How does it really work? That’s the question I asked myself over and over again. What’s the key to living the life I really want?
Or is it just fantasy? Is it childish to imagine I can have a dream and turn it into reality? Is it time to grow up and realise that life is hard and I just need to accept it?
But what’s the point of having a vision in that case? Why do people keep talking about manifestation? Why was “The Secret” movie so popular? Why do I have the feeling that I’m here to make a difference? Why do I have a sense of my potential?
And why is it so hard to feel any kind of fulfilment?
So I studied these questions in every way I could. I trained for 22 years with 2 Chinese Masters, moved from England to New Zealand and gave up all semblance of a normal life.
I explored the world of energy and spirituality and worked with people to help them solve problems. It became a living laboratory – a place where I could study life through the examples of people struggling with it.
For much of the time I thought I had the answers. I was confident and my clients felt my sureness. I gave them hope and new knowledge they’d never come across before and they got better. They solved health, relationship and money problems – lots of them – and it was fun.
But there was always something missing. Although I experienced many remarkable shifts in my own life, and witnessed extraordinary changes in others, I was looking for something else.
For many years I felt as if there was a veil between me and life. I could be in a beautiful place but not really feel it inside. I could love someone but not feel very much with them. I could be happy but it wasn’t fulfilling and it wasn’t reliable either.
I lived in my head. It stood between me and everything I was doing. It had answers for everything. It was fast, endlessly curious and easily absorbed in fascinating enquiry.
I saw myself as intelligent, creative and interested. I couldn’t understand why that wasn’t enough. I appeared to have almost everything and I believed I could do anything I wanted – only it just didn’t seem to be true.
The reality was that I was sabotaging myself constantly. I had no control over my sub-conscious and it was denying me everything I thought I wanted. In the end I had no idea what I wanted at all any more. I was so disconnected from myself that I no longer had the courage to try to create any dreams.
I wasn’t willing to settle for being ordinary so I settled for being on a long, hard path to something special instead. I believed it would come one day, but in the meantime the sabotage continued and made it less and less likely.
It made no sense to me that I could have learned so much and yet I hadn’t “got it”.
I learned more, studied more, observed more, worked with more people. Many of them were similar to me.
Now I wasn’t having an awful time. Most of my life was really interesting and I was very engaged. It’s just that there was a persistent sense that there was something wrong.
I had an uneasy feeling about love. I felt I wasn’t very good at it. I wasn’t a beautiful soft, caring person. I was quite bossy and not very touchy feely.
But I realised it was something I needed to learn more about. So I started to ask internal questions about love.
I was desperate to feel the universal love I’d read about in spiritual books. I felt I ought to be engulfed in an overwhelming ecstatic experience and of course I was disappointed. I tried every day for about 3 months to feel love. It just didn’t work at all.
Then one day I was with a client. It was clear to me that she desperately needed more love. I felt inadequate to talk about it with her, but her need was stronger than my inadequacy.
I started to speak about love. Not romantic or personal love, but something higher, deeper, more expansive.
And a remarkable thing happened. It felt wonderful. Not in a powerful, mind-blowing way. It was simple. I felt I was in Heaven. It was natural. In talking about love very sincerely, I was sharing it with her. I was experiencing it and so was she.
That was the moment when I realised I’d been looking in exactly the wrong direction. I’d been looking all the time for a feeling. But I discovered that love is an action. You experience it when you “do” it.
It sounds a bit odd and yet I was able to repeat that experience so many times that it became very sure. And so for a few years I’ve been able to put myself in Heaven in this remarkably simple way, especially through my work.
It was only slowly that I realised something else was happening. When I experienced love, it included me. I loved myself, my life and everything about me. I recognised that the action of love arises out of an inner state of being. I couldn’t love someone else without loving myself at the same time.
And as my self love grew my self sabotage diminished.
Over the last few years several books have been published describing ways we can change our subconscious patterns, by rewiring our thoughts. This is the science-based way of dealing with self sabotage and it requires you to change your thoughts over and over again until they’ve changed.
I’d done a lot of this over the years and not only was it very hard, constantly trying to change my thoughts, but I’d also failed in the end to get the results I was looking for.
But I discovered that experiencing more love was doing it automatically. Whenever I was in a state of love I was incapable of sabotaging myself. It was only when I got into some other state that things would go wrong.
Now I understand that you might feel this is all very well for me, but not relevant to you. Just because I found this way of connecting with love, doesn’t mean anyone else can. But the point is that’s not true.
It’s through sharing love that you help other people to experience it. It’s clearly what you’re supposed to do. It’s what we’re all supposed to do. It’s so simple and so obvious that it’s easy to miss it.
And I’ve seen it over and over again with my clients. I’ve seen how it was possible to wake up in them their own ability to love – after all everyone has it in them, it’s just sometimes out of touch. And I saw them go through exactly the same patterns as me.
When they were experiencing love they became so powerful and creative, nothing could stop them. The minute they went back into being small, limited or fearful everything would feel wrong. Their relationships would be difficult; their kids unhappy; their colleagues disappointing.
And so we come back to the topic of manifestation. The more I’ve explored love the better I’ve been able to manifest. It’s not perfect yet – I guess it never will be – but it’s so satisfying and so simple.
The thing that’s really good is that you don’t have to be able to do it all the time. It seems that simply spending some time experiencing love affects the rest of your time as well. It all adds together and spirals gently upwards.
The doubts can still come, they’re a natural part of change, but none of that takes over in the way it used to. It’s simply stuff to deal with along the way.
I now understand that love is the power that makes you grow. It’s what fills you with a deep sense of satisfaction. It makes you share naturally and be kind, both to others and also to yourself.
It’s also the way you change your environment. People behave differently towards you and life feels better. You see your own love reflected in the way you’re treated by others.
This is worth building, especially at this particular time in history when many people feel disempowered, confused and helpless at the state of the world.
It’s not fantasy or naive to believe you can overcome self sabotage and become powerfully creative. It’s just going to take a lot of us to prove it.