I admit it, I was born an achiever. I like setting goals and meeting them, and in my years working as a journalist, I have never missed one deadline. Impressive on my resume perhaps, but in retrospect, kinda weird and scary for a human. For a long time, I’ve gone about life in a very Type A, very goal-oriented, very yang way, and it was as exhausting as it was fulfilling. As my teacher Emily recently said, we sometimes try so hard to be good that we forget what it’s like to feel free. Thankfully for me, somewhere along the way, life intervened and I found yoga. With that, I was introduced to not only its deeper contemplations on life, but also the subtler, softer approaches to it. Words like ‘surrender’, ‘trust the flow’ and ‘let go’ needled their way into my dictionary, but what made me sit up and take notice was this — ‘manifest’.
Goal-setting, despite all its good intentions, is rather two-dimensional in its approach — set a target and work like crazy to achieve it. What we don’t realise about setting goals is that we peg way too much to the results we so desperately want to see. The emphasis is often this: How can I get this, do this or achieve this, so I will feel better? I will feel worthy when I get that promotion and pay raise. I will feel powerful and important when I finally buy that condo. I will finally feel beautiful when I lose another 10 kilos. Our ability to feel good about ourselves depends way too much on that targeted achievement! At the same time, we are often so driven that we develop tunnel vision. The blinkers come on, and with it we lose sight of so many possibilities that may be zooming by us.
Manifesting, on the other hand, is a lot more fun. Instead of browbeating our way to a goal, manifesting suggests that we invite it to unfold with grace. The principle of manifesting is simple — light attracts light. The key is to create our reality based on how we feel, instead of what we think; and the hard work comes not in working towards a goal, but in working on making ourselves feel good, so that we can be an energetic match to attract the goodness we want into our lives. Manifesting requires that we dig a little deeper beyond the goals and expectations that we so often set using our head, and listen a lot more closely to the innermost desires of our heart.
It may sound a little hippy, but manifesting is not all easy peasy. There's hard work involved in consciously making choices that will nourish us inside out so as to build positive vibes, and then there is the hard work of surrendering — letting go and trusting that what will be, will be. The results are very often way beyond what you would even dream of, When I let go of my reigns of control and worked on manifesting instead of goal setting, I was taken aback by the serendipitous opportunities that happened almost instantaneously, with some way too coincidental moments that made even my very logical husband go: “You gotta be kidding, this is really happening!"
A big part of me believes that magic is out there. In fact, it is everywhere, as long as we let go of the thinking mind long enough to open our heart to it. Or if you truly believed in the power of manifesting, you could say that magic really isn’t magic, simply unrecognised opportunities that are, until acknowledged, floating right before our eyes.
Ready to embrace some magic in the new year? Join Leigh at her Manifest Your Life workshop on 7 January 2017 in Hom Yoga Orchard Singapore. Click here for details.
By Leigh Khoo