How To Be Happy With What Is- Especially while on lock down at home – Coronavirus edition

Lorne, Australia So many of us are caught up in what is lacking in our lives and we despair. Typically it’s about money, weight, relationship, and career. And we think it’s an external circumstance, something over which we have little to no control.

But this is not the truth. The truth is that what is happening in our lives are just circumstances. It is completely neutral. It’s our thoughts about them that we have control over and that make these neutral circumstances into something good or bad.

[ Side note: None of the following is really original. I’ve synthesized the following from teachers I really admire and follow, Brooke Castillo at the Life Coach School, Martha Beck, Eckhart Tolle, Christine Kane, and Gerald Epstein, MD. I’m writing this by standing on the shoulders of giants and great teachers.]

Example: Feeling A Lack Of Money

Let’s take an easy to understand and nearly universal worry- lack of money- as our example. So you’re in debt, you don’t have enough to pay your bills, and you look around and all you can think about is how much better life would be with more money. Those thought, that you need more money, that you don’t have what you need, that you’re stuck in lack makes you feel something along the lines of feeling angry, scared, and powerless about how to “get” more money in your life. By feelings those feelings, your resulting actions likely aren’t calm, powerful, focused or motivated. You’re likely stressed out and avoiding feeling your feelings and overeating, overdrinking, and using other buffering mechanisms to avoid what you think is your reality. And the result is likely a continuation of the same circumstances because you’re not feeling empowered or peaceful to try to truly address your desire for money.

Another Way To Be With Your Circumstances -Acceptance

So you don’t have enough money to pay your bills. This is truth. This is fact. It’s your current circumstance. The real power you have is how you think about this fact. You can either choose thoughts about your circumstance that empower and serve you or you can choose thoughts that disempower and don’t serve you. This is where your power lies.

Choose Thoughts That Empower You

Instead of feeling stressed and lack about your money, recognize that the outer circumstances in your life often reflect your inner life circumstances and in those circumstances lie gifts to awaken and teach you to greater truths about yourself and how the world operates. Often it boils down to the truth that you’re feeling lack so you’re outwardly experience lack.

And please be clear about what I’m saying. It’s not your “fault”. You’re not to blame and no one is saying you could have done better. Be clear that sometime the universe takes an opportunity to really grind you down and use your worst fears to help you learn a lesson that will ultimately free you and help you grow. But it’s not something you chose and it’s not something you need to feel bad about having in your life And you get to be scared and overwhelmed and worried and horrified as you confront some of your worst fears, that evoke shame, deep seated fears of not being enough, not being good enough, not having enough, and more. This is heavy stuff and not something to be trivialized. Give yourself total permission to feel all your feelings. Take the time you need to allow yourself a full freak out and be compassionate with yourself. The shizzle is getting real. After a bit of time being honest with yourself and your feelings, it’s time to start to use your superpowers to help you change your thoughts and the resulting feelings.

Just realize that your thoughts about your circumstances are all that you can control. it’s not your fault the coronavirus is ravaging the world. It’s not your fault you were raised in a family that taught that money is bad or that only evil people want to earn a lot of money. This is simply where you are. Be clear. Don’t blame and don’t avoid.

Once you can get clear, start to use your own superpower and begin to consciously upgrade the way you think about your outward circumstances. Perhaps you can start to honestly catalogue all the ways this lack of money has been helpful to you. For me, I see that when my cash flow got low, I saw how much power I gave to worry and stress over money and how much I relished being a victim of this. That I didn’t learn about money from my parents, that it wasn’t my fault and I needed to be rescued by someone outside of me. Every thought raced through my head -except the one that this was something I had the power to change.

Lack of money has also helped me be clear about how much fear I had around lack, how much money I was spending on non-essential items, and how much I was using avoidant behavior to not be truthful about how I could actually change my circumstance. And that I would sacrifice my happiness, my time, and autonomy on getting a job to bring in money, even if I hated the job. I gave my deep desire for money a lot of power in my life.

Can You Find Your Way to Being Grateful?

