I am absolutely fascinated by the entire creation process. I have trained myself to look for it, find it, watch it, and co-create with it throughout the day. Nature is in a never ending cycle of creation: birth, life, death, rebirth, and then the cycle repeats—forever. However, Einstein proved that everything is made of energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just changes forms. So the creation process is really just bringing forth something into a different energetic form; creating something out of seemingly nothing. And I am hooked on the process.

The process begins with a unique thought; one of about 40,000 you will have in a given day. Creation is about focus. If you stay on a thought long enough, it gives birth to an idea. Hold your focus on ideas long enough, especially with imagination involved, and a vision comes to life. Vision brings emotion into it, and emotion evokes action. If it is a noble purpose, and an idea “whose time has come” then the vision becomes a dream– and everything you need to bring it to manifestation begins to be drawn to you. If you simply pay attention and begin searching for what you need in order to bring your dream to life, then you will begin to understand that you find what you look for. I call this twelve step process “Attitude Science: How to bring something out of nothing.” (From my book Peace Behind the Wire)

We speak about what is important to us. Whether it be good news or bad news; fortune or failure; births or deaths—we talk about the things that are holding our attention at the moment. What we talk about we begin to create: thoughts become things, and words create our world. So the creation process is really quite simple: grab a unique thought and fix your attention on it. Begin to wrap your imagination around it and feel it deeply, as if it has already happened. Then begin to speak about it frequently—the bigger your audience the better. Audible words put your dreams on steroids. That is the process with which you are already creating, whether you are aware of it or not.

So my game-changing idea showed up on December 5th, 2010. This was an idea whose time had definitely come. The universe was giving birth to it, and I just happened to be paying attention. I would begin a peace movement inside of Georgia’s most violent and dangerous maximum security prison, in the midst of a gang war. I reasoned that if the principles that I had been working on could work there, then they could work anywhere. Twelve convicts signed the peace pledge on January 18th, 2011 in honor of Dr. King’s birthday and we were off and running. These men were young; black, white and brown; Christian, Muslim and Jew; most of them gang affiliated. I did not know that my life had changed that day, but that is how creation works: it brings something out of seemingly nothing, and oftentimes you are unaware of the transformation going on right in front of your eyes. I began to focus on the outcome that I desired, and I continuously held it in my vision. I began to talk about it everywhere I went, eventually getting large crowds to imagine it together and even shout about it with enthusiasm: “Hope is the New Dope!” Soon I was getting invited all over the country and even overseas to talk about the prison peace initiative and what was being called the Power of Peace Project—the great work of my life. The more I talked about it, the more results began to emerge. What you focus on expands, and I was bringing it more and more into focus with more and more audiences.

In 2010 I wrote my first book Unshackled: Diary of a Prodigal Son and I told the story of a drunken, fallen preacher who found his way home through a bunch of hardened convicts, homeless addicts, and young gangbangers. This was my true story, and also an example of the creation process at work. I had co-created all of that drama in my life, and all the consequences that came along with it. You see, the universe will use whatever you give it, and it does not judge or discriminate. Whatever you put out into this world is what you will get back—in one form or another. Call it karma, you reap what you sow, or cause and effect, but this is a universal law that you cannot get around. That book was the beginning of this journey of peace that has taken me around the world. And I am more determined than ever. I recently released my third book Peace Behind the Wire: A Nonviolent Resolution which tells the story of the Power of Peace Movement in fascinating detail. The release of this true story is continuing the creation process, as more and more readers begin to imagine what peace looks like in the most dark and desperate places.

The wonderful unintended consequences are the programs which have spun off of the original idea. It was an idea which led to an experiment, which turned into a program, which evolved into a movement. Life will do that, and the creation process is how it does it. Keep following the dream and it will keep giving birth. Now the Power of Peace Project has become an anti-bullying campaign in schools and prisons around the country (imagine that, an anti-bullying campaign in a prison!). Following the example of those twelve original participants, now there are literally thousands of students and inmates across the country taking a stand for peace in their institutions; doing their part to fulfill Dr. King’s dream of restoring “Our Beloved Community.” I could have never dreamed of what became of that one original thought on December 5th, 2010. I’m just glad I was paying attention.