↓ COMPANION ARTICLE ~ Concrete steps and examples to help you get what you want. ↓
It’s that time of the year when we celebrate the return of new life, which means it’s time for planting seeds, both literal and figurative. So the question is…
What are you going to plant to enhance your life this season?
I know, you’ve heard this question a thousand times before and perhaps even tried programs to help you nail this manifesting ‘thang‘, but bear with me. We have to start somewhere, and this is as good a place as any.
So seriously, if there was something you wanted to change in your life, what would it be?
Perhaps you are thinking, “I would retire and be done with work,” or “I would get help to clean my house and help with my children.” Or maybe you would want to own a big company that is wildly successful!
While all of these are wonderful ideas, they all require planning, action and perhaps even providence to unfold. And yet, they are all external things.
That’s not bad. And I’m not saying that any of these situations couldn’t or won’t happen. They very well might! But the older and more experienced I get, the more I realize that it’s not usually the “thing” or situation that I am desiring, but rather the *feeling* or state of being that thing symbolizes.
For example, wanting a nanny might translate to wanting an opportunity to rest or play tennis or work. A big wildly successful business might point to a desire for prestige, respect or validation.
It’s very important to explore these questions thoroughly when beginning a manifesting process, and clarify the difference so that you can make decisions in alignment with your true desires. Are you truly wanting some thing or situation? Or is there something deeper?
When you can identify your true heart’s desires — not just the outward symbol of those desires — then you have a solid foothold to start creating what you want here and now. And it will only grow from there! You will be able to manifest what you truly desire more quickly and easily. You will be able to recognize and celebrate many small wins on the way to your larger goals, and you will be able to *feel the success* of your efforts, not just reach arbitrary goals that still leave you empty and yearning inside.
So, what is it that you truly desire?
Feel your way to the answer.
The more I follow a path of feeling as my guide, the more my life continues to unfold in ways that make me happy, content, comfortable and empowered. I try new things and find new confidence in old things. New doors open that previously were shut. That’s a pretty wonderful way of living!
So sticking with the “feeling” rule…
Can you identify the feeling that you are wanting to create in your life?
Is it comfy cozy or adventurous? Dramatic or mundane (a.k.a. simple and peaceful)?
If you’re not sure, go back to the initial questions of “What would your ideal life look like?” or “If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?”
What was your answer? A long vacation? A new car? Something else?
Now look at that situation or thing that you think you want, and ask yourself, “What about this is appealing or enticing to me?”
If you had that vacation or that car, what would it do for you? In other words, what is the opportunity or the benefit that you will receive by having whatever it is you think you want?
Make sure that you are not misinterpreting your desires.
In hypnosis, one of the first things you learn is that people usually don’t tell you what they really want because they don’t know. Rather, they tell you the thing they think they want because, somewhere underneath, their subconscious has linked that thing or scenario to a secondary gain.
For example, a client comes in and says they want to be able to run a marathon, but they don’t even like exercising. Why do they really want to run a marathon? Clearly, it’s not because of a love of competitive sports or running or exercising, or they would already be doing it in some shape or form, no matter how small. So running a marathon is not going to be a good goal for this person.
Instead, as a facilitator, if I ask enough questions, I may eventually find out that they just want to be liked by a special someone who admires runners. Surprise!
Obviously, this is not a good reason to try to become a marathon runner. And, by the way, if I did try to help them nurture that outward goal–even with a subconscious tool like hypnosis, it would most likely fail. Why? Because running is clearly not a love or a priority for them. Who knows? That level of exercise might actually be in conflict with their core values.
This is why this step is so important, and in my opinion, the hardest step in the manifesting process. You must be meticulous in exploring your desires and the underlying beliefs and values that prompt those outward desires. If you want to succeed in reaching your goal, you must identify your true desire that lines up with your essence and who you really are.
You can’t attempt to undermine your core values and expect a big manifesting win.
That is the quickest recipe in the book for self-sabotage!
But you can identify your true desires, which will be in alignment with your values and highest intentions for yourself, so that you can create better goals and plans for manifesting those desires into your life. And it will work, because they won’t be in conflict with your internal priorities.
That’s why clarifying these points, and the feeling you want to experience, is key to creating a life you really love.
