Have you ever heard the phrase “where your attention goes, energy flows”? The first time I heard it was in a yoga asana class, and I realized just how big the scope of that statement was.
Keeping the focus on the physical body for a moment, think back to when a yoga teacher asked you to check in with your jaw, for example, to see if you’re holding any tension there. The moment you bring your awareness to your jaw, you’re able to release the gripping muscles.
Now try this: Close your eyes (after reading this paragraph, of course) and imagine you’re sending your breath down into your right knee, pretending that your knee could actually be a location for your breath to land, rather than your lungs. Do you feel something happen in that area? Try it again with your left hip. What sensations do you feel?
You might be thinking, “What hocus pocus is this?” or, “It’s total B.S.” Or maybe you’re like, “W O W, trippy,” like I was.
If we can direct the energy in our bodies this easily, why don’t we do it more often? What do you think would happen if you imagined some sort of healing imagery instead of your breath landing in a particular area?
Now, I realize I might have lost you there, but please humor me and keep reading. This might seem a bit too out there for your comfort zone, but what if you acted as if and just played with this concept every day for a few weeks and see what happens?
Working with visualizations
For several years, I’ve been falling asleep at night thinking about whatever story I’m creating in that time period. I’ll craft a perfect-case scenario in my mind and eventually drift off into a blissful sleep.
At one point in my life, I fell asleep thinking about my dream yoga studio. In this storyline, I knew what colors I’d paint the walls and how I’d decorate the boutique. I’d picture myself teaching to a room full of smiling faces, feeling the happiness oozing from me as I witnessed the vibrant community that was created there.
After a few months of doing that — poof! — Susan offered me her studio and Sundara Yoga Shala was launched.
Here’s another example — and this is me being super freaking vulnerable.
Five years ago, after healing some broken-hearted wounds, I decided I was ready to date again. The challenge was that I didn’t know where I’d actually meet someone — because aside from teaching and the grocery store, I really wasn’t going anywhere that I’d find my dream person. I was getting ready to take a trip to visit my sister out of state, so I created a nighttime visualization storyline that I’d meet my future life partner at the airport. I’m keeping the details to myself, but you get the gist of the plot. At one point in early September of 2015, I told some of these details to one of my besties, because I knew she wouldn’t judge me and could be in on the secret in case something came out of it.
And indeed it did.
A few short weeks later, I reconnected with a high school sweetheart, the one that I had the biggest crush on when I was a freshman and he was a senior. We found each other in 2015 via Facebook, and our love affair instantly took off. But he lived in Arizona, and I lived in California.
In mid-October, a few short weeks after talking nightly (for hours!) with my sweetie, I went to visit my sis. On my way home, my flight had a layover in Phoenix. And my sweet boyfriend surprised me at.the.airport. That’s where we had our first kiss as adults — right there, in the middle of the airport commotion, my wheeled suitcase and backpack carry-on near our feet.
Needless to say, I’m a firm believer that this shit works.
A few weeks ago I ended my post about envisioning where you’d like to travel to and some techniques on how you can virtually get there, even during COVID times.
What if you fell asleep each night, thinking about every detail of your dream destination? From packing to getting onto the plane, grabbing a local taxi, and settling into your new bed at night, fall asleep to the dream life you’d like to live.
At the very least, you’re doing a mind hack that makes you think it’s really happening. Don’t believe me? Try this (and it’s kind of yucky, so beware): Close your eyes and think about some situation that happened in your past that was really bad. Now, if it’s very traumatic, think of something that isn’t that bad but is still not great. Notice how your body responds to that memory. Chances are your heart races, your tension spots get tighter, and you might even get teary-eyed.
That’s the power of the mind, my friend. The mind imagines something and the body joins the party.
So why not fall asleep at night, thinking about the glorious thing that sets your soul afire? Think about the place you really want to go, the thing you really want to do, and the people you’ll do it with. Envision alllllllll the things, from the scents to the colors, the tastes and the textures.
The Buddha said that once you know something to be true, you must live up to it. Get into the specifics, and create your reality. And then take the steps to make your heart’s desire come true.