Benefits: Find inspiration in some real-life examples of how I manifested my dream.
So That You Can: Identify what you want to manifest. Stop Settling & Start Living! And live the fulfilling life you were meant to live.
How I Accidentally Manifested My Dream
For many, many years, I dreamed of starting my own nonprofit organization. I had this deep-seated belief that I would realize this dream someday, somehow. Every once in a while, my inner voice would pipe up and remind me that this was my destiny.
Today, I am living this dream, and, in a way, it’s taken on a life of its own. Some days I feel like I’m just along for the ride.
And as I reflect on the road that led me to this moment, I can’t help but notice that I manifested my vision for The Expectation Gaps. But here’s the wacky thing; I had no idea what manifestation was until about a month ago.
I’m sure I’d heard the term before, but I’d never given it much thought. I definitely didn’t believe that it was the key to realizing my dreams/full potential.
My philosophy is that you realize your dreams/full potential by becoming a Deliberate Thinker and embracing the Cycle of Deliberate Thinking. I still believe in this philosophy, wholeheartedly, but as I discussed in a preceding post, I now understand that Deliberate Thinking and manifestation are closely related.
I’d like to share the story of how The Expectation Gaps came to be to inspire you to manifest your dreams; and to give you some real-life examples that might help you identify opportunities that are hiding in plain sight.
Setting the Stage
I’m pretty sure I’ve been a Deliberate Thinker since the day I was born. It seems to be a part of my DNA — the curiosity, the intuition, the inclination toward constant improvement, and the desire to make sense of the world.
But I’ve really been sharpening my Deliberate Thinking skills for the past eight years or so. In that time, I’ve acquired knowledge from so many great minds, and each one has influenced me in his/her own way. Oddly enough, the first time I remember thinking about expectations was at an accounting seminar.
The topic of the seminar was management training. This was about 15 years ago, so the details are a bit fuzzy, but what stuck with me was the idea of managing expectations — the expectations of clients, supervisors, co-workers, and direct reports. Sure, those are all very important expectations to manage in a business setting, but it dawned on me that I needed to start managing the expectations I was placing on myself.
To be honest, I didn’t start to manage the expectations I place on myself very well until years later, and it’s something I continue to work on daily. All the high achievers out there, are ya with me? ?
Expect Nothing; Accept Everything
About two years ago, I discovered Gary John Bishop’s book, Unfu*k Yourself – Get out of your head and into your life. One particular quote stuck with me, and I still repeat it to myself almost daily:
I expect nothing and accept everything.
My mind was already focused on managing expectations, so this thought was like an epiphany to me. He goes on to say:
When you expect nothing, you’re living in the moment. You’re not worrying about the future or rejecting the past. . . . When you accept everything, that doesn’t mean that you agree with it, but simply that you are owning it and in charge of it.
In hindsight, I can see that what Bishop is describing is synonymous with manifestation. His words created a new pathway in my brain, and that pathway was the first one I took on my journey toward manifesting my dream.
Time to stop and think a minute . . . Can you recall an epiphany, or “aha” moment, that you’ve had? What do you think this realization is supposed to lead you toward? Feel free to share with us in the comments.
In my post, Can You Really Manifest What You Want?, we discussed three manifestation truths. I’d like to share how I started seeking direction, the first truth that we discussed, and how my inner voice told me to create this organization.
After reading Unfu*k Yourself, I discovered TED Talks and many inspiring, independent content creators on YouTube. One of the first speakers who I became a bit obsessed with was Glennon Doyle. In one of her speeches, she discusses what the “shiny” women she knows do differently in their lives, and one thing she mentioned is that they take time every day to “sit quietly” with themselves.
This is the quote that changed my life:
The wisest women that I know only take orders from the voice that they hear in the quiet.
So that’s what I did. I started sitting quietly with myself for 5-10 minutes every day. (With white noise of course; my brain is too busy to sit in absolute quiet.) This was an amazing experience. Emotions and thoughts came to the surface that I had no idea were inside of me.
Then, I started listening to the voice that I was hearing in the quiet. Gabrielle Bernstein, who I introduced in my previous post, would call this voice my Inner Guide, and she would say that I was asking my Inner Guide to “reinterpret” my situation for me.
But I had no idea I was doing that at the time. That’s why I say that I “accidentally” manifested my dream.
Time to stop and think a minute . . . Have you tried to sit quietly with yourself? What did you discover? If you haven’t, why not give it a try? Feel free to share with us in the comments.
What I Was Really Trying To Attract
Manifestation Truth #2
Okay, but what was my Inner Guide telling me? To understand that, we’re going to have to back up a bit.
After Gary John Bishop’s message, the next significant message I received was from Mel Robbins; it was part of her TEDx Talk, How to stop screwing yourself over. She was encouraging the audience to think about what they wanted because they could get it if they really want to.
