That’s what my roommates in Sedona, AZ, used to call me fifteen years ago—because due to the fact that I had a lot of time on my hands, I had honed my visualization skills and focus to a level that whatever I felt strongly about would come true… sometimes within weeks or even days.
How I got there is a very long story, though (and yes, there WILL be a book), but here’s a tip that you can put into practice right away.
You probably know the feeling when you’re being torn between two (or more) choices and just can’t decide what to do.
Should you spend those savings on that new car you’re going to need soon, or should you pay off your credit card debt first?
Should you take the job in Company A (which pays less but looks kind of cozy)? Or should you go for the job at powerhouse Company B (where you could climb the ladder fast, but where the atmosphere is highly competitive)?
And so on, and so on.
It’s agonizing, isn’t it?
Well, there is a way to make the right choice. All you have to do is work with the Creator (substitute “Creator” for God, the Great Spirit, the Universe, whatever you feel most comfortable with; I use them interchangeably) by keep your eyes open for signs and synchronicity.
Here is my latest dilemma: I’ve been simultaneously writing two books and didn’t know which one to focus on first.
The first one is a middle-grade novel, tentatively titled KINGS AND PAWNS. I’m also going to treat you to a synopsis, just because I can.
Growing up without a dad is tough, and cool James Bond-type father figures don’t come around every day. When Grandma receives an ominous phone call and dumps him with the neighbors to take a trip, 12-year-old Max befriends new-in-town antiques dealer Jonathan Darkwood—finally someone who doesn’t treat him like a child.
But then the former owner of Darkwood’s store mysteriously disappears, and Darkwood himself seems obsessed with a certain old amulet. When Max digs into his family’s past, he discovers that Grandma lied about the death of his parents, for nearly two centuries his relatives have been in the monster-fighting business, and Darkwood is a key player in all of it.
When the antiques dealer sends his monstrous minions after Max to obtain the magical amulet, turns the neighbors into zombified food items, and finally kidnaps Grandma, Max has to fight the battle of his life. If he fails, he and his loved ones will join the ranks of Darkwood’s monsters. Too bad the only weapon he has is a measly little flower.
If I were asked to use a comp, I’d say “Erma Bombeck meets The Secret.” Though I should add that I’m not a big fan of The Secret, the best-selling manifestation book of all time plus movie. As an aside, let me tell you about…
The Downside of The Secret
The reason is that it not only treats the topic in a very mechanical way, comparing manifestation to ordering something out of a catalog, but in my opinion, it promotes the kind of selfishness that you find in Ayn Rand’s objectivist tomes. No great surprise that the franchise has been plagued with lawsuits and scandals from the beginning.
James Arthur Ray, for example, one of the contributors to both book and movie, was found guilty of negligent homicide and spent two years in jail after three participants of his 2009 “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in Sedona died in a sweat lodge. Witnesses claimed that Ray pushed the already exhausted attendees to their physical limits, imploring them to stay in the lodge, even though many were complaining of feeling dizzy and sick.
That also kind of answers the question you’re feverishly asking: Do you have to believe in God to manifest?
No, you don’t have to. But it helps steer you away from the many traps and pitfalls that come with doing this mind-over-matter thing. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer creating the life I want for myself without my attempts coming back to bite me in the ass.
Working with the divine plan instead of against it keeps you a) on track, b) humble, and c) from accidentally hurting yourself.
Okay, back to being torn between two books.
This was not just a choice between two books, though. It was also a question of “Which TYPE of book could I be more successful with? What should I consider my first priority?”
I’ve been mulling over that question for at least six months now and asked Spirit for guidance.
As soon as I started working on YOU WISH again, I immediately noticed a shift in energy. Whereas I’ve often felt dejected and stuck working on the novel, the nonfiction writing went much more smoothly.
I also noticed a measurable uptick in Twitter followers, many of them motivational speakers and spiritual teachers, some even famous. (And that even though I didn’t write about manifestation on Twitter at all.)
Two of the people I feel honored to have following me are the amazing James Altucher, Amazon bestseller author of Choose Yourself, and Brian Rose, former City of London investment banker and founder of London Real TV. If you haven’t seen Brian's TED Talk, “Why I Left Millions in Banking to Inspire Millions Online,” it’s a must-watch.
I’ve also started meeting more and more nonfiction writers in person. The middle-grade novel, by the way, took care of itself: a week ago, I had a chance meeting with a wonderful editor, who agreed to work with me to get the novel fixed up and ready for publishing. We agreed on an end-of-August date for the first developmental discussion. That gives me time to work on the nonfiction book for four weeks, uninterrupted.
And the little miracles keep coming.
Last night, I attended a local mini-workshop called “The Art of Transformation” with Ronald Rand, a seasoned theater man. I had expected to learn more about acting, but I hadn’t expected a lesson in spirituality.
At some point, Rand started talking about and quoting from the book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle (another native German).
“Forget about guilt,” Rand said (I’m paraphrasing), “forget about worry and fear. Just trust that the Universe will support your dream, your life’s purpose, and that it will guide you where you need to be.”
It caught me completely by surprise, but I realized that there was something being said for me to listen. However, it still didn’t answer the question: Fiction or nonfiction? Children’s novels or mind/body/spirit?
When I went to bed last night, I grabbed the book The Weekend Book Proposal by Ryan G. Van Cleave, which I had started to read a few days ago. I turned the page and saw this:
The last two books I bought? The Elfstones of Shannara and Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. I picked up Terry Brooks’ fantasy novel because the poet in me loved the sound of elfstones and Shannara. (I’m also partial to anything that reminds me of Tolkien, the first “adult” books I ever truly loved.) My inner child insists that I buy one fantasy book a month, so I was browsing the Sarasota Barnes & Noble sci-fi/fantasy shelves, wondering if I should finally read Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when my eyes fell on Brooks’ fantasy book.
There’s something luscious about how the harsh monosyllabic stones is softened by the three-syllable word Shannara. But then I’m a poet, which means I get unduly excited about nuances of language and sound in ways my family doesn’t understand.
First, gasp in awe. Second, say "Thank you, God." Third, stop and ponder what this may be telling you.
To me, it’s clear now: YOU WISH—Lessons from a (Grumpy) Manifestation Queen should be my first priority.
Here’s a little fun exercise for you. Ask a question that you really want the answer to, about some choice you need to make or a problem you’re facing. Ask Spirit to send you guidance in form of a clear sign. Ask out loud and then let it go.
But keep your eyes open.
Don’t walk through your day half asleep, as most of us do. Be aware of your surroundings and keep looking for that sign.
- It could be in the vanity plate of the car in front of you.
- It could be in the headline of the newspaper you just opened.
- It could be in a conversation between two strangers you overhear in passing.
- It could be something your mother says to you, or the guy at the deli counter in the grocery store.
- It could be that every time you attend to Choice A, you step in dog poop, trip over a crack in the sidewalk, and spill coffee onto your shirt. But every time you attend to Choice B, you make a new friend, receive a gift certificate in the mail, and feel like a million dollars.
Observe and scan everything that happens to you, every day. Observe how dealing with certain things makes you feel. The more observant you get, the more frequent and clear the signs from Spirit get.
I think they’re there all the time, it’s just that we’re not paying attention. But if you practice this a lot, at some point the second-guessing stops and you just know—which is the exact moment when you’ll start to live a truly enchanted life.