Throughout my life until more recently, I used to evaluate success based on external measures, such as how much money I make, the impact factor of journals I published in, how many articles I produced in a year, etc etc. As I started achieving some of those “successes”, I started realizing quite rapidly that not all of them brought me happiness and feelings of accomplishment that I imagined they would. Even if they would bring a brief spark of joy, it would rarely last longer than a day or two. It did not contribute positively to my self-esteem either. Eventually, these “successes” just became forgettable aspects of my life that added little to my day to day joy, if at all.
The realization of WHY this was came when I was doing a guided meditation on manifesting. During this meditation exercise, the guide asks you to clearly envision what success looks like to you, and pushes you to imagine every small detail of your successful dream life. In this guided meditation, when I was only with myself, with no one to prove anything to, I realized that my vision of success was nothing like what I had defined success to be. Success was having a thriving garden, it was holding hands with my husband and watching the sunset, it was having the time to feel the breeze on my skin on a beach, it was having the luxury of booking travels with my husband, it was being in a home that gave me peace and serenity. These things of course, require some money to achieve, but by no means was money the only part of it. Fame and prestige? Well, it didn’t include those at all.
Law of attraction states that we attract things in our lives that we are in alignment with. Therefore, to manifest, we need to align ourselves with the values and outcomes we wish to attract. With my definition of success having been shifted (or perhaps realized) from what society defines as success to what I believe constitutes a successful life, now I can fine tune myself to attract what I need to achieve this dream.
So tell me again – what is your definition of success?
My love of crafting is one of my regular reminders that there is something magical inside of me.
Not just crafting, I love anything where I am engaged in creating something that has not existed before. I love building things out of clay, painting, western and Chinese calligraphy art, making music, and creating digital art. This translates into research as well – my favorite part about doing a research project is at the very beginning, where I am coming up with a research question and designing a particular technique or optimizing a protocol.
Most of the time, if not all, I do not have any clue as to what the final product is going to look like. I am just captivated by the joy of creation. I put my hand on the equipment, smile, and let my intuition guide my work. I know that as long as I am having fun, the outcome will ultimately be a reflection of that joy.
This is a little statue of the goddess I made. It is of course not perfect – far from it, in fact, if you want to consider the technical aspect of it. However, when I look at it, it brings a smile on my face, and I feel the joy that I felt while creating my little goddess. It is amazing how energy translates as well – when I showed my little figurine to my husband, he immediately smiled and gave her a loving pat on the head.
As witches, we co-create our destiny and the world that we live in. The Universe becomes a product of the beautiful harmony between our intentions and the spirit. Lately, I started to wonder why then, do I not approach co-creation with the joyful wonder and curiosity that I have when I am crafting. Instead, often, I find myself approaching new situations with apprehension, and at times, even outright assumption that the outcome would be horrific.
Thinking outside of magic, self-fulfilling prophecy is a well-known and studied concept in psychology. It applies to situations as well as people. If one believes that the outcome of a situation will be horrible, and therefore there is no point in trying, the lack of effort and negative behaviors that this person exhibits as a result of these beliefs will ultimately result in a bad outcome – thereby confirming this person’s “prophecy”. Another well-studied concept in psychology is Confirmation Bias. Confirmation bias is one’s tendency to look for evidence that is confirmatory to the person’s ideas/ beliefs/ opinions, adding additional evidence that the belief was correct. For example, if I approach a new rotation with the preconceived idea that it would be a bad rotation, my mind would unconsciously look for signs that it is a bad rotation, focusing on negative incidences and remembering them instead of positive experiences that also occurred with the same or even greater frequency. Overtime, these negative experiences will be much more salient and accessible in my memory than the positive ones, making me CONFIRM my BIAS that the rotation was in fact, bad.
As a witch, I believe that the Universe returns the energy that I put out. This is a Universal notion that is echoed in many different cultures – I strongly believe that ideas that resonate and persist in multiple cultures speak to the Universal truth. Therefore, if I approach a new situation with negative energies, the future that I co-create with the Universe will reflect this negative energy, ultimately leading to a negative outcome.
Crafting and co-creation are both acts of creation. I can tell myself that I approach crafting with much more joy than I do towards entering novel situations in REAL LIFE because I have complete control over what I craft while I have very little control over my reality. However, believing this is a CHOICE that I made. In crafting, I do not have control over the weather conditions that my air dry clay is exposed to while on the balcony. I have no control over the hairs falling out of my dollar store brushes, and I certainly have very little, if not ZERO control over my tempéramental computer and its constant struggle to run my lengthy codes. What is different is that in crafting and even in research, I have unconsciously made a decision that whatever is produced at the end of it is worthy of love. This allows me the freedom to approach crafting with wonderous curiosity and without fear of the outcome.
I am very well aware that many situations in real life are not enjoyable and even painful. I will not lie to myself and say that all parts of life are joyful, even if I make significant efforts to believe that they are. However, I can make the choice that no matter what, at the beginning, end, and in every step of that journey, I will love myself and trust that I am worthy of love of the Universe. Co-creation is working with the Universe to shape my reality. The product of co-creation, therefore, is my future self.
This blog therefore is a declaration to myself and you, my brothers and sisters, that I make a commitment to believe that no matter how circumstances outside of my control tear me apart, I am, even if I am in pieces, worthy of the love of the Universe. I trust that no matter what, I work with the Universe to co-create my reality where the outcome will always be of love.