Are you stuck in traffic or enjoying the block party?

Several months ago when I was driving back to Mount Shasta, I discovered that I-5 was closed and would be closed for many hours. At first I was annoyed, but then a wiser and more adventurous part of me took over. I decided to stop, ponder what “gift” or lesson the Universe might be offering me, and make a plan. So I pulled off at the next rest stop, pushed back my seat, closed my eyes and went to sleep even though it was only 4:00 pm.

About an hour and a half later I woke up abruptly and turned on the radio to hear any updates. Even though the radio said the road was going to be closed at least until 10:00 pm, something deep within me said use the restroom and then get on the road and head north. I decided to listen to my intuition instead of the radio.

I used the facilities, got back into my car and headed north. About 20 minutes later, as I came down a hill, I could see miles and miles of cars bumper to bumper. As I got closer I realized that all traffic had come to a complete standstill. At first, I thought people would be angry and stressed, but as I turned off my car and began to take in the whole scene, I realized they weren’t.

Cars were turned off, radios were playing music, some people were sitting on the hoods of their cars and while others were having tailgate picnics. It felt like I had just pulled into a very large block party! It was the most stress-free traffic jam I had ever been in.

Only hours before I had been caught in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam in the Bay Area, but there everyone had been angry and stressed. The contrast was amazing!

What made this situation so different? For whatever reason, everyone seemed willing to let go of his or her previous agenda, and just be in the moment. This mind-state keeps us in our conscious mind, which means we also have the means to create what we really want. On the other hand, when we are stressed our subconscious mind takes over and creates the life our “tapes” want to create.  This may seem like a simple thing, but it affects what our life is going to look like today, and tomorrow.

As I sat in my car with the windows rolled down enjoying the “block party” I began reflecting on the situation. What was the message this situation was offering me for my life? It was loud and clear: when you hit an impasse, traffic jam or roadblock—“stop, be still, and wait for a clue; look inside for what you can change and know that life can rearrange; and listen to your body for it knows what is true and will always guide you to what is right for you…”(from Out of the Box and Into Yourself!) This is exactly what I had done.

I had stopped and taken a nap because I wasn’t sure how long I would be on the road. I knew a clue would show up if I just quieted myself and listened. When I woke up the clues or instructions were clear—start heading north. The final step was listening to my body.

As I sat in my car enjoying the “block party” or mini-community that had spontaneously risen out of necessity, I could feel my body relax and unwind from a week of work. It brought to mind past family gatherings at my grandparent’s house when I was growing-up. My father came from a very large family, so gatherings were very large—like a small village. This impromptu freeway mini-village reminded me of those gatherings, and of my need to belong and be part of something bigger then me. I was reminded that people and life are good—and that you sometimes just need to view things from a different angle. This was a very different approach to life from what I had learned when I was growing up.

I was raised with the belief that if something isn’t working—then I obviously wasn’t trying hard enough. Unfortunately this mindset left me feeling inadequate. As I watched the “block party” unfold, I felt a sense of rightness.  I was also reminded of the importance of letting go of my agenda and stepping wholeheartedly into the moment.

The radio had mapped out an alternative route, but after a few mathematical calculations I dispensed with that idea because it felt like too much of a struggle. Instead I watched some teenagers play on their skateboards and a boy walk his dog. I was happy and content.

The simple choices I made that day were the result of my awareness that when we are stressed, and not present in the moment, it is difficult to create the life you really want. This awareness, in part, stems from my familiarity and understanding of the research of Dr. Bruce Lipton.

Between 1988 and 1992 Dr. Bruce Lipton, while a fellow in pathology at Stanford Medical School, proved in a laboratory that our beliefs and perceptions, not our genes, control our biology and when you change your beliefs, you can change your whole life.

Our fundamental beliefs about life and ourselves are downloaded automatically into our subconscious mind merely by observing the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of our parents, siblings, and peers. These beliefs then play out automatically without the awareness or the control of the conscious mind. Our internal conflicts or difficulty creating the life we really want may be the only clues we have that we have some inaccurate programming in our subconscious mind

Dr. Lipton also found that hypnotic-like practices were the most effective way to change old beliefs that are stored in our subconscious. He felt that drawing, when approached in a noncompetitive manner, as encouraged in the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program, was an excellent method for transforming old beliefs. This happens because it takes the brain into that relaxed and receptive state, which allows for the easy transformation of thought patterns and beliefs, and also because it is simple and self-initiated.

What is the ICWIB program? The I Create What I Believe! program is a groundbreaking approach to drawing that enables people of all ages to reduce stress, release bottled-up emotions, gain a deeper sense of self, and transform stifling beliefs that hinder their ability to succeed.

Activities as simple as drawing circles and straight lines, which serve as a form of biofeedback, provide an individual with a spontaneous and accurate record of how old memories and current situations affect his or her body. This information can be a source of great insight and facilitate deep healing.

As the sun began to set, I wondered: How did I move from feeling so powerless, frustrated, and inadequate, to being able to trust my intuition, and accomplish anything I really wanted? After a lot of pondering, I realized that the ICWIB program was the answer. This program was an outgrowth of my own healing, and the development of the program and ICWIB Deluxe Teacher’s Edition kit had catapulted me forward into a level of competence and clarity I had never known was possible.

Suddenly, all of the people began putting away their picnics, climbed into their cars, and the block party was over. As we inched down the freeway together I could still feel that deep feeling of belonging to something good and much bigger than me.

That feeling of rightness and my belief in a positive future is what continues to propel me to teach and share the ICWIB program with parents, educators, schools, individuals working with at-risk children, and anyone who wants to make a significant change in their life. I know that if we could create a mini-village on I-5, together we can also create a much larger global village that thrives.


I am extremely excited and proud to announce that after two years and a lot of hard work the ICWIB Deluxe Teacher’s Edition kit is finally done! If you are interested in seeing the new kit, or purchasing one you can view the new ICWIB Deluxe Teacher’s Edition kit ( on the website:

If you want any more information about the new kit or the program you can contact Nancy Marie at 530-926-0365 or

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