Douglas Marshall-MacDonald

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Expect Miracles? How asking for a simple miracle changed everything

Expect Miracles? How asking for a simple miracle changed everything

One of my favorite personal mantras is "Expect Miracles".  It's always on the tip of the tongues of Gabby Bernstein and Marianne Williamson.  They say that when you believe in miracles and expect them, the miracles show up.  Marianne goes as far to say that if you are not regularly experiencing miracles in your life, something is seriously wrong.  So I've adopted the “Expect Miracles” mindset and adapted it to my own life--and somehow, some way, this mantra follows me in different ways and the miracles do show up when I ask for them.  However they only happen when I'm truly open to them.  

For all the positive spiritual practices I incorporate into my life, I'm amazed at how often I'm angry, resentful, complaining, judgmental, controlling and (gasp) jealous of things around me.  Despite my best efforts to do meditations, manifestations and prayer practices, I can veer off course very quickly.  My husband always recalls a line from Vicky Cristina Barcelona when my mind starts racing or I'm holding him hostage with my self-created drama rants.  It’s that scene where Penelope Cruz is yelling at Scarlett Johansson because Scarlett is not sure she wants to be in a 3 way relationship with her and Javier Bardem anymore.  Penelope hurls a diagnosis at her: "Chronic dissatisfaction. Chronic dissatisfaction.  That’s what you have.  Big sickness.”  Watch the clip. No matter what, nothing ever seems to be enough for Scarlett.  And in truth, I can often identify with that. 

I went on vacation last week to Anguilla in the Caribbean – a practical beach paradise--a place where you're supposed to be relaxed and at peace with the world.  Yet, the first 3 days were an emotional struggle for me.  What I was mainly struggling with is that it was really hard to find an open lounge chair on the beach.  If you didn't get there early enough, you were without a chair for the day.  So rather than feeling like I was on vacation, I was in competition for chairs and I resented the people who got one and I didn’t.  It made my blood boil and every day on the way to the beach I was anxious.  I had very little faith.  My breaking point was when we had to eat a $90 dollar lunch at a restaurant on the beach before the snobby maître d let us use their lounge chairs.  We asked if we could just order at the chairs and he flipped out, “What, do you want to eat with your fingers?”  He talked down to us as if we had no manners or social graces.  I was ready to walk, but my husband reaffirmed that we had no other hope of a chair, so we ate the lunch.  I was having the hardest time accepting that some things were beyond my control or that things weren’t as I thought they might be.  To be honest, I didn’t do enough research before booking the trip and once I got there, I wasn’t the best “go with the flow” or “don’t sweat the small stuff” kind of guy.  It's like the minute I slowed down on vacation, my mind raced to find the imperfection(s).  

I will say this – no matter what the frustration, I stayed open to changing my mindset.  I was also trying desperately not to complain to my husband about all the Island’s shortcomings.  I kept asking the universe for a miracle and taking deep breaths; asking to see things differently.  I went to an adorable church one day for a spiritual time-out.  I met this couple, Joe and Jody from Newport, RI—and they were vibe-ing love and light.  I had a great chat with them.  Jody used to be a news anchor, so we talked about the world of journalism.  Then Joe took out this tiny stack of cards and was like, "Choose one".  As if this was a tarot card exercise, I drew one blindly.  And what did it say?  "Expect Miracles".  There it was, a reminder from fellow humans, who were perhaps dropped in front of me in that moment at the right time, to give me a card that said Expect Miracles.  I felt guided, I felt protected and I felt like my calls to the universe for a miracle had manifested in divine timing.  I put this card on the back of my phone, as a reminder, that asking for a miracle really works—when I’m willing to wait for it.  My vacation turned a corner after meeting Joe and Jody.  It was a chance encounter that reset my mindset.  I needed that reminder.  I'm so grateful for that afternoon and meeting them.  My vacation became filled with miracles that came in the form of meeting great people, feeling more relaxed and I never wanted for a beach chair again for the rest of the week.

I’m not writing this to shed light on what a spoiled dissatisfied brat I can be.  To be honest, I always wonder if I should write things like that, for fear that people will run the other way when I cop to my toxic behaviors.  But I’m guessing if I feel this way sometimes, there must be others.  And if there are others like me, maybe you need a miracle too?  So, my experience here is that when I asked for a miracle, it showed up.  It changed everything.  The miracle manifested.  Also, don’t underestimate that you might be someone else’s miracle at any moment on any day.  Joe and Jody are miracle workers – and they shared that energy with me.

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