Thursday, October 28, 2010
It all started about 2 years ago when I picked up a last minute item while doing my groceries. It was my husband Eric's birthday and normally we don't do the traditional gift giving because we are on a budget. When it is our birthdays, if we do anything to celebrate at all it is usually something we can both benefit from, usually something 'needed' or 'practical'. While it is rare we indulge in 'fluff stuff', being the practical people we are, Eric's birthday this time around would be an indulgence. He had expressed an interest in a certain book and to be honest I was kind of curious myself so that made it kind of OK to purchase this book as we would both be reading it.
I stood in the long lineup at the grocery store and debated on going back in search of the book. Abandoning my spot in the line I grabbed the handle of my grocery cart and swung it around and headed toward the book isle. It wasn't hard to find the book despite it's small size. It seemed to jump off the shelf speaking to me "here I am!". As I pushed the cart in front of me and approached the book I had a sense of deep interest and amusement. I reached out and picked up the book and held it in my hands. It was a very handsome book with its burnt gold jacket and scrolled writing and the large raised red seal in the upper left hand corner.
The jacket felt so smooth, the pages were edged in gold. It was a very well made book. I was almost afraid to turn it over to see the price. $28.00. I remember groaning and thinking it was awfully expensive for such a small book. It was going to jack up the grocery bill by over $30. I had to talk myself into it and rationalize to justify the purchase. I went with the old 'you only live once' and placed it in the front basket of the cart taking care not to place it against anything wet.
I remember feeling a bit self conscious putting it up on the conveyor belt. I was wondering what the cashier would think when she rang it through. Was she going to think 'there's a sucker born every minute'? I thought that way because it kinda felt that way. Words like charlatan, snake oil, schemes and scams were running through my head.
Where we are not the type of people who believe everything we hear and read and it seemed unlike me to be buying such a thing but, it had been on Opra! That is what had been the final push. Opra wasn't one to be taken in by hokey wish-wash. Opra believed there was something to this theory. And because Opra believed then I had to give it a try and to keep an open mind.
Placing the book on the conveyor belt held my head up and thought..."If Opra can get on international television then I can handle a few weird looks from a cashier!" And after applying the lessons of the book,if I was successful, then I would have the last laugh! Though I will admit I had my doubts.
The cashier never gave me a second look as she rang the book through. She never even noticed as I took the book and placed it inside a bag all by itself and held it against my chest as I waited for the remainder of my groceries to be rung through. Once outside and back at my car I started to relax that it was safe now...no one ever need know that I had just bought The Secret. Ironically,The Secret had become my secret!
Upon arriving home and presenting the book to Eric he was happy and thankful for the gift. "Hurry up and read it so I can have a look at it too!" I said. "Well,you go ahead."he said. I replied,"No it is your gift, you get to read it first!" I patiently waited for several weeks for him to pick it up and read it. "Just don't feel like it right now." was the answer I'd get when I'd question why he hadn't started to read it yet. I got tired of waiting and started to read it. I had absolutely no idea the impact that book was going have on my life.
The book in a nutshell is about personal power, positive thinking, believing in some kind of higher power and the strangest part is of giving it all up to the power of the universe. The latter part is what I would have the hardest time with. I have always believed that we are in control of our lives in the larger scheme of things. To put it to scale I'd have to say that I believe we have control over 90% of our lives and maybe 10% is left to chance, to things beyond our control.
'Ask, Believe, Receive.The Secret, in essence, is about believing that anything is possible. That you can attain anything the heart desires. You have only to ask the universe for what you want. Then believe with unfailing faith that you will receive it. Then sit back, forget about it and let it come to you. They said it was like having a catalogue of life, and that it worked just like ordering from a catalogue. You place an order for what it is you want and then wait for it to be delivered.
I'm not going to go in depth about the contents of the book. If you want to know, then get yourself a copy and read. What I am going to talk about is the results that I personally had, and believe me, I had results.
The book advised to start out small. Like finding a parking spot in heavy traffic areas where it can seem impossible at times to find a parking spot. So that was where I started. It worked, and continues to work as I still practice this and find exactly the spot I want.
One time I was picking one of my sons up at his place of work at a high end pizza restaurant. This night I was craving pizza. Now I've never bought pizza from this particular place as I think that $50 for a good pizza is over the top to say the least. My son had been working there for more than a year and had not once brought pizza home after work. He certainly couldn't afford to and they never gave food away to employees at the end of the night. So this night I thought, what the heck, I applied the Secret. I simply stated that I wanted some pizza. Not a whole one, but just a small piece or two. I didn't want to be greedy.