She rattled off four things, “Maybe you want X, maybe you want Y” . . . the third thing she rattled off was, “. . . maybe you want to start a nonprofit.” Of all the things she could have listed, she chose that one. This felt like a sign to me.
I found Glennon Doyle next, and she led me to Brene Brown. Brene speaks a lot about vulnerability, authenticity, and core values. She says:
Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.
People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.
Wow! Those are powerful quotes for me because they made me realize three things about myself:
- I’ve always wanted to help people while also being innovative and creative.
- The people I’ve turned to in times of need were generous enough to share the “truth about their stories” with me, and their stories played a big part in getting me through those tough times.
- I’m pretty good at being vulnerable, but I want to be really good at it so that I can inspire others to be vulnerable as well.
The next consequential action I took was a simple brain dump. I had been especially anxious and overwhelmed, for whatever reason, and I needed to clear my head. So I just started writing random thoughts down until I had no more to release. And boy oh boy, did that feel good!
It Was Time to Sit Quietly With Myself
With the messages of these thought leaders and the experience of this brain dump swimming around in my mind somewhere, I sat quietly with myself. After doing this a few days in a row, a message came to me that went a little something like this:
You have acquired so much knowledge and life experience, and you have a natural ability to connect with people. Not everyone is given these gifts. You need to use them to help people become the best people that they can be.
Okay, great. How the heck am I supposed to do that? That answer came to me a day or so later, again, when I was sitting quietly with myself.
You have a natural need to learn [stay curious]. You also have a natural need to analyze and process information. But then you need to get it out of your head. You need to start writing.
Again, how the heck am I supposed to do that? Then I heard a YouTuber, Wenzes, make a comment about how powerful the internet is, and if you’re not utilizing it, you’re going to be left behind. The next time I sat quietly with myself, this message came to me:
You need to start a blog.
Seriously? I know nothing about blogging. I’m not a social media person. I don’t enjoy or know anything about that world. But, for some reason, starting a blog felt right to me. So I started to learn more about it.
One step organically led to the next and the next. The process didn’t feel forced. It felt like a path had been laid before me, and I just had to keep following it. In fact, if I wanted to maintain my sanity, I HAD to follow it.
So, I did! And those words that came from my Inner Guide morphed into this organization.
Time to stop and think a minute . . . Have you had a similar experience? When you just knew you were supposed to take an action even though it didn’t make much sense? Did you talk yourself out of it? Or did you go for it? Feel free to share with us in the comments.
Manifestation Truth #3
Recall the words of Dandapani, a Hindu priest, from my prior post:
Where awareness goes, energy flows.
Once I was aware of the path that I needed to take, my energy did indeed start flowing there. My head was flooded with ideas. Every day I woke up with two or three more, and it was so energizing!
I started tackling one idea at a time, and within two months, I had decided to quit my full-time job of over 20 years. Actually, I’m not so sure calling it a decision is fair. It felt more like I was answering a call. I felt like I really had no choice. If I didn’t follow the call, I was going to end up miserable and bring everyone close to me along with me. (I’d been down that road before.)
As I write this, I’m six months into developing and growing this organization full time, and it continues to manifest itself before my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I am working my butt off, and there are times that I allow myself to become overwhelmed with worry and stress. But every day, my faith in myself to figure out what needs to be done is getting stronger.
One quick example to bring it home — I rarely know what I’m going to write about next. I figure it out as I go based on what I’m experiencing and what feels like a natural progression. The night before I start a new series, I don’t freak out because I don’t know what I’m going to write the next day. I know that it will come to me when I need it to. And so far, it has, every time!
Here’s one last great quote from Charlie Wardle:
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.
That’s exactly how I feel. I know there’s a chance that this brilliant idea of mine will fail, but I also know that I will take care of myself, whatever may come. And I have faith in myself to make the choices that are best for me.
Time to stop and think a minute . . . Is there something that gives you energy? Something that your awareness goes to naturally? What is it? And could it be the key to manifesting what you want? Feel free to share with us in the comments.
What Will You Manifest?
Have you identified what it is yet? If not but you want to, try sitting quietly with yourself for 5-10 minutes a few days in a row, and see what happens. You may just “accidentally” manifest it like I did.
I have two resources to give you a little push to get the momentum going:
Click here for more posts with an “manifest what you want” theme.
If you’re ready to Stop Settling & Start Living! check out our home page to learn more about what The Expectation Gaps has to offer.
Until next time . . . STAY CURIOUS!
Only Have 1 Minute
Glennon Melton – Sigma Kappa Convention Speech, posted to YouTube by Sigma Kappa Sorority on 8.18.14
How to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins | TEDxSF, posted to YouTube by TEDx Talks on 6.11.11