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.

Closer to Fine

by Andrea Chilcote

An emerging theme this past week could be summed up in this sentence: “Show up and let yourself be seen and heard. There’s work to do.” So it seems fitting to share this post that appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where I’m a weekly blogger. 

For most of this year, I’ve been feeling like an Indigo Girl — closer to fine.

 And I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains

I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains

There’s more than one answer to these questions… and the less I seek my source for some definitive…

Closer I am to fine

Seriously, while I will seek to learn and thus grow until the day I die, my fifties (early fifties mind you), have freed me to admit I have gained some wisdom from the journey and am more or less comfortable with who I am.

And this is why I was stunned when I discovered Brene Brown. A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, she has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 6 million views.

I am no more than a third of the way through Brown’s current book, New York Times bestseller, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Yet  a few key sound bites have haunted me in the week since I downloaded the book to my Kindle.

Damn vulnerability. Is it not enough that I bare my heart and soul here? Not quite, I realize as I type the words. Brown writes: “Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.”

I’m not just “closer to fine.” I am fine, today. And tomorrow I have an opportunity to show up with even more courage and authenticity. Right now I am weary although joyful about the opportunity. Stay tuned for the stories.