Many mornings when I wake up and the house is still quiet, I make a cup of hot, green tea, go to my office and choose a book from my small book case. I choose the book blindly then open to a random page and read.
When I did this ritual a couple of mornings ago, the page I read really got me thinking. I’ve written before about the book, Happy PocketFull of Money, by David Cameron Gikandi. I hadn’t picked this book up in a while, so when my hand landed on it I was glad.
Way back, when I initially read the book I stopped reading at page 182. Not finishing a book is something I do not typically do, so I was surprised to see the dog-ear turned down at that page, two chapters away from the conclusion. Rather than randomly choosing a page, I went straight to where I left off. And I found the information there to be rather profound.
I’m just going to type some of what I read. I think it will be the easiest way to convey the meaning.
Desires indicate to you things that you have a built-in ability for. You may have never piloted an airplane before, but if you have a desire to do so, it shows you that your Self has the ability and nature to be able to learn and pilot a plane…
…a desire shows you that you, at the highest level of your soul, are fully supporting that desire to pilot that plane and the whole universe will be there to assist you in manifesting.
…Desires also indicate to you which parts of your Self are calling out for attention and evolution, growth, or working out to perfection. Desires are signals from the Self.
… [A soul] gets a body and mind to experience [physical life]. [The soul] communicates to the body and mind through desires and feelings. But it never enforces its choices. Body and mind are free to choose whether or not to experience those desires. Often, out of fear or past conditioning, they choose not. Yet the desire does not go away; it remains unfulfilled. When the body and mind are in disagreement or opposition to the soul, a person will experience dissatisfaction. When body, mind, and soul agree, the creative force is a phenomenal, “waiting” end, and joyous experience occurs without resistance.
Reading this philosophy got me thinking about an Oprah show I saw about a lady named Tererai Trent. Not only was Tererai featured on one Oprah show, she was also named as Oprah’s favorite all time guest when the Oprah show ended (I’m still so sad about this!).
Tererai was born in Zimbabwe in a small village where girls were not allowed to receive an education. But Tererai desired an education more than anything else. Being male, her brother was allowed to go to school. Tererai taught herself to read and write by doing her brother’s homework for him. When caught, the village teacher begged her father to allow her to come to school. And for two semesters she was allowed to attend.
But her education was cut short when, at age 11, she was forced to marry. By 18, she had three children. And when her husband found out she wanted schooling, he beat her for it, and continued to beat her.
In 1991, a visitor from Heifer International came to Tererai’s village. In a cosmically jovial way, the lady’s name was Jo Luck. And as luck would have it, she would change Tererai’s life forever.
Luck asked the women of the village what their dreams were. Many did not know what to say, but Tererai did. She said, “My name is Tererai, and I want to go to America to have an education, and I want to have a BS degree. I want to have a master’s, and I want to have a PhD.”
And Luck replied to Tererai, “If you desire those things, it is achievable.”
Tererai’s mother also encouraged Tererai’s dreams by telling her to write them on a piece of paper. So at 20, Tererai wrote her dreams on a piece of paper, placed the paper in a little tin box and buried under a rock.
It wasn’t an easy path, but Tererai’s desires came to fruition one by one. In 1998, she moved to Oklahoma with her husband and, by now, five children.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in three years in agricultural education. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree. Happily, that same year her husband was deported for abuse.
And in 2009, Tererai fulfilled her last desire written on the paper in the tin and earned her doctoral degree.
When I saw her on Oprah, I found her story breathtakingly inspirational. A little girl from Zimbabwe(that place we use as a cliché to indicate very, very long distances) who wrote her desires on a piece of paper actually had every one of them come true.
On the Show, she went to the rock in Zimbabweand dug up the tin and it was still there; her paper with her greatest desires written down.
When Oprah had Tererai back on the show as her favorite guest of all time, she asked Doctor Tererai Trent, What’s next? Tererai said she wanted to build a school in her village, one that girls could attend. And just like that, Oprah gave Tererai $1.5 million to build the school. Done deal.
When I read the paragraph by Gikandi, I thought of Tererai’s story. Her dreams had to feel so far fetched to an 11 year old girl being married away to a cruel man. Beaten regularly and having children one after another; how could sheachieve her dreams?
She achieved it simply because she desired it; because it was also her soul’s desire. Her desires matched what she came here for. Her greatness was realized because she believed in her worthiness and had the drive to say Yes!to the Universe when she felt the desire.
Reflecting on Gikandi’s words and Tererai’s story has me feeling like anything is possible. I am going to take another look at my vision board today and imagine my greatest desires for my purpose in life coming to fruition.
Today, I will ask the Universe to guide me to my highest purpose then I will listen to my desires.
Yes! i love the Tererai story! I had cried when I saw it on Oprah, and am so glad to hear it again. i am seeing myself fit and healthy and i know it is in my power to do it! it is my greatest desire so therefore it will be!!! Thank you for this inspiration!
Thank you Tra! Love you!
Very powerful story… And a lesson for us all. Thanks.
Thank you Tim! I miss seeing you and Jan in meditation.
We miss you too! This Saturday is our last Buddhism class so hopefully we'll be able to get back on a regular schedule.