Truly, I’ve also gotten to the place where I’m grateful for when I’ve felt financial lack. (And I’ve definitely had moment of financial lack, big scary thoughts about it.) What can it teach you and how much more powerful are you once you’ve truly learned all that the lack of money can teach you?

For me, I’ve prayed for years for clarity of my mindset and to be shown all of my blind spots. ALL of them. Before my daily morning mediation, I ask the Divine Beloved to tear down the veil of my ignorance so that I can truly SEE. I’ve learned to be so grateful for the lack of financial abundance that can stick around for seemingly forever. I’ve gotten clear about the worst that can happen. I can go bankrupt. I can lose my house. And instead of being the image of financial success to my family and friends, I’d be an example of how to lose it all. I see that I care what people think and I want to considered a success by others in all thing.

I went all the way down the rabbit hole. So I could go bankrupt. What does that look like? How do I feel about it? I could lose my house. What does that look like? What would I do? I go to the worst case scenarios and I get clear about what can happen. And really it’s simply that I’ll have to feel feelings, like shame and fear. But I can handle that. I could handle starting over, if it were ever to come to that. And I’m so grateful for the clarity the truth brings.

Choosing Better Thoughts

After getting clear about how you’ve been thinking and starting to perhaps even be grateful for your circumstances, it’s now time to find better thoughts about what is happening to: empowering thoughts that serve you well. If better, more empowering thoughts initially elude you, then ask yourself empowering questions about the situation.

For example, you can’t think of a better thought around the pile of debt you have. So ask yourself a question that helps your mind do something for you. Your mind is constantly searching for what to do and how to get things done. So send it off to ponder on questions that will help you. Like: How can I think better about this? How can I invite more money into my life? What are things and feelings I can have or do that will help me? And then let your mind go and you likely will have great answers in short order, especially if you sleep on it. Boom, you’re awake and your mind will probably be serving you up answers to your empowering questions.

Better Thoughts Mean Better Feelings

Once you consciously choose different thoughts that serve and empower you around money, then the feelings that result from those thoughts will serve and empower you as well. If you have a thought like: money is just a circumstance and I can make changes in my life in ways I never considered, the feelings that follow will likely be calm, powerful, happy and inspired. This type of feeling will allow you to take more powerful, even inspired action on the issue. And you’ll get ideas about how to change (or accept) your circumstance.

Be Willing To Follow Through

Your mind may serve up thoughts: ideas and inspiration that scare the socks off of you. You’ll have to try something new. You’ll have to put yourself out there and you may get rejected, you may fail, and your family and friends may think you’re nuts. None of that matters. Understand that following through on the power of your inspiration is what will lead you to increasing amounts of joy in your life, a better feeling about your life, and likely to more abundance.

Savor the Journey

In this example, you desperately wanted more money. And you think you’ll only happen once you have all the money you wanted. But in reality, you can start to enjoy the feeling of having the money once you decide that you will have more money and allow it in.

Do you remember, as a child, how much you enjoyed the entire month of December because of the anticipation of Christmas Day? (for those of you who celebrated Christmas- use your memories of your birthday if that works better for you). The whole month, you dreamed of Christmas day. All the presents, the food, the magical day. And it really peaked on Christmas Eve, knowing Santa was riding out that night ready to give you presents. And how was Christmas Day? It was often pretty awesome but it never truly did compare to the anticipation, did it? The same will be when you have all the money you need. Enjoy the build up. Enjoy knowing that you’re going to have a lot of money in the same way you knew that you were going to be getting presents. There wasn’t any fear or desperation around Christmas. It was all joy and anticipation. That’s the feeling you’re going for so cultivate thoughts around money/abundance that give rise to joy and light anticipation.

Don’t Forget to Visualize

Visualization is a powerful tool. Find visualizations that work for you and make you feel light and airy and joyful. Don’t get bogged down in the details of how the money will arrive.

