how to make miracles

by vanessagobes


You are not a person. You are a radio receiver wrapped in a skin suit, tuning into different frequencies, downloading messages from source. You might have fancy knobs and dials that look an awful lot like fabulous hair and great legs. You might be a little bit of a thing with a broken antenna, making it hard to be taken seriously. You might be connected to speakers with amplification that could fill a stadium, your voice heard by millions. Regardless of your aesthetic, perceived ability, or reach, you are designed and built to receive information and broadcast information.

The type of information you receive depends upon which frequency you select.  

Miracles are manifestations of Source – call this God, collective conscious, emptiness, or just good juju. The frequency you select points you toward those miracles. You have access to infinite wisdom at all times, if only you tune in and listen carefully. Millions of people can tune into the same frequency at once, receiving similar information and inspiration.

We see evidence of this through trends in fashion, technology, science, literature, politics, and just about every other expression of creativity and passion out there. Fanny packs, zombies, and universal health care aren’t “hot” just because one leader decides they are. They’re hot because people around the world are tapping into source together, pulling from from the same frequency and interpreting that frequency through their individuality to create and broadcast unique experiences for their respective audiences to experience.

In order to receive this type of inspiration, you have to listen.

The challenges you face in receiving these messages depend on what kind of listener you are.

There are four kinds of listeners.

Loyal Listener: You listen to one channel all the time. In fact, you listen to it so much sometimes you forget it’s on, and only half-way listen. Your friends know you love this channel and sometimes you try to get them to listen to it, too.

Up and Down the Dial: You compulsively seek, tuning into one frequency for a little while before getting bored or distracted, changing channels. You may feel unsure, unsettled, or frustrated that you’re not more productive with your work or passion. You may give up easily.

Another Day, Another DJ: A person of multiple passions, you select your frequency according to your mood, exploring a new message each day. Sometimes you even try to tune into them all at once. With so many interests, it’s hard to choose just one frequency and expand fully. You may feel confused, undisciplined, overwhelmed, or like you have too many unfinished projects.

Non-listener: You tune out completely. You choose not to listen and instead rely on your mechanics and wiring. If there’s a glitch, you panic. You may feel lonely sometimes, like it’s you against the world.

(Confession: I am somewhere between Loyal Listener and Another Day, Another DJ. I tune into one frequency obsessively, typically for about two years, then turn the channel and hang there for another two years. This makes me a half-manifester of many things, which is simultaneously exciting and disappointing, fascinating and annoying.)

The clarity of that reception depends upon your ability to finely tune out the static. 

Regardless of the channel you select, it’s impossible to fully appreciate a particular frequency when you can hear murmurings from nearby stations, or when the message is muffled by static. Think of those murmurings as self doubt, as tired old stories, as perceived limitations. Static is your sink full of dishes, your favorite TV show, your bills, your knee pain, your kids hollering in the next room.

This interference gets in the way of your frequency’s clarity. But it’s also the mud from which the lotus emerges. Mud, lotus… you mindful types know where we’re going with this. Meditation, or focused, intentional, compassionate awareness, is a way to hear messages on a particular frequency with clarity.

A meditation practice may:

  • keep the Loyal Listener engaged, preventing the message from becoming mundane or turning into background noise
  • strengthen an Up-and-Downer’s ability to stay on one frequency for longer, giving you more time to interpret and master messages that download into your brain
  • help the DJ-a-Day accept that her natural diversity is a gift; if managed properly, its randomness becomes synchronous, easing the completion of works-in-progress
  • inspire the Non-listener to release control and open up a flood of creativity

Your ability to manifest ideas downloaded from your frequency depends on your courage to take action.

Once you’ve established yourself as a receptive channel, creating miracles is up to you. You were divinely designed with everything you need to succeed in manifesting miracles. You are equipped. You are gifted. You are ready. Now all you need to do is believe it.

Taking action might be as simple as a Google search. It might be a phone call or an informational interview. It might be asking for help or taking a class. It might be writing quietly in your room at night. The real question is, what are you waiting for? Time, money, and connections are invalid answers. Resources are available to those who ask, to those who listen, to those who prioritize. So seriously, what’s the hold up?

Remember, if you don’t do it, someone else will. Don’t forget, there are thousands – maybe millions – of people receiving the exact same information you are, from the exact same Source. Even if someone else beat you to the first punch and is successfully pursuing “your” dream, rest assured that there is still space for you. This is a big planet and you are the only you living on it. So while that other guy may be interpreting Source one way, your interpretation is unique to you. And people want to experience your interpretation. They do. For reals.

