A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…I wanted to be a lawyer. Once I made up my mind that courtrooms and suits were my destiny, a very strange thing started happening: it all began to fall into place. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was The Law of Attraction at work right before my very eyes.
Call it what you want: The Law of Attraction, The Power of Prayer, The Powers of the Universe…whatever label you place on it, it’s “that thing” that’s nearly impossible to deny when you experience its magic firsthand.
Think about it, when was the last time you really wanted something? I mean truly craved it in your soul? Maybe it was your dream job or a cute new car or that pair of designer shoes you’ve been eyeing for the last year. Maybe it was something less tangible, like a healthier relationship with your kids or a more intimate relationship with your partner. Maybe it was nothing more than a feeling, like “content” or “at peace.”
Think back to your thoughts at this time in your life. Were you thinking about this new goal 24/7? In little ways, did your dreams slowly creep up throughout your day? Maybe you were pouring your typical cup of morning joe when BAM! you start day-dreaming about that new car. Or you’re sitting in line at pick-up waiting for your kids to get out of school when POP! there’s that image of you and your wife basking in the sun on a beach in Bora Bora.
Now try to remember what actions you started taking after deciding that you really, really wanted to attain this goal. Did anything happen? Maybe a second source of income popped up to help you save up for that car or vacation, or maybe you took a new route home and ended up walking by a store that displayed one of your spouse’s favorite things in the window for sale. The inexplicable thing about The Law of Attraction is that little guides start magically popping up all over the place when we set our minds to something.
That’s the thing though, you have to know what to look for. Back when I was working towards becoming an attorney, I had absolutely no clue what hints and tips the universe was throwing my way. At the time, it all seemed like one gigantic coincidence or, even worse, a product of my own determination.
Now look, I’m not a total hippie. I do believe in the power of hard work and know firsthand that achieving your dreams does take A LOT of determination. What I’ve learned though, is that it’s a completely different kind of work than the kind we perpetuate in modern Western society.
When I think back to the hardest goal I’ve ever had to work towards (deciding not to be a lawyer after all), the greatest hurdle was overcoming myself – my ego. Sure, there were lots of late nights Googling alternate job tracks and even the painstaking hours I spent teaching myself how to code so I could set up this blog, but nothing compared to the months I spent doubting myself.
Our thoughts are miraculous things. They truly shape the world we live in and define every moment of our lives. They have the immense power to lead us closer to our dreams, and the even greater power to sabotage those same dreams if we let them.
Just like positive thoughts have the ability to bring our greatest dreams into reality, negative thoughts can hinder our progress or even stop it dead in its tracks. Think about it, what is the one constant, nagging negative thought you play on repeat over and over in your head? For me, it’s that I’m not good enough. Sometimes it takes form as “you’re not smart enough” or “you aren’t experienced enough” or even ” you aren’t pretty enough,” but the general theme is always the same.
When it came time for me to leave the law, that thought pattern kicked it into high gear. Every day after leaving my firm, I was flooded with thoughts of self-doubt. And you know what? It stalled my progress. For the better part of 6 months I was stuck – completely unsure of who I was, what I wanted, or where my place was in this crazy world.
But then an even crazier thing happened: I started to dream of something more. I started to slowly entertain the idea of becoming a writer and, just like it always does, the universe answered my call. Freelance writing projects began to pop up here and there, and opportunities to earn my 200-hour teaching certification started surfacing. In no time at all, I found myself heading down a path towards my true goal: finding peace.
Most recently, I’ve been working towards a big dream. A dream so big that it’s taken almost a year to come to fruition: moving to New York City.
In the wee hours of the morning one night last summer, my now-fiancé started asking me what I wanted to pursue next in my life (remember those lost 6 months I referenced before? Yup, we were in the thick of it). I started dodging his questions and came up with just about every excuse I could conjure up until I just blurted it out: “I think I want to move to New York City.”
Half expecting him to think I was completely nuts, I started back-tracking. That was, until he interrupted me with one simple statement, “Okay. Let’s move to New York.”
I was stunned. Shocked. Here I was, tears streaking down my cheeks as I blurted out my inner-most dream and I was being told out loud that it wasn’t such a crazy dream after all.
We started dreaming and scheming and, sure enough, the signs started popping up in almost every aspect of our lives. Once we made the gigantic decision to move, The Law of Attraction took over. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the signs that came into our lives once we made the decision to leave Boston in pursuit of our Big City Dream (in no particular order):
- My fiancé landed his dream job at a ginormous law firm in Midtown after interviewing for only two weeks.
