Within each and every one of
us is an inherent guidance system. We are not thrown helplessly
into a seemingly cold and cruel world without the necessary
tools for taking care of ourselves. Yet, most people go through
an entire lifetime never realizing the power they have at their
command. This power is not the exclusive province of gurus,
avatars or saints, but is available to all people as their cosmic
The power within lies waiting
to be tapped by anyone who is willing to use its guidance. It
is always there providing direction for our lives. But, because
we are surrounded by the noise and activities of everyday, outside
existence, we tend not to hear the gentle proddings from within.
We become blind and deaf to the sights and sounds of our higher
selves. To begin using this guidance, one must first be aware
of its existence and then follow its directions. The following
true life story is an excellent example of this principle.
My wife and I had been married
for several years and we felt it was time to start raising a
family. "Why not start with an adopted child?" she
asked. Since it didn't matter to me whether our first child
was adopted or biological, we contacted the necessary agencies.
Our decision was to adopt a baby girl from India and as a result
we waded through an ocean of bureaucratic and political red
tape. The entire aura around us was one of excitement and anticipation.
Only one more document remained to be processed by the Immigration
Department. Then something went wrong. We were informed that
it would be another week or two before the necessary visa for
our "soon to be" daughter would be issued.
Having waited for seven months,
a delay of a week or two seemed inconsequential, except for
one thing. On the very day we were notified of the delay a telegram
arrived from India. It stated that a baby girl, a few weeks old,
was available for adoption and that we should travel to Bombay
as soon as possible to complete the formalities of the adoption
process. This was the notice for which we had been waiting.
Everything was in order except for that one visa document. Only
one week to go and we would be on a plane to India. Both my
wife and I were of East Indian descent and this would be our
first visit to India.
At first, logic dictated that
all was well and that in a short while, we would be the parents
of a fine baby girl. But all was not well. That night I could
hardly sleep. My sleeplessness could have been attributed to
excitement and anticipation, but that was not so. Instead there
was an uneasy feeling within me, a strange premonition of disaster.
I was filled with overwhelming apprehension.
As the day progressed, the
feelings of anxiety increased. I examined the situation but
could find no reason to justify such uneasiness. Try as I could,
however, it was impossible to dismiss them. I felt that I must
leave for India within twenty-four hours. I expressed this resolution
to those close to me. Without exception, they all advised that
I wait until the final papers were processed. It would only
be another week, they reasoned. I had waited so long, surely
a few more days would not make much difference.
I called my attorney and asked
if he thought it was necessary to wait for the final papers.
His response was a resounding "Yes." My business associates
tried to talk some sense into me. "Why, John?" asked
one of the wiser ones, "Why the rush? I have never seen
you like this before." I could not explain the strange urgency
I felt. Finally, in desperation, I phoned the Immigration Department
and asked for the officer handling the case. "Please, could
you speed up the process?" I asked.
"We are doing the best
we can," was the reply.
"I would really like to
leave for India tomorrow. When the visa is ready, would you
please air mail it to me in Bombay? I will leave you the address.
I'd be grateful for your help."
"We are sorry, but we
cannot do that. You will have to wait until everything is in
"What would happen if
I leave tomorrow?"
"There would be longer
and more serious delays. We would suggest that you comply with
our procedures and wait until the papers are ready. Thank you
for calling. Good-bye."
Experience had taught me to
trust my feelings even when I did not understand them. I, therefore,
disregarded everyone's advice, called the airlines and made reservations
for a flight leaving the following day. When I told my wife
what I had done, she too thought that I must have lost my mind.
"Why not wait for another week?" she asked, "Everyone
seems to think it would be best."
"You wait if you want
to," I replied, "I am going to India to get our daughter."
I had never spoken to her in that tone before.
"But the papers and final
approval?" she protested.
Reluctantly my wife agreed
to humor me. The following day found us hurtling across the
Atlantic on a 747 jet, the first leg of our journey to the mystical
land of India. Exhaustion finally forced me into a deep sleep.
When I awoke, we were somewhere over the continent of Africa.
I was surprised and relieved to discover that the feelings of
doom and despair had vanished.
I began to reflect on my behavior
of the past day, but I did not regret my actions. It was almost
midnight when we touched down at the International Airport in
Bombay. What a joy it would be to see our daughter the next day.
First thing in the morning,
we were off to the agency. We introduced ourselves to the manager
and waited anxiously while they went for the baby girl who was
to be our daughter. There are times when seconds could seem
like hours and this was one such time. Finally a nurse arrived
carrying a little bundle. As we looked at the baby wrapped in
the bundle, a sense of shock overcame us. Our child, whom we
had imagined to be a healthy baby weighing approximately six
or seven pounds, was an emaciated little thing, perhaps slightly
over three pounds. She seemed to be suffering from malnutrition
and among other things was covered with sores. Only her eyes
moved as they followed us around the room. "This baby is
very sick," said the nurse, "the doctor thinks that
she may not live through the day. Would you like to consider
taking another one?"
Anger, resentment and fear
sprung up within me. After all the preparation and hope, to
finally be faced with the possibility of losing the child. No!
