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.
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
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
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