If you feel your life is going in the wrong direction (or stagnating), rather than ‘manifesting’, it’s a better idea to simply eliminate from your life what is not working for you, and form simpler but consistent new routines and habits. Over a period of time, this will turn your life around far quicker (and in easier forms) than any other kind of change, like spending money on online gurus. Here are a few ideas, and a couple of books to help:
- Know what you want. You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else!’ Life does sometimes throw us curveballs, and it’s not always possible to keep to the original plan or dream. But if you just go wishy-washy throughout life, then you won’t get far. Similarly, if you look back, that’s where you’ll be heading!
- Learn to meditate. A few minutes of daily meditation will change your life, within days. You’ll learn to quiet the monkey-chatter in your mind, and keep calm and make better decisions. One good decision over 10 bad ones, can often turn your entire life around.
- Self-care. Get enough sleep, drink water, give up addictive substances, get some fresh air and gentle exercise etc. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect others to treat you with respect?
- Get in touch with your intuition. Just like native tribes, quietening the mind and spending time in nature can help you to know what you want and where to go. Turn off the news, and listen to gentle music, take a nature walk, spend time with spiritual friends and generally get out of your own way.
- Do something different. Eliminate habits to replace with good ones. For instance, if you eat a giant bag of crisps each day back from the shop, try taking a simple walk by the lake instead, and have a cup of black tea at the local cafe. Just simple habits like these, can help to create healthy habits, and you’ll meet different people, and get some benefit out of a daily walk, instead of extra calories of junk food!
- Know what you believe. Visit different places of worship or join up various clubs from rambling to art class. Try a few things just once, then keep the routines and hobbies that sit with you. You’ll also meet like-minded friends. Never follow a faith or mindset, just because you were told to do, as a child or to ‘fit in’ (or from fear).
- Take time out. Sometimes just do nothing. Have a ‘home day’ with a face pack, watch old Columbo episodes, take a bath or sleep most of the day. Most people do too much. You are a human being, not a human doing!
- Be thankful. Rather than writing huge gratitude lists, just look at the birds sing, and know that like them, you have a home and music to listen to, and beautiful nature on your doorstep.
- Look at who you are around. There is a saying that you are the sum of the 5 people you spend most time around. In fact, it is more than this, as those 5 people are influenced by their own 5 people etc. If the main people surrounding you in life are negative, nasty or not in line with your values, either find other friends, or at least make 5 more friends in line with your own values, to balance them out.
- Forgive people. Not doing this is (to paraphrase a Chinese proverb) like ‘throwing coals at others, and getting burned yourself’. Forgiveness is ultimately a selfish act, as you move on from those who hurt you, and are having a smashing time, while you fester and squirm your life away.
- Read good books. Get rid of negative news and magazines, and treat yourself to a good read once a month from your local indie bookshop.
- Let go of control. Living in the moment and not cluttering up your life with too many to-do lists and goals, can actually set you free. If you look at any religious order (from monks to yogis), they mostly just follow a routine, and this helps them to be happy in the moment.
A yoga student mentioned in Steve Ross’ book Happy Yoga came to class, and would bombard him at end of each class with a list of all her worries: no boyfriend, job, home, money etc. He said she was exhausting and could only meditate for a minute or two. After daily classes for a few months, she asked him ‘Why with all the same problems, do I feel happy?’ He told her because she had learned to live in the moment. And as soon as she stopped chasing life, life started chasing her. She got the lot (man, job, home, money). Apparently she is now a famous actress, although he does not share who she is!
Microshifts is a wonderful book by a Catholic writer Gary Jansen, to help you make small adjustments in the way you think, act, work and pray, to gradually reshape deep rooted patterns. Rather than think of a relationship with God as a daily burden, this can help you to look forward to quiet time. Blending masterful storytelling with practical tips, he suggests simple small changes such as how we greet others, how we sleep and how we deal with the chatter in our heads.
Read The 52 Week Project. By the end of the book (one year), you should have transformed your life significantly, based on what’s best for you. The idea came after Lauren was lonely and miserable one winter’s night, after separating from her husband. Then came the night of 27 Rejections of Doom (she asked 27 people to hang out one Friday night, and they all said no!) Realising she had to change her life, she decided to do what her book suggests, trying something new each week – from entering a stand-up comedy night to detoxing from social media to giving up alcohol for 6 months and going to a music festival alone. Not only did the experience change her life, it repaired the relationship with her husband!
A Year of Weeks is a charming illustrated book, again broken down with 52 new ideas to try – from drinking enough water to trying out hand-lettering. Drawing on prompts (dreamy to practical), you can start with small morsels (like dusting small corners to buying flowers (see toxic plants to avoid near pets and don’t display near windows, to help stop birds flying into windows). This book offers endless opportunities to enrich your life, one week at a time.
I am thankful to all who said no to me. It is because of them, that I’m doing it myself. Albert Einstein
I’m always doing things I can’t do. That’s how I get to do them. Pablo Picasso
One day you will wake up. And there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now. Paulo Coelho
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns. Or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. Abraham Lincoln