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Suzanne Falter-Barns

Manifesting Your Dreams
by Suzanne Falter-Barns

I had a revelation recently. There is no magic to creating what you want in life. You simply have to want it, totally, purely, absolutely, and then, more importantly, you have to know that you can have it.

Believe me, this realization came as something of a shock after years of rubbing crystals, chanting mantras, making list after list of 'Things I Want to Create', buying self-help books by the armload, taking untold numbers of workshops, praying, meditating, and doing whatever I could to make miracles. Could manifesting really be so simple? The thought seemed not only suspicious, but like some grand karmic joke.

How Much Joy Can You Stand? by Suzanne Falter-Barns

Because God has a sense of humor about these things, I had to go through a certain amount of writhing before I could really get the point. For years and years, my dream was to make my living as a writer. And for years and years, I did exactly that. The only problem was that I was writing toothpaste commercials and ads for hemorrhoid preparations. I was left feeling pretty empty at the end of the day, and soon became a disgruntled ad hack who longed for a career as a 'real writer' -- one who wrote books and essays that were beautiful, moving and funny. I yearned to take my place in the world as the writer I was meant to be, but the more I slogged along in advertising, the less my dream seemed possible. Doubt permeated my spirit; I began to believe that I would never be a 'real writer', after all. I'd forgotten that I deserved what I wanted.

Eventually some sense of deserving began to seep in; I got married. I had children. A career coach talked me into writing a novel that got published, but it didn't sell and soon I was back in advertising. Almost twenty years after I began writing, I still had one foot in a business I'd never liked. I told myself I needed to do this job -- that it was paying for my real writing, which I chipped away at quietly on the side. I told myself that columns and big book deals didn't grow on trees, that they had to be built slowly, over time. I promised myself that some day, eventually, I'd get there. Meanwhile, part of me was lying in state, waiting for the moment when I'd finally wake up and get the point.

I got the point three years ago. It came without blinding flashes or cherubic heralds. Instead, it arrived in Starbucks, where I was drowning my sorrows in a latte. As I sat there, wondering if and when I'd ever be a writer, a little voice told me I'd be a writer 'when I chose it.' "Give me a break!" I protested. "I want to choose it -- but I can't!" And that's when reality dawned.

In that moment, I saw that I'd built up my own little wall of resistance to this writing career. I was the one who kept returning to the work I hated, like a rat in a maze. I was the one who sat on my manuscripts instead of submitting them, and drew up lists of ideas that never made their way into essay form. I also saw just how frightening the prospect was of finally getting what I wanted -- and that I had been too scared to reach out and grab for it.

What I saw is what paralyzes almost all of us.

After all, why bother seizing your dream? Then you suddenly have to grow up and be powerful and mature. You have to do things that made you vulnerable and uncomfortable. Even worse, all your excuses suddenly disappear – you can no longer blame advertising, or your mother, or your children, or anyone or any thing else for your failures. You and you alone create your success.

By hiding out in a life we don't love, we actually manifest exactly what we want, deep down in the recesses of our soul. We give ourselves a safe, secure, unexciting world in which the goal is protection, not productivity. Once you understand why you create what you don't want, then you can move on to creating what you do want. And the key to this is hooking in to something that will serve people.

That day in Starbucks, I suddenly saw why I wanted to have a writing career. It wasn't just to show off pretty writing, but actually to serve people and move them. All at once, I could feel how much I wanted this dream. Suddenly my desire for it felt big and authentic, and touched by Spirit. It was no longer about Me! Me! Me! Now it was about Them! Them! Them! In an instant this career, which until this moment was seemed pretty impossible, seemed totally doable. I could feel things beginning to shift.

Two days later I was laid off from the job I hated, and two weeks later I got my first magazine assignment. Another month later, I got a deal on a book I'd been unsuccessfully peddling for over a year. Even more amazingly, Hollywood called a few weeks later, offering to turn my failed first novel into a feature film. I quit advertising then and there, knowing, at last, I deserved and really needed to be a writer.

We are called to do big things in life by our hearts, our guts, and God. Yet, we don't do them, mostly because we believe that we can't. We can't give ourselves permission to just want what we want. In our twisted minds, we've got it worked out that someone will be bothered, whether it be our jealous sibling, our controlling boss, or our doubting mother who died twenty years ago. We carry around that lack of permission like it was engraved on our souls, all the while wondering why we can't manifest what we want. And we're so used to listening to those voices of doubt, that success, when and if it ever does loom, hovers over us like a threatening thundercloud. We're afraid of the sheer scale and magnificence of it, afraid that it will loose its power on us and we will be swept away, forever changed, and no longer in control of our lives.

Yet, you are swept away when you finally begin to live your dream. Nature forces you to become a more powerful person. You have days of hell, just as you have days of blessed wonder. But through all of that, you never question the complete validity of what you're doing. You know, in that deep soul place, that this is exactly where you belong. And that is when miracles happen, coincidences and synchronicities pop up, and results begin to manifest like crazy.

So what kind of permission are you still waiting for? The answer lies all around you, in what you have already manifested. How much do you really think you deserve?

To gain a little more courage in manifesting your own dreams, visit www.howmuchjoy.com

Copyright © 2001 Suzanne Falter-Barns.  All Rights Reserved. 

Suzanne Falter-Barns is the author of How Much Joy Can You Stand? A Creative Guide To Facing Your Fears and Making Your Dreams Come True (Ballantine, 2000), which was a Main Selection of The One Spirit Book Club, excerpted in Fitness Magazine, a Hot Pick in Publisher's Weekly, and featured on msn.com, i-village, Cybergrrl, and in more than 100 radio and television shows. She is also a popular motivational speaker and consultant, and leads workshops across the U.S. and Canada on creativity and inspiration. Suzanne is currently a regular columnist for New Age Journal. She has also written essays and articles for The New York Times, SELF, More, Fitness, Adweek, New Woman, Prevention, and Parent's. Suzanne's website is www.howmuchjoy.com


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