Here is the full transcript of author Mary Morrissey’s talk titled “The Hidden Code For Transforming Dreams Into Reality” at TEDxWilmingtonWomen conference. In this talk, Mary explains how to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: The Hidden Code For Transforming Dreams Into Reality by Mary Morrissey at TEDxWilmingtonWomen
Imagine it’s one year from today, and we all agree that we’re going to come back for a reunion. Not maybe, absolutely; we’ll all come back, exactly the same group of us, and we’re to come back for a reunion.
And we’re going to share the things that have happened in our life during the last 12 months of our life. We’re going to share what it is that we dreamed up when we were here at TEDx in October of 2016, and what’s happening in our lives now, 365 days later.
What would you love to be saying about your life? What would you love to say in the four areas where humans actually do create results?
We live in a spiral universe. In a spiral, there’s an ever upward pull of becomingness. A little blade of grass feels it as it presses through cement to become more of itself today than yesterday. A tree presses to the edges of itself to become more of itself today than yesterday.
And humans feel the same thing; we just feel it a little differently. We feel it through longing, and we feel it through discontent.
We feel a longing for greater freedom, we feel a discontent with certain circumstances and situations. And if we just keep breathing another 365 days, we will create results, because that’s what humans do.
Now, we create results in four areas. We create results in health and well-being. You could look at your own results right now in health and well-being.
BUT WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE A YEAR FROM NOW?
Because if you keep breathing, you’re going to have results in that area. Humans create results in RELATIONSHIPS. Some of them are wonderful, some of them are deep, some of them are supportive, and some of them are not.
What would you love in the area of your relationships? Would you love to bring someone special in your life? Would you love to transform a relationship you’re in? Maybe a relationship is on auto-pilot, and you’d love to have it go deeper.
Humans create results in VOCATION. What we do with our time and talent, whether we earn income doing it or not. Because just by our beingness, we’re doing something with our time and talent.
Even if we think, “I’ve made so many mistakes, I’m going to crawl in bed and put the covers over my head.” What I create that day is “covers-over-my-head day in bed.” I don’t get to not create out of my experience.
And humans create results — here we go — humans create results…
Humans create results in time and money, freedom or constraint. So if you think about next year when we come to the reunion, what would you love to be saying?
You know, on my calendar the last 12 months, here’s what were the evidences of more freedom for me, and time. More freedom for me in the economic freedom where I could go where I wanted to go, do what I wanted to do, but maybe even more importantly, and I believe it is, actually give to the things that matter to you. Provide some of the things for those that matter to you as well.
Now, about 40 years ago, I got very, very interested in transformation. I was getting my undergraduate degree, and I cared deeply about kids. It’d been a longing of mine for quite a while to become a schoolteacher.
And while I was getting my undergraduate degree, I wanted to study everything I could in the field of transformation. And the purpose of that point was to help children discover a kind of self-esteem so no matter what their circumstances, no matter what their situations, they could actually believe that they could become the person they wanted to be, and achieve the things they wanted to achieve.
I went on and got a graduate degree in counseling psychology. I earned an honorary doctorate. My first book, “Building Your Field of Dreams,” became a PBS special.
I had the privilege of working with His Holiness the Dalai Lama over the course of seven years, creating week-long conversations. I could just sit right next to him for a week at a time over seven years, three different times. Conversations with world leaders about how to transform our world’s results.
I got very interested in how results happened, and how to transform results. I had the privilege of speaking at the United Nations with the Martin Luther King kids and Gandhi’s grandkids and creating a 64-day season for non-violence, particularly teaching junior high kids about how to solve problems through acts of non-violence and caring.
And I spoke at the UN three different times, one of them with Rosa Parks. And I was building my dreams that mattered to me.
I had the privilege of working and flying to Cape Town, South Africa, and meeting with Nelson Mandela. I had a deep dream to ask him the question: “How did you transform your results? How did you be a man who gets sentenced to life in prison — you served 27 years in hard prison — and then not only do you get out of prison before you die, but you actually then become president of the country that sentences you to life. Who on our planet does this? How did you do that? What was going on inside of you?”
