October 5, 2014 I had a very clear and laid out plan during my trip to LA a couple months ago. I planned to take a long, luxurious walk at my favorite beach and then meet a friend for lunch. Yes, that was my plan! As I walked in the sand a mile out and a mile back I took deep, relaxing breaths. A smile came to my lips as I stood and recounted where I had been. I was thrilled after my walk that I had so much time to spare! When I looked down at my watch I noticed my rental car key was gone! For a moment I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. First confusion and then utter panic! You know the kind. I realized the best thing I could do was quickly retrace my steps and do my best to find the key immediately – before it got kicked by someone into the sand or drawn out to sea to become fish food. The first thing I knew to do was slow down, pause, pray and set a powerful intention to find the key. I’ve been living intentionally for 10 years and I wholeheartedly believe in the power of harnessing the thoughts to create focus on goodness and gratitude for what I have and who I am. Then I concentrated and focused on these words … find key, certainty, knowing and trust. Why? Because what I know is: When I keep my mind clear of cluttered, negative thoughts, what ifs, how, catastrophes and what “I can’t do” (i.e. “I can’t find my ___”) I calm right down and the outcome is much better than if I’m stuck in fear, worry, doubt and feeling frantic. When I direct my mind to focus on positive/higher outcomes and see myself at my best – I trust, know and have certainty the universe has my back and good continues to come. How do I know this? Because I have plenty of years of experimenting with these concepts and developing Self-Mastery Skills. I have accumulated an abundance of evidence that life supports me this way. What’s the key? (No pun intended.) Keeping my focus forward on clear, positive, expansive thoughts where I win in my own fantasy and creative imagination. I took a deep breath and remembered I had been all over the place in my walk. After all, who walks in a straight line on the beach? I steadily and confidently started running and scanning all areas of the beach and into the ocean. As I was doing so, I reframed the rigorous run as a “great workout to increase the health in my heart.” Several times my mind tried its best to intervene: “What happens if you can’t find the rental car key?” “How much will this cost?” and “How could you be so ______?” I put the brakes firmly on this mind intrusion and told myself not to go there! I approached a couple and asked them to look out for a run-away key, just in case they found it. I got to the end of the mile, where I knew I walked up a high sand embankment. At that point I was standing in the middle of endless piles of dried sea sludge that all looked the same. Key nowhere to be found. I stopped, took a calming breath and quietly asked for grace and a miracle and I envisioned myself joyfully finding the key. Just then I had the intuition to “call a living life-line and phone a friend.” I called Tina and asked her to send positive energy and thoughts my way. As I looked down on my phone at her message of “sending you love to find your key” something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Outside of my immediate scope of focus, off in the distance, was my key! Then, just as I reached for my phone to call my friend to tell her I was running late, I received her text telling me she was running late and not to rush. I stopped and burst out laughing at the irony of what had just occurred. I recognized this as a true test of my trust and faith and walking my talk, as well as, how I am with myself when I make a mistake and things aren’t going so well. Keep in mind – you either trust or have faith or you don’t. Where’s the middle ground? There really isn’t one. It’s a moment-by-moment choice. Where in your life do you say you trust and have faith and yet you’re worrying, fearful and anxious? How do you talk to and treat yourself when in your mind you aren’t “perfect?” Experiment with this during the month until we meet again: Slow down, pause and take deep breaths anchoring in peace and calm. Focus forward and keep your thoughts positive, clean and clear of imposters. Knowing, with certainty and trust the universe is good, is supporting you and see what happens. Create time to journal your experience, how you feel during the process and with the results. Dare to live fully and treat yourself with kindness especially when you feel uncomfortable in the unknown.