10 Apr 2011

Manifestation vs Gratitude

Column 1, General Ramblings 1 Comment

Those of us who dabble in personal development are pretty familiar with the idea of manifestation. Whether you have seen The Secret, read 4hr Work Week, watched What the Bleep (btw the follow-up Ghetto Physics is pretty awesome!) or just have a solid vocabulary, you probably understand the idea of being able to bring into existence that which you truly set your mind to. I am open to all interpretations of this phenomenon, from it being a matter of focus and dedication to it being a mystical alignment of energies and laws of attraction, it all depends on your belief set. The point we all can agree upon is that you have to really want it to make it happen. That’s where it gets a little complicated.

How many of us are completely clear on what we want? Singular in our goal, focused and defined in our mission? I know that I for one waver like crazy, always learning a little more, or seeing another side or doubting what can be. I’m guessing that I’m not alone on that either. So we try as much as possible to lock down the idea, put pen to paper, detail the desire and create a “5 year plan”. All in an effort to manifest exactly what we want, but what about what we get in the mean time?

This is where gratitude comes into play and challenges the tenets of manifestation.
“If I’m so focused on what I think I want, are my eyes open to what I get?”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the two concepts are contradictory, in fact, what I’m suggesting is that the universe has a more keen ear than we can imagine, and maybe just maybe the whisper of what you really want is much louder than the demands of what you plan for yourself.

Gratitude is by definition the appreciation of what you have in your life. Appreciation for that which spontaneously manifests itself in your day to day. But often, even if it’s some kind of wonderful, we only see it as a deviation from or written goals. I’m guilty of this to a fault. The problem is, in doing this, I turn my goals into a source of stress and negativity, filling my days with “I should be…” “why am I not…” and “I need to be…” and end up in a place of lack rather than seeing what I have and what I am fortunate to encounter.

I return, as I often do to nature and the outdoors to provide metaphors that help me make sense of it all, and see it like this:

If you have a destination in mind…that is wonderful, but if you expect that the trail will not twist and wind you are a fool. If you are annoyed by every stream you encounter you will lose hope, and if you see the peaks and valleys along the way as reasons to give up, you are already lost.

Some may go out and blast roads and tunnels to get to their destination as fast as possible, and thats has its benefits, but I am choosing to walk the path thats ahead of me, keep my eye on where I want to be and be grateful for everything that I encounter along the way.

One Response to “Manifestation vs Gratitude”

  1. MC says:

    I really dig your juxtaposition of manifestation and gratitude! I was just reminded today of my own balance of the two. I have been building my learning center for the past 8 years – but I am still constantly striving to fully manifest the complete image I have had in my mind this whole time. Many days I relish in the joywot working with people I enjoy, doing a job that is constantly challenging and totally satisfying in effecting very positive changes, and having a luxurious amount of freedom in my life. But other times I get bogged down in feeling frustrated with my “shortcomings” – as measured against the grandier of the complete picture I envision.

    So, today, I was brought back to that sweet spot of balancing gratitude and manifesting: finding patience, excitement, and joy in the process (sounds like yoga!)! As I was walking to pick up lunch with my office manager (what?! I have my own OM?), we were chatting about next steps for growth of the center. All of a sudden, I realized just how much progress i had made toward manifesting my dream…and how much fun I was having with a team of amazing people in the process!

    It’s pretty awesome to be the captain of my own ship. And even better to have a crew that shares my passion for the journey and its mission. I see that my responsibility is help them enjoy the process while working with persistence toward our bigger goals. Starting with myself would be optimal!

    Thanks for directing my meandering thoughts…

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