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This, Or Something Better

I have recently experienced a blatant display of manifestation in action, and I need to share. But this may be the first time you are meeting me. Let me lay down some groundwork, if I may. I am a visceral learner. I do most of my soul growth in relationships, romantic or otherwise (and I would contend that we all do, but that’s another story). I have drawn to me the most beautiful of partners, and have learned deep and transformative lessons. But these sweet souls were not my forever loves. And I knew it, often times, right from the start. One might read the cliff notes of these relationships and wonder what the hell I was thinking, and why I would sign up for such pain and nonsense. But in this classroom of life, we sometimes have to acknowledge that even if we know the answer to the problem, it’s important to follow the steps, one by one, and show your work. Put in the time. It drove me mad in algebra, but somewhere between high school and divorce, I discovered the value. It’s called earning your grit. Comes with the territory if one is to follow their heart. But, I digress.

After each relationship played out it’s story to the end, I would create a new list of qualities I wanted in a partner. Like a researcher in the field, I would document my observations and create a new working theory on what it was I truly wanted and needed. Progressively becoming more and more clear as the years went by. For those of you that aren’t familiar, the foundation of this method is called the Law of Attraction, or manifestation of your desires. The Law of Attraction is based on the concept that our thoughts have an energetic impact - the universe is a sounding board for our intentions and that which we speak over our lives comes back to us in some manner, at some point, without fail. Universal law. It’s a re-write on karma, and quantum physics is working to make it sound super legit. Being a sensitive soul, I have felt first hand the power in words and thoughts - others and my own. I had also seen enough of life to know that without focused attention, the smartest or most talented person can face-plant. Hard. This was enough evidence for me to give the theory a fighting chance. If focused intention alone could bring me all that I hoped and dreamed, I’m in. That sounds like a fast-track short-cut to the good life if I’ve ever seen one.

Simple, right? Umm, no.

Because the one and only requirement to manifesting your dreams is having a crystal clear picture of what you want. Most of us start with what we don’t want, and that’s a good place to begin. I DON’T want the loveless relationship my parents had. I DON’T want to be cheated on again, treated like a maid, or ignored. I DON’T want to be sick and tired every day, snapping at my children, resentful of my spouse, dragging myself around like a bag of lifeless rubbish. I DON’T want to have to smile when I feel like crying. We learned these things by experiencing them. Feeling the pain they brought. And deciding we want better. This is step one. It can take time. Like, lots of time. Our wills are questionably hard to break, and this can work both for and against us. I have written pages and pages on the critical experience of heart-shattering pain and shadow work. This experience - swimming in our shit until we decide we want better - is sacred. It is an awakening. It is dirty, and ugly, and intense, and dramatic, and embarrassing, and humbling, and will bring you to your knees. That’s how it is designed. It’s the whole point. If you’re there right now, keep swimming. You’re beautiful.

I need to tell you what happens when you leave room for something better. Consider allowing even 1/1000th of your mental capacity to rest in faith and hope. Allowing for the wild, outrageous, fantasy that life was not meant to be lived in misery, or even in mild discontent. You were meant to be happy, damnit. This life was meant to be enjoyed. When your world is crashing down, or you find yourself wrist-deep in another pint of ice cream on a Friday night, let this wild hope be the thing that draws screaming hot tears down your face; I. Want. More.

What I am babbling about here, folks, is flipping the script. No longer are we a band of hopeless romantics. We come to a point where we have collected enough data, lived enough pain, experienced enough bullshit. We are no longer victims of life, because we’ve been paying attention. There comes a point when you cannot continuously act the same way, get the same results, and not call yourself out on it. Ok, you might say. I get it, what I’ve been doing isn’t working. If you tell me I have to change and do another THING, anyTHING, I am liable to throat punch you. I’m exhausted. I’m broken. I hurt. I want to give up. The good news is, you have already done the hard work. It’s much easier from here, I promise. But there is one stipulation. You must be gentle with yourself. Because although the work is simple, you are going to suck at it. And the only way you can screw this up is if you beat yourself up while you teach yourself a new language. It’s the language of the universe. I don’t know why they didn’t teach us this in school. I would have gladly given up recess a few days a week in exchange.

Because, you guys, it freaking works.

I could tell you that my process was sequential, took a certain amount of time, and try to convey what you might expect if you do the work. I will not do that. First, because it is not true. The process was weird and looked nothing like a timeline. And second, because that’s not how life works. No matter how lost you feel, don’t EVER look to someone else to tell you what your story means and how it should look. We are here to inspire each other by living our truth, and that is very different than telling each other what to do. But again, I digress.

So, I started practicing the new language. I put it on paper. I described, in sweeping, vague terms, and in laser specific terms, the very person I wanted in my life as a partner. The ways they treat me. The ways we treat each other. The ways they treat themselves. The ways they treat other people. The things we create together. The little things. The big things. Her eyes. I need to see her soul in her eyes. She likes all kinds of food. She touches me when she doesn’t know what to say. She treats people with kindness when they challenge her. She loves adventure and live music. She works hard and takes care of herself. She is patient. And wise. And when things get hard, that’s when her light shines brightest. The list has over 100 descriptors. I found it very important to also describe the things I would be for this person. Because, I mean, I want to be there too.

