Following Instructions

The idea that, Dreams Can Come True, a book I wrote in 1981, inspired a woman who is the new host of the Today Show is fun but not really surprising. Spiritual Laws are always working and everything we do has consequences.  We are connected to Life and to each other.

My fifteen seconds of fame on the Today show brought an invitation from Rev. Beverly Molander to be on her internet radio show. You can listen to it by going to http://www.unity.fm/program/AffirmativePrayer .

In preparation, I looked up my books on Google and discovered that many of my teenage romances are still out there. In some cases, you can buy used ones for as little as one cent. I found a new one that was called “collectible” and listed at $118 but I’m not convinced that anyone will buy it.

Dreams Can Come True was one of the first in the Scholastic Wildfire Series and it was my biggest seller. The heroine uses journaling and visualization plus hard work to get what she wants in life. Over the years, I have heard that it inspired many young women. It was lightweight but it was a good read.

The historical ones in the Scholastic Sunfire Series are still the most popular and they deserve to be because they were instructive and well researched. I wrote books set in the Johnstown Flood, Pearl Harbor, Lowell Mills, and a one room school house.

The consistent favorite seems to be Roxanne, which was set in 1930’s Hollywood. My personal favorite is Corey, because the heroine was an escaped slave. It was a breakthrough book because it was the first of the series with a heroine of color. Although it’s simplistic, black history wasn’t as well known in those days.

My search was instructive.  Apparently, some women collect them as though they were Storybook Dolls. It seems over-the-top but at least they are admired. Others criticized them because they were exactly what they were – teenage romances.

I moved on to other things many years ago so while I am happy enough to claim them, I don’t pitch my tent there. For me, that phase of life is over. I am writing other things now, but I am glad that those books were positive and they probably did help some girls because  of their “can do” attitude.

When I wrote them, I was delighted that kids were reading for fun. They actually bought the books with their own money and, as a former reading teacher, I thought that was pretty special.

During that time period, I worked on an adult non-fiction book about successful second marriages. I interviewed about 200 women who had been divorced or widowed and then went on to establish healthy relationships. Although the book was never published, I personally learned two important things I want to share today.

The first was that women who made successful second marriages had the goal of a good marriage in mind when they began the search. This struck me as quite different from my friends and my quest for a “perfect man”.

Most of my friends were women with successful careers who said they wanted to be married but they never seemed to manage their relationships well enough to get there. Our quest  for that one ideal man simply wasn’t working.

The women I interviewed for the book didn’t talk about ideal men but about partnerships. They believed marriage could be a comfortable, normal state. Mostly, they embarked on a sensible search for happiness as a part of a couple.

It may seem like a subtle difference, but I could discern it clearly after those 200 interviews. They were taking more responsibility for their lives than my friends and I were. We might be better educated, but we weren’t as smart about getting what we wanted out of life.

The other discovery turned out to be even more important for me. I learned that books actually do change lives. Time and time again, I heard women tell their sad story and then say, “And then I read such and such book and I did what it said to do.”

The key to changing their lives was that they followed the book’s instructions. It’s fine to read about making friends but if we don’t get out of the house and smile, we will never achieve our goal.

Inspirational books nearly always offer good information but the reader must act on it. There is always that crucial decision to follow instructions. The author cannot jump out of the pages and do it for you.

When the publishing company which gave me the advance for that second marriage book decided not to publish it, I was disappointed. However, I learned two valuable and humbling lessons that changed my life.

Almost immediately, I gave up hunting for that ideal man and chose to seek my personal happiness. So often we think we need a raise, a partner, a weight loss, a new job or whatever to be happy. What we really need is to change our consciousness and decide to be happy right here and now

I read and reread the brilliant book, The Power Of Decision  by Dr. Raymond Charles Barker. I love that book and I have tried (with demonstrable success) to follow his instructions.

I truly appreciated, Dr. Barker’s way of writing. He wrote his paragraphs with topic sentences. The first sentence delivered his thought and the following paragraph backed it up. I began to understand that it all started with decisions. Actions were more important than luck.

Dr. Barker is my mentor because he thoroughly understood and communicated this teaching. In my blog and in my books, I try to do the same. Barker and others have convinced me that consciousness always comes first. I try to “embody” or “become” whatever it is that I desire to attract.

Now I am a New Thought writer and I seek to be as clear as I can. My experience as a writer has helped me communicate simply. Science of Mind Skills is a classic in its own right.  You can find it listed on this website.

I learned from others and I followed their advice. Now I only give advice that I can follow myself. I know it is important to be integrity. I know everything I write will return to me in some way. We are always connected in God.

You and I are connected as you read this. I wish you only goodness and light. I hope you find some of what I write useful. I hope you will read a good, inspirational book and follow instructions this week. Have fun!

Ask Yourself  

What do I want?

What do the books that I read say to do?

What am I doing today to achieve my dreams?

 

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