Swish and Flick

THE MAGIC OF MANIFESTATION

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if you had a magic wand?  Some sort of device that – if used properly – would bring you exactly what you want a la Harry Potter?  Just swish and flick and bingo, it’s yours!  Did you know that you actually possess the ability to do just that?

Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, especially when things seem to pile up around you and circumstances (like a broken down car and a crumbling relationship and a pile of bills) tell you otherwise. But what if I were to tell you that you have the ability to control every aspect of your reality; that you have the power to swish and flick that metaphorical wand and create the kind of life that you have always wanted instead of being controlled by circumstances and by those around you?

I still remember the absolute freedom that came the day that I realized that every aspect of my reality was under my control.  That I and I alone was responsible for the reality that I was living.  That there was not some unknown quantity determining whether I would be rewarded or punished for the things I do or thought or said and that everything I was experiencing was the result of those thoughts, feelings and emotions that I had been entertaining.

I’m not going to go into details, not here and now, not yet.  But to suffice it to say that it happened.  After years of searching; after years of attempting to understand how things worked and how some people always seemed to get what they wanted no matter what while others while were always dreaming about it; after reading piles of books and listening to hours and hours of sermons and self-help books and praying to God and charging the Goddess and drawing down the moon, I woke up one morning and suddenly knew.

Talk about totally liberating!  The realization that there is no one that I am required to appease or avoid in order to create the life I had always dreamed of; no one and nothing (but myself) standing in my way; I literally sat down and cried for about a week.  Amazing!  I felt totally liberated.  Simultaneously I had never felt more afraid in all my life.

Yes, it was frightening.

Think about it.  Instead of being able to go ask mommy or daddy or the spirits of the earth or air (depending on your particular religious beliefs) to help make things better or to give you what you want, you suddenly realize that you are both the one doing the wanting and the one who is passing out both the rewards and the punishments.  You are the one who is giving out the gifts and the one who is receiving them.  You are the individual that is dependent on specific needs– and you are the universe that has an unlimited supply of everything and will give to whoever asks you.

This is not to say that there may not be gods or goddesses or elementals; beings that will bring you what you ask for if you ask in the right way or if you do something for them.  Plenty of people believe in them.  My point is that there is something far bigger than any of them; something much larger that contains us all and that we are all equally a part of.

This largeness; this bigness that contains us all is not one entity with a personality and an ego that has to be appeased before it will grant our requests.  It is the power, the source that binds us all together; that gives us life and animation.  It is also the source of creation; all of creation, not just the light and love and purity or innocence, it is also the source of anger and fear and darkness as well and it is readily available for anyone that knows how to tap into it regardless of what they are planning on using it for.  There is just one catch; this power is magnetic.  That is, whatever you create out of it will attract more of itself to you.

Call it Karma; call it ‘cause and effect’; call it the law of attraction; the result is the same.

If I (the individual) dwell on the negative; on the worst things that could happen, then I am going to draw those things to me.  The more I focus on the dark and the negative, the more dark and negative things will be drawn to me. If I dwell on love and light, or on the highest definition of who and what I really am and strive to bring that into my existence, then it will come, bringing more of itself with it; drawing more of the same energy to it.  There’s just one problem.  This source of creation that you or I tap into in order to bring these things into our physical reality, it knows what we are really thinking.

I can’t trick the source (which includes my higher self).  I can talk love and light and happy chirpy birds until I am blue in the face (or until I manifest Snow White, whichever comes first though I know which would send my sanity over the edge) but if in my heart of hearts I don’t believe that it will happen; if I think that it is all a crock; if I am reserving judgment until I see proof, or if (most importantly) I feel that I somehow don’t deserve what it is that I am asking for, then the source, the universe (a.k.a. my higher self) knows it, and since it doesn’t know the difference between expressed thought and unexpressed thought, it will simply give me what it is that I am focusing on the most (either consciously or unconsciously).

This is why mastering everyday mindfulness as well as emotional mindfulness is so very important, because it isn’t just enough to realize that you have the power to control your reality, you have to be constantly aware of your thoughts and feelings and emotions and beliefs in order to bring them into alignment with who and what you really are.

Without awareness you are not in control of your life, but you are being controlled (though not by an outside entity, but by your own beliefs and limitations).  You are not creating situations that will serve you and that will help you to achieve your highest potential and to be a benefit to those around you, you are reacting to things that are happening around you; knee jerk reactions that make you feel overwhelmed and powerless and victimized to the point that you are desperate for someone or something to take the reins and to make sense out of it all.

