Intuition and Manifestion. Guest post!

I’m so please to introduce this post and it’s brilliant author. This exploration of the interplay between intuition and manifestation was penned by my sister, Annie, who is one of the guiding lights in my life. Along with being an endless fountain of inspiration and wisdom, she’s also a living example of living deliberately. Annie is a certified yoga teacher and plant medicine connoisseur who is currently traipsing around Portland, Oregon.

Manifestation: the result of employing such processes as intention-setting, visualization, and dream boards in an attempt to deliberately create the life we’d like to see for ourselves.

Intuition: inner knowing.  The channel for our higher, wiser self.  A feeling-state that helps us to interpret messages, information, symbols. The ole’ Inner Guidance System.

Is it possible honor both of these creative faculties in our lives simultaneously or must we settle for engaging one at a time? 

I recently found myself intrigued and puzzled by this question.  I’m known to tout the virtues of tuning in to our intuition, however when I learned of deliberate manifestation, I found myself so enthusiastic that my energies shifted in that direction this past year.

Manifesting conjures up images of living out our wildest dreams.  We can be, do, and have anything our hearts desire.

So manifesting I did.  I set my sights on traveling abroad for the first time- playing tourist in Thailand and earning a yoga teacher certification in Guatemala.  I visualized finishing a certification in herbalism and, subsequently, earning a spot as a live-in intern at an acclaimed medicinal herb farm in Southern Oregon.  I dreamed of seeing my student loan debt drop below $10,000. Running a marathon.  And when all that was complete, earning a gig with a well-known seed-to-table café on Orcas Island, WA.

All in the course of a year.

To my amazement, almost all of the happenings I visualized came to fruition (injury prevented me from completing the marathon).

It felt thrilling to watch everything unfold just as I had imagined.  And yet, as I was finishing up the farm internship in June and plotting how to get Orcas Island to continue my journey there, something didn’t feel right.  Although it seemed like the perfect fit and no other opportunities were in sight to fill its space on my timeline, I couldn’t bring myself to go.

That, my friends, is a prime example of manifestation overridden by the subtle powers of intuition.

Perhaps I relegated intuition to the role of the paparazzi- needing to scream and shout to be heard from the background.  Which goes against its still-small-voice nature.  The most advisable place of intuition is as our inner escort in life- always close by, protecting and guiding us with our best interests at heart.

Fortunately for all of us, intuition doesn’t come with an “off” switch. It often steers the way even when we aren’t aware of it.

What to make of all of this?
Visualizing our greatest desires (a job, travels, way of interacting in society, experience, etc.) into being is too enticing to dismiss.  Not only is it empowering to experience firsthand that we are the producers of the movie of our lives, the process of manifesting also allows us to experience new parts of ourselves.  For me, it was making the leap from yoga student to yoga teacher.  Learning how to speak Thai while exploring the culture and customs of a foreign country.  And finally feeling comfortable with feeling…uncomfortable…sometimes.

How can we incorporate intuition AND manifestation into our lives?

Allow the intelligence of our highest self to set the intentions in the first place. 

What does this look like?

1.  Before tuning in to what we’d like to see in our lives, practice a short meditation.  It brings us to a centered space and the images that come from that space are likely to be in alignment with our highest good.

If the beginning is right, the ending is right.

2. If we pray or verbally express something we’d like to manifest, it’s wise to conclude by saying something to the effect of “if it’s in the highest good of myself and all those concerned.”

(Personalize this in a way that feels good for you).

3.  To break down the intention-setting/manifestation even further, I like the practice of writing down 3 specific deeds I’d like to accomplish the next day (preferably those that will lend a clear mind and healthy body).  And then I do, preferably before noon.

It’s a nice way to first attend to and honor whatever is on our minds and open ourselves up to be moved spontaneously by intuition thereafter.

4.  Always, always, always remember the power of our thoughts.  Each manifestation begins with a single thought.  If our thoughts carry the vibration of love, joy, and appreciation, we will experience more to love and appreciate in our lives.  Specific manifestations become less important when we are operating from a good feeling-place.  Life will surprise us with magic and miracles. 

5.  Find ease and lightness, both in the process of tuning in to intuition and intention-setting.  Have fun with it.  Notice more.  Make adjustments as you go.

Making the most of it.

Last weekend I was at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. I bought my ticket last fall– one of the lucky 3000.

WDS is comprised of main stage speakers, workshops, film screenings and unofficial meet ups that try to answer this question: “How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?”

Since it was only three days long, there was a temptation to pack in as much as possible. At events like this it’s common to hear, “I want to make the most of it.”

It got me thinking about what it means to make the most of my time.

Usually when we say that we want to “make the most of it,” we mean that we want to do the most— meet the most people, attend the most sessions, hit the most bars up at the pub crawl. I’ve tried this technique many, many times. It seems logical that by doing the most, we make the most of our time. But it’s never seemed to work all that well for me.

I came to WDS with a desire to experiment with making the most of my time here by figuring out how to be the most (present) rather than to do the most.

This new approach had me sitting in the basement of the hostel typing this post before I sat to meditate and then walked to the grocery store instead of socializing and bar hopping with my fellow attendees. I’ll admit I’m suffered a little from FMS (fear of missing something), but the message I got after checking in with myself after the final speaker of the day was: shower, eat and then re-evaluate. Upon evaluation, the message was write, meditate, groceries.

I worked actively with trusting that I’d still have maximum fun and cross paths with those I’m meant to meet. In taking care of myself, I was also more present to recognize the magic and participate in the events. For example, I had no idea where I was going to stay the days following the conference. One rad gal I met at the very last session of the summit offered me up a place to stay a few days while I get my bearings in Portland!

In the concrete the practice looked like this:

At every break I take a moment to check in with myself. Closed eyes and several seconds of reflections. How do I feel? What do I want or need? How’s my energy?

When I’m feeling distracted or bored or tuned-out in any way I check in again: What’s going on? What do I need? How do I get that for myself?

I am what I do. And you are too!

As I pack up yet again for my impending travels, through organizing my things I came across a stash of letters and cards from friends and family. It was a treat to read them and I noticed how many folks made mention of things like my courageousness and adventurousness and my traveling vagabond ways. “Free spirit!” they called me.

Owning the “free spirit” label or even calling myself a traveler has been a long time in the making. In fact, it’s still in progress. Much like I can be in denial of the traits I don’t want to possess, I find that I am often in denial of the desirable traits I do possess.

I noticed that this is due in part to meeting so many other travelers on the road who are so well traveled and, shall we say, more graceful (as in, they’ve never run through dark forests trying to look like a crazy person so they didn’t get attacked). My friend J, for example, traveled around the world for two years before moving from Portugal to Italy where he got fluent in Italian in a matter of months and went on the job market in the financial sector. He is always optimistic and brimming with joy. Even more so when things go awry. Compared to J, I think to myself, I’m not a free spirited traveler at all!

But when I parse out what it is that I do (travel) from how I feel about what I do (mixed feelings from joy to utter terror), I notice that J and I are the same. Travelers travel. Some travelers (J) thrive on all aspects of their travels and others (me) travel despite bouts of fear, loneliness, and weariness. It is both in my comparison to others and in coming around to a new way of being or doing (it just takes me a while to adjust to changes with my identity), that I discount the things I do and who I am.

The truth is, you don’t have to do what you do perfectly, professional or even all that well. But if you travel, write, draw, study, etc. often and it’s inextricably a part of your life, then you are a traveler, writer, artist, student, etc.

I am what I do. And you are, too. Good, bad, or otherwise.