Do you know what you want? I mean really know what you want? A lot of people don’t.
I don’t mean the next shiny thing, or bit of stuff, or gadget. I mean what sort of life do you want? What are the experiences you’d like to have?
After last month’s drum circle spirit journey, a friend came back having been told quite clearly to “ask for what you want”. This doesn’t just relate to interacting with people, it’s perfect guidance on how to manifest the life you want.
Before we bought our townhouse we lived twelve years in a one bedroom flat with no balcony. The flat was awesome, it had a huge three-panelled north-facing window but I always described it as having no balcony. Not resentfully, more wistfully, thinking wouldn't it be lovely to sit outside with a cup of tea. But since our next place was to be a house, I didn’t expect we would ever end up with one.
As the years passed, saving for and planning our move, I had other ‘wouldn't it be lovely’ thoughts: to live in a newish house not an old one like we could afford; to live somewhere less busy than the suburbs we were searching. I daydreamed of a cat that would visit, although I didn’t want to own one; and of living near the water - assuming it would be a bay or river. I even reminisced about the kooky slanted ceilings I grew up with, but when it came to our house buying shopping list none of these items were on it.
We made our list around more practical things like number of bedrooms, distance to the city, transport, parking, etc. We searched pretty hard core for about a year, finding nothing we could afford that wasn’t a complete dump. Finally we gave ourselves a weekend off that included a visit to check out a friend’s new digs in Maroubra - a suburb that couldn’t have been further from our radar.
As we stood on her balcony we started a 'wouldn't it be lovely...' conversation about how relaxed the neighbourhood felt and how easily people could visit with all the free street parking. In that moment our focus shifted from what we wanted to how we wanted to feel and within a week we’d found our home.
The Universe is all about creation and it’s waiting ready to help us. When we only wish for stuff or things, with no consideration of the long term benefit, it makes for a pretty lame order. But when we stop to consider what a good life would look like, and imagine ourselves healthy and happy, the Universe has a lot more to work with - it’s the ultimate creator you capable of delivering things you’ve never even thought of, so don’t stifle it by being too specific.
How then should you go about manifesting the life you want?
Imagination, focus, and intent are the three ingredients that form the basis of ceremony, prayer, art, and any form of manifesting or creation.
Reflect, search, journey, meditate, journal, track your dreams, or whatever you need to do to get a clear idea of what you want. Not the stuff you want, not the size of the paycheck or the suburb, more the work that will satisfy you or the lifestyle. Daydream yourself into how you want to feel, how you want your days and life to unfold, what feelings you want to have, how you want your relationships to be. Imagine what your perfect day looks like and how you want to feel when you wake up and go to bed. Consider what would be different if you could achieve this life, and what behaviours you’d be prepared to change to maintain your health and happiness.
This ‘wouldn’t it be lovely…’ thinking radiating from your heart (rather than a plea for specific results) is all you need do to let the universe know what you really want.
Once you’ve imagined what you want, the spirits (Universe, elves, angels, whatever you prefer to imagine) take your order and get to work on making it happen. It’s then that you need your focus and intent to give them the opportunity to deliver.
For example, they can’t make you win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket. Likewise, they’re not able to give you perfect health if you spend your life on the couch. But if you take a few steps in the direction of your dream, they will pull out all stops to get you there.
Another important thing to consider is maintaining your focus. Spirits hear your thoughts - what you think about you bring about. They don’t understand worry, so if you start thinking about what could go wrong they’ll stop what they’re doing and begin making that instead.
And if you keep asking for the same thing over and over, they will keep stopping and starting taking much longer to create whatever it is.
My point is, the Universe has fabulous hearing and if we use our imagination, focus and intent we can tap into it and manifest whatever we want. Even if we don’t realise we want it.
I had no idea I’d asked for so many things in my new home, but as soon as the opportunity arose I got them all - crazy angled ceilings, walking distance from the beach, and the loveliest neighbouring cat who sits in my lap while I sip tea on my balcony.
When you stop thinking about the what and get some clarity about the how and why of what you want, you will be amazed at what the universe is capable of delivering. You might even start to expect the unexpected. :)
Sometimes, even when you know the rules, you still don’t get the message.
Today I’m sitting still. I’m in bed with my knitting, phone, a book, and my laptop, and finally it has clicked.
I’ve been going over in my head (always a bad place to analyse things), why I’ve had such a bad run of health lately. I had the flu over Easter (the every individual bone aching in hands and feet, 3 day fever, plague version), a cold only a week ago (3 days sore throat followed by 4 days runny nose), and now I have food poisoning which kicked in around 30 hours ago waking me in the middle of the night and continued to escalate into aching bones, intense stomach cramps and the usual other symptoms.
Mr Wonderful just commented that he thinks I’m doing the right thing, pulling all my activities into bed and not getting up. “Not much choice on this occasion” was my response, and there was my ‘ah ha’ moment.
For three months I’ve been getting busier and busier and not taking time out to rest. Sure, I squeeze in a lot of meditation on the bus, but work has been manic, we’ve had loads going on at home, and my release from having too much on is to exercise. I only took one day off work with the flu (as it coincided with a long weekend), I continued to train and go out in the wintry nights while I had the cold last week, while clearly my body was urging me to ease off and have a rest.
And now what do you know? Another long weekend, another chance for me to cram in a whole lot of busy-ness, and my body has decided enough is enough! Stay home, sit still, stop doing stuff, and rest. And here I am. This time with no choice in whether I soldier on or not. This time I’m too crook to go anywhere.
Interesting that four of us ate the same meal on Saturday night yet I’m the only one that got sick, so apparently everyone else is getting enough down time. But now, finally, I’ve got the lesson that’s been blatantly obvious to everyone around me for months. Stop!
