Thoughts Become Things 101
Do you ever feel frustrated or stuck, and you can’t seem to figure a way out? This issues in your relationship, your business, a parenting dilemma, maybe all three. You try to pull yourself together and try to fix it and come up with solutions, but it leaves you with this feeling inside like the engine is revving but the brakes are on. Maybe you think you've had a breakthrough, you leave that awful marriage, you're business gets a boon, you're kid writes you the sweetest birthday card. But soon enough, you're back in that anxious feeling with the same old problems, just new characters. The movie “Groundhog Day,” comes to mind. The main character finds himself waking up to the same exact crappy day over and over again. From the alarm exploding in his ear way too early, to the person who splashes water on him with his speeding car, to the exact same dull and antagonistic conversations with other people. It isn’t until he develops a new way of thinking, and seeing those people and events and finding a new way of interacting with them that he can break free from the curse of getting the same day over again.
So how do we think about things differently. How do we see things newly so that we can begin to interact with our circumstances in ways that break us free. I've come to appreciate being stuck. It's actually one of my favorite places to be. I know that whenever I'm really stuck, there is something I get to give up. Some story that I started believing a long time ago that isn't true and now it's driving me so crazy, I get to let it go. I can be so stubborn that often it isn't until I'm on my knees with disappointment, pain or frustration that I'm finally willing to confront the fact that there's a scary, limited stories about life somewhere in the unconscious mind.
Rather than focus on the problem, I like to imagine what it would look like if I had what I really wanted. Most of us focus on what isn't going right, how hard it is to be a parent, how irritating it is that we keep running out of money, how scary it is when our kids get hurt, how much better everyone else looks on Instagram.
Whenever I have a problem I can't solve, I don't overestimate myself. I don't assume that I would be able to come up with a solution as incredible as the universal force could. I don't even deal with the problem. I focus on what I want. When someone asked Dr. Wayne Dyer about how he overcame hard things he said: "I turned the entire thing over to a higher power and began to passionately believe in something that did not exist."
The reason I love that quote is because I have had first hand experience with the wisdom in those words. By my second year of college I had dropped out of school, been fired from a job for stealing money, left my roommate high and dry because I couldn’t come up with the rent, and moved into my car. It wasn’t long before I picked up a boyfriend who had an apartment and a cupboard of food (for obvious reasons) and I was as deep down the rabbit hole as a person can get. With the guidance of two of the most influential people in my life, Anthony Robbins and Dr. Wayne Dyer, I gave all of my problems to a higher power (God, the Universe, whatever you call it). I gave up every part that I could not solve - which was pretty much everything in my life at that point. And I started believing in things that I had that were not real.
Normal people call that hallucinating or believing in fairy tales - like it's a bad thing. Anyway, I was done trying to be normal. Trying to be normal was hurting my soul. I had been trying to be the good girl, the hard worker, the one who knows her place and I completely lost it. When I got to the point where there was absolutely nothing left to lose - I was ready to hear something different. I believed in the most incredible and ridiculously materialistic fantasy I could conjure up in my imagination. Goals like a huge ranch, a mansion on the beach house, housekeepers, landscapers, an exotic and loving husband, fancy cars and world travel. I had every single one of those things on my list within five years.
My goals and affirmations have changed over the years. As I have become more clear about what’s important to me and what my purpose is, I create goals that support that purpose. The stages of our lives can also impact the goals we have. Before I had kids, I wanted all the expensive, cool stuff, so I had affirmations like “I am prosperous.” “I am worthy.” “I am entirely way too cute in this Rachel from Friends haircut.” Now, as a wife and mother, I find sanity is my biggest goal. I have affirmations like “I am always being heard and appreciated.” and “I am always surprised how everyone around me always picks up after themselves.” “I am loving my relationship with a man who does all the laundry and marvels at how I’m always right.”
Recently, completely out of the blue, I’ve had some goals that have been around for years start showing up in full bloom (not the laundry and being right ones, but other ones). It got me thinking that the boys are big enough to understand that our thoughts become things and I should let them in on the secret. I created a formula to teach them how to manifest their goals and we’ve been going through it in the morning before our regular home school starts. One of the steps involves speaking our goals out loud and having others see and affirm our vision with us. I had to laugh this morning when Holland said “Yeah, there’s just no way I see Leo having a Billion YouTube followers.”
If you focus on this for 21 days, you will be surprised at how you rewire your brain to understand and appreciate this. And even better, you start creating the experiences you really want to have. Trust me, as a mom who use to have fertility problems and now has eleven kids - this works, so be really careful what you ask for!
Step 1: Give your problems to a higher power - whatever you want to call it. Write a letter to this power explaining everything that sucks and all that you are willing to put at the altar for healing. And let it go. Assume it's handled
Step 2: Create a detailed list of everything you could possibly want to have, be or do if anything was possible. Be bold, be extravagant, and don’t base any of these things on the past. What do you want to contribute, how do you want to serve the world, where do you want to travel, what do your relationships look like, how much money do you want? Exactly how many jets do you want to spurt out from your fancy Japanese toilet? Be specific.
Step 3: Visualize yourself having and doing all of these things. Make mental movies in your mind. Imagine you are already living that life.
Step 4: Talk about your goals with others who support you AS IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THEM. I have a group of girlfriends that like to go out to dinner together and spend the whole evening talking to each other like we already have accomplished our lists. “Oh, wow! I saw your house in Architectural Digest!” or “What is that, the third or fourth Academy Award you’ve won?” Think murder mystery dinner theatre, but instead of just getting heartburn you get that Tesla you wanted, too.
Step 5: Create a short affirmation in the present tense as if you already have this goal. Begin the affirmation with “I am___________.” If you are unhappy in a relationship for example, you don’t need to worry about fixing it by saying “I am divorced” you want to create an affirmation that goes towards what you want to feel in relationships. So you might say “I am enjoying the love I share with my supportive partner.”
Step 6: Set a timer on your phone (or better yet, you can download an affirmation reminder app free) that sends you your affirmations at a certain time. I like to make an MP3 or voice note with my affirmations and listen to them when I go to bed.
Step 7: Watch, read, or listen to things that confirm the reality you are trying to create. Positive, motivational videos. During this challenge, we watch a different motivational YouTube video every day before class starts. Anthony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Canfield, Sadhguru, there’s plenty out there.
Step 8: AVOID the news. Take a huge media break and focus on your goals. I never watch the news when I’m goal setting because it reaffirms what I don’t want to see.
I like this method because I can still take my kids to their orthodontist appointments instead of being stuck in some cave in the Himalayas. It’s doable, and it still works. You always get what you focus on the most, so chose consciously, and always have fun doing it!