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Author Biography: Terry Cole-Whittaker, ordained in The United Church of Religious Science, left the ministry that she had grown from a small group of twenty-five people to a thriving television audience of millions worldwide. Recently, she founded Innerfaith Ministries in Palm Springs, California.
Life Is a Treasure Hunt
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."—Matthew 6:21
You Can Attain Love, Happiness, and Prosperity
Here is the greatest news! You will always get another chance to attain the happiness, love, and prosperity you desire, and you will find out why and how right here in this book. Human life is troubled with incessant problems of varying degrees, but these have a root cause and therefore a solution. We can all achieve a permanent end to dejection, and find the solutions we are seeking when we are given the proper knowledge. Those who desire can also attain ultimate bliss in the here and now.
Never give up! You can be certain that all you hope for in your heart of hearts exists and is available in abundant supply. You just need to know how to find it and what to do to get and keep it. Such is human nature that most do not seek to end their worries and find true love and bliss until they reach the depth of despair. Although it is not necessary to wait until we hit bottom before we rise to the top, we can start now. Now is the perfect time to start on a treasure hunt. Everything you have experienced in the past has prepared you for the blessings you will now receive.
Most well-known saints and philosophers underwent a crisis at some point in their lives, as have other extraordinary people throughout time. Instead of giving up and succumbing to permanent discouragement, bitterness, and dejection, they sought to find the solution. In fact,this is the higher purpose of tribulation.
Use Unhappiness to Bring You Happiness
Distress can awaken us from our slumber of ignorance and impel us toward the ultimate goal of life: supreme unending bliss free of misery. I know it sounds strange that God would set it up that in order for us to be blissful we must first experience misery. But we are only miserable to the degree that we are trying to get what we want without the proper map and directions.
Life is designed in a certain way for a specific purpose with a perfect system for us to follow that we may obtain and enjoy supreme happiness, love, peace of mind, and prosperity. Regardless of our past or present situation, age, sex, religion, race, health, education, or finances it is possible for us to reach the pinnacle of life's treasures and riches.
We shouldn't despise our suffering or poverty nor should we seek to continue to suffer or be poor. Unhappy and difficult times are a wake-up call for us to seek and find a better way. Some become accustomed to their suffering or they take their medications to be able to cope, but they are missing the point and they will ultimately fail to achieve a permanent solution to their problems.
Dejection is common to almost all of us during times of imagined or real loss, abandonment, rejection, humiliation, and defeat. Instead of falling into the pit of despair and grief, the most intelligent people not only rise up to fight once again, they also seek to find out how life works so they can finally get it right.
We can only get it right when we know what right is. Do you want to hit a home run? Find out how to hit a home run and then get up to the plate and swing at the ball with all your might and intention. If you fail, go back to the instruction book, make your corrections, and go at it again until you achieve your home runs. But don't give up your dream. Give up what doesn't work and do what does.
Forget Three Strikes and You're Out
Three strikes and you're out is only a rule in baseball and in the criminal law books of some countries. According to the Supreme Law of the universe, chances are without limit because life and you are an ongoing forever adventure.
The first time I realized that I was eternal and would never die, I felt great distress. Yes, it was a relief to know I would never die, but I wanted my misery to end. My mind was torturing me on a regular daily basis for as yet I did not know how my mind worked or what to do to make my mind my best friend rather than my worst enemy. I thought, "If I have to endure this mental anguish, then why would I want to live forever?"
At that low point, I decided that it was time for me to control my mind and learn how to be happy. Eternity is a long time to be miserable or poor, especially when the Creator desires for us to be prosperous and happy.
Hope Is Eternal
I had to write this book for the number-one reason that people are not living as they would love to live because they don't know the spiritual and material rules of successful, happy, and abundant living. Using my life in search of this profound knowledge, and having finally attained it, I felt compelled to teach and share it with the greatest number of people possible.
