Whatever it takes, whatever you need, whoever you want—be happy. Which means follow your dreams, face your fears, and every single day move forward. Happiness is my only wish for you, and I am at peace knowing you will have it. – Mike Dooley
I first came across Mike Dooley’s writings when somebody on social media kept sharing what he calls “Notes from the Universe,” in which he writes on behalf of the Universe to inspire you in living your life to the fullest. I’ve been one of his 1,000,000+ e-mail subscribers receiving daily notes, and they’re one of the few messages in my inbox that I look forward to reading every day.
Amazingly, the notes are timely with the events happening in my life. My sister and friends who are also subscribed can attest to their timing. What’s more is that he delivers the messages in a funny way, which is sure to brighten up your day.
And you can expect the same from this book. This time, he speaks on behalf of the dead!
What I really appreciate more in the book are the letters from a dearly departed interspersed in between the chapters. The letters, fictitious yet what the dead would have written so if it were possible, come from individuals who passed away due to different causes — from a best friend who died on a plane crash, from a son who committed suicide, and more — with each one sharing their present experiences in heaven and their newly awakened perspective on how life should have been and could have been had they known what they know now.
Those are the messages you will find in The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You.
So while we’re not going to discuss what the ten things are, here’s a quick glance at them:
- We’re not dead!
- There’s no such thing as a devil or hell
- We were ready
- You’re not ready
- We’re sorry for any pain we caused
- Your dreams really can come true
- “Heaven” is going to blow your mind!
- Life is more than fair
- Your “old” pets are as crazy as ever
- Love is the way; truth is the path
Let’s check out more inspiration we can learn from the dead:
Love and Happiness
Name what virtually everyone else, no matter their creed or culture, would agree with, and suddenly, just maybe, you’ll nail the answer to that age-old question Why?: (1) To love (2) To be loved (3) To pursue happiness.
Mike said that we have been connecting the dots all our life. We assume that the more dots we can connect, the closer we get to the Truth. But eventually, we will come to realize that the reason why we’re here is really simple: Love and Happiness.
Try it now. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Then keep asking yourself why. And we will arrive at the same answer.
The dots offer us direction and meaning. But they also reveal the critical aspect of the adventure of life: our thoughts. This is the button to push and the lever to pull when we want more love or more happiness.
In this way, we can replace thoughts of lack with abundance, sickness with health, confusion with clarity, and fear of anything, including death, with confidence.
And everyone, being of spirit, of love, of God, has the ability to know in their heart of hearts that there’s no such thing as a devil or hell.
Mike made a very good distinction between religion and spirituality in the book. “Religion needs spirituality. Spirituality does not need religion.”
Religion is an explanation; spirituality, an acknowledgment. Religion is a man-made attempt to explain the hard-to-explain. This is the conflict that comes from explaining, connecting the dots, or even making them up where no dots had ever existed.
What was supposed to bridge the gap built walls instead that separated us from God and from one another.
It is from those dots connection that man fashioned laws, rules, rituals, and doctrines to divide the believers and non-believers, the good and the bad people, the right and wrong doings. You either belong or you don’t. You will be either saved or you won’t. You either go to heaven or you go to hell.
Being of spirit, Mike said, we can reach our divine intelligence, power, and responsibilities. We already have the innate capacity of knowing the truth. There is no way home but back the way we came.
School of Life
You are not meant to bear that which you find unpleasant; you are meant to change it. That’s why you feel it. Your every twitch of pain and malaise invites you to wake up, pushing you to seek grander truths that will reveal a bigger reality and a more magnificent you, ever closer to an awareness of your true place within reality creation—as a Creator.
I’m reminded of a quote that says something like, “You already made a choice to be here on earth. The question is why?”
One realization I constantly remind myself of is that whatever it is I’m going through is because I made that choice. From this, I can choose differently.
It would be impossible to make a different choice if there were no references, yes? We have to go through what we don’t want, so we can know what we do want.
Whatever situation you’re in that you find unpleasant, you are meant to change it. Life first seems to be hard, so you can know that life was meant to be easy. You have to be broken first to realize that who you really are is unbreakable. All tears are first painful before they can pour out from joy.
