On my walk the other day, I looked down to see a lone dandelion in its cotton-like seed phase. Childhood memories flooded my mind, of picking them and blowing the seeds. As they floated away, so did my wishes…carried off to meet the fairies, who would then set out to grant them. Ah, carefree days filled with imagination and daydreams!
There’s something special about a wish, something magical. We make a wish when we blow out the candles on our birthday cake, or when we see the first star in the night sky. We wish on a fallen eyelash, when the clock turns 11:11, or when the clasp of a necklace works its way to the front, we make a wish as we move it back behind our neck.
I don’t really remember my wishes, only that I was so excited to get a wish. Hearing someone say, “Make a wish!” seemed satisfying enough. It filled me with such joy and anticipation.
As I got a little older, I could never really think of anything on the spot, my mind would go blank. To make a wish was an opportunity to be whimsical, like going to a movie. You have a moment where you suspend disbelief, but then it’s over and back to reality as usual.
I guess at some point, I realized my wishes never came true. It’s not that I was cynical or pessimistic, but what I DIDN’T know was that there was a process. Making the wish was only the first step. No one ever told me back then that I was creating my own reality, never mind how!
It got me thinking…what is a wish? Dictionary.com defines it as “to want; desire; long for.” Although “wish” sounds more enchanting, we are definitely a culture of wants and desires.
There’s a subtle difference between wanting, desiring and longing. “Want” may sound a little more crass and demanding (think of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, “I Want It Now!). Desire has a little more depth to it, maybe it’s a little more sensual or intense, like the desire for a forbidden love or a warm molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. And longing sounds a little more wistful and dreamy…“in the dead of winter, I long to be swinging in a hammock, the warm tropical breeze against my skin, not a care in the world…”
Whether it’s wishing, wanting, desiring or longing, let’s take the mystery out. We are asking for things all the time, consciously or not. Anything we do is born from some want or desire. Everything we do is in some way, even the smallest of ways, an effort to make ourselves feel better (at least we think we’ll feel better).
We are asking for things all day, every day. We don’t realize we are asking, since there are usually no obstacles preventing us from achieving our goal. For instance, I’m at home and want a cup of tea. I instinctually go into the kitchen, put the kettle on, and fix myself a cup of tea. Everything starts with some want or desire, and we are answering the call. I have no doubt that I will have my cup of tea.
Throughout history, there have been teachings and writings on the idea that we create our own reality with our thoughts and imagination. My grandfather gave me two books in the early ‘80s, Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich, and The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz. While they introduced me to the concepts, the information never quite sank in.
Then, in the late ‘80s, I read Creative Visualization, by Shakti Gawain. In it, she describes the three necessary elements that form your intention. These are required for creating anything:
1) Desire (this is the wish, the asking)
2) Belief (you must believe it, have faith. To have faith, you must relinquish the existence of anything to the contrary and remove the obstacles, the negative thinking)
3) Acceptance (you must allow it to happen, you must be open to actually receiving your wish)
Regarding my cup of tea, I had a desire for it, I believed that I could make the cup of tea, and I accepted it, thus demonstrated by the actions I took to get it. If we are not creating the life we want, if we are not manifesting, then there is a block or weakness in one of those elements.
All of the teachings that I’ve studied speak strongly about feelings as a crucial component. Not only using your physical senses as a tool in your visualization, but also feeling your emotions. Imagine how you will feel when you’ve accomplished your goal, when your wish has been granted.
You can navigate your process by checking in with your emotions. When you are visualizing your desire, how does it make you feel? Do you feel fear or anxiety, like you’ll never reach your goal? When you feel anything that is self-sabotaging or self-defeating, that’s an opportunity to explore what stories you may be telling yourself. (Check out my blog on stories…Caught in a Web). It takes practice and commitment, especially when you are starting out. But the more you invest in the manifestation of your true desires, the easier and more fulfilling it becomes.
Challenge for the week: Make a wish!
So why wait for your birthday? Why not make a wish list…and why not dream big? There’s power in your dreams.
Once you have your list, pick one item that you want to focus on for starters. Take another piece of paper, and in as much detail as you can, describe everything possible about your goal. Have fun with it. If it’s an object, describe what it looks like, what it feels like, sounds like. Imagine yourself with that object, as if you have it now, how do you feel? If your goal is to climb a mountain or run a marathon, imagine yourself doing it, imagine yourself as you reach the top or cross the finish line. Savor the sensations and feelings. Write it all down.
Then, every day, as much as you can, steal a few minutes to read what you wrote. Close your eyes and imagine those moments. Feel the experience. Don’t be surprised if little messages or hits of inspiration come to you. Perhaps you’ll get an idea to call someone, go to a website, or overhear a conversation that will bring you one step closer to your goal.
Beware of “lack” thinking. It’s happens when we get stuck in our current reality. If you want a new job, focusing on your stressful job, your bossy manager, and feeling like you’re overworked and underpaid, will only get you more of the same. It’s very easy to get sucked into the negativity and the “doom and gloom”. This is when your powers of creation and imagination are most important.
You need to start training yourself, your thoughts, on what it is you really want. Imagine yourself in your new position, in a great company, working with amazing people who become your lifelong friends. You feel satisfied and fulfilled by the work you do, and you are respected and appreciated.
Yes, it’s challenging when you are in your current job, dealing with all the crap, so deep in it that it’s hard to see past this reality. But when you write down what you want in detail, and you read it and visualize it as much as you can, you are slowly breaking through. When you pull into your company parking lot, when you take a break at lunchtime, and when you get in your car to head home, these are great opportunities. And when you leave your job at the end of the day, remember to leave the crap at the office. On YOUR time, that’s when you can really use your powers of creation, imagination, dreaming, and wishing. The more positive energy and intention you put into what’s on your wish list, the more the “magic” will happen!
Have a great week and may all your wishes come true!
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.