One Excerpted from the book by permission of publisher.
you ever experienced a sudden breakthrough? You know that feeling,
when what you picture in your head actually happens and you want
to pinch yourself because you can't believe it's real? Or when you
have one of those moments of clarity, and your biggest problem suddenly
disappears because you look at it differently, or when the perfect
solution presents itself out of the blue? That's when you're playing
the quantum field.
When I was an undergraduate, I had
a particularly wonderful experience of playing the Field. During
my last two years of college I had the good fortune to study abroad
in England and Germany. As it was for many young people at that
time, hitchhiking was my main mode of transportation outside the
During one semester break my friend Mary and I decided to visit
the Lake District, north of London. We caught rides on the M-5,
a major highway, and found ourselves on a small country road later
in the day than we'd hoped.
We walked for hours in the rain and
fog, and the few cars that passed by didn't stop. Darkness began
to settle in. We couldn't see twenty feet in front of us and felt
scared. I had learned from severe asthma attacks in early childhood
that if I focused on my fear I would only feel even more desperate
than I already was.
I told Mary this, and we agreed to put our fear aside. We both let
out a sigh. As we continued walking, we talked about how much fun
we were having exploring Europe and immediately felt better. We
told ourselves we'd find a ride and would be safe.
The fog was settling in about ten
minutes later, when out of nowhere two headlights emerged. Timothy,
an elderly Englishman around fifty (well, that looked "elderly"
then!) drove up in his camper and rolled down his window. "Have
you two ladies lost your way?" he asked kindly.
We admitted we had. He said he was on holiday and didn't generally
drive this way, and didn't know why he had turned down that particular
road, but was glad he had. Then he took us to a campground and made
dinner while we dried off and warmed ourselves by the fire. That
night he slept in the cab and let us sleep in his camper.
Instead of letting fear dominate our
thoughts and actions, sending us into panic and ineffectiveness,
Mary and I chose to connect to the power of the Field by making
our intentions very clear. Timothy's appearance that cold, rainy
night might seem like luck or coincidence, but what exactly does
Even Timothy had said he didn't understand why he had turned down
that road. When your intention is clear, the Field quickly starts
pulling things together. Some people call this synchronicity. I
call it playing the quantum field.
Why can't we create these magical
outcomes all the time? Now, more than ever, we need the ability
to create breakthrough results at will. The world is changing, and
we need some new operating instructions.
Life continues to accelerate, and we find ourselves at a new frontier
as we realize our world is filled with more change, more danger,
and less integrity than we'd ever thought possible. We're overstimulated
and maxed out. Something's got to give.
And it has. In a way you may not have
Science is on the verge of proving
that everything is dynamic and connected. What was once considered
the New Age fringe thinking of renegade physicists has been embraced
by more and more people as a probability.
This new worldview is reflected in key scientific discoveries, kicked
off by Einstein a century ago, and is becoming so widely accepted
that it was celebrated by the World Year of Physics in 2005. The
quantum field is showing itself up close and personal for increasing
numbers of us.
Look at how awareness of the Field is expressing itself in our culture:
the vernacular of personal-growth classes and spiritual practices
help people "ground" and "get centered." TV
audiences are fascinated with the numerous shows about kids and
adults tapping into special powers.
Advertising for cellular phone services promise to help us "get
connected," and the Internet itself is a metaphor for the interconnected
web that more and more people are experiencing.
Even the practice of law is reflecting
this connection. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela supports the Promotion
of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995. This "truth
and reconciliation process" is based on ubuntu, a Zulu or Xhosa
word that means "humanity to others."
If you keep hurting the people who hurt you, the situation will
never end. We are all connected. In medicine, more and more holistic
health practices are acknowledging that the body is not separate
from the mind and spirit. They all work together.
Major global economic powers are realizing they cannot ignore the
plight of entire nations because of the interconnectedness of all
nations and the consequent effects on the stock market.
In addition, world religions that have traditionally been closed
to other perspectives are reaching out to each other to explore
a connecting reality they can all respect and honor. Nondenominational
churches are thriving.
