Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Garden of Eden: A Jungle Captive's Lesson in Dreams Come True

Orchid collector kidnapped and held hostage for nine months in the South American Jungle realizes dream of creating world garden. How you can learn from his example to make your dreams come true.

BBC News recently reported the story of horticulturist and orchid collector, Tom Hart Dyke, who was kidnapped in 2000 in the Darien Gap in Panama by Colombian Guerrillas and held hostage for nine months in the South American jungle. He was on a plant collecting expedition with his friend Paul Winder when captured.

They experienced a horrific kidnapping ordeal and were both threatened with being beheaded. During this dark passage, in order to stay sane, Tom spent his time jotting down plans in his dairy and dreaming of a map garden containing exotic plants from around the world.

The original plan took root, he recalls, when he was threatened with execution: “My guards kicked down the door on June 16, 2000, my sister’s birthday, and said: ‘You’ve got five hours, mate.’ I started scribbling in my diary, drawing the shapes of my garden. It took an AK47 to focus my mind. It was: four walls, start drawing. The whole garden started with that threat. Five hours later the guards came back and we had iguana and armadillo for supper as usual; there was no more mention of being shot.” [Taken from Times Online, Aug. 4, 2006]

After his miraculous release, Tom set about building his dream garden and worked hard on cultivating a neglected two-acre garden at his family’s ancestral home in Kent. His dream garden is now a reality. Like something out of a fairy tale, Tom’s magical walled garden is situated in the historic Lullingston Castle grounds. He calls it “The World Garden of Plants,” which is divided into four continents and is now an award winning tourist attraction open to the public.

Think of this article as that AK47 to focus your mind on your dreams. Okay, so this article might not be as threatening, but it’ll spare you the nine months of captivity in the heart of darkness -- sans iguana and armadillo.

But seriously, since most of us don’t have guns pointed to our heads and we live in a predominantly free society, there should be no excuses for not living our dreams. Take the time now to concentrate your thoughts and focus on your dreams:

* Write out your plans for your magical dream world in a diary as Tom did.

* Re-create your plans by sketching them on paper. Use colors to make your drawing memorable.

* Visit your nearest Staples and get a pin cork board to create a Vision Board. Tack pictures, quotes, magazine cut-outs, and drawings that represent the dream lifestyle you want to live or the BIG goal you want to achieve. Look at that board every day and see yourself living that lifestyle.

* Create a replica ‘vision board’ by putting similar pictures on your fridge with fridge magnets as a further reminder.

* Put another reminder photo near your bathroom mirror; create a screensaver of it on your computer; and discreetly, or not so discreetly, put that dream sketch or photo somewhere near your workspace where you can look at it daily. During your breaks, you can focus on these pictures with intensity and daydream about what it would be like to actually live out your fantasy.

* Kidnap yourself! Take yourself hostage and go into captivity for a while to focus only on your dream world and the new reality you want to create for yourself. Go on a two day or week long retreat (or longer) to refresh and renew your mind, body, and soul and use this quiet time of solitude to reflect on your dreams.

* Watch the DVD movie The Secret which provides a powerful and visceral experience of the magic that can happen when you concentrate your thoughts on what you want, visualize your dreams, and feel the excitement of what it would be like to actually be living your dreams right now!

Become obsessed with your dream! Write down all the steps you need to take, all the goals you need to accomplish along the way, and list all the resources you need to tap into to recreate that Shangri La in your mind.

By immersing yourself in an oasis of dream thoughts, your heart will overflow with positive energy that will seep through and permeate every pore, cell, and molecular structure in your body. This is the timeless Law of Attraction that The Secret movie makes so vividly clear, where what you want, wants you, and you attract the very thing that is top of mind. You can use these dream thought projections to penetrate the far reaches of space and literally create your own Garden of Eden on earth.

Sharif Khan (; is a copywriter and communications specialist, inspirational keynote speaker, and author of the leadership bestseller, "Psychology of the Hero Soul." He publishes his monthly Hero Soul ezine for cutting-edge advice on leadership and personal growth. To contact Sharif Khan about his business writing and motivational speaking services, call: 416-417-1259.