Sitting parked behind the restaurant , in the dark , I waited for my son to emerge from the back entrance. After waiting a half hour the door finally opened. I sat up and watched him walk across the dark parking lot toward the car. He was carrying something in his hands. Well lo and behold it was a pizza box! He climbed into the front seat and asked me if I was hungry. He opened the box and there were two pieces of pizza inside. I was stunned. In all honesty I can't remember how he managed to get the pizza, I just remember that he did.
Over and over again whenever I would ask for something it would come to me. Small potatoes as they say, but, I was getting what I wanted just the same. I was truly beginning to believe. Would it work for larger more complicated things? Little did I know, I was about to find out.
At the time the purchase of The Secret was made we were living in a rural area on the Kennebecasis River. We lived there for 4 years. The first two years were great! It was amazing to be living on a tidal river, not to mention so beautiful! The house was a large 5 bedroom year round beach house. We had our own private beach with a cute little wharf that Eric had built. We had a small boat that we would paddle up and down the river on. I spent many mornings in my pajamas having coffee sitting down by the wharf. It was heaven.
There was one major problem with the property. It sat in a bad flood zone. In 2008 we were flooded, badly.
As much as we prepared to stay ahead of the water, we lost a lot of stuff. The house had a large above ground basement, and the house sat on top of that. The floor on top of the basement was the living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and bathroom. The other 3 bedrooms were up on the top level.
The river wasted no time in claiming the above ground basement. It had an 8 foot ceiling and the water rushed and filled the yard and basement and left only 1-2 inches away from the ceiling..which meant it was about 4 inches from rising up through the floor into the living area. We had to park our car on the road and take a row boat from the front door to the road to get to the car. Even our poor dog Bear had to be rowed to the road to do his 'business'.
We lived like this for over a month before the water finally started to recede. After it was over then came damage cleanup. All the insulation between the ceiling of the basement and the living room floor had to be removed as it was holding all that water. Add to that the wood stove which was the main source of heat had to be removed at the same time, for other reasons. It was October and we were left with only electric heat in that big old house and no insulation. The owner of the house was so slack about doing the replacements and repairs we were forced to move.
Now here is where The Secret started to kick in...in a big way. We felt almost desperate to find a place handy as where Eric's job was in the same area we lived in. Moving to the city would of been easy to find a new home but economically it made no sense to do so. Living in a small area limits one to find other accommodations and we knew we'd have a challenge on our hands and with winter fast approaching there was almost a panic setting in.
So I did as The Secret advised and wrote down on paper what it was I wanted. The following is a short list of what my requests were....A house with a water view and access. Several bedrooms for our children should they decide they'd like to visit. A wood stove with a glass front so I could sit and watch a nice fire in the evenings. Lots of trees and birds and wildlife to enjoy. A good road to and from the house. NOT on a flood plain was a must! The style of the house...I wanted a red cedar log home and lots and lots of windows with views of the woods and the water.
OK. This is where it gets weird. I showed my list to Eric. He read it. Then he said,"Well all of this is certainly attainable except for one thing. You won't find a red cedar log home around here. Red cedar doesn't grow in this part of Canada. You'd find that in British Columbia." " It's still what I want." I replied.
So the hunt began. Now being limited to our search area we decided to let everyone we know that we were were on the hunt. Eric mentioned it to his work partner and it just happened that he knew of a place just like what we were looking for. It was a little more than 2 miles from where were currently living. He told Eric he'd heard the place was up for rent. It even had a view and access to the river. We became very excited! There was one problem that put the brakes on the excitement. It was $200 more than we could afford. The owner was advertising on Kijiji. I would log onto Kijiji everyday until one day it disappeared. Down hearted I stopped looking. A month or so went by and one day I again decided to take a look. There it was again. The same ad but, with one difference...the owner had dropped the rent by $200! I just about broke my neck to run to the phone and call Eric at work. We got in touch with the owner and made an appointment to see the house.
By December 1st we were moving in. Did the house and property have everything I'd asked for? You betcha...and then some! The house sat up on a hill overlooking the Kennebecasis River with a path down to the water. There was a guest house on the property as well. The house itself had 3 bedrooms. The front of the house faced south looking out over the river, which could be viewed from any angle as it was all glass windows. It was beautiful! It had a wood stove with a glass front. It was surrounded by trees as it was one mile in off the main road making it very secluded. As if to confirm all my requests for wildlife were met, our first morning there we watched a large Buck with a full set of antlers foraging in the back yard. We had flocks of gold finches, up to 50 at any given time, chickadees, wood peckers and blue jays. There were so many that we had a hard time keeping bird seed in stock.