These provocative glimpses into different
areas of life are imperfect metaphors for what much of the world
is beginning to recognize: that there is a larger reality out there
than we have ever imagined. We are on the brink of a huge shift
in awareness that will absolutely change how we live.
In plain English, every person and
every thing is operating in a single energy field, and we each have
much more power to create our lives than we ever imagined. According
to Merriam-Webster, a field is a "region or space in which
a given effect exists."
You've probably heard of magnetic fields, like those around your
microwave. Or you may have felt the fields of sacred places like
the pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Holy Land. People have personal
fields. Have you ever noticed how some people feel warm and inviting,
while others seem to radiate a kind of "stay away" energy?
Even though you experience the Field in small glimpses and in different
areas of life, the epiphany for most of us is that these glimpses
are all connected and part of the same field. Imagine it as one
big grid that everything is a part of. No one is "off the grid,"
even if they think they are or want to be.
In the old thinking, the cab you take
to the airport is one field. The plane you take to your destination
is another. That kind of thinking limits us. In the new thinking,
the cab, the plane, the sky, and the universe are all one Field.
The power of the Field is that you can tap into this collective.
And the better equipped we become at embracing this new worldview,
the more we will be able to usher in this new way of living.
What we are really talking about with
the quantum field is possibility. Think of the quantum field as
all possibility and potential, which you can consciously access
- if you know how. Anyone who studies quantum physics knows that
your thoughts connect you to this field of possibility.
In the words of noted physicist Fred Alan Wolf, "Reality depends
upon our choices of what and how we choose to observe. These choices,
in turn, depend upon our minds or, more specifically, the content
of our thoughts."1 For the purpose of this book, I am going
to focus on your choices so that you can discover the quantum field
of possibility organically for yourself.
I will translate this concept into simple language and day-to-day
examples you can learn and practice so that by the end of this book,
you will have experienced first-hand the power of the quantum field.
Age of Accountability
lot of emphasis is put on personal accountability today. Upheavals
in religion, politics, business, and culture are demanding that
we take more responsibility for the choices we make and the results
Now that lifetime employment with one company is no longer the norm,
we've taken responsibility for our careers. With changes in medical
care and insurance, we've had to become responsible for our health.
Because we can't count on Social Security benefits, we've assumed
responsibility for our retirement.
It's time to expand this sense of
accountability into every moment and every choice we make. By playing
the Field, it is possible to become more accountable for our decisions.
Although none of us want to be slaves to any system or person, we
still end up enslaving ourselves with some of our thinking and actions.
We no longer want to feel as if we're powerless to affect our lives.
And we will realize we won't be powerless if we learn to play.
Playing the Field is the responsible
way to live and to use your energy. When you choose not to tap the
Field, you more easily feel like a victim, forgetting that your
choices have power.
In the past, when we have tapped the quantum field, we've sometimes
performed miracles, persuading masses of people to change their
minds, or loving a teen back into the fold. At other times we've
chosen manipulation or control - choices that perhaps made sense
in those circumstances. Now we can come into our real power and
stay there more of the time - if we're shown how.
The Field is an equal-opportunity
provider. It doesn't matter if you are a stay-at-home parent, a
CEO, or someone who serves customers across a counter or across
the world every day. It's up to you to make the choices that will
optimize your life.
In the Field everything is possible. Yes, you can meet your family's
needs and your own as well. You just have to approach life differently.
The time is ripe for a new way that will allow us to take personal
power and accountability to higher levels.
person and every thing is operating in a single energy field, and
we each have much more power to create our lives than we ever imagined.
McTaggart, an award-winning investigative journalist, reports that
many prominent leading-edge scientists still agree with Einstein
about his unified field theory. On the most fundamental level, the
human mind and body are not distinct and separate from their environment
but are bundles of pulsating energy that constantly interact with
this vast energy field. "These subatomic particles have no
meaning in isolation but only in relationship with everything else,"
In other words, we're all connected.