Pursuing each new whim as it comes along takes just as much energy and effort as fulfilling your true underlying desires. The difference is that pursing superficial quests will lead you down a rabbit hole as you try to fill a need that you perhaps don’t fully understand. It will never end. While pursuing a “feeling” that matches your core values will create something strong and stable that lasts longer than the moment and can be built on in the future as well.
So, when deciding what it is you want to create, take some time and really explore your motives and hidden needs. Don’t just jump at the first idea that comes into your head.
There is no benefit in pursuing each new idea that pops into your head without truly being clear on what you hope to achieve or *feel* as a result of your success.
Why would you want to spend your energy and time manifesting something, only to realize once you have it, that your accomplishment didn’t fill the hole you thought it would — whatever that hole is for you.
Of course, you can pursue whatever you want whenever you want, on a whim or otherwise. It’s up to you! Do what works best to make you happy. Perhaps you love the chase! If so, then chase away! But if you want off the roller-coaster, spend some time exploring your inner landscape and what you truly desire before planting your seeds of intention.
Tip: Still unsure? A good intention might be, “I want to know what it is that I truly desire.” 😉
Once you know what you truly desire, it’s time to plant that intention in the world.
To get started, you must create a sustainable environment to plant in.
In my garden, this would mean choosing a location with ample sun, good drainage to avoid root-rot and disease, and proper amendments to the soil. Then, once planted, I will also need to consistently tend my garden, make sure it gets ample water and keep it weeded so nothing is sucking up valuable resources that my plants need.
Without these steps, my garden will most likely fail. But if I plan wisely and take care throughout the growing season, I can expect an abundant harvest or a beautiful bloom.
Your life is no different!
You must prepare your time, your environment, and your responsibilities to create conditions that will allow your heart’s desires to take root and grow.
Like anything in life, creating something new, or manifesting something into your life, is typically not a free ride. It takes work and commitment.
In my experience, this often involves sacrifice of some kind.
If you are saving for a large purchase, you might need to eat out less or shop less. If you want to create some “me time”, you might need to say no to some projects that overextend you, no matter how much you want to help out. If you want more peace in your life, you may have to stop spending time with that friend who brings nothing but drama every time you see them.
Whatever you are trying to create, there is almost always a trade off that will need to take place in order for you to receive it.
Otherwise, you would already have it!
For me, I wanted to move out of the busy suburbs with the traffic and the noise, and into a place where I could grow a garden and have some peace. This meant a drastic change of lifestyle. I was going to be farther from the convenience of shopping and groceries. It would not be as easy for my friends to visit or me to visit them. And I was going to have to drive farther to everything I liked to do. Plus, I was going to be farther away from my son — not much, but enough that I wouldn’t see him as often. These were all sacrifices that I had to be willing to make, but the payoff was enough to make it worthwhile.
We wanted a more peaceful life with less traffic and pollution, and more nature and green space, so we prepared mentally and fiscally for this reality and welcomed the lifestyle changes necessary to create it.
Then we started building our new life into our current living situation wherever possible.
When manifesting something big in your life, start living your dream in small ways as soon as possible.
This helps to grow the energy of your creation and also keeps you engaged in the transition by providing small wins that you can see and feel along the way, letting you know that you are moving in the right direction.
In our case, we got into the energy of our new home by sitting down and making a list of location and house characteristics that were important to us. We then stayed in that energy by saving photos of things we liked, and constantly talking through new ideas to further hone the details of what we wanted, and also what would be a deal-breaker for us. (TIP: Pinterest is great for vision work and gathering ideas and energy!)
We also started incorporating more of the feeling we wanted into our current physical space as well.
For example, this may sound silly but… we bought a butter dish that I *love* and still love to this day!
Yes, that’s a tiny detail in the grand scope of things. But this little dish completely embodied the energy of our new home and the new simpler life that we were creating. The cost was ridiculous in my opinion, but when I found it, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. So even though I was watching our budget, I splurged, and it was worth every penny! Why? Not because it holds butter any better than any other dish, but because it makes me smile every time I look at it, which moved us one step closer to our new life.
Plus, being willing to spend that extra on a small thing that made me happy was in perfect alignment with the comfy, cozy life I was creating–a lifestyle that was rich in content and satisfaction.
You don’t have to wait for your dream to manifest to get the feeling you are wanting.
