New Years’ resolutions`are a common cornerstone of our experience at this time of year. It’s like we feel naked without them. They are a placeholder to hang our hats and say we’re starting anew, completely fresh. We’ve gotten through the tough spots last year (we’re over it), and we’re ready to greet the new year with action and vigor.
The problem is our resolutions quickly lose steam by winter’s end, and self-criticism takes up residence. While there are no perfect formulas for creating and attracting the changes you desire in your life, the idea of manifestation and allowing goodness to flow into our lives, rather than resolving and “making it happen,” is more aligned with creating desires that actually show up and stick in our physical lives. Manifestation has become a big buzzword in New-Age circles thanks to books like The Secret, but what is commonly misunderstood about manifestation is that things don’t magically appear from midair through intent alone. Rather, it is a process of continually coming into greater and greater alignment with the things that you desire and signaling to the Universe your persistence and strength in your belief that they are already flowing to you at all moments in time.
I find that the better I get at allowing rather than doing, my path to manifestation becomes clearer and clearer. Seeming “coincidences” appear that push me down the right path, even if I never knew that path was available. It still never happens with a snap of the fingers. The process requires that I constantly bring myself back to a place of inner stillness, clear away old fear beliefs (that seem to be a bottomless pit) of not being worthy of or able to receive the biggest things that I want, and reassess what it is that I actually want or why I am “striving” for it.
1.) When creating your intentions or desires, think about the energy or force you are putting behind them. Are you seeking that new job because you are frustrated with or sick of your current boss? Or are you passionate about working with animals and visualizing the dream job that you know is on the horizon? Which one do you think gives you more manifestation capital? You guessed it, the latter. Focusing on what you want passionately to have show up in your life gives your desires more force. Like energy attracts like energy, so focusing on the frustration or wish to escape will likely attract more frustration even if you do manage to leave the job and find a new one. Focusing on a passionate desire for a new calling will be registered in the Universe as a “high energy” demand (as opposed to having a desire for a cup of coffee, for example)…one that demands to be heard. So long as you stick with the belief in its ultimate delivery, without imposing your own timelines, the Universe has no choice but to comply. Remember though, the bigger the demand, the more time it may take to deliver. Patience is key, along with right action (which I cover in #4).
2.) Identify the “feeling” or emotion that you are looking to achieve by achieving your desires. The Universe deals only in energy, not “things.” So the emotion you are putting into your desires is all the Universe really registers. If you are looking for a new house, what is it that you really desire…more comfort, more space, more freedom, more security? Identify that feeling and sit with it. Find ways to embody it and create it in small ways in your current life. Create a comfortable space inside your current living arrangement, small as it may be. Again, since like attracts like, the Universe will always bring more of what you already currently have. So, if you focus on a lack of security or comfort and your need to “fill it” with a new house, the Universe will not respond to your need, only to your perceived lack…providing more lack of security or comfort. Focus on “being” what it is that you seek and the Universe will deliver what you already are. Ironically, once you get there, you may not even “need” it anymore.
3.) Be open to receive. We all have a little trouble with this one. We are taught to “work hard for what you want,” that “life is an uphill climb,” “don’t take handouts,” etc., among other tried and truisms here in the U.S. But these old belief system can be serious blocks to receiving the goodness that the Universe wishes to deliver. And make no mistake…the Universe always wishes to deliver. We’re usually the ones getting in our own way. Find and vanquish the voice in your head that tells you “don’t deserve,” “it will never happen,” “it’s not possible,” or “I can only get there after a certain amount of sacrifice and hard-won battles.” If these are your belief systems, the Universe will confirm them for you. Find ways to let in the good in small ways in your life…this will start the floodgates. Accept that compliment at work with grace, take up that genuine offer of help from a neighbor or colleague, and be thankful for gifts, small or large, that come your way. This will show the Universe that you are ready to receive.
4.) Flow with the Universe in “right action” rather than forced action. Like I said, manifestation is not always a “snap of the fingers” endeavor or a magical arrival of good…sometimes real action is required to bring about your desires, but forced action in the form of checklists and prescribed sequences of events will likely only get you so far. Right action means coming from a place of true alignment with the higher self or “true self.” Right action will often feel spontaneous, freeing, creative, and joyful. It will never feel forced, sluggish, or obligatory. Right action may hit in the form of a sudden burst of insight or energy. Your only job is to let it flow through you and hold on for the ride. Sometimes the action feels counterintuitive to how we are used to creating things in our lives, but it’s our jobs to heed the signals and get out of the way. Or sometimes be patient and keep doing what we’re doing. We’ve already created the outcome, the Universe provides the steps.
5.) Finally, you must be in surrender to the mystery of the Universe and at peace with the forces of the unknown. Sometimes, we think we’ve got it all down, we know what we want, and we know the plan. The Universe will usually kick us upside the head over and over until we figure out that that’s never the case. We’re not really the ones in charge….at least not our small, ego-selves. Sometimes the Universe knows better what we want and need than we do ourselves. We do not have the benefit of the larger perspective. There is good out there that we cannot even conceive or, do not even have words to describe, and is not even in the realm of our current experience. Unless we have a willingness to let go of the rigidity of our belief systems or prefabricated visions of what we want (or how it should come), the full force of that Mystery may never be revealed to us. So release the stubborn, and make friends with the surrender.