The very atoms that make up everything are interdependent, always
interacting with one another. The events of 9/11 and global natural
disasters in recent years have made this connection tangible. Worldwide
differences fell away when nearly everyone on the planet felt linked
in their shock and grief.
Though in the Field this connection
is always at work, it often takes great stress or loss or catastrophic
events to remind us of how interdependent we all are. In the Field
we are energetically connected - to each other, to the results of
our choices, and to our futures.
The very next choice you make directly affects what will happen
to you next. Even if you don't relate to physics, you can probably
relate to this: you have far more power than you ever thought possible
because you are part of what's happening, not just an observer of
it. Instead of working harder to achieve your goals, you can choose
to consciously tap this energy field and create what you want.
This is what people commonly refer
to as being "in the zone," that space where you break
through into synchronicity and everything clicks. Doors open. Obstacles
melt away. Golden opportunities materialize. But on those other
days, when nothing works, you can't seem to do anything right, and
you descend into what feels like the Black Hole, you're also playing
the Field. You're just making choices that amplify that reality.
So, you may be asking, why can't we
operate "in the zone" at will? Well, we can. And I can
show you how. We need to remember that the Field is always there,
whether or not we pay attention to it. It reminds me of the year
I left for a trip to Australia on September 7 and arrived on September
9. My birthday happens to fall on September 8. Technically, September
8 didn't happen for me.
Did I turn a year older? Of course. And to presume otherwise would
be a bit ridiculous, because time did pass. It's the same thing
with the Field. It is always there, whether or not you recognize
it. If you choose to stay conscious and play the Field, you can
change your life in the very next moment.
Twentieth-century technology focused
on mundane forms of energy, even as twentieth-century scientists
(like Einstein and others) grappled with the Field. In communications,
for example, we have evolved from rotary telephones to satellites,
to wireless Internet connections. This is nothing compared to the
power of the Field.
In the twenty-first century we are groping for a usable Field technology,
and movies like the 2004 What the Bleep Do We Know!? are beginning
to bring these ideas into popular culture. Galileo knew that the
sun, and not the earth, was the center of our solar system before
the rest of the world accepted this truth.
Columbus knew the world was round. The Egyptians and Greeks had
proven both these facts more than a millennium before, but most
people of Galileo's and Columbus's times denied these fundamental
truths of nature.
The Field is another fundamental truth
of nature, but it's not yet visible or measurable. You've no doubt
experienced this connection in the Field that transcends time and
space. You think about someone in another state, and minutes later
they call, or you know something is wrong with your child before
he says a word.
Homes and businesses have energy too. You can feel it the moment
you walk in the door. You also feel energy in music. As the research
on the Mozart Effect has proven, our brain functions differently
depending on the music we hear.
In Japan Dr. Masaru Emoto has demonstrated that water changes its
crystalline form when researchers change their thoughts or expose
the water to various types of music or photographs.3 The implications
of this interconnectedness are stunning, and we don't need to understand
all the scientific studies to experience it and reap its benefits.
It's a lot like the Internet. I can send an email from the middle
of the United Arab Emirates on my wireless handheld Blackberry,
and a friend in Chicago receives it within minutes. We don't have
to know exactly how this works to enjoy the advantages of this new
In some ways, women are particularly
equipped to take this leap. Like the quantum field, women have always
been dynamic, their moods and chemistry fluctuating with lunar cycles,
sensitive to even slight changes in their environments.
Many women are in tune with what's happening right now. Their default
state is connectedness, and they don't naturally tend to use force
to create outcomes. The Field validates what women have always known
on some level: that the softer, "feminine" yin skills
have as much, or more, power as the charging-ahead yang ways.
Women know the Field's energy and connection. The way they respond
to various environments, or to another person, is an energetic experience.
In fact, most women have experienced the Field in the form of intuition,
but they've been unaware that it's always available to them.
In the Field everything is created,
including all the possibilities that stretch before you right now.