And that has been my quest and my interest and my deep longing so that I could transfer that and offer that to the people that I had the privilege of working with. I’ve had the privilege of working with tens of thousands of people around the world around changing their results.
Does it mean that because every time I’ve studied this, and worked with my own life and others, that every time for me my dreams came true? No. Does it mean everything I did worked out? No.
My first business that I spent 23 years building — I took my eye off the ball, I hired somebody to run the financial side of it. It was totally mismanaged. I lost everything I had built. It was heartbreaking to me.
But there are three steps that dream builders use either consciously or unconsciously to transform their results so that the dream wins over conditions; so that the dream wins over time; so that the dream wins over all kinds of circumstances, situations, and even our history, and even no matter how long it’s been there, and sometimes it’s been there for decades.
About 150 years ago, a man decided to do an experiment with his life. That’s what we’re invited to do over the next 12 months. Keep breathing and do an experiment with life.
He went to the woods, Henry David Thoreau, and he said, prior to his — this quote that’s up here, he said:
“I wanted to learn to suck the marrow out of aliveness. I wanted to live a life I loved living while I was living it. I went to the woods because I wished to deliberately front the only essential facts of life and see if life could not teach me what it had to teach, and not when I came to die discover that I had not even really lived.”
Now, Henry did this two-year, two-month, two-day experiment, and then he wrote an essay about it.
In the conclusion of that essay, he writes a quote that is worldwide known:
“If one advances confidently in the direction of their dream and endeavors to live the life they’ve imagined,” he said, “I learned this at least by my experiment, if one advances confidently in the direction of their dream.”
Well, you can’t advance in a direction you don’t already have an idea of. And the first thing dream builders or people who evolve their results do is they have an idea of what they would really love their life to be like.
If I say to you “your front door”; if I say to you “the kitchen sink where you live”; if I say to you “the bed you sleep in most often”; you did not see the letters B E D or S I N K or D O O R, you saw pictures. You saw a picture of a door, a picture of a sink, a picture of a bed.
This is important for us to know as building a dream, because most of us dream dreams, and we’re vague. We don’t really see a dream. We say, “I want it to be better, I want it to be easier. I’d love to travel,” and there’s no picture for where we would travel.
The more specific you are and the more specific you are right now, this talk will mean way more to you over the course of this next year.
What would you really love? Most of us ask this question: What do I think I can do? What does the economy say I can do? What do you think I can do? What does my mother think I can do?
What would you love? is the right question, because you’ll have different thoughts on the frequency of that question than you will have on the “What do I think?” question.
What would you really love? Because you’re going to have results in those four areas anyway.
Now, I knew nothing about this in 1966.
In 1966, I had grown up in a very, very happy family. My mom and dad, my sister, eight years older. This was 1966. I was a junior in high school, I was homecoming princess, had a lead in the junior play.
I was my class vice president, had three best friends from the time I was 10 years old, and we’d hung out together, and done many, many things together.
And in spring break of 1966, my high school sweetheart had gone off to college, came home on spring break, and I got pregnant.
May 1, I tell my mom and dad I’m now pregnant. My mother wept for me as if I had died. We had a very hasty 10-person wedding middle of May. The high school principal calls me in, says, “Are these rumors true?”
I said, “If the rumors are I’m pregnant, married, in that order, then yes.”
He just put his head in his hands and said, “Mary, you will not be allowed to return here for your senior year. It would be totally inappropriate for a pregnant girl to get mixed in with the normal girls, but we have a place for people like you. It’s a high school not held during daylight; it’s after dark. It’s across the river — in a part of Portland I hadn’t been allowed to drive in after dark — and it’s where the pregnant girls and delinquent boys go to high school.”
So that’s where I began my senior year, and my first son was born in December of 1966. Only now, the mothers of my best girlfriends would no longer let them see me because I was married, I was pregnant. It was as if what I had was contagious.