In fact, it’s not beneficial to live in waiting because that keeps you out of the flow. Rather, do whatever you can to bring the feeling of the new life you are creating into your current life. This will move you deeper and deeper into your new reality and potentially speed up your manifesting process.
For me, I had bird feeders and plants on my porch so that I could get my nature fix, and wind chimes and candles to enhance my magick. I also made a point to appreciate the children and families laughing outside at the pool and the playground, which brought me the feeling of a happy family. And it didn’t hurt that we had a poolside apartment, so sitting on the balcony every day felt like living at a resort. (That was another sacrifice I had to embrace… no more afternoon pool visits right at the foot of our stairs. 😮)
Even though the geography wasn’t ideal, our apartment really was wonderful for the time it served us. We were very fortunate to have had that amazing, joyful space in the middle of the hustle and bustle of suburbia; and we were grateful!
Hold gratitude and appreciation throughout your manifesting journey, and celebrate wins along the way.
To keep your energy flowing in an uplifting and positive way, it is important to celebrate any and all small wins along your journey. This could be a simple acknowledgment to the Cosmic Mother (or to your angels or other helpers), such as, “Thank you! More, please!” Or it could be a celebration dinner or other treat to yourself or your loved ones for a task completed or a milestone reached.
It’s up to you how big or how small your celebrations are. What is important is that you stay in that flow of recognizing your good, which will keep you mentally and emotionally aligned with your intention and process.
Sometimes the wait can be long, but it’s worth it!
Over the next year we continued to prepare. We continued to grow our businesses and set aside money for our purchase and our move. We let go of things that didn’t match our vision, and also purchased new items that were in alignment with the energy we were creating.
This is what it means to nurture your creation even before it comes to full fruition.
- Continue to prepare to receive your desire when it shows up. If the opportunity comes to you, and you are not prepared to receive it, all of your visioning is wasted. Eventually, that which you are wanting will present in your life, and based on your preparation and flexibility, you will either be able to receive it or you will accidentally turn it away. Always be ready at a moment’s notice to say “Yes!” to your heart’s desire and accept it with open arms when it arrives.
- Stay mentally and emotionally engaged with whatever you are wanting to manifest. Think about it, talk about it, and imagine different possibilities related to what you are creating and how they would feel. This keeps your energy and mind focused on your goal. In science-talk, this keeps your Reticular Activating System always on the look out for stuff related to your desire. This constant awareness keeps your energy focused on what you are creating, which is good, and keeps your eyes and ears open for opportunities and solutions that move you closer to your desired goal.
- Remove distractions that compete for resources, such as side projects that drain your time or your bank account and do not support your goal. You might even need to limit time spent with people that don’t support or fit in with the vision you are creating.
- Make every decision with your creation in mind, always evaluating how each decision will affect what you are trying to manifest. Everything you do will either move you deeper into your vision and desire, or move you further away from it. Occasionally, there are things that just hang in the balance and do neither harm nor good, but most often, our decisions have a positive or negative gain in relation to our desired life.
To quickly determine if a decision will move you in the direction of your intention, assess the projected outcome of the decision against the *feeling* of what you are creating.
I am not saying that the action or decision you are weighing should be easy or feel good. Sometimes our best decisions are hard to make because they have a cost or a sacrifice tied to them. But if we know where we are going and are committed to the unfolding of our creation, we can find the strength to make those hard decisions and take the actions necessary, because we know that the result will ultimately step us deeper into the life we desire.
Almost always, important things require sacrifice and determination. Be prepared to face these challenges on your quest, and know that you can overcome them when you are committed to your highest good.
Again, this is why it’s so important to be clear on the feeling you are wanting. Without that touch point, you do not have a tool to measure your decisions and actions against, and you don’t have a strong internal emotional anchor to keep you on path if the going gets hard.
Whatever your goal, some level of challenge will undoubtedly occur along the way.
When this happens, I always think of it as the Universe testing me to see how committed I am. It is asking, “Are you sure you really want this? Are you willing to go the distance?”
But with the feeling that you are desiring firmly rooted as the base of your endeavor, you have what you need to stay on track. Plus, overcoming obstacles along the way always make the win that much sweeter in the end, because you value it more.
