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Within each and every one of us
is an inherent guidance system.
— John Harricharan
Within each and every one of us is an inherent guidance system. We are not thrown helplessly into a seemingly cold and cruel world without the necessary tools for taking care of ourselves. Yet, most people go through an entire lifetime never realizing the power they have at their command. This power is not the exclusive province of gurus, avatars or saints, but is available to all people as their cosmic birthright.
The power within lies waiting to be tapped by anyone who is willing to use its guidance. It is always there providing direction for our lives. But, because we are surrounded by the noise and activities of everyday, outside existence, we tend not to hear the gentle proddings from within. We become blind and deaf to the sights and sounds of our higher selves. To begin using this guidance, one must first be aware of its existence and then follow its directions. The following true life story is an excellent example of this principle.
My wife and I had been married for several years and we felt it was time to start raising a family. "Why not start with an adopted child?" she asked. Since it didn't matter to me whether our first child was adopted or biological, we contacted the necessary agencies. Our decision was to adopt a baby girl from India and as a result we waded through an ocean of bureaucratic and political red tape. The entire aura around us was one of excitement and anticipation. Only one more document remained to be processed by the Immigration Department. Then something went wrong. We were informed that it would be another week or two before the necessary visa for our "soon to be" daughter would be issued.
Having waited for seven months, a delay of a week or two seemed inconsequential, except for one thing. On the very day we were notified of the delay a telegram arrived from India. It stated that a baby girl, a few weeks old, was available for adoption and that we should travel to Bombay as soon as possible to complete the formalities of the adoption process. This was the notice for which we had been waiting. Everything was in order except for that one visa document. Only one week to go and we would be on a plane to India. Both my wife and I were of East Indian descent and this would be our first visit to India.
At first, logic dictated that all was well and that in a short while, we would be the parents of a fine baby girl. But all was not well. That night I could hardly sleep. My sleeplessness could have been attributed to excitement and anticipation, but that was not so. Instead there was an uneasy feeling within me, a strange premonition of disaster. I was filled with overwhelming apprehension.
As the day progressed, the feelings of anxiety increased. I examined the situation but could find no reason to justify such uneasiness. Try as I could, however, it was impossible to dismiss them. I felt that I must leave for India within twenty-four hours. I expressed this resolution to those close to me. Without exception, they all advised that I wait until the final papers were processed. It would only be another week, they reasoned. I had waited so long, surely a few more days would not make much difference.
I called my attorney and asked if he thought it was necessary to wait for the final papers. His response was a resounding "Yes." My business associates tried to talk some sense into me. "Why, John?" asked one of the wiser ones, "Why the rush? I have never seen you like this before." I could not explain the strange urgency I felt. Finally, in desperation, I phoned the Immigration Department and asked for the officer handling the case. "Please, could you speed up the process?" I asked.
"We are doing the best we can," was the reply.
"I would really like to leave for India tomorrow. When the visa is ready, would you please air mail it to me in Bombay? I will leave you the address. I'd be grateful for your help."
"We are sorry, but we cannot do that. You will have to wait until everything is in order."
"What would happen if I leave tomorrow?"
"There would be longer and more serious delays. We would suggest that you comply with our procedures and wait until the papers are ready. Thank you for calling. Good-bye."
Experience had taught me to trust my feelings even when I did not understand them. I, therefore, disregarded everyone's advice, called the airlines and made reservations for a flight leaving the following day. When I told my wife what I had done, she too thought that I must have lost my mind. "Why not wait for another week?" she asked, "Everyone seems to think it would be best."
"You wait if you want to," I replied, "I am going to India to get our daughter." I had never spoken to her in that tone before.
"But the papers and final approval?" she protested.
Reluctantly my wife agreed to humor me. The following day found us hurtling across the Atlantic on a 747 jet, the first leg of our journey to the mystical land of India. Exhaustion finally forced me into a deep sleep. When I awoke, we were somewhere over the continent of Africa. I was surprised and relieved to discover that the feelings of doom and despair had vanished.
I began to reflect on my behavior of the past day, but I did not regret my actions. It was almost midnight when we touched down at the International Airport in Bombay. What a joy it would be to see our daughter the next day.
First thing in the morning, we were off to the agency. We introduced ourselves to the manager and waited anxiously while they went for the baby girl who was to be our daughter. There are times when seconds could seem like hours and this was one such time. Finally a nurse arrived carrying a little bundle. As we looked at the baby wrapped in the bundle, a sense of shock overcame us. Our child, whom we had imagined to be a healthy baby weighing approximately six or seven pounds, was an emaciated little thing, perhaps slightly over three pounds. She seemed to be suffering from malnutrition and among other things was covered with sores. Only her eyes moved as they followed us around the room. "This baby is very sick," said the nurse, "the doctor thinks that she may not live through the day. Would you like to consider taking another one?"
