Jean West Watanabe

Self Improvement, Self Growth, Master Key Principles, Manifestation

How big is your world?

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How big is your worldWhen I was a kid growing up in  Duluth, Minnesota, my world consisted of long snowy winters, summer days at the lake, picnics near Enger Tower and day trips to the zoo. My sisters and I spent our time after school playing with our friends, who lived on the same block. We would hang out at the high school across the street from our house, where we would fly our kites, work our lemonade stands and lay in the grass, while we watched the planes fly overhead and looked for animal patterns in the sky.  Sundays were spent at my grandmothers house for Sunday dinner. She lived about an hour away and driving to her town, always felt like a long journey.  My world back then was very simple. Simple and small. I knew nothing else at that time and I was content with staying in our little neighborhood in West Duluth, living my life year after year. Then we moved to North Dakota and my world became a little bit bigger.

When we moved to North Dakota, I was only 7 years old. I was sad to leave Duluth and cried in the back seat of the car, as we pulled away from our home on Medina Street. I had not been to any other states outside of Minnesota, except for Wisconsin, which was literally on the other side of the bridge, across the great lake.  So for me, North Dakota was the wild wild west and was filled with all kinds of horses, ranches, farms and wide open spaces. This was where I first learned to ride a horse and that would become a huge part of my life later on. From there we moved again to Breckenridge Minnesota, which left me broken hearted, but whether I liked it or not, my world was expanding even more. And from there we moved to Moorhead, where I graduated from high school. At this point, I had become an expert in making friends and adapting to new schools with all of the aches and pains that it brings when starting over again. I can safely say this is where I started to get my “people skills”, which would also serve me well, later on in life.

I have been moving ever since. And I have been growing ever since.

As kids, our worlds are supposed to be small. We shouldn’t have the same worries  and responsibilities that adults do, so growth that comes with expanding our world comes much later. As we get older however, it becomes natural to want more out of life, to see what is on the other side of the tracks, where we haven’t been before. It’s natural for people to be curious about new and different things, so we begin to explore, some of us more than others.

I have lived in 6 states, several small communities and several large cities such as Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, Orange County, Denver and The Twin Cities. And through each of these cities and states, I grew more and more. Pretty soon the person that I used to be, was in the past and a much more educated new person, had surfaced. Going back to the person I used to be, was not even an option anymore, I had reached the point of no return and I was proud to be there.

Sometimes when we grow as human beings, it can cause a wedge or distance between you and the people who once knew you. Growth on just one end of a relationship can leave others behind, if they don’t grow along with you. This type of expansion can also cause people to skip class reunions or choose not to reconnect with certain friends or people from their past, especially if it brings them back to a time when they were not happy, or did not feel comfortable in their own skin. It’s a natural part of the process when this happens, but we can’t stop growing because of it or we limit our life experiences. I’ve learned not to take that personal, because our experiences is what causes growth and expands our world and I would hate to hold anyone back. Exposure to different cultures, religions, relationships, politics and points of view is how we educate ourselves to understand people that are different than we are.

There is a large world out there, but some people go their whole lives and never leave the safety or the security of their home town, or the state they grew up in. I can’t imagine, knowing what I know now, how small their world must be. Each time we try something different, perhaps a new ethnic food , or go through a different experience, such as zip lining for example, or maybe white water rafting, our world expands. When we make new friends and start a new job, those are add on experiences  and again… our world gets larger.  However expanding your world certainly doesn’t mean you have to live the nomadic life that I have lived. There are other ways to expand. If you are a person who has no interest in traveling, or changing careers or even making new friends because you are content with what you have, that is OK,  so by all means, stay as content as you are, but allow yourself to grow, even in the most subtle of ways. Take a new route when you walk or drive to work. Eat at a different place when you go out somewhere with your spouse or partner. Dare to try a new flavor, or a new product at your grocery store. Add more experiences and watch your world expand as you do. When you get in the groove of expanding your life, you start to realize what all you have been missing and you will want to experience more.