This is not a book about regret, but a book of hope, hope for what is possible for any and every person to attain. This is a book about what works. It's about what anyone can do to recover from a loss, build an empire, gain true love, be happy, peaceful, and prosperous, know more about God, succeed in their endeavors, and make spiritual and material advancement. Will it take long and will it be difficult to get? No, it only takes an instant once we let go of our attachment to misery and struggle.
Detaching Yourself from the Useless
You and I know that there is an enormous emotional pull that keeps us attached to the events, mistakes, and even successes of yesterday. People around us can make it even more difficult for us to release the past and live in the present. Old friends and family tend to view us as we were and not as we are.
Family and friends may feel the need to continually remind us of what we did that wasn't okay or of what we failed to do. Sometimes they don't say anything; they don't need to. Resentment, anger, and judgment pervade the very air that we are breathing in their presence. A moment-to-moment release of the stale air must take place for us to take in the fresh. Relationships are vital and nourishing when they are forever fresh and new in each instant.
A relentless stream of thoughts and conversations about a dead past forces us to perceive and believe that hope is gone when the truth is, hope is eternal. There is a greater opportunity, and that is to learn how to live fully in the eternal here and now.
The past is valuable to the degree that we can take the love, lessons, and successes and apply this knowledge to our present situation. Nothing we can do will change yesterday, bring back what was, or allow us to regain the lost moment. But changing our perception and understanding will give us the ability to use crisis as a stepping-stone to success. Eventually with greater understanding we can end crisis once and for all.
Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Eternal Life!
In order to proceed toward a brighter day and toward the greater rewards available to you in this moment and in all your moments to come, you will first need to believe that every moment is the start of something wonderful. Today really is the first day of the rest of your eternal life.
The potential for you to experience anything that is or has been available to any person is available to you in this moment. Who and what you are now and who and what you desire to become are what is important, not who and what you were yesterday.
We can all have a truckload of regrets if we choose to perceive events in this way, and most likely we have all done something for which we are not especially proud. But we must go forward, armed with the proper knowledge, and try and try again until we reach our ultimate goals.
Every Saint Has a Past, Every Sinner a Future
What would Mary Magdalene's future have been if, instead of accepting forgiveness from Jesus, she had continued to worry about how others saw her or what they were saying or thinking about her? Her neighbors would never see her as changed for they would always see her as a prostitute no matter how reformed and pure she became. She confessed her mistakes and asked for forgiveness and it was given. There was no need for her to immerse herself in shame and guilt for more than a minute, for she had seen the error of her ways and chosen a new life.
Mary would always be guilty in the eyes of the townspeople, but she was always pure in the eyes of Jesus. If Mary had not been degraded, her example of surrender would not have been so strong. Her past was the very fuel for her transformation and 180-degree turnaround toward spiritual freedom.
Saint Francis comes to mind, as another example of a sinner turned saint. A cheating merchant and thieving soldier of fortune, after being wounded in battle, he was lying in a coma in his room when he had a profound change of heart. Awakened by the sweet sound of a bird, he somehow saw clearly the purpose of life. After his transformation he left his old life, never to return.
Here a cruel person had become a saint, not by lamenting his past and beating himself every day for his mistakes but by seeing another way to live and living it. All he did was change his direction and walk forward into a life of freedom.
One more sinner comes to mind: Saul. What would have happened to Christianity if Saul, the tax collector and persecutor of Christians, who later became Saint Paul, had not had a change of heart? As Saul he violently murdered Christians by throwing them to the lions to be eaten alive. Did he wallow in guilt after his awakening? No, he left his old life behind in a flash when he was given revelation and a higher taste, a taste of the supreme bliss of the love of God.
Did he think, "My life is over because I have made so many horrible mistakes"? No, he left it all behind and walked forward into the light of a new day with the knowledge of a new way to be.
Shame and Guilt Are Destructive and Useless Emotions
Sally had tried for years to stop drinking. After each drinking session she would feel guilty about drinking and about what she did while under the influence of alcohol. Her shame and guilt grew, and her drinking continued. Trying something new, she surrendered her problem to God. Praying with all her sincerity she asked to have this curse of alcohol and her addictive behavior taken from her. Instead of feeling shame and guilt when she drank, she would make it all right. She refused to feel guilt and shame the next day. Sally observed the motivation behind drinking. Noticing how she felt during and after drinking, she came to dislike the uncomfortable feelings, her inappropriate behavior, the taste in her mouth, and the stench from her body. One day, she lost the taste, thanks to God. Now she is living guilt-, shame- and alcohol-free. She feels good, thinks clearly, smells good, and is a successful human being.
