inquire within: mining the gold from your “what if?” and “if only…”

                                               Unscrew the locks from the doors!                                                    Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

“You must go.”                                                                                                                 The Literary Book of Answers on my bookshelf beckoned to me, and my fingers intuitively opened the page to the heavenly answer I was seeking: “You must go.” (W. Somerset Maugham, “The Verger”)*

That was last Friday.  Two months earlier I learned about a writing conference where Wayne Dyer, one of my favorite authors, was to be the lead speaker and teacher. The cost was high (at least, according to my pocket book) and I wasn’t sure if it would really make an impact on my fledgling writing career.  I put the idea to the back burner and came back to it last Friday, one week before the conference. To my surprise, the price rose even higher because the cut-off date for early bird registration was over. If only…. What if…..I miss that Big chance of winning the book advance and getting my book published? I pondered over that little big word – IF.

Creatures of Habit and the Familiar                                                                              We all are creatures of habit and find comfort in what is familiar and tried.  For many of us, there comes a point when we are forced by default to do what we need to do. For some, divine discontent disguised in various costumes creeps in.  What do we do?  What can we do?

THE BEST PLACE TO START IS WHERE YOU ARE, RIGHT NOW.                             Not yesterday, not two years ago, not tomorrow.  Right now.

Many times, the questions are more important than the answers.                              Inquire within: What do you feel right now?  Mine it for the gold you’re seeking.

                      The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body.                                            – George Sheehan

Most of us have lost touch with our bodies, and with our natural ability to live in the moment. Our bodies are like our cars – they are the vehicles by which we accomplish what our mind wants us to do; they transport us towards our goals.  In order to be transported, we need to be present in body.  But most of us are constantly in autopilot, not realizing that we have eaten a savory meal without having enjoyed its flavor, or have driven our SUV past our freeway exit, or walked like a zombie to work.  For most of us, our daily lives have been taken over by technology and information. More and more people are losing the ability to focus on, albeit see, what’s in front of them – at home, at school, on the street, perhaps even at work.  It’s become common to see people talk or text on their phones while walking or driving.  It seems that multi-tasking has become synonymous with efficiency.  The question is: are we being efficient by multi-tasking, or are we slowly losing ourselves to technology and the habits that we form around it?

Let’s start from the very beginning.  Where is our attention focused on – is it a troubling conversation in the past, that event we are excited to attend tomorrow, or the food in front of us? What are we feeling right now?

Our Cache of Emotions                                                                                                   Our feelings are the representatives of our Guidance system, says The Law of Attraction.  It also says, the way we feel is the true indicator of our alignment with Source (God, Almighty Spirit, Universe, Allah, Yahweh). You’ve heard of the saying “we create our own beds,” regardless of the spiritual persuasion we might follow. We create our reality, according to our beliefs and emotions. When our emotions do not match our desire, we do not manifest that desire – a simple concept that is ironically difficult to practice, maybe even grasp.  For instance, “your desire for an improved financial condition cannot come to you if you often feel jealous of your neighbor’s good fortune, for the vibration of your jealous feelings (and your desire for improved financial condition – itals mine) are different vibrations” (Esther and Jerry Hicks, from Ask and It Is Given). In other words, if we share in the “feeling – e.g., the joy – of being wealthy” that our neighbor has, instead of feeling jealous, then we put ourselves in a better position to attract the likes of our desire. Esther and Jerry also say: “Every thought, every idea, every Being is vibrational…..The more you think about it, the more you vibrate like it; the more you vibrate like it, the more of that which is like it is attracted to you.”

This brings us back to the point of starting where we are. How do you feel right now?

Mining the Fear, etc.                                                                                                       Yes, Virginia, there’s that word again – fear. But first, let me invite you to do this little exercise.  Visualize the word “fear” and see in your mind’s eye how it looks.  Does it have colors, or is it black?  Does it feel warm or cold?  Are the letters straight or are they crumbling?  You can ask your own questions to tease your brain to take notice. The answers are not as important as the questions. What ever you see is just a picture.  And fear is only a picture in your mind’s eye.  It is not bigger than you.  You are bigger than it. So take back your power.  And let go of that picture of fear that you just created; it was just an exercise. Explode it and it’s gone. You can actually do this exercise with any feeling that you want to pay attention to.  Try it.

What If, If Only – past, future or present tense?                                                         Let’s face it.  We’ve said these words at some time in our life, maybe more times than we would have liked. What do these words really mean to you?  What opportunities did you miss, or deliberately pass up?  What circumstances would you have liked to have happened, or not have happened?

I venture that what if and if only are words in the past tense, if they express regret.  They would be in the future tense if they represent a vision and visualization of possibility, a picture of what we desire.  But can they be in the present tense?

I believe they could be in the present tense if we pay attention to what they represent right at this moment.  I also believe there are no mistakes in life – just choices that looked perfect for us at the moment of choosing. In this context, regrets have no place. So we can look at our what if and if only in present time without judgment.

As my nephew, Ronald, stated rhetorically after reading my first blog:  “I need to go back to the hills!”  Get back to where you are right at this moment, the only point of meaningful beginning.

Mine the what-if’s and if-only’s in your life by paying attention to what is, in your present moment.

Mind your business, and mine your business.  One moment at a time. One gold nugget at a time.

Mining My “What If and If Only”                                                                                   After I drew the serendipitous words of W. Somerset Maugham from my Literary Book of Answers, I decided to register for the conference, the live video streaming one, and with a discount yet. Yay!

It took me two months to make that decision, because I was concerned with the cost and the return of value for me. But really, the bottom line was more about looking beneath the surface of that feeling of concern – that of not believing that I could make a living as a writer, of doing what I love to do and living a life worth living at the same time. That has been a tough concept for me to practice and live.  Although I haven’t yet earned anything from writing, the truth is, I have mined gold from my moments of indecision and faithlessness just by shifting to a different point of attraction, such as: Be playful and stay open; don’t limit yourself – the possibilities are endless; see what happens and correct your course as you go.  And best of all, I received these precious words from my Inner Guidance: “You have been offered the freedom to follow your heart; do not let the opportunity go by.”

What does your inner guidance tell you?  Where are you being led? Take a chance: let serendipity take you by the hand and see what happens.

Let’s continue the conversation.



* For the full story of “The Verger”, go to

8 thoughts on “inquire within: mining the gold from your “what if?” and “if only…”

  1. Wow! Did I see this coming? This hit me harder in the chest harder than the last article. There are a still a lot of items on my bucket list. I certainly don’t want to live a life filled with regret. Bring it on!

    • Dear Ronald – yes, by removing the judgment off a life experience (e.g., regret), we allow ourselves to look at it from a different lens. Only then can we make informed and appropriate choices to move forward. When we take responsibility for our creations (we make our own beds), it follows that we can also create other choices to either re-create or modify the bed.

  2. …. there are no mistakes in life — just choices that looked perfect for us at the moment of choosing ! I like that very much, Alara !!

    • Thanks for your comments, Jessica. Yes, by taking that perspective, we take away our judgment on the perceived “mistake” or action/decision. From there, we can examine what happened from a different lens and make informed choices going forward. That way, we also don’t get stuck.

  3. Case in point!! You are a living breathing example of this! I am SO so proud of how you keep coming back to where YOU are, where your heart lies. I am so excited for your journey. Make no mistake about it, where you are is where it’s at! Thank you for your steadfast courage and inspiration. We are all receiving the rewards of your choices, the choice to stay true to you. 😀

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