Fireside
updated 12/18/2005 6:59:34 PM ET 2005-12-18T23:59:34

Aside from the celebrity for being one of the oldest new moms, Aleta St. James is an internationally acclaimed emotional healer and life coach.

Weaving together her own dramatic story of inspiration, success stories from her clientele, and lessons from her journeys to spiritual "power spots," Aleta St. James' new book, "Life Shift" deals with how to transform feelings of failure, frustration, doubt, and loneliness into a creative power that becomes a force in attracting joy, fulfillment, success, and love.

Read an excerpt, below.

1952, Brooklyn, N.Y. — There is a constant theme that runs through my life’s desires. When I was growing up in Brooklyn, I loved my family and wanted to please them so much that I was terrified of their disapproval. This fear of being unloved if I wasn’t a “good girl” began when I was very young and continued throughout my life. At the same time, my mother raised me to be an independent spirit who was allowed to follow her dreams. This dichotomy led me to focus on achieving dreams that were always about making others happy.

I think that I got my imaginative spirit from my mother: She had always dreamed of being an actress and was a hit in amateur productions at our local church. Because my merchant seaman father was usually gone on one long voyage or another, my mother was left to fill the role of disciplinarian, along with her other familial duties. When my brother, sister, or I misbehaved, Mom would conjure up a bigger-than-life character she called “the Brownie.” She would say, “Go hide,” and in a loud voice call out, “Oh, Brownie!” This invisible but very awesome presence would immediately respond in an even louder, deeper voice. “Hello, Aleta. This is the Brownie. Have you been a good girl?” Of course I’d always say, “Yes, Brownie.” Invariably, the Brownie’s voice would respond, “Hm-m-m-m-m . . . that’s not what I heard.” And in a low, slow voice, he’d say, “I am so sad! I hate to do this, but I am going to have to punish you, Aleta.” Then I’d lose a privilege, or my new toy would mysteriously disappear, even if I took great pains to hide it beforehand. Once, the beloved Cracker Jack ring that I was wearing disappeared from my finger as I slept. I could never figure out how the Brownie managed that one!

It didn’t take me long to realize that if I followed the rules and did what my mother wanted, I’d be rewarded, but if I didn’t, I’d soon suffer the consequences. That’s when I began being a “people pleaser.” I became the president of my class, head cheerleader, won the National Drama Championships, helped every single person who had a problem, and was the best, most understanding girlfriend in the world to many a needy young man. I would become anxious if someone didn’t like me. And no matter how hard I tried, I never felt I had done enough, was good enough, or could trust being loved unless I was doing something for other people.

My mother’s dream for me was that I would stay in Brooklyn, live in a neighborhood close to her, marry a lawyer or doctor, and then move the whole family (including her) out to the suburbs. Just as Mother must have felt, my desire to entertain and make people happy led me to dream of the stage. Yet unlike my mother, I chose to follow my dream. While the last thing I wanted to do was hurt my family, I had to gather my courage and leave home to become an actress.

The result was more surprising than I expected. I braced myself for the rejection and disapproval of my family. Instead, much to my mother’s credit, she got over me going to drama school in England and ceased pulling her hair out and raving in Italian about her “ungrateful patsa daughter running away from home and doing the nude scene in Hair.” Eventually, she threw in her support 200 percent and was my biggest champion. I realized that I deserved the right to pursue my dreams, and I didn’t need the approval of others to follow them. Without even knowing it, I had life shifted.

As soon as I started on my own path of realization, I immediately began working with other people. My desire to make others happy continued as I dreamed of becoming a spiritual healer. In my mid-twenties I learned how to heal myself, and then heal others. Again, I followed my heart, did the hard work by using my dynamic and magnetic energies, and was able to manifest this dream. There was a natural connection between my two dreams, which continues today. I use my theatrical talents when I am giving seminars, speaking to the public, appearing on TV, or making videos and CDs to get out my message.

Most recently, I dreamed of becoming a mother. This time, I didn’t care what people thought of my decision: I was going to have a baby in my fifties no matter what anyone else said. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. As I went about fulfilling that dream, people were more gracious than I ever could have imagined. People I hardly knew seemed to come out of nowhere with extraordinarily generous baby gifts or offers of time and assistance. My willingness to go after my dream touched others to want to be a part of the magic of seeing a dream come true.

Now I understand my destiny: to teach others to let go of their fears that they will stop being safe, loved, and cherished if they defy other people’s wishes. I have learned that people will always come around once you have the courage to identify your desires. Everyone is inspired by other people’s bravery. By listening to my heart, doing the work, and following my dreams, I found my destiny.

