But how many people really know what they want? Certainly, lots of people know what they've been taught to want. People have been taught to want a soulmate, lots of money and financial security, a family, a well-kept home, notoriety among friends and society, and a host of other things. But what are these things really?
They're feelings. People want feelings. They want to feel good mainly. They want to feel safe, loved, seen, and other things. And this is where we get into murky territory for a lot of people. Because I have to ask, why do we want that? If so much of our life will still feel uncomfortable regardless of these wants, what does striving for them do for us? If we are always striving to feel good, we also tend to make our present moments miserable either trying to manifest an old moment long past or striving to get to a future one that will be better. All of this is to say that most of the manifestation people are trying to do on their spiritual path is a not-even-remotely-subtle version of control.
Thus, if we want to talk about how to manifest your dreams, we have to find out what you are running from first. And we have to find out who you really are.
Who Are You?My students are often vexed and befuddled by this simple little question, "Who are you?" After we've moved past your name and what your career is, things get uncertain pretty quickly. The students with any kind of spiritual vocabulary will attempt to seize on the "right" answer and say something meaningless like "I am consciousness." Or it could be "I am love" or "I am the universe." Very well said. Bravo. And depending on how much you know this in your heart and soul, it's most likely wrong.
You see, we have to be totally honest with ourselves, and this question cannot be intellectually answered alone. There are right answers for you, and they can partially be expressed in words. But you will know when you are answering this question from your heart, body, mind, and spirit. In some ways, when you can, you won't need to express it, either. Which is more than a little ironic.
But have you ever heard an apple tree scream out, "I'm an apple tree! Yipppee!" Sure they don't have mouths, but you get the point. Of course, it's an apple tree. From that awareness and total lack of resistance to being an apple tree, it goes about its yearly cycles of growing, flowering, producing apples, and so on. It's no big deal. Who you are at the end of that question is no big deal, but the journey towards that understanding often is.
Appreciating Your Spiritual JourneyManifesting things in your life is often a negation of the journey of life. It's a way that a lot of Westerners have been taught to get to the end of the book. They don't want to read the beginning, the middle, and barely have time for the end. And they sure don't want to read that prologue, introduction, or whatever that acknowledgment section is for. As such, most of people's approaches towards manifesting their dreams is completely backwards. It is also unmindful, confused, and lost. And yet for all of this, we are manifesting things all the time. Every morning we wake up and manifest an identity lickety-split. But we're so used to it, it doesn't seem like anything.
Yet as you know if you've been reading this spiritual awakening blog for any amount of time, the ego is a huge deal. It sets up our whole perspective on ourselves and life, and that, in turn, directly impacts the opportunities we see and engage with. How can we really understand what it means to manifest anything if we don't know how we're creating our own identities and the hidden issues inherent in them?
For more on the ego for my new readers, please check out these posts:
You Will Always Have An Ego
Beware the Spiritual Ego
The Many Levels of Ego
Understanding the Dreamer and Peeling Away LayersAs I've mentioned in other posts, our journey takes us through layers of issues. These issues cloud and skew our ideas about what we want, so before trying to manifest fifteen different things in your life, try doing just one. But do a lot of backend work on it. What do I mean? I mean ask yourself why you want that thing, situation, or person. We can start with a super common one like manifesting a 6-figure job. Goodness gracious, I see this all over the Web. The first question will usually be the easiest to answer, and that is why do you want to manifest a 6-figure job?
Got your answer? I'm sure you do. It has something to do with financial security. Sure, others of you have more seemingly noble job ambitions. Your job may have something to do with ending poverty, healing, or something else. But the question is still the same, "Why do you want that?" The follow-up question is to question your answer. In my example, I would ask, "Why do you want financial security?" This tends to be much harder because society has so deeply ingrained this idea in you that you should want that. See what you answer is, and then question that answer. See how deep you can go to get the root of the issue
Not Wanting What You ManifestAs I said, we manifest things all the time, and sometimes we do manifest that 6-figure job or whatever. Then surprisingly, a lot of people find out that this doesn't make them happy. It has brought more stress or only minimal contentment. No sooner have we fed the beast (the ego) is its cravings back, and you are off on another journey to manifest something else. "Okay, so the job thing didn't work out. Mo' money, mo' problems. I get it. I just need a soulmate, and everything will be awesome."
This cycle of manifesting things and not liking what you get can go on for some time. In a deeper way, your whole life as it is right now was manifested by you. Sure, there is a whole host of unconsciousness in most people and that influences what your life looks like. But this is still your life, and if you are an adult, this is your creation. You have to take responsibility for that, and at the same time, take note of how much you have created. Good, bad, or indifferent, you are powerful in what you can create.
Going Deeper Into Self AwarenessThe more aware you are of who you are, the easier it is to see what you really want. Some people will discover they want to be single their whole lives and all the other social programming about marrying and having a family is in no way true for them. Others will find confirmation that their interest in starting a family is really true to them. But you don't really know until you look. When you have looked within, there's a deeper level of confidence and trust you can find in your decisions that can't be faked. From that space of clarity, it becomes more and more natural to identify the next step in your evolution without immediately trying to manifest some specific end goal.
In so many ways, manifesting your dreams (jobs, romances, friendships, etc.) will involve letting go of your dreams. We learn to let go of our dreams so that the universe can show us how it all really should work. For an apple tree dreaming of making apples, you can imagine that the universe will grant its wish, but it may not be as many apples as expected. Fortunately, the tree is always at peace with what is given. Can you also be at peace with how your dreams may manifest?
No 9 Step Process to ManifestationIf you are looking for a process for manifesting your dreams, I don't have one. Plenty of other people do, but I have found that when you get to the root of things, life takes care of itself. A lot of the things we thought we wanted vanish. We realize that they were other people's ideas. We realize that those things may actually have been hindering our growth. Other things that we didn't think were possible also become possible. Our perspectives broaden about what is real and what we can create the more we let go of our identities and the host of ego ideas, fears, pains, and limitations. Truly the creative process--which is what manifestation is--unfolds in front of us, and we begun co-creators with the divine instead of sole controllers, attempting to manipulate life into some specific shape.
We also see how things are being created in every moment, and we also can see how things are dying and being destroyed in every moment. Life is constantly in motion, and as such, manifestation has to constantly be a living and dying thing. In this way, even if you manifest the romantic partnership, job, home, family, or what not of your dreams, it will have to go away. You cannot keep it. You can only fully embrace it when it's there in your life and know that it will soon depart. In this way, your dreams stay fluid. You stay fluid, and life continues to show you its many, many possibilities of manifestation.