“Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others.” –David R. Hawkins
Anthony is an inspiring young man whose glimpse of spirit occurred early in his college career at the tender age of 19. As a result, the trajectory of his life certainly changed. We spoke for the first time over the phone on a recent fall afternoon and I was struck by his wisdom- especially for one so young. I wish to thank Anthony for sharing himself and his story so openly.
Anthony is 24 now, living on the east coast, working in the corporate world and taking classes towards his M.B.A. He recalls a rough time in his life during the first semester away at college some years ago. “I just lost focus during that first semester away from home. I was partying and going out all the time. I ended that semester failing two classes and barely passing others. I still remember how disappointed my parents were in me. I know this may not sound like rock bottom but to me it felt like my life was in the toilet. I was barely on speaking terms with my parents. I didn’t know where I was going. I just felt lost.”
Over winter break that year, Anthony started to grapple with the difficult position he was now in. His parents had taken his car away and he had very little money. He was not particularly religious or into personal development at that time but he does recall praying that winter and asking, “God help me. I need to figure out what’s going on. How did I get here?”
One evening over that winter break he was browsing in a bookstore and happened to pick up a book called, “The Master Key System” by Charles Haanel written and first published in 1917. This book is based on the principle of using thought as the manifestation of creative energy to realize dreams within your life. Anthony read this book and began a meditation and visualization practice. As his winter break was otherwise a bit of a bust, he dedicated himself fully into this work and practiced in earnest.
Soon, to Anthony’s delight, he began to feel different- more positive and focused. He visualized himself getting A’s in his classes and that is exactly what he did the following semester. Shocking his roommates and making his parents proud, Anthony improved his GPA in that one semester from a 1.7 to a 3.5!
From that point on Anthony dedicated himself to his meditation practice. Soon, more than his grades were shifting. He began to have what some would call a spiritual awakening. He recalls feeling connected to something bigger than himself. On a family vacation that summer he describes feeling as if were in some kind of “spiritual zone and fully aligned with all that is. I felt connected to the world and appreciated all world religions. I had an unshakeable knowing that everything was connected. As such, there was really no “us versus them”.
“To become more conscious is the greatest gift anyone can give to the world; moreover, in a ripple effect, the gift comes back to its source.” (David R. Hawkins from his book “Power vs. Force”)
Anthony went back to his university after that summer and managed to maintain his focus and his meditation practice although he admits that at times it was tough not to fall back into old patterns. He describes that his circle of friends were party animals and he could not really talk much to them about these experiences he was having. However, he was not too concerned, as he knew they would always be his friends.
I asked Anthony to offer some life advice to others who may be finding it difficult to focus or commit to something whatever their age. He offered these ideas:
The people you hang out with affect you. He remembers reading somewhere that “you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.” Therefore, if you want to grow, seek out others who want to grow. Watch your thoughts and focus on the positive.
Meditation was where I began and it is what I stick with- daily and without fail. In the beginning, I would put on some ambient music, clear my mind and visualize where I wanted to go in my life. What I now find is that meditation often offers me new and creative solutions to problems in my life. By increasing self-awareness, “A-Ha” moments and shifts in the way I think come out of this stillness.
My definition of the Divine is so inclusive now. Everything is connected and the universe or the Divine is this loving energy passing thru everyone. It really comes down to love. Everyone is enveloped by it. Take time to notice it.