Desire Creates the Dream that Leads to Your Destiny
Maybe you wish you could lose weight and be healthier and more energetic, or maybe you want to learn photography and take pictures of people and places that fascinate you. Maybe you want to travel, go back to school, or move across the country and start life afresh. You might desire a new job or a new relationship. You might dream of becoming rich or famous, or both. No dream is too small or too big to realize. This book will help you identify what you truly want and help you get it.

The words desires, dreams, and destiny are not interchangeable. To me, they mean very different things. Anything you can easily identify is probably just the tip of a much larger dream that, together, we will be able to uncover. Those smaller dreams are really your desires: the things or ideas that you want right now. Over time, your desires will create or drive your dream, which then creates your destiny. For example, my desire to make other people happy led me to fulfill many dreams—becoming an actress, a healer, a mother. But my destiny is to teach others what I have learned along the way.

Your journey begins by first identifying your desires, whatever they may be. If those around you can’t support your vision or accept your choices, so be it. Your courage may bring up their own deeply hidden feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, but those are their issues. More important, don’t let their insecurities feed your own. It will take all the courage you have to do this work, so don’t let other people’s fear reactivate yours. All you need right now is to make the decision to let the fires within identify the inner voice that’s urging you on.

Desires
True desire comes from a place deep within that connects you to the voice of your soul. It is an emotional longing that, when fulfilled, urges you to love and be loved. Your desires bring you joy, whether it is a yearning for greater creative expression, romantic love, or the ability to be connected to a group that gives you the feeling of affinity and belonging. You can recognize a desire because when you think of it, you feel contentment and exhilaration. When you are disconnected from it, you feel that you are severed from the essence of your true self.

The energy of desire is the creative force that propels the power of your dreams into the momentum of manifestation and keeps you on the path of fulfilling your destiny. Each of us has the potential to go beyond where we are. Our desires challenge us not to get stuck in the past but to propel ourselves forward, always creating new possibilities and forms of fulfillment for ourselves and others. For example, your desire to be a mother can lead you to find a committed partner, get married, and start a family.

When Karen first came to see me, she was a successful, highly paid advertising executive. As a single mother taking care of her three-year-old twins, Karen couldn’t give up her income. She was emotionally torn because she experienced deep feelings of guilt every time she had to leave her children. By the time she came home at night, she was so exhausted from her high-powered, stressful job that she could barely muster up enough energy to play with her children before she put them to bed. Karen knew that these were the important, formative years, and that she was missing a very big part of this precious time having to work to support the family. She felt trapped and frustrated. She came to me crying, “I wish I could stay at home and just be with my kids.”

I told Karen that her desire to stay home was the exact emotional energy she needed. At first she became very defensive and began to tell me how impossible that idea was, being a single parent with huge financial responsibilities. I asked her, “What do you love to do above everything?”

“Cooking for my family” was her immediate reply. Karen loved having her family and friends enter her home and feel embraced by the smells of delicious food coming from the kitchen. When she felt particularly stressed, she often kneaded dough and baked magnificent breads and extraordinary desserts to release the tension. She knew that these creative activities brought her back to her center.

I asked her to close her eyes and describe a dream she might have of a happy and fulfilled life in which she could have it all. At first Karen was at a loss; she just couldn’t imagine it. I asked her, “If you could imagine exactly what you wanted, what would it be?”

It took her a few long, deep breaths, and then all of a sudden she blurted out, “To have a job that I loved doing that would financially support my family so I could stay home and spend more time with my twins. That’s what I want!”

I said, “Now close your eyes again and ask yourself if there were no limitations in your mind, how you would imagine yourself making an income around something you really love, like cooking and baking?”

Karen thought for a while and then excitedly said, “I could write a cookbook about the art of home cooking and entertaining. I’d love to inspire women to cook for their families and friends with easy, delicious recipes...and maybe start a catering and baking business from my home.”

Karen and I worked together for a long time, and finally her dream took form out of her desire. Karen activated her alpha and Magnetic Female energies and began to attract everything she needed into her life. She developed the courage to leave her job, built her catering business, wrote a very successful cookbook, and became a well-known culinary artist sought after by the media. Most important, Karen overcame great odds and manifested her dream of spending quality time with her children.

