As I peruse through the new age spiritual teachings, I am struck by the inclusion of so much language and so many practices designed to manifest something. The conscious intention to manifest, as an act of will or an act of seeking, died for me many years ago. And that’s about when a lot more really wonderful things manifested in my life. This manifestation of an abundant life just didn’t come from trying to make it happen. It came from getting clear on who I am and who I am not. I am not an unlovable self, a person who isn’t good enough or a victim. I am not a teacher, an author or a director of a treatment center. I am not a musician or an artist. I am not any of those things.
For years, I carried those labels around and they felt heavy, like luggage. Trying to manifest almost always comes from a sense that you are something in particular and that you must live out that role. This is restrictive and limiting. It presupposes what you are supposed to do in this life, who you are supposed to become, what you are supposed to have and not have. It’s like living within a box and trying to expand the box, so that the future creates a better version of the box.
I used to think that I was an artist and musician. Along the same lines of that story, I thought my purpose was to write music. Because I identified with those roles, I was not very prolific as a songwriter. Too much self-judgment and doubt. I was trying too HARD to be something. As soon as I saw that I was not an artist or songwriter, it was like this amazing burden had been lifted. I then became four times more prolific, writing music just out of the love of creating – rather than from an identity or some intention to become something.
The same is true for my presumed role as a teacher. I have never walked around thinking of myself as a teacher. The teacher label was placed on me after writing several books and creating websites. When one believes he or she is a teacher, it is automatically a confining box. The belief that one is a teacher can easily come with some pretty extreme views like, “I am a savior,” “I know the truth,” or “I am here to save the world.” I am not here to save the world. The books and other writings and tools you see from me came from the pure joy of creating in the moment. Gone is any baggage about being a teacher. Inflated self-importance almost always follows the belief that one is a teacher.
The same kind of thing happened when I opened the Kiloby Center. My intention was not to create an identity as an addiction specialist or a savior in the world of addicts. Sure, I went to addiction specialist school. I did all that was necessary to open the Center. But the entire venture was an act joyful creating in the moment, one step at a time. It was a labor of love. Had I begun to think that I was driving the ship, that would have brought about the luggage again – the box.
The reason the Center is doing well is not because of any willful intention to manifest some future thing. It came from the act of joyful creating in the moment. And like all good creations, the center was co-created through lots of folks who also love enjoying creating. It is never one self that does anything.
When you love what you do and carry no identity around it, you just do what you do.
You create what you create. It is purely a free-flowing movement. If anything, whenever I contemplated the future and whether the Center would stay afloat, I merely looked at all hopes, commands and threats and saw them as empty. This placed me right back in the present moment, creating for the pure joy of it.
When I see these teachings talking about the need to consciously manifest something, I am dumbfounded. Why put so much burden in the minds of people? Why get them to try, try, try and then feel bad when they don’t manifest what they are trying to manifest.
Where does that come from? Does it not come from a present sense of lack or deficiency? Who would have such a notion? And isn’t fear at the root of that intention, the fear that we won’t get what we want?
If you really want to manifest some great things in your life, drop all desire for the future to be a certain way. Drop all perceived threats. Drop all your strict adherence to life turning out a certain way. See through the command that tells you that you MUST manifest something in particular. And then see what ACTUALLY happens when you are out of the way completely.
We don’t know the future, nor do we have any control over how it will actually unfold. But if we see that these identities of lack and deficiency are not who we are, we will manifest in the world exactly as we manifest. We will be surprised at every corner to see what happens, both the ups and the downs.
We will be truly living in the mystery instead of living our lives according to a program that says we are in control and we must direct the course of our lives. This programming is culturally given. Freedom includes going beyond what our cultures say is the right way to do things and the right attitude about making those things happen. The American Dream has been downloaded into our systems. And yet the Dream is really a dream of control, a dream of limitation. We haven’t seen this yet as a culture. But you don’t have to wait for your culture to see it. You can inquire or investigate now.
If the center closes down, I lose all my precious musical instruments, I go off Facebook, shut my sites down, take my books off the shelf, I will be ok. Perfectly fine. These things are not who I am. New things will arise. And whatever arises will be perfectly wonderful.
If you can see that it doesn’t matter what happens, you are already free in the moment. You have not confined yourself to how you think life should unfold. Therefore, you are open. Completely, completely open. Manifestation happens. We can’t help it. We can’t stop it. And we don’t need to be in the business of directing it. Watch what happens…