After a week of two of freaking out and moving from that to acceptance, I think a healthy next step is to look at what good can come of being isolated and at home. I know that for some this means a total loss of income and for other this means a total loss of cherished routines, connection, space from children and partners, and so much more. Yes, there is often much loss going on right now. But there can and should be some good things that can come from this.
I think you can look at the next 30 days (Virginia just implemented a 30 day lock down so I’m going to use that as an example). I’ve personally be social distancing for nearly two weeks already so this will be about 7 weeks of social distancing. Gulp.
#1 – Stop feeding your mind with scenarios of doom, virus statistics, and negative input without also consciously feeding it an equal amount of uplifting and positive input to help you maintain your mental health.
Of course you’re going to want to stay connected to what’s going on. But if you spend an hour on FB or Insta and an hour researching the daily statistics, then you’ll also need to spend two hours on positive input. That’s four hours a day which is nearly impossible so cut out the time you’re spending researching the doom and gloom and on social media. Instead, cut it down to one hour and then spend one hour a day on the positive angle. I suggest spending a half hour a day listening to Brooke Castillo’s podcasts where she’s helping put what’s happening into perspective through describing what the brain does in times of danger and stress and ways to reframe the problem. Highly recommend! Then find another 30 minutes of uplifting content, from Marie Forleo to Martha Beck to sitting in meditation and quieting your mind.
You can also plug into the Mystery and the Divine for 30 minutes or longer using the techniques I wrote about in this post. All of it will help your mind from going all flight or fight on you.
#2 – Set up a goal for the next 30 days that you want to accomplish.
For me, I’ve decided that because I can no longer head out and do my daily yoga, I will use this next 30 days to build up my home practice.
I’ll be honest in that, although I’ve spent years practicing yoga, I don’t actually have any of the pose sequences memorized. I just rely on my teachers to guide me and keep me moving. But now, I’m going to learn a 90 minute sequence by heart so that I can have the sequences memorized when I return to group classes when this ends. I’ll start with surya namaskara A, then B, then C (the sun salutations), then some balancing poses, some stretching poses and end with shivasana.
I love balancing half moon and wounded deer poses so I’ll be sure those and some of my faves and my least faves are included.
I have some old injuries and I’m going to add in some strengthening routines so I can strengthen and stretch my core muscles, including my core, my psoas, my hip flexors. A recent visit to a physical therapist revealed that I haven’t been engaging my transverse abdonminis muscle (TVA) so I’m going to slow down with my yoga and exercise routines to ensure I’m engaging my TVA.
I’m also going to prioritize ensuring healthy eating habits because I know that I have a tendency to eat out of stress and boredom. So even if I don’t lose any weight over the next month, I can at least not gain weight.
#3- Notice What Habits and Mindsets You Have That No Longer Serve You
So I’ve begun to dig into the positives that can be revealed by this time of slowing down. I see how much I’ve rushed around in my life trying to get the kids here, this shopping done there, and meet self-imposed deadlines. And none of it was required. I see that even when this is over I can slow down and let some of the busy-ness go.
What have you noticed about your life that you can see changing?
Yes, this quarantine can have some positive outcomes too, (besides the health one).
Keep up with your meditation practice, especially now. And it is a perfect time to re/start one if you haven’t sat in meditation recently.
Last night I spent a full hour on Facebook, researching the coronavirus, looking at projections and trying to find data on the US infection rate and projections, where I could. An hour.
This morning I woke up and was immediately seized with the obsession to get on social media or my phone to find out what’s changed in the last 8 hours. I thought, “there’s no way I can meditate this morning”. My mind feels like a barrel of monkeys, rather than my normal monkey mind thinking about all that there is to do.
I then realized this is the perfect time to meditate and ground myself. This is exactly the moment to meditate. My mind is trying to spiral out of control in fear, obsession, and worry over things I can’t control.
And so I sat. At first I thought of the R0 figures- what is the R0 of the flu versus Covid-19, the mortality of Covid-19 in Italy and South Korea, and in China. Round and round my mind went until I caught myself not being present. I have long since dropped any shame or surprise at how my mind can get trapped in recursive thinking. I just noticed that I was no longer present and centered myself again.
