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Playful Self-Discipline: Challenges, Manifestation and Goals

As I was thinking about tackling some challenges in my life this week, I came across this post at Clean.  I’ve been loving Rachel’s blog lately and her lovely manifestation board floated into my mind and then stuck there awhile.  While I believe that hard work matters a lot, manifestation, intention and uncanny coincidence resonate with me.  Because there are times when you can work hard and tackle challenges head on, there are times when the biggest challenge is inside your own mind, and there are other challenges that percolate behind the scenes for a while before the solution blossoms into life.

So this past Monday morning I made our own version of a manifestation board.  The wire came from an idea found in The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule, and over the past year I’ve filled that wire with Advent bags, gratitude drawings and cards from friends and family, according to the season.  And instead of cutting photos from magazines or catalogues, Bea and I made drawings of the things we’d like to see come into our lives.

manifest pickles

Home-canned pickles and my husband’s software in the hands of a restaurant manager.

manifest cheerios

An ice-cream maker, a big box of Cheerios with a full bowl of Cheerios beside it.

manifest fire escape

And a fire escape ladder.

Drawing pictures to go on our manifestation line was an interesting exercise for a few reasons.  For one, I rediscovered how much fun it is to draw.  Also, thinking about what a particular goal would look like when it is realized was trickier than I thought it would be.  I couldn’t really come up with an image that represented my successful and growing freelance career, for example.  I wonder – if I could draw a picture of exactly what that would look like, would that improve my success rate?  It would probably give me a better idea of how I’m going to define success.

The most interesting effect of drawing our goals, challenges and desires manifested was a deepening sense of gratitude for the goals that have been realized and challenges that have already been overcome.  I’m at home, raising our two kids.  My husband is starting his own business.  I have a veggie patch growing in the back yard and a car parked in the front.  I am lucky, amazingly lucky to have the life I do.  Even if none of the things on my manifestation line actually manifest themselves I am still doing very well indeed, and I’m glad to be reminded of that.

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  • Cynthia @ The Hippie Housewife June 16, 2011, 12:40 am

    Cheerios. Love it.

    “I wonder – if I could draw a picture of exactly what that would look like, would that improve my success rate? It would probably give me a better idea of how I’m going to define success.” This sentence really stuck out to me. It’s something I’ve been thinking about myself lately, the idea that pinning down specifically what outcome we’d like to see will greatly increase the likelihood that we will achieve it.

    • michelle June 16, 2011, 10:34 pm

      I think it’s true. The more specific I can be about what I want to happen, when communicating with other people or even just with myself, the easier it is to see what steps are required to get there.

  • Colleen June 16, 2011, 5:42 am

    I like that wire idea. I had recently been contemplating something similiar, though with the speed things get accomplished in our house, the Mayan apocolypse will take us all out before I actually get around to making it.

    I like this post. I belive manifestation is a powerful force. We have a few manifestation related rituals in our lives every year. We like to plant seeds and make wishes on them.

    • michelle June 16, 2011, 10:35 pm

      I like the idea of planting wishes with seeds! A commenter on Rachel’s original post about her manifestation board said that she had a board that she called her “garden”. The seeds don’t sprout over night, but they do grow in their own time with the right conditions. :)

  • Rachael June 16, 2011, 7:29 am

    Great idea! I think a board or boards would work better for us than wire, but I particularly like that you drew your own pictures.

    Have you seen Erin Goodman’s Seasonal Inspiration Board at exhale. return to center? This reminds me of that.

    • michelle June 16, 2011, 10:37 pm

      Thanks for the link to the Seasonal Inspiration Board! Bea saw me looking at the photos and she said, “What’s that?! That looks like fun.” So I think we’ll make a happy first day of summer seasonal inspiration board on Tuesday.

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