When I refer to the "energy" of the Field, I do not mean
whether you feel tired or refreshed in the morning or if you have
the stamina to get through your day or if you feel strong enough
to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
Energy refers to this invisible connection. Have you ever seen a
zoom-in from a satellite that first focuses on the earth, then your
continent, then your state, then your city, then your neighborhood,
all the way to your house?
Tapping into the bigger energy of the Field is like the reverse:
instead of focusing on our one little reality, we expand dramatically
into multiple realities and possibilities, most of which allow us
to live larger, more fulfilling lives.
Everyone has had these experiences.
Most of us just don't know how to live like this daily. The potential
of the Field is the elephant in the room that no one is talking
about in everyday language. Energy is present in every transaction
and in-teraction. It's in the email you just wrote. It's in the
article you just read.
It's also in the laundry you didn't fold and in the checkbook you
didn't have time to balance. It's in how you feel about the dirty
dishes in your sink. It's in your intention for the staff meeting
or family vacation. It's in the review you just gave. It's in the
thought you just had about your significant other. It's in everything
you say or do.
a High Return on Energy
you can set aside the old belief that we are each trudging through
life alone and instead tap into the powerful energy that's all around
you, you will be able to transcend circumstances that normally would
pull you down. We all have access to the Field. How you choose to
tap into it is up to you. Even when you feel depleted and think
you have no choice, you always do.
Today businesses and individuals want
to leverage their resources and create the most value - in money,
business, client retention, and life. In business meetings you'll
often hear the term "return on investment," or "ROI,"
Businesses have limited resources but want to receive the most in
return for those resources, and they plan ahead, research, and find
the best possible strategies for making their resources pay back
dividends. This same principle can be applied to energy. If you're
investing significant energy in a situation, make sure it's commensurate
with your yield. In other words, make sure you get a high ROE, or
return on energy.
In business and in life, you sometimes may not feel as if you have
a choice about how and where you invest your energy, but you do.
You make crucial decisions every day. If you're going to spin your
wheels and not get anywhere, realize that your high- or low-energy
choices are creating that spin.
The more familiar you become with the range of high- and low-ROE
choices, the easier it will be for you to see when you're living
an accountable and powerful life. For example, if you know that
arguing with your spouse always gives you a low ROE, you may ask
yourself why you're investing your energy this way and stop, midsentence.
You are the only person who controls
how you respond to the situations life throws at you, and you can
always decide to make high-ROE choices. Low-ROE choices deplete
your resources and originality and create more drama in your life.
High-ROE choices enable you to become more effective. Energy doesn't
It just changes form. You choose the form, based in power (high
ROE) or fear (low ROE). You just forget sometimes because you are
stressed out and act before remembering that you can connect into
something bigger than your next action.
Old Way of Doing: Force
you're like most people, you often try to control and overpower
things, using your energy to force and manipulate individuals and
situations. Instead, if you choose to stay conscious and play the
Field, you can make an impact on your life immediately.
This may feel confounding and disorienting at first because the
way the Field works is the opposite of cause and effect. Instead
of doing something to cause a result, you clearly state your intention
- and the result finds you. Your challenge is to let it find you.
Intention is the key to accessing the power of the Field. Rather
than working harder or muscling an outcome, focus on what you want.
Zero in on the what, not the how.
Most of us spend our lives trying to make things happen, which sends
the message to the Field that things must be made to happen. When
you know you can instead operate from power, much less effort and
work are entailed.
For example, if you are going to a party and want to make contact
with a specific person, you can try to force it by planning every
little detail of what you will wear, say, and do, or you can set
the intention of having a powerful connection with that person and
then just go to the party. Think of all the time and energy you
will free up when you stop trying to control and engineer what happens.
Think of the Field as a cosmic version
of QVC, the popular home-shopping channel. They both have everything
you could possibly want, are "on" twenty-four hours a
day, and are waiting to fill your order. With QVC, you see what
With the cosmic QVC, you imagine what you want, and you don't have
to figure out whether to shop online or by phone or determine the
size, model number, or which credit card to use. You just need to
be clear about what you want to create in your life.