I graduated from Washington Evening High School in May of 1967, and in July of 1967, I was in a Portland hospital, having been diagnosed with fatal kidney disease. One kidney was totally destroyed with nephritis, the other kidney was 50% destroyed in active nephritis.
And in 1967, this is a death sentence. We don’t have dialysis, we don’t have transplants, and every medical physician, doctor, specialist, surgeon all said the same thing: “The best we can do is maybe give you six months if we can get the blood toxin level in your body reduced enough to remove that surgery, then maybe you’ll have six months.”
And I was terrified.
And my belief system at that time was this was happening to me. I was being punished for being a bad girl, and I was being punished.
Well, the night before the surgery, a woman walked in my room at 10 o’clock at night who identified herself as a chaplain offering prayer for people who’re going to have surgeries the next day — did I want prayer?
And I’m thinking, you know, well, the God of my upbringing probably needed to have some anger management classes. But it’s the only God I knew at the time, and I said, “Well, maybe.”
And she pulled her hair next to my bed. She didn’t do anything that looked like prayer. She talked to me, and she asked me to tell her what had been going on in my life the last year or two, which I did, and when I was finished, she said, “Mary, everything’s created twice.”
“What do you mean?”
She said, “You know this. In fact, everybody knows it. Almost nobody knows the power of knowing this.” She said, “The bed you’re on, the nightgown you’re wearing, the sheet covering you, the walls, ceiling, floor, all the machinery you’re hooked up to first had to be a thought before it could be a thing. You know this.”
Then she said, “I hear how much you love your little boy, but I also hear how much you’ve been hating yourself. You feel like you shamed yourself, you shamed your school, you shamed your family. And now that you’re thinking how everything’s created twice, could you consider that there could be a correlation because, notice this Mary, if you think embarrassing thoughts, your cheeks get red; if you think scary enough thoughts, your heart beats faster. It doesn’t mean anything scary is going on; it doesn’t even mean anything embarrassing is going on; it means you think those thoughts, and your body responds. Could it be that if you think enough toxic thoughts about yourself, there could be a correlative, a toxicity, that goes on in your body that actually could threaten your life?”
Well, this was so beyond anything that I had any framework for at that point.
And she said, “Could you believe it’s possible that we could do a prayer or say words and this could completely be eliminated from you. And in fact, when they come to get you for surgery in the morning, they say, ‘Get up, go home. You’re fine.’ Could you believe that?”
And I told her the truth: “No.”
I didn’t believe that was going to happen for me. There was not one part of me that believed. I was way more belief in my pain at that point.
She said: “All right, if you can’t believe this, remember there’s an infinite number of possibilities. There has to be one where instead of — we do this prayer, we pull all the genesis of this dis-ease that’s going on in you and put it in the kidney that’s going to be removed. And when it’s removed, instead of you getting worse, you actually get better. Could you believe that’s possible?”
I didn’t know if it was possible, but I could tell she believed it was possible. And I believe it was the first time I ever chose to believe on the frequency of someone else’s belief, who was operating at a higher domain. I said, “Maybe it’s possible.”
Remember, this is before Sheldrake and David Bohm, and quantum field science, and all the things — at this point, there was no mind-body clinic at Harvard. I mean, this is all… in the last 40 years, so much has happened.
So she said, “All right, let’s work with that. One idea,” she says, “one part of you open to the idea; let’s work with that.”
She said some words. She gave me a prescriptive for how to use my thinking and my emotion, and then she left, and they did the surgery.
And about a week or two later, my numbers were stable — enough that they said, “You might have a bit more time. We’re going to let you go home.”
I went home to my parents’ house in an ambulance, where my son and my husband were staying. And I could hardly get my head off the pillow.
But subtly — I was in many times a week at first, and over time, less time as being checked, having my numbers checked. And subtly over time, my numbers not only stabilized, but improved.
And four or five months later, I’m sitting in a doctor’s office with a surgeon and a specialist and my regular GP, and they’re scratching their heads, saying, “We have no science for why your one kidney is not only getting better it seems to be functioning as a perfectly whole fine kidney. And we don’t have any science for this. We’re going to put medical anomaly on your chart. Whatever you’ve been doing, keep doing it.”
