Lying on the sofa playing Candy Crush is the road to happiness. It must be, coz I ain’t happy, and yet that’s what I do a lot of the time.
People talk a lot about manifestation. They talk about it in wooly, wishy-washy terms that make you want to go, “Oh for God’s sake.” But at the heart of all this imagining-your-life-how-you-want-it-to-be is a kernel if truth: If you don’t know what you want out of life how will you ever get it?
Case in point – As I have mentioned before, I have been focused recently on getting my novel finished, finding an agent, and getting it published. I did that to the exclusion of all other things. And it worked. I now have an agent, we have been working hard together over the past couple of months to get my manuscript ready for submission to publishers, and now we are just waiting to see if anyone has an interest in bringing my work to the world?
I couldn’t have done that without a clear vision of what I wanted, and then putting in the effort to make that happen. But did I ‘manifest’ it? Did I imagine it into being? Who can say.
I think too often the idea of manifesting gets caught up in magical thinking. People concentrate on the idea of visualising what you want, and ignore all the hard work and effort involved in making that dream a reality (which is the lion’s share of the work). You have to work for what you want. It’s not just going to materialise out of thin air. But to attain that house, career, realtionship, life, that you desire, you need a clear vision of what you want it to be.
Like I said at the top of this post, I ain’t happy, and the only way to move from unhappiness to happiness is to know what you want that happiness to be. So here goes…
1. I want to wake up every morning, after a good night’s sleep, eager to see what the day has in store for me.
2. I want a literary career that brings in enough that I don’t have to worry about money.
3. I want enough time each day to practice my sadhana (do yoga, meditate).
4. I want to share that sadhana with other people.
5. I want a nice house, not massive, not small, that is mine all mine, with enough room to do whatever I want, and no one to tell me I can’t.
6. I want someone to share that house with.
7. I want a family (before I’m too old to take my kids trampolining).
8. I want a cat. I will name him Dexter.
9. I want less of a belly and more energy, but I also want to eat good food.
10. I want nice views.
11. I want to go interesting places, and do interesting things with interesting people; because what’s the point of having a nice home if you don’t get to go enjoy going away and then coming back to it every now and then?).
12. I want to not have to worry about the future.
13. I want to be happy.
14. I want to make other people happy too.
That, my friends, is a list!
But, it’s a wooly list. It’s a vague list. It’s a set of ideas. It’s not a plan of action. For me to make this list a reality, for me to manifest it, I need a plan.
So what does it boil down to? Well…
1. Good diet and exercise – I need to cook better food, get out more, and make more positive use of my time. No more lying around on the sofa. No more crisps and cake. No more watching TV!
Achieving this is fairly straight forward, but to achieve it I need to practice mindfulness in what I am doing. Bad habits are easy to fall into. Awareness is needed to avoid them. I need to meditate daily to help focus my mind.
2. A better working life – this is a bit more of a toughie. The job I do, and get paid well for, is not conducive to the life I want to lead. I basically get paid a lot of money to sit and watch TV for twelve hours a day. It makes writing, doing yoga, cooking even, very difficult. I need to find a way to make good money doing something more regular.
What I am likely to do here is actually the opposite of what I need; to work more over the next twelve months, make as much money as I can, so that I can pack it all in and try something new. That extra money will give me the breathing space I need to take a chance.
It might make writing more difficult, but for the moment, until I have a deal (which could take months, even a year), that’s not something I need to worry about. Once I know what is needed I can adjust accordingly.
3. A nice house – this is the biggie! Houses cost money. Lots and lots of money. And nice houses cost even more. There are two ways to tackle this: One, make a lot of money, then you can buy what you want. Or two, readjust the parameters on what you consider ‘nice’.
I’m lucky, I’m really into the self-build, tiny house idea. I think they’re brilliant. They’re also relatively cheap. The only drawback with them is, living in England, the planning laws are a bit more challenging than you would like. Finding a place to park it can be a bit difficult (but that is just an obstacle to be overcome). But that also feeds into the idea of where to live?
This is very much on my mind at the moment because I have to move house in six weeks time, and not only do I not know where to go, I don’t know where I want to go.
The dream is to be living in the countryside, with nice views, but I can’t afford that right now. To make money I need to be near London. But London is so expensive, living here eats away at your cash. Is it better to be further away, pay less rent, then come in to town to work? And if so where? And at what point does the cost of travel outweigh the savings in rent.
I don’t mind admitting I’m drawing a blank on this one at the moment. Do I get somewhere small for a year, save my cash, then move away? Or somewhere nice that costs a bit more and have a better quality of life? Gratification now, or gratification in the future. It’s a tough one to deal with. I’m open to ideas.
And that quandary feeds into the other major point that needs tackling…
4. A relationship – this is a tough one for me. I’m a bit shy. But it’s not going to rectify itself, and I ain’t getting any younger, so what’s the plan?
Basically, online dating. Seriously, I don’t get to meet people much through work (my job is unsocial and isolating), I don’t get to meet people much through yoga (yes I meet lots of lovely women, but often it’s just in passing, dating students is a big no-no, I can never tell if the women I do get to know like me, or if they’re just being really friendly as yogis often are, and like I said, I’m a bit too shy to just ask them out), and so online dating is probably the best way to go.
I’ve actually had some success with this in the past. It circumvents the shyness in that you both know why you’re there. You can bypass the awkwardness and just get down to business (if you’ll pardon the expression). It makes it a little easier; not a lot, but a little.
These are my thoughts on dating vs housing: I could stay in London where there are a lot of potential dates. But if I want a nice place to bring a someone to I’m going to have to fork out for that. I could move somewhere cheaper and more isolated, but I’m cutting down on date potential. I’d be happier, maybe, but finding someone special would be a bit harder, probably. Or would it?
Now we’re solidly into speculation territory. Y’know what, I think I’m going to stop there. Once the variables get too many then you’re not planning anymore, you’re just mental rambling, and that’s not helpful.
My point is you need a plan. You need a clear goal to get to where you’re going. Your path may change (and in fact undoubtably will) along the way, but as long as you remain clear on your vision you should get there in the end.
But just visualising won’t make it happen. You have to walk the path to get to where you want to be.
Well, those are my thoughts on the subject. I am open to comments, ideas, suggestions, etc. Please feel free to leave a comment below. And if you know of any cute girls who might be interested in a slightly care-worn but still working yogi, please do point them in my direction. I’d love to hear from them. 😉
Y’know what, I’ve posted this video before, but it bears repeating here…