Lately I've been having the experience of watching the money in my bank account dwindle. I think we've all experienced this at some point in our lives. For artists, entrepreneurs and anyone trying to be a self-made person you probably experience this often (at least I do).
I know that the last thing to do when this happens is to PANIC and FREAK OUT about what I'm going to do. That shuts down the flow of inspiration and just brings me more things to worry about.
A few days before I'd saved a flyer for a place that had $2 slices of pizza and $2 beers. I decided to go and give them a visit, get out of the house, and just be in the flow of life. It always uplifts my energy, and based on the law of like attracts like, getting out and enjoying life is generally good mojo.
After I got my pizza I ordered my $2 beer. The bartender opens it and I hand her my debit card. I had assumed it would be fine because I'd just used it to pay for the pizza. But then... dramatic Jaws music... she tells me there's a $10 minimum.
The difference between $10 and $2 is so nominal that I could have easily shrugged and said, "Whatevs." But I didn't. I felt the PANIC and the FREAK OUT come over me. I had a PLAN coming into this and it revolved around a $2 beer. I asked how much the beers on tap were, but this only made me feel worse because it was going to destroy my plan. I had a plan damn it! Hadn't the Universe heard me??? I SAID I HAD A PLAN!
I sat down with my beer and the train of dark, intense thoughts began chugging at full speed. Why did I think I should go out for pizza and a beer? Why didn't I stay home and eat leftovers? Don't I know how to be responsible? How did I even get to this point? Why am I fucking everything up? What am I doing with my life???????
I tried to calm myself, but I felt lost and sad, which only made me feel this whole thing was stupid and I shouldn't have come. I calculated that to meet the minimum, I would have to have at least three drinks. This isn't an obscene amount, but I wasn't in the mood for it, because I may have mentioned this, but I had a plan!
I decided the best thing to do would be to just secretly pay someone else's tab. That way they would be delightfully surprised and I could get going. I finished my pizza (which was so delicious) and went to pay.
The bartender curtly informed me that no one had an open tab. I sighed and said it was fine, just charge me $10 for the one. She asked if I was sure, and I said I was sure. She takes my card to the machine and she's holding her hand over it, literally inches away from sliding it.
And then a man shows up, seemingly out of nowhere. He orders a $6 drink! I have never been so excited that a stranger ordered a cocktail. Woohoo! Now I could pay for something! I offered to pay for it because I would be spending the money either way. And then... he offered to pay for me.
To know he was being nice just for the sake of being nice was such a good feeling. I was obviously leaving so there was no pretense or ulterior motive on his part. He was genuinely being nice. I thanked him and he said "Come on, I'm a hugger!" He gave me a hug, and he didn't know this, but I really did need a hug right then.
Just when I thought the whole plan had been blown, an angel in a crisp button down shirt showed up and showed me that magic always finds a way. You just have to trust and let go of that death grip on plans working out exactly as you'd intended.
Trust, take a deep breath, and try to find something to momentarily shift your energy to something better, which is how I suspect I manifested a happy ending. I had decided paying for someone else was a good option, and this uplifted and relaxed me, which allowed the real magic to find a way through.
I have seen this book called Presence for years. I never picked it up because I didn't understand the wooden doll on the cover (the doll was part of a sociological experiment she did). I also think I was a bit afraid of it, or perhaps not ready for it, because once I did start reading it I realized how powerful it was, and how I needed to be in the right place to really take it all in.
This book is partly about how you can use body language to make yourself feel more confident, capable, excited and in the moment. The title, Presence, comes from the idea that we generally spend our lives dreading high intensity moments, anguishing in them while they happen, and then regretting how we didn't live up to our own expectations afterwards. We are never actually present, but instead outside of ourselves in some way, judging, agonizing and so on. Amy Cuddy, the author, lists clear, practical and science backed ways to get more present, which makes you feel more confident.
This confidence ripples out in so many unexpected ways. Exploring this takes the reader on a much deeper journey. For example, people who feel confident are able to empathize with and see the world outside of their own point of view easier. This feels contradictory, as we often think of confident people as self-absorbed, but when you think about it, it makes sense. When you feel insecure and/or anxious you are only thinking about yourself. You're thinking of how others perceive you, if you're saying the right thing, if you can run away when no one is looking, and so on. You aren't thinking about what others are feeling. If you feel good, you don't need to obsess about yourself, but you can instead be present for others and truly hear them. This makes life feel so much better and more enriching, which is also part of why Amy wants everyone to learn to be present.