There is no question about the universe (a.k.a. your higher self) bringing you those things that you are most focused on (whether consciously or unconsciously).  Seriously, take a look around yourself right now.  Take a long hard look at your life, at the people that are in it; your job, your house, your car, your beliefs, your attitude; everything.  Right there at your fingertips you have a snapshot of what you were focused most intently on yesterday, last week, last year or even ten years ago.

If you think carefully about where you were and what you were thinking, you’ll see that I’m right.  You created this reality.  Every aspect of it reflects yesterdays (or last week’s or last year’s) views and hopes and dreams and, yes, fears.

No, I’m not saying that every genetic defect and every illness were called into being by your higher self. We are human animals after all; inhabited by spirits, (souls if you will) but still subject to the laws of physics, of thermodynamics and the impulsive squirts of hormones that our brains get doused in on a regular basis as they respond to physical stimuli.  It comes with the territory and those are things that we do not have any control over but which we have to learn to live with and to understand.

Where we do have the control, however, is in how we perceive the life that we are living and in what we consciously and intentionally choose to experience and those people and situations that we choose to let into our lives.

Yes, I know, it sounds like some kind of new age mumbo jumbo; some sort of psychobabble or, at the worst, like some kind of magic, though in a way it is magic, just not the kind of magic you might think.

This isn’t the kind of magic where you wave a wand and something suddenly “appears” in your life because you said the right words or mixed up the right ingredients in your cauldron.  This is the kind of magic that works on a far more subtle basis.  This magic is the magic of belief; a magic that works its spell on your mind and, through your mind, makes its impact on your surroundings; aligning things and people and circumstances in such a way that a year from now, or a week from now, or maybe even tomorrow, you will find that what you have been focused on has indeed become your reality.

And if you do look around yourself and you don’t like where your focused thoughts have brought you there is a simple solution; change your focus.  It’s that simple.  Mind you, it requires that you be aware of your thoughts and emotions until they become focused on what you want to create in your life, but once the technique clicks into place you’ll find yourself laughing uncontrollably at how simple it actually is.

So much for magic wands!

Swish and flick baby!

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Dances With Butterflies

Do you know how hard it is to ask the universe for something and then to let it happen without trying to help or hinder it?

Yes, I said hinder it.

Heaven only knows that on some level even those who are perfectly clear about asking the universe for what they want; who have mastered the art of creative visualization and who are able to picture clearly and accurately the life that they want find themselves (even if it is on a subconscious level) scared out of their wits and inadvertently (or even intentionally) trying to undo what they have done by sending that energy out into the universe.

Why?  Because they are deathly afraid of getting what they want.  At some deep down level they know that in order for them to get what they have asked for (however necessary it is and regardless of whether or not the time is right) is going to entail change on a very profound and fundamental level.  It is going to shatter their world (a la Humpty Dumpty) and that no matter how many horsemen they assign to the job, things are going to be a bit scrambled for a while.

This is where I am right now.  And I have to admit that I am in danger of getting in my own way.

A while ago I asked the universe to make a change in my life.  The details don’t matter, not really.  What matters is that I thought long and hard about what it was that I wanted. I sketched everything out in writing after I had meditated on the issue. I then used the tools for visualizing the final result and sent the energy out into the universe.  Almost immediately I started seeing results and the first thought out of my head wasn’t “wow, how amazing” or “isn’t synchronicity incredible?”  But rather “Oh my God, what have I done!” This was followed immediately by a wave of worry and concern and “what if’s” that threatened to overwhelm me and succeeded in giving me more than a few sleepless nights.

It was as if suddenly I had been seized with a sudden need to undo what I had done; to scream at the universe to ignore my request, but not because it isn’t time, and not because it isn’t needed, but because in my heart of hearts I understand that things will never be the same again.

In addition I have found myself having to sit on my hands in order not to sabotage the universe at work as it brings me exactly the changes I asked for.  On more than one occasion I have found myself confronted with a situation that was/is the result of the changes being brought about by the universe (at my request).  Usually these present themselves as conflicts and uncomfortable situations as the people involved in the shift adapt to the changes.  Thanks to conditioning and upbringing, my first instinct is to smooth the situation over; to do something to make everyone feel better; to make everyone comfortable.  But that’s just it you see.  Change is anything but comfortable.

Like anyone else I had gotten used to things being the way they were; too comfortable.  My soul had moved on but my body had gotten stuck in its routine, hence the request for change.

You always know when your spirit has moved on (or is trying to move on).  When you focus on your problem or your issue there is no joy.  It feels as if you are wearing a suit of clothes that are too tight.  They itch.  You want more than anything to shuck everything off and go running naked through the rain in order to catch up with your soul which is out dancing with the butterflies.