It is not lost on me, and I hope not on you, that this list is a pretty accurate reflection of the things I wanted to acknowledge within myself. That, in fact, falling in love with myself was the whole point. This story, like all good stories, can be written in more than one way. We are complex, living, breathing spirit in form. However, in this particular choose-your-own-adventure, the person actually appeared in front of me. Out of thin air. And surprised the hell out of me. She’s real, folks. Everything I had asked for, and a few things I had left out. I forgot that I wanted her to smell good. And tell stories. Apparently I had painted a good enough picture. The universe totally has my back.

It’s important to note that I was also speaking many other blessings into my life. Confirming my wealth, health, career, friendships, family, self-esteem, self-love, and as much beauty as I could find in the moments I could see clearly enough to identify it. Manifesting is really just confirming that which we know, deep inside, is on it’s way straight to us or already in our life. The partner I had been drawing to me would not have found me if I hadn’t worked so hard to create a solid foundation on which to stand. Turns out that whole ‘barely keeping my head above water’ phase wasn’t very sexy.

Does any of this sound awesome to you? If you are interested in learning more about healing, manifesting, and changing the way you think and speak, there are books, my friends. I am, at heart, a researcher in the field. These are some of the gems that helped me wrap my mind around this process and gave me courage to try some trial and error experiments with my own life.

To get you started, I want to share a few tips and tricks. If something inside of you is sure there is a better way, listen to her. Talk to her so sweetly. Here are some of the things I stumbled around when I was learning this new language.

You don’t get to say when or how. You only get to say what you want. It’s like the best no-expectations relationship you will ever engage in, I promise. You’re not in control, and you don’t get to decide how this all plays out. Create the vision, put it out there, and walk away. It is not your business how the universe will deliver your dreams. Just be ready to receive them. Often when you least expect it.

You must speak in positives only. You see your kid running like a wild animal down the aisles of Target. You scream ‘Don’t RUN!!!!’ - and all they hear is the last thing you said: RUNNNNN. The universe is totally a toddler. It doesn’t understand no, undo, take-backs, or don’t. Tell him/her what you want, in your ‘I love you, and I’m so serious right now, so help me God...’ voice. He/she’s about to dump spaghetti in the dogs bed. Get clear, and speak up, now.

Speak it, write it down, and let it go. There is literally nothing you have to do beyond stating your desires. Checklists can be great to make sure you don’t forget your toothbrush and phone charger on vacation. But ‘have to’, ‘should’, and ‘don’t forget’ do NOT belong in your manifesting mindset. Yes, you have to put one foot in front of the other. Yes, you have to sign up for the class, reach out to the friend, show up to the job. Of course you have to keep moving in the direction of your dreams. But dear child, the self-flagellation, disappointment, guilt, and shaming that happens when you don’t do the thing you decided in your mind was the ONLY way you would achieve the dream - it’s an instant dream killer. It’s self sabotage, and it happens. I get it. All of this ‘believing’ bullshit can’t be so simple. There must be something required of me. A sacrifice? Penance? Retribution? Really, love. You’ve suffered enough. If it resonates with you, I will remind you that Jesus literally died on the cross so WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO. Speak your desires from your heart, and let it go. You’re worthy just the way you are. For real.

Pay attention. For two reasons. First, you need to watch your dirty mouth. Our brains have been firing in a real low-vibe pattern for many, many years, completely unsupervised. It is now your job to patrol your neuronal pathways. You will catch yourself talking mad shit about yourself, your loved ones, strangers, a dog, the kitchen sink. It’s ok. When you notice it, smile. Laugh. Flip the script. Positive intentional thoughts have unlimited force, and you will have new pathways firing messages of love and bliss in far less time than it took to lay down the dark alleyways that are no longer serving you.

Secondly, you need to pay attention to the gifts that are being delivered for all of your hard work. You state the intention that money flows to you easily and effortlessly. You get a $4.83 refund check from your insurance company for overpaid premiums. And a friend takes you out to lunch and refuses the cash you handed her. Puts it back in your purse. That was easy. Smile. Laugh. Say thank you. Pay attention. The universe disguises itself in whatever simple way it needs to so you can see it in your current reality. And it has a divine sense of humor. Dream bigger next time.

So, here’s a hard one. You have to allow for anything to be possible. Specifically, the good stuff. Yeah. You actually have to make room for your dreams to come true. State your desire, and believe it is true. Get as close to this as you can when you first begin practicing. Fake it until you make it is really a thing. It’s kind of like a detox. You state: I am happy, healthy, and full of energy. But you actually feel like crap. Your first reaction will probably be crap. Because you’re full of it. Let it rise up, then shake it off. Use a wet wipe. And repeat. Eventually, you will have shaken off all the crap that it starts feeling possible to be happy, healthy, and full of energy. Asking for what you desire is not disregarding or denying your current feelings. Honor them. Love them. Listen to them. Go to therapy. The resistance we have to our wildest dreams is the next thing rising up to be loved. The hard truth is, you won’t be able to fully receive your dreams if you have dumpsters full of unprocessed trauma, hurts, emotions, etc in the way. But don’t be discouraged. You can shoot for the stars and heal at the same time. The universe doesn’t know what time it is anyway, we made that shit up. If you’re ready, just declare it.

And finally, friends. Always, always, end your creations with ‘This, or something better.’. There is a force outside of ourselves that knows our truth when we forget it. We are a perfect, divine, whole, jiggling, quaking, dancing display of true love in action. In our time on earth, we will continuously remember, forget, and remember this again. To account for the moments we shoot a little low, stumble, stutter, or otherwise act so very innocently human, always ask for a cherry on top to keep it sweet. This, or something better.

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