So celebrate every challenge as a learning opportunity, and simply do your best to keep making the next best decision possible, day after day, until your dream begins to reveal itself.
Now here is where the magic starts happening. Your desire is close! You can feel it.
Again, it’s all about “feeling”.
Perhaps you see or hear, which I do as well, but mostly, my guidance is just the gentle pull or push to do something, call someone, etc.
When you get that gentle tug, that’s when it’s time to take action!
The trick is that you have to be aware. You can’t go through your day at 100 miles per hour rushing from task to task, place to place, and expect to notice the nudge. It’s usually gentle, not loud, so you have to pay attention to your body. Notice when something feels different, or you just feel drawn to something, someone, or some idea or task.
If you’re not used to receiving guidance, here are a few things you can do that will help you learn to receive messages from your guides:
- Set your intention to be more aware of your body during the day. A simple, but powerful sign of guidance is when a chill runs up or down your body. That was probably the first sign I ever received many years ago. You definitely feel it! The trick is to notice what is happening around you when it occurs. For me, it would usually happen when someone was saying something important that I should be paying attention to.
There may be other feelings you get in your body, as well, that are trying to guide you, like a queasy stomach, a sudden inexplicable fear or a sudden desire to leave wherever you are or stop whatever you are doing with no obvious reason why. Feelings that are seemingly not tied to anything currently happening around you are a great way to identify what might be guidance at work.
- Pay attention to ideas that are seemingly random or out of the blue. That’s how I know an idea or thought probably isn’t my conscious mind — it’s something else — because it is seemingly unrelated to the moment and not something I would ever think of on my own.
- If you get the feeling that *now* is the time to do something, do it! This often happens to me when there is no obvious rhyme or reason of why now would be the right time for whatever I am feeling compelled to do. Sometimes, it doesn’t even make sense! But if you get an idea or feeling that you should suddenly do something, just do it (unless it’s dangerous or harmful, of course, which would be an indicator that nudge is not from your guides)! Try it and pay attention to what unfolds. This is the only way to learn your own personal signs and signals of guidance.
For me, it’s always important that I follow the call of “now” when I get it. Timing does make a difference and getting that cosmic tool added to your toolbox can be a big boon for you in life.
- Pay attention to your dreams. You can usually tell if your dreams are random subconscious stuff floating around from your day (like ties to conversations you had with people, or things you saw on TV), or whether they have some kind of omen or message in them. There are all kinds of ways that your dreams could be trying to tell you something important; and it’s usually pretty clear.
For example, you might dream about a detail or a conversation about something you’ve been dealing with, and a new clue or piece of information is revealed to you in your dream state.
For me, just this week, I woke up with the same random song in my head on several days. Eventually, I was able to figure out what the song was and who was the only person I could tie it to — someone from my past long ago that I hadn’t spoken to in years. I reached out to her and the timing was perfect. She was ready for something I have that will help her in her life right now! Ironically — or more accurately, not ironically — during this same time period, she also woke up dreaming about music that had ties back to me as well. (Did I mention that we haven’t spoken in many years? Guidance connected us through dreams!)
It may take time and some trial and error to figure out your mode of receiving spiritual information. Be patient and just experiment.
It’s kind of like learning how to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language. You have to come up with an agreed upon set of ideas or guidelines. The same applies when learning to recognize your own intuition, body wisdom, and higher guidance. If you are paying attention and participating, eventually guidance will find ways to communicate that work for you.
For me, my intuition often comes as a feeling in my body– not visceral, rather more of a knowing — and when I act on that nudge, things tend to happen.
In buying our new house, we had prepared for a little over a year when I suddenly had that internal prompt to reach back out to a loan officer, just to see if we were ready and could qualify for what we wanted. Something was nudging me to pick up the phone. I could feel it. So I followed the nudge and bwam! The stars aligned. It was time to get our house.
So start testing your intuition now. Eventually, you will learn to discern what is truly intuition and what is not. (How do you tell the difference? Intuition helps. Mental chatter doesn’t.)
If it doesn’t go well at first, that’s okay. It takes practice. Keep trying the different ideas above. Over time, you will start to recognize the feeling of the cosmic nudge more easily.
Every tool you have in your spiritual toolbox is an asset. When you have learned to trust those tools through experience over time, you have access to additional information that others may not sense.
