. It’s the sort of cabin where, when anyone in the family gets a new vaccuum, or toaster, or whatever, they bring their perfectly functional old one up to the cabin. Preston is convinced that someone, sometime, must have left a waffle-maker in a closet or storage space somewhere.
So I’m not particularly a big fan of waffles, and I didn’t feel like traipsing about the house trying to find the wafflemaker, so Preston set out on his quest while I curled up with a book by the fire.
A long time went by. A could hear doors opening and closing throughout the house. A long time went by. I wandered upstairs to get some juice. I passed Preston on the stairs as he was heading down to the basement to look through all the closets down there for the 3rd or 4th time. I nodded and smiled, and he scowled at the stairs, intent on the missing wafflemaker. I had some juice, looked through the books on the main level. A long time went by. Eventually, I picked a new book, and was heading back down to the basement. I passed Preston on the stairs, heading back to the main level to look through all the closets for the 4th or 5th time.
"How’s it going?" I inquired politely.
"Grr, mumble, mumble," Preston replied.
"You know, the universe rearanges itself to accommodate your picture of reality, dear," I reminded him sweetly.
"Oh ya, well in my reality THERE IS A DAMN WAFFLEMAKER IN THIS HOUSE!" Preston says, as he turns the corner to the main floor and opens the main linen closet on the main floor, which he has looked in already at least 5 times. And as he opens the door, from the top shelf, there falls a brand new wafflemaker, in the box, and he catches it just before it lands on his head.
And the waffles were very good.