Everyone Has Failures and Everyone Suffers, Until ...
No one can become great without failures. But we can also give up failing when we have the right knowledge and instruction as to what to do that works. With knowledge we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again, as the song goes. Each moment can be a turnaround point, as it was for our aforementioned sinners who became saints.
A sinner can be transformed into a saint in a flash. A morose person can become happy in the twinkling of an eye. A failure in business can become a success and reap great rewards. An old person can become young at heart. Sickness can leave and health can be restored through the power of prayer. A loser in a relationship can become a winner when she learns how to love. A fool can become a genius and even a respected scholar, if he is determined and does the work required.
There Is Hope for Everyone, Without Exception
There is hope for everyone to satisfy the longings of his or her heart and soul, if he or she is willing to seek out and apply the knowledge of how to make his or her dreams come true. Very few ever take the time to discover what they are truly seeking in their heart of hearts. Besides knowing what you desire, it's equally important to gain the knowledge by which you can attain your goals. Knowledge comes in two parts: what to do and what not to do. Both are equally important.
Maps Point Out the Dangers to Avoid
For example, you may be on the right road but you are not aware of the detour, cliff, or swamp ahead and it is dark. Darkness means ignorance and the light means knowledge. The solution is knowledge in the form of what I call a treasure map. A good map, besides giving you an overview, points out the best route to take that will get you to where you want to go in the shortest amount of time and also guarantees you the most pleasurable and safest journey possible.
Everyone, without exception, is traveling the road of life in search of happiness, love, and prosperity. Traveling on horseback, camel, elephant, in a jet or car, walking, running, and crawling in hopes of obtaining the objects of their desires, people have endured every kind of hardship and challenge to reach and find the treasures of their minds and hearts.
Most fail in their attempts to attain lasting happiness and prosperity, falling victim to unforeseen dangers, losses, and obstacles. Some, instead of being beaten by these same challenges, have risen above, gone around or though, and continued until they reached their desired destinations.
Everyone Needs a Map
A map is the answer. With a map, we know what is around the corner and exactly how to reach our destination and find the treasures. Trial and error is actually the most inferior method for getting what you want. One could search lifetimes by the trial-and-error method and still never find the treasures. Someone who uses a tried and proven map can reach the treasures quickly, almost effortlessly.
Maps are not always on a flat piece of yellowed paper worn thin from age. Maps can take the form of a book, information delivered in the classroom, or words of wisdom and direction whispered in someone's ear by a sage, expert, or wise teacher.
The miracle of this Seven-Step Sacred Treasure Map is that it works. It will take you where you want to go, as it has others. These seven steps took me from my starting position as an insecure and frightened child to the attainment of every one of my important goals and the fulfillment of my cherished dreams. By following these steps and with God's help and the assistance of many wonderful people, I was able to become the author of many best-selling books, a globally recognized and award-winning motivational and inspirational speaker, a counselor to the "stars," a business consultant, the minister of an international television ministry speaking to millions each week, and someone who had become fearless.
A warning: This map won't work if you desire to live in your dead past and suffer, or if you enjoy self-pity, strife, worry, and resentment. You can be happy or feel regret, but not both.
Agree to Get the Most from Your Eternal Life
Before you begin this new and wonderful adventure, I invite you to get ready. Getting ready means you agree to go forward taking with you only those memories and things you can use today to achieve your present goals and dreams.
Carrying luggage full of useless stuff is a heavy burden that will only make your journey difficult and tiring. Besides, with empty bags you are free to collect and take with you the most valuable and precious treasures you find along the way.
Preparing for Your Journey
(Place your name on the lines)
I, _____________________, agree to say good-bye to any regrets resentments, or heartaches.