Having this kind of access can be incredibly helpful when making decisions with unknown outcomes.
Our most recent home buying experience was no exception. Once I got “the nudge” and we started making phone calls again, things started unfolding so quickly and intensely it was hard to keep up.
The messages I was receiving from guidance seemed improbably, if not impossible. But we chose to be open to possibility, and we kept moving forward. Even as block after block seemed to challenge our path, guidance said, “Keep going.” So we did.
If we wanted the house, we had to let go of control and trust guidance in spite of some serious risks, financially and logistically, if things didn’t pan out. All we could do was our best, and let the chips fall where they would.
In the end, miracles happened, and we closed on our new home on time.
There was no way we could have known that all the obstacles and mistakes we faced would work out, sometimes even to our advantage. But we chose to trust in divine providence and all the signs we had received along the way affirming this place was meant for us, and in the end, almost every delay or required change benefited us.
We said “yes” when our desire presented, and followed through with faith and perseverance even when it was not easy. We chose to follow guidance down to the details, and we have never been happier!
This place was definitely brought to us through divine assistance. The path was hard and scary, but perfect. The Universe did for us what we could not have done for ourselves.
Trust the process.
There may be a time in your manifesting journey where things are scary and uncertain. The situation might even look perilous, like your project is going to slip away. But if you’ve been guided this far, now is the time to trust.
This doesn’t mean ‘recklessly jump into something’ expecting the Universe to save you. That’s not how it works. We all have to do our due diligence. Work the process. Leave no stone unturned. Plan. Prepare. Nurture.
There are no shortcuts. Keep doing the next right thing while you wait for your desire to show up in your life, and then when the time is right, receive.
But if things suddenly don’t look like they are going your way, all you can do is evaluate how the process has gone so far, and use that information to make your next best choice.
Have you already received divine assistance moving you forward? Does it feel right in spite of appearances? If so, keep going.
Who knows? You might be misinterpreting whatever perceived issue is unfolding.
What if we gave up because of all the obstacles that showed up when we were buying our new home? We would have missed out on the comfy, cozy, happy life that we have created in this beautiful place, and the crazy adventure that got us here (which we love telling stories about, by the way!).
It was a total saga, but we did our part, we never gave up, and in the end everything worked out beautifully! We couldn’t be happier.
But what if you haven’t really been receiving assistance on your path? Or all the evidence so seems to be working against you, instead of with you? Then what do you do? Keep pushing and try to force it?
Forcing is not manifesting! (But neither is sitting on your couch.)
Every January, I do a meditation to receive a new word that typically ends up unfolding over the course of the calendar year. One year, I received the image of a pinwheel like the children’s toys that you blow on to make them spin.
The meaning was so clear… “You don’t have to push!”
When you are in the flow, doing the work, and trusting the process, creation flows like a spinning pinwheel that is moved by the gentlest of breezes. Allow! Let go and let the Universe work for you.
Just don’t be confused into thinking you can sit on your couch meditating all day, and a check will magically manifest into your mailbox with no effort beyond your positive thinking. That is bunk!
Positive thinking and vision work have their place, but they are only half of the story.
I have seen so many people do manifesting classes and commit to mental discipline, positive thinking and envisioning what they want, but never make any real world decisions that back up all of that non-physical imagining with action and effort to make their dreams come true in physical reality.
What’s the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves?”
Whether you are a God fan or not, the intention of the saying still holds true. The role of the Universe is not to make things happen without us. Physical and non-physical work together, nature and spirit, hand-in-hand to make our reality. That means we have to do our part, not just sit around thinking about how our dream will be and expect it delivered on a silver platter.
All of your favorite manifesting gurus that you take classes from are not sitting around meditating all day and daydreaming about the enchanted lives they want to create. They are out there working and investing and planning and preparing. They are running businesses! That is how you found them on TV, or at that conference or speaking event, in the first place.
Don’t be confused into believe that manifesting is all mental/spiritual. It isn’t. That’s called wishful thinking.
But at the other end of the spectrum, pushing your agenda through and manipulating outcomes is also not the energy of co-creation and manifesting. You may be able to force what you think is supposed to happen next, but what is the cost? In my experience, things don’t go very well when I am acting like a bull in a china shop.
