I don’t believe in magic. But I believe in the power of positive intent. And I also believe if you’re committed to accomplishing a goal, and are consistently looking for ways to advance this goal, and signals the world is supporting you in making it happen — that this will help to manifest your dreams.
Today I’d like to offer a powerful meditation. It’s from one of my favorite books, Into the Magic Shop. It’s written by James Doty, an acclaimed neuroscientist from Stanford University, and tells the story of a underprivileged boy from Orange County who, in a very unexpected way, learns to meditate. Specifically he’s taught how to manifest dreams he can barely believe are possible, financially and career-wise. But over time, in the book and this boy’s actual life, every goal he sets comes true.
Today I’ll share with you how to do this for yourself. If you can, try to do this for twenty minutes twice a day. I can’t guarantee this will work. But I do believe it puts you in the mindset of success. Over time you’ll begin to truly believe you can accomplish any reasonable goal you set for yourself. This meditation will also lead you to constantly be looking for ways to advance your goals, and signals you’re on the right track. This in itself is a great boost to your chances for success — because you’ll believe the world is supporting you in helping you accomplish your goals. That optimism will open up avenues for success.
So let’s begin:
Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground, head pointing up to the sky or ceiling.
Close your eyes.
STAGE ONE : RELAX
The first step of this meditation is to relax your entire body, body part by body part. Start with the top of your head and relax this area, then focus on your forehead and relax this section, from the front of your head to the back and the middle, too, if you can. Then move down to your eyes, relax everything here, then your nose, below your nose, and your lips. Step by step focus on each area and relax all of the muscles you can.
You can do both arms at the same time and your legs too. Finally, relax your entire feet, from the top near your ankle all the way down to your toes.
Then scan your entire body down and up and down again, relaxing any tense areas. This should take about five minutes.
STAGE TWO : FOCUS
Next let’s go back to the mindfulness meditation we did last month. Focus your attention on the sensation of the breath as it comes in and comes out of your nostrils. What do you feel? What do you notice? Breath in and out of your nostrils normally but focus your mind, with alertness on all of the sensations you feel as the breath comes in and out of the nostrils. This should take around five minutes.
STAGE THREE: OPEN YOUR HEART
Because this is such a powerful meditation, we want to make sure your goals are promoting good in the world and not evil! So for five minutes repeat silently to yourself, in your mind’s eye, “My heart is open. I open my heart. I am good, I do good and I am loved.” You can adapt this to some other phrases if they feel more natural to you, too. Some examples from the book are, “I am worthy. I am cared for. I care for others. I love myself. I love others.”
This may feel a bit ‘out there,’ but Dr. Doty writes that meditating with these phrases actually changes the physiology of our body. When we do this type of heart-opening meditation, which helps us feel more calm, open and relaxed, the tone of our vagus nerve actually increases, and we activate the parasympathetic nervous system which, as Doty writes, “stimulates our rest-and-digest response.” This helps us be more focused, calmer and boosts our immune system. It’s a stark contrast to how our body responds to stress, which decreases the vagus nerve tone and increases our blood pressure and heart rate. Do this meditation for fives minutes, too.
STAGE FOUR: MANIFEST
Now we’re ready to start manifesting. I suggest starting with one or two goals, but you can also work your way up to more, even as many as ten!
Your goals can be to raise more money for your start-up, to pursue the career you’ve always dreamed about, to fall in love, to get along better with your team — whatever you’d like!
Let’s begin with your first goal. With your eyes closed and still in meditation, imagine what your life would look like if this goal were already accomplished. If your eyes were open, as you, with this goal having happened, what do you see? What colors? What shapes? Where are you? What are you wearing, what do you smell, who is with you? Stay with this. It may be hard at first. You might only see shapes or shadings of colors. But over time, and over days and weeks and months, the details will start to fill out. See, from your eyes as you, as much as you can about what your life looks like once you’ve manifested this dream.
After five minutes on your first dream, you can move on to the second.
These four steps are an extraordinary way to put you in the mindset of success, to look for things that will help you along this path each moment of your day, and to, really, help make your dreams reality.
After you do this meditation, please respond in the comments to let me know how it goes!