My friend Jessica knows how to "place
an order." She wanted to get married and have a child. She
was very specific about these intentions. She didn't worry about
the how. The years went by, her biological clock was ticking, and
still she hadn't met the right man, so she decided to adopt. Most
people expect to get married and then have a child.
Jessica didn't get stuck worrying about the sequence. You've probably
guessed the rest of the story. She met her husband, a single father,
months later at a school event she would not have attended if she
hadn't been a parent. People who have mastered this way of being,
who can move into the Field and stay there most of the time, are
the ones we call lucky. Most of us just don't believe we have the
power to be "lucky" too.
David R. Hawkins, a psychiatrist and
director of the Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research, provides
some guidelines for operating in this new world. He found a way
to measure the levels of energy involved in various choices and
to calibrate how operating at these different levels influences
the way we live as individuals, families, groups, and countries.
Hawkins's extensive research has linked various energy levels to
emotional states, attitudes, perceptions, mental processes, worldviews,
and spiritual beliefs to create a Map of Consciousness that delineates
and quantifies the various levels of personal growth. His fundamental
belief is that "force can bring satisfaction, but only power
brings joy. Victory over others brings us satisfaction, but victory
over ourselves brings us joy."4
Whatever we focus on creates a field
of dominance, according to Hawkins. In his book he recounts how
he discovered hidden energy patterns he calls attractors: "Attractor
energy patterns have harmonics, as do musical tones. The higher
the harmonic's frequency, the higher the power."5 Think of
your "frequency" as the level you operate from and the
signal you send out. It's a set point, a homing device, your personal
sonar that sends out a signal and attracts people and experiences
with similar frequencies.
The higher the frequency, the easier your access to high-energy
choices, people, and situations. The lower the frequency, the easier
your access to low-energy choices, people, and situations. Hawkins
underscores the power of intention in the Field:
"A sincere desire for change allows one to seek higher attractor
energy patterns in their various expressions."6 For me, this
means that every morning when we wake up, whether we realize it
or not, we connect to an energy pattern that creates our day. In
this book I will explain the power of operating at high or low frequencies
and what each can bring to our life.
Most of us have directed our energy
toward controlling and manipulating other people and situations
instead of using it to tap into the Field. We have used it for force,
not power. Though you may want to, you can't make people do something
they don't want to do. And in business especially we get seduced
by force. Here is an example of how easy it is to fall into that
state of mind.
During my fifteen years in the employment
industry I worked with Patrick, who ran the most profitable region
in the United States. He was one of the most gifted salespeople
I'd ever met, and he was also one of the weakest administrators.
Every other month I would fly to Texas to spend time with him, and
on each visit I would remind him that I needed his weekly reports.
As long as I hounded him about not getting his paperwork in on time,
neither of us got what we wanted.
When I redirected my energy I realized
that what I really wanted was for him to be even more successful.
What had I been thinking? Here was our top salesperson, and I had
been giving him grief about paperwork! I redirected my energy from
force to power.
We finally agreed that he could turn his reports in every other
month and that they'd be prepared by one of my employees in the
regional office in Chicago. Think of all the energy wasted traveling
to Texas to hassle him about admin policy when I could have been
asking him how I could best help him do his job better!
When you send an intention out into
the Field, you place an order with the cosmic QVC. When you opt
for force, you set a tone that often gets played out to your disadvantage.
For example, if at dinner with your family you dominate the conversation
with your concerns about an upcoming vacation, a nice meal can become
a family battle, ending with cries of "I didn't want to go
anyway!" from the kids.
If you create a "force field" at work, people become more
focused on who messed up rather than on how to fix or learn from
the mistake. Hidden agendas surface that conflict with overall objectives.
This also shows up as funky communication with family and friends.
Instead of a spirit of cooperation and partnership, each person
views the other as an obstacle or, even worse, as an adversary.
You know that force is being used
when a conversation with your best friend, who always seems to understand
you, suddenly derails and you both leave feeling "off."