So that’s it for me. I give in, I surrender. Typing this tiny article is about as active as I’m going to get for now. I understand, finally, that clearly I need to spend some time doing nothing.
The Universe is constantly giving us signs on what we need to do to stay on our path and look after ourselves. It’s up to us to be open to that information and to act on it when we get it, especially when it’s so obvious.
And what do you know? Now I’ve acquiesced I’m starting to feel a little better already. Think I’ll celebrate, not with a 4km walk or a workout, this time I think I’ll celebrate with a snooze.
Becoming your authentic self can be hard work. It’s easy on your own and when around like minded people, the challenge comes when you need to go back to those who knew you before, when you were wearing your mask. Their expectation for you to remain the same can be unrelenting, like teenage peer pressure on steroids.
You know that you’ve come a long way and that you’ve changed, but that’s not of interest to them. Like all of us, their world revolves around them and how things in it affect them.
Becoming conscious and authentic can be isolating as you begin to move forward at a different speed to others. Invitations to events that were once enjoyable now seem empty, nothing more than a rerun, the same old patterns and conversations playing out. Reminders of past behaviour and habits that you want to let go of, complaints and negative talk when you want to be impeccable with your word, bitching about friends or family when you’re trying to be non-judgemental, and attempts to cling to relationships and friendships that sap your energy. You keep trying to steer the conversation in a more positive direction but it’s challenging.
You need to realise it’s more than just what’s being said, you’re actually trying change the terms of the relationship and even if the change in you is fabulous and obvious, some people who knew the old you will be more comfortable sticking with the old familiar patterns.
When you try to make a change from the status quo they don’t get it. They’re not on your journey. All they hear is “no”. You feel guilty for saying no, yet your gut knots at the thought of backing down. Why? Because by standing your ground you’re actually saying “yes”. Yes to your personal code of honour, yes to your own spiritual growth, yes to walking away from what no longer serves you.
There’s no easy way to handle these situations, they still come up for me well over a decade since my major shift. Friends who don’t want to change the pattern, who can’t think outside meeting on the old terms. Sometimes I’m prepared and other times I’m caught off guard, either way my approach is the same - symbolism and honesty.
If you can step back (or up as it feels to me) to review the situation symbolically and become the observer, you can almost see the energy playing out between you. You’re trying to stay centred and grounded while they’re trying to draw you into their drama and lead you back to their comfort zone. As you watch this unfold you realise there is a lesson in this relationship, as there is in all relationships. You now need to have the courage and patience to find out what that lesson is.
Time to ask (in a non-judgemental, meditative state), what is the pattern of this relationship? What are you learning from being in a relationship with this person? What are they learning from you? And then, most importantly, how best can you establish new terms for the relationship?
Next comes time for the honesty. Have you openly and clearly expressed your need to change previously? Really? If the answer is an honest yes then it’s time to be upfront again about your need for change and your reasons behind it.
In some relationships this will still not be enough and you'll find yourself being asked to justify saying no to something that you know will make you miserable, that won’t feed your soul, and that will deplete your personal power. “To do that would not be honouring my spirit” was my most recent (and final) answer. It felt harsh and there was a clear shift in energy but it worked, despite me thinking it shouldn’t have to be that hard.
I’m sure it won’t be the last time but I know it will be a little easier next time. I’ll be readier, more prepared and stronger because I’ve done it before and also because I know in honouring my spirit I have moved another step closer to my authentic self.
Breaking free of old patterns is hard but not difficult. You simply need to meet it head on with honesty, love and acceptance. Look for the lessons in the relationship so you’re both getting what you really need from each other. It’s much more satisfying than just wishing things would change.
Try it. Each time you stand your ground and honour your spirit you strengthen your willpower, building it like a muscle that becomes stronger each time you use it. The more you practice the better you’ll get, and soon you’ll be well on your way to living your authentic life, filled with the things you want to do. No regrets.
This morning, on my 35 minute walk to the bus stop, I passed a queue of 15 people waiting for a medical centre to open.
There is a bus stop 5 minutes from home however I enjoy walking the extra distance to get some daylight time and headspace before heading into an office for the day. It also provides exercise and fresh air for my body, and I get to say hello to many of the now familiar strangers.
Gazing at the clouds, enjoying the sounds of the different birds, the variety of colours in the flowers in bloom, and smelling the frangipanis and freshly cut grass all provide me with a strong spiritual connection with which to start my day.
It also gets it done, first thing. So there is no opportunity to um and ah later in the day about whether or not to take my walk. Some think I’m dedicated, others think I’m obsessed or just a little kooky, but for me 30 minutes of gratitude that nurtures mind, body, and spirit is a great investment of my time. And it keeps me out of the queue waiting for a doctor. I think that’s time very well spent.
How about you? What time will you invest time in your wellbeing today?
Want to warm up this winter without hunching over the heater or fireplace? Then head outside for a walk.
Walking is a great activity for all ages and fitness levels, and winter is the perfect time for it when the midday UV factor is too low to worry about.
Walking is great for mind, body, and spirit. Mentally it’s been shown decrease stress levels and improve mental acuity. Taking a stroll outdoors provides a rest from sensory overload and allows us time to reflect or think about other things.
Physically it’s the perfect activity for us. You can walk off a meal, or work up an appetite for the next one. It gets the blood flowing, is low impact so easy on the joints, and is what our whole musculoskeletal system evolved to do.
Spiritually we feel more connected to life being in nature, which also sharpens our senses. Walking in nature also provides an opportunity for the universe to give us guidance on what’s going on in our lives. Pay attention to the animals that cross your path while you walk then look up their symbolic meaning for a very personal life lesson.
So go on, grab that new beanie or scarf you’ve been wanting to wear and get out in nature.