And so it is that every time I feel the urge to make things better; to make them easier for everyone involved I have to forcibly remind myself that I asked for this.  It’s time.  I need to get out of my own way and let the Universe do its work. The butterflies are waiting.

 

The Vanilla Man

I don’t know about you, but I’m a chocolate kind of girl.   From the time I was little I would bypass the pretty pink ice creams (strawberry mostly) that other girls my age seemed so fond of (I honestly think it had something to do with the popularity of Strawberry Shortcake at the time) and went straight for the Double Dutch Chocolate or Swiss Chocolate Almond.

In shops that had multiplicities of flavors I’d ignore the pistachio and lemon balm and caramel crunch; preferring to zero in on the Fudge Stripe and Mayan Chocolate, with an occasional nod to Oreo Cookie Crunch or Chocolate Chip.  When people would ask me why I didn’t try and mix it up a bit I would shrug and say I didn’t know, but what it was, was that I didn’t know how to explain it.

You see, I didn’t understand why I should muck around with the more fruity or bland flavors, even if they were unusual.  What I wanted – what I craved – was the full-bodied experience of chocolate; the way that it completely overwhelmed my senses and bombarded me with an intoxicating richness that went straight to my head.

Strangely enough, this was a theme that would follow me for my entire life; always having to go straight for the people and places, the situations and experiences that would provide me with the most stimulation; the most intensity; the most flavor and it amazed me that there were people who actually went out of their way to avoid these kinds of stimulation.  For the longest time I thought that there had to be something wrong with them.  Indeed, many of them seemed rather ashamed of the fact that they didn’t try more or do more, as if they felt they had let themselves down somehow by choosing safety and security over adventure and really wild things.  But it was my encounter with the Vanilla Man that would forever change the way I viewed my life and the way those around me had chosen to live.

The Vanilla Man was something entirely new to my experience; a person who not only avoided excess stimulation of any kind (shunning those experiences and situations and experiences that I found so attractive) but who took pride in being predictable and I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would prefer this kind of a life.  It was an intriguing concept, and one I had never encountered before.

Even then, those many years ago, the Vanilla Man was predictable.  Even as a young man you could set your clock by his routine.  At any time of the day or night you knew where he would be and what he would be doing.  And in spite of my own personal preferences and inclinations, I found him anything but boring.  He had an awesome sense of humor and we could converse on a wide variety of topics even seeing things from different perspectives as we did.  In fact, I found his predictability and complete confidence in himself to be entirely refreshing; a way of looking at the world around him that I had never considered before to be valid.   He found my spontaneity and unfiltered view of the world just as intriguing, and it made for a rather tempestuous relationship.

Like night and day, however, we eventually went our separate ways, unable to reconcile our opposite views and lifestyles (though we remain fast friends) and there are times when I have to wonder what would have happened if we had given that mixing of vanilla and chocolate a go.  Would it have resulted in a block of striped ice cream with neither budging to give the other space?  Would we have been like a hot fudge sundae with one of us overpowering or smothering the other? Or would we have mixed ourselves so thoroughly that we would have each become something less (and more) than we had been on our own; giving up our own chocolate and vanilla personalities and preferences to become something like chocolate mouse or vanilla swirl?

Many years have gone by since then, but I have never forgotten what the Vanilla Man had to teach me; that just because there are those who don’t see the world in quite the same way that you do does not mean that their perspective is invalid, and that not everyone has to approach life in the same way that you do in order to be truly and fully alive.

In truth, the world needs vanilla.  Without vanilla men (and women) the chocolates and coconut cherry chunks and rocky roads would run rampant and there would never be any continuity; nothing would get done.  The world would dissolve into complete and total chaos and anarchy.  Besides being soothing and creamy, vanilla tones down the bitterness of more aggressive flavors and makes the sickly sweet tolerable and goes well with almost everything, and while there are those who would downplay its importance or who would say that it dilutes the more exotic flavors, the truth is that without vanilla, we would run into some serious problems.

Even today, every now and then I’ll find myself opting for a dish of vanilla ice cream as opposed to chocolate; a reminder of what could have been, yes, but also to what is, and the incredible variety that makes up humanity; that makes up life and how each and every one of us, regardless of our preferences has a place and a purpose in that great big ice cream parlor that makes up our universe.

Sardonic Smiles

Have you ever felt that you were wasting your life?

No, now don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing the life you’re living, your job, how much or little you’ve saved, your choice of life partners, your choice in household furnishings, hobbies, or your role as a parent or parent-care provider. But admit it – haven’t you ever felt as if your talents are being wasted? And you gaze around at your cubicle, or the beige walls of your hum-drum office (why do they choose beige, anyway? Don’t they know that it shows EVERYTHING?) or at the sticky mess of jell-o and chocolate sauce that your four year old has just concocted in the dog’s water bowl and said “what the hell am I doing HERE – doing THIS?”

