Harvesting My Own
 "Field of Dreams"
By Ann Miller

Mary Manin Morrissey, author of Building Your Field of Dreams, has taught me the most about going for impossible dreams, not letting personal setbacks stop me, and being open and honest about personal challenges allowing me to turn them into gifts. Mary is my greatest role model, teacher, friend, and minister! She taught me, in the way I learn best (by living through it) how to use Universal Spiritual Laws to identify my dream, plant seeds, nurture and ultimately harvest my dreams. I feel very privileged to have worked with her for five years on staff at Living Enrichment Center (LEC) in Oregon.

Empowered by Mary's example, belief in me, and encouragement, today I am living my dream of being in a warm climate (after 23 years in Alaska, and five years in Oregon). I can be outside every day to walk, ride my bike, rollerblade, and enjoy meditating, writing and connecting with Spirit on the beach. I live in beautiful surroundings that are light and cheery with loving, spiritually awake people who focus on solutions rather than problems.

My Alaska teacher's retirement provides me the luxury of working when I want to, doing what I want. I awake naturally rather than to the alarm. I have time to read, meditate, journal, write, take workshops, hear speakers, and do consulting work on Secrets to Abundance and Color Analysis For Energy. I have rekindled my passion for singing and dancing, and am writing a book. Every day is so exciting and new, and I continually take risks toward bigger dreams.

Working with Mary Manin Morrissey for five years, I have watched miracle after miracle unfold before my eyes. Many of these miracles are beautifully described in her book, Building Your Field of Dreams.

Only three years earlier, after my second divorce from a marriage that lasted only three weeks, I hit bottom. An educated professional with Masters' equivalent credits in Psychology and Counseling ‹ it felt so embarrassing! I knew that I needed to work on myself before I could have healthy, intimate relationships. Living Enrichment Center (LEC) was the perfect place to begin my spiritual awakening.

When I first started working there, three Sunday services were held in an old, dark, rundown movie theater with 1000 seats, 100 of which were broken. Offices, and classes were in the business office complex next door. On rainy days we waded through puddles in the parking lot to get to the fellowship room and classes.

With only $100,000 in the building fund, Mary led 2000+ people to dream together, purchase, and move into a $5 million permanent home in just one year! That alone was a miracle!! They paid $2.5 million plus improvements for an abandoned State facility which would have cost $15 million to build from scratch. This property had everything we collectively dreamed together including retreat center, meditation paths, ponds, fountains, gardens, full kitchen and the children's swimming pool for a price that we could barely afford, by stretching to our fullest potential! The greatest miracle is how it was accomplished!

During a seven-week Adventure in Faith Series, every person in the congregation was asked to write on a Vision Card what they wanted for their church home in ten years - including the children. The staff wrote down every suggestion in four categories ‹ Programs, People (ministers & staff), Buildings and Grounds. All ideas were accepted and put on a storyboard around the conference room wall on a ten-year timeline. (This same process was used to send the first space ship to the moon and to plan Disneyland.) Everyone was invited into the conference room, at their leisure, to look at all the ideas and to add any new ideas. This process continued through the seven weeks. At the end of the series in November 1992, the Dream Cards were beautifully gift wrapped and sealed in a ten-year time capsule.

Ten months later on Friday afternoon in July 1993, we received a notice that we had lost the lease on the theater and had thirty days to move! Many ministers and boards would have kept this type of bad news secret from the congregation until they had developed a plan. Not Mary! She truly believed in practicing what she teaches. (In a healthy family we don't keep secrets. We work together using all ideas and resources for solutions.) She told the congregation on Sunday, and help flooded in!!!

Our building committee looked at 200 properties over the past year. The board visited the top 25 properties selected over the next ten days, and within two weeks we had a choice of three possible alternatives. All of the financially supportive people in the congregation were invited to a meeting to hear about the choices, to join in a meditation and to help make a decision about the direction in which we would go.

Within thirty days, we had made an offer on the Wilsonville property which was built for the same mission ‹ healing lives and building dreams!! It had been built as a Workman's Comp. Rehabilitation Center for the State of Oregon twenty years earlier. Although a great idea, it was rarely utilized to capacity because people too often were away from family. It was discovered that people recovered faster and better when surrounded by family support. Therefore, the 45 acres, 190,000 square foot building, 20 cabins, Olympic size swimming pool, and 100 person therapy pool sat vacant for ten years. Only a large organization like LEC could fully utilize such a facility. The Wilsonville newspaper's headline described it as "A Match Made in Heaven!"

Seemingly insurmountable obstacles were overcome using the Universal Spiritual Laws that Mary teaches every Sunday and in this book. As a novice at using these principles, I would have bailed out many times had I been the leader. But Mary hung in there and turned lemons into lemonade again and again and again!!! She kept reminding staff and congregants: that out of chaos comes order; about Divine timing; that there is enough time, money, resources, and people in the Universe to get done what needs to be done for God; that everything happening is perfect and is supposed to be happening for some higher order if we can just be patient enough and elevate our perspective to a high enough consciousness to see it; that a year from now when we are moved into our beautiful facility, we will look back and laugh together about meeting for four months in a giant circus tent with heaters to keep us warm and all the chaos surrounding the move.

Since I had my teacher's retirement, my only risk was losing a fraction of my income if it didn't work. Mary and many of the strong supporters risked losing everything!

Miracles were shared in daily prayer circles at the Living Enrichment Center. The staff and congregation were included in all of the hurdles. No secrets were kept. By including everyone, whatever needed to happen was resolved by someone who knew how, or knew someone who knew how. The synchronicities that occurred in that group of spiritually-awake people were astounding! In November 1993, exactly one year after sealing the ten-year dream capsule, LEC moved into their new permanent home.

If the rest of the world operated like this group of people in a co-creative, loving, solution-oriented way without blaming, judging, competition, or gossip, there would be peace and abundance everywhere!

I highly recommend Building Your Field of Dreams if you want to learn how to manifest your dreams. Mary shares the practical tools to use moment by moment, to get through any challenge peacefully and to take time to celebrate and to live in joy even in the midst of chaos. Thank you Mary Manin Morrissey for being such a great teacher and for being in my life!!

Mary Manin Morrissey will be a featured speaker at the '97 Namaste Retreat in Wilsonville, Oregon, July 11-13. She will also be speaking at the Society for the Universal Human conference September 16-21 at the same location. For further information, please call (800) 893-1000.

"Building Your Field of Dreams" is published by Bantam Books, and is available at your local bookstores.

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