By Noelle Sterne
In the last four days, two clients in my dissertation-coaching business have declared passionately to me:
“I’ll finish my dissertation—with Divine Intervention!”
I chafed at this. I was glad they used the word “Divine” but hastened to correct them (diplomatically) about “Intervention.”
Admittedly, “Divine Intervention” is one of those theological clichés that’s supposed to show your faith. But it goes against everything I—and many, many others—believe and teach. Divine Intervention presupposes the Divine Entity sitting up there, Somewhere. If we pray, beseech, bargain, promise to be good often and sincerely enough, He/She/It/They will turn and wave the wand in our direction. And They’ll dispense favors, gifts, healings, meetings, money, love, lawsuit settlements as They decide.
This notion is based on the concept, too often accepted, that we are frail, fallen, guilty, and subject to a mysterious Divine Whim and Judgment about our worthiness to drop into our lives whatever it is we’re so desperately seeking.
I’m glad to tell you that it does not work this way.
Instead, think of the principle as Divine Intention. Wayne Dyer’s by-now well-known book, The Power of Intention is subtitled Co-Creating Your World Your Way. What does this mean?
Divine outcomes are in our power, not anyone or Anything else’s.
Similarly, a Unity Daily Word (September 7, 2010) tells us this: When I live my life from a point of intention, I consciously create my experiences. If I expect a joyful encounter, I receive a joyful encounter. If I see my day going smoothly, I create such a day. By setting my intention, I am determining what my life will look like each day . . . . [I] trust that God knows what is my highest good.
As we recognize our own Divinity (remember, we’re all Ph.D.s—Phenomena of Divinity), we create, fashion, mold, shape, call forth our life experiences. We don’t have to submit to what we’ve been conditioned to think of as “God’s Will”: usually, this notion keeps us powerless before some faceless, to-be-feared and capricious dispensing Power that rains on us both good and evil and must constantly be supplicated. Rather, we can learn and practice ways to choose our experiences based on our divinity and the laws of Intention, Expectation, and Attraction.
If you find this concept hard to accept and want some support from traditional teachings, think of Divine Intention as akin to the notion of grace, unearned favor, care, provision, sustenance, answers. In the King James translation of the Bible, the Old Testament: “Grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever” (Psalms 45:2). The New Testament: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Eric Butterworth, the Unity minister, defined grace as “the natural flow of the creative process in the individual.”
The word is “an explanation of a wonderful facet of the activity of God in you. It is not something to work for, to develop. It simply is.” Grace is “a specialization of the divine ‘good pleasure’ that is in every person” (The Universe Is Calling, pp.41-44). Grace is embedded in us, and we are entitled to it.
Grace and Intention are cousins. The teacher-entity Abraham makes Intention and Attraction clear in another way:
“The Universe is abundant with everything that you want. It’s not testing you. It’s benevolently providing for you. But you are the orchestrator. You are the definer, and you do it through your joyous anticipation”
(Workshop, August 3, 1997, San Diego, CA).
“Source Energy [God, if you like] is answering every intention” (Workshop, September 29, 2001, Syracuse, NY; website www.abrahamhicks.com/lawofattractionsource/about_abraham.php). As Abraham also says, and you’ve probably found, to accept our good often takes some “self-convincing” before we will allow it (Workshop, October 2, 2004, Boston, MA).
So, to practice opening to grace and Divine Intentions, here are some suggestions:
1) Identify your desire and goal. “I want to finish this painting.” (Substitute your own desire here.) Feel your desire filling you.
2) Create one or more strong affirmations. “I now finish this painting!” Repeat your affirmations daily, one or more times. Write them out too daily, and fill an entire page, feeling them, knowing them.
3) Listen for guidance on the right steps to take. Guidance can come during meditation, in the car, at a neighbor’s party, when you’re falling asleep . . . anytime and anywhere. “I am now open to the guidance on the right steps to take to finish this painting.”
4) Yield to the guidance. You may be told, for example, to schedule specific times of the day or several days, or to seek advice from an established painter you know. Or simply to get thee to your drawing board.
5) Move your feet as guided.
6) Give up, paradoxically, trying to force any outcome. You may desire it but the paradox is to rest in it and not feel pressure to achieve it. This is obeying that fascinating “Law of Least Effort.” No, it’s not celestial permission to sprawl on your sofa all day with chain beer bottles. Rather, as Deepak Chopra says, this law is recognition that “nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease . . . [on] the principle of harmony and love” (The Seven Laws of Success, p. 53). In other words, no struggling, no worrying about what others will say, no repeating your own self-judgments and dire self-predictions if you don’t finish this painting.
7) Practice this law by feeling only love and ease when you think of finishing the painting. Don’t try. Think of flowing into it, like a child exploring a new toy. Referring to the axiom in Vedic science, Chopra says “do less and accomplish more” (p. 54). Feel a weight lifted?
In slightly newer words, Abraham sums it up. You need to recognize only three steps to whatever you want as you practice your Divine Intention and manifestation:
You ask (and declare).
You wait, listen, and the answer appears.
Receive, allow, let in the answer (see Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires, pp. 47-52).
True Divine Intervention begins with and depends on us. It’s not God’s tantrum-like favoritism and we don’t need to earn it. When we understanding Divine Intervention as our own Divine Intention, we design our lives and practice intending and expecting our best experiences. We deserve them.
Noelle Sterne is an author, editor, writing coach, and spiritual counselor. She has published over 300 pieces in print and online venues, including Author Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children’s Book Insider, Funds for Writers, Transformation Magazine, Unity Magazine, Women on Writing, The Writer, and Writer’s Digest. Noelle’s invited blogs on Author Magazine’s “Authors’ Blog” on writing, creativity, and spirituality can be found at http://authormagazineonline.wordpress.com/. A spiritually-oriented chapter appears in the new book Transform Your Life (Transformation Services, 2014). A story appears in the forthcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel (October 2014). With a Ph.D. from Columbia University, for over 28 years Noelle has assisted doctoral candidates in completing their dissertations (finally). Based on her practice, she is completing a handbook for doctoral candidates struggling with their dissertations on their largely overlooked but equally important nonacademic difficulties: Challenge in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping with the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015). In Noelle’s book Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books, 2011), draws examples from her academic consulting and other aspects of life to help readers release regrets, relabel their past, and reach their lifelong yearnings. Her webinar about the book can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95EeqllO NIQ&feature=youtu. Noelle’s website: www.trustyourlifenow.com.