Anger, resentment and fear sprung up within me. After all the preparation and hope, to finally be faced with the possibility of losing the child. No! We had not gone through everything for this. Something had guided me, against the dictates of reason, to be where I was at that moment. The infant must not die. Now I understood why I felt impelled to leave for India when I did. A day or two later and the child surely would have died. By being here, I was able to do whatever was possible to save her life. "No!" I fairly shouted, "we'll take our baby. This way, she has at least one chance in a thousand. Leaving her here, she has none."
Without hesitation we asked for the necessary documents and signed them. Quickly we left with the little bundle in my arms. We went directly to the office of a pediatrician whom friends back in the States had recommended. While examining the child, the pediatrician asked, "Do you know what you have done? This child is deathly ill. I don't know if she'll make it." The desperation in my heart was being replaced by a strong determination and a sense of purpose. I looked at the doctor almost in tears and pleaded, "Please, do all that you can."
It was impossible to get the child into a hospital because of local rules and customs. With the help of the good doctor we were able to obtain the services of an additional doctor and two nurses. Fortune smiled on us for one of the nurses was a woman who had once attended to the Mahatma Gandhi. She was full of compassion and competency and understood our plight. That night, in a hotel suite overlooking the Arabian Sea, the nurses and doctors worked feverishly to keep our child alive. We made it through the night.
Days ran into weeks and the child gradually improved though she was far from being out of danger. Because I had left the United States without the proper visa papers, the red tape compounded itself. We were informed by the American Embassy in Bombay that a new application for a visa had to be made and sent for approval. In the meantime, rumor had it that the Indian Government was about to declare emergency rule. There was unrest in the streets. As if we didn't have enough to worry about, we were displaced from our hotel to make room for some wealthy, visiting Arabs. We found new lodging in a small, rundown hotel until we were able to return to our first one. Money was running short, the child's life was still in danger and the other problems seemed overwhelming.
Back in the United States, some friends and influential business associates had heard of our plight and had petitioned our government leaders to do something about it. However, we could not wait. We had to take the baby back to the States for proper medical care. Without a visa for the child it was impossible for us to get her on board a plane, and even if we did, there would be problems with our Immigration Department when we arrived home. Yet, where there's a will, there's a way. Somehow, with the help of a few Indian friends and the guidance of my inner voice, we managed to pass through the various check points at the airport in Bombay and literally "smuggled" the child aboard a plane bound for the United States. Finally, we were on our way home.
Arriving in New York after a long and tiring flight, we were apprehensive that the Immigration Department would deport the child for a lack of a visa. Again fortune smiled on us. There was no need to worry. Our friends had prevailed on our government to make an exception and we were welcomed by a delegation. A visa was issued on the spot.
We named our daughter Malika. With proper medical care she continued to make excellent progress. Today, Malika is a happy, healthy young woman. She seemed to remember very little of her early years and has completed a degree in business administration at the university nearby. But every once in a while when I look into her beautiful dark eyes, I relive the steps that brought her to us. Had I not followed the strange feelings of urgency to leave for India on that day, many years ago, my daughter would not be here today.
Many of the greatest minds on earth have testified to the "still, small voice" within. It is an ancient saying and well worth repeating, that before the demand is made, the supply is available. To become aware that we have all we need to solve our problems we must follow certain simple guidelines. First, there must be quiet times, alone times. It is in the quietness of our being that we hear a whisper directing us to a path of greater fulfillment. Take time for yourself. A five minute period, once in the morning and then again in the evening, will prove very useful. Surely all of us could find ten minutes in a twenty-four hour day. Become quiet and feel the life-force flow through you.
Next, use the gifts that are all around you. Music is one such gift. It has healing and calming properties. There is hardly a soul who has not, at one time or another, been soothed by the sounds of music. Nature helps to make you more aware of yourself and more conscious of your own validity. A walk through the woods or a stroll alongside a stream would remove your focus from the things that trouble you. Simply leaning against a tree and breathing slowly will assist in the centering and balancing of your body, mind and spirit.
There are books. Everything that you ever need to know is written somewhere in a book. Instead of only just listening to the late night news, spend fifteen minutes reading some inspirational material. One good book could raise your awareness to such a level that you are motivated to take the few additional steps you may not have taken and thus solve the very problem that seemed unsolvable. I get letters and calls frequently from people who have read my books. There is a common thread in their messages. They wanted me to know that my books have changed their lives. Sometimes, from the depth of despair, I, too, have been moved to take the first feeble steps to success because of a story or a sentence I found in a book.
Become more and more aware of the great possibilities that lie within you. Learn to trust your feelings. Tune in to yourself and follow the gentle urgings you find there. Like anything else, it takes practice and a small measure of self-discipline. Your intuition becomes stronger as you exercise it, so keep practicing.
At first, it may seem very ordinary and even boring. But as you keep monitoring your feelings and trusting them, you will begin to notice that you are being led in directions that are rewarding. It does not matter how complex your life may appear to be, the spirit within you is capable of assisting you to solve all your problems. The information will be given to you but you will have to make the decision as to what to do with it.
John Harricharan is the award-winning author of the bestseller,
“When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat”.
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