Life’s plan – Two words that mean different things for everyone The concept of a life plan suggests that during our lives, there is a script or a series of phases we should expect to go through that will result in success, fulfillment and satisfaction. Consider the definition of each:
Life: the period of time for which we are alive
Plan: an intention or decision about what one is going to do.
As parents, we develop life plans for our children long before they can do so for themselves; plans for caretaking in our absence, their educations and even their activities for leisure. As a result of the supportive planning we do for our children, we begin to see the development of their own individual life plans. Autonomy in pursuance of their own hobbies, activities, friends and career goals become more apparent. Recognizing these life plans can be filled with individual nuances as our children progress through their own phases. Take a moment to reflect on your own development of a life plan, or that of your children ‘ What do you see unfolding? Is is fairly predictable? I can say for most of us, including myself – the answer is a resounding yes!
I must give credit to my parents for contributing to my life plan. Without their insight, nurturing and support, I would not have been prepared for what my life would bring. One defining lesson I learned from my parents was to alway remain in a position to support myself. To never allow my situation or circumstances to determine my current or future position. With this foundation, my first significant decisions were to join the workforce and earned 3 college degrees.
Soon after, I met a man who I married with the most optimistic of plans. As things began to change in our marriage, I found myself having confidence to make decisions I never thought I would have to. Ultimately, the marriage came to halt, and I found myself starting over. This experience, like the others, shaped my choices and life plans for my next steps. I took this opportunity to focus on developing my career, in which I experienced great success and fulfillment. This successful path has led me to multiple relocations, and the opportunity to meet and marry my beloved. As we started our new life together, which included starting a family, I continued to advance in my career. I consider myself to be blessed to have had the opportunity to pursue many of my life’s plans, while my husband sacrificed his own career to stay home with our boys. My professional success led to personal satisfaction and financial stability, which was what I had originally set as my goal when considering my life plan. But, to my surprise, I began to wonder, “was this what I really wanted?”
This question, along with others surrounding my core values were up for constant consideration; why and for what was I sacrificing for this stability?
I began rationalizing and reevaluating my life plan, as no longer did it involve only me. I considered what I had missed in the lives of my boys or my marriage, and what could be missed if I continued with this plan. I began to seriously consider the “what if’s” of my life, and the answers I was coming up with were unsettling to me. I experienced continued conflict with my life plan, and eventually sought supervision at work in an attempt to resolve it. I began to explore other options within my company that would allow me to modify my life plan so that I could continue to provide for my family while focusing on my values. While in this process, I believe that “fate” stepped in and made a decision for me. I fell at work and injured my leg, which led to a doctor making a life-saving diagnosis. In retrospect, I believe that I manifested this.
To manifest: display or show (a quality or feeling) by one’s acts or appearance.
When I received the diagnosis of bone cancer – more specifically, Osteosarcoma – all of my “what if’s” became a reality. I had to consider the real possibility that I would not be around to tuck my children in or be there when they grew up? What if I would not be there to grow old with my husband? It seemed everyone I talked to about my concerns were encouraging me to not worry, but how could I not? I vividly recall a conversation with a friend whose partner had recently conquered breast cancer. She told me that I must “acknowledge and realize” that I cannot do this alone, and that I must be open to the support and energy from my friends and family as it comes. I walked away motivated to understand what she meant by the “energy”.