Accessing Your Desires
Some of your desires may have been clear to you all along. I have always known I was hardwired to entertain others. As a child, I loved to perform for my family and friends, making them laugh with stories I would create and act out. When I was four, I was in the chorus in my cousin Jimmy’s children’s theater—I remember belting out “Oh, let the sun shine in!” with my whole heart and soul. I graduated to playing Glamour Puss in a murder mystery called The Nine Girls, and later, at age twelve, I performed in a summer-stock theater in Plymouth, Massachusetts. I’ve continued to act, direct, and write throughout my life.

Perhaps you haven’t identified your desires or figured out what your dream might be. That’s okay. You can start small by getting in touch with one desire and then doing something about it. For example, let’s say you love reading to children, and you enjoy watching the smiles on their faces as they listen to your voice. You can volunteer at a local library or give your neighbor a much-needed break by watching her kids. The fact that you took that first small step is enough to begin to ignite your energy, which will ultimately propel you forward to realizing your dreams.

When you live your life to the fullest every day by doing the small things that engage your talents, you make your corner of the world that much brighter, and you remind yourself of what really makes you feel alive.

Revealing Your Desires

Take a relaxed, normal breath in and then exhale. Imagine in your mind’s eye that there is a golden sun directly in front of you. Feel its warm rays penetrating your body as you inhale. As you exhale, release any stress, anxiety, or anger that you might be feeling back into the sun and watch each negative emotion burn and disintegrate in the light. As you continue breathing, feel this golden light filling up your heart and ask yourself, “If I could have anything I desire without placing any limitations on it, what would that desire be?” Listen to what your heart begins to tell you. Just allow your desires to come to the surface and make themselves known.

Once you have identified your desires, write them down in a journal or on an index card.

Now that you have recognized your desires, don’t talk yourself out of going after what you really want. I promise that you were not meant to have a miserable existence, doing what you hate to do or never really being successful at work or in a relationship. You deserve to be happy. How amazing will your life be once you discover what you excel at or find yourself in a healthy, loving, committed partnership? Until you start going after what you desire, you won’t truly be happy, because you are not following the deep longings of your soul.

Positive and Negative Desires
There are often two forces that propel us toward our dreams: I call them positive and negative desires. A positive desire is a longing force inside of us that connects us to our higher self, urging us to have greater self-expression and fulfillment. It has a very magnetic quality of connection to it. When you have manifested it, you feel fulfillment because you are satisfying your destiny, your purpose. The following are good indicators that your desires are positive.

Take a look at your journal or index card where you just wrote down your desire. Then ask yourself:

  • Does my desire make me feel energized and happy when I think of manifesting it?
  • Will fulfilling my dreams challenge me to go beyond where I am, to create greater possibilities in my life?
  • Will this desire positively impact me and other people?
  • Do I need to call on the help of a higher spiritual source to create it?

If you have answered yes to any of these statements, you are in the positive desire zone.

Negative desires come from a void inside of ourselves that we can never fill. These types of desires can come from feeling the hollow spot in your heart because something is missing and no matter how busy you are it keeps nudging you to recognize what it is and to fill the void. The Tibetans refer to this as the realm of the Hungry Ghost. No matter how much you feed this ravenous creature, it never feels full or satisfied. It’s important to know whether your desires are positive or negative so that you can avoid nurturing the insatiable Hungry Ghost.

The Hungry Ghost
The emotional energies of envy, greed, insecurity, selfishness, fear of not being enough or having enough drive the desires and dreams of the Hungry Ghost. People find themselves in the realm of the Hungry Ghost when they let their insecurities and fears disconnect them from themselves and their core energy. For instance, the feeling that in order for you to have something, you have to take it away from someone else, feeds into your fear, which creates further negative desires.

The Hungry Ghost also represents the addictive side of human nature. Instead of acknowledging and healing feelings of low self-esteem, you might find yourself trying to overcompensate or numb the pain with food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, or any other addictive behavior. These habits offer only momentary relief. Worse, they trick you into continually repeating and augmenting these behaviors, which is why this ghost is never satisfied.

Negative desire can also be generated by one’s peers and environment. The parental lingo for this is peer pressure, but even grown-ups can fall victim to this strong desire to be just like everyone else and have what they have. This type of negative desire ultimately comes from a place of discontentment. While it can be a catalyst that allows you to create larger opportunities for yourself and partake in bigger rewards, you will never be able to enjoy your riches until you are able to shift this catalyst into a more positive light.

The following are indicators of negative desire. Check these against the desire you just recorded:

  • Are my desires born out of hurt and revenge?
  • Are my desires motivated by proving that I am good enough?
  • Are my desires coming out of a sense of obligation or trying to get someone else’s approval?
  • Are my desires coming out of feeling inadequate?
  • Am I envious of what other people have?
  • When I’ve manifested what I desire, will I still feel unfulfilled?