As I mentioned in this post the other day, there are many techniques to center yourself. I prefer this one. I close my eyes. I then focus with my mind’s eye on my third eye (the space between my eyes, a few inches back) and turn my actual, real eyes up to the third eye (eyes closed). I think feel for my dantian and I’m immediately grounded.
I sat for 57 minutes today. Not my longest by about 15 minutes but I was able to stay for 57 minutes.
Now, after the session, I can still feel how grounding my session was. My obsession to get on my phone has passed and I’m writing this blog now. My stress and compulsions seem to have evaporated.
Don’t panic. Don’t stress. Don’t fear. Instead sit in meditation. Get grounded. Do what you can to plan for a quarantine. Act on what you can control. And then let the rest go.
This is the 2nd of two posts on how to Manifest your Dream Life. Here is Part 1.
In my previous post, I wrote about how to better manifest your dream life by adding on the following caveat- I intend ________ or something like it, for my highest good and the highest good of all.
I continue with examples of how I able to manifest specific circumstances in my life- and those that I intend with the caveat “or something like it, for my highest good and the highest good of all” land much better in my life, more aligned with my deepest intention and path.
Example #4: Twenty + years ago, I was working for a firm that did international development in developing countries for the US government. I was keen to keep following up on my passion for traveling, after having spent a year of undergrad in Paris and a 2.5 years in Benin in West Africa with the Peace Corps. And I got what I intended through this job and I started traveling extensively for my job on trips ranging from a few weeks to several months, mostly in West and Southern Africa- like Mali, Botswana, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe, and in Haiti and also -oddly- in Nepal. Plus many others trips and multiple trips back to these countries.
I then started to notice a pattern. Whenever I made plans for a vacation, mainly to visit my brother in Indiana or my parents in California, or to run a marathon or a long bike ride for which I trained, I all of a sudden had an urgent business trip and I couldn’t run the marathon or go on vacation.
I then decided to test my hypothesis. When I needed some additional money to buy something, I decided to try to “get” additional money through traveling for work and saving my per diem. Lodging was spend to get (you only get what the cost of the hotel was) but you get a set amount per day and most places I was traveling, I also got a post diff/hazard pay type lift in per diem because living conditions were considered so difficult/hazardous. But as a recently returned Peace Corps volunteer, living in a hotel anywhere in the world was not a hardship for me.
In testing this hypothesis, I wrote or called my parents or brother and made plans to visit, like researching flights and prices. I truly intended to take the trip. I told no one and I didn’t ask for the time off. And within a few days, I’d get the call from work that some trip was in the offing for the exact dates of my proposed vacation. So I traveled, saved my per diem to the extent possible, and paid off my credit card or bought the whatever. I did this many many times and it literally never failed. I truly had to intend the vacation or the effort , like the Marine Corps Marathon or a long century bike ride, and boom, another trip was in the offing and the vacation or the effort had to be cancelled.
I don’t actually know why this happened. I wonder now if it was to create some space in my life from the attachments here in the US or if it was simply to awaken me to the Mystery. I don’t have to know why. I just love that it happens this way.
This experience of calling in the Mystery helped cement my understanding that there was more in play in the world than science and the logical mind could explain. And I loved it.
Example #5- For a few years, I had it as one of my intention to live by the beach in a foreign country. Each year for several months, I would visualize living on the beach in a foreign country, living my best life. I would see myself walking along the beach, enjoying the sunshine and feeling content and grateful. And then I would release into back into the Unmanifest and go about my life. I intended it but I had no idea how to swing such a big change for my family. I just affirmed my intention each year. And in 2018, our child care, while awesome, was part time and my partner traveled for work often and I had several nights a week by myself, trying to put the twins down. I started to feel overwhelmed, overworked, and sad.