Other symptoms of force include micromanaging, suspicion, and negativity,
which I'll describe later in more detail. Clearly, these things
feel bad and don't work too well. Knowing this, why don't we always
opt for more powerful behaviors? Because force is familiar, and
we forget we always have a choice.
New Way of Being: Power
is not about controlling and forcing things. It's about power, the
power to choose how to use your energy. When you're operating in
that paradigm of control over others, you experience a low ROE,
because it's impossible to control others or their reactions. You
may get temporary spurts of high ROE, but ultimately, you'll always
land with a low ROE because you can't control outcomes.
When you operate from a place of power, controlling only yourself
and your actions, you'll always have a high ROE, because you're
staying awake and making good choices. You can control those choices.
That's all you can control. When you're in that place of power,
you are fully, consciously connected to the Field and will reap
its benefits that much faster.
When you try to control, you get entrenched
in right and wrong, do's and don'ts, and ego-based thinking, engaging
on a lower-energy level and creating a false sense of power. Your
real power lies in your ability to use your energy to connect with
other people and the potential that brings. This isn't the same
According to Hawkins, "Power gives life and energy. Force takes
these away."7 I always felt justified in hounding Patrick for
his reports, and it didn't feel good to either of us. When you make
high-energy choices, you are able to move through the heaviness
and burden of a situation and access wisdom, no matter how difficult
the circumstances. You are able to cope with challenges and get
back in balance quickly.
At work, meetings end on time, you reach consensus, and there is
a flow of positive feelings. At home, there's more harmony. Making
high-energy choices creates an atmosphere of trust and well-being
that's contagious and spreads to your personal relationships as
well as to your work teams.
There's no space for vengeance or retaliation, making it easier
to deal with tough issues. Picture yourself as the eye of the hurricane:
you have all sorts of outside pressures frantically whirling around,
yet you remain calm. You can begin right now to tap your real power.
playing the field
In what parts of your life are you using force?
In what parts of your life are you using power?
Playing the Field is not something
we master. It is a way of life. I've been playing the Field for
most of my life. That doesn't mean the challenges go away. I'm always
working on this, and I always will be. Once, on a trip, I met a
wonderful man whom I thought was "the one." The connection
between us was extraordinary - unlike anything I'd ever experienced.
He was in a long-term relationship that was winding down and indicated
he was interested in me as well. He gave me just enough hope to
stay connected with him. Two years later, he had not ended the other
relationship. When we were together, everyone could see the connection
I was eager to begin the relationship, but when I tried to be charming,
or to influence him, or when I thought about why we should be dating,
or why his girlfriend wasn't right for him, I lost my connection
with my power because I was attempting to control outcomes.
Because I was making the relationship
all about him and what he should do, I felt miserable. It got to
a point where the thought of not knowing if we were moving forward
held up every other aspect of my life. Suddenly, all decisions and
activities were connected to this one question: Will we be together?
I'd love to ask him to join me on this vacation, but I'm not going
to do it if we're not going to be together, so maybe I'll delay
the vacation until I know they've broken up.
This kind of thinking created a ripple in the Field that completely
disempowered me because suddenly all my energy was focused on trying
to control the how instead of ordering the what. The more time I
spent engineering it, the lower ROE I got.
I revamped. First, I sent out the
intention, Hey if he's the right guy, bring him on; if he's not,
bring the right one. To reconnect with the Field, I remembered the
intention I set before we ever met: to be in relationship with a
man whose heart is open and available and to be loved to the depths
of my heart, body, mind, soul.
Instead of fixating on trying to help him become that person, I
focused on my intention. By operating in the new way, I've been
able to move on toward what I want. Now I recognize very quickly
when I am operating in force and no longer spend time attempting
to force a relationship based on potential. I am also having far
more fun. I have freed up a huge amount of energy and am now able
to enter into relationships wholeheartedly.
playing the field
Can you think of a time when your choices in a
relationship (personal or professional) were based on force, not
the Field means operating at higher levels. These can look like
flashes of genius, brilliant inspirations, or a new perspective
that instantly transforms a situation. Biochemist Rupert Sheldrake
has coined the term morphogenetic fields (M-Fields) to describe
the invisible organizing patterns that act like energy templates.
