Ask, Listen, Visualize, Feel
There is a book out there called The Law of Attraction that may or may not espouse similar ideas to those I’m presenting here. I don’t know because I haven’t read it. Normally, I am a big advocate of research, but there is a time for research and a time for following your own train of thought. This was one of the latter.
The reason is because I have experienced a huge shift in my life over the past five years, and I wanted to explore the things I have learned from first hand experience, rather than regurgitating someone else’s ideas.
I started thinking about attracting abundance because a few of my friends said they were frustrated with a lack of money. This is a common challenge for artists and writers. I think many creative-types are more interested in following the flow of creativity than coloring inside the lines, simply to earn money. Other friends work so much they find themselves without time to create.
Personally, I spent years surfing from job to job, shying away from boredom and confinement like a horse sidestepping a snake. To say I was frustrated with my work-life would be a huge understatement. I literally fantasized about being homeless and free, because I couldn’t stand the 9-5. Of course, I knew this wouldn’t actually be an enjoyable alternative, but it shows my state of mind.
I’m not suggesting that you can make a crystal out of cow dung. You do need to be accomplished at your craft before you can expect the heavens to open and rain abundance on you. Once we have done the legwork, though, sometimes we still find ourselves waiting for the phone to ring, or the right email to pop into our inbox.
It’s easy to get discouraged and think, maybe there are just too many of “us” (writers, photographers, painters, designers, or what-have-you) out there, but I think this is a fallacy. The world is in ever-greater need of creative minds, and it is up to us to figure out where we fit in.
Of course there are many practical things that we must do to make our dreams come true, that’s a given. But what is less often discussed in our culture is the spiritual or metaphysical side of success – how to step back and let the world meet us halfway.
1.) Ask for help from your Higher Self, Higher Power, God, the Universe, the Source…what you call it doesn’t matter, as long as you know what it is.
Asking for help may seem obvious, but one of my friends who was recently bemoaning her lack of abundance, said she forgot to ask. I know there were many times in the past where I did, too. I would feel mad, complain, but not ask. Despite being a deeply spiritual person, I didn’t understand the power of prayer. Then, about five years ago I started praying for guidance, loudly and aggressively, while walking on the beach every day. I was extremely frustrated with my life and out of ideas. And a funny thing happened… I got answers.
I don’t think it even matters if you believe in a force outside yourself; you can just as well think of it as aligning with your subconscious or higher purpose.
Your prayers can be simple. Heartfelt is best, and with an eye to the greater good. “Please help me open the channels of abundance so I can be of greater service,” for example.
Be as specific as possible about what you need, and how you want to be of service. If you don’t know, first ask for help figuring that out.
The brilliant Rob Brezny says: You can have anything you want if you just ask for it the right way. C.S. Lewis said, “You’re a spirit in body, not the other way around.” I say you came here for a glorious reason. Your work, everyone’s work, is meant to benefit the whole world. You have every right to ask for help.
2.) Listen for the Answer
We don’t always get answers right away. We can’t all get a burning bush or trumpets from the clouds. I find that sometimes an answer pops up randomly in something a friend says, in a news report you happen to catch on TV, or in a dream. Pay attention. Look for clues.
The answers aren’t always the ones we were expecting, either. Sometimes we have old dreams that don’t fit us anymore, but we’re still clinging to them. Other times we are afraid that we don’t deserve the wonderful thing we’ve always secretly hoped for. Or we’re simply afraid to change. Sometimes the true answer is just so different from what our friends or family do, think or believe, that it feels wrong at first.
So, entertain any crazy ideas that come up, provided they don’t break any laws. Avoid the ideas that have “should” anywhere in there. Look for the ones that ignite a warm, lovely, tickling feeling somewhere in your stomach or chest. Those feelings might be the first stirrings of hope and joy. If you cup your hands around those tiny flames they will grow and fuel your life.
3.) Visualize Having the Abundance You Seek
By now it should be obvious that my definition of abundance goes beyond money. Research shows that if we lack the basic necessities, money does make us happier. Beyond that, it does not. I guess it’s because, as they say, “Where ever you go, there you are.”
For me, abundance is being able to pay the bills and get the things I need without worrying about money; being able to take care of my body by exercising and eating fresh, healthy food; living in a clean, uncluttered (except for books), light-filled home; having good relationships with family and friends; living in a beautiful, natural setting that I can see out my windows; having time to make art; doing meaningful, creative work; and being self-employed.
What is abundance for you? Make a list that is specific enough to cover the important parts, but also leave room for the magic and mystery of life to unfold. Myself, I never would have envisioned living in Mexico or a desert of any kind. But because I was open to try it, I’ve gotten to have a wonderful experience.
Once you have an idea of what would true abundance would look and feel like for you, visualize having it/doing it/being it every day.
There is a story that Jim Carey, before he was famous, wrote himself a million dollar check, and would sit up in the Hollywood Hills, looking down at all the lights and visualizing, believing that all of those people knew his name.
Of course, you could say that we find this story charming because it happened. But here’s my theory. When you consistently ask for help from our higher power to figure out what we are supposed to be doing, and we ask on behalf of the highest good of all, we don’t come up with pipe dreams. We come up with something real and right for us. And when it’s right, we can see it and feel it.
Furthermore, it occurs to me that this could be “a chicken or the egg” question: do things come true because we visualize them so clearly (as well as working toward them actively, of course), or can we sometimes visualize them so clearly because they are already true, in a sense?
There is an interesting technique called Quantum Jumping that you might like to try. The free literature about it describes the basic idea, which is that through meditation you connect with alternate-universe selves who are already successful in whatever area you wish to be. You get advice from them (you) about how to proceed, and viola, you fast track to accomplishment.
It doesn’t matter to me if this technique are actually connects you with alternate-universe selves, or a Jungian potentiality in your subconscious. All that matters is that you start to believe in the reality of the person you want to be; that you start to feel her, and act like her.
When we shift our attitudes, assumptions, expectations, and behavior, our lives will shift.
4.) Summon Gratitude for the Abundance You Already Possess
Forget for a minute about what you need or want but don’t have yet. Focus fully on the gifts, advantages, and talents you already possess. Go deeply into examining who and what you love, what you are proud of, and what you can do.
Let it fill you up. Become Walt Whitman and sing the body electric. Do as Rob Brezny advises, and innumerate some of the thousands of things that go right for you every day, from smallest, most obvious things, like waking up and having coffee to being able to turn on a faucet and have water come out. Thank the sun for shining. Thank every part of your body for doing its job. Feel appreciation for all that is beautiful and good in your life today, in the past, and yes, for that future self you are now beginning to connect with. She is a reality. Send her love and thanks.
If you really give yourself over to this process, you’ll see that gratitude feels incredibly good (to me it’s sort of a cross between relief and joy). More to the point, if you make a habit of doing this all the time, your perceptions will shift. Instead of feeling poor and unlucky, you’ll begin to recognize that you are already rich in many ways. And since like attracts like, this perception will help attract the abundance you seek. You also might become happier now, just as you are.
Simple, not necessarily easy.
Sometimes we may have to poke around in unfamiliar or uncomfortable places inside ourselves, in order to actually get to where we can fully visualize and feel ourselves to be living in abundance.
We may just not get around to that mediation on a daily basis, but instead fall back into the habit of feeling powerless, moaning about all the things we don’t have and how unfair and frustrating life is, (been there!).
So, if that is the case, the next step is to investigate why we are either blocking abundance or at least not meeting it halfway. I’ll talk about that in part two.
I’d be interested to know other people’s experiences with visualization. What strategies have you used in the past to improve your life? Did you follow your heart or your head? Which worked better. Please comment!