I thought that may an au pair could be the answer- full time and live in so I’d get a lot of help. But then I found out that we’d have to buy a car for her use, which made hiring an au pair expensive and not feasible. I was getting cranky and sad about how isolating my stay at home mom of twins life was becoming. The twins didn’t want any friends and they didn’t want me to chat with other Moms at the playground. I was starting to despair a bit.
My partner asked me why we didn’t just head to Bali and see if we could make a go of it there, using all the money we were spending on our part-time nanny on a new life there. I brought up the details and the cost of an au pair and gave him several ideas of how we could swing the au pair and he’d respond to my strategies, always ending the conversation with “I still think we should go to Bali”. We kept up this dialogue for several weeks but it seemed crazy and I kept trying to go the safe and normal route. And then a light bulb came on. What was the problem with trying it? Why was I resisting this? It’s everything I wanted! In short order, we bought one way tickets for our family and rented houses via Airbnb for two months and headed out in January of the following year. We ended up staying in Bali for 9 months and then headed to France for over 2 months. We were gone from the US for just shy of a year. It was everything I had hoped for and it taught me a lot about how to best travel with my kids, how strong and capable I really am, and what I didn’t want, like how much we moved from place to place. What a magical year. Again, what a gift!
Manifesting is actually pretty easy. Intend it to happen. Write it out to help you shape what you really intend. Visualize it with 3-D clarity and feelings. Feel the feeling of having it or embodying the intention (it’s a subtle hit of emotion that you’re really intending it- kinda a like chills on your scalp or a frisson of tension in your belly) Then release it back to the Universe to allow the Divine to move it from the Unmanifested to the Manifested. And remember to intend with ease and that your intention is brought to you for your highest good and the highest good of all.
What is your experience with Manifestation? I’d love to hear all the amazing, jaw dropping examples of the Mystery moving through your lives.
In writing this blog, it went much longer than I originally envisioned so this is part 1 of 2. Part 2 can be found here.
As I’ve written before, I love the Mystery and while I’ve spent the first half of my life trying to control all inputs and outputs to my life, and some additional wide swathes of years since then doing the same, I now set my day and outlook trying to be accepting of what is. I look forward to seeing what life will bring to me and I especially like to look at all of the supposed setbacks and obstacles that occurred in my life that I now see as blessings.
For reasons I don’t even remember now, I applied to work at DIA and the CIA. I got job interviews with both agencies and I even got an offer to work at the DIA, but the pay was ludicrously low- something like an 80% pay cut from what I was earning at the time and there was no way I could support myself on it. And the CIA never called back after I interviewed with them. And I’m so grateful now that I didn’t get those jobs. I know I wouldn’t be in the place I am now with the business I have now.
Based on my experiences I highlight below, I no longer “worry” about manifesting the “wrong” thing. There simply is trust that there is no “right” or “final” decision. My life continues to evolve and no matter what situation I find myself in, I know that it will change soon or later. Circumstances and seasons in our lives rise and fall away only to have new circumstances rise and fall away. If you’re unhappy with your life now and desparately want to change it and think manifesting may help, you’re right (and you’re wrong). As they say, no matter where you go, there you are. So you can’t manifest away your core beliefs through changing your circumstance. You can allow what is happening in your life to be without avoiding it. Instead you can see what’s happening in your life as a reflection of your ability to be present with what is and use it as an indication of how tuned in you are to the greater Mystery.
Now when I think on what I’d like to have more of in my life, I make sure to ask for it with intention through Divine manifestation- and mostly importantly with the caveat that I only receive what is for my highest good and the highest good of all.
I look back at some of the things I’ve manifested through intention and those that were manifested mainly through will and effort. When I manifested any which way and I didn’t added in the caveat that it was for my highest good, everything I manifested ended up being ashes in my hands. Great learning lessons!