We had not gone through everything for this. Something had guided
me, against the dictates of reason, to be where I was at that
moment. The infant must not die. Now I understood why I felt
impelled to leave for India when I did. A day or two later and
the child surely would have died. By being here, I was able
to do whatever was possible to save her life. "No!"
I fairly shouted,"we'll take our baby. This way, she has
at least one chance in a thousand. Leaving her here, she has
Without hesitation we asked
for the necessary documents and signed them. Quickly we left
with the little bundle in my arms. We went directly to the office
of a pediatrician whom friends back in the States had recommended.
While examining the child, the pediatrician asked, "Do
you know what you have done? This child is deathly ill. I don't
know if she'll make it." The desperation in my heart was
being replaced by a strong determination and a sense of purpose.
I looked at the doctor almost in tears and pleaded, "Please,
do all that you can."
It was impossible to get the
child into a hospital because of local rules and customs. With
the help of the good doctor we were able to obtain the services
of an additional doctor and two nurses. Fortune smiled on us
for one of the nurses was a woman who had once attended to the
Mahatma Gandhi. She was full of compassion and competency and
understood our plight. That night, in a hotel suite overlooking
the Arabian Sea, the nurses and doctors worked feverishly to
keep our child alive. We made it through the night.
Days ran into weeks and the
child gradually improved though she was far from being out of
danger. Because I had left the United States without the proper
visa papers, the red tape compounded itself. We were informed
by the American Embassy in Bombay that a new application for
a visa had to be made and sent for approval. In the meantime,
rumor had it that the Indian Government was about to declare
emergency rule. There was unrest in the streets. As if we didn't
have enough to worry about, we were displaced from our hotel
to make room for some wealthy, visiting Arabs. We found new
lodging in a small, rundown hotel until we were able to return
to our first one. Money was running short, the child's life
was still in danger and the other problems seemed overwhelming.
Back in the United States,
some friends and influential business associates had heard of
our plight and had petitioned our government leaders to do something
about it. However, we could not wait. We had to take the baby
back to the States for proper medical care. Without a visa for
the child it was impossible for us to get her on board a plane,
and even if we did, there would be problems with our Immigration
Department when we arrived home. Yet, where there's a will,
there's a way. Somehow, with the help of a few Indian friends
and the guidance of my inner voice, we managed to pass through
the various check points at the airport in Bombay and literally
"smuggled" the child aboard a plane bound for the
United States. Finally, we were on our way home.
Arriving in New York after
a long and tiring flight, we were apprehensive that the Immigration
Department would deport the child for a lack of a visa. Again
fortune smiled on us. There was no need to worry. Our friends
had prevailed on our government to make an exception and we
were welcomed by a delegation. A visa was issued on the spot.
We named our daughter Malika.
With proper medical care she continued to make excellent progress.
Today, Malika is a happy, healthy young woman. She seemed to
remember very little of her early years and has completed a
degree in business administration at the university nearby.
But every once in a while when I look into her beautiful dark
eyes, I relive the steps that brought her to us. Had I not followed
the strange feelings of urgency to leave for India on that day,
many years ago, my daughter would not be here today.
Many of the greatest minds
on earth have testified to the "still, small voice"
within. It is an ancient saying and well worth repeating, that
before the demand is made, the supply is available. To become
aware that we have all we need to solve our problems we must
follow certain simple guidelines. First, there must be quiet
times, alone times. It is in the quietness of our being that
we hear a whisper directing us to a path of greater fulfillment.
Take time for yourself. A five minute period, once in the morning
and then again in the evening, will prove very useful. Surely
all of us could find ten minutes in a twenty-four hour day.
Become quiet and feel the life-force flow through you.
Next, use the gifts that are
all around you. Music is one such gift. It has healing and calming
properties. There is hardly a soul who has not, at one time
or another, been soothed by the sounds of music. Nature helps
to make you more aware of yourself and more conscious of your
own validity. A walk through the woods or a stroll alongside
a stream would remove your focus from the things that trouble
you. Simply leaning against a tree and breathing slowly will
assist in the centering and balancing of your body, mind and
There are books. Everything
that you ever need to know is written somewhere in a book. Instead
of only just listening to the late night news, spend fifteen
minutes reading some inspirational material. One good book could
raise your awareness to such a level that you are motivated
to take the few additional steps you may not have taken and
thus solve the very problem that seemed unsolvable. I get letters
and calls frequently from people who have read my books. There
is a common thread in their messages. They wanted me to know
that my books have changed their lives. Sometimes, from the
depth of despair, I, too, have been moved to take the first
feeble steps to success because of a story or a sentence I found
in a book.
Become more and more aware
of the great possibilities that lie within you. Learn to trust
your feelings. Tune in to yourself and follow the gentle urgings
you find there. Like anything else, it takes practice and a
small measure of self-discipline. Your intuition becomes stronger
as you exercise it, so keep practicing.
At first, it may seem very
ordinary and even boring. But as you keep monitoring your feelings
and trusting them, you will begin to notice that you are being
led in directions that are rewarding. It does not matter how
complex your life may appear to be, the spirit within you is
capable of assisting you to solve all your problems. The information
will be given to you but you will have to make the decision
as to what to do with it.