Guest writer for Wake Up World
I was becoming a master manifestor. Everything I wanted, I got. From the extra salmon roll I didn’t order but wanted which showed up on my plate courtesy of the chef thirty minutes after I decided secretly in my mind I would get it, to my request for a loving, sexy, emotionally available man to travel with during my time in Asia who showed up only three days after I wrote the script for this meeting in my journal, to an apartment that suddenly became available two days after I was made known it would not be (through a visualization I created, imagining the current tenant leaving), to the money I found on the floor four times in one month, to all those rent stabilized apartments that came my way, to that taxi that appeared out of nowhere, to all those parking spots…
For at least half a decade I have been reading up on the topic of manifestation. For three years I taught classes and led manifestation groups and for my whole life I have been ardently working on myself, bringing to awareness all the unconscious programming running my life so that I could become the master of my own destiny. I created my own methods of manifesting because I felt that many ideas on the topic, although interesting and helpful, were not all that comprehensive and didn’t take into account the role of trauma in our lives, addiction, the persistence of bad habits, the difficulties of managing intense emotions. It’s not so easy to think positive things when you are in the pit of depression or feel confident about an outcome when your self-esteem is in the gutter.
I taught myself and others how to work with intense emotions, how to join instead of resist the most difficult and self-destructive beliefs we all at one point have about ourselves. I taught different methods to evoke positive emotional states and through some extraordinary experiences learned about the power of visualization. I held more than a few new moon ceremonies in my Brooklyn apartment, and did meditations with friends in different countries to channel the wave of our joint energy to carry out things we wanted in our lives. Eventually, I began to rely not so much on any ritual and more simply on the power of my thinking and my imagination, simply just knowing something would happen even if it seemed against all odds.
It dawned on me one day recently as I was experiencing one thing after another come my way that finally I (and only I) am the one creating my life. All that therapy, healing work and dedication to knowing the deepest parts of myself had paid off. I had become the master of my own destiny. No longer did my unconscious beliefs, the voices of my parents, and the narratives of society hold sway and because of this whatever I desired and chose in a conscious and intentional way, I received.
I was having a good old time. I was getting also getting a little cocky.
I was about to move back to Berlin after a one month trip to New York and I needed a temporary sublet before I moved into my long term apartment. Thinking of my stellar track record with a big smirk on my face, I thought, “Easy”. Now I also knew that getting a sublet with certain requirements: amazing light, a particular neighborhood, a balcony, cheap rent wasn’t going to be so easy given the current market and the time of year.
I woke up in the morning not knowing the practical ways I would go about doing this and decided to pay a visit to my Iphone. I saw on Facebook that my request to join an expat Berlin apartment group had been just approved so I scrolled and within minutes I found “the apartment”. Two seconds later, I write the woman who made the post expressing my interest and 30 minutes later I am told the apartment is all mine if I want it. I’m feeling more than impressed with my skills and I am bathing in the magic that seems to be a never-ending stream pouring from the sky into my heart out into my world.
One day later, however, the breaking news: the apartment has fallen through. I see the message, “Sorry it’s not going to work out…” and begin to feel anxious. “What the fu*k is this?”, I ask myself somewhat confused. To make matters worse, on this same day I am feeling disappointed by a person who is important to me. He feels far away and so I start spinning like I sometimes do when life throws me a double whammy. The domino effect is now in full effect. I’m anxious. I have 6 days left to find a place, what will I do? I feel alone and sad and defeated, all the feelings that get triggered in me when people I love seem to not be showing up. My body begins to feel a little numb and I know I’m in a state. The state where deep emotional shit comes up and takes over and your lost and wonder how the hell you are going to get out it. I try to distract and nothing works, not a visit to the Planetarium to watch that space show I’ve been wanting to see forever, not a walk in Central Park on the most beautiful sunny day of the summer so far. I’m pissed and I say to myself more than once: “All this manifesting is a crock of shit.”
