What does it mean to manifest hopes and dreams in your life? The idea of visualizing something we want, and attracting it to us, is an ancient principle of life. Some choose to pray, while others chant, meditate, visualize or create affirmations. Yet, the never-ending tragedy of global economic catastrophe, volcanoes, oil spills and war has beaten many positive thinkers right down to the ground, and taken a tremendous toll on our collective psyche.
Do you believe, deep down, you can manifest your dreams into reality? Many people I have spoken to confess they haven't bothered to dream in a very long time. That fear constricts both individuals and even organizations from believing, and taking essential risks.
A psychology professor at Yale recently asked her undergraduate students to complete an "art therapy" exercise. She passed out paper and crayons, and asked them to draw a picture of what they thought their life was going to look like. Upon receiving the assignments, she was shocked to see most of the pictures were images of hopelessness -- dark colors, falling off of a cliff, hitting a brick wall, or being generally unfulfilled. If our "best and our brightest" are afraid to dream in their early twenties, something must be done.
The ability to imagine something better is the fuel of all great invention, change or innovation in life. Without it, we are essentially floating adrift without a compass. Google is the grand champion of visualizing dreams, and making them happen. They give their managers 20 percent time off -- just to work on personal dream projects. Chade-Meng Tan transformed his engineering job to become their official "Head of Personal Growth" and teaches a Mindfulness based Emotional Intelligence course for employees. Meng hopes to see every workplace in the world become "a drinking fountain for happiness and enlightenment."
Imagine what would happen if you took 20 percent of your time to work on your dreams. Can you feel the tingles of excitement just thinking about it? Here are some free tips to get started:
- Create a "Bucket List." Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred in this wonderful film as strangers who both found out they were going to die, and they created a list of all the things they wanted to do before "kicking the bucket." Some were huge, like sitting on a pyramid, and some were small, like laughing until you cried. Your turn! Create a bucket list to see what is lying deep in your heart.
- Make a Vision Board. Sure, you have heard it a million times before, but when is the last time you actually MADE one? What you see is what you get in life. Get out some magazines, cut out images that attract you, paste them on a poster board, and hang it where you can see it. They W-O-R-K, just ask Nick Cannon who said his vision board brought Mariah Carey into his life.
- Pay it Forward. If you run across someone who needs something, give it to them and smile. Consider it direct charity with no expectation of return. The art of giving is like rocket fuel for dream manifestation.
- Sign up for Tut.com. "Thoughts become Things" is the motto of tut.com which sends daily "Notes from the Universe." I guarantee they will cause inner reflection, a hearty laugh or an indrawn breath of utter truth. Creator Mike Dooley describes the notes as, "Spiritual but not religious, inspirational without commitment, empowering yet caffeine-free."
Here is a sample:
A NOTE FROM THE UNIVERSE:
A question, from your friend the Universe:
Just how much time do you spend
thinking big? I mean really, really BIG?
Good, very good! Because that's exactly how
much of "it" you're going to get!
What a coincidence.
A dear friend of mine has been working very actively on manifesting her dreams. She has been creating bucket lists and vision boards for what she wants in her life. Some are small, like buying a kayak, and others are grander for family, marriage and community. She even wrote a check to herself, from "The Universe" for an outlandish amount she never thought she deserved.
One day she said she had a "weird confession to make." Less than two weeks after making vision boards and writing her check, her father suddenly passed away, and she was notified that she and her sister were to receive a sizeable amount of money from a Swiss bank account she never knew about. Turns out it was the exact amount she wrote on her vision check.
Her business was booming, and life was blossoming, yet the art of receiving was harder than she imagined and she began getting intense headaches. One night, she had a powerful dream.
I was with a stranger who told me to get rid of the headache I needed to take out my "wishbone." I told her I didn't have a wishbone. She looked at me as if I was crazy, and said "of course you do." She reached behind her head and pulled out a massive wishbone from her back. I couldn't believe my eyes, and told her I certainly don't have one of those.
She pointed behind my neck, and told me to pull. I did, and sure enough, with a lot of pulling and tearing at adhesions in my spine, I slowly pulled out this wishbone about three feet long. I was stunned and told her in amazement that I had no idea this was ever a part of me.
She said that everyone has a wishbone, and most people don't recognize it exists, or its power. She told me we have to pull it out every day and use it as a compass in life. With use, it will be less stiff and difficult to access, and helps in daily decisions.
Whether your dreams are large or small -- find your wishbone -- and use it as a compass in life.
How about it Huff Po Readers? How do you manifest dreams in life? Love to hear the comments below.
Follow Kari Henley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/karihenley