“Free Will” means to gladly do what you must do.
On June 16, 1994, while working on a week-long corporate conference, I had the sudden realization that I was bored out of my mind. This was no small feat as the technical production component of the corporate event and meeting industry can be about as high stress as any work environment can get. I felt that I had worked myself (over many years) to the top of the industry (and into a very lucrative position) and that there were few, if any, challenges left for me in that field. Added to these realizations was a promise that I had long ago made to myself that I would leave any industry as soon as it became boring.
Thus I knew that a change was necessary—a big change.
I decided I would test out a theory that I had been mulling over for the previous two years: a four-step process designed to consciously manifest a chosen reality based upon the “Deepest Desire of the Heart.” The four steps are:
1) Discover my heart’s “Deepest Desire.”
2) Decide who I am based upon that discovery,
3) Trust that decision, and
4) Act upon that decision.
Needless to say, having come from a thoroughly materialistic society on the Northeast coast of the United States, this would not be considered “appropriate behavior.” Thus I took the naturally prudent course and didn’t tell anyone (except a very small group of friends) what I was doing because “everyone knows you can’t do that!”
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world—the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
—George Bernard Shaw
I believed, and still do, that if this theory is in fact true, it could precipitate a radical re-evaluation of current human belief patterns. Just as Christopher Columbus was raised in a society that believed the world was flat, we believe that Reality is “fixed” and “that’s just the way it is.” But what if Reality is not fixed? If the Reality we experience is unlimited in its possibilities and is created, in each moment, by our beliefs and thus, by our choices and actions (conscious or otherwise), testing this theory is an opportunity that, I feel, must be explored. Rest assured that I am not the only one choosing to explore this possibility.
I decided to test out this theory by starting with a blank slate: to leave the corporate world with no idea what I was going to do next. I spent that summer in Sedona sitting on my porch trying to get past the many layers of fear and doubt that encased my heart so that I could accomplish the crucial (and perhaps most difficult) Step 1. (I had been commuting for the previous year and a half between Boston, where I had lived for fourteen years, and Sedona, where I am renting a house.) The act of sitting in one place with a minimum of human contact, after having been a person who made “Type A’s” look lethargic, was a challenge unto itself. After three months I finally got deep enough into my heart to bring back the phrase “Pep Rallies for the Human Race.” I had no idea what that phrase meant or how it would externalize, but the massive waves of emotion that poured through my body (and still do) told me that I had found a deep personal truth. Step 1 was complete.
That fall, I returned to the East Coast for what I had decided to call the “Richard Fairbanks Victory Tour.” This was my final series of shows in the corporate world. Upon my return to Sedona (on 11/11/94) I slept for the majority of the next three weeks and discovered what releasing twenty years of extreme sleep deprivation can do to a human body. (Wow!) After that, a string of amazing “coincidences” occurred that made my heart and mind burst with passion and excitement. The Lotus Dome design was being conceived. That period, from the Christmas Holidays of 1994 through the second week of February 1995, was an extraordinary period of my life. The exhilaration of my new freedom and the discovery of my life’s work (and its inherent possibilities) filled me deeply, triggering a state of euphoria that daily brought me to my knees. The waves of inspiration, passion and ecstasy that occurred are quite indescribable. Step 2 was complete. It was now time to do the work . . . and to trust the timing.
Almost three years after that fateful spring day, Steps 3 and 4 are still ongoing. Working passionately day and night, the designs, and I, have evolved enormously. (That is a topic for another time;-)). The passion and inspiration remain. I am spending these days getting news of the Lotus Dome out to as many people as possible so that I can attract the necessary funding to build, test and promote the next prototype. The work, the excitement and the trust, go on . . .
I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
—Henry David Thoreau
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