Remember Sarah, from my recent post What are You Waiting for? There's an incredible update to her story, showing how you don't have to discover a Full Plan of Manifesting -- Steps A through Z. Sometimes, you only need to get to Step B, take a small action that reveals Step C... You'd be surprised at just how few steps you may have to take for the momentum of a clear intention to take down a whole Alphabet like dominoes. How clear is your intention? When we last left our heroine, she was stuck between A and Z -- feeling very strongly that she ultimately wants to relocate to Boston, a very clear intention about a place(Z); but either lacking in the faith required to create opportunities for herself there or unclear about how to find the next obvious step toward that goal (B). Fearful, she has resigned herself to the logical override of her Thinking Mind -- a list of reasons why she can't, why her desires are unrealistic, the safety of lower expectations… In her own words, she told me she feels she should get all her ducks in a row first -- here, even though here is not where she wants to be.
Are you sending mixed messages to the Universe? Obviously, there is a conflict in what she's trying to manifest -- to find a job in Boston, but... to find a new job here first and have everything just so, before course-correcting toward the primary intention…
I planted the seed in Sarah's mind that maybe she's looking for opportunities in the wrong location -- that she may already be manifesting everything she wants, exactly where she wants it. If she can't find opportunities here, maybe it would make more sense to look for her ideal life where she requested the Universe to deliver it…
Having Everything Just So is a tall order -- I don't know about you, but I've personally never mastered such a thing. I'm left wondering:
- If you manage to construct all the compartments of your life in such a way that everything's in perfect order, wouldn't you be inclined to stay there?
- If you built a perfect home for yourself, isn't the goal to live in it?
- How do you account for your intention changing, as the result of any number of "steps" or actions you take?
Is your goal a moving target? Has your intention changed? Sarah has been floundering, wondering why she can't find a new job here. Nothing is moving for her, nothing is happening… I suggested to Sarah, in an informal conversation, that perhaps she was sending mixed messages to the Universe. Conflicting orders -- "I want a job in Boston; but I want a job in Chattanooga."
Where's the power source for your intention? Emotionally, Sarah expressed so much energy and certainty about Boston. The visualization, the idea, the picture -- that beautifully crafted vision board is lovely, but it's like a screensaver on a computer that isn't plugged in or turned on… The emotional energy of an intention is where the power to manifest comes.
Are you micro-managing the How? Are you operating with a specific set of expectations? Are your expectations too high or actually too low? What if your power is stronger than you can imagine? What if you've assumed attractive means the Universe has a nice personality, but it turns out she's a total bombshell?
Step B doesn't walk in the room looking like Glinda the Good Sarah likes me as a person, as a customer, as an acquaintance, and she is familiar with my story and my work… but she is fundamentally, conservatively religious. She has explored my articles in the past, but politely communicated that, although she considers herself a Believer, and definitely professes an awareness of her guardian angels, she is uncomfortable with the idea of spirit guides. I have observed that devoutly religious people are often accompanied by very profoundly active angelic entities, saints, and ascended masters.
I am often confronted with coaching, marketing, and writing clients who value my insights, but do not believe in spirit guides (or angels, for that matter). I can't interface directly with anyone's spirit guides without his or her express wish and permission… Interestingly, from my perspective, the guides of these individuals have little to offer me in the way of information, anyway. The spirit guides of those who do not actively engage them present to me as veiled, somewhat like the Middle Eastern women who are forced to wear a full burqa -- they are vague blobs of energy that stand in the distant background; faceless, featureless, voiceless; invisible, denied the right to speak.
When someone says to me "I want your advice -- but I don't believe you can communicate with my spirit guides" I rarely tell them that they are right, and the reason why this is so. Depending on the individual I will often say, half-joking "We don’t have to call in your guides; I'll just call on mine." Whether I convey the full truth of how I work or not, that is the way I work -- my guides often prompt me with questions or suggestions, which I simply deliver as my own insights.
A few days after I offered her my suggestions about her situation, Sarah approached me for an official coaching session.
"You used to be a career counselor, right?" she asked. "Do you think we could talk about my situation from that… perspective?" I love to brainstorm about other people's career paths -- it's my favorite job in the world! I've recently added a 30 Minute Phone consultation option to my readings to encourage these kinds of chats.
She joined me that afternoon when her shift ended, at a table outside on the café patio. The session was extremely straightforward. I asked Sarah to tell me about a job she had in the past that she loved.
Until very recently, I would've personally had a hard time answering that question if someone asked me, but Sarah immediately responded. "About two years ago, I worked for this company… Full-time, great benefits… I loved the job. I especially loved my boss, Carol."
