So, what about that life you’re craving? That perfect life with fewer bumps and bruises and more good stuff. Suppose it showed up right now. What would you have? More money? More time? More help? More love? A bigger home? A vacation home? Better health? A smaller waist? Peace of mind? Freedom? Joy? Wait. I think we might be making progress. The things we crave lead us to our deepest desires.
I’m reminded of a talk with a friend who was concerned that he was behind on building his retirement account. He was concerned about how to catch up. Like many of us he has a vision for where he wants to go in his life, how he wants things to be for himself and his family. We all have dreams of “a better life”. We set goals to keep ourselves on track toward our dreams. We create Vision Boards and affirmations. We scour the Internet for the latest tips from self-help gurus on how to manifest our dreams. I turned a closet door into a Vision Board so that I could see it first thing each day and last thing each night. I want to give it all the attention I can so that I can attract these goodies into my life.
Vision Boards are great tools. They get us focused on what’s important. They keep us moving toward a goal, offer us inspiration when it seems our vision has gotten cloudy. My first Vision Board was actually a treasure chest. It was a miniature cedar chest. I would cut out pictures of things I wanted, place them in the box and consider them delivered. That’s how I got my first emerald birthstone ring. However, there have been times when it seemed my Vision Board was not working for me. I was focusing on what I wanted but it still seemed elusive.
Then, I learned the “behave as if” technique. It’s gotten rave reviews. It seems to help get people to access what it feels like to have this goal. I’ve also tried the “treat what you have as though it is what you want” technique. It’s great too. It builds a sense of gratitude and does move you into the idea that what you want is already yours. This certainly makes it easier to locate and manifest. Pretty cool.
But recently, I learned a secret that has pumped up my visionary power. I’m talking EXPONENTIAL PUMP UP. In the spirit of reciprocity, sharing the good stuff, I’m bringing this secret to you TODAY. You may have gotten a hint in the opening paragraph. We often set goals to get more things like money, houses, cars, business, etc. But why are these things important to us? Think about it for a moment. When my friend and I talked about our financial goals and retirement accounts, I asked why the money was important to him. I asked how he would feel if he’d met his retirement account goals. Think about it. Why would you want more money? Or time? My friend really wants freedom and peace of mind. It’s not having money sitting around growing bigger in the bank that he craves. It’s comfort and peace.
Here’s the secret. It’s a twist on the “behave as if” strategy. Allow yourself to feel and experience the emotions and state of being that accomplishing your goals, achieving your vision will bring you. How do you want to experience your life each day? Do you want freedom? Peace of mind? Joy? Comfort? Then, "feel as if" you already have these things. This is what you have to claim for yourself. When you look at your Vision Board or repeat your affirmations, allow yourself to feel exactly the way you want to feel when your dreams manifest. What state of being do you want to own? Put yourself in it and wear it like a finely tailored suit or a warm blanket or a superhero outfit. It’s yours. Own it.
I’ve heard many spiritual teachers share a fundamental truth - happiness and joy are our birthright. Life is not intended to be endless struggle. Rather, we are to express and experience the infinite goodness in our universe. The Yoruba of Nigeria in west Africa have a sacred text known as the Odu. It is full of wisdom. One of my favorite Odu verses comments on this very birthright. It’s a conversation between the prophet, Orunmila and human beings who’re requesting to rest in heaven because going back and forth between heaven and earth is tiring. Yeah, I know you know that feeling. That “Let’s just rest in heaven ‘cause this life thing is too hard” feeling. Listen to these words from the prophet:
Let us do things with joy.
Those who want to go, let them go.
Orunmila said to the people:
“You cannot avoid going back and forth to earth,
Until you bring about the good condition that Olodumare (God) has ordained for every human being.
After then, you may rest in heaven.”
They asked, “What is the good condition?”
Orunmila said: “The good condition is a good world:
A world in which there is full knowledge of all things;
Life without anxiety or fear of enemies;
Without clashes with snakes or other dangerous animals;
Without fear of death, disease, litigation, losses;
Without fear of injury from water or fire; and
Without fear of poverty or misery.”
Feel that. “The good condition”. Wear it. Bathe in it. Peace. Safety. Comfort. Joy. Freedom. Flexibility. Love. This is your birthright. It’s divine order. Claim it. Own it. Every moment of every day.