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Something jolted me awake. My heart raced like crazy and fluttered uncomfortably in my chest. I felt as though my whole body was vibrating. I tried everything I knew to slow my heart—I coughed, turned onto my side, sat up, stretched, even pounded on my chest—but nothing calmed the rapid beating of my heart. It raced faster than I could even count. “Oh my God, is this it? I started to panic. “Am I going to die?”
I realized I needed help. The ambulance arrived, and I was rushed to the hospital and whisked straight into the emergency room. Several nurses arrived and attached wires and tubes to my body. They discovered I was experiencing an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation–-a misfiring of the electrical system of the heart that caused it to beat erratically—around one hundred and eighty beats per minute. They administered an intravenous drug called Cardizem, and thankfully my heartbeat returned to normal. A few hours later I was able to go home.
The episode shocked me, despite the fact that I’d had open heart surgery twenty-two years earlier at the age of twenty-six. Now, forty-eight and healthy, I felt vulnerable for first time since then. I ran everyday on the beach, and felt strong and vibrant. Will this happen again? I worried. Could the a-fib be an indication that something is seriously wrong with my heart? Is this condition going change the theme of my life? I realized that only time would tell.
Months went by and then a year and I was beginning to feel pretty confident that the episode had been a one-time event. I was in the clear. I could relax.
Then it happened again. One day, out enjoying myself with friends, suddenly and without warning I felt the familiar, scary, mile-a-minute fluttering. “No, it can’t be!” I thought, and ended up again at the emergency room for another dose of Cardizem. It worked quickly and I was “fixed” a second time. Three days later the third bout of a-fib reared its ugly head. This time I wound up spending two days in the hospital. This “a-fib” was not a random thing.
The doctors recommended I take a drug to prevent the a-fib from recurring and told me I would be on it forever. Not thrilled about the prospect of committing to a medication for the rest of my life, I was determined to find a different, more holistic approach to restore my physical body to vibrant health. For now, though, I’d use the medication as a bridge and safety net.
Meanwhile, I began to take an inventory of my life. Eager to know the root cause, I began to research whether what was showing up as this rapid heartbeat was a reflection of how I was living.
I started by looking at my stressors. The year 2010 was a rough year financially. When I thought about it, I realized 2009 hadn’t been a great year either. Our business, slowed perhaps by the economy, wasn’t growing as fast as we had planned. Also, we were forced to cancel a large event we’d planned (to which a large sum of money had been committed) because the number of registrations needed hadn’t materialized in time.
I knew that if I wanted to calm the chaos, I had to transform my thoughts. As I reflected on how I’d gotten through similar times previously, I realized how many great things I’ve manifested in my life.
In high school, things came easily to me. An honor student and gifted athlete, I played the piano with grace and ease. I was fearless because it seemed like anything I believed I could do, I did.
I studied nursing in college, entered easily into my career, and continued to advance from floor nursing to the intensive care unit (ICU). When ready to transition to a corporate job, offers were plentiful and I was able to pick the best fit for me. Still fearless, I moved from my home in Connecticut to New Jersey.
As I continued to grow in my business, personal, and spiritual life, I became an avid student of personal development. I absorbed as much as I could from many teachers who guided me in meditation, yoga, self love, business growth, and the importance of vision and goals.
When I was forty, I read Effortless Prosperity by Bijan Anjomi—a spiritual book based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles. One of the daily lessons was about manifesting and it stated simply that all you have to do is ask the universe for what you want. You must state it exactly, clearly, in the present tense and first person. Currently house hunting, I knew that I needed additional funds, so playing along; I asked the universe for $500,000.
At that time, I owned a sign and display company. The phone rang at the office the next day, and one our largest clients ordered five hundred neon signs. The order totaled $500,000! The most amazing part was that our average order was normally much closer to $15,000—nowhere near the $500,000 for which I’d asked. This really works! I thought, as I jumped up and down and danced around the office! I began to study and experiment with this even further and with greater passion.
After attending a seminar on feng shui—the eastern practice of harmonizing space and placement to ease and enhance the flow of energy and life force—I learned that if you want to bring something into your life, you have to make room for it. I decided that it was time for an additional car. I looked at my garage and realized that, based on these principles, I wasn’t going to manifest a car if there was no space for it. So I took a couple of days and cleaned out the garage. I threw away or donated lots of things and created the void for the universe to fill. It looked so clean and fresh—perfect for a new car!
The very next day, my dad called. He was buying a new car and asked if I wanted his old one. How quickly it worked! In just one day, I’d manifested a car! But I learned from this event that I’d missed an important step to manifesting: I must be very clear when describing what I want. Although I totally appreciated, and was grateful for, the car that my dad gave me—a thirteen year-old Honda with two hundred thousand miles and no air conditioning—I’d really wanted a brand new, fully-loaded SUV!
Upon reflection, I realized how many other things I’d manifested in my life. Some of them were crystal clear to me when they happened, others not so much—perhaps I needed more time to see the real essence of what was happening and why.
The next teacher in my life was Brian Tracy. I listened to a set of tapes titled Million Dollar Habits in which he strongly encouraged listeners to create goals. Following his instructions, I wrote my desires on paper, dated it, sealed the envelope, and put it away in a drawer. I didn’t look at them again. The year was 2001.
One of my goals was to help women entrepreneurs. This was a passion of mine because I knew the struggles and joys of being a female entrepreneur and what it was like to grow a business “by the seat of my pants.” If I could do something to help other women in the same position, I would be very happy. I wasn’t sure how to do this, I just knew I wanted to.
While still involved in the sign and display company, we had a great deal of success, but I felt like there was something missing–-that there should be more to my career and life than making neon beer signs. We were growing, doubling our sales for the last few years, but I wanted more. I wanted to make a difference. Our company simply did not do this for me.
I wanted to fill the great big void in my heart with something more fulfilling but I didn’t know how to sell or leave our company. Our employees and customers counted on us, and we had a long-term plan to eventually sell or open it up to other family members, but this seemed so very far in the future. I felt stuck.
In 2002, a catastrophic turn of events forced us to close the business suddenly. There was nothing we could do to save it. It was gone, and somehow, miraculously, all of our workers were taken care of one way or another. I realized once again I had manifested what I asked for; and again I learned that I must be even more intentional and specific when I put forth my desires to the universe.
Shortly thereafter, I attended my very first networking meeting. I had no idea what to expect or even what a network meeting was. All women, mostly entrepreneurs promoting their businesses, everyone was there to help and support each other. This is wonderful, I thought. This is what I want to do! But the real aha! moment occurred when I realized I’d manifested this! My goal of assisting women in business—that I’d set for myself and tucked away in the drawer—was coming to fruition. Powerful You! Women’s Network was born.
Calming the Chaos
From my current perspective, it’s so easy to see how I’d allowed my imagination to run wild with fear. Eerily similar to the frantic racing in my heart, this fear slowly and consistently crept into my life and often raced through my mind.
When times got tough and money was tight, I forgot the many lessons I learned and the power I held to manifest anything and everything I desire. I knew I had to get back to the basics that had served me so well throughout my life.
Today, meditation, yoga, and joy are a daily regimen for me. I focus and refocus my mind many times throughout the day to stay clear, in the present moment and on path.
I am so happy to be off of medication and to feel the slow, strong, steady beat of my heart. As I practice calm and peace each day, I’ve not only calmed the chaos, I’ve found clarity and ease. One with all of life, I know that I continue to manifest whatever I think about. Now, my heart knows that I am truly the conscious co-creator of my life.
Note - this is my chapter from our latest Anthology Book - Women Living Consciously - www.wlcbook.com