By: Noelle Sterne

“There are some people who see a great deal and some who see very little in the same things.” ― Thomas Henry Huxley



Rereading The Power of Intention by author and spiritual teacher Wayne Dyer, I found re-inspiration from his directive derived from quantum physics: “at the tiniest subatomic level, the actual act of observing a particle changes the particle.”

Therefore, he counsels, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change” (p. 173). Is this not astounding?

If the principle works when we observe a particle, think of how it can work at higher levels of matter, from particle to atom to molecule to cell to multicell to gazillion cells, for our bodies (about 100 trillion cells), our minds, our spirits, or our manuscripts. 

I reflected that so much of what I (and you?) think about and almost take for granted as acceptable thoughts are not. So, I asked myself, as a writer, what do I (we) want to change by our change of outlook? Here are just a few of my changed thoughts. 


As Robin S. Sharma reminds us, “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” In order to apply this change principle, I had to review my thinking then modify my expectation.

My Writing Process

  • Fear: A struggle, always squeezing it out, anxiety-ridden, agony.
  • Expectation: Effortless, fluid, joyful, guided.

My Time and Energy

  • Fear: Never enough. Limited. Paltry part-time. My time will run out!
  • Expectation: Always plentiful. Daily, full-time. Ever-renewing. Overflowing!

My Ideas

  • Fear: Restricted, constricted. A finite number. I’ll run out!
  • Expectation: Never-ending. Unbounded. Unlimited. Ever-replenishing. Ever-enthused.

My Writing Drive, Motivation

  • Fear: Dragging. Must rev it up regularly. Depends on acceptances.
  • Expectation: Consistent, a hum. Steady, unflagging, always energized by my passion and love of writing.

Craft, and Content Problems

  • Fear: Endless questions. Must reason, force. Continuous predicaments. Push, twist to solve.
  • Expectation: Right answers. Trusting the process. Allowing. Perfect resolutions.

My Partner

  • Fear: My enemy, unsupportive. Jealous of my writing and progress.
  • Expectation: My friend. Wholly supportive, cheers me on. Joyful for my successes. Gladly makes me endless cups of coffee.

My Agent

  • Fear: I need him/her.
  • Expectation: He/She needs me.

My Editor

  • Fear: Only interested in sales. Unapproachable, adamant, daunting.
  • Expectation: Interested in me, my writing, and sales. Human, reasonable, a supportive, pleasant, professional friend.

My Publications

  • Fear: Hopeless, never. Constant uphill struggle. Sporadic at best. Gratis.
  • Expectation: Perfect places at the right times. Upward spiral to success. Regular, consistent. Well-paying, sustaining.

My Purpose

  • Fear: Who knows? I keep asking. Void. No answer.
  • Expectation: I listen. I am patient. The purpose is revealed. I obey, follow, and rejoice.

Whose Reality?

The fear viewpoint is, for most people, generally accepted “reality.” But whose reality is it?  It could be that there is a large consensus of shortsighted, tunnel-visioned, herd-mentality consciousnesses people. We tend to think, “If they [the pundits, the pols, the publisher, the Fed, the academic accoladed] say so, believe it, cite stats to prove it, and repeat and repeat it . . . it must be so.”

But remember the observer and observed: The observed changes with the observer. In other words, what we believe, we see and experience. 


eye with words noelle sterne two drops of ink marilyn l davis

Predicting Reality Starts Young

Our customary unquestioning assumptive outlooks often come from family. They predicted and expected their dire outcomes and—lo!—achieved them. Their gloomy predictions took shape through many generations, made more “real” by each successive generation, public pronouncements, and “proved” assumptions (like the sentence of heredity), hardened like cement in the sun. And the assumptive outlooks aggregate in society—if so many believe and expect, must be so.

I think Richelle E. Goodrich makes an excellent point in Making Wishes, “We try so hard to instruct our children in all the right things―teaching good from bad, explaining choices and consequences―when in reality most lessons are learned through observation and experience. Perhaps we’d be better off training our youth to be highly observant.” 

Let us graduate from this gloomy family and social conditioning to childlike flowing expectation, excited, and joyful. Click To Tweet

We do not have to be bound by any dark ideas, even if they appear as “facts” (observed and observer again). As they took hold, so too can they be loosened and replaced by others.

You Have the Strength to Change

i am awareIn The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes says, “It is simply a question of sticking to an idea until it becomes a tangible reality. The illusion is in the way we look at things.

We have looked at poverty, degradation, and misery until they have assumed gigantic proportions.

Now we must look at harmony, happiness, plenty, prosperity, peace, and right action until they appear. (p. 109)

Accept the principle that reality changes with the observer, that our reality changes with our observations. Then let us observe better scenarios in every area of our lives, from material gains to perfect health to weight loss to addiction-less living to relationship harmony to writing success.

Let us have the strength of mind and heart to look, declare, and expect beyond the proclaimed reality of the generations, the media, our mothers, and our friends. Click To Tweet

Of course, this strength takes practice and mental vigilance. But we can catch our doom-saying rut-habits like spots on the window and wipe them away, the instant we observe them.

Let us go from fear, doubt, and distrust to expectations of what we truly desire.


Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing


Bio: Dr. Noelle Sterne


Author, editor, writing coach, writing workshop leader, and spiritual counselor, Noelle has published over 400 writing craft articles, spiritual pieces, essays, and short stories. Publications include Author Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children’s Book Insider, Coffeehouse For Writers, Funds for Writers, InnerSelf, Inside Higher Ed, New Age Journal, Pen & Prosper, Sasee, Story Monsters Ink, The Write Place At the Write Time, Unity Magazine, Writer’s Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Writer, and Writer’s Digest.

Academic editor and coach, with the Ph.D. from Columbia University, she helps doctoral students wrestling with their dissertations and publishes articles in several blogs for dissertation writers. Her book Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books) contains examples from her practice, writing, and other aspects of life to help readers release regrets, relabel their past, and reach lifelong yearnings. Her book Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015) further aids doctoral candidates to award of their degrees.

As part of pursuing her writing dream, Noelle’s mission is to help other writers reach their own and create the lives they truly desire.

A Chicken Soup for the Soul podcast (May 16, 2017) featured her story “Time to Say Goodbye” from a 2013 volume(!):


Noelle’s books:

Author, Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles. Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015.

Author,Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your DreamsUnity Books, 2011.

Search for all of Dr. Sterne’s Published posts on Two Drops of Ink:Click Here: Noelle Sterne


Want to branch out and reach other writers and readers? Then consider a guest post. 




  1. This is so true, Noelle. I heard a story about a woman with cancer who had a bad report. She said, “Those may be the facts, but I prefer the truth.” She changed her outcome. Powerful stuff.

    • Michelle–

      Fantastic! We need more reports like this. Most of us don’t realize the power of our minds and perceptions. Reality is what we imagine! Keep up your great work.

  2. I enjoyed reading your piece. So often we allow ourselves to live in that place of fear without realizing we can break out at any time. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.