Mike reassures us that all is well. We’re exactly where we should be, exactly where we chose to be. Something wrong in your life does not mean something is wrong with you.
The why of life is simply to be, which means to experience our choices, through our feelings. From every experience, we can choose anew and thus experience and feel anew — experiencing and feeling what we do want — love and happiness. That’s how we learn to be a creator, just like God, in this school of life.
As I hope you might suspect, the “happy ending” in this metaphor most certainly isn’t when you “die.” Life is not meant to be hard so that you can be happy beyond it. The happy “ending,” therefore, comes with finally understanding those tricky areas you move through while you are alive. The key is that you do indeed need to move through them and not “stop reading at the scary parts”; you must prevail, hang on, and keep trucking to emerge on the other side of whatever the tricky area was.
A loving parent would not give her child a book to read that doesn’t have a happy ending. Neither would God nor would you.
Isn’t it true? When you think about it, a book is more enjoyable when the story is full of adventures, packed with twists and turns, and the hero goes through many adversities and challenges before the “happy ending.”
The problem is when we become shortsighted. We stop reading when we encounter the scary parts. “Don’t stop reading during the scary parts!” Mike urges us. He reminds us that it will be all good in the long run, no matter how things may appear midway.
God’s trajectory within time and space is eternal expansion. Mike, on behalf of the dead, wants us to know that no matter where we are, everything is okay, getting better, and happening perfectly in a steady progression that will take us higher.
So get on with it. Being patient does not mean being passive. Move toward your dreams while you celebrate all that does work, all that you do have, and who you now are. Be with friends. Spend time alone. Don’t worry. Be happy. Look forward. This is surely easier said than done, but that’s just it: if these things were easy, they’d have been done and what would be the point? You signed up for the intensive program: harder in the beginning, more fun thereafter.
Be patient while moving toward your dreams. Be patient while being grateful, appreciating where you are and who you are now. Be patient because fun is coming your way. It’s the way life is supposedly, no matter our beliefs are otherwise.
We are always a work-in-progress. There’s nothing wrong when we sometimes feel lost or incomplete. It means we’re human.
Mike motivates us to keep going. We are not handicapped by challenges but blessed by them.
The greater the perceived lack or missing in your life, the greater the comeback and future celebration coming your way.
Reruns are for TV
Don’t abdicate this highest of all responsibilities: to think for yourself. You’re learning this. Your inner powers are consolidating. By all means, defuse the negative chatter when you can, but whether or not you succeed, don’t play along. Far more importantly, realize that no one else’s moaning, lamenting, or complaining can change the new life track you’re on. You are unstoppable now, naturally more positive than negative, inclined to succeed, and born to thrive.
Mike offers some practical tips if you have been going through a series of unfortunate events. But he admonishes that we take full responsibility for our life.
- Don’t dwell on the past. It takes your attention away from the present, the only moment that we really have. The past traumas will only re-create negative feelings, leading to negative behavior and choices, which in turn will bring about more negative manifestations. It becomes a vicious cycle.
- Don’t play along with even the well-intentioned regards from those who want to demonstrate compassion by confirming that you have an “unfortunate” life. It will only reinforce misbeliefs in your powerlessness and victimhood.
- Don’t try to fix or change others. What will serve you and others the most is to create as much space as possible within which healing can fill in. Welcome new friends, ideas, and adventures in your life.
- Don’t try to be special. You are not a special case. Everyone has their challenges. There’s no such thing as an unchallenged life. Mike puts it clearly, “What happens between two or more people is a co-creation; what happens afterward — your reactions to what happened and your subsequent choices — is solely your own creation.” Seize the lessons you can from what happened and use them to craft your life moving forward.
Thy Kingdom Come
There are, of course, steps that virtually all physical manifestations can be seen to follow. Deliberately engaging their mechanics begins with knowing what they are. Becoming proficient enough to get consistent results requires practice. Critical to the process is knowing that you’re never alone.
Your dreams can really come true. This is what the dead want you to know and inspire you to do, mainly because this is what they wish they could have done when they had the chance on earth.