The following are some examples of really big, life altering changes in my life made through manifestation and intention:
Example #1. I was working in my own business with my partner and I really couldn’t stand the work. So I didn’t work that hard and the business wasn’t the greatest success but because I couldn’t face the truth that I wanted a giant, seismic shift in my life away from corporate life to one steeped in the Divine and Mystery, I “blamed” the economy for our financial woes. I decided to do the “smart” and safe thing and get a job with an established firm and a steady paycheck. The way I manifested this, for this new job and for all previous job changes, is that I wrote up my resignation letter and I put a true feelings and thought in it. I believed this was my resignation letter and then I signed it and dated it and then saved it to my computer, releasing it back into the Mystery and allowing for the Universe to work its magic. For 4 different job changes, it worked within a few weeks of the resignation date. It simply never failed.
In this example, I hustled. I searched all the job openings. I applied to several and I went for an interview and I got a job at the rate I asked for in short order. I then started work at the new job and it was a disaster from day 1. After realizing the depth of my “mistake”, I actually stuck it out for two years in an incredibly dysfunctional and toxic work environment because I was actually afraid of asking for anything else since I had made such a hash up of this intention. The job environment really was so awful and so toxic that I doubted myself and instead stayed and worked in that awful place.
But after some time, I look back now at that toxic work environment and I see that job as the beginning of the end for me of looking for safety and security through a job working for someone else on something that didn’t inspire me in the least. It helped me see that I wanted to start a business, working for myself.
I also see that work environment also woke up something in me that made me realize that I didn’t have to take people yelling at me, people gossiping and running my peers and colleagues down. Instead I stood up (literally came out of my chair to stand) to the yellers and told them to stop yelling at me. I was so clear, so level headed about it that they just stopped. And I’d asked the gossiper to stop or I changed the subject immediately. No apologies. No justifications. Just back to the business at hand and then a speedy departure from the meeting. This job, in retrospect, really was such a gift.
Example #2: While I was in that toxic work environment, I had the clear idea to start business. But instead of setting the intention to start a business, I instead asked for what I call an intermediary step/intention and I began to intend a job where I could work from home and spend the time I would have spent commuting to my job on my new business- 2 hours a day. So I started visualizing working from home, working in the sun out on the deck, doing my laundry while I sat at my computer. I then wrote up my resignation letter, made it real through feeling and intention, dated it, saved it to my computer, and kept visualizing working from home. Maybe two weeks later, without me having done any sort of searching for a job or telling anyone about my new intention, I got a phone call from an ex-colleague asking me if I was looking for a new job as there was a position with another firm in another state that was looking for someone with my experience but it was a work from home position. Was I interested? I laughed with joy and said yes. I soon interviewed and was offered the job at the rate I asked for. It was again two weeks off from the date on my resignation letter.
Although it was exactly what I had intended when I set about changing my life, I soon realized that this job wasn’t what I wanted either because I didn’t want a “job” and it made me aware that by asking for an intermediary step is not asking for what I really want.
Would all of this have transpired if I had remembered to ask to only receive my intentions if it’s in my highest good and the highest good of all? I don’t know but I don’t think so. My path may have been very different.
Example #3: The next big, huge, monumental change to my life was the realization that I really wanted to have kids but in my mid-40s I didn’t know how that was to happen. And given my “mistakes” with my previous big intentions, I was very afraid that I would get exactly what I wanted and then be responsible for another life but regret it and be a terrible parent.
So I started intending the pregnancy and this next phase of my life and we went through the IVF process. But throughout these several months of planning and preparation, I constantly prayed that if I were to get pregnant, “please only let me have children if it was for my highest good, their highest good, and the highest good of all.” I walked daily and spent some time every day visualizing being pregnant, getting the news, seeing my first ultrasound, and giving birth. I felt such joy with each visualization. And then I released the intention back into the Unmanifested and let the Universe decided when and how this would happen for me, if it was to happen.
About 14 months later, I was pregnant with twins. I had an easy pregnancy despite my extreme “advanced maternal age” and all doors easily opened on this path. My doctors were amazing. I got pregnant on the first try. No problems throughout my pregnancy and an easy, safe delivery. I delivered boy/girl twins at 36 weeks and 5 days, just 2 days early from the 37 week mark that is the healthiest for twins (twins are ideally delivered between 37 and 38 weeks)