When runner Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, he created
a new M-Field. When the Wright brothers flew, they created a new
Sheldrake contends that it's possible
to create increasingly larger and more powerful M-Fields. When Hillary
Clinton became the only former First Lady in history to run for
Congress, she created a new M-Field. When Oprah Winfrey became the
first black female billionaire, she created a new M-Field. Whenever
people live a bigger possibility, a new M-Field is born. After that,
the possibility for others to do the same increases. If you can
learn to play the Field, not only do you make quantum leaps yourself,
but you also make it easier for others to take those leaps as well.
playing the field
Have you ever experienced others creating a new
Have you ever created an M-Field for yourself?
Ten Energetic Choices
Field offers us a view of life from a place we're not used to being
in because it asks us to change the way we approach everything.
The greatest challenge in playing the Field for most people is that
it's difficult to apply these hard-to-quantify concepts to everyday
life. When you've got to pack the kids' lunches and be out the door
in five minutes, how do you stop and contemplate the connectedness
I learned to tap the Field and developed
some of these principles as a result of suffering from severe, life-threatening
asthma as a child. The upside of asthma was that it made me into
a warrior. I came in fighting, and I fought it all the way. After
surviving those first five years, I knew I could do anything. Because
I could read my body better than the doctors could, I learned to
rely on myself and believed it was up to me to make things happen.
For the next twenty years, I set out to conquer my various worlds:
school, sports, career.
At school, kids called me Windbag
because I breathed funny. I fought that with humor and with the
determination to show them I could do anything. In third grade I
became the first girl patrol captain. I was the first female class
president of my high school class. I became the first person in
my family to graduate from college and to earn a graduate degree.
I lived by slogans like "No pain, no gain" and "Where
there's a will, there's a way." Whatever I set out to do, I
Always on the fast track, proving
I could beat the odds, I took an entry-level position at a large
global corporation after college and became their youngest vice
president ten years later. By thirty-six, I was running a $100 million
operation. The harder I tried and achieved what I wanted, the more
force and will I applied.
My early patterns of setting up goals,
relentlessly pursuing them, and forcing them through served me very
well, and to this day I am grateful for the asthma because it gave
me so much. But along the way, some of those choices that became
my blueprint for life stopped working.
It was a gradual process. The act
of succeeding against all odds had become a comfort zone for me,
and I unknowingly re-created these situations over and over so I
could play in a game where I'd mastered the rules. I knew how to
be the underdog. What I didn't know was that staying in a comfort
zone led to other choices that kept me from the life I wanted to
I looped through the same pattern over and over -only faster - and
created huge drama. The more force I applied, the more often I brought
about the things I most dreaded. When additional force didn't work,
I head tripped, wondering what I could do differently, and then
repeated the pattern again.
I finally noticed that the choices
we make in our response styles to the ups and downs of life have
either high or low energy. Over time, I refined these into ten distinct
behaviors, or energetic choices, and gave them names. These ten
choices, which I list below, are specific, easy to follow, and don't
re-quire a degree in physics or philosophy to grasp:
comfort zones: Just because something feels familiar does not mean
it's the most powerful use of your energy, and it can lead you even
2. head trips: Mentally replaying the same scenario
and what-ifs over and over wears you down and leads you to make
an even lower-energy choice:
3. loops: Repeating the same patterns and drama
from situation to situation, job to job, and relationship to relationship
becomes an unconscious template for your life that leads to the
lowest-energy choice of all:
4. magnets: Your negative, fear-based beliefs
can actually create what you are most trying to avoid. You are so
depleted, this lowest-energy choice sucks you into the Black Hole.
5. suspend judgment: Letting go of your interpretations
of and opinions about others, outcomes, and especially yourself
will immediately take you out of the Fear Zone of low-energy choices
and expand your possibilities.
6. lighten up: Lightening Up (especially on yourself)
shifts the intensity and opens a new way of operating that catapults
you into the Power Zone.
