InfoTrac OneFile (R) O, The Oprah Magazine , 09/01/2004
When's your ship coming in? There's only one way to find out what's keeping you from getting what you really want.
COPYRIGHT 2004 © Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved
IT'S NEW YEAR'S EVE, 1988. I'M TRAVELING alone off the coast of Belize. After spending the day snorkeling, I've come down with a terrible infection. Racked with chills, barely coherent, I stumble across town to rouse the lone nurse from her holiday dinner. Grudgingly, she gives me some antibiotics, and I take to bed.
That night was perhaps the most important of my life. Twisted up in the sheets, raging with fever, I thought I was going to die. In those supposed last moments, I considered my life with deathbed candor. Having failed to make it as a Hollywood screenwriter after almost a decade of trying, I'd privately become convinced that my lack of success was well deserved. I believed that, deep inside, there was something wrong with me--a fatal flaw, an indefinable shortcoming.
Whenever that belief had arisen before, I'd fought it with all the resistance I could summon. Now, instead, I dove straight into wave after wave of enveloping hopelessness. It was excruciating, but there was also great relief in giving up the struggle. Maybe it was the semidelirium that finally melted my defenses--I'll never know. But when dawn broke and I was still breathing, the darkness inside me was lighter, too.
In the months that followed, I enjoyed my first hot streak with the studios. Within a couple of years, I had written, produced, and directed an award-winning film. It wasn't newfound discipline that had led to my turnaround. Nor was it a burst of creativity or a stroke of luck. What changed everything was my willingness to feel how hopeless I'd been. When I was finally ready to reclaim the part of me that was so hurting and broken-down, healing began. Out of that healing came ease, a new and natural sense of flow. And from that flow, in short order, came the realization of my dream.
ONE DECADE AND SOME major transitions later, I began teaching workshops and counseling clients about how to live more joyfully. I quickly found that most people have a vision for themselves that they are not pursuing, or are approaching halfheartedly, or are chasing with all their might yet somehow falling short. The goal can be modest or grand. It might involve breaking free of a destructive habit, finding a healthy relationship, or leaping into a new career. But in almost every case, there's a similarity to my own story: Whenever people aren't living their dreams, it's because of emotions they're not yet willing to feel. Once they're willing, the dream comes true--in one form or another.
(Full article available at: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-13362714_ITM & for more information about Raphael Cushnir, go to heartonfire.org. )