If you have answered yes to any of these statements you are in the negative desire zone.

Unfortunately, negative desires are extremely powerful, and often attractive, at least on the surface. Fear of feeling invisible and not being loved can drive someone to be a great performer, a powerful politician, or a famous sports figure. The fear of being poor has propelled many to become CEOs, barons of Wall Street, and presidents of banks, in positions where they amass great fortunes. But unless desire and longing come from your soul and not the realm of the Hungry Ghost, you will never feel fulfilled and satisfied. What you have accomplished will give you only momentary pleasure and joy until the longing for the next thing begins.

The intention behind the desire is what categorizes it as either positive or negative. Most of us are initially motivated by negative desires because we feel like we have to overcompensate. Somehow, we are not enough. For example, if you recently ended a relationship with someone, you might desire to lose twenty-five pounds and show off by dating some handsome “star” so that your last beau will eat his heart out. Eventually, you’ll realize that even though you’ve lost the physical weight, you’re still carrying around the burden of the emotional weight of being hurt by the breakup.

In order to realize your desires and feel good about them, you have to shift negative desires to positive ones. This shift can occur only when you are completely honest with yourself. Honest enough to recognize your negative motives and the hurt they create. Remember, this is not a mind game, it is a shift in the way you manifest your energy. To transform what was once a negative desire into a positive desire, think about the following scenarios. You can still want to lose weight. However, instead of spending your energy thinking about how angry your ex will be because you look so great, use that energy to think about how fabulous you will feel because you love yourself and are happy to be moving on with your life. Instead of going after a particular man who you feel is a trophy that will make others envy you, connect with a deeper desire to find your soul mate, whether it’s that man or someone else. Success may be the best revenge, but when you let go of your need to get back at someone who hurt you, you can embrace your desire and create the dream that will truly make you happy.

Release your energy to create your dreams, not to block the dreams of others. Take the step to recognize your negative desire. See it in your hand: a beautiful butterfly ready to take flight. Say to it, “I release you in love and light,” and then watch it flutter off. Now your positive energy of desire is available.

Finding Your Deepest Dreams
Your desires are what inspire your dreams. They come to life as you get in touch with and craft your desires into tangible realities. For example, the desire to be free can cause you to dream of having a job that would create financial rewards and structures that allow you to make choices that stimulate your adventurous spirit. The desire not to be beholden to anyone can create a dream of having a life that supports a strong sense of self-reliance and personal power.

Dreams are magical; they emerge from a place of hope and desire deep inside of us. They are the possibilities of life that imprint themselves on the blank canvas of your future. Dreams are messages from your deepest self, whispering to your heart what you were meant to do, to accomplish, and to become. They are catalysts. They give you the platform to regenerate and reinvent your life. No matter what type of challenging circumstance you are faced with, dreams will keep you moving forward.

Many people think that achieving their goals is the same thing as manifesting their dreams. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Goals are alpha driven and come from a mental concept: “What do I need to do to accomplish what I want?” Dreams, on the other hand, are magnetically inspired. They need to be created out of our imagination and serve as the bigger picture of what we long to connect to and have in our lives.

Dreams cause you to go beyond your mental and emotional limitations and experiences. They expand your past beliefs about what you feel you can have and deserve to receive. They challenge you to use your own will to succeed, while having the faith and belief in a higher spiritual source that is there to help you manifest what your heart desires. Dreams impart the lesson that all you have to do is ask and hold fast to the intention of what you want to manifest. They challenge you to become single-minded, to not let negative thoughts stop you from doing what is needed to live your dreams.

No matter what passage of life’s time march you find yourself in—your twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties and beyond—it is important that you keep your dreams alive! Comedian George Burns had a deep desire to perform, to make people laugh. This dream kept him going well into his nineties. He said, “Age to me means nothing,” and “I can’t die; I’m booked.” He was vitalized by the incredible energy of his desire to express himself, and he was living his dream: to entertain people.

First you have to identify what your dream means to you. Dreams and desires should connect you with your spirit, your deepest yearning to experience love and connection, and to affect the world for the better. So for right now, you may simply want to find the time to run a marathon or play with your kids more often, travel or be a mentor to a young person. If you know there’s something that will bring you fulfillment and joy, acknowledge it, go after it, and shape it into a dream that encompasses this as well as your other desires.