Things moved quickly after my diagnosis. My treatment plan was defined and commenced. WIth the support of my family, parents and close friends, on March 24th, 2009 I took my first step towards conquering this disease and traveled to the University of Pennsylvania and had my first and only surgery. What followed was both the most challenging and clarifying 3 months of my life. While my body responded well to treatment my heart and spirit did as well, resulting in great clarity on what I knew I needed to do. This gift I had been given, cancer, that helped me embrace that while I had achieved success that many would desire, I now desired an alternate life plan. Each day that passed I became more resolute in my decision. As I grew stronger and was able to return to work, I again sought out the support from my supervisor and shared my intentions. As we navigated thru the conversations, I shared my position confidently, but I was
uncertain as to what the outcome would be. With great relief, a mutually beneficial career change was presented and I began a new chapter in my career that was aligned to my values, my desires and my new plan. I recall so clearly my supervisor asking me: Are you happy? He had previously asked me this question prior to my diagnosis, to which I had responded – YES OF COURSE. This time, my response had changed. No, I am not happy, but I am clear on how I can be! I know in my heart that had fate not stepped 6 months prior and presented me with what some may have consider unfair, I would not have had the clarity and courage to answer that question honestly and differently. As I began my renewed life, I often found myself overwhelmed with meaningful moments. To this day, I find that I am far more reflective and touched by events, conversations and observations that ever before. I pause and strive to consume every feeling, thought and meaning of experiences I onced sadly didn’t even recognize. Some of my most meaningful moments come when I am enjoying belly laughing with my children, enjoying the touch of my husband’s hand or seeing nature around me while running. Moments do not occur without meaning, and to honor each moment in life and elevates your spirit and sense of being alive to an unexpected levels.
As I learned how to live within this new plan, I also found myself compelled to learn more about how to live a lifestyle that would allow me to live a long and abundant life with my family, husband and friends. I knew I had to be sure not only take care of my spirit but also my body! Ultimately, I found myself reflecting on the conversation I had with my friend after my diagnosis – “…open to accepting the support and energy from my family and friends.” What was this energy she was referring to? Little did I realize that this statement would lead me to a new way of developing the rest of my life plan. Thru research, conversations and self reflection, I began to understand the power that we as humans all have to manifest our own destiny. As I learned more about setting intentions and manifesting, I quickly realized that as I began questioning my life plan prior to my diagnosis, I was in fact manifesting my destiny. A destiny that could have resulted in my not being here to live this life that I was blessed with. Each and every thought I had was framed as a question: “What if I……”, and each event that had transpired over the previous 6 months was a response to my questions.
The power of What if…
As humans, the power of our thoughts and intentions must not be underestimate. We all possess a tremendous amount of energy that constantly emits vibrations. These vibrations have varying frequencies based on our thoughts, beliefs, words and actions; and, the determining factor in the frequency of these vibrations is our state. A positive, hopeful, confident and open state will emit significantly different vibrations than that of a negative, concerned or worried state. Consider the feelings that you have in speaking or feeling the following thoughts:
What if I don’t’ get this job
What if we can’t sell our house
What if our car breaks down again
What if my son/daughter doesn’t get into the school they want
What if I can’t pay this month’s bills
What if we get sick before vacation
What if I don’t get this promotion?
Now consider the feelings that you have in speaking or feeling these thoughts:
What if we find our dream house within our budget?
What if we can pay off our debt over the next 2 years?
What if our car lasts until we can save up enough for a down payment on a new one?
What if I my child get the teacher that is best for them?
As you read and speak the above statements, feel the difference! They both bring about physical and emotional responses and emit vibrations that seek an equal response. It is not possible to have an emotional response to something without an equal physical response. As your state is either lifted to an optimistic level or taken down to one of worry and concern your body and eventually the universe will respond accordingly. Recall my story I shared, as I began feel conflicted with how my life had materialize to what I desired and qualified any change as a consequence. I asked what if’s that made me feel concerned and fearful about the consequences and this eventually manifested physically as cancer.
As I have embarked on this everlasting journey, an important distinction I have made is the difference between positive thinking and manifesting, or asking the correct what if’s. I identify positive thinking as open ended and at times an incomplete desire, whereas, I identify manifesting as a elevation of intentions and desires to a tangible and achievable level. Life does not happen by mere luck, wish or chance. Setting your intention is the basis of any successful WHAT IF. As you begin to use the what if, the universe will align with you. It will receive your energy and strive to match it.
Napoleon Hill states: The starting point of all achievement is desire.