That’s when I began to do the things that I’ve told you about. I got into undergraduate school, I got into graduate school, and over time as I reflected about what happened, and I studied people who transform their results — people who transform their results, not just wish for a better result, but actually transform their results –
There are three things they do, every one of them, whether they do it consciously or unconsciously. And when I transformed my health result, I was totally an unconscious competent. I just did what she told me to do.
She said: “Here’s what’s going to happen. When you have that surgery, your mind is very much like a rubber band, you thought those thoughts so much, your mind is going to want to think those toxic thoughts. They’re going to remove that one kidney. Every time you notice yourself starting to think of toxic thoughts, say, “No, that left with the kidney,” and then immediately imagine yourself — like you’re walking in and getting into your own bed – imagine yourself.”
And for me, because I wanted my two big dreams: I want to be a teacher, and I want to raise my son.
“Imagine you’re walking into a school, you’ve got a little five-year-old’s hand in yours. Feel the warmth of his hand in yours. You walk up to a teacher. He goes into his kindergarten class. You hear the click-click of your heels. You go around the corner, and there’s your classroom, and you’re a teacher, and he’s five.
Imagine yourself. Then fast forward: imagine you’re sitting in a big auditorium. There’s caps and gowns down there. Your son’s 18; he’s graduating from high school, and you’re there, and your teaching career is growing.
And then fast forward and imagine that you’re in the front row of a wedding. You’re the mother of the groom. Your son’s marrying the love of his life. And your teaching career is flourishing. Keep repeating that.”
I had done that unconsciously. Every time I would start to think, “Oh my gosh!” and start to generate that wavelength of self-loathing, I said: “No, that left with the kidney.”
Then I saw myself, and I imagined being the person taking him into kindergarten, being the person seeing him graduate, being the person sitting in the front row of his wedding.
I had no idea the power of that. But after 45 years of studying and tens of thousands of people, what I know are these three things.
That if when we get together next year for our reunion, and if you would love to be able to share results, in particularly one or two areas of your life where you feel the greatest longing and the most discontent, then these three things will help you.
NUMBER ONE, YOU WANT TO CREATE WITH CLARITY A SPECIFIC DREAM.
Imagine yourself: health, what would you love? relationships. As clear the dream you can design, the more your brain can work on that frequency.
You know if you want to change your television channel, you’ve got to change the frequency. You know if you want to change the radio station you’re listening to, you’ve got to change the frequency. We’re not really different. We think on frequencies.
Our ability to see and not see opportunities are on the frequencies we think from. Create a specific dream. See yourself in it. Refuse to stay discouraged. I didn’t say refuse to get discouraged; we’re all going to get discouraged. Not everything we try is going to work out.
We learned to walk by falling down; we just didn’t stay down. We were little kids. It was normal to explore, experiment. We got older, and we thought every step we take has got to work out.
So decline to stay discouraged. Okay, that was feedback.
When Edison was asked “How did you survive 10,000 failures?”
He said: “I never had a failure; it was all feedback.”
You’ll have some feedback this year. Decline to stay discouraged, and then be more interested in the growth that will happen for you by means of having a dream.
Yes, many, many wonderful things will happen if you become a dream builder, not a dreamer, a dream builder, because you’re going to create results anyway.
But to stay in the comfort zone means you’re going to keep having what you’ve had because that’s where you’re comfortable. If you want something you’ve never had, do something you’ve never done — that’s growth. We’ll get a little unstable in that part of our life.
So if you’re more interested in growth than comfort, you’re willing to be interested a little bit in growth because it’s more for you than what’s been, and do that in service of your dream.
So those three things: be specific about your dream; decline to stay discouraged; be in service of your dream through the growth that happens, and you’re going to have that every single day during this 365-day experiment before we have our reunion next year.
Now, not one of us can go back and change what’s back there, but every single one of us can decide what’s going to be out there.