By Angela W Kleven
In the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, there is a passage which has, quite literally, changed the way I think. It reads, “The psychologist tell us of a state, in which the affections and images of the mind become so dominant and overpowering, that they press into their service the outward senses, and make them give tangible shape to the inward imagining.”
Mrs. Stowe wrote of a natural law, one that is true no matter the time or circumstances; the Law of Perpetual Transmutation. Simply put, this law states that what we call “reality” was first originated in the mind, as an idea, thought, dream, or imagining. Through the character of Uncle Tom, the author taught that even when our circumstances are desperate and seemingly beyond hope, we can have a positive and even uplifting experience when we choose to think and dwell upon that which is light and good. When we keep our thoughts focused on the outcome we desire, then we begin to feel it and live it, even when our present circumstances appear otherwise.
Several years ago my world turned upside down. As I sat at the bottom of this new world, I realized that because all of the pieces had fallen down around me, I could choose, to a great extent, what my new life would look like. As a newly single parent, I had the opportunity to decide how I would parent, how I would educate my children, and what type of employment I would find.
When my marriage was intact and I did not need to work, I had homeschooled my three children. Initially homeschooling was a difficult decision, but as my confidence and skills increased, I came to love the path we were on and knew that it was truly the right choice for my children.
During my divorce, I sought counsel and advice as to how I could continue to homeschool and work from home, which now was a necessity. Everywhere I turned I was lovingly but firmly told that it could not be done. The prevalent pattern for single parents was to work long hours outside the home while their children were in daycare or tended to themselves. The natural result was that many children in single-parent homes were alone for many hours of the day, and there was very little parent-child interaction. This choice was simply unacceptable. I had stared conformity in the face once and walked away from it, and I hoped that I could do it again. I knew that there had to be a way to be home with my children which would enable me to continue educating them and simultaneously supplement our income. While I never let go of this thought, I did not know anyone else who had chosen this path and therefore struggled to believe that the life I wanted was possible.
In November 2004, I attended a seminar by Janine Bolon, a self-taught financial expert. As part of this training, the host of the seminar, Oliver Van DeMille, shared that when we are presented with a problem in life, we can always find the solution by thinking. He encouraged us to think ahead and map out our lives and set our goals by determining where we wanted to be at the end of our life. His advice focused my efforts and brought clarity to my purpose. After spending several hours thinking and writing, I knew that medical transcription was a field that would facilitate my plans and align with my skill-set. At the end of the seminar, Janine offered personal mentoring as a followup to her course. I bravely explained my circumstances to her and what I wanted to do. When I asked her whether or not what I wanted was possible, she immediately answered, “Yes! Of course!” Her enthusiastic answer was all I needed to hear.
Now, six years later, my life shows that single parents can, to a great extent, create the life that they want and that their children need. Once again, I am at a point where I am no longer content to live as I have. I have recently imagined a dream that will allow me to continue raising and educating my children while creating financial wealth and stability for our present and our future. Once again, there are many raised eyebrows and hushed voices, but this time, I understand the power the Law of Perpetual Transmutation. I know that I can create the reality I desire if I keep my thoughts and emotions focused on the positive outcome. I cannot wait to see what happens!
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books, 2003) p. 451.