When I was 17, I sat down and wrote what I wanted my life to turn out like. I envisioned how I would be as an adult. I don’t recall much of what I have written now. I know there was a desire to exercise for the sheer joy of feeling my body move, coming to peace with food and ending my then-daily struggle with overeating. I knew how to garden. I envisioned sunlight, joy, and having a career in nutrition, which was my passion. I put the paper away in my hope chest. It was 1996.
Fast forward to 2004.
I am divorcing my husband and moving to a new apartment because of a mold issue in the basement unit I am in. I have just started my business after graduating from Bastyr University with aÂ degree in Nutrition and a minor in Exercise Science. While packing, I stumble across a piece of paper I had written when I was 17.Â As I read it, I recall my heart swelling with both awe and joy — these ideas I had fantasized for myself so long ago were mostly a reality now! I was about 80% there (but still did not know how to garden). It was absolutely amazing.
That was my first conscious realization of the power of manifestation, or to the power behind making a Magic List. I have since utilized this tool to bring forth more of what I want in my world and do so now with greater intention. I am in a place now where I am devoting time to learning to garden, delving more into herbs and healing plants and spending daily efforts becoming that strong, self-assured woman that seemed so far out of reach when I was a teenager. Having completed many of my goals in this fashion, my lists these days delve into deepening existing accomplishments, tinkering with mastery of new skills (how do I make compost?), and drawing people into my life who embody the kinds of relationships and associations I want to cultivate in my world.
This is an exercise I like to do with my clients as well. It takes many forms, from writing a specific goal list embedded with emotion and intention to free-flow creative writing on how one would choose to live life if there were no limitations and total support.
To make your own magic list, you can refer to the article behind this link (from Oprah Magazine) or sit down in a quiet space and write what you most want from this world. It is especially important when doing this exercise that you hold no limits or judgments on your desires. This is “play” in a sense — all there is is possibility and wild imagination. Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what your eyes see outward and what you tell yourself in your internal world.Â So if you tell yourself that you want to learn to garden, take up piano, have a relationship with a partner that is loving, honest, and is wickedly talented in the kitchen your subconscious mind will say — “Okay! Let’s make that work!” Likewise, if you tell yourself you are fat, stupid, and there is never enough money your subconscious brain will find ways to validate that experience for you. You will bring people into your life who are patronizing and do not respect you, weight loss will be non-existent and unexpected financial crises will show up as your subconscious mind says, “Okay! Let’s make that work!”
But that is another post.
As you write your list or tell your story of your life in the future, notice the sensations that crop up in your body. There should be a sensation of excitement, moving forward, reaching for your future. Fear, hesitation and disbelief are counterproductive and will not create what you want. Fluffy, superficial goals will remain unfulfilled, because your soul is not fluffy nor superficial and you were not put on this planet to do superficial things.Â When you create a life of intention and live your passion, you create positive energy that emanates from you and attracts more of what feeds you. It is a classic positive feedback loop. We have all met someone with sparkling eyes, a dazzling smile and radiant energy that drew us in and captivated us. This is available to each and every one of us. Write of the things which excite you, pull you forward, and stimulate the small voice within to say, “Yes! This is what I want!”
Then put it away.
It is not your list to agonize over, to diligently check off when a task is accomplished. It is not something for the conscious mind to tinker with. Set the paper aside, bury it in the backyard, put it in an envelope at the back of your underwear drawer. Your subconscious mind will have embedded these instructions and seek to make them so.
If all this seems too far-fetched for you and you are rolling your eyes at me, then please do not do this exercise. You will simply prove your inner skeptic right.Â If you have an inkling of hope or inspiration, go for it. You may be surprised!
To the skeptic – write down 2-3 things that you want to get out of the remainder of 2008. An extra $200, a new phone, getting to work on time instead of 5 minutes late or a solution to those nagging skin splints. Put it away and look at it again in January of 2009.Â Just to see.
Having just began my third decade on this planet, I have sat down to write some new magic lists. Now that I have the experience of seeing the power behind this exercise, all I have to do now is sit back and watch the magic unfold.
For More Information:
Beck, Marta. The Truth about Magic Lists. Oprah magazine online
Vicente, Mark. Chasse, Becky, dirs.Â What The Bleep Do We Know!? Perf. Marlee Matlin and Elaine Hendrix 2004. DVD
Wolf, Fred Allen.Â Mind Into Matter: A New Alchemy of Science and Spirit Moment Point Press, 2000