I, _____________________, agree to take the lessons, gems, and pearls of wisdom from my past and leave the rest behind.
I, _____________________, agree to set new goals and use the Seven-Step Treasure Map to achieve them.
I, _____________________, agree that today is the first day of the rest of my eternal life.
You are ready to begin your journey. On this journey, be sure to take the best of yesterday with you because the gems and pearls of wisdom you have gathered along the way are valuable assets. Unless we look back and take the wisdom and valued experiences we have gained on our path, we may believe our lives—and thus we—are worthless. In truth we are very, very rich. This wealth is part of our cosmic bank account, and it's always ours to draw from to help us meet our every present need.
How I Came upon These Miraculous Seven Steps
It wasn't until I had achieved most of my life's goals and dreams that I was able to look back and understand exactly what I had done that got me to the treasure house of the spiritual and material riches I had desired. Hindsight is important, for when applied it gives us foresight. I didn't start out with the map; it was given to me step by step over a period of time.
My First Taste of the Mystical
My hunt for the spiritual and material riches of life started when I was about six years old. Treasure Island, Sinbad the Sailor, Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp, Lost Horizon, The Secret Garden and The Jungle Book, my favorite stories when I was a child, gave me my first taste of the mystical, magical, and marvelous. Adventure, hidden treasures, secret passwords, miracles, and special mystic powers became my secret desires.
Old trunks hiding in forgotten corners of my great-grandmother's friends' attics fascinated me, and when she visited her friends they would let me climb the stairs and play to my heart's content. Again and again I would look through those same old trunks hoping to find a lost treasure map or some priceless jewels and gold coins. Costume jewelry, dusty love letters, worn clothes, and mementos of a life lived long ago were the only treasures I would find, so I would put on the clothes and jewelry and read the letters once again.
Treasure hunting was my secret mission, and I reveled in tales of lost gold mines and hidden treasure, and stories of the poor girl who becomes rich, happy, and famous.
Escaping to the movies, reading, and hearing fairy tales and stories of adventure and opulence stimulated my imagination. I didn't know at the time that people are the architects of their own lives, but even then I was building my foundation and designing my life by what I chose to hear, read, and see.
People Can Change, If They Desire to Change
Psychologists tell us that by the time a child is five years old she is over 80 percent programmed for the rest of her life and on a set course, unless she actually at some point makes a concerted effort to change her direction. Decisions we make as children when we are dependent upon others for our survival continue with us, as adults, long after those childhood days and dependencies are no more. People can change their conditioning, but it takes great desire and work.
We get attached to people and this can mean trouble, as we tend to take on the qualities of those with whom we associate. I watched as my family members suffered through their interactions, and it was strange to me that they would keep coming back for more as if they enjoyed all the suffering. It didn't mean that they needed to get rid of each other, but just not to be so attached or so serious about it all. No one, except my great-grandmother, seemed to take responsibility for his or her mental, emotional, or financial condition, always blaming it on someone else.
As the family was busily engaged in their emotional dramas, I was busy seeking out ways to get what I wanted. I had desires and needs in those early years that led me to seek the practical knowledge of how to earn money, despite the fact that I was too young to get a job. My younger sisters and I had no allowance because Mom worked long hours as a waitress just to stay abreast of the house payments and keep us in groceries, so if we wanted something extra or special we had to be ingenious and creative. Necessity is the mother of invention, even for a kid.
One of my ways of getting money was selling stuff to the neighbors, and the second-best gold mine was the sand under the outdoor monkey bars at the grammar school. Kids would play on the monkey bars and lose their money, and after school I would go out with an old window screen, sift the sand and find at least a dollar in nickels and dimes every time. No, I didn't work to make them lose their money. I just went hunting for whatever had been lost.
There was a blessing in having to be creative in finding ways to get money, as it made me into an entrepreneur. I was about five years old, and already I knew that my parents were not the source of my good. Whatever was to be was somehow up to me.
This lesson would stay with me and develop into the realization that God is my source and others are my avenues. Others are never the origin of our supply, and if one avenue dries up there is always another.
