Life on Earth goes and grows in many ways. Patterns of living repulse and attract each other, and results vary. Despite our best efforts, plans can be something more like plants on this planet, than successful bullet points in a power point presentation. You may ask for a flower patch, and you may get flowers, bees and even a bunny. The bees may sting you and the bunny may rip up a plot and poo on your shoe. Yet in time you will learn to live with them, use the rabbit poo as compost (rabbit poo makes great compost), and if you stay with the patience to learn, you may even get some honey – even if you never asked for it.
Holistic-healer types often share conversations that include the term ‘manifestation’. This term seems to embrace everything from sharp and successful business ideology, to a wizard pulling whatever they want out of a hat.
To begin learning about cocreation, toss the ‘manifestation’ idea into the garbage. It isn’t the goal. If it is YOUR goal, go read something else, perhaps written by an ‘abundance’ manifestor who will teach you how to manifest money for 1000 dollars an hour. To begin learning about cocreation, I’d like to convince you to forget about trying to manifest your wants like a wizard. Give up. Forget it. It’s a terrible idea.
Once upon a time I wanted to settle down in The Bay. I’d been in and out of the area for two years, I liked the people and the opportunities. I intended to teach Yoga there. I set out to manifest my dream.
The first order of manifestation is to be clear. What do you want? If you aren’t clear and consistent your ideas will contradict. Your power will negate itself. Garbage in, garbage out! So, I needed a temporary place to stay while I found a more permanent place to stay. I put up an ad on Craigslist. ‘Seeking holistic based household in the East bay, full of light and love. I’m a Yoga teacher who wants to live with like-minded people… I love raw food… wood floors…’ You get the idea.
TADA I got several replies. One was for a month long stay (my request) in a house painted many different colors (which I’d said I liked) where three of the people had lived in Ithaca NY (where I said I was from) and one of them was a Live food lover, who wanted to share food and even had a Kombucha going (check, check, check). One guy played frisbie with a Guru who knew Babaji personally. BINGO. Damn I’m good at this.
So, next step, I had a month to find a permanent place. I was clearly a genius, so I had to go for broke. Be absurd! If I don’t ask for it I won’t get it! ‘Seeking a room to rent for 400-500 dollars (sure the East bay starts at 550, but what they hey!) Near a lot of nature and a Bart line (Such a place does not exist, yet perhaps they’ll build it for me?!) with a Yoga room, live food, wood floors, (Kombucha!) great roommates….. Oh, and for good measure I’d also like a place where my (yet to be MANifested, sensitive intelligent, yogini girlfriend who smokes pot will be welcome. This part was dicey. I couldn’t SAY that, so I just ‘infused’ the post with the essence of this prayer. Focused on it clearly so the vibes would get through without being so crude as to state it. Subtle. This is high level stuff. Damn I’m good. Then I went and rented time at a hot tub (which was not ideal, I needed to manifest friends who had one).
Let it ride.
Days Later, I got a reply. No way. Total BS. Don’t get too excited or I’ll jinx it. Don’t be desperate. I have LOTS of places deep in nature right by aBART stop to choose from! This is just ONE of them. A four bedroom house, next to the woods, four blocks from the Bart line just past Berkeley in Walnut Creek. Gardens, stone patio, a shared Yoga room, and ‘You won’t even know the highway is there as you walk around the corner into this tree lined street.’ Damn I’m good. Wait, no way. No one is this good. The visualization I see isn’t possible. She’s hamming it up. Keep your cool dude.
Show up at the subway stop. Well, there are trees over there. I suppose it’s that way. I’ll probably get lost. I don’t. It really is four blocks. All signs of traffic disappear. The street is covered in trees, and there are woods behind the house. It is idyllic. I ring the bell. This girl is HOT. Um, I mean, radiant. I stammer a bit internally, reminding myself that this IS my league. The place is gorgeous, just the right balance of rustic and Yuppie. Abercrombie and Baur. I’m in awe. “Nice place” I say.
We wander the house, which is remarkably large. An elegant extended cottage. Each room is unique, and fun to be in. three roommates recently left (huh? whatever) so there are three rooms to choose from. The one I like has baked clay floors. Vines around the windows. Apparently I am a genius.
Two hours later, after a – fresh home baked bread sandwich with veggies from her garden, we are sitting up in a massive mother tree, with several comfortable seats. Damn I’m good (the best manifesters get more than we ask for). She is showing me how she lowers the pulley that holds a reasonably sized, beautiful Cannabis plant to the ground for tending, and then puts it back up into the tree beyond notice, where it gets a lot of light. Absurd.
