My Path to the LOA started in the Peace Corps

In my 46 years of life, I only have awareness of receiving two “loud” messages from the universe. One was the message when my ex-wife was pregnant that I was having a son, and the other is explained in the story below.

Written once upon a time, long, long before blogging:

“A wife, a mortgage, and two kids ago, I had a transformational experience. We all have these experiences, the birth of our children, the death of a friend or family member or the achievement of some great success. My experience is unique because it happened on Mars. Well, not really, but it seemed to be that alien and remote a place. I was in the rainforest in the west African country, Gabon. I was a member of the United States Peace Corps, sent to build schools in the jungle.

My village, Achouka, was accessible only by taking a boat two hours from the nearest  town. Gabon is listed in the Peace Corps materials as the “most rural of all Peace Corps assignments”.  My experience in the Peace Corps was memorable for many reasons. I witnessed tribal ceremonies. I helped butcher meat after a hunt. I ate food that I never considered eating, from fried grasshoppers to crocodile. The beauty of the rainforest never ceased to amaze me as I traveled on the river. I learned a great deal about the real strength of women. Those of you who have been to a third world country know what I mean. I could go on. Sounds incredible doesn’t.

There was another side to the experience. The remoteness had its drawbacks. I had no electricity and no running water. The temperature averages 95 with incredible humidity. I learned to sleep with as little of my body touching the mattress as possible to limit the sweating. We could only work until noontime because of the heat in the afternoon. I had to cut back the jungle daily away from my house to keep the bugs and snakes out. I would be bit hundreds of times a day by mosquitoes. Repellent would sweat off after 10 minutes. In 6 months, I killed 25 rats that had taken refuge in the cool mud under my house.

So you see, there was a certain balance that was maintained. The uniquenesss of the experience and self-sacrifice vs. the oppressiveness of the climate and environment. I was handling that balance fine until I got sick. First it was just periodic stomach viruses, made more uncomfortable by having to use the outhouse I built and its resident mosquitoes. Then it was malaria, which is expected in Gabon. Malaria wiped me out for a couple weeks with fevers, chills and nausea. Then, a side effect of malaria is TMJ, which makes your mouth feel like every tooth you have is falling out. During this time, a friend of mine was bit by a dog and brought to Albert Schweitzer’s hospital where their treatment  of him caused him to develop gangrene. I continued with various stomach ailments including worms. And to top it off, one of the medications I was on had a possible side effect of depression which I later learned had also effected other members of my family who had used it.

So, I lost the balance. For three months I soul searched between illnesses. Afraid to get sick again, yet knowing I would. Missing my family and friends more with each day. Struggling with the heat and rats and mosquitoes. So I asked myself, why did I come here. To save the world? To build a school? No, to find some direction in my life, as we all need to some time in our life. I spent many hours of solitude discovering myself. Finding the boy my mother raised. Finding the man I wanted to be. Choosing the life I wanted to lead. What I discovered was, if I focused my energy on something positive, no matter what it was, the life I wanted would happen. Sounds simple, but for a twenty-something it was a breakthough So when I had answered these questions, I asked myself a new one. And I not only asked myself, I asked the universe. I asked, “ What should I do now?” The universe responded as clearly as a spoken voice,  it said, “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?”  “Go home”, I said, “I want to go home.?”

Looking back, this was my first realization of the LOA. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I heard the word “WANT”, as it is foundational to the premise of the law of attraction. I am so happy that I learned that lesson so young and that I re-learn it every day.


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