- We found the most perfect apartment on the Upper West Side (larger than our current home in Boston) in just two days.
- As if that wasn’t enough, we were able to get this apartment under our budget.
- I developed a sort of “overnight courage” to leave two dead-end jobs that made me miserable and stifled my creative spirit.
- Seemingly out of nowhere, I decided that I wanted to be a full-time writer.
- And, in response, landed client after client in just two weeks.
- My blog started making money.
- My Instagram started making money.
- I started making money.
- Our relationship blossomed and we got engaged.
- I found a fun source of supplemental income that kept the creative juices flowing while still allowing me to write whenever I wanted.
- I met a group of fun, like-minded friends.
- We started having reasons to visit the city (almost every weekend).
- My family and I have never been closer.
Has the past year been easy? No. Have there been bumps in the road? 100%. But has everything lead us to this moment, a mere days before moving to New York City? Absolutely.
I have to admit that when I first heard about The Law of Attraction and the idea of manifesting dreams in my yoga classes, I thought it was all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. I remembered the worldwide craze that set off when The Secret was originally published, and it all seemed like a corporate scheme to get the public to buy branded notebooks and audiobooks.
But once I started noticing the hints, the signs, popping up virtually everywhere over the past year, it became pretty damn hard to deny that something was going on. All I’m saying is that once I started wanting this new life – a life doing what I love, surrounded by the people I love most, in a city I’ve always dreamt of living in – it started happening.
Now that my mind and heart are open to the idea of manifestation, I notice the signs all around me every. single. day.
Whether it’s someone walking by me on the street in an “I Heart NY” t-shirt (which, in downtown Boston, is pretty ballsy in and of itself) or a flyer for a free writers workshop, the universe sends me little guides all the freakin’ time now.
One of my favorite hints from the universe (inspired by a new Reiki project I’ve been collaborating on with some other Masters) is all about numbers. I know what you’re thinking, “Elizabeth, stop your hippie nonsense. Numbers are just arbitrary symbols we assign to places and things so we can identify them.” Okay, but hear me out…
11:11. If you’re a millennial like me (or if you raised kids in the 90’s), you might recall the “make a wish on 11:11” craze that spread like wild fire in middle school. The idea was simple: 11:11 is a “magical” time and, if you make a wish when the clocks strike eleven minutes past eleven, it will come true.
Now, some 15 years later, do I believe that there is some magical fairy godmother granting every wish I make in the late morning or evening? No. But what I do believe in is the circumstances around which I notice the clock strike this special time.
For me, 11:11 is a reminder from the universe that I’m on track, that I’m aligned with my purpose. And I don’t believe that without reason. Take yesterday for example, I was sitting in a crowded waiting room at the DMV to get some last-minute paperwork for our move and feeling absolutely wiped out. I’d been there a few short minutes and was already starting to go over my looming to-do list in my head when, out of nowhere, I decided to check the time. It was 11:11.
I instantly felt a sense of reassurance, a sense of calm. Did I want to spend my afternoon at the DMV? Absolutely not, but it was a small task that I needed to complete to keep on truckin’ towards my goal. I was on track. I was aligned with the powers of the universe.
The same thing happened to me a week ago when we were on what I can only describe as the world’s most hellish train to New York. Somewhere between the screaming kids at the rear of the train, the creep watching porn on his iPhone in broad train light, the asshole leaning his seat back all the way into my lap, and the bottle of wine I downed to survive it all, I was done. Finished. I wanted to go home and live out my days as an illegal squatter in my Boston apartment. “Go to New York without me,” I told my fiancé “I’ll see you on the weekends.”
But, you guessed it, just as I was about to call it quits for good, I clicked on my phone to check the time: it was 11:11.
Coincidence? Maybe. But I can’t help but wonder why I keep noticing this weird combination of numbers nearly every time my ego kicks in and tries to tell me that I’m not good enough or that things won’t work out. It’s almost like the universe is sending me a little hint, a tangible nugget of reassurance, that everything will work out just fine…that I need to have a little faith.
So, how do you get started? It’s simple really, just start dreaming. Allow yourself the permission of indulging in your inner-most thoughts and goals.
Next up, say those dreams out load. It’s crazy how things start to unfold once we assign words to our ideas. Better yet? Say them out loud to someone you love (like I did at two in the morning as an ugly crying, blubbery mess).