Some examples of visualizations for abundance or prosperity are:

Imagine a body of water so vast it’s all you can see. Feel the water. See it lapping at the shore at your feet. Then slip into the water and float in its vastness. Feel the water slip into your pores and maybe even drink it up. I personally slip under the water and feel it enter into my lungs and ears and my eyes. And then feel that the water is abundance and it is vast and surrounds you at all time. You just have to let it in.

One that really works for me is that I can see a rushing river of cash flowing down from some place in the sky into my left hand and a slightly smaller river flowing out my right hand. For me, I know that I’ll be spending and donating the money so allowing the energy of abundance flow though me. This gives me the joy and anticipation feelings I mention above.

Be sure to get the flutter of emotion that lets you know the visualization is locked in and feels true and exciting to your subconscious. Check out Epstein’s page for some great visualizations.

Call on the Divine Beloved

As always, ask for help and guidance. Pray for it. Ask for it. Follow the inspiration. Tosha Silver has some great prayers on asking for help from the Divine Beloved, if that’s your jam.

Follow the inspiration you get. That’s key. Don’t stay stuck with your statue quo. Be willing to do things differently.

Keep working on your thoughts

Of course, you’ll have to keep working on your thoughts when you notice thoughts arise that are disempowering. It’s natural that your brain will freak out about circumstances without training to think empowering thoughts. Notice when you have thoughts that don’t serve you. Change them up.

You got this. You can do it. It’s what you were born to do: learn from your circumstances and follow your heart.

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How to Manifest – a Short and Quick Guide

What will you manifest?

I know there is a lot written about manifesting so I’m going to be short and sweet to help refine your technique, in case you’re frustrated with your results.

Step #1: Activate your connection to the Sacred. This is the most important step because trying to intend something without the Divine can be counterproductive, hard, or frustrating. And the results are likely as not to be somewhat off the mark of your true intention. There are several ways to active your conscious connection with the Sacred. Use any technique to get into a higher vibration or a vibratingly intense state or stir your kundalini energy.

Here are a few techniques to active this connection. Try them all to see which is the easiest and most effective. All of them should be practiced in silence and without fear of interruption.

Technique #1: Breath work. Breathe out to a count of ten (or as high as you can) to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Breathe in normally and then focus on the out breath, making it as long as you can. Do this one more time and then begin, if you feel the tingling and the weightlessness that can indicate your connection is active and strong.

Technique #2: Breathe in slowly through your nose and then let it out of your mouth. Do this between 3 and 13 times. For some reason, this works as well as the previous one. For me, when I use this one, I feel a vibration in my dantian and my scalp starts to tingle and feel warm and I know I’m connected.

Technique #3: Visualize your spine and the current of kundalini energy that is vibrating up and down your spine. Attach your mind’s eye to the energy and follow it, starting from the kundalini pot at the base of your spine and see it spiral up and around your spine, like a snake spiraling outside the spine, and back down again. Follow this coursing energy for several moments, perhaps up to a few minutes. Begin to feel the tingling somewhere in your body to know that you’re connected to the Divine.

Technique #4: I got this technique from combining Martha Beck‘s and Eckhart Tolle‘s advice. Both are fabulous teachers, btw and definitely check them out if you haven’t. With this technique, you sit in a chair or on the floor in a meditation position, back upright, eyes closed, palms upright on your knees. Begin to sense the energy in your palms. Feel this energy and keep attached to it with your mind’s eye. Then, while holding with your senses the energy in your palm, begin to feel the energy in your dantian or third chakra. Feel the energy flowing between them and through them. And then while holding your sense of the energy in your palms and in your dantian, bring your focus to your 3rd eye (sixth chakra). Now hold them all together and feel the energy flowing through them and between them. You can then feel your connection to the Sacred and the tingling in your body.

Once you feel the connection, continue to the next step.

Step #2: Create a clear intention. Spend some time getting clear on what you want and then perhaps write it out and say it out loud.

You may lose your connection if you write it out and say it out loud so don’t worry if this happens. Either drop back in using any of the techniques above or end your session and sit with what’s happened.

When you’re connected, continue to the next step.

