It is my pleasure to feature Patricia Stoltey as our guest blogger today. I hope you will post your comments or questions, as she is on hand and ready to reply to your comments. And thank you, Pat, for taking the time to interact with my readers today. Your professionalism and talent are an inspiration to many.
Paying Attention Might Change Your Life by Patricia Stoltey
Pat, thanks so much for inviting me to visit Voice of the Spirit. I’m especially honored to be here as I’m a big fan of your inspirational memoir Dance of the Electric Hummingbird and admire the commitment and the hard work it took to get your story published. Everything that happened for you indicates you’re someone who pays attention.
For me, paying attention means observe, notice, listen, and interpret. Instead of charging through my day as if I were in complete control, I need to feel the underlying message, test my interpretation, and then act with confidence.
A few years ago I stayed with my mom in Illinois after her knee replacement surgery. Over the years, I’d tried hard to convince her to move to Colorado to be closer to me, but she couldn’t decide. My brother and his wife lived nearby, and because of their health issues, it would have been harder for them to travel to Colorado than for me to visit Illinois.
Just before her surgery, however, my brother had to move to a town closer to health care providers and Mom was unable to make the move on her own. Now just out of the hospital and still on pain medicine, totally dependent on me, she was at her most vulnerable. I wanted to swoop in, take charge, and move her to Colorado.
It didn’t quite work out the way I wanted. As I watched and listened to what my mother and brother were not saying, which was far more revealing than what they were saying, I realized there had to be a better solution. I had ten days left in my two-week stay, and only seven of those days were weekdays. In that time, I rented the only available apartment in the same complex where my brother now lived, and it just happened to be a ground floor apartment which was critical because of Mom’s arthritis. I found a local mover who could transfer her furniture and possessions immediately. We got the house listed for sale, everything packed, the move completed, and a caregiver to visit each morning to finish Mom’s therapy from the surgery.
I believe nothing happens that fast, without a single hitch, unless I’m 100% doing the right thing. That conviction eased my disappointment and helped banish any regret I might have experienced later, especially during those inconvenient layovers in Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
And guess what. The force is still with me. As I got older and a little more creaky, Frontier suddenly added a direct flight to an airport only 45 minutes from where Mom (now age 93) lives, and there’s a convenient shuttle between the cities. No more all-day travel events with four hours to kill in O’Hare.
Serendipity is often seen as a mere surprise or accident, synchronicity as coincidence. I don’t believe that for a minute. I’ve experienced way too many surprises and coincidences in my lifetime. I think it’s because I look for them, I expect them, and I express my gratitude for every signal and every sign.
Here’s another little story for you. Not long ago, I received an e-mail through my website from a gentleman named Gary Sand who wrote a novel called In Dreams. Out of the blue, he contacted me and asked if he could send me a copy. He had figured out from photos, my website, and my blog that he’d written about my generation and that I now lived in the state where most of the novel is set. He had a feeling I might enjoy the read. Gary doesn’t aspire to be a writer of dozens of books, and he had no expectations for a review or publicity. Being the book lover I am, I of course said, Sure.”
I put the book on the bottom of the To Be Read stack on my coffee table (a stack that seems to grow taller every week), but that particular book kept drawing my attention—I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why me? Why did Gary send it to me?” Finally I pulled In Dreams out of the stack and read it almost straight through. I ended up in tears…twice.
Gary’s novel told of events in my own life experience, events Gary would have no way of knowing. The parallels are stunning. His story was almost like a rap on my head, a reminder that we are all connected and we should pay attention to our instincts as Gary did by asking to send me a book. And I paid attention to the signals that said, “Read Gary’s book now, because you need a reminder to count your blessings.”
There are a couple of books you might want to read if you’re interested in these topics. Rhonda Byrne’s The Magic focuses on gratitude. Alex Marcoux just released Lifesigns: Tapping the Power of Synchronicity, Serendipity and Miracles.
Now how about you? Do you pay attention?
In Dreams (http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Gary-Sand/dp/B005CHKIAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351028939&sr=1-1&keywords=In+Dreams+Gary+Sand)
The Magic (http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Secret-Rhonda-Byrne/dp/1451673442/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351028863&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Magic)
Patricia Stoltey lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two-year old Katie Kitty. She is the author of two amateur sleuth mysteries in the Sylvia and Willie series published by Five Star and Harlequin Wordwide, and she has three standalone suspense manuscripts in the works. The Prairie Grass Murders and The Desert Hedge Murders are now available as e-books for Kindle and Nook.
You can find more about Patricia and her books at her website (http://patriciastoltey.com/) and blog (http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com/). She can also be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/patricia.stoltey) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/PStoltey).