Visualize your dreams (otherwise known as manifesting). Cut out photos from magazines and make a vision board. Write a list of everything you want to achieve and experience in the next year. Stick post-it notes all over walls. Whatever. No matter how you do it, place your dreams physically in front of you each and every day (mine is currently set as the lock screen background on my phone).
Let go. This is the hardest part, especially if you’re a naturally born control freak like me. Even though I’m a Reiki Master and a certified yoga teacher, I still have trouble with this one. I absolutely hate letting go. HATE IT. My fiancé (as the southerner’s say, “bless his heart”) will lovingly tell you that I crave control a lot of the time. Hell, even my decision to become a full-time, freelance writer is indicative of my need to control how I spend my time. But, as they say, you can’t control everything. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is let go and observe as things unfold.
And finally, pay attention. Instead of living in a chaotic world where things just keep happening to you, try to switch your mindset a bit. Notice the little hints throughout your day and the opportunities that pop up here and there. At first, you may not recognize that opening on the PTA or the promotion in your company as little hints towards your potential, but trust me, that’s exactly what they are. Go for it. Observe. SMILE when the universe sends a reassuring nugget your way. And, equally important, notice when things seem unusually tough (spoiler alert: it means you’ve gone off track a bit and need to either a) let go or b) realign).
That last point is worth touching on a bit, particularly because I’ve noticed it so much in my own life over the past year. Maybe you’ve heard it before, but like attracts like.
What does this mean? If you entertain positive thoughts, you will experience positive things. If you want to live a content life, think contently. If you want to live a life full of love, speak lovingly. And if you want to live a life full of doubt or anger or sadness, spend your days thinking you’re a failure or harboring anger towards a deceased parent or dwelling on all of the things that are going wrong in your life.
It’s true that sometimes the shit just hits the fan. Sometimes, bad things just happen to good people and there’s nothing we can do about it. But, more often than not, these horrible things happen because they are exactly what we thought we deserved. I’ve observed it happen to so many friends and family members over the years, and the script is always the same: think the negative thought and the negative result surely follows. Whether it’s a friend desperately trying to make a toxic relationship work or a loved one that’s stuck dwelling in the past, it really is a tale as old as time.
The best way to interrupt these patterns? Gratitude. In many ways, The Law of Attraction really is as simple as consciously giving thanks for all of the wonderful things you have in your life (even when things seem bleak or hopeless or lost).
Don’t believe me? Visualize the absolute worst day in your life. You know what I’m talking about, that moment where you felt sadness or anger or frustration deep in your heart. For me, it was the morning after I was sexually assaulted. I was hurt in the worst possible way that you can hurt another human being…I was broken, shattered into billions of pieces of my former self.
Thinking about that time in my life used to cause me to break down in tears. Even today, I can feel a tiny flame of anger build in my core as I think about all the ways I could have ruined my assaulter’s life the way he tried to ruin mine. But now, I also try to interrupt these feelings with gratitude. Am I grateful that I was sexually assaulted? Abso-fucking-lutely not. That guy can rot in hell for all eternity for what he did to me and God knows how many other young women.
What I do find gratitude in is the amazing support system I had surrounding me during that time and that still stands by my side to this day. I take gratitude in the fact that I had the financial resources to seek professional psychological help when I needed it most. I am grateful for the female security guard at Franklin & Marshall College that believed me when nobody else would, and who helped me file a restraining order against my attacker to keep me safe. I am grateful for my mother, who held me as a cried in my tiny studio apartment. I am grateful for my ex-boyfriend, who stayed up until four in the morning as I drafted my first speech as a sexual assault advocate. I am grateful for my father, who deposited thousands of dollars into my checking account so I could afford my yoga classes and therapy sessions and medications over the years. And, most of all, I am grateful for myself – for having the courage to come forward, get a law degree, and help women just like me in open court.
That’s the thing about mindfulness and The Law of Attraction and gratitude: once you start incorporating them into your life, it’s hard to go back to your old thought patterns. I had a very wise life coach once tell me, “Elizabeth, once you’ve cracked open the door to enlightenment, you can’t really go back and shut it” and she couldn’t be more right.
So here’s my challenge to each of you: try it. The next time you’re having a truly awful, no good, rotten bad day, stop and think of three little things that you can be grateful for. Spend a couple hours this weekend crafting a vision board. Journal about the one wild dream you’ve always kept secret deep in your soul and visualize what your life would like if it came true tomorrow. You just might be surprised what unfolds…
The Yogi Lawyer