It’s only natural for our dreams to change over the years, but the deeper dream that drives us toward our destiny remains the same. When I was younger, I recognized that my deepest wish was to touch people on such a profound level that they would be inspired to open their hearts to what they wanted and go for it no matter what. Whatever profession I’ve had—acting, directing, healing—I have been able to do just that.

Discovering Your Dream

Take out your journal or a pad of paper and pen so that you can fill in the answers to these key questions. They will help you connect the desires you brought up in the last exercise to a bigger dream—a dream that, when you pursue it, will lead you further on your path of destiny.

  1. When was the last time you felt genuinely yourself and exactly where you ought to be?
  2. What makes your heart start pumping and your creativity kick into gear?
  3. What makes you feel younger and more alive than you usually feel?
  4. What desires keep coming to the surface no matter how much you try to ignore them?
  5. Do you ever feel like you’ve just plugged in to something big and have an unlimited source of energy? When does this happen?
  6. Is there anything you do that is so exciting it makes even the most difficult sacrifices seem insignificant?

Look at your answers and find ways to remind yourself of these dreams throughout the day. Write them on Post-it notes that you stick up around your home. Make a screensaver on your computer that will flash the words before your eyes. Write them on an index card that you can use as a bookmark when you read every night before bed, or put the index card in your pocket or wallet and pull it out several times a day to remind yourself of the dreams you have identified.

For those of you who have lost your faith, I am here to tell you to get back on board; your dreams can come true. For those of you who have never dared to have a dream for yourself because you felt you weren’t important enough or felt that your dreams were too big to accomplish, too impossible—forget it! I am a living testament that you can dare to dream. Nothing is impossible when you set your intention on what you want and work with your spiritual energy. That’s what I did to manifest my biggest dream, even when people thought I was crazy to want to have children at my age, and as a single parent. We are all put on this earth to live a life of joy and fulfillment by awakening and igniting our true desires and manifesting our dreams. If I could do it, so can you.

When you focus your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energies on creating a dream, you set an intention that sends out an energy force into the universe. Your dream and your intention surrounding it are an energy force of creation. It acts as a tuning fork that draws to it what it needs to help it manifest. As if by magic, it creates a magnetic force that draws the circumstances and people to support and give energy to the creation of your dreams. Serendipitous opportunities and events start to occur that you could never have planned.

Celine’s Neglected Dream
Celine was someone who had been ignoring her dreams for years. She was a strikingly beautiful woman in her mid-forties, with long, flowing black hair that cascaded down her back and contrasted with her porcelain skin and piercing violet eyes. She came to see me in the hope that I could help her find that special something that would give spark to her life and make her feel enthusiastic again.

Celine looked at me with sadness in her eyes as she told me that she had always wanted to become a professional dancer. As a child, she performed in front of her family every chance she got, imagining that she was on the Broadway stage. However, her mother’s disdaining looks made it very apparent that she thought Celine’s dreams of becoming a dancer were frivolous. But it was what Celine wanted more than anything in the world, and it broke her heart that her mother didn’t approve. Still, Celine wouldn’t give up, and when she was sixteen, she landed a job in the chorus line of a Broadway show.

To her deep disappointment, her mother never came to see her perform. After that, she started suffering from anxiety attacks before auditions, and though she forced herself to show up at the calls, she had trouble focusing and became increasingly embarrassed by her inability to do her best. By the time she was twenty-five, she met and fell in love with a wonderful man who asked her to marry him and give up show business. Despite the fact that she was a talented dancer, auditioning had become so anxiety provoking that when she fell in love and had the opportunity to marry, it seemed an easy choice. Celine let go of her dream and hung up her dancing shoes.

After years of being a good wife and traveling companion to her husband, Celine began to feel unfulfilled and restless. Even though she loved her husband, she longed to do something to express herself creatively and define herself separately from her marriage. But she was at a loss as to what that might be.

I intuitively knew that Celine had great dancing ability, even though I had never seen her perform. I suggested that she investigate competitive ballroom dancing, an activity she could enjoy that included her desire to dance and meet new people. Another one of my former clients was an amazing ballroom dancer. She had won the U.S. championship in Latin dance and had opened up her own studio. I knew that she would be a great teacher for Celine, and would inspire her to become a national champion herself.

At first, Celine looked at me as if I had ten heads. “Who goes back into dancing in their mid-forties?”

I said, “You do! You’re talented, you’ve kept in great shape, and I know the perfect dancing coach that you would love. But you have to believe you can do it!”

Celine thought I was crazy at first, but then she decided that maybe I was on to something. She followed my suggestion, started taking lessons with my other client, and reconnected with her love of dancing. After a few months she was up for her first competition, but a week before the event all her insecurities came to the surface and a pestering negative voice said, “You’re not going to remember the routine. Everyone is going to laugh at you. What makes you think you can do this at your age?”

