Many years ago, I participated in a motivation/success program that focused on goal-setting, and while much of it made sense to me, something seemed to be missing. Eventually, I began to see personal growth is not just about willpower. Our emotions play an extremely essential role. What we decide with our heads has no power at all without the emotional support of what we believe in our hearts. I can practice piano with the same diligence as a concert pianist, but as long as I believe I have no talent, I will remain a mere technician at the keyboard. (I don’t know what would be possible if I believed I had talent; I do know I’d get a different result.)
Early on, I decided if we (as human beings) have the power to manifest or create what we want, that power has to obey natural laws. We may not yet know the law (after all, gravity behaved the same way before Newton wrote his law as afterward, and relativity was relativity before Einstein.) The universe works because natural laws conform to some kind of order.
After several years of certainty that we all create our own reality, I started seeing evidence that perhaps we don’t. Bad things do happen to good people. What about babies with birth defects or cancer? What about accidents? Or gun violence? Or genocide? Or natural disasters?
And what about the times when affirmations worked and when they didn’t? For instance, at one time during my career as a romance novelist, I decided to put what I knew about manifestation to work. I took the cover off a real book, then I pasted the name of my book over the real title and my name over the real author’s name. I tacked this visual representation of what I wanted right above my computer. I decided a reasonable time by which my book would be picked up by an editor. I focused my attention on this outcome. Months before that date arrived, my manuscript was rejected. (So, for the fifth or sixth time, I gave up writing for life.)
A couple of manuscripts later, I worked for several months with the affirmation, “Every day in every way, the value of my work grows in the minds of others.” On New Year’s eve, an editor called offering a contract on my book – when everyone knows the publishing industry pretty much shuts down between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
So why did this effort at affirmation work when the previous one had not? Was it pure coincidence, or did I somehow influence the result?
If that had been my only experience with manifestation, I’d probably attribute it to coincidence, but I’ve had dozens and dozens such experiences – and so have my clients. After years of observation and of processing and reprocessing, I’ve identified a significant pattern. I believe the difference between my first attempt at “creating” the sale of a manuscript and my second was my emotional state.
The first time, my heart wasn’t in it. My head did all the right things: setting the goal, visualizing, affirming, focusing, willing it into existence. But it was only an intellectual effort. I certainly wanted it, but my motives were money and validation. I had been writing for years and wanted something to show for it. I wanted to prove I could do it, contribute to the family coffers, get rich. Perhaps I even wanted to show the mind has power over matter.
The second time, I had become much more interested in being true to myself, in being in tune with my talents and abilities. I wanted to use those talents and abilities the best way I could, and I didn’t care whether it was through writing a novel or some other means. I had become willing rather than willful.
I have come to believe the starting point of creating a personal miracle is to choose what we want. And the key to choosing is to focus on something that is true for us. When I decided to become a writer, that was true for me. When I decided to become a writer of romance novels, that was not true for me. When I (finally) decided not to write romance novels any more, that was true for me. When I stopped writing entirely, that was not true for me.
It has often been said, “What is up to us. How is up to the universe.” The more I’ve worked with this maxim and observed it, the more I can see when it is true. Most of us jump directly into how at the first indication of a problem, but when we jump into how before we know what, we end up with the wrong what. We put our efforts into fixing symptoms instead of problems, we focus on the vehicle rather than the goal. But a part of how also belongs to us, and that is our emotional investment. After we have chosen what we want, we must also choose (and live) the emotions that will facilitate it.
And this is what my book, Being the Creator: The 5 Modes of Emotional Power, is all about. Check it out
Look at the world with wonder at and yourself with warmth.