This was just about the time when I noticed that I could wish for something and it would happen. Each evening, right at twilight, I would stand outside and make my wishes on the very first star that appeared in the sky. With all my faith and belief I would say, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might have this wish I wish tonight." Following this statement, I'd ask for whatever I wanted. Not knowing much about God except the little I had learned during my infrequent trips to Sunday school, wishing on a star, as did Pinocchio's father, seemed like a grand idea. The movie Pinocchio had made an enormous impression on me, for it gave me the notion of the power of a higher presence that could make my wishes come true.
The Good Lord was already fulfilling my innermost desires, even before I knew how to pray, only I believed it was the power of the first star. Faith is a powerful force; I really believed in the manifesting power of this first star, but it had to be the first star. Sometimes I just talked with the star as I would with a loving, nonjudgmental, caring friend.
I had felt as if I didn't belong with my parents, and right around this time of my nightly "star ritual" and by some stroke of good fortune my mother sent me to live with my great-grandmother, Nanny, and great-grandfather, Grandpa George. Overnight I was lifted out of one life and placed in another that was more in keeping with my hopes and dreams, even at such an early age.
The Power of Belief
I had wished for a better life, and it was given to me. Already I had recognized the cause-and-effect relationship between my wishes and what was happening, but I did not know the science behind it all. Of course I never told anyone about this newly found treasure of wishing upon a star. Who would have believed me, anyway, as I was just a little girl? If you want to hear of wonderful things, ask children to tell you their secrets and just listen.
Take a few moments to write about your very first spiritual experience. Remember that first unusual mystical experience when you knew there was something happening beyond normal course of events or what others believed.
* * *
Describe your first mystical experience in the space below.
A New Life Overnight
Instead of being just a little girl in a crowd, I had become a little princess, who was showered with constant love and attention, plus a good measure of caring discipline. Prosperity, excellence, and opulence were all around me in God's majestic creation of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
Pristine snow-covered mountains encircled our home in the tiny valley below the most southerly glacier in North America. Huge pine trees whistled in the cooling summer breezes, and the sounds of the roaring creek sang me to sleep each night. I ran with the deer, picked fragrant wildflowers, rode horses bareback, and drank from pure streams of crystal-clear cold water fed by the ancient glacier.
Away from my parents' distress, I was sheltered and protected from harm and free to run and play to my heart's content. I didn't know much about God, except from Nanny, and I didn't know anything about the laws and principles of success, but here I was with my people in the most beautiful place I had ever seen. Later I would learn that nothing happens by accident and there is a cause behind every effect and result.
How did all this happen? Was it because it was my fate and coming to me as the result of my prior endeavors and desires in some past life? Was it happening because God had heard me crying for help and knew this was best for me, or was it both or something else? Anyway, life was good and I was secure.
Years later I learned the science of creativity and how the Divine works for us, as it works through us. Nothing happens by accident. There is an impersonal law of creativity working in everyone's life. Everyone is using this law either consciously or unconsciously. Most use this creative law of the universe unconsciously and have no idea why things are happening as they are.
The Creative Law of Life
We co-create our lives as an artist paints a picture. Wishes, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and actions are our artist's tools. Our desires are made manifest to the degree that we ask, as I had asked the first star. Since the star has no power of its own and all power comes from God, I was actually praying to God only I didn't know it. I had faith in the star, and it was my asking and faith that made an impression upon the Universal Creative Mind.
My desires, beliefs, and mental concepts created a form into which the creative substance, known as God's energy, was poured. This is much like pouring water into an ice cube tray. When the water is frozen, out comes the cube in the exact form of the mold into which the water has been poured. The water has no choice other than to take the form of the mold or container into which it is poured. Creative substance has no choice but to take on the form of our mental concepts, beliefs, and desires. This is why it is very important that we consciously choose what we hear, think, say, and do, as these are mighty implements of creativity.