7. tune in: It's time to unplug from the wired
world and get present with the human being in front of you right
now. When you connect with someone else, the result is more than
twice as powerful than if you don't.
8. scan: When you Scan, you move into a detached
state of observation, using all your senses to take in the physical,
emotional, and intuitive information in your environment. More knowledge
gives you more options.
9. tap the truth: You tap your greatest power
when you live in integrity with yourself and with everyone else.
10. believe: What you deeply, authentically Believe,
you create. And the power you experience expands your potential.
This highest-energy choice propels you into Breakthrough.
of these choices do you make?
Remember, you access the Field by
deciding to. By choosing. You choose your intention, and then you
choose your next action. Playing the Field is about the hundreds
of energetic choices you make every day and what these choices create.
I will show you how to make better decisions, create less stress
and drama, find greater meaning, and enjoy a more accountable life
- in good times and in bad. We will explore each of these choices
in depth throughout this book. The next chapter introduces the Energy
Spectrum and provides a big picture of the ten energetic choices.
Chapters 3 through 6 describe the low-energy choices, and chapters
7 through 12 the high-energy ones. Each chapter contains questions
to provoke further exploration as well as summaries of all the ideas
At the beginning of this chapter,
I told you about Timothy, our Guardian Angel who appeared to drop
in from nowhere. Let me close with a story of how to use these choices
in more mundane situations.
Days in the Field
friend Jill is a widow and a mom who spends much of her day behind
the wheel taking her children to school, sports events, and various
lessons. One afternoon she found herself in the unusual position
of being all alone in her van with the prospect of one whole discretionary
Traffic was heavy, and a potential traffic jam might limit how much
time she actually had. Could she make it to the grocery store and
back in time to pick up her children? Get that overdue oil change?
Have the car washed, so the fast-food leftovers in the backseat
didn't start growing mold? She decided to relax and enjoy the sunny
day instead of grousing about the delay or the wasted opportunity.
Suddenly Jill noticed the new Trader
Joe's. One of her closest friends was having a big birthday in two
days and was obsessed with a particular wine that only Trader Joe's
carries. Jill hadn't had the time, or the inclination, to even figure
out where the store was, let alone to deal with the traffic, so
she'd completely given up on the idea of getting the wine for her
friend. Yet because she chose to enjoy the sunny day, she was later
able to delight her friend with that special birthday gift.
Each choice affects your future. This
time you might notice Trader Joe's. Next time you find a good babysitter
out of the blue. After that, a job offer comes to you before you
even realize you're ready for a change.
Jill could have chosen to stay in
a foul mood because of the traffic and missed Trader Joe's. Later,
she might have dismissed a flash of genius about a challenge she
was having with one of her kids because everything felt too overwhelming
She then could have met Mr. Right at the gym, only to brush him
off because she felt as negative about herself as she did about
everything else. Use your energy consciously. When you're moving
fast and making decisions on the run, know that each choice counts.
These examples may seem inconsequential, but that's the whole point:
though the everyday choices you make can seem quite small, over
time you will get better and better at playing the Field, and the
results will be-come bigger and bigger. And what could be more exciting
than an ever-expanding life?
Everything is energy. We all have a supply. How you choose to connect
to it is up to you. Even when you feel depleted and think you have
no choice, you always do.
We spend much of our energy
trying to change and control people and things (force).
Playing the Field, a new way
of living and working, is a view of life from a place we're not
used to being in (power). Because this new way is nonlinear, we
can do away with the labor involved in cause-and-effect and if-then
The Field encompasses everything,
and in the Field anything is possible.
Everything you say or do causes
a ripple in the Field, and other people pick up on it, even though
it's very subtle. A shift occurs, then sets off a chain reaction.
The ten powerful choices available
to us determine whether we are using our energy toward a high or
By understanding all the ways
you're using your energy, you can choose a more efficient and more
satisfying way to act when you're feeling unproductive, frustrated,
and hopeless. You will evaluate situations more quickly and make
an impact, regardless of your personal or professional situation.
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