Below are some both small and significant examples of our what if’s….. That may help differentiate manifesting versus positive thinking.
What if I do delivering this presentation with confidently?
What if i try volleyball and love it? (my son)
What if find a new-used car that is perfect for our family, in great shape and affordable?
What if I I ask for additional hours at work? (husband)
What if we could live closer to our family and friends?
What if we lived in a neighborhood just like the one I grew up in – close friends, lots of kids, supportive and secure for our kids?
What if there was a way aside from just eating healthy for my family and I to better ensure our health?
What if I ran a marathon
What if I went thru menopause naturally, not HRT?
What if there I worked from home and still supported my family?
What if I retired by 50?
As you read thru these what if statements, you should notice that there is no criteria for an effective what if. Fundamentally it must be an outcome that you desire and deeply believe in. Then, thru constant repetition and the release your vibrations, the universe will respond with abundant blessings.
Napoleon HIlls also teaches: Any ideas, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.
The rest of my story
About a 2 years ago my husband was invited to a high school friends home, a reunion of sorts. Immediately upon his return home, he shared with me that his friends wife was part of something I would find very intriguing. Without even the briefest mention of his reunion, he enthusiastically shared ghd universe’s response to what I had manifesting. As he began to explain his experience, I vividly recall that the excitement and support he suggested. It is also worth noting that as he explained the option to me, it was partnered with a sense of: “I really have no clue what this is all about but I just know you have to be part of it.” It was a message unlike any other he had communicated before. You see my husband is typically an individual that researches and qualifies something as valid prior to any emotion buy in. But this was different! He has since shared with me that this he has never had such a strong pull toward something that he knew nothing about, an undeniable, natural connection.
What did he share? It was her use and commitment to therapeutic grade essential oils. Similar to my husband, I had never even heard of essential oils, but I knew with every piece of my being this was a crucible moment in my life. I immediately connected with her and on May 5, 2105 we introduced Young Living Essential Oils into our lives. Since this date, our family has accepted so many blessings and remain open to accepting so many more.
Our first and most impactful blessing has been our consistent health!! For me, I remain cancer free. I feel stronger, more vibrant and more connect to my body than ever before. As a conqueror, each and every day I choose to recognize the blessed moments in my life. I challenge my body to be its strongest and most importantly remain thankful for my diagnosis that changed my life! As I mature and progress thru perimenopause, I am free of any synthetic hormone replacement supplements and support what my body needs thru essential oils and supplement with oils. This is part of my deliberate choice to live a lifestyle that is toxin free and natural. For my children, they have enjoyed a similar changes in their health. Previously, 2 young boys that once lived on nebulizers and prone to missing countless days from school have only missed 3 days of school in the last 2 years. For my husband and I, a deeper emotional relationship. For all of us, we have found essential oils tremendously impactful in balancing our emotions, and offering us a more grounded and balanced spirit. Another blessing are the new friendships that have developed from my connections in the essential oils community. The focus on personal development and acceptance is the foundation of this community. Not only have these connections become friends, but they are also business partners. This is what leads me to another blessing, thru sharing the benefits of essential oils, we have enjoyed new level of financial security for our family. While I am so very proud of my career or JOB, to have an opportunity to realize additional income thru helping others, which is incredibly rewarding. It has changed our lives and set the stage for so many of our other what ifs to become a reality.
For now our story is still unfolding. We will continue to identify our what if’s and set our gaze forward and thru the power of what if’s, manifest our future. Know that It is easy to look forward with what if’s that will protect from disappoint, but it is far more empowering and rewarding to take control of your life. Begin your journey today! Similar to the day my husband came home from his friends house and shared what he had learned, this could be your day! It is no mistake I was asked to share my story with you, it is no mistake you are reading this article. My challenge to you: ask yourself WHAT IF? And be ready for the journey of your life.
Feel free to connect with me to connect personally about your or my journey.
Debbie McCue – 716-870-0234
Recommended Reading: Napoleon Hill: Think and Grow Rich