Our first day there I was cleaning up the stove while Eric worked outside storing some of our stuff in the baby barn.I feeling very happy, full of joy actually and feeling so grateful for being led to this house, now if only I had some wood for the stove so I could sit by a warm fire that evening....I had literally no sooner finished that thought when Eric came through the front door. "Look at what I found!" he said. I turned and couldn't believe my eyes. In his arms were not one but, two large unopened boxes of fire logs! I just couldn't believe it! Only it made me believe even more in this Secret business.
I have to also mention that I have several health problems one of which is DDD, degenerative disc disease in my back. The house came with a orthopedic king size bed and also a beautiful bathroom with a jacuzzi tub....like I said I got more than what I asked for. And the icing on all of this? The house was RED CEDAR LOG, yes it was! Turns out the house had been a kit and had been ordered and delivered from....British Columbia. When hearing this from the owner I looked at Eric and said, "Well now, how do ya like THEM apples!" He just stood there looking at me, speechless and looking dumbfounded.
Sadly it wasn't to last as it was temporary because the owner wanted to rent the house out over the summer as a weekly rental. So the hunt was on again. It turned out a friend of ours had just gone through a breakup and couldn't afford to run his house on this own and asked us to move in with him. We agreed but only on a short term basis. He had a lovely 13 year old home he built himself and all in all it was OK except his lifestyle was very different from ours and started to become a problem for us. HE was happy, we were miserable. We were there 8 months when Eric found an apartment in the city. A brand new neighbourhood in a brand new home. We were there 3 months because they sold the house. So we moved again, into a old neighbourhood where coincidentally I had lived when I was just a little girl. I was NOT happy to be there. I remember looking at Eric and telling him...this isn't it, we don't belong here, this is not our forever home...one more move and we will be there.
Now you are probably asking why hadn't I used The Secret during all those moves to find another place suitable for us. To clarify that there was a reason. I had become sick for... months, I'll spare all the details except to say that one of my problems was that I found out that I was going to go blind, I was losing my sight and not much could be done about it. My heart and soul just couldn't gather up what it took to believe in anything. I became somewhat depressed and that certainly didn't help.
Then Eric said to me one day, " Why don't you try that Secret stuff again Natalie, just one more time, please? What do we have to lose? It's worked so many times before and it can work again, write it all down like you did before, put in all the details of what you want." So I did....one more time.
I had also placed an ad on kijiji that we were an older retired couple looking to rent a small home or cottage, preferably on the water and possible access to the water. We wanted privacy and quiet and so on. Two months went by and we forgot all about the ad and just kinda hung lose and kept our eyes open for something else. I didn't feel like 'hunting' as all that moving had sucked me dry. Much as I hated where we were living I hated the thought of moving again.
In the midst of all this and all my health problems it was becoming clear to Eric and I that I wouldn't be able to work outside the house again. My employable days were over. So I applied for CPPD...Canada Pension Plan Disability. To be approved for the pension was not going to be an easy feat as they don't approve many people unless you are at death's door. I was determined. I payed into this all my working life and I felt entitled to what was mine. My health was bad and I needed the money. EVERYONE including my Doctor told me "Good luck with that! They never approve anyone. I have patients a lot worse off than you are and they couldn't get approved."CPP are very, very hard to deal with. There is a 4 month waiting period to wait for an answer and during all that time I used The Secret and believed they would approve me. And I used The Secret to get the amount that I needed. I would say to myself over and over again. "Just let me receive enough to cover the rent for wherever we end up living." It seemed to me that whenever I'd repeat this to myself,the same amount of money would pop into my head, over and over. And I kept telling it to go away because it didn't seem to me to be enough to cover rent anywhere!
So 4 months go by and finally I get the call from CPPD. They were going to approve me! They were going to pay me retroactive 10 months even! Although I was disappointed on the monthly amount but, very surprised at the same time as the amount was that same number that kept popping up in my head...actually it was $17.56 more than that number. I found this very strange.
So in March of last year I received a nice fat cheque. We bought a truck and some much needed items. This picked my spirits up a bit and allowed me to concentrate again on finding 'our home'.
It was in May when Eric and I decided we would go to the family camp in Kilmarnock NB and stay a couple of weeks. When one evening we decided to go into town, Woodstock, for an ice-cream cone at the Dari-Delight. I took my laptop with me in the truck so I could hook up to wireless long enough to check emails. Sitting in the parking lot of the Dari-Delight licking on an ice-cream cone I sat the laptop between Eric and I and waited for the emails to load up. The list of emails began to populate when suddenly I stopped licking in mid stride...my eyes locked on an unknown sender. I had no idea who this was or what they wanted. Without saying a word to Eric who was happily licking his soft serve banana flavored ice-cream and watching traffic flow by I opened the email. It was from a woman who wanted to know if we had found a house yet. I was more confused as I had no idea what this person was talking about. I had forgotten about the Kijiji ad ,it had been so long since I placed it and that was what this woman was referring to.
