Before and After the Next Step

From the beginning of adulthood, my desire has been to improve the quality of my life. For the last 25 or 30 years, I’ve wanted to help people improve their lives too, especially those who’ve experienced or could experience a similar set of circumstances as I have. It took me an incredibly long time to get to this point of understanding, to push beyond the fear that became my greatest obstacle, in order to deliver the message I realized I am here to deliver.

The window of opportunity to testify will only be open for so long. Because I am not privy to the length of time this opportunity will last, a sense of urgency is now upon me. So, I decided to express the message that I have been living and to encourage all who would listen to consider its effect on their own lives, especially those in the early stages of life.

My disclaimer is necessary, uncomplicated and straight forward: There is no new information herein. But I would suggest there may be new and very important ways of looking at this or any information; old, new, used or recycled.

“The Next Step” is a way of thinking, visualizing and applying ourselves to learning a process of choosing how we approach each day. It’s about us, and about learning how to live a life of contentment, prosperity, and joy. It’s about listening to the eternal voice in our own hearts and not the recorded message promulgated by Wall Street, the government or anyone other than the creator of all being within. Maybe there are alternate versions of how life should be replaying in our minds, over and over and over again. This communication is an encouragement to discover the essence of your life, and then do everything in your power to go out to live it, and live it with abandon!

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Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash

The Process

Everyone knows there is birth and there is death. In between those two points on the life-continuum is a very large uncertain gap. From a perspective of this life, we have no choice when we are born and to whom we are born and with the exception of those who decide to end their lives prematurely we also have no choice as to when or how we will pass through this life. Which brings me to the question of what goes on in between the birth and death; what goes on in the gap?

We can learn from history what went on in the gap in the lives of others. We can learn the decisions and the impact of those decisions on the decision makers themselves and those people close enough to them to be impacted. There is enough recorded history on almost every subject under the sun to give us some wisdom as to how we should proceed and how the influence of the decisions we make will affect us and others.

Even with knowing all that has gone on before us, can we really say with certainty that we will obtain the same results as those that have gone on before us? Can we even really say that we will reach our own desired results? Again, if we are honest with ourselves the answer would have to be no. So what do we do with this span of time in between birth and death? Some would say, “Just live it!” Agreed, but how? That, my friends, is what “The Next Step” is all about.

We all come into this world with different qualities, traits, talents; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. With all of the variables involved in growing we couldn’t possibly know how the gap of time in between life and death will play out, could we? My answer is no, not with 100 percent certainty. But I fervently believe that we can play at the game of life with the odds in our favor. We can determine the outcome of our lives in the gap should we be fortunate enough to consciously see it (life) through in our minds first from beginning to end.

Said another way; we may not know the number of our days, but in large part, we can determine the quality of those very same days by following a philosophy rooted deeply in the very fabric of our being. In my humble opinion living in between the two extremes on life’s continuum is a natural process; one that I believe will deliver us to a place of joy, happiness, and above all contentment.

Notice, nowhere in the above statement do I indicate that living is easy. Nor do I say that life must be hard. There are many events which are absolutely out of our control. Again, nothing new here, but how you handle what comes your way will be new to you. Experience is part of the process. Experience is the gel, the initial stage of thoughts manifesting into form. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it always is. To me, knowing that there is a forward brings great peace. It, of course, is a choice or more appropriately, I think, a series of choices we make. If we are aware of our own consciousness those choices are more productive in moving our energy in the direction of filling in the gap with great joy for us and for those around us! After all, who wants their life to be out of sync with the very essence of life?

So, all that being said, there are a number of steps that we can explore and employ to keep us moving in the direction of living a happy, healthy and productive existence here on mother Earth.

In her beautifully written and authentic and vulnerable article, Camilla Morris gives us a few tips about manifesting dreams. Thanks, Camilla, for helping me illustrate the concept and for sharing your experience. It has played a huge part in confirming the inspiration for this and other stories I tell myself and others!

One of the techniques I adopted is explained here by Harvard Professor Shawn Achor. I used it to create more gratitude in my life. It is another step by step process that, over the years, has given me a more fulfilling perspective. It did not change my immediate circumstances, but it absolutely changed how I felt about them. I hope it does the same for you!

I am grateful for the time you invested in reading this piece.


This article was originally published in Hubpages on 09/01/11, updated on 07/06/13 and rewritten here. All rights reserved.

A believer in Lifelong Learning and Collaborative Wisdom, remembering Who I AM through essay, story, and poetry. Listening for narratives that nurture Life.

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