Step #3: Feel and sense the visualized intention in your mind and body. This perhaps may be the next most important step. Your mind and body don’t really respond to words and logic. Instead the language of the spirit and body is visualization and feeling. So hold the intention in your mind’s eye and really feel it being real.

Again this is important so I’ll walk you through it. Let’s use a common intention which is to manifest a million dollars.

If you want to manifest a million dollars, feel the feeling of having the money in your bank, writing the final check to pay off your debt, or on the plane with flight you’re able to purchase because you have this money. Or whatever it is that gives you joy and excitement about this intention. Feel it. See it in your mind’s eye. Sense the joy that comes with it. Continue doing this until you feel a zing. It doesn’t have to take long. Maybe a 30 seconds or a minute. Don’t linger but also know that your intention needs the power of your feeling and sensation to really bring it manifestation.

So if you don’t feel the “zing” or a sense of pure peace and joy from the visualization, then the intention is either created out of fear and anxiety or youre conflicted about the intention.

It’s ok if you’re conflicted. You’ll need to understand the pushing and pulling you’re feeling about the intention and resolve the conflict, otherwise the intention won’t be manifested.

Step #4 – Once you can feel that the intention has been activated, release it back to the Universe to be brought from the Unmanifested through the Mystery, through the Universe’ own way.

How, when and if the intention is manifested isn’t your concern. You keep on with the intention, which is your part.

Still have questions? Lemme have’em

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So You’ve Manifested A Bunch of Stuff. You’re Still Not Happy. Now what?

Divine BelovedLike many of us, I was introduced to the ideas of manifesting and co-creation through watching The Secret, learning about  Abraham-Hicks, and reading Mike Dooley (Thoughts Become Things). It makes a lot of sense to me, that our thoughts become things, that where are attention goes, so energy flows. It just clicked with me. So I was able to use it more consciously in my life for a lot of things (but, of course, not everything -which is another story). And here’s the thing. It appears I can manifest with the best of them. But I would not say that my life any better for it. As I write in my detail below, I have moved away from directly trying to manifest things and situations in my life and into surrendering to the mystery instead.

Examples of Manifestation

So that you know I’m not a talking head about manifesting, I’ll list a few of the things I have manifested in my life. As you’ll see, I say this without pride or a personal sense of accomplishment.

A Life of Travel

While at undergrad, I decided I wanted to live in another country. It took a few years but I was able to easily make it happen and ended up living in Paris my senior year. It definitely was a fork in the road for me and cemented my love of travel. From there, I joined Peace Corps and lived in West Africa for two years. I then found a job in international development where I traveled much of the time but realized I prefer to travel for pleasure. And I’ve kept at it. Just this year, I spent six weeks in Bali and a month in Italy (all with our 2 year old twins). It’s simply who I am (for now). I am a person who loves travel and I travels a lot.

New Jobs

Throughout my early career, as I cast around for what I wanted to “do” with my career/life, I was still unsure of what I wanted out of my work life. At one particular job, after having seen the Secret and understanding more about manifestation,  I asked “the Universe” for a new job and even wrote out a resignation letter with a specific date (which was about 4 months into the future) and saved it onto my computer. While putting out my resume and searching for the new job without a lot of effort on my part, I then got the offer for a job I thought I wanted and submitted that original resignation letter, having to only change the date from my original resignation later by about 3 weeks. I was amazed that it had worked.  But because I had asked for a job but hadn’t been specific that it was in a warm and supporting environment or that it feed my soul work or anything else that was supportive, I got what I asked for and disliked this “job”. So I put out into the Universe new resignation letters a few more times so as to get new and “better” jobs. My intentions each worked within a month of the date I used on the new resignation letters for each new job.

A House in the Country

In 2008, as my 93 year old grandmother had another stroke and her DNR was implemented, I flew out to be with my grandma and family as my grandma passed. I stayed with a cousin (Hi Robin!) during that week. As I laid in my bed in her guest room, deer and a flock of wild turkeys passed by my open sliding glass door. Something in me zinged. I told Dion, my partner, then, “I want this”. He couldn’t believe it because I was such a city girl up until that very moment. It took me about a year to line everything, including changing Dion’s mind about moving out of the city into the Virginia exurbs, but several  months later, we had packed up and were out in Purcellville on 3 acres. We’ve now settled another 10 miles west in Round Hill, VA on 6 acres. Wild turkeys, deer, and foxes are nearly daily occurrences here. I have the same view here as I did from my cousin’s guest room.