We talked quite a bit about Carol and why she was such an amazing person for Sarah to work for; she gushed about how perfect the relationship was; how much she almost grieved that position…
"What happened? Why did you leave that job?"
"Well, Carol was promoted out of her position and transferred. She even offered to take me with her, still as her assistant… but I was feeling pressure to go back to school at that time anyway, and finish my degree. It seemed, at the time, like the perfect timing for both of us to move on. I was afraid the job wouldn't be quite the same with a different boss. I left on great terms."
We discussed the features, the details -- both physically and energetically -- that made this Lost Perfect Past Position such a great fit for her. We profiled it on paper, as a template for the Next Perfect Position for Sarah.
When you're feeling powerless about an area of your life, mine your past experiences for positives. There is some feature or lesson you can use to emotionally charge your present efforts and amp up your courage. If the situation really sucks -- just horrible, tragic, bleak as all get out -- and you absolutely can't find one crumb of gratitude or shred of personal empowerment -- if the only blessing you can identify is your power to get out, to survive a bad situation -- go with that.
The Next Obvious Step Privately, in my mind -- resisting the urge to mutter under my breath -- I was asking my spirit guides for something to work with. They gave me two little words "Boston branch?" -- with a question mark.
Your intuitive impulse, the answer to your prayer, will most often come through on a deceptively small scale. It won't be Grand and Life-Altering because that would likely paralyze you. Listen for humble little intuitive flashes and treat them as simple clues that lead you to buried treasure.
I had an inkling where the Boston Branch connection might be going -- tons of faith, but honestly my expectations were too low, also.
"Sarah, would you consider working for this company again? I don't mean here in Chattanooga, necessarily, I just mean in general -- is it a company you would work for again if you could?"
"Oh, absolutely! I've contacted their Human Resources department so many times in the last six months, hoping they might have an opening I could apply for. They probably think I'm stalking them!"
"Clearly this is a national company -- you said Carol was transferred. Do you know if they have an office in Boston?"
I saw a light flash in Sarah's eyes; and then I watched a little battle between hopefulness and realism playing out on her face. But it was a hit. "You know what?" Sarah said. "I'm almost certain they DO have a Boston office..." Her gears were really starting to spin.
One of the easiest but often most powerful Next Step anyone can take in a situation is to gather information.
"Could you find out for sure? Is there someone you could ask? What if you contacted the people you already know in Human Resources and asked them about open positions in other cities? They probably even have some kind of web site you could check…"
The remainder of that conversation was Sarah vocalizing the conflict between her hopes and her fears -- things like:
- What if they did have a position in Boston she could apply for?
- How could she afford to go up there if she got an interview?
Anxiety comes from imaginative time traveling and lack of information. Don't skip ahead, wait until you have absolute information that warrants the next consideration.
"Don't jump to Steps W, X, Y! Let's stay with Step B for a bit -- the Next Obvious Step. Your assignment is to simply track down all the information you can about a Boston branch -- if nothing else, just a phone number for the Human Resources department at that office that you can call and ask all the other questions. That's it. If all you can do today or tomorrow is get that number or that email or that web site address -- do it."
"I'm on it!" Sarah promised.
Weeks later, but two days after I published What are you waiting for? Sarah slipped into a chair across from me, eyes twinkling, looking like she was about to burst, but scared to even say it out loud. "I hope I don't jinx this…" she said.
- Yes, there is a Boston office for the company.
- They had not one but two comparable openings to the position she held in the past.
- She applied online and sent them her resume.
- The roommate of her best-friend in Boston is moving out...
That one little act of information gathering had totally shifted her energy.
"I haven't even told you the best part," she said. "You will not believe who emailed me yesterday."
Oh yeah? Try me…
"Carol. My old boss Carol now works at the Boston office! One of the open positions is her Assistant! I'm in shock. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high. But she told me she would be thrilled to rehire me."
There was another ten days or so of chats with Sarah -- about the slow bureaucracy of corporate human resources, the fact that companies must post the position internally before interviewing candidates from outside, etc, etc. I advised her to focus on remaining hopeful and patient.
This past Wednesday -- on my birthday; amazing gift for me -- Sarah told me the position is hers. On Carol's recommendation, they interviewed her over the phone -- she didn't even have to travel. It all happened very fast. She already gave notice at her current job -- they surprised her by offering her a bonus severance check and told her they already have someone on staff who can move into the position she's vacating.
Sarah is moving to Boston to start her new job next month. She told me she now feels that maybe her ducks were already in a row and all she had to do was knock the first one over. "My ducks were dominoes!"
Can you share an example from your own life experience where one unassuming simple clue, combined with clear intention and a small action -- even just an investigation for more information -- set off a chain of events with mind-boggling momentum? I love a good success story -- please leave yours in the comments.