She came back to me, anxious, overwhelmed, and feeling like she had made a mistake. I told Celine that dancing in front of other people stirred up a fear her mother had instilled in her all those years ago: that she wasn’t good enough to dance in public. It was the same performance anxiety that she had experienced right before she gave up her career to get married. I explained to her that the fears you don’t deal with will only come up again and again in other situations until you break through them. I showed Celine how fears create energy blocks, and until she let go of her fear of dancing in front of others, she would never be able to move her internal energy forward so that she could realize her dream of being a great dancer.

Celine decided not to drop out of the competition and began working with me to help her get in touch with her fears and release them so that she could overcome her performance anxiety. As she did this, the competitions became less intimidating for her, and by the end of the year she was winning first-place trophies. Not since she was a child had she felt such deep joy, and it showed in her dancing. No wonder she wowed the judges—she was letting her desire to dance drive her to realize her dream of being a great dancer, and the result was magical. Celine finally claimed who she was and was no longer concerned with her mother’s approval, or anyone else’s.

Follow Your Heart
Before Celine was able to life shift, she desperately sought her mother’s approval to validate her wish to dance. You too may not have been taught to give yourself permission to dream. Maybe you were taught to “be practical,” so you programmed yourself to try to achieve the things you thought you were supposed to achieve, and put aside what lit your fire within. You may feel obligated to live out your parents’ unfulfilled dreams and pursue society’s definition of success, so you go after what you have been told will bring you love, acclaim, and security. Maybe you figure that if you’re “good” and become a people pleaser, you’ll always be safe, loved, and cherished. But it’s not always the case. Regardless of the choices you make, there are unforeseeable circumstances that may alter your path.

We know this from 9/11 and the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2005. There’s no way to tell what the future holds for you. Every once in a while it’s a good idea to make a mental checklist of your dreams. Are the choices you are making in your life based on what you truly desire or on what’s making you feel safe? Have you let go of certain dreams because you are holding on to disappointments and are afraid of suffering pain again? Are your fears so great that you’re distracting yourself from your desires and stopping yourself from dreaming? The only real security is to stay connected to your desires and keep following your dream, creating and living from your full being.

Destiny
One of the biggest conflicts people struggle with is “What is my purpose?” It doesn’t matter how successful someone is or how much they have accomplished in their lives. There seems to be an underlying nagging feeling that is urging them on to do something more. I call this search the path to destiny. Destiny is one’s life purpose. It is where we are meant to go, the paths we are meant to follow, and the people we are meant to love.

Your desires are the motivating forces that work to help you build and manifest your dreams. Creating and living those dreams place you on your path of destiny. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream...” his desire was to free all people from the bondage of oppression. His dream was his vision of what the world would look like when he had satisfied that desire: Regardless of race, all people should have equal rights and access to good schools and good jobs, and they should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Because Dr. King went after his dream, he lived out his destiny. Pursuing his dream allowed him to keep his eyes on the prize even on the most difficult days.

Destiny doesn’t mean that you have no control over, or input in your life and that you can sit back and let things happen because everything is preordained. When you are on your path of destiny, you are participating 100 percent in creating your dreams and living your life’s purpose. What is predetermined is your potential, because we are all capable of reaching our destiny. It is your task to expand and grow in consciousness so that you can positively harness your energies to express and experience your destiny path.

On your journey you will find that every step, good or bad, is part of destiny’s path. It is our reaction to the obstacles that can derail us. These obstacles you may encounter along the way are expressly there for you to overcome. Some of these “bumps in the road” will actually help to create your destiny. Others are challenges you need to face in order to develop a stronger conviction in your dream.

Many of you may have already realized that your life adventure is not a straight path. You may have started off in business only to switch to something else ten years later. You may have decided to have a family, or retired. Each step of the way is leading you on destiny’s path. That is why it is so important not to be judgmental about another’s life choices. What may seem reckless and impractical to you may be the very choice that another person needs to make in order to fulfill their ultimate destiny.

Discovering our destiny also helps us evolve and aspire to a higher spiritual self and share our gifts with those around us. When we are following our path of destiny, positive signs from the universe show up at times, seemingly from left field. Money comes through for a project, you turn a corner and meet the person whom you eventually marry. You feel discouraged with the success of a project, and then magically all the pieces and players fall together to help bring it to fruition. These are not merely coincidences; these are forces we have drawn to us through our Magnetic Female energy.

