The whole world is a little upside down at the moment. The way we have always done things has collapsed, and that’s good news in some ways and frightening news in other ways.
I am here in Chicago and we had a heck of a storm yesterday. At my house right now, there is no power, no electricity, no gas, no internet. The very old elm tree is fractured and hanging over my front porch. It is so, so dramatic! This morning I stood in the alley talking about it with my neighbors, waiting for the rescue crews to arrive. We’ve all been becoming much more familiar with daily comings and goings of one another since the pandemic. Then, this storm took the whole dynamic to another level.
I had an awareness, standing there with my neighbors, of just how much I love these people. My goodness, this is what it takes for me to open up to these feelings of connection, affection, tenderness with other human beings who are around me all the time. We wave coming and going, but this is a passage, a life passage that we are in and walking together.
Together and yet, I know that I can only walk my own part. As do you. I cannot walk your path and you can’t walk mine, but we can walk our individual paths together. This makes an extremely broad highway, with room for us all.
When I was first thinking about writing about Manifesting, I thought “Ok, I’m going to give you some great ideas and you can jump in and try them.” But then I thought, “No. Let’s talk about Manifesting in the world the way the world really is.” It became abundantly clear to me how important it is to think in terms of Manifesting within the world in which we actually find ourselves.
I recently did a live online class in Asia. There was a classroom in Taipei, Taiwan and a classroom in Shanghai, China, and I am here in Chicago. It was fascinating! Wild and wonderful. When I first started doing this work, we used paper flyers and envelopes and we had mailing lists and telephone calls. I never imagined that we would be able to do these things, but here we are!
As I was doing the class online and thinking that it’s terrific, it’s fun, and I’m thrilled of course, I became aware of a couple of students who were really upset because they had been visualizing me coming there in person. That is so nice and so sweet, but here is the problem: it could not happen. No visualization, meditation, or affirmations could transport me to China, because transportation is not available. Nothing personal to anyone involved, it simply is not a viable option right now.
Their expectation was “if I visualize this well enough, if I do it right, then I’m going to get what I want.”
Here is the problem. It’s not true.
One of the great challenges for all of us is “What does it mean to Manifest” especially in times like this. Old predictable ways of achievement are gone and standardized methods of producing results are meaningless. It seems we have had two possible paths open to us. One, the path of victimization, in which we take what comes our way, heads down and mouths shut. The other is the power and control option. Here we seize control, force our will, and insist that everyone bend to our desires.
The reality is somewhere in between. The question now becomes, what about my cherished dreams? What now? Living in an unrecognizable world, vastly different than even a few months ago. It’s just not, and pretending it is the same as it was is spiritual suicide. In my own experience, if I pretend that something isn’t happening, it just makes me crazy because if it’s happening, it’s happening.
My interpretation of it can certainly be transformed in a heartbeat. But the pandemic is the pandemic. The reality is the reality. That’s the way it is. What can change is my understanding of it and relationship to it, but Covid 19 is in full swing, with or without my consent!
What about our dreams, hopes, wishes, and desires? Living in the heart. We have been carrying them around for years. Maybe you have a vision and a plan, but right now, the plan is out the window. So, the real question is “how does anything happen?” Does this mean we are hopeless, doomed to zero fulfillment?
I notice there is a space, the Realm of Engagement, where I bring my personal dreams, hopes, wishes, and desires to life.
The desires are still very much alive: the desire for connection, to share my work, connect with students…. But here’s the reality. There are no airplane rides, no international trips, none of that. It is not happening right now. Not only am I not coming to your country, you are not coming to mine. Does that mean that my dreams, hopes, and wishes are out the window completely? No! It means I must let go of my attachment to what they look like.
If I continue my insistence that my dreams fit a certain picture, that they take a certain form, I will be disappointed. But it turns out I can still connect with students, but it has to be virtually right now.
What I need to do is open myself up to the reality in which I find myself. And this is a reality where virtual connection is what works. When I stop judging the avenue through which my good comes, I can enjoy it. When I stop thinking that online was not so good, guess what happens? It really starts to blossom.
We want to put our attention on the experience we hope to have. The experience I am seeking is the experience of being connected to you, my students. The experience where you and I have an exchange. I love that. If I wait, if I am fearful, opinionated, judgmental, then I’m going to miss you!
The question becomes “What is it that I want?” Do I want the image? Do I want the form? Or do I want the experience? By focusing on the experience and letting go of the form, that’s when life comes in and we have miracles. Something happens. There’s an alchemy when I bring my hopes, dreams, and wishes to life in the world in which I find myself, the world of no airplanes, the world of virtual reality. If I let it go to the best of my ability, you know what happens, I find there are so many ways for you and me to connect.
And I am so grateful, because what is important is, we can make these connections and let go of the form.
Inspired Manifestation lies somewhere between we want and what is actually possible, in the Realm of Engagement. This Realm is a dimension wherein our precious desires combine with ordinary human life, just the way it is, and voila! Miracles come to pass.
In these times of unprecedented confusion and transformation, we deserve a realistic, viable, inspired approach to our heartfelt dreams and the world in which we find ourselves. Try this and watch what happens next. It just might be a thousand times better than you originally expected!