Play Outside the Box

By Keith Varnum

Throughout my life as I witnessed the marvels of powerful teachers, shaman and healers, I found myself asking, “How’d they do that?”

“What was Mr. Rogers’ secret?” He seemed so quiet, retiring, passive—and yet events always went his way at the television station where he produced “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In his presence, rambunctious kids, wild animals and novice adult guests always seemed to know what to do and say without a script or rehearsal. At the station, the conservative Board of Directors, reluctant management and stubborn studio crew all miraculously went “against character” to go along with whatever bold, visionary schemes Mr. Rogers put forth. “How did he disarm people’s opposition and bring out the play and adventurousness in rigid parents, teachers, staff and city officials?”

The esteemed American actress Helen Hayes could convey with vivid clarity to her student audience and me seven very diverse characters she was portraying on stage without any discernable difference in the way she dressed, gestured or carried herself. “What were her hidden devices? What keys to successful communication had she mastered?”

My macrobiotic mentor, Michio Kushi, could take a very intellectual, spiritually challenged audience on a profoundly electric journey of personal visions, physical healing and visceral ecstasy. “How did he change lead into gold? What was he doing behind-the-scenes to catalyze such remarkably strong, experiential catharsis in each of the normally unfeeling, unresponsive students?”

I watched in amazement as Medicine Cloud, my Hopi medicine buddy, conjured up a drenching thunderstorm out of a totally blue sky to wash away the mud from the sacred red clay ritual he’d just performed on me. “Where did the pain and rash go so quickly, so completely? How could I feel so peaceful so fast when I was just so upset and depressed for a year?

“How did St. Germain physically appear at the foot of my bed when the doors to my house and bedroom were locked tight?”  I had to touch his robe every tenth visit to make sure the Ascended Master standing there was solid and real. “How did he know my deepest, most secret thoughts that I had never expressed to anyone?” I felt so vulnerable, yet safe; so naked, yet open—when he directed his eternal, yet personal wisdom to me. “Why did I feel so calm, clear and courageous in his presence?” The profound feeling of absolute connection and aliveness has remained with me ever since his visits. “How was he able to communicate with me without his mouth moving? How did he project scenes of my life on the wall?”

“Why did my friends and I instinctively trust this mysterious Eastern teacher with our souls?” Muktananda was just some dark-skinned man from India we’d never heard of before this day. Our fears melted and our hearts opened to the Heavens with the sound of his laughter. Our inner beauty blossomed with the touch of his finger to our foreheads.

Jewish by birth, New Yorkish by nature, Lester Levenson looked like a cross between a mischievous 100-year-old leprechaun and a noble Native American Indian chief. He could charm the needles off a porcupine. And he would bring out more excitement, strength and insight from me in one day than I had encountered up to that time in my life. “What was his magic?”

What are the common underlying dynamics at work here?

“How did all the shamans, acupuncturists, rebirthers, Reiki masters and other healers I’ve known pull off their miraculous cures?” In the aura and influence of powerful facilitators, I have witnessed many remarkable turnarounds in peoples’ physical conditions, financial wealth, mental attitudes and spiritual abilities. My whole life, I have asked Spirit the question, “How?”

Go to the Source

When I observed my very first extraordinary phenomenon in life, I decided to find out what was behind this and other wondrous occurrences. I concluded that the only way for me to ever really know what was going on was to open to the same level of magic in my own life.

Move Outside the Box

I quickly realized that to experience more magic in my life, I had to leave the life that I was currently living. I had to move “outside the box.” Act, not just think, “outside the box.” By definition, miracles occur outside our usual world.


All magic occurs beyond the boundaries of our current belief system. To experience something new, we need to ex-periment with reality. “Ex” in Latin means to go outside. “Periment” comes from the same root as “perimeter,” that is, boundary, border. To experience anew, we need to go outside the boundaries of our old box. With this intention and willingness, all is possible!

Ask Outside the Box

To get specific suggestions on what actions to take outside the box, ask for a suggestion from the part of your consciousness that is “outside of past experience.” If you intend to access this realm of your knowing, you can connect with it. It’s only a matter of what part of your consciousness you ask.

Again, intention and willingness are the key. Direct your attention and receptivity to the aspect of your being—knowing, essence—that is independent of past experience. Voila! Fresh, new answers, options, alternatives, outcomes … miracles!

Our Trusty Friend Intuition

And what is that part of our consciousness that is free of the past—free of fear, limitation and programming? Our intuition of course! Intuition by definition operates outside of the box. Do whatever you can to develop and nurture your clear connection to your intuition.

Walk Out of Your Old Reality

My shaman teachers told me that I could simply walk out of my old boxed-in world. Literally walk out of the box! At first, I certainly didn’t believe them. Freedom from old patterns and limitations couldn’t be that simple. Yet, I did it—and it worked! Not every time—but it worked with enough patterns to encourage me to practice and hone my skill. Now, with my actions guided by my intuition, I can walk out of old limitations that have served their spiritual purpose and value.

Know that the whole of your life—events, situations and people—has been secretly structured by your soul in order to bring you the experiences you want to have this lifetime. Approach life as if the whole of creation is conspiring to bring you goodness … because it is!