How I modified my “if only” list and discovered inner peace  

If only COVID-19 had never happened, THEN I’d be happy. If only I didn’t have to work anymore, THEN I’d be happy. If only I could land a job, THEN I’d be happy. If only I could find the right partner, THEN I’d be happy. If only I could get some peace and quiet around here, THEN I’d be happy. If only I could become rich and famous, THEN I’d be happy. (excerpt from Peace Dreamer: A Journey of Hope in Bad Times and Good)

            Do you have similar thoughts? Although I know better, there are days when I hear the whispers of “if only” in my head, too. And you know what? That’s okay. The need for immediate results and longing is a human tendency. I look at the “if only” mantra as a syndrome of recycled negative thought patterns that I have the power to change. Somewhere along the way, I realized that the attitude of “the grass is always greener on the other side” is part of human nature. I also realized that true happiness and inner peace are “inside-out” jobs – not dependent on wealth, fame, or what society views as “success.” When I tire of my personal pity party, I consciously shift my “if only” attitude into a higher emotional vibration. 

            How to Make a Positive Shift: In the middle of my “if only” chant, I regroup and return to basics – the present moment. Here. Now. This. I notice the sacredness of every deep breath, and I am grateful for the beauty surrounding me. I also take reflective moments to acknowledge how much I have grown despite my childhood wounds and everyday challenges. 

            Trust: I also make an internal vow to trust. I accept life as it is, and at the same, I create a space in my body, mind and spirit for new miracles, hope, healing, laughter, and the manifestation of new dreams. Even when we think that our lives are going nowhere, from my experience I have learned that the opposite is true. While feeling stagnant, there is always an internal humming of new growth. What if the next step towards personal success is to love and accept ourselves as we are? Trust, acceptance, love, healing and letting go are all paths towards inner peace, happiness and freedom. 

Self-Acceptance: Even though there is always room for self-improvement, I have a favorite affirmation: “I am enough.” Self-acceptance is a direct action towards self-love. Just by breathing and being, you are enough. The compass for genuine success is defined by who we are – not what we do. Success is easy. It only requires us to be love, shine love and stand for love. 

A Journal: In a journal, write down your feelings and thoughts without worrying about spelling and grammar. Let your pen flow freely. This is called stream-of-consciousness writing and it is used as a cathartic tool towards healing. What is your “if only?” How can you make a positive shift that transcends these regrets? Writing cleanses our spirit, creating a space for new beginnings. In our journal, we have the freedom to express our unbridled truth, release emotions that hold us back, and begin to understand, accept, love and discover life through a new lens.

Change Your Words; Change Your Life: We all have doubts, fears and insecurities, but our new normal can be filled with power words. What we tell ourselves matters. “If only I were smarter, richer and successful” can be replaced with “I have the power to define who I am.” Insensitive people in your past may have said, “Don’t try that idea. You might fail. There’s no money in that. Don’t take a risk.” Replace this unhelpful advice with “I have the courage to do what I love.” Power words change the trajectory of our lives.

The Healing Power of Visualization: We have many thoughts and emotions whirling around at the same time. We can be in our “if only” pattern and we can also envision new dreams and a better life. Along with your power words, use your imagination to support your words into positive action. See yourself doing what you love. Trust that the universe is working with you in a timing that is filled with grace and love. Above all, keep dreaming.  

Dreams are a Lifeline to Hope: Once you have written down your “if only” thoughts and created new power words, listen. What does your heart really want? What are the whispers of your inner voice telling you? What is your innermost truth? Honor your dreams, take small action steps, and embrace the fairy dust lighting your way. When you believe in yourself, everything is possible. 


About the Author:

Cheryl Melody Baskin

Author of Peace Dreamer: A Journey of Hope in Bad Times and Good (New Book Release)                         

“True activism begins in our core. Our soul of souls. True activism begins from inside-out.” Peace Dreamer was written during one of the most chaotic times in history. We faced the ramifications of the global pandemic while dealing with the vibrations created by extreme political, social and racial division. As I opened myself up to deep reflection and internal uncharted territory, spiritual messages came through me that allowed me to understand the most inclusive meaning of the overused words, “love and peace.” Peace Dreamer shines a light on creating a more optimistic story for ourselves, each other and the world. It helps readers discover conscious paths towards understanding themselves more completely while also understanding the basic core of people with whom they don’t agree. The content also includes the author’s favorite user-friendly techniques for centering and mindfulness – especially when life is at its messiest. 

Endorsements on behalf of Peace Dreamer: A Journey of Hope in Bad Times and Good include New York Times bestselling author Dr. Bernie Siegel, United Nations Association President (Santa Barbara, CA), Barbara Gaughen Muller, psychologist, Dr. Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Reverend Deborah L. Clark, and professor of African Cosmologies, Dr. Liseli A. Fitzpatrick. 

Cheryl Melody Baskin is an author, playwright, peace educator, intuitive life coach, musician, motivational speaker and sound healer. 

Her books and plays include Peace Dreamer: A Journey of Hope in Bad Times and Good, Heart-Dreamer: Stepping into Life, Love, Creativity and Dreams – No Matter What, Shift of Heart: Paths to Healing and Love, and Peace Begins with You and Me – A Musical Play with Life-Changing Messages for Every Generation. 

As a musician, she is a performing artist and has nine award-winning albums with positive messages for both adults and children. She is also the founder, moderator and intuitive life coach of “Shift of Heart,” a large and inclusive Facebook community of love, support and hope.

“Melody” enjoys a balance of quiet contemplation, meaningful social interaction, dreaming new dreams, and the healing power of nature. She is also a strong believer in peace, diversity celebration, listening to life’s wisdom whispers, trusting in the magical mystery of the unknown, healing from inside-out, and walking the path of love. 

Cheryl Melody Baskin was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Visioneers International Network.