You may be saying, “Aleta, I don’t have a destiny. I don’t even have a dream. I’m just a regular person.” I promise you, we all have a destiny. We all have desires that we can craft into a dream. It’s just that most of us aren’t taught to give ourselves the chance to think about what we want most. We become afraid and get distracted by what we think we ought to do, and we repress the voice that comes up from our soul. As a result, we can’t create our dream and start living our destiny.

Why are you here on this earth? What is your purpose? If you don’t know the answer, start by honoring the desires of your heart because whatever you do that excites you and makes you feel most alive is what will lead you to your destiny. If you really love children, your purpose might be to be a mom or to run a day-care center. If you love to help people, your purpose might be to teach or be a doctor or nurse. If you want to change the world we live in, you might find yourself drawn to doing environmental, political, or social work. I want you to start discovering your destiny now, with this exercise.

Determining Your Destiny

In order to properly complete this exercise, read through the entire exercise once. You may want to have someone else read it to you again while you are performing this visualization. Or you can read the exercise into a tape recorder and replay the tape whenever you are ready.

Take a deep breath in through your mouth. Exhale, breathing out with a sigh. Feel your whole body begin to relax. Inhale, imagining your lungs as a pitcher filling with water from the bottom up, and exhale. Breathe in and out slowly; feel each new breath revitalizing every cell in your body. As you exhale, let go of all worries and tensions. Feel your abdomen expanding as your breath goes deeper, and then exhale. Continue this breathing in an even, relaxed rhythm.

Close your eyes and imagine that you are now facing the Violet Temple of your desires and dreams, a temple that seems to be made entirely of translucent material. The walls and domed ceiling of the temple are luminescent, reflecting a soft violet light. You leave your shoes at the entrance to the temple and feel the moist coolness of its marble floors beneath your feet. As you walk up the steps and enter the temple, you see a violet flame of trust burning in the center of the room. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to be drawn to a place in the room that feels comfortable to you, and sit on a pillow. This is your power spot, your sacred space.

Focus your attention on the violet flame that is in the center of the room. As you gaze into this flame, take your left hand and place it on your heart center, the spot between your breasts. Feel the violet light penetrate this center, giving you a sense of warmth and calm. If you are experiencing any restless feelings, take a deep breath, hold it for a count of five, and then release it as you exhale.

Ask yourself if there are any disappointments, hurts, resentments, and betrayals that you are holding on to. Breathe in and out, letting these feelings come up and reveal themselves as you breathe. Do not try to change them, just let these negative thoughts exist, and speak as if you were talking to the person they are connected to: “I feel sad that you...” “I feel angry...” Continue until you are really in touch with any dark feelings of disappointment, hurt, sadness, and the resentments of lost dreams. Take a deep breath and hold those feelings for a count of five and then release. Repeat until your negative feelings have dissipated and you feel calmer.

Then take a deep breath, and exhale. Take another deep breath, and exhale. Place your left hand on your heart center. As you breathe in, imagine breathing in a violet ray of light and let it penetrate your heart center. Continue breathing evenly. Focus on your dreams and desires, and then ask yourself the following question: “If I had no limitations on fulfilling my longings and desires, what would I dream of?” Listen to what comes up, and then either take a mental note of it or write it down in your journal.

Place your right hand on your heart center and breathe your dreams into that center. Now think of someone that you love—your child, your beloved, your best friend, or even a favorite pet. Open your mind to this love and receive it without conditions.

Do this until you’re feeling a sense of peace and calm. Then ask yourself to free your imagination, and let your answers reveal themselves as you breathe the violet light of trust in and out.

Too many people think that destiny is some huge cosmic prize that goes only to a handful of very special people who change millions of lives during the course of their existence. The truth is that it’s not about the numbers of people you affect or the largeness of the legacy you leave behind. What’s important is that you get in touch with your unique set of marvelous talents, create your dream, point your feet in the right direction, and begin walking forward. When you do this, you will discover your destiny, and I promise you, it’s not an insignificant one. You have a unique purpose in this world.

I know a man who is a brilliant mathematician. He is not a tenured professor at a prestigious university, and he’s not a high-paid worker for a large corporation. He drives a bus. Some might say he’s an underachiever, but in my book, he is deeply dedicated to his dream. My friend really loves to solve mathematical problems in his head. This desire requires a lot of time spent just sitting and thinking, which he found that he can do throughout the day each time he pulls the bus up to a stoplight. He is content and mellow, able to support his family, and deeply fulfilled. His joy at being able to live his dream touches everyone in his life, from his wife to his kids, from his friends to the strangers who step onto his bus. If that’s not success, what is? He’s living out his destiny.

