One perfectly ordinary April afternoon twelve years ago, I tore up my vision board. As I ripped off the carefully collected pictures of the new car and the exotic travel and the slim body and the baby granddaughter and the folks paying me wild amounts for my healing services, I was dizzy and sweating with fear, because this was one of the most daring things I had ever allowed myself to do…
I’d been solemnly playing my part in a manifesting group for over a year, trying to inspire and be inspired, persevere and offer support. I faithfully followed all the recommended manifesting rituals. Heck, I’d followed them for years! I had just completed an entire year of weekly processes on go of blocks to welcoming abundance. Daily, I spent ten dutiful minutes contemplating my vision board and trying to imagine how happy I would be when I finally got all this stuff.
And nothing ever happened. The stuff stayed on my vision board instead of walking into my life. Thought this was s'posed to work "like magic." Magic? What magic???
And so on that perfectly ordinary April day, I looked miserably at my board of still-unrealized visions, and the not-so-compliant part of me reared its heretical little head. My Rebel asked: “Pat, do you really want any of these things? Or do you just believe you’re supposed to want them?”
Okay, here it was: the question Ms. Does-What-She’s-S’posed-To had been avoiding for a very long time. “You’re right,” I said to my Rebel. “All this stuff isn’t what I really want at all. But I felt so guilty about not wanting to have all that outer, material abundance everyone says you’re supposed to want. I felt I’d be an irresponsible failure if I didn’t ask the universe for all these material things. So I just did what I thought I was s’posed to do. Oops.”
“So, what do you really want?” asked the Rebel.
The answer came welling up in complete clarity and bursting with the passion of a lifetime. “I really want five things. No, actually they’re not “things” at all. They’re states of being, ways I want to live. I want to live in Love, Grace, Peace, Joy and Freedom. Period.”
Down came the old pictures and hearty slogans. Heart pounding, I leafed through the hoarded magazines (not so many online image sources in those days) for pictures that represented these states I yearned for, this home for my soul. I printed off those five shining words as captions, and glory appeared on my board. I feasted on it, bathed in it.
“Now what?” I asked. And my heart’s answer came with ringing authority: “Now let it go. Put the board away, for now, and just let life work its magic without your interference.”
I stored the board behind my massive office desk and left it there… for twelve years.
Today, as I dangled upside down attempting to retrieve a fallen object lurking between desk and wall, my eye was caught by the vision board. I hauled it out, just for fun—and realized that every single item on that vision board is now my daily experience. Not always my surface experience, but always there, underneath and around the darting thoughts and shifting feelings. These states are the ground I stand on, the air I breathe.
What did I do to manifest these states? I QUIT TRYING. Oh, for quite some time the old habits persisted: I still messed around trying to manifest some of the things I thought I was supposed to want and had a duty to manifest. Like income, clients, and the like. But over the past few years it's been borne in on me that the less I attend to my "duty to manifest," the more what I truly want shows up in my life. And as "S'posed to" left by the front door, Magic crept in unnoticed via a window I'd left open and unattended.
And now? Taking stock this new April day, I am forced to admit that here, now, for real, is Magic—magic that didn't need my mind's conscious collaboration at all:
I live in Love. I am in love not only with my extraordinary life partner and our families and friends, but with my world and my life.
Grace pours through my life: miraculous synchronicities, gifts from left field, blessings uncountable in every experience that shows up.
Old reactivities have disappeared; the old stories don’t hold me captive. Thoughts, emotions, moods, bodily states appear and disappear. But these five states I so longed for... they remain. So Peace is simply here, permeating any emotion that passes through.
I know real, conscious Freedom to choose how I will respond to people, events, whatever life brings along.
And if I stop and listen, there’s that steady bubble of Joy fizzing up inside, turning life to champagne.
I used to be afraid to claim these states. I was afraid that if I acknowledged that these states were available, much less present all the time, they would knock each other sprawling in their headlong rush for the exit. In fact, I note that I'm sweating a little in claiming them publicly, even now. However, even my reluctant mind agrees that fully acknowledging these states feels much better than disowning them ever did.
What did I "do" to "make" this happen? I believe it was more what I undid to let it happen. I admitted what I am truly passionate about—and then let it go. Consciously, I forgot all about what was on that vision board. But the part of me that yearned to fulfill that passion didn't let it go. It grew, underground. And every experience I've had over the past twelve years has in fact carried the seeds of the new perspectives, expanded clarity, deeper understanding, and healthier habits that have grown into this glorious harvest. And 'tain't over yet. Not by a long shot!
If you'd like a fertilizer application for your own seedling passions, try the Revitalizers in my April 19 post. And when you reap your bountiful harvest, may it be in joyful recognition of the magic of admitting what you really want!