FIRST PROVOCATION: If you knew you couldn’t fail, and you had an endless supply of money, what would you be, do, and/or have?’
You know the expression ‘to think outside the box’? Normally ‘the box’ refers to convention, and the expression means to think outside of convention, or to think unconventionally. Well here, the box contains our fears and preconceptions about what is possible; and we are being asked to think outside this box, unencumbered by these fears and ‘practicalities’. And, if we’re really good at it, unencumbered by ‘realism’ or ‘reality’ too.
Why? The point of thinking outside this box, even to the point of thinking about something unrealistic or impossible, is:
One: To practice a healthy humility. How do we actually know what is impossible or unrealistic? Air travel, space travel, open heart surgery, a black president of the United States – did more than .0000001% of the population on the planet think any one of these was possible or realistic before they became reality? How much before? The truth is that a great majority of the best stuff ever created and/or done was regarded as impossible, and certainly as unrealistic, before it was completed.
But also, two: Our brains need time to think in freedom. In freedom from judgment, from criticism, from conventional logic and reason; from social convention, habit and taboo; from pressures, obligations and responsibilities. Your brain, and yourself for that matter, need the freedom to think outside this box. With so many rules, guidelines and restrictions, our brain’s ability to be creative, imaginative and inspired becomes stifled. So letting it roam free and unstilted for 5 or 10 minutes a day, (and certainly a week, a month or a year), is far from a waste. It is healthy exercise for the brain, mind, and psyche, in the way that going for a walk might be for the body. Remember, if it wasn’t for sleep your brain would probably get none of this time. That can’t be right.
So, when you get this response, your Manifesting Friendly – have you named It yet by the way? – is asking you to step, slide or slither – however you need to do it – out of this box and into a daydream: If you knew you couldn’t fail, and money was not an issue for you at all, what would you be, or do, or have?
You are meant to fantasize = think in freedom from whatever you’re calling ‘reality’ and its realistic constraints. Liberate your brain for a minute or two, and list the things you’d want to be, do and/or have.
For example. I might say: Well first thing’s first, I would quit my job. Then I would go on vacation – to Iceland. Then … – to Turkey. I would come back and buy myself a light-filled, spacious apartment in Manhattan. And a vacation home in the Outerbanks. I’d buy my parents the home of their dreams. – And my sister.
Okay, you want to push yourself – keep going: And then… and then … and then I would travel some more.
Thinking in Freedom. Aligning with Self. Alright, list all the places you’d go, and all of the things you would buy – then what? This is where I might say, ‘I’d write a book.’ Or, ‘I’d start a foundation for at risk youth.’ This is where I start to unearth my dreams and, with them, what would truly fulfill me.
What happens here is that we go through our needs first – in my example, I clearly need a vacation. (My job doesn’t really seem to be doing it for me either if its the first thing to go – do I want to quit or do I want a hiatus?) Then we start listing our desires: the bags, the houses, boats, yachts and planes. Then, we come to our dreams.
The list gives me a snapshot of all the things I am meant to be doing right now. ‘Meant’ in the sense that I would be best off doing those particular things. They represent the most effective and efficient places to put my energy, and the things I’d be happiest doing. Even the vacation: evidently I am desperately in need of a break. In this case taking the break would be productive, continuing without one will lead to break-down. Do some of them and we are likely to find that the list changes. (For example, once I am back from vacation I might recover enjoyment and pleasure in my work.) But for the present, this list likely presents the things we most need (then want, then dream) to feel satisfied in our life. Our ‘true heart’s desires’.
Sounds creepy in addition to heavy? I’ll take care of the creepy part by not referring to your desires that way anymore, if you take care of the heavy part by not automatically binding yourself to do anything about what you discover. Deal?
There is another really important freedom I didn’t yet mention above: freedom from having to take action. If you do not give yourself this freedom – if there is an implicit contract between you and you that you have to act on your desire, then there is still a straight-jacket crippling your brain’s ability to think freely. This is how we end up “blind” to situations that seem obvious to everyone else, including ourselves in retrospect. (For example, Mary can’t see that her husband Bob is gay because she would then have to do something about it. That is far too overwhelming and paralysizing for Mary, so her brain protects her by keeping the truth out of her consciousness. The ole repression/denial.)
Your Manifesting Friendly wants you to be able to see the truth about your desires – It’s aim, after all, is to aid and guide you in manifesting what you really want. Give yourself the space to play along by giving yourself the freedom to not have to act on anything you discover or realize.
Of course part of you is going to feel compelled to do something about what you do realize. That’s a healthy reaction to being faced with a genuine desire! And certainly in relation to a profound desire. You really want it, so you are compelled to move toward it. That’s cool, and makes good sense, and is really helpful. But for the purposes of of this exercise, we want to pay respect to another part of ourselves, the part that is terrified to do something about ‘it’ – and especially terrified to ‘go for it’ or to make a change. The point of this exercise is to think outside the box; and we cannot really get outside the box without giving ourselves permission to dream without risk, without pressure, without our life being at stake. So at least within the context of the exercise, we must allow ourselves to fantasize/contemplate/dream without having to do anything about it – including, figuring out what it means.
SECOND PROVOCATION: Start with #4 (on your list). List the first 3 steps one would take to achieve it.
Just to be fully transparent: the number 4 is half random; and half in the awareness that it’s likely to fall somewhere closer to need/want part of the continuum than the dream side (which is likely to require greater courage). Choose what you want. Choose what you can go for. Or let randomness, i.e. fate, decide.
And finally, a call to physical action: do the first one now (if it’s possible and you’re feeling confident) or take 3 actions now in preparation for that task (if it’s impossible or you’re already too much on the anxious side). See if you can take the first step. Again, there is no obligation to continue, and you don’t have to give everything up to make this dream or desire come true. You are taking a step not to ‘get it done’, but to see what getting closer to it feels like.