Release and Receive
The hardest part of unlocking your dreams is letting go. But that is exactly what you have to do in order to make them happen. Our alpha female nature has adapted to search for security by striving to control any situation, including our dreams. But we must remember that our dreams may be limited by our experiences. Staying in the alpha state of control and remaining attached to a specific plan takes you out of the creative power of the moment and the other options the universe can have in store for you.

Worse, if you can’t picture how a dream will manifest, you will assume that it can’t happen. Fears and anxieties can block our ability to use our innate energetic powers when we feel that our dreams are impossible and out of reach. You might begin to fear that you don’t have the ability or the resources to bring your desires to fruition, leaving you to bury your dreams until you can figure out how they will happen. Meanwhile, you are suffering the emotional consequences of not having what you long for. For example, if your dream is to have a wonderful relationship, get married, and have children, but you just went on yet another really bad date, your anxiety level will start to rise. You may begin to worry that this particular bad date is really an indication that you will be single for the rest of your life. So you might stop dating for a while or subconsciously distance yourself from men who are interested in getting to know you.

True dream manifestation is created by working as though your life depends on the outcome, while maintaining the perspec-tive that you are not in control of the results. Wanting something badly is not enough to make your dreams and desires realities. Neither is going after your dreams with only your alpha energy. In order to really manifest them, you need to set your intentions, feel that you deserve to receive, and let the universe take care of how it is going to happen.

I can guarantee that you will have your big, deep dream, although it may not come in the way you are currently imagining. Whether you are trying to own a house, have a job that you are truly excited about, start your own business, or become an artist, these dreams will most likely take you out of your comfort zone. You need more than ever to align your dynamic and magnetic energies. The key to harnessing these resources is for you to relax, let go, and detach from the outcome.

Think about what happens to your energy when you make a fist and squeeze tight. It gets bottled up and can’t flow. When you open your grip, you relax your energy, and it begins to flow, leaving your hand free to touch and receive what comes to you. This is the power of release. When you learn how to harness this power of release, you will no longer feel that you have to force solutions and brandish your will to make things happen. You will see that out of chaos, clarity will come, and you will be led to the channels you need to manifest your dreams.

When you use the power of release, you step into the unknown, which I know can be very frightening. But remember, you are not alone. When we detach from controlling the outcome, we are practicing divine indifference. Divine indifference frees up our energy and allows us to create from the idea of uncertainty, trusting that things will ultimately work out for the best. When you let go of your preconceived plan, you open up your most spiritual self to help you manifest out of the realm of possibility.

So much of my work rests on teaching my clients the power of release. To release your desires and dreams, you need to have your focus and intention on what you want to create. Start by getting in touch with your desire and then send out the energy and see how it manifests. For example, I wanted to have children, and I thought the way to go about fulfilling that dream was to fall in love, get married, and have babies. That didn’t happen. Instead, I had to switch my intention to think of alternative ways for me to make the dream come alive. Because I let go of the control of how it was to happen, I was ultimately blessed with my two beautiful babies.

Release the Day

It’s important to release the tensions, worries, resentments, and disappointments that can pile up during the day, and focus your energy on what you feel grateful for, even if the only good thing you can see is that the day is over. When you release the day, you will create a place of inner peace and calm that allows you to rest and use your energy during the night to rejuvenate, recharge, and begin to align yourself with positive manifesting energy.

When you are in bed and ready to turn off the lights, take three deep breaths, or breathe until you feel relaxed. Then begin to think about the things that might have upset you during the day, including any resentments, worries, fears, or insecurities about your future. Let them come up as you breathe, and exhale them out of your body. Visualize an open window, and as you exhale, release each of your negative feelings out the window and watch them drift away. When you are done, say to yourself, “I let go and release my day. Today was just a short-term situation. Tomorrow will be better.” Continue repeating this phrase until you feel that you are in a calmer and more peaceful place. Notice how your body begins to relax. Letting go opens us up to listen and receive the counsel of our inner voice: our higher spiritual self.

It is important to absorb the positive things that happen daily, and store their energy in your reserves. Take a deep breath and exhale. As you inhale again, acknowledge what you felt went well during the day and hold in that breath with a sense of gratitude and accomplishment, letting the feeling of it absorb and vibrate throughout your body. Release your breath, and say, “Thank you for the beautiful moments that happened today. I’m grateful for the joy and happiness I received and for everything I have accomplished."

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