As I approached the trailhead, I saw a little sign the park rangers installed, probably for student groups, that read:
If you are quiet, you will see wildlife.
“Oh, I can be very quiet,” I whispered to the sign. My adult
sisters were napping in the car, too tired from our first hike in
a different part of this Florida preserve to join me. But I was a
woman on a mission; I was Max finding Where the Wild Things
Are. I had already investigated every riverbank for alligators.
Not finding one, however, did not discourage me. Instead,
I moved past the little sign, stepping silently into a heavily
I had not traveled even 50 feet before an animal the size of
a deer suddenly appeared and paused on the trail to look at
me. In an instant, I realized it was a Florida panther, one of the
most rare and endangered mammals on the planet! Excited I
had succeeded at coming across an impressive wild creature,
I admired his beauty and grace before he slipped soundlessly
back into the dark, dense forest.
By the time I fully expected to see wildness in that Florida
preserve, I was well into my 50s and no longer a novice at
creating my experiences. But when I was a younger woman, I
certainly felt buffeted, often clobbered by events, relationships,
and circumstances beyond my control. All that changed when
I ventured on a metaphysical journey at age 31 and learned
Ready to plant new seeds for my being in the world, I joined
a class of spiritual seekers who were eager to learn. There I
was introduced to the concept that thoughts always precede
material manifestation and that everything is a product of our
thoughts. We are cocreators. I grew into the awareness that we
have the power to manifest our desires through focus, clarity,
emotion, and trust.
To demonstrate the power of my thoughts, a classmate
enthusiastically suggested I make clouds disappear. So on a
lovely warm day, I flopped down on the grass and selected a
puffy little cloud in the sky. I focused on sending warmth to
the cloud to heat it, and as I did so, the cloud quickly became
smaller and smaller until it completely disappeared. I was
astonished to see such fast results, and the experience left me
feeling very empowered.
Then another student suggested I “become invisible” and
witness the effects. I chose a busy department store and focused
my thoughts again by repeating the mantra I am invisible while
walking through the aisles. By the time I reached the checkout
line, three people had run into me. What a stunning success!
I soon had an opportunity to try this out in a more practical
setting when I discovered one day that my husband had