“My energy creates my reality. What I focus on is what I will manifest.”
This is the affirmation card that I pulled this morning from my Universe Has Your Back deck by Gabrielle Bernstein. It seems like a pretty self-explanatory concept but in application this can be a tough one. I know this because I, too, am a recovering worrier. I spent most of my young adult life from the ages of 17-25 worrying incessantly about the future and trying to figure it all out. I felt so much pressure to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, because a lot felt like it was riding on that decision. For me, I felt pressure, both self and society imposed, to get a great career. Doctor was the title I was drawn to. I wanted to be a healer. I am a healer. But I wanted that to be recognized and validated by other people. I wanted to make enough money not to worry about money. This lead to me feeling like I couldn’t get a bargain basement education. I felt like I couldn’t go to a community college to save money because then I wouldn’t get into med school. So, I went to a private school and started the process of sinking 80k+ into my education.
As time went on in school, I started working in a hospital, shadowing various doctors, and talking to people in the process of applying to med school/in med school. The more I saw, the more I thought “Holy shit. This is not for me.” That is when the panic set in. “What the hell am I going to do when I get out of school?” At this point I was halfway through my BA program and was feeling some serious buyer's remorse. I thought about quitting school all together but my family urged me to finish and get a degree for the amount of money I spent already. I say spent, but really I had just taken out a shit ton of loans. To this day, I am not sure I agree with my decision to finish my degree. But that is for another post.
I felt so paralyzed by worrying that I was going to make the wrong choice again that I just stayed in the limbo of indecision for YEARS. I would pick a major, a career choice, analyze it to DEATH, think of every possible scenario concerning that choice and how it would play out for the rest of my life, eventually decide it was a horrible decision, and begin the process again. I eventually graduated and decided to take time to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my life, and moved to Hawaii. I have yet to return to school, nor do I plan to. I plan to be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life so that I can create the career I so desperately searched for, to check all of the boxes.
I spent so much time trying to figure everything out, which really translated into thinking about possible negative outcomes. HELLO! Of course nothing I chose ever stuck. Do I think I should have become a doctor or worked in the medical field? Eff no. It isn’t the right fit for me. The point is, however, that I never actually committed to any of those choices. I was constantly second-guessing myself and visualizing negative outcomes. Have you ever heard the saying that worrying is praying for things you don’t want? Well it is true. I hadn’t yet mastered the power of intention, visualization, meditation, or manifestation. I still haven’t. But I know understand their value and make a conscious effort NOT to put time into thinking about things I don’t want to happen. I could have made any career choice that I wanted to, work. I just had to have the correct mindset.
The fact is that our thoughts matter to the degree we pay attention to them. Of course we all have negative thoughts from time to time. The key is not to focus on them and allow them to dominate our mind. We need to dedicate time to mindfulness and directing our thoughts to what we want in some form or another. For me, I am implementing this in two different ways:
The first is with meditation. I, like many, have the tendency to let my mind wander when doing meditations. I have found that what works best for me is to focus on one word for the duration of the 20 minutes that I meditate at a time. I really like Brendon Burchard’s Release meditation. You simply focus on the word release while sitting in a comfortable position. This word, for me, is powerful because it reminds me to release thoughts, tension, and negativity without having to be an entire phrase. It’s easy and it works for me. I end the meditation feeling refreshed and clear.
The second practice that I have been implementing is visualization. I take a few minutes throughout the day to close my eyes and imagine how I want things to be. Whether that is how I want our next hike to play out, or how I see myself in a year or 10 years. It is critically important to take time to not only see the scenario you want to occur in your mind’s eye, but also feel and experience the feeling it will bring when you get to that place. You have to feel like the person that you want to be. You have to feel what it will feel like to make your dreams come true, in order for it to actually happen. This follows the idea of the law of attraction: you attract what you are, not what you want.
Both of these practices take time to master and I am VERY new at them, but I can definitely say that they have helped me to make things that I want happen AND my mood is better. Mood regulation is probably the one thing about myself that I am wanting to improve most. I want to be in control of how I feel. I know that this is the next step in becoming a better all around person, in how I treat others, and what I am able to accomplish. I look forward to watching myself evolve as a result of these practices. Let me know if they work for you.