The book goes even deeper than this and investigates the mind-body connection. For reasons I don't relate to (sorry pragmatists) the mind-body connection has been considered woowoo placebo spiritual hoowah since it came to the West. Amy Cuddy, a psychologist, uses her own research and that of others to prove the mind-body connection is not only real, but understanding it can literally uplift and empower your life. So if you want some hard science on why yoga works, or why standing like Wonder Woman can calm your nerves, then this book is for you.
Even if you don't need science to know that the body affects the mind and vice versa, this book will almost undoubtedly share new information with you. In fact, she explained something about yoga in such a clear way that I have no idea what it's not on every yoga poster. Shall I spoil it? Okay, just this one, because the book is chock full of info.
Spoiler: Yoga makes you feel better because it raises your testosterone levels and lowers your cortisol. Yoga doesn't just stretch your body, get you breathing deep and bring you into the present moment. It actually changes your hormones and your chemistry in a way that makes you feel stronger, more empowered and less stressed. Ladies, don't worry, testosterone is a natural part of your makeup, and yoga creates small bursts of the hormone that are very slight, but still enough to strengthen your body and mind.
I got Presence from the local library, and you can find it on Amazon here.
"There's no denying that a great artist in the midst of a performance is spectacularly present, to the extent of creating an almost electric charge."
The true power is in the imagination, which dares to speculate upon that which is not yet.
The imagination, backed by great expectations, can bring about almost any reality within the range of probabilities.
― Seth, via Jane Roberts, Dreams, Evolution and Value Fulfillment, Vol 1
A lot has been said about manifesting. What could possibly be left to say?
How about this: how about we stop using this word. All together. No more manifesting. Let's just toss the m-word out. Goodbye.
Let's use the word create instead.
Manifesting has become synonymous with creating, but they are not the same thing. You create things by first having a desire or intent. You send this out like an energetic rocket seeking a destination. It finds one, a connection is made, and then something is created on a higher plane.
Your desire is first real energetically, and then it manifests physically.
This difference is crucial in how we go about life. You create. You are a creator. Manifesting is what happens as a result. So we really don't manifest anything. Trying to focus on the manifesting is like staring at a bike and willing it to move. The bike moves because you get on it. You pedal it. And as a result, the wheels turn, and movement is manifested.
To manifest means, by definition, to reveal something, to display or prove something. To create means to bring something into existence. So you create, you bring your desire into existence in the higher realm, the creation realm, and then your creation manifests in the physical realm, aka it reveals itself. All of this focus on manifesting and being an effective manifester, well it's a bit ass backwards. But it's all good because we're so over manifesting. Now we know, we're creators.
We are the conscious creators of our lives.
Creating is working with primal sources of energy, through our own Self and through the higher dimensions. We do this without batting an eye, because we are already one with the cosmic mind. We think and we create, and when we create we engage with an inner realm that effortlessly connects everyone and everything.
To see yourself as a creator and your life as a creative process is a natural move. You are both the canvas and the painter. You are a creator, an artist, a brilliant engineer of energy, and as you evolve, your ability to create will evolve and change with you.
Each growth brings mastery of a new skill, a new way of applying the metaphorical oil paints, and even a desire to work with new mediums all together.
There is an artist, a creative source of powerful expression, in all of us. You do not have to work at creating.
Even the most left-brained, analytical person knows how to create. If they didn't, they would never speak a sentence. You create every sentence you say. So all that stuff about learning to manifest - toss it out with the word. Let your natural self, your self that intrinsically knows that creation is as natural to you as walking, to rise up and effortlessly steer you with confidence and ease.
Which of these do you prefer:
The first statement declares it, I am a creator, what I want will be, done deal. The second sounds more like work. Once again, creating is not work. It only feels like it is because we so deeply believe it is.
Beliefs are powerful. You must believe you can create and that you are the powerful creator of your life for the manifestation to reveal itself.
