Change the story and you change perception;
change perception and you change the world.
They told me to imagine a big box. For some reason, I envisioned a ginormous cardboard one. The guides, being channeled in a private and powerful reading, then told me to visualize everything related to my efforts since returning full-time to writing for publication. Crammed inside were the manuscripts, the multiple revisions, the queries, the rejections, the commendations, the how-tos. And the expended emotional energy, too—delightful highs and painful lows.
What I’m to write, they told me, is to be created outside that box, beyond the standard practices of the publishing industry. A perplexing message, received a decade before from my late father via a medium, suddenly came back to me: “You’re to do something outside the box.” And here it was, stuffed with what represented my analytical-earnest-intellectual-proficient-professional side. Not worthless garbage, for sure, and having its place, but currently keeping me from what I’m meant to do.
These guides understood my resistance; they already knew how invested I’ve been in heeding every piece of advice that comes along. When one literary agent suggested, for example, that I further develop the b-girl thread in my tween novel, I not only revised accordingly, but did so after observing hip hop/breaking classes, attending battles, becoming friends with talented b-girls (and a fan of the genius and philosophy of underground hip hop).
Make more metaphorical connections between b-girls and psychic mediums, another agent volunteered. Strengthen the narrative arc, raise the stakes. I dutifully responded to whatever advice and encouragement came my way. And here were spirit guides, with an impressive grasp of the big picture, telling me to chuck it all. They encouraged me to find a symbolic way to leave the box behind at the Sarasota airport, before returning home after a month in Florida.
Then the guides humorously underscored the reality and the value of their messages. “It would be very hard to levitate while holding that heavy box, correct?” they joked. Clearly they were already aware of my half-serious wish to one day levitate, not to mention an illustration of a levitating female on my website-in-progress, which was not yet online.
A second validation came by way of a printer in the friend’s house where I was staying while she was away. I happened to use it shortly after the lengthy reading. Along with the expected copies of content from my laptop, out came an extra sheet. In the upper left hand corner was a detailed, photographic image of the torn flap of a cardboard box!
Could a piece of actual cardboard be lodged in the equipment and photocopied somehow? This line of reasoning made no sense; the realistic image had never appeared when I’d printed other copies. Next, I questioned the friend overseas. Had she ever found the picture of a portion of a cardboard box or any other unexpected image, for that matter, among copies she’d made?
“Never,” she replied, with a laugh.
So on the day I was scheduled to fly home and as I sat at the airport gate, I took the sheet out of my bag and scribbled a one-sentence farewell next to the image that symbolized the box-filled-to-bursting. Still awestruck by the magic, I tore the “box” into pieces, then tossed the bunch into the nearest trash bin. With my heart pounding, I boarded the plane for home and headed for what felt like the wild unknown.