Don Paglia | Marriage and Family Counseling. Constellations Workshops


Tip # 72:

“In the best stories about fly fishing … big fish are caught or lost; people say wild and spontaneous words; event becomes memory and sometimes, in the hands of a master, bleeds into art.”

                                Nick Lyons, author of Bright Rivers and Confessions of a Fly Fishing Addict

Gail and Sam have a great and glorious marriage. It’s not perfect, and they intentionally work on it all the time, striving to make it even better. The reason they have a glorious marriage is simple: they tell anyone and everyone who will listen that they do. The primary reason they tell this to others is mostly to remind themselves of the vision they have for themselves – of being extraordinary. Telling other people about their glorious (extraordinary) marriage does something quite useful and is a very effective strategy. As they go about proclaiming this they are better able to continue to press onward toward becoming a couple with a great marriage. They’ve figured out they’re more likely to do those things that help facilitate having a great marriage by proclaiming it out loud. By telling themselves and others they are more likely to do what it takes to have what they say they want. It facilitates them into walking their talk.

I know we’ve covered this before but it bears repeating. Basically what I’m telling you is our words have tremendous power. Our words have power over where our lives will ultimately go. Words are magical. When we declare something we make it happen; we facilitate it. We cause it. We have the power to bring it into existence. Some say we manifest our lives via the things we tell ourselves. I’m not talking about just saying some positive affirmations alone, although this can and does readily help.

What I’m talking about are those things we declare that then compel us to do the very things that will bring our vision we are proclaiming into reality. We become undeterred and unrelenting in seeing to it that these ideas get to happen. They are what inspire us and cause us to be so stubborn – relentless – that we keep marching on – as we keep declaring – and thus ultimately bring about this new reality into existence.  

In an old Warren Beatty film, Heaven Can Wait, his character compares running his company to running a successful football team. He tells his board of directors that they need to do all the things that a winning team does throughout the season so that when they get to the Super Bowl they will have already won it because they’ve been winning it all year long.

Unfortunately many of us manifest lousy or terrible things by what we tell ourselves. Lousy or terrible input equals lousy or terrible outcomes. We are not nice to us at all. We say and think negative things and thus end up feeling terrible, as well as, create terrible results. We think things that if we were to say them about other people out loud we could be sued for liable. Then we wonder why we have poor or unsatisfying results. Who wouldn’t create terrible outcomes if they only listened exclusively to a constant barrage of limiting thoughts and negativity?

I have a poster in my office that reads: “Don’t believe everything you think.” It makes me laugh every time I read it. It also reminds me to question any and all of those thoughts I manufacture, especially those that bum me out. After all, since I am the creator of those thoughts – of all the things I tell myself – I’d do well to question why I would want to subject myself to such negativity that ultimately ends up causing me to become depressed or discouraged? Why should anyone do this to themselves?

Print, Cut out, and Paste up the following quote somewhere where you can see it and read it often:




“We are living in a rough time and we are helpless.” A lot of people believe this and see it as unmistakably true. Some consider or have already done the following: purchased a gun, left the country, or are sinking into despair. Some people have been turning toward drinking too much or other addictive behaviors. There are jokes about drinking a lot of wine that seem really funny, except that it’s possibly true for too many who are unduly burdened by the circumstances we now face. If we buy into this doomsday thinking we can easily become discouraged and depressed; even mentally or physically sick, or both.

So here’s a much better thought: “these are rough times and we are challenged as we go about getting through it and ultimately will be better for it.” Call me an incurable optimist. None of us gets to determine the events and situations we are facing. But we can determine how we respond to the events and situations. Our response can give us a powerful say in the matter of our lives.

In the midst of this pandemic, recession, the mounting social injustices, the growing global warming/climate change, it is imperative we take appropriate actions while also keeping ourselves steadfast.

How? Where do we start?

Begin with gratitude. Each morning even before you get up, say “Thank you.” Then as you go about your morning ablutions start running through all you are grateful for. Do this while brushing your teeth. Make this your daily practice and notice how you will start to feel better as you draw more attention to what you are gratitude about. It’s a great place to begin.

You’ll also discover that this creates access to more things to be grateful for. You’ll have some, “Oh yeah, that too…moments.” The great scientist Albert Einstein revolutionized the way we view time, space and gravity. From his poor background and poor beginnings, one would imagine it would not be possible for him to achieve all that he did. Einstein said “Thank you” hundreds of times daily. He thanked all the great scientists who preceded him for their contributions that enabled him to learn and achieve even more.  Gratitude is a way to super-charge your desires and sends a more powerful signal out into the Universe.

I see this unprecedented period we are presently experiencing as our wake up call. It is a tipping point. It is a time for us to come together – even as some try to divide us and who are determined to undermine what we want for our future. Yes, 190,000 plus deaths in the U.S. from Covid-19 with more to come! An economic recession that is already hitting the most vulnerable. Social injustice that is bringing about upheaval in mostly peaceful protests. More and more evidence of global warming that is accelerating. And while all of this is occurring, we also see people coming together and uniting in new ways. While this is not on the evening news this truly is more common than we may realize. This may indeed be the first time on our history that we have an anti-racist majority. We will soon find out. There are other moments where we previously did come together and made the necessary changes that have and do make it the reason that America is Great.


What else can we do? Focus on what we want, not on what we do not want. Start visualizing on exactly what it is you want while forgetting what you don’t want. Only imagine the positive outcome we do want. Create a possibility that moves and touches you. Get clear as to what inspires you. You will notice that when you do this “no possibility” will indeed show up. Just notice it and let it go. Then get right back to your Possibility.

Those things that will kick in are things like: “this is impractical.” “It’s going to be too difficult.” I’m not that strong.” And much more. All of these are us being reasonable. They are our REASONS for not creating our great possibility. You and I are called to be UNREASONABLE.

Inventors that brought their particular inventions into reality first saw a picture of it in their minds. There is not a single building that has been built that someone didn’t first draw it or make a scale model of it. Then they held onto that image of their end result, in their mind, or on a board or in a blue print, and kept it there. By holding that picture, the Universe aligned with it and brought into existence for the world.

 Back to Albert Einstein, he said: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

 Right now, as with other prior times, we have two choices: 1. we can operate in fear. Or, 2. we can operate in love. The world we dwell in seems to promote a lot of fear. Fear is contagious. It is a good way to control others. And we can be led into the cult like delusions and lies that get spun by such trickery.

But this not who we are. Love is really who we are. It is our best self; our best nation; our best world. The problem is we haven’t really given love a full shot. The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite is fear. Fear is manifested in hate, greed, selfishness, rage, pride, guilt, shame. These negative attractors operate out of Force. Whereas Love is not a Force, but is rather a Power. And Love is vastly more powerful rather than any Force, of which are those weaker, fear-based attractors Forces.


Gandhi brought the British Empire to its knees. He effectively brought the curtain down on the centuries-old drama of colonialism, and he did it by simply standing for a principle: the intrinsic dignity of the individual person and his/her right to freedom, sovereignty, and self-determination. Fundamental to this principle, in Gandhi’s view, was the fact that such rights come by virtue of the divinity of his/her creation. He held that human rights are not granted by any earthly power, but are ingrained in the nature of the human being because they’re inherent in one’s creation.

Violence is Force. Gandhi did, as did MLK Jr., John Lewis and many others protesting on our city streets today are doing, and who are uniting the will of more and more people. Power accomplishes with ease what Force, cannot.

We must not forget this. In the end Love always wins out. It always has. It always will.