Our friends often call Laura the “manifestor.” Whether it is finding a dream home, getting a book published or a physical healing, her intentions often become reality. She has been asked how she does it many times, so we thought it would be great to share her process– a combination of inner- and outer-work.
Before we start, we want to mention that we realize that we just wrote a blog about self-acceptance and letting go of goals, and now we’re about to explore setting intentions and manifestation. They may seem like contradictory topics, but we believe can coexist quite beautifully… hang in till the end, and you’ll see why!
I have found there are three inner keys to manifesting your dreams: clarity of purpose, purity of intention and unwavering faith. In my experience, if a goal is not coming to fruition it’s because one or more of these three keys is lacking.
Clarity of purpose: In order to get what you want you first need to know what it is you want. This sounds obvious, but I notice that when I take a deeper look at my intentions, sometimes I see that I am ambivalent about one of my dreams—even if it is something really positive. One of the best ways to find out how clear you may or may not be and achieve clarity is to write your intentions—a process described in the outer work section below. Bear in mind that clarity is not something that can necessarily be forced. Sometimes we have to wait for clarity. I have wasted a lot of energy trying to define goals when it simply was not the time to move that area of my life forward.
Purity of Intention: Pure intentions are clear, in service, and free of baggage. Often we want something, but our intention is not pure because we are holding onto a limiting belief. The most common limiting belief is that we do not feel we are worthy of or deserving of our dreams and goals. Other examples of limiting beliefs include: the harder we work the more we succeed, being self employed and doing what we love is not the “real world,” we can’t be wealthy and be a good person, or we can’t have a successful career and a happy marriage. There are many, many more! We need to unearth any conscious or unconscious beliefs or patterns that are in conflict with our intentions. Once our intentions are pure we want to keep our attention on our intentions and also maintain a positive feeling state of being, as if our intentions are already reality.
Unwavering faith: With clarity and purity we may then let go and trust. We must know and feel wholeheartedly that our dreams will be realized. We do not need to keep checking in and wondering how it is going. Often it takes time and patience. I find that dreams do unfold—just not always in the time frame I imagine—manifesting can take a long time or very short and surprise us.
Part of having unwavering faith is also trusting that everything is unfolding for our happiness and greater good even when we face challenges or our goals are not realized. Sometimes if a dream is not manifesting, or things are not going our way it is because the universe has even greater joys in store for us. Also consider whether we want to manifest our dreams or co- create with life. What I mean by this is we can only dream from our current circumstances—who we are now. However, when we leave room and stay open, life often creates things we could not possibly dream up- we want to make room for the extraordinary.
If you’re still struggling to have faith in your dreams consider that ideally intentions are at least 50% believable… I want to earn a million dollars by the end of year may seem like a great intention, but if you’re currently making $80,000 a year and don’t have any career changes in mind, you may not find it to be believable. Others may or may not believe it, but you need to.
I also use a process that involves “outer” work. Each year I create what I call a life vision or life map, based on techniques from the University of Santa Monica, David Allen, Leo Babauta and my own creation. The format for my life vision has changed significantly over the years. My life vision used to be a list of intentions or goals that began with my life purpose and worked its way down to projects and action-steps. This process was very effective and as I mentioned I achieved many goals.
My Life Vision used to be formatted like this:
To fully and joyfully be the most of myself and my potential in service to myself and others.
Areas of focus and responsibility:
Relationship with Spirit and Self
Optimal Health: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual
Wife and Marriage
Mother and Parenting etc…
5- 10 year goals:
Speaking and consulting internationally etc…
1-2 year goals:
Publish a book, move closer to the ocean in my ideal home etc. Projects:
Write a book proposal, find a soul-centered real estate agent etc.
Ask Mark for a copy of his book proposal, send an email to friends asking if they know of a great realtor and make a list of the qualities of my ideal home etc.
*This or something better for the highest and greatest good of all concerned
Often I would add detailed “ideal scenes” for various goals—a list of successful positive outcomes written in the present tense.
What I have noticed in the past few years is that most of my “goals” are no longer focused on external things that I hope to achieve, but rather an inner state of being. My goals turned into fluid intentions that are centered on my day to day living, quality of being, how I am with myself, my values and habits. I started calling these new intentions “process goals.” To me a traditional goal has an ending—something concrete so you know when you have achieved it, but with process goals the process is the goal realized and the process is continuously taking new shapes. Other names for “process goals” would be themes, habits, qualities, routines, practices, or values.
I find it helpful to set intentions and goals (whether inner or outer) that are based on qualities, purpose and values versus specific outcomes. I focus on how I will feel when I get there versus how it will unfold. While I may fantasize about the process and possible positive outcomes, I always leave room “this or something better for the highest and greatest good of all concerned” knowing that the Universe’s plan may be much greater than what I can imagine from my current space.
You will see below that my life visions are not minimalist—I like to give myself the freedom to put everything out there—and what you see below is just a snippet! You will also see that one way I stay focused on my intentions and keep it fresh is by creating minimalist affirmations. These affirmations are quick phrases, emotionally charged, “juicy,” personal, charged words, or even the names of certain people that embody the quality I hope to integrate. I find when I feel what it is I desire—as opposed to just “thinking” it- I carry the energy of the intention and then I attract and create easily.
My Life Vision now looks something like this:
To be present and experience my oneness
Joyfully express myself and inspire others
Live from a place of overwhelming gratitude
Things to keep in mind/ Themes/ New thought / shift in consciousness:
Celebrate what I already am
Live like I am on vacation
Let go of time pressure- the only time is now
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Process is goal realized
Jeff Foster Living
Transform from the inside out- designing my inner space
Thank you god for everything; I am receptive to the all good
Life is Good
Listen more—say only what is true, kind, and necessary (about myself too!)
Positive attitude –Be Mary Poppins
Sometimes there are no reasons; there is only Love
Self- acceptance is ultimate simplicity
What would love do?
Make a Choice
Joy and happiness
Kindness and compassion
Areas of focus and responsibility:
Relationship with Spirit and Self
Optimal Health- mental, physical, emotional and spiritual- all levels
Wife and Marriage
Mother and Parenting
Family and Friends
Community and world
Abundance and Wealth
Personal Growth and Learning
Joy and Creativity
Home and lifestyle, Simplicity and Inspired Everyday Living
Process Goals/ Inner Goals/ Habits to adopt and integrate into my way of living and being
Evening prayer and gratitude
Whole foods diet
Cooking and baking
Kind, grateful and positive
Listening more saying less
Maintaining streamlined, simplified, clean, healthy, and organized living.
Conscious communication with my husband- aware that I am teaching my children by example
Bringing more music into my life
I am realizing that the more I surrender to my soul’s path, the more I am present in the moment, and the more I continue to trust and allow life to flow through me— the more I know and trust that things are conspiring in ways I can’t even imagine for my happiness and the happiness of others.
I imagine that someday my Life Vision will look like this:
Let Life Shape Itself.