Here, Mike again lays out the mechanics of manifestation. There are two steps, which if we keep on taking until there are results, thy kingdom must come.
He also reminds us that you have to take these steps even though it may seem that you’re all alone, nothing’s happening and the odds are stacked against you.
- Define what you want in terms of the end result. Imagine that you’ve already received, done, and become that which you desire. Don’t include the how’s.
- Show up, every day, moving in the direction of your dream. It doesn’t matter that you’re not sure if you’re on the right path. Eventually, you will. It might actually be a good thing because it means you’re doing something new. Do whatever you’re inspired to do.
Miracles almost always happen in the invisible. We might not see them but it doesn’t mean they’re not happening.
Life Isn’t Fair
Every stroke of luck, however good or bad, every fortune or misfortune, every twist and turn in the plot of his life, no matter who else was involved and no matter what role they played, is self-created.
It is more than fair. Mike wants us to consider this for life. He reminds us of the faculties at our disposal to create our own luck. We have our inner senses: intellect, intuition, and feelings we can tap into for guidance.
You are not what happened to you. What you’ve been through will serve you. Starting now, with new thoughts and actions, you can create your own luck and make life more than fair for you.
Seeing the Illusions
That through love—not in an instant, but applied consistently over time—the illusions can be tamed, managed, and harnessed, ultimately setting a stage where both coexist to create a spectacular new kind of platform for human expression and the joy of being.
You probably heard of the saying, “Love is all there is,” which doesn’t make sense with the apparent reality. Love is all there is because even the illusions are part of all there is. The dead, having a better perspective than the living, know this.
However, we too, the living can gain awareness as much as the dead do. This is why spiritual teachers would say metaphorically to die while we’re alive and learn to keep dying.
It’s the ego, the illusion of all illusions, that we need to tame, manage and harness through love, applied consistently over time. When the ego is the master, we serve the illusions. When the ego is the servant, the illusions serve us.
Being enlightened or awakened doesn’t exempt you from challenges in life. In fact, you become more responsible in handling them. But you now see the illusions as they are — as a reference for what is real.
Beyond chaos, there is peace. Beyond lack, there is abundance. Beyond dis-ease, there is well-being. Beyond fear, there is love.
And then it hits you. You were once where they are, yet you found your way to the truth. And in hindsight you realize that you once needed to be where you were so that you could be pushed through it to where you now are. You also realize that your path and the enlightenment that followed were inevitable; it’s the path of all in time and space. And so you also suddenly realize that just as you once chose to go through all you went through, with your own closed heart and mind, to eventually stand in the love you’ve found today, so, too, are they on their own custom-designed pilgrimage to reach the same love you’ve found.
I wish I could put the last few pages of the book here. Mike hit me right on spot. He worded my sentiment. Tearjerker! I took a long pause to reflect on my own experiences.
All roads lead home. No matter how long it takes, in this lifetime or the next or more, all souls return to God. Knowing this, you would honor the free will of everyone and everything for the life they choose.
We are perfection in the making. No need to change anyone or anything. Change implies there is a condition. And love, true love that is, knows no condition.
So you learn unconditional love. Learning to love unconditionally, you get to know more of yourself. You experience God and God experiences you.
You arrive on a plateau that confirms it’s not the material things that bring you the most joy but the pursuit of them. And not because of what the pursuit promised, but for all that it didn’t—the hidden gifts: new challenges, fears, and enemies. These were your greatest gifts! Gifts because they were met, faced, and befriended. They became the milestones of each journey and what you recall with the greatest fondness. You are not the same person you once were, yet you are; the world also seems to have changed, but it hasn’t. Life suddenly makes sense and you want to live forever.
May you live forever!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Dooley is a former PriceWaterhouseCoopers international tax consultant turned entrepreneur. He’s the founder of a philosophical Adventurers Club on the Internet that’s now home to more than 600,000 members from 182 countries. His inspirational books emphasizing spiritual accountability have been published in 25 languages, and he was one of the featured teachers in the international phenomenon The Secret. Today Mike is best known for his free “Notes from the Universe” e-mailings. To receive Mike’s daily “Notes,” visit www.tut.com