We’d already done some Yoga in the (astounding steepled Yoga room complete with trapeze rope) and passed by the pool (which she’d like my help to get slightly repaired. She needed more muscle for some jobs. Unfortunately. We’d also Saged the whole place together, taking turns vocalizing elegant prayers for our new home together. She loved one of my chants. “Wanna smoke with me?” che swooned. Sigh.
We went to her room. Hmm. Actually, this is a little close. I wasn’t trying to get the girl AND the house at the same time. Um, that could be drama. It’s great Cannabis, in a beautiful pipe. I sit on the floor, rather than on her bed. I had to be able to find a Yoga pose if I got too nervous. She was really gorgeous. “So…” and she proceeds to state out some more terms of living together. Did we agree on this already? “…I really like you…” she kept bumping my leg with hers. “…the last roomates were not a good fit…”. I wonder why they left I think. She keeps talking. I’m in a daze. I miss a couple sentences, then she says something about sharing food, some more words, which trail off into “I like sleeping with women sometimes and I was abused badly as a child. Is that a problem?”. NOT IN THE SCRIPT!$>?!
When people tell me details ‘too’ quickly I get nervous. I like knowing the truth, but it can be a sign of really bad boundaries. I get nervous, as planned. She may not be interested in me, but um, she seems to be. I spring up into a standing pose. It breaks the vibe, she doesn’t like that. A sting passes through the field of energy between us. Her face changes. Ten minutes later, we are backing out through the kitchen.
“I don’t think this is going to work” she states with ice in her voice. We’d just essentially negotiated everything about living together, down to how to handle toothbrushes. “Joyce doesn’t want you to stay”. Apparently Joyce was the dead former owner of the place. ‘She’ had kicked out the old roomates. ‘She’ spoke through my hostess, sometimes. She got angry. “And your mind is really difficult to be around”. That hurt. I felt spun out badly. “You need to go”.
Holy shit. I’m standing at the gate, staring at Eden, four blocks from the Subway in Walnut Creek. I can’t quite cry, I’m higher than the pot plant up in the tree, and I’m not going to get to swim in that pool. Oh, the rent was $420. I was willing to go up to 550. Sigh. I turn, and walk slowly away.
THIS is what I suggest you do with your lists. Stare at them. Love them. Cherish them. Then give them to the Earth, and walk away – ideally before they blow up. Don’t cling. do not argue. Don’t complain, or regret. Give up. You don’t really know what you need.
Let us take this from another two perspectives. Call them ‘Two reasons manifestation suck’. First, let us imagine you have the power to ‘manifest’ whatever you want. You think it, you get it. Breathe deep, visualize, close your eyes, and it will appear. The really good manifesters will just have the doorbell ring and get it delivered within the hour. You manifest the perfect job. A great place to live. Hand-spun silk handmade Indian clothing that a stranger ordered by accident and would love to give to you… You are so powerful, all you have to do is visualize it, and it appears.
And then one night you are walking down the street, and hear footsteps behind you. There is no one else on the block. You can’t see the person. Louder. Closer. A flash of terror washes over you. You imagine getting hit from behind. STOP.
Get it? If you really truly got the power to ‘manifest’ whatever you envision, your fears will grow faster than bread can rise. Faster than rain falls. Faster than… you could stop them from being real. If you really had the power to manifest whatever you want, the same power would turn those following footsteps into a footpad violent thief, because that is exactly what you’d be visualizing, without the discipline to stop it. See. Life works. Life is kind. You don’t want that kind of power. So stop asking for it.
Second. What you want is often NOT what you need.
I went home slowly. I went to the hot tub place again. I had a terrible migraine. My perfect life had just crashed in shards of glass around my feet. I wasn’t moving in with my new East Bay gorgeous, dancer, pot-smoking, bread-baking(with nuts and seeds), gardening, Yogini-girl. I wasn’t a genius. I wasn’t going to swim in my own pool. I was in extreme pain, and I had to pay for the hot-tub.
Days later, I found myself in Rainbow Grocery store, staring into the eyes of a kind new friend. “I think you should go to burning man with me”.
Bear in mind, I HAD asked to go to Burning Man. I’d gotten a ticket. I’d gotten invited to a camp. But the camp didn’t have shared food or showers. More than that, it didn’t FEEL right. I wanted a community. I wanted to be part of something that helped ground me there. So I did something a little differently. I let go. I felt too tense about the idea of going without more… I didn’t want to eat cliff bars in my tent alone. I didn’t know what I wanted, and more importantly, I knew I didn’t know what I needed.
So I changed my prayer.
“If there is a healthy camp full of people who will be great friends, shared food, showers, and …” What? “A place I fit in well. Where I can serve with my gifts and love it. Please make it obvious. Otherwise, I won’t go.”
