Solitare and Lessons in Manifest Destiny


Solitary Mount Shasta, taken through the window of my car


My mother taught me the card game Solitare when I was a young girl. I had always wondered whether every game was winnable or not, or if I was just lacking some key strategies. I did some online research at the beginning of this year, and learned that not every game is winnable, but that by following basic strategies, at least 1-out-of-3 games could be won. So I spent a few months playing 3 games a night on my cell phone right before bed. What I began to learn about myself was remarkable, and taught me a lesson in manifesting your own destiny. I began to see the same effects in other areas of my life as well.

I carefully noted my mental process throughout each game, and found that my intentions greatly influenced how far I would get in each game. If I was optimistic and played as if I could win, I usually would win or get much farther in the game than if I had had a bad day that day, or generally felt negative or pessimistic. Also, if I had left a game unfinished from the following night (believed that the game was over and had given up), I would often be shocked to pick it up the next night and see one or more plays that I had missed the night before.

What this showed me is that when you have a belief in your future success, you are more open to seeing the opportunities, the doors to your success, that are right in front of you. However, another true experience of mine demonstrates how important open-mindedness is in situations:

I was watching a movie/documentary that claimed that the Native Americans could not see Columbus approaching in his ships because they had never seen ships before. Now, I consider myself an open-minded and scientific-minded individual. But the assertion that people would be physically unable to observe something outside of their world-view seemed absolutely absurd. However, the very next day, after ordering lunch in the deli at work, I stepped over to the condiments counter to grab a napkin. I knew that was where the napkins always sat, so when I scanned the counter once and didn’t see them, I scanned it again, this time slowly right to left, then scanned the other counters in the room twice, to make sure there were no napkins available before troubling the woman at the register.

I felt humbled and very surprised when she gracefully pointed at the very counter I had been standing a foot away from, and said “The napkins are over there.” I followed her hand gesture to the same counter, and I still didn’t see them. After shaking my head, then looking back at her and seeing how confident she was, I looked hard again. Sure enough, there were three or four piles of square pink, green, & yellow napkins in the middle of the counter. Because I was expecting narrow, rectangular, white napkins in a straight pile, I could not see the colored napkins.

I learned that our vision of the future, and thus our success, is easily shaped by our paradigms, which may be faulty. Paradigms and dismal visions of the future should be challenged regularly, or you will blindly pass by opportunities.

I started thinking about this again due to my recent upheaval & move to San Francisco. I think that because I chose to follow my initial epiphany with an open mind, the entire process has felt strangely “guided,” as if success was inevitable, and opportunities have clearly presented themselves at just the right times.

It started with my revelation on that Sunday night that it was time to leave Bakersfield. It was like my buddy Norm had said about finding a life partner: you know it’s the right one when you cannot picture future events in your life without them. I felt like I had received a vision of the future, and it was not at my home in Bakersfield, and so I had no choice but to leave.

Then, the next big decision–where to live in San Francisco. The foster dog I had been caring for mysteriously disappeared one day, which oddly didn’t concern me very much. I had a feeling that she had found a good home, while her running away conveniently eliminated the stress of having to find her a home quickly or move with both a dog and a cat. Then, after responding to only one other add for housemates (a no-go since the lady had failed to mention in the ad that she owned a canary), I came upon the ad for a room for rent on Treasure Island that allowed a cat. After leaving a message for the ad, I knew from the voice on the voicemail that I would be living at that apartment. A more tangible confirmation of my decision came to me after partially moving in two nights ago. I was taken aback to notice that there were two geographic maps posted in the hallway outside my bedroom–the exact same 2 maps of Europe and Africa from 2 separate issues of National Geographic magazine that I had chosen for my bedroom wall in Bakersfield.

My decisions and opportunities regarding work have also come very easily–For example, the massage space for rent in San Francisco also came to me so perfectly that it seemed orchestrated. Upon developing a phony massage business plan for my final massage school project, I came upon the ad for this shared room for rent at a terrific price, in downtown San Francisco. I decided to base my business plan around that price. I remember getting very excited seeing that add, and feeling a burning sensation throughout my inner body, like the space would be perfect for me, even though I hadn’t even graduated or committed to pursuing massage therapy full-time. I immediately inquired through email about the space and committed to a long-term lease. At first, the therapist curteously replied back, saying that she had decided to go with someone more experienced. I was somewhat disappointed, but not crushed, and replied with a grateful thank you for the information.

About a week later, I received an email back saying she had not found the right person for the space and would I like to stop by and have a look. The second I walked in the office I knew it was meant to be mine. It was perfectly decorated, with an ambiance much better than I had imagined, and the confirmation (to me!) was that a “W” magazine, one of the few I subscribe to in Bakersfield, was out in the waiting room. I received my keys to the room last week.

Several other items regarding work have fallen right into place, but I will save them for later. Part of me doesn’t want to jinx my future success by revealing them now, while the other part of me knows that success is inevitable. Either way, I will end this discussion now.

I’m learning that by following my intuition, and allowing myself to cling to a dream of a bright and successful future, that the opportunities and decisions become vividly clear, and I truly can make manifest the destiny of my choosing.