In 2009, I quit my job at the bank, sold my house, my car, my belongings, rehomed my dog and packed a backpack with a one-way ticket to India to figure out who I was. A task of the mind, I thought. Busy me was always assigning everything to the mind. But it was always the heart. The heart that was leading me down this Spiritual path and the heart that was making my life’s wishes for me. My job was to learn to listen:

I’m in India at the Hugging Saint’s, Amma’s, ashram. She’s here and giving out hugs. Her hugs are known to be miraculous, and spiritual wishes made while hugging Amma commonly come true. I stand in line to receive my hug and my heart’s desire.

In my understanding, the more specific your desire is, the better. There are many tales of people getting exactly what they wish for. One woman tells a story of asking for bigger breasts; a couple of weeks later, her breasts were so large that she had to go to the hospital where the doctor informed her that she had a huge burst of estrogen, and he had no idea what could have caused that. She knew. When she’d hugged Amma, she whispered in her mind, “I’d like bigger breasts.” I am definitely not going to ask for a bigger chest, but I begin to think about what I do want to ask for.

This is important.

This is my miracle. And like Eminem says – because it’s important to think of Eminem when you’re about to ask for a miracle – “You’ve only got one shot.” So, I’d better ask for the right thing.

Like the perfectionist I am, I start rehearsing wishes in my mind, foolishly believing this is where my wishing should take place.

My OCD delights in this task. Ok – I don’t really have OCD, but after you read this crazy mind train, you’re going to think I do…

My mind’s wish: By embracing my femininity, but having light, short periods (aside – It’s India so bathrooms are challenging – I was being realistic and creating a very functional wish), I would like to find my career path and soul mate. No. Maybe I should add “lucrative” before career. Hmmmmm. Maybe “lucrative and fulfilling.” Yeah. Ok. That’s it. By embracing my femininity, but having light, short periods, I would like to find my lucrative and fulfilling career path and. Oh, Wait – the line toward Amma is moving quickly – 
I should add “handsome” before soul mate. That’s good: a lucrative and fulfilling career path and handsome soulmate. Oh, but I don’t want a broke guy. I should add “handsome and wealthy.” Is that selfish? Too much? I shouldn’t overthink it. I should just sit here, move forward in line and wait. But I can’t wait. My mind needs to be busy. I must distract myself from feeling any discomfort. Back to the mission statement. It has to be perfect. I really don’t want to mess this up!

I’m close to Amma now. I try to run through my wish again, but as I am just getting to the part about my period, a woman makes me wipe my face off and get on my knees. I inch closer on my knees. Closer. What’s happening? Oh God, there she is. I’m so close! Quick Dana, rehearse your heart’s desire! It has to be perfect! Someone grabs my right hand. I think it’s a woman, but I can’t really see her. She slams it palm-down beside Amma’s leg. She pushes on my shoulder blade. She pushes it again and again trying to get my shoulders in some sort of correct position. I have no idea what is happening, and I’m not able to go limp even though I’m sure that would make her job positioning my resistant body much easier. Someone tilts my head and pushes it down. My left arm hangs limp because I have no idea what I am supposed to do with it, and after offending a blind woman already today (that’s a whole different story!), I don’t want to offend a saint, too. I am hugging Amma.
“My daughter, my daughter, my daughter,” she says in my ear. She smells so good. I am yanked up. Someone is pushing me back, away from Amma. Wait! I only got to the point about wanting to have light or no periods; there is more I want out of life. Seriously! There is so much more. What about my life’s purpose, and abundance, and the handsome man of my dreams? What about that?

But I have to move on. It’s over. I look for a way out of the temple. I am a little dazed.

Huh. No big deal I thought. Why does everyone make a big deal out of hugging Amma? And yet, before I could complete that last thought – I burst into tears. Inexplicable, wild, uncontrollable tears. What was happening? Did I really screw up my wish that badly?

I didn’t. I didn’t screw up my miracle at all. Because a wish isn’t really made in the mind or spoken on the tongue. A wish is made in the heart; it’s born there like a star in the ethers. The mind may not even recognize it. But a saint, connected to Source will surely recognize it. She must have.