“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”—Kahlil Gibran
What are you experiencing in your life that is causing you trouble? Try to get a sense of the emotions when you think about the situation. Now, reflect on what you would like to happen instead. How would you feel if you lived that reality now? People often believe conditions are worse than they appear to be, known in psychology as catastrophising; the irrational thoughts that something is worse than it actually is. It may be an evolutionary adaptation that has allowed mankind to evolve. However, what you’re experiencing may be preparing you for the thing you asked for.
The universe seldom functions according to plan, as you’ve noticed. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly and we jump to conclusions without allowing the entire picture to unfold. In fact, what may be taking place is what we’ve been looking for all along. Our judgement is based on first impressions and we ought to give things a chance to develop further. For example, the company where you work might downsize and unexpectedly you are left without a job. Naturally, you are stressed about being unemployed and having to look for work. What if the situation was unfolding in your favour to lead you to the perfect career? Just because we haven’t experienced ideal conditions before doesn’t mean it is out of the realm of possibility. We must believe in miracles because the universe acts in mysterious ways. What may seem like a roadblock may open doors in unexpected places.
The problem is, we focus on negative conditions for so long and lose sight of attracting good things into our lives. In physics terms it is called The Observer effect, whereby the observation of an experience has the potential to change the outcome. Understandably, there’s more to it than I have time to explain in this article. However, if we give attention to unwanted aspects, they will continue to show up in our lives. The key is to flip the switch and focus on what we want. It sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Then why do so many people struggle with this idea? It is because we experience life in three dimensions and there is no dress rehearsal, only the real thing. But as you know, thoughts become things so what you give your attention to will eventually become your reality.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”—M. Scott Peck
Are you with me so far? Are you beginning to see what you give your attention to creates your reality because of the energy devoted to it? It’s not all bad news because we can change our thought environment and attract new circumstances by changing the way we think and feel. I liken it to travelling on a highway and seeing an exit sign up ahead. You take the exit off the freeway and soon enough you are on a new road with a change in scenery. All it took was a thought for you to exit the freeway resulting in a change in the physical landscape. Admittedly, life doesn’t move as quick as this example. Whilst thoughts become things, there is often a lag time between our thoughts and our reality. It has been suggested, it takes approximately 30 days of focused visualisations to evoke a change in our reality. In this time, the universe will respond to our thoughts by showing us signs our thoughts are manifesting into existence.
It’s a good thing thoughts take time to manifest into form because we can change what we think about. We may want to add or remove aspects of our imagined future whilst it is still a thought. For example, you might want to be in an intimate relationship and imagine the details as best you can. However, the person who shows up is not what you expect. Now, you are stuck in a relationship that doesn’t serve you and blame yourself for attracting the wrong partner. Everything you experience is what you asked for, though it may not look that way because the picture is still taking shape. It requires mentally stepping back (detachment) and trusting in a greater intelligence that knows exactly what it’s doing. This intelligence has been doing its job for thirteen billion years and has a good handle on the process. The universe is not hurried by our timeline, since it has its own schedule. This is what metaphysical teachers mean when they say trusting in divine timing. It requires detachment and letting go of how and when things will show up in our life.
Knowing this, let’s return to my opening question where I asked you to consider the contrast of your negative situation and how you would like it to play out. The point of the exercise is to use contrasting states to get a sense of what we want to experience. So, over the coming weeks, use this visualisation to focus on what you want to bring to life. As you focus on the negative situation, switch to a positive outcome and allow your mind to linger longer in this positive state. It needn’t be anything more than a minute or two. Summon up the emotions while thinking about this positive scenario and notice where you experience the emotions in your body. It is only when we examine our thoughts, we realise our experiences are preparing us for what we asked for.