Well, I have a secret to tell you. Everything you have ever done in your life. Every book you’ve read, every experience you’ve had, every song you’ve heard, every person you’ve interacted with, every failed and miserable relationship you’ve had, EVERYTHING was to bring you to this point and time.

What’s more, you’ve been brought to where you are – right here and now – for a reason.

Now don’t look at me, I don’t have a clue as to what you’re reason is! That’s why it’s YOUR reason, and it will be up to you to discover it.

Just keep in mind that at any moment your purpose – your reason for being could be revealed to you. It could dawn on you slowly, like a rose budding and blooming in the spring sunshine, or it could sneak up behind you like a hyper five year old and jump out at you when you’re least expecting it and scaring you half to death.

So when your boss is criticizing your work, or your teacher is criticizing your homework assignment, or your parents are criticizing your ability to act like a civilized human being, or your spouse is criticizing your ability to balance your checkbook, or your ten year old is criticizing your ability to understand the importance of having the latest X-Box model, or your teenager is criticizing you for your apparent inability to understand ANYTHING, keep in mind that at any moment your purpose, your reason for being, could be revealed to you and suddenly ALL of this will take on an entirely new perspective…

Try THAT thought when you’re sitting through your quarterly employee evaluation, your SAT’s, or the parent-teacher conference and I bet you emerge with a small, slightly sardonic smile that will confuse the hell out anyone who sees it.

Finally you will know the answer to the question that has been bugging you incessantly since, well, since forever; you are here to experience being you, and you can’t exactly get around to experiencing when you’re sitting around wondering why it is that you are here.

A Sea of Ones

All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
~ Swami Vivekanada

Go on, say the word out loud.  Whisper it if it makes you feel better: Oneness.

Did you shudder?  Did your stomach turn over and give you a vague sense of queasiness?  Were you forcibly reminded of the various cults whose members followed their charismatic leaders to untimely deaths? Did you suddenly get a vision of new age self-help gurus descending on you while waving copies of their books and tapes for you to purchase like a hoard of invading Visigoths?

It is strange; the very concept of merging one’s identity with another person or group has become an anathema to humanity.  We fight it tooth and nail and create stories and legends which we turn into books and movies to remind us just how frightening of a concept it is.  Hollywood is full of them.  They make for excellent science fiction and horror thrillers.

What’s really strange is while we hold up individuality as the end all be all of existence, we only live that way in our spare time.  When it comes to work, any business person will tell you that the collective or hive mindset is far more profitable to a company than having each employee thinking (and acting) for themselves.

But overall as a society we are obsessed with individualism; with the belief that the interests of the individual are ethically paramount and that we are better off acting in our own self interest than in considering the needs of humanity as a whole.  And this belief tends to spill over into the way that we view others and their place in the world.

Whether it is our employees or our significant others, our friends or our acquaintances, the result is the same, most of us are focused on ourselves and on how those around us can make our lives better.  How can you increase my quarterly earnings?  How can you make my life more interesting?  What can you do for me?

It is this attitude that will be our undoing.

Oh yes, I know, individualism is the cornerstone of capitalism.  Every marketing executive and advertising specialist on the planet knows that appealing to one’s individuality and uniqueness sells products and creates a desire for more things that will set you apart from the crowd and mark you as one of a kind.  But when it comes right down to it, it’s not a very cohesive way to live.

When applied to countries as a whole, the attitudes and beliefs embraced by individualism become nationalism (the belief that nations are better off acting in their own self interest than collectively and with international or global goals and/or ideals) with each country promoting its own self interests regardless of what it means for those around them.

While both individualism and nationalism may seem like logical choices on the surface, the fact is that we do not live in a bubble, either as people or as nations. What we do impacts those around us and the impact we have on them in turn rebounds on us.  There is a reason for this, though most people don’t like to think about it.  It is because we are all connected.  We are all one.

No, I’m not talking about some sort of all-inclusive mish-mash of thought and belief and personality where everyone gives up who they are in order to pursue some sort of hive mentality.  I’m talking about the kind of oneness you get when you have billions of drops of water coming together to form an ocean; an ocean where millions of cresting waves carve themselves out of the oneness that binds them all together and gives them their coherence and purpose.

Each wave, each drop of water is individual and unique.  Each drop of water contains a universe unto itself.  Each wave is formed just a bit differently than each of its brothers, and yet they share an underlying cohesion; a sense of unity and of oneness that create the concept of an ocean; that endless sea of possibilities and potential; a world where you can become one without having to give up yourself; where you can stand on your own but where you never have to stand alone.