The Rest of the Story

by Andrea Chilcote

 Scan8Today’s post is for those of you who wrote to ask (or wondered silently), what specific “blessing” I received and only alluded to it in my post Just Ask.

In that piece, I wrote of having just completed the first experiment in Pam Grout’s bestseller, E2It was a huge success, as I received the “unexpected gift” that was a result of my clear and unattached intention. But I did not share what happened.

First, a quick explanation of why I left out that small detail.

If you read my post We Are Our History, you’ll know that despite blogging weekly about my own life lessons, there are some things I hold private – often for no reason at all. It has not been easy to tell my whole story.

But the second was a logistical one. In order to explain the enormity of what I received, you need some context. So, indulge me if you will. The whole thing began with a synchronistic occurrence five months ago when I received a call that set me on a mission in which I finally opened a door that had been beckoning me for years. It was a mission to fundamentally change our society’s behaviors and attitudes toward animals.

Awareness precedes action. It’s a gentle knock at first, then it can’t be ignored.

My awakening to the plight of animals was slow, and my admittance of the inconvenient truth even slower. Though I adopted my first shelter dog, Erik, in 1988, I didn’t give a lot of thought to the numbers of dogs in similar need. I felt as long as there were rescue groups, spay/neuter programs and education, we were making progress.

Over time, my eyes were opened wide. Little by little, I couldn’t deny the truth.

Ten years ago, I received a call to emergency foster a malnourished and terrified malamute from an Arizona puppy mill. The operation had been shut down due to flagrant abuse and neglect, and the owner jailed. We quickly grew to love beautiful Whisper, but in less than a week she died, tragically, after giving birth to dead puppies at our home. Ally of ARA husky rescue in Los Angeles says it best: “These precious souls are not ATM machines.”

Still, I held back.

One day some years later, I read Kathy Freston’s book, Quantum Wellness, and finally acknowledged the horrors of factory farming. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. She happened to be that teacher.

So I stopped eating meat, continued to foster the occasional dog, and donated to whatever animal cause struck an emotional chord. But something gnawed at me – when I let it invade my consciousness.

More years passed. My husband Arthur adopted two rescued horses. The first, saved from a feedlot, gained 300 pounds after coming to live with us. He now rules our barn. The second, a victim of the cruel sport of tripping, came to us crippled and arthritic, with a broken spirit. Arthur restored his spirit, and Duke knew love for the rest of his life.

We were doing our part, right? That was more than just a rationalization. We were – and are – doing something meaningful. But for me it wasn’t enough.

In April of this year, I was working with a client to help her decide on a second career after a job elimination. She thought she might want to work for a non-profit, though nothing she had run across felt particularly compelling. I asked her a question.

“What is it that you can’t not do before you leave the earth?”

Eventually she found an answer, and left our meeting with a plan. But the very moment I asked the question, I knew I had to answer it for myself. I finally realized that before I leave this earth, I must do something to cause fundamental change for animals. It was a commitment I was finally ready to make.

As things go when one truly commits, (and as the book E2 promises), that very afternoon, when my client left to catch her plane, I checked my voice mail. I had a message from a colleague asking if I had an interest in joining the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as an AZ Council member.

Everything I had done brought me to this point in time when I could make a profound difference for animals. I said yes. That was in May.

Soare you still asking, “What is the punch line?” Okay, here goes.

Since May, in my opinion, I have done little that’s tangible. I have been studying the issues and building relationships.

But the day my “blessing” was due, I got an email asking me to present to board and council members at an HSUS conference in Washington DC. When I asked why, I was told, “We want our members to be inspired by your story.”

As this post is being published, I am doing just that. And there you have it. The rest of the story.

Just Ask

by Andrea Chilcote

Have you readJust Ask_e-squared-smaller E2, the blockbuster New York Times bestseller? Or more importantly, have you practiced E2?

Pam Grout‘s brilliant primer consists of a series of simple experiments that prove our thoughts create our reality. Oh, I get it. You already know that – no proof needed.

But here’s the reason I got hooked. In the preface, Grout identifies “this one itty bitty catch.” She says, boldly: “You don’t really believe it. Not fully.” Ouch.

Being a scientist by training, I was intrigued by the scientific method offered in the nine experiments, each of which occurs over a 48 hour period. On Sunday, I began the first one, a simple act of intending to receive an unexpected gift or blessing from what Grout calls the FP, or the field of potentiality.

My 48-hour deadline was Tuesday night, and I smile as I recount what I learned from that first two-day test. It’s a lesson I have written about, teach, and strive to practice. The lesson of detachment.

I’ll admit I got myself a little worked up about my “blessing.” I was expecting it, and, despite a very busy schedule, I was looking for it. “Prove it,” I was saying to the All That Is. I was definitely attached.

I live a blessed life. So each time some small or large thing came my way between Sunday night and Tuesday, I wondered if that was it, and in fact, each one might have been. But I quickly rationalized them, saying, “This is just the normal stuff of life.” Blessings for sure, but somehow not evidence that the experiment had worked. I kept narrowing my intention until I was doing exactly what I know not to do: order up my exact, detailed, no-exceptions request. This, despite my strong belief that we must pray for outcomes, and leave details up to God or the universe. When we can manage this, the results are more than we could have ever imagined.

Well, my deadline came and went, solidifying my non-belief. Then, I finally detached.

Guess what happened next? On Wednesday, I received a simple email that revealed my very unexpected gift. It was – is – awesome.

Did I delay the blessing with my insistence? Or had it actually transpired within the timeframe, with the pre-arrangements invisible to me?

It doesn’t matter, really. No one judges our attachment, or our lack of faith. While this life on earth feels so heavy at times, magic and miracles still exist. Ask and you shall receive. And meanwhile, make a request – then enjoy a good night’s sleep.