Everybody Says “Don’t!”

Throughout my life, I have had more of my share of times when I did something when everybody said don’t. I was considered the black sheep of my family. Really, I was always told I was like my Aunt Dolores, who left home when she was 15 to marry a man much older than herself. I don’t know her whole story, but in the last years of her life she met a millionaire and married him. She stayed away from our family, perhaps because she was tired of being told don’t.

I left Catholism at 16. “Don’t!” I left home when I was 18. “Don’t!” I missed walking the stage at my high school graduation to get on the back of a motorcycle and travel cross country with the man I thought I loved. “Don’t!” I got married at 18 “Don’t!” I left the east coast and everything I knew to move to New Mexico with my husband. “Don’t!” I had children in my early 20’s. “Don’t!” I became a Morman. “Don’t!” I became and actress and kissed men other than my husband on stage. “Don’t!” I traveled over 400 miles a week to study voice for close to seven years. “Don’t!” I said no to an audition at the Metropolitan Opera House. “Don’t!” I left Mormonism after 10 years of devotion. “Don’t!” I went to college in my late 30s and 40s to receive my Masters. “Don’t!” I got divorced after 27 years of marriage. “Don’t!” I moved to L.A. in my 40s to pursue an acting career. “Don’t!”  I remarried. “Don’t!” I became a Religious Scientist. What’s that? “Don’t! I became a minister. “You’ve got to be kidding! Don’t!” I quit my secure job for fulltime ministry before I had a job in ministry. “Don’t!” I moved to Kaua`i to start a brand new ministry somewhere where I didn’t know anyone at the age of 60. “Don’t!”

These are just a few of the times I said DO when everyone said don’t. I rocked plenty of boats and upset a few carts. But every time, my heart led me. And, the times when I analyzed things and didn’t do them, or there was a nudge I didn’t follow, it would always come back around to make me choose again. My life has been one of choice, most definitely, and mostly doing when everybody said “Don’t!” I crossed what the late Bob Proctor would call terror barriers to live a life of choice. I didn’t always meet happy endings, but I did gain great wisdom, the greatest being to always say yes to the life that calls me. It’s the place of expansion and growth. It’s my evolution.

What does this say about me? I’m sure everyone has their opinion of me. Some of those opinions I’ve been unfortunate to hear. Some opinions I’m so grateful I don’t hear. Then, there are those who think I’m great. The thing is that neither opinion should matter. What matters is what I think and I think it’s pretty brave to go against the norm. What is that quote from the poem by Robert Frost, “Somewhere ages and ages hence; Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

All the great advances in our world were made by people who didn’t listen to the word don’t. I believe our evolution as a planet would not have gone forward if these people hadn’t stepped forward and off the road the majority was traveling. What do you think?

We watched a great movie the other night about the writer and composer Jonathan Larson. If you know his story, he wrote the play “Rent” and never saw its opening on Broadway, because he died suddenly the night before it opened. You might think that was tragic, but what I feel is that he was a man who said do when many said don’t. He had failures, but he never gave up. In the autobiographical one-man show he wrote called “Tick Tick Boom!” he felt his clock ticking. Somewhere in his subconscious he knew he only had a limited time, and he was going to use it to the fullest and give the world his gift, his purpose. He rode past the don’ts of life with a big DO!

Aren’t we all here on limited time? Do we ask ourselves why we are here and what is ours to do and be? Do we tell ourselves “Don’t!” when our hearts are screaming “Do!” Those “Do’s” that we hear Is called the Divine Urge. We all have it. It is the calling from deep within us, the quiet voice, the uncomfortable feeling that urges us to make different choices

What I can say about this from the standpoint of someone who walked the road less traveled, I’ve never regretted it. It wasn’t always easy, but I was always taken care of. I didn’t walk by blind faith, but I did walk by the kind of faith that someone at the movie talked about Friday night. It’s the faith that trusts your own inner light, that trusts love.

I think life is a journey of choices. We can make the choices based on fear or based on love. There are a lot of norms that our set up for us, and we are programmed and trained to follow those norms or else! However, we are beings of choice. It is when we step out of those norms, willingly and daringly that everyone benefits. Even if it is upsetting to those around us, they grow, too. What I’ve found is that sometimes when others get upset, it is just because they don’t want their life to change because of you or they are actually jealous that you can do it and they just can’t. They wish they were as brave as you are.

Am I promoting us to be rebels? Yes, but rebels with a cause: First Cause. When we base our life on First Cause or the Kingdom of Heaven and Power with in us, it will force us to rebel from the world of conditions into the realm of infinite possibilities. These infinite possibilities cannot be experienced when we are stuck and earthbound.

In the Science of Mind and Spirit, what we teach is we are free to choose in every moment. Dr. Ernest Holmes wrote this. One should analyze himself saying, ‘Do I look at myself from a standpoint of restriction? Do I see life limited to the eternal round of getting up in the morning, eating, going to work, coming home, going to bed, sleeping, getting up and so on? Break the bonds of necessity and see life as one continuous expression of the Infinite Self, and as this conception gradually dawns on the inner thought, something will happen in the outer conditions to relieve the greater demands of necessity. …ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN DREAM OF is not too great for you to undertake if it hurts no man and brings happiness and good into your life. 288

What are you doing today based on necessity and how can you dream a little bigger. Can you say “Do!”

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Co-Founder and Director CSL Kaua`i, Spiritual Coach, Author

My new book, “What Do I Need to KNOW? 101 Thought That Changed My Life” is available HERE on AMAZON

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