If you are having to bulldoze people, threaten or manipulate, I would do a little self-check, because that is not what being in the flow is about. The river should carry you along your path, whether quickly or slowly. You should be swimming with the current, not against it. You will know the difference. There will be signs if you are paying attention.
When we were purchasing our house, even in the hubbub of what looked like chaos and obstacles, there were signs that we were on the right track. There would be an issue, and then it would resolve itself just by us continuing on path and taking the next best steps we knew how to do.
So periodically, reassess to make sure you are still in the flow. If your dream is in alignment with your highest good, you will not need to do all the work yourself. The Universe will step in and support you.
Stay in the game and play your best, but remember you have a whole team behind you if you allow them to play! That is where the magick is.
But what happens if you do your part, and you leave room for the Universe to step in and assist, but it never shows up?
If you’ve done everything you can without forcing, and things still don’t work out as intended, perhaps you can trust that whatever you were aiming for was not the best fit for you, and there is something better.
I know, this is a jagged little pill to swallow, but bear with me.
When I was young, I met a man who I was sure I was going to marry. I was head-over-heels in love with this guy. It never occurred to me that he wasn’t “my guy”. But in the end, our choices took their toll, and he ended up marrying someone else. I had always thought we would each live a little and end up back together when we were ready to settle down; so naturally, I was devastated when I found out.
But in looking back, I can see that a marriage with him would not have gone well because we prefer very different lifestyles. He ended up with someone wonderful, who I adore, and who is a very good fit for him. And I also went on to find my best life partner as well.
If we had married, it’s possible we would have been doomed to a mediocre life that wasn’t what either of us really wanted. Luckily, we didn’t have to go through that.
The Universe helped us both out by separating us, even though I couldn’t see it at the time. Instead, what seemed like a heartbreaking failure ended up bringing both of us amazing people who are much better matches for each of us, and we are both happy! Life is good and I am so grateful.
Another great example of “failure” that ended up being a divine win is the story of how a friend of mine got her dream farm that she loves so much.
Some years ago, her and her husband had found a farm that they really wanted to buy. Emotionally, they were all in on this property. They had their hearts set on it. They even sold their house because they were sure the sale was going to go through. But they tried everything and just couldn’t work it out with the seller.
It seemed perfect but clearly it wasn’t, because if it was they would have been able to buy it.
Then after many months invested in trying to purchase that first property, one day, they accidentally drove by a different farm nearby that they had never seen before. It was everything they needed and wanted — even better than the first one — and no surprise, they had it under contract immediately!
When they found that first property, they had done the work. They were ready to receive, but happily they were blocked from buying the wrong property for them. As disappointed as they were, when they finally let go of their attachment to the outcome on the first property, their best property was revealed almost instantly.
Today, they are running their new farm, tending their horses and loving life!
When you can hold your vision and do the work, while also letting go of attachment to the outcome, that’s when you are in the flow.
This is where you want to be if you are trying to manifest something into your life.
This is the art of creation and manifesting:
- Be meticulous in your vision work and identifying the feeling you are desiring in your life. For what reason is the thing you are wanting important to you? How will it benefit your life?
- Prepare to receive that which you desire: financially, mentally and emotionally. Line yourself up with whatever needs to be in place to receive your good, and remove yourself from anything unhealthy that is blocking you from it. Perhaps there is some healing work that needs to be done in order to be ready to receive. Assess yourself and your life and make your environment conducive for receiving your desire. Get help if necessary.
- Consistently tend your dream and give thanks every step of the way. Continue enhancing your ability to receive your good. Be prepared to make sacrifices when necessary, and act when you receive the nudge to do so. Be sure to notice synchronicities and celebrate wins along your journey, even the small ones. This will keep your energy and focus aligned with your intention.
- Trust the process. Often things may not unfold the way you expect, but if you have been clear in your intention, and you have prepared and nurtured your desire, you will have strong magick behind you, pointing you in the right direction all along the way. Trust the process when faced with twists and turns. Just keep making your next best decision, and release attachment to outcomes as the process unfolds.
- Receive. Say “Yes!” when your desire shows up in your life. You’ve earned it!
And lastly, remind yourself…
You are responsible for your part and nothing more. Always do your best and then allow the magick of the Universe to step in and assist. It’s messy and scary — simple but not easy — but the experience gained is always worth the effort.