Becoming a Mom

I had two pregnancies each end at six weeks. I kept trying but it never happened naturally again for me. And then, while in India (love to travel!) with two new friends I met at an Ayurvedic retreat, they asked me why I never had kids. They were kind. It was genuine and caring inquiry. And I lost it- just cried and cried and cried. It was at that moment that I realized there was more here than I realized and I focused on the reality of truly trying to get pregnant or let it go. For many of the years prior to my trip to India, I hoped I’d get pregnant but avoided actually feeling my feelings. It was all too painful.  But after that conversation in India,  by sitting with the idea of living the rest of my life without kids, I realized I didn’t want to let the idea of being a mother go.

I didn’t want to bring children into the world unless it was the right decision. I was 45 and I was scared to do the “wrong” thing.  For one of the first times in my life,  I asked the Divine to only allow me to get pregnant and have children if it was in my highest good and their highest good. Please don’t let this happen if it’s not the right thing for the child(ren) or for me. We went in for fertility treatment. First try, it worked. It was not quite two years later from the chat with my friends in India that I gave birth to the most magnificent set of twins.

As a side note, while in India, the three of were discussing children and our desires for having a child. One of those friends gave birth a month after me, with her due date just 4 days after mine (if my twins had been a singleton like hers) and the other friend gave birth almost exactly one year later than us. Wondrous timing.

Astonishing Manifestations

The previous manifestations may seem like average changes, that with applied will and effort, it would be easy to manifest these types of life events. But the following is a partial list of astonishing manifestations that just could not have been planned and definitely meant that wheels were turning behind that scenes at a much higher level than I could ever imagine.

Work at Home Job Offer

I had been able to manifest new jobs seemingly whenever I needed to.  But because job after job was never satisfied for long, I started to realize that I needed to more specific about what I was looking for in a job. At my second to last job, I had become increasingly unhappy with the commute, the job, and the work environment. It was so toxic, and senior management was actively encouraging gossip, back biting, and criticizing colleagues and peers in closed meetings. After two years, Ijust wanted out.

At the time, I truly thought that what I needed was more time to devote to building my own business and I needed a job that allowed me to work at home so that I could free up the two+ hours  I was using to commute to my soul sucking job every day. (I laugh now at how narrow my request was. Why didn’t I ask for help with creating my business? Or the money to help me launch a business so I didn’t have to work? But no, I focused solely on working at home as my vision for what I needed next. Baby steps.) I didn’t know how I was going to get a work-from-home job but I again wrote up my resignation letter and included a date. But this time,  I wrote about how the opportunity to work at home was more than I could pass up and it was an exciting next step.  Because I couldn’t figure out how to even begin looking for a job at home, I simply wrote the resignation letter, dated it, saved it, and kept on visualizing about working from hoping an idea would come to me about what to do next.

A month or so later, I got a call from an ex-colleague who had gone on to work at another organization. I hadn’t seen her in a while and she certainly didn’t know about my visualizations or desire for a job working from home. She then proceeded to tell me that she knew of a small business that was in search of someone with my talents but the job was in another state. So I would have to work from home. I was absolutely astounded and amazed.  She couldn’t have known I wanted to work from home or even that I was looking a new job.

I met with the owner of the business and handed in my original resignation letter and only had to change the date by about two weeks. I never actually looked for the job and made no effort to secure a new job other than visualizing it with all my heart.

Additional Income

As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy traveling. I also want to give back  so early in my career I got a job  doing international aid work for a USAID contractor. I started traveling to Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. It was great and it was lonely. Over time, through not paying attention to my finances and by taking several trips and buying lots art from the places I was visiting, I had amassed a large debt on my credit cards, $5,000. I had no idea how I’d pay it off.