In North Dakota I learned how important our farmers and ranchers are to our food supply. Years later when I moved to South Dakota, I had exposure in living on a reservation and saw how poverty affects people and communities. I then moved to Oklahoma and learned to be completely self sufficient and independent. Then I moved to Colorado and learned to stand up for myself and fight back against sexist men who did not want a woman working with them on a cattle ranch. I then moved to the twin cities and learned about urban city life and what all it had to offer. Then I moved to California and learned more about other cultures and heard their fascinating and harrowing stories. In Los Angeles, I tried more types of food than I ever had in my life and it was FUN to taste how different other ethnic foods were. Then there were our personal experiences. One that stands out particularly in my mind is when Kio and I were invited to a traditional Vietnamese wedding down in Orange County. They had a wonderful dinner party afterward and hired a Lion Dance Troupe to perform a traditional Lion Dance in full costume, for the bride and groom. It was spectacular  and I remember feeling very privileged and excited to witness it.  In California, I learned about holistic therapy and alternative ways to heal myself out of desperation and to find answers for my own chronic pain. I experienced acupuncture, cupping and Chinese herbal medicines, all of which helped me.  This expanded my world to take better care of myself and and to continue to seek ways to stay the healthiest that I can. Because of these experiences, I grew in my knowledge about alternative medicine and because of that, I was able to share this with others and their world grew when I did so.

To open your mind, to listen, to engage, to ask, to experience, these are all things that expand your world into a bigger place than it was before. Traveling, understanding, communicating, meeting new people and going out of your comfort zone are also expansions of your world.

Today you should take some time to stop and think about how big your world is and if it’s time to make it a little bigger. Ask yourself if you are ready and to quote James T Kirk, ” to boldly go where no man has gone before” or should I say “to boldly go where YOU have not gone before.”

Author: Jean

I was born and raised mostly in Minnesota, the youngest of 5 girls. I never went onto college as my sisters did, because the only two things I had ever wanted to do was work with horses or pursue music and I figured I would not need a conventional education for either of those. I chose to pursue a career in horse training three days after graduating from high school and did this for many years. Horribly misguided by others I met along the way, I eventually became disillusioned with the horse industry and it's lack of respect for the horses, so I moved on from that and I never looked back. I then went into music, which was my second love and was an aspiring singer/songwriter part time for another 10 years while I worked administrative jobs on the side. This also went to the wayside when it did not take me where I wanted to go. These days I am married and currently live in Colorado with my husband, two dogs and a horse. In looking back on my life I could never understand why I would get so close to reaching my dreams and goals, but then watch them slip away as easily as they had come. As a young horse trainer starting out, I had two very good opportunities to work for a woman who was former world champion rodeo star and also for a close relative of another rodeo star, who had been a world champion many times over. I rejected both of these opportunities early on, but with great regret later, because my head was not in the right place to accept them. Even though I had manifested both opportunities during that time and without realizing what I was doing, was unable to keep them. The same thing happened in the music industry. I had the experience of recording demos in both Austin Texas and Nashville at separate times, and I was given the opportunity to be represented by a few producers in Nashville as well, both eventually going nowhere. These hit and miss opportunities that never really got off the ground, soon became an up and down journey that I went through for several years, until I started studying Universal laws of manifestation. Early on, the first book my cousin had handed me about negative and positive attraction was indeed inspiring, but telling someone to simply think positively is not going to leave a lasting impression, so I fell back into my old ways of finding opportunity and losing opportunity. Years later, I eventually moved onto another book and things went a little deeper, but I was still not quite “getting it” because I had so many questions and felt things were missing in the authors explanation of how this all works. I eventually found The Master Key System written by Charles Haanel and that's when things really came together for me. His explanation of why Universal and Natural Laws of Attraction work by bringing science and spirituality together, instead of separating them as we have been taught, really made a lot of sense to me. All of my questions were answered and the holes were filled in. It was the connection of science and spirituality that made this book a little different than the others. Nothing I had read, had gone quite that deep before. I started to use The Master Key System and saw that opportunities were coming to me a lot more easily than in the past and I was able to keep them. In using these principles, I launched my first successful small business when I was well into my 40’s, as an equine massage therapist and at a time when I thought that I was going to be stuck working mindless admin jobs for the rest of my life. It was amazing how it brought me full circle into working with horses again. I have continued to use The Master Key Principles for every part of my life, both physically and mentally. I am a lifetime, work in progress student and a true believer of these wonderful methods.

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