The volume at which you broadcast that information depends on your purpose.

I tend to download a lot of creativity. For several years, I have been downloading images of solar shingles from Source. They look a lot like ordinary shingles, but they capture solar energy to power ordinary houses. They’re not ugly so people want to buy them. I’m pretty confident that other people are downloading pictures of these solar shingles, too. In fact, a quick Google search landed me on a company right here in Boston that’s manufacturing early versions of them.

Do I think I should be manufacturing solar shingles? No. I’m not following this lead actively because, while I would love to invest money in a company like this, my will is urging me to stay focused on my current work. So I keep the volume on solar shingles turned way down low, and instead, I focus on teaching mindfulness and writing essays like this one.

Teaching and writing are funny things. When you’re excited about a message, you want to holler it at the top of your lungs so the whole world can hear. For many years, I would write and teach and write and teach and wonder why I wasn’t getting “discovered” by the masses. My audience remained tiny and I felt frustrated until I finally realized that my audience is not limited, it’s just specific.

My sweet spot is interpersonal communication. I like people. I like to understand, to be vulnerable, to connect, to go there. Crowds overwhelm me. I feel self-conscious on stage. In other words, I am well-suited for small scale. With this awareness, I can stop judging my success based the size of my audience, or even worse, judging my success on the size of other people’s audiences.

Not everyone can or should be a celebrity, a CEO, a guru, or a best-seller.

We all have aspirational peeps whom we admire from a distance. A painter  might aspire to Georgia O’Keefe. An executive to Bill Gates. A civil servant to Nelson Mandela. As a meditation teacher and spiritual junkie, I love Thich Nhat Hanh. He seems to be without ego, constantly tapped into the Lovingkindness frequency. Being an open channel is a discipline that not everyone has or can maintain. It’s constant sacrifice.

Once, I got to sit with TNH. He gave a dharma talk at Trinity Church in Copley Square. I felt lucky to be front and center, just feet from the edge of his cushion, breathing in whispers of his good juju. But even Thay – beloved, kind, open, intimate, and instrumental in broadcasting the lovingkindness frequency – is physically inaccessible to everyday people, like me.

So instead I read Thay’s books – and books by other gurus. I attend retreats, sitting shoulder to shoulder with 437 other seekers. I watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts alone in my kitchen. I’m grateful that technology and travel can provide me with these teachings, but it cannot provide me with the emotional intimacy or personal connection I long for. And this is why accessible teachers are so important. Why small businesses are so important. Why town newspaper reporters are so important. Why parish priests are so important. Why local farmers are so important.

We all long to – we are made to – connect with people intimately, in an impactful way.

When comparing those who serve millions with those who serve dozens, we must know that one is not better than the other. They are both necessary. What is a CEO without sales people connecting to buyers? What is an author without bloggers to recommend their titles? What is a principal without teachers to work in the trenches with students? Our passions and purposes are interwoven, interdependent. Each of us must play our unique role in order to create a masterpiece or a movement.

I began teaching mindfulness in response to a longing to be part of the greater peace movement – first in my home, then to children in schools, and now at Chrysalis Meditation Center, just north of Boston. I have noticed that, since opening Chrysalis, the clarity of my frequency has improved tenfold and miracles open up to me daily.

I love the miraculous story of Sister Bernadatte. She was a simple French nun who tuned her human radio dial to Mother Mary. When she was 13 years old, Mary led her to unearth the healing springs in Lourdes where she and her community benefited in miraculous ways. Bernadette devoted the rest of her life to Mary. She died young, in her 30s, over a hundred years ago. A few years after she died, the church exhumed her body and found her corpse uncorrupted, smelling of roses. Her body is encased in glass now, peaceful and perfect and still very much perished.

The miracles that I experience are quieter than Bernadette’s, but no less impactful, because they benefit me intimately. My miraculous moments include things like perfectly timed songs on the radio; angel-shaped clouds; fortuitous run-ins with the just-right people; and meditations that deliver a sweet little nugget of inspiration.

Regardless of your preferred frequency or your stage in miracle-making, remember this: the late, great Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local,” and I’ll expand on that by saying, all miracles are local, too. There is a collective, connective source that holds all of this beautifully mysterious stuff together, and the miracles that truly inspire us to greatness are the ones we channel ourselves, amongst our own people. They are the messages that change our lives, our minds, our bodies, our homes, our hearts.

Listen closely.

From mine to yours,


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