Then I put on the brakes, in all the ways I have taught myself over the years to do because I know I’m about to enter the dark side. I start breathing. I do yoga poses. I remind myself of all the blessings in disguise behind the things that have fallen through in my life. I talk out my feelings with people who I trust. I journal. And most importantly I tell myself this: “This is just a feeling and whether it’s real or not or accurate or not, you must honor it. Do not abandon yourself here in this place that you need yourself the most.”
I think back on all I have read about how our negative thoughts and feelings create our reality and all the B.S. about the importance of getting rid of them. I always thought telling people they need to dispel their negative thinking and feelings to create a better reality was too simplistic. Of course our negative outlooks and negative beliefs about the world and ourselves create our realities to some degree. However, I felt at the time and still do now that it isn’t the negative thoughts and feelings that are creating our realities so much as the judgment we have about the thoughts and feelings we are having. So I practiced this thing called mindfulness.
I practice still half numb and spinning the best I can and I don’t see immediate results. But, I know the process well by now. I know it takes time and I know if I can just be with myself without judging what I’m feeling, if I can just be present without blaming myself for being some kind of fraud at conscious creation and at life, the feeling will pass. A few hours later, I start to get proactive and I find another apartment show up on my Facebook list. It looks nice. Wait, it even looks better! It’s cheaper I also see and the sublet term is longer than I would like but it dawns on me then after I assess my whole moving situation, that a longer temporary sublet is actually better for me. I start seeing the reason behind all the madness. I realize I can still have whatever I want, but I don’t need to act like a spoiled child and expect I will get it instantaneously. I remember patience is a virtue. I write the woman who is subletting this new find and I get it almost immediately.
I wake up the next day and the storm has passed. I pay a visit to my IPhone and I see a message from the landlord of the original apartment that fell through saying I can have the apartment after all. I find I am now in the position of having to choose: Chocolate Cake or Pecan Pie. I love both but I’ll go with what my gut is craving at the moment. The landlord goes from being a bit standoffish with me to being super friendly and inviting even after I decline her offer and she tells me to contact her in the future if I ever need space. I think, “What a wonderful world!”
As I reflected back on this, I realize the universe gave me a very powerful lesson: I am allowed to be overcome by negative feelings. I am allowed to be imperfect and I can be all this and still get what I want. There is no punishment for feeling something negative. Ever. And life isn’t withholding. Ever. It works with us at all times opening doors we never knew were there, bringing us learning experiences we need to evolve (experiences which we sometimes interpret as bad luck or “poor me” moments), and relationships which tear us open to help us heal. The grand design of Life is working with the life force within us hoping we will just begin consider the possibility of opening to the flow of this profound energy, an energy each of us possesses and which is the power that allows us to create anything we want for ourselves.
So, it is really only we who work against ourselves. Judging ourselves, having unreasonable expectations, not giving ourselves the chance to be as we are: imperfect, beautiful humans navigating a messy yet extraordinary journey called life the best we can. In fact, as I look back especially over the past 5 years or so as I watched my life transform, I realize it was due in large part to working with my inner critic by my ongoing fight to give voice to something deeper I felt within me: another voice that said if you just let yourself be yourself than there will be nothing left to ever do.
So, here it is, the biggest gift of all: The moment you decide you are perfect and loveable as you are with all your messy shit spilling out and over, you will get anything you want.
Try it: The next time an emotional storm passes through and you think because of this you won’t get what you deserve, give yourself a pat on the back for feeling like shit and give yourself the time and care you need for this wave of feeling to pass (as it always will) so that beautiful wave of a thing you’ve been wanting can flow through.
About the author:
Danielle Benvenuto is an ex-psychoanalyst and energy healer turned human trying on just being alive. On the side, she’s a writer and poet with a passion for capturing and creating images. What inspires her most these days is people, dancing, and life. Come September, she will offer “life readings” — one hour sessions similar to tarot readings that help you tune into and create your life callings.