Invisible Acts of Power: Personal Choices That Create Miracles
New York: Free Press ©2004
What kind of whack on the side of the head — literal or metaphorical — would it take to open your mind to a new idea or a different perspective on what you thought you knew for sure? A car accident? A death in the family? Losing a job? Contracting a savage illness? What about hearing a kind word when you have hit your lowest point? Or answering the doorbell to find no one there but a basket filled with items you need? Life-changing moments come from out of the blue, inspired by "bad" as well as "good." It's up to us to see the messages for what they are, make the most of what they offer, and use our imaginations to apply what we learn to what we do every day and how we live.
The latest book from Caroline Myss (pronounced 'mace'), Invisible Acts of Power, continues her exploration of the way mind, body, and spirit interact to create the world we inhabit. A pathfinder in the field of energy medicine, Myss investigates connections most of us haven't thought to look for and encourages people to consider the impact of spirit on health, healing, and daily life. Such a description can sound squishy and esoteric, but Myss is actually very practical, and her writing is very readable. She collects and shares the stories of real people who have had experiences that changed their viewpoints, changed their attitudes about themselves and others, and changed their lives, usually for the better.
Myss often describes herself as a "medical intuitive," someone "who 'sees' illness in a patient's body by intuitive means;" someone who helps people "understand the emotional, psychological, and physical reasons why their bodies develop illness." Her earlier books (Why People Don't Heal and How They Can, Anatomy of the Spirit, Sacred Contracts) deal more specifically with health issues and spiritual issues, respectively, that impact our lives and our purpose for being here. But as is typical of Myss' writing, she opens Invisible Acts with an interesting framework:
"As I often tell the people who study spirituality and intuition with me in my workshops, we are all born here to go to Earth School. We're on this planet to learn to be spiritual beings in a physical body, to gain consciousness of our greater purpose. Life on Earth is all about learning to manage your power. So this book is a course in Earth School about managing your personal power in a way that enhances your own spiritual growth, while also contributing to the evolution of the people around you—and to the entire global soul."
Drawing on the major wisdom traditions and her own unique background, Myss explores the notion that compassion and generosity are biological necessities for us, that we feel bad when we don't give to others, when we aren't being of service in some way. Visitors to her Web site shared their stories and Myss uses them to demonstrate that "everything we do counts. There is really no such thing as a small act of service or goodness." Even something as simple as holding open a door for someone you don't know has a profound ripple effect. And, Myss affirms, every wish we make is answered — and answered immediately. Before we will be able to see the full effect, however, our challenge is to clear our minds of expectations and absorb the learning that the situation offers.
As Myss says, "The gods may let you practically drown before they respond and send you a boat — because you are in this Earth School to learn how to build a boat and how to row it — but they will respond. The power of a single wish can change your life. And once you ask, once you open your mind and heart to the possibility of an answer, you will get an answer, even though it may not be the one you want or in the form you expect."
Aye. There's the rub. How can we keep our expectations at bay and remain genuinely open to what the Universe has to offer? This Earth School challenge asks us to extend our imagination, set aside our preconceived notions, and consider that the 'coincidences' we encounter may actually be part of the process — synchronicities intended to help us along the path. Why not choose to believe that everything and everyone we encounter is there for our benefit, not to create problems? That the Universe is conspiring to help us learn what we need to learn to be the best we can be? What better use of our energy and our imagination?
While reading Invisible Acts of Power, Myss asks us to consider these "universal truths:
- You are where you are supposed to be and in every moment there is an opportunity to serve another or to receive support.
- There are no such things as coincidences or accidents. Look for the meaning in your synchronistic encounters.
- Any form of assistance you offer is an act of healing.
- Anything you do for others, as well as the support you receive in your own life, has healing consequences for the whole human community.
- You will always receive help within a second of a prayer. To recognize the help, you must see everything in your life from that second on as a part of the answer to your prayer.
- Everything you do consciously is an invisible act of power."