I started noticing that every time I planned a visit to see my family in either California or Indiana, a trip for work came up. (I know there is a larger point to the work trips coming up for the exact timeframe as my intended visit to my family but that is a different story. This is the story about the boost to my income.) I realized that if I took a trip and didn’t buy any “souvenirs” and ate locally, I would be able to save my per diem and start to pay down my credit card debt.  To test my theory, I started to tentatively plan a trip to visit my brother. I emailed him to see if he was available for a specific weekend and truly made plans to visit him by looking at airfare, flight times, and car rentals. Boom, the next day an urgent trip to Mali came up and I had to stay there for over a month. I ate well but on the cheap because I love local food and can eat it without worries (thank you, Peace Corps Benin!). I came home, submitted my expenses and I had over $2,000 to put toward my credit card debt.

I wanted to fully pay off the credit card so I decided to use this quirk again. I then planned a trip to see my parents and did the same thing with checking their availability, flights, etc. Immediately, another urgent work trip came up that I could not have predicted and definitely did not know about-  but my presence was absolutely required. This trip was equally as long as the trip to Mali so I was able to submit my expenses at the end of it, and voila, the credit card debt was paid off.

I have many other examples of these types of astonishing manifestations: Manifestations that occur that I in no way orchestrated other than putting it out there about what I wanted. It’s real and it happened to me so very many times.

The Next Level of Manifesting

As I say, it appears I can manifest my ass off. But is my life any better for it?

I’ve gotten the house, the jobs, the kids, the money. Once I got the job(s), it was exactly the wrong thing. I hated them. And sure I got the money but I didn’t feel abundant and supported. And now that I have the kids, the big wonderful house in the country is too far out. I felt like I kept asking for the “wrong” things and few of the things I asked for actually helped me feel happy. What is a manifesting, co-creator to do when many of the things we’ve asked for have turned to ashes in our hands?

Surrendering to the Divine

In working with Tosha Silver and others, I realize there is a better way. We are creating large parts of our life, consciously and unconsciously. (And I believe some part of our life is about fate and destiny and not at all in our control.  I don’t believe Syrian children chose to be born into a hellish conflict situation. But there are parts of our life that we can co-create and we’re doing it all the time). I see now that all of my machinations, all of my rational step by step ideas of how to get to some future state of happiness, fulfillment, wealth, family life, and more have never taken into account the astonishing and miraculous ways the Divine can make things happen.  And the Divine Beloved, as I call her, can do it without my worrying, stress, and willing something into reality.

The Divine Beloved takes care of the things that need to be done on her side and I’ll be shown what next steps are for me to take. I see that the Divine has her things to do and I have mine.

For me, that means wanting what I want. I’m human. I have my desires and dreams. But I now offer them to the Divine Beloved and surrender them over. For large parts of my life, I only want what’s in my highest good and the highest good of all. (And yes, I really want a million+dollars as my highest good but only truly if it’s my highest good. I don’t want to hurt others in getting my desires fulfilled and I don’t want anyone diminished in the act of manifesting). And when I wake up to where I am grasping desperately to certain situations or aspects of my life, I surrender that part over to the Divine Beloved.

Every morning before my prayers and meditation session, I ask the Divine Beloved to give to me and to take from me all that I need to be fully surrendered. And I mean everything, if that’s what it takes. It was scary at first but I see that losing what needs to go is the best thing for me. And getting what I need to have is also the best thing for me.

I want the magic and the mystery of the Divine’s in my life. I want to feel the happiness of being present in my life and stepping into the flow rather than desperately clinging to certain circumstance or status. Every day I surrender. And every day, life is that much sweeter even in the midst of painful lessons.

Some Resources

Tosha Silver is all about surrendering to the Divine Beloved. She’s done amazing work on this. David Hawkins’ Letting Go is also a great resource. And much of Steve Pavlina’s work is pretty amazing too.

How About You?

Do you have an astonishing manifestation story of your own? I love hearing about how the Divine works in our lives.

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