By not putting stock in our ability to create, and instead only focusing on the end result, the manifestation, we shoot ourselves in the foot. The manifestation will take care of itself. We can all relax on that front. The creating, that's up to us, so first you have to believe in yourself as a creator, claim you are a creator, live it, breathe it, exude it.
Believe it's easy. Believe if you create a vision of yourself happy and at the beach, so it will be. Believe if you create a vision of yourself in a new car, driving up the coast of a foreign country, so it will be.
Create energetically, in the higher realms, using your power to visualize.
Believe in your energetic creation. And then let it go. Let it go. Move on. Trust it's done, it will reveal - it will manifest - at just the right moment. Done deal.
Breathe life into your inner creator, and let it surge forth and surprise you with how powerful it is. This is precisely what you are here to do - to engage with and play with energy, to learn how thoughts and feelings become reality. Once again, the manifesting is the result of this process, and if you get that you are a creator, if you believe in it with the same intensity that you believe the stars will greet you each night, then you will be well on your way to mastery.
Do you use an app for meditation? I have only tried two, and the second one, the Calm App, was something I loved so much I never tried another one. After trying it out for a week I paid for the monthly subscription, which if you buy it for a year, comes out to $3.33 per month.
The main reason I wanted to try this app is because it has a 7 day program for reducing anxiety. I have no idea how we became a world full of anxious people, but we really are. I'm really so done with anxiety and fear and I am doing everything in my power these days to refuse to believe this is it. I refuse to believe I just have to have anxiety.
The Calm App has helped me with its 7 day meditation series on anxiety, but its also helped me because I love knowing I have this tool right at my hands that I can carry with me. Anytime I need it I can plug in my headphones and listen to the calming sounds, the daily meditations, or just have an open ended meditation with bells. This feels like it has given me so much power back over my feelings, and feeling empowered is a huge step in reducing and eventually eliminating anxiety.
The 7 days of reducing anxiety is part of the paid services of the app. If you want to try it for free you can download the app and use several features without paying. The 7 days of Calm, Body Scan, Loving-Kindness and Forgiveness meditations are free, as well as the timed and open ended with bells meditations. I have used the Forgiveness meditations myself, and I love them, and you can try them for free! The Calm scenes are beautiful and relaxing just in themselves, and you can download and use as many of them as you like.
Below are some screen grabs from my phone. There is something about having this app on my phone that has truly increased my experiences with mindfulness and being present. I suppose it's like when you have a gym membership. You're more likely to be proactive when you've made a commitment to the thing you desire. To learn more about Calm and download the app visit their website, Calm.com.
This audio is available for purchase for $5 here. Or you can purchase the 4 meditation set Guided Meditations For Self-Healing, Relaxation & Transformation, which includes The Heart Healing Light, and save over 20%.
More about this meditation:
This heart warming meditation is designed to both relax you and to help you to remember that you, just as you are, are a powerful healer. It will do this by gently guiding you into bringing up your own light. You'll do several different things with this light, all of which will all assist you in a different way.
You'll use the light to center your body and energy, top to bottom and left to right. From this place of center and balance, you'll create a white ball of light using your hands. You'll bring this ball into your heart center, energizing your heart chakra. You'll then use the light energy to push out anything you've taken on or created that doesn't serve you, such as fear, worry and insecurity.
The visuals used are both simple and effective. This will help you to stay relaxed and to remind you that healing is neither complicated nor beyond your abilities. You simply need a chance to realize the power was in you all along.
The background music to this meditation is called "Divine Love," by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. It's keyed to the note of the heart chakra. It's a very soothing and uplifting track. At the end of the meditation, soft zen bells will play in order to bring your mind back into awareness.
There is something about fall that always makes me feel so refreshed. The cooling of the air. The change in the collective energy as students return to school. And of course, everyone's favorite, the changing of the leaves.
Whenever I see autumn leaves it reminds me of how beautiful and uplifting change is. For many different reasons, we can fear change. This fear comes from having tried things or having experienced things that felt negative, and so we become fearful of what we don't know. We cling to the familiar, believing it's where all the good stuff is, or at least where the stuff is we can control.
But the good comes from the letting go. From flowing with life. From knowing there is a multi-colored, brilliant little fall leaf blowing right around the corner. You can't see it. But it's there, waiting for you to discover it and hold it and cherish it and remember how many gifts this world really offers in every moment.