"We have a small year round cottage on the water in Chance Harbour that is nice and quiet if you are still looking and if you would like to see the house, just let me know." I felt a rush of thoughts and emotions and felt confused. I remained quiet without saying anything to Eric and continued to work on my ice-cream cone while warily looking down at the email. After finishing my ice-cream I lit up a cigarette and stared straight ahead out the window. I was wondering what the rent would be. I was wondering how far was Chance Harbour from the city as I couldn't remember being there before. Looking straight ahead I broke the silence. "Want to move to Chance Harbour?" I asked? "No,why?" I showed him the email. I could see the wheels turning in his head. "No...too far out of the city and I hate the travelling back and forth...been there and done that!" he said. "OK. I guess you're right." I said
We stayed another two weeks at the camp and headed home without another word on the Chance Harbour house. We were back home about a week and a half when I brought it up again. "What can it hurt to email them and ask a few questions? Maybe it will work out, maybe not. We've got nothing to lose by taking a look." Eventually we progressed from emails to phone calls. The last phone call the owner told me they were working on the place and it wouldn't be ready until June. They were putting a new roof on the house. The house was well insulated and it received a lot of passive solar heat because the house faced south and was all glass windows. That did it right there for me.I only had one more very important question to ask the owner. How much for the rent? It turned out it would take most of my cheque and leave me with $48 left over....I couldn't believe it. My little CPP Cheque would cover the rent. I was blown away.
We went to look at the house and I fell in love, head over heels in love! The list I'd made.....it had happened again. EVERYTHING I wanted was here. Pine boarding all throughout the house. Lots of windows facing the water and a view and a trail leading to the beach..the Bay of Fundy! A private beach! Even a newly paved road that snaked through the village of Chance Harbour. 25 minute drive to the city! I had again asked for red cedar and this house was a shingled with white chipped paint. I said to Eric " well...it's everything I asked for,except the color is wrong." I said with a giggle. "Hold on, look at this." Eric said. He touched the side of the house and flicked the chipped paint with his fingers....underneath the old paint was red stain over cedar shingles. Again I was speechless.
There is one more little strange detail I left out. When I was trying to see the house in my mind before we found it...or it found us, I kept getting a flash or picture in my mind of Eric and I standing on a deck of a house. I would try to look around but could only see what was in front of us and to the sides of us. All I could make out were lots of trees and bushes and I thought I could hear water...I could sense there was water, a lot of water,but couldn't see it. I did feel the water was straight ahead beyond the trees and I also felt there was a path leading to the water. When we first moved in,there was only one thing that bothered me. The trees in front of the deck were blocking the view of the water. No how strange is that?? It wasn't one week had gone by after moving in and Eric went and took a chainsaw to the trees blocking the view, opening it up and it was BEAUTIFUL!
I don't have dreams of grandeur but, I do have my dreams. And this little house on the Bay of Fundy has always been in my dreams since I was just a youngster. I've always wanted to live in a small warm friendly community, in the country near the ocean. I've always wanted the pine interior and windows throughout my home. When discovering and using The Secret and all the little and big things I've managed to manifest I went all out this last time around. And it worked. Or something worked because here I am. Still sound hokey? Maybe....but then again.............
Eric says I am living the Canadian Dream. Early retirement, living in a little cottage on the ocean, my beloved Bay of Fundy, where I lay in bed at night and listen to the surf crashing on shore. Living in a small warm, friendly community where the people here are as beautiful as the scenery.....and I feel sooooo blessed and humbled by the 'chance' I took believing that it was possible and that I was given the 'chance' to live in Chance Harbour.
It will be 6 months the 1st of November that we have lived here. I feel as though I've always been here and god help me,I hope to always live here for many, many years to come. I can't imagine having any more than I have now. All my needs are met here.
I awake each day, rain or shine and feel full of peace, glory and joy as I stand and look out at the Bay of Fundy. I am reminded each day of the magic and mystery of life. I feel the Bay of Fundy speaks to me. She gently reminds me of how she has always been here, waiting for me the whole time. And all time I had only to open myself to her. To her beauty, to her power, to her gentleness and her promise of always being here for me. She fills me with every breath I take. She touches my skin with every breeze. She sends up the wind with every wave to caress my hair and sooth my heart and soul. With her and her Secrets I have come to believe that....anything and everything is possible. I just have to remember to believe.
Until the next high tide........