Good thoughts and deeds bring good fortune. Jesus taught us this science when he said, "It is done unto you as you believe." You might say that each person has a wish-fulfilling tree called the mind and whatever we wish for with sincerity and intensity will tend to take form in the outer world. If people only knew the power of the mind, they would be careful about what they think, believe, and wish for.
A Gift from Beyond
One day something very special happened that would point out the direction of my future life's path by giving me a taste of something beyond this world. Running between the birch and pine trees, through the sweet wildflowers and over a small stream by a rusting vintage Model A Ford car, I arrived at my secret hideout. Quietly sitting down in the tall grasses, as was my practice to wait for my friends the deer and chipmunks to show up and play, I felt a familiar presence.
My beloved Grandpa George had recently passed away, which for me was my only deep sorrow, as he had been my best friend, and I had been his shadow and sidekick. Grandpa George took care of the resort he and Nanny owned and we called home, Glacier Lodge. When he painted cabins, so did I, and when he worked on the water pipes, so did I. Losing Grandpa George was tragic for me, and all I could do was think of him and remember the perfect love that I felt from him and for him. If only he hadn't died ...
Feeling someone behind me, I turned around to see who was there, and it was Grandpa George. It was he, I was sure, but his body looked not exactly as I remembered him. Then he talked to me, and I knew it was my beloved pal and protector.
Tears of love were streaming down my checks, for I missed him so. "But he is still alive and right here with me, as if he had never been gone, even for a moment" was my thought. I listened intently to every word he spoke, but more than the words I felt his love and concern for me.
"Terry Nan, my precious, I have been given permission to come back to tell you something you need to know. You will help many people because this is your desire and your work. You too have challenges to overcome and when you do, you will help others to also be victorious over their challenges.
Don't worry, for you are being guided and protected, so you will pass through each and every test and challenge, as you do the right thing. Above all else, seek to know, love, and serve God. Try to do the good in each situation, and all will be well.
Terry Nan, know that I am alive, and when you think of me I will be right there with you for a little while longer. Now I know there is no end to life, and I want you to know this truth and not be afraid."
Just as he had appeared, he disappeared. I sat there for a few moments not quite knowing what to do, but I trusted that Nanny would know, so I ran home and excitedly told her every detail. Nanny and I could talk of such things, and experiences, as they were not strange to her. She considered them to be a gift from God, and not to be questioned, only cherished.
At such an early age I was beginning to understand that there are two worlds, the one in which we are living and another. But where was this other? I had so many questions, but really no one to ask, for Nanny understood, but she too was just learning about spiritual matters and the power of positive thinking. Oftentimes I served as her counselor and cheerleader, and other times she was mine.
Besides the questions I had about dying, which was my greatest fear, I also wanted to know why some people were happy, wealthy, loved, healthy, and successful and others were not. What could I do to guarantee myself the best possible happy and wonderful life? Another fear I had was winding up like so many of my parents' friends, who, in my opinion, were living depressing, mundane, dead-end lives.
To me life seemed to offer a feast of adventure, opportunities, and possibilities to explore and experience. This is what I wanted for myself. How would I get it? How and where would I find a treasure chest full of jewels and gold coins, a magic carpet, and the mystical powers to create what I wanted right out of thin air? Years passed and my questions were not answered, but when I was seventeen, something very special happened that would lead me to the answers I was seeking.
Write some of your earliest questions and
realizations about life.
Some of my earliest questions about life were:
1. 2. 3.
Some of my earliest realization about life were:
1. 2. 3.
|Chapter One Life Is a Treasure Hunt||1|
|Chapter Two How My Treasure Hunt for God, Happiness, and|
|Chapter Three Step One, Desire the Topmost||47|
|Chapter Four Step Two, Pray and Ask for What you Desire||83|
|Chapter Five Step Three, Seek Knowledge of How to Attain the|
|Chapter Six Step Four, Do What Works, and Don't Do What|
|Chapter Seven Step Five, Control Your Mind and Be Positive||189|
|Chapter Eight Step Six, Upgrade on a Regular Basis||229|
|Chapter Nine Step Seven, Keep On Keeping On||273|
|Chapter Ten Finding the Topmost Treasures||315|