This may seem vague. I assure you, it is a superior prayer. This is where I want to bring you. Ditch manifesting completely. Junk it. DON’T try and get what you want. Pray to get what you really need, and release it. Leave space to cocreate. Leave room for Spirit to show you a path beyond your dreams. Let Love teach you what you NEED. Use your wants. Put them out there clearly (just like manifesters do). Simply go further. Let them go. Wrap them in a dream bundle and say quite clearly to Life “This is what I think I want. Now, please use my wants as you will and show me what I really need”.
Unwittingly, I’d already done that. I’d asked for a really cool shared camp. I’d gotten invited to one. I GOT what I wanted. But it didn’t feel right. So I changed it. THIS is cocreation. It is a dialogue, and you don’t get to participate unless you believe it is real. What happens next really is a response from Angels. Believe it. Feel it. If you stay skeptical, you’ll miss the cues. You’ll fail to respond in synchronicity timing. I was learning to play my part. I let it go. I said I wouldn’t go at all, because something was off. Yes, Sting was going to be in that camp. So was Michael Franti. But. Well. Who gives a shit? It was off. I trusted my intuition. I surrendered. I stopped trying.
And here I was, staring into this guy’s eyes. “I’m going to be part of the Temple of Venus. We are going to offer sessions of many forms to women, and partner with the ‘Opulent Temple’.” To make a giant dome dance party. Tiesto. Paul Oakenfold. (Who the F are they?). “You have to help build the camp, and offer healing sessions.”
Okay. I’ll do that.
Two weeks later I was in the desert, surrounded by friends. I’d strung tapestries from the upper beams of a dome, to make a spiral all the way to the top. I’d learned to move the ladder with my feet, by hanging from the dome bars by my hands, lifting the ladder, placing it down, and shifting three feet at a time. That way I didn’t have to get down as I moved across the ceiling. The stunt was a big hit. The food was great. The showers were lovely. The friends were graceful and embraced me. We’d shared intimacy workshops to learn to be comfortable with each other. I couldn’t have dreamed this up to manifest, if I’d tried.
I was laying on a bed sleeping in the psychic healing tent. I’d been offering sessions all day, and had given everything I had. Tranced, I’d slept where I’d finished. I woke to a voice saying hello. I’d lost a lot of time. I was in a dream. “What do you want?” the voice asked. I was dangerously close to sleeping in through the night. “What do you want?” The voice repeated. I faltered. The question changed. “What would you like to find if you go out tonight?” A girl. A chance to sing at a mic. Some snacks. I didn’t state it, I just kinda felt it. Too quick to stop it. Too bold I thought. I got nervous.
I heard some noise outside. Hmm. Louder than voices. I took interest. A woman started to sing. I listened, and loved it. After a time, I was enlivened enough to rise. Outside the Temple, a crew had set up a portable mic system. They were taking turns singing. They were lovely. I walked twenty steps. I listened. The mic came to me. I sang in rounds with some truly gorgeous people. A new lady arrived. Wild, fierce, beautiful, alone. She sang with me. We took turns. She liked my style, she said with her eyes. The others left, and we retreated into a couch. We watched the sunrise over the desert, unobstructed from the two o’clock edge of Burning Man. She had snacks.
Over the course of the next several years, I learned to hitchhike, fall in love with the redwoods, find hidden hot tubs in the forest, swim in every nook I passed by, waterfast, farm, eat grapes from abandoned grapevines, practice yoga for hours everyday, and make music with the trees for hour after hour. I didn’t stay in The Bay for more than three months. It wasn’t what I needed.
I learned something more important. I learned to give up what I wanted, and say YES. Say yes to life. To love. To dreams that passed all my understanding. I learned to believe in myself, and this world, in depths I didn’t even know existed, before I let go .
This transcends MANifestation. This is Cocreation. This is what happens when we work with the feminine divine. Demand less, adjust more. Cherish intuition. Give up on lists just after making them. Watch opportunities like fruit waiting to ripen. Gather rabbit poo and turn it into soil. Be so calm the bees won’t sting, and offer up their honey. Feel the vivid presence of Spirit so close it reaches in and moves lungs to breathe me.
I didn’t have to stay empty of thoughts, and wants. My wants were still part of the conversation. I just learned to accept NO to my list. I learned to say YES to what life gives me, even when it doesn’t make sense, yet. Even when it hurts. Even when it crushes me. Now, when what I want doesn’t simply arrive at the door, I get excited. This means something better is just around the corner.
This better version cares about you. See it. Expect it right in the timing as your wants slip away. Don’t regret them, staring behind at what might have been. Embrace what is coming, before you know what it is. Don’t miss what is the better vision this life yearns to share with you. Embrace the dream that weaves your wants, with the needs the Earth sees in you, into something you Cocreate together. She loves you well.