Over the years, I have grappled with the question of which approach to life holds the higher spiritual truth: Taking charge and attempting to manifest what will make me happy and positive about my life—or learning to trust, let go, and go with the flow?
There’s always seemed to be wisdom in both these approaches. And yet, how to reconcile their seemingly opposite teachings?
A number of years ago, I came to a place on my spiritual path when the process of manifestation really caught my attention. Understanding the basic principle of “like attracts like”, I studied and practiced a number of different ways to create what I wanted in my life and ended up becoming quite proficient in doing this. It was a truly magical period of my life.
What was most important was my understanding of how my thoughts and emotions really were creating my reality. For the first time, I understood the power that I (and all of us) have inside us. Enthralled with this new sense of empowerment, I began teaching the principles of manifestation to others and I learned even more about how they work.
Understanding Deeper Truths about Manifestation
And then at some point, I got honest with myself. I realized that attempting to manifest something in my life didn’t always work. This perplexed me. I would do all the same things I’d done before that had created great success—but nothing would happen.
At first I thought that perhaps this was because it wasn’t “supposed” to happen—it wasn’t for my highest good. My higher self was blocking it, because something else more important needed to be happening. I needed to learn something—or I just didn’t know what better thing down the road was going to show up. Or maybe it was karma that was blocking me.
There was probably some truth to all these possibilities. But then I became aware of something important that had previously escaped my understanding: how spending perhaps 20 minutes a day focusing on all the techniques I’d always used—such as visualizing, affirming, and writing out my desired outcome—maybe wasn’t enough.
What about all the other minutes of the day in which I was thinking and feeling emotions that maybe weren’t aligned with my desired purpose?
I began discovering that during so much of the day, I wasn’t all that conscious of what I was thinking or feeling—and I realized I might be canceling out what I had spent time on trying to manifest.
This was a really important realization. And so I moved into a period in which I focused on becoming more and more aware of where my mind went all during the day in its default mode. And sure enough, I discovered that I often fell into a state of consciousness in which I was worrying about the “problem” my manifestation efforts were attempting to solve—rather than focusing on the solution or the end result I wanted.
The really valuable aspect of this new phase was that I began to become more aware of where my mind would unconsciously go out of habit—which was often into lack, worry, and attempting to problem-solve from the limitations of the rational mind. This, of course, would rarely do anything except exacerbate my feeling of helplessness and concern about the lack I was feeling.
I was thrilled to realize that this then had to be the answer! All my thoughts and feelings and beliefs contributed to what I was creating in my life—not just the ones I focused on in my manifestation practice for a certain period of time each day. I once again became more proficient in my manifesting what I wanted in my life.
Although it was difficult to really stay alert all day long to my every thought and action that was based on limited beliefs, I became a lot more conscious of my state of consciousness in general. And this has served me over the years in many ways.
Learning to Go with the Flow
But then a few years later, I began veering away from these kinds of teachings pointing to metaphysical truths and self-help practices. I was drawn instead to many of the teachings from the East—and in particular, the non-dual teachings.
What drew me most about these teachings was the focus on the practice of surrender: the teaching of truly letting go and simply allowing life to happen as it does without resisting or trying to change it.
At this point in my life, after decades of succeeding only haphazardly in my attempts to create happiness in my life, I felt a powerful pull to this other approach to life. I knew it would take great trust, but I moved into an attitude of faith that if I simply allowed—and even embraced—whatever came into my life, I would experience much more inner peace.
And I did. In fact, I experienced a profound inner freedom and peace I’d never before achieved. I realized that through all my efforts of attempting to create what I wanted in my life—which were sometimes wonderfully successful and sometimes very disappointing—I was rarely at peace. There was always something more I was wanting, something more that wasn’t quite right that I needed to “fix”.
Learning to simply go with the flow of life, trusting that whatever was coming forward was exactly right for me was such a relief. The old “hungry ghost” within me greatly quieted down and even disappeared for long periods of time.
I was simply watching whatever appeared in front of me each day—no matter how unpleasant it might be—and moving gracefully into it with as welcoming an attitude as I could manage. The sense of peace and surrender—as well as a beautiful feeling of detachment—was what I had been seeking for so long.
Realizations about Fifth-Dimensional Consciousness
And then, a number of years later, once again, new realizations were coming to me. As I became more conscious of the Ascension process I was now engaging in, I became aware of an important aspect of the fifth-dimensional consciousness: staying aware of all thoughts, emotions, and beliefs and directing them with awareness—i.e., becoming master of my consciousness.
I knew I needed to become more clearly aware of all the limited third-dimensional aspects of my consciousness I was still holding onto—and how I was continuing to manifest certain stuck patterns in my life with them.
I knew I needed to take charge and guide myself in a new direction, because these patterns were now holding me back in my awakening process. And I needed to keep raising my consciousness into as high a frequency as possible, so I could move along my path with as much speed and ease as possible.
The inner urging in this direction was now as powerful as the one I’d felt in me in earlier days to simply let go and surrender to life as it flowed through me.
This really confused me. Was I back to where I’d started thirty years before in all my attempts to create my life through manifestation techniques? Was I to leave the wonderful years of inner peace, surrender and flow behind me? I was very reluctant to do this. I loved the ease of simply going with the flow, accepting and welcoming whatever showed up, both inwardly and outwardly in my life.
I needed to resolve this dilemma. How could I move toward a more fully-aware fifth-dimensional consciousness and guide my life toward greater freedom and mastery—and yet maintain the wonderful sense of peace and acceptance I’d found in my life?
Solving the Dilemma
The answer came one day, after I had successfully and surprisingly manifested something very important in my life—a book.
I had kind of fallen somewhat reluctantly into attempting to manifest the book through a process given during a guided meditation I was listening to one day. After initially resisting the idea of attempting to manifest something, I realized I felt compelled to go along with the instructions being given in the manifestation process, and so I just followed them.
And it worked! But in considering my success with the process afterwards, I realized there was one thing I’d done in this process that I had never done in the past, and it was this:
Instead of deciding with my mind and my desire body what I wanted to create, the idea to create the book had come to me from a higher source within me. I had inwardly asked what I should manifest, and I heard that I was to write and publish the book—and that I needed to do it with conscious intent.
I wasn’t even sure if, in my personality-ego state of mind, I wanted to go through the somewhat arduous process of writing and publishing a book. I had had unpleasant experiences in the past in publishing a book, and thoughts about attempting to publish a new one were fraught with resistance and self judgment.
But when a directive comes from my inner guidance, I generally trust it and do what I can to follow through on it. So I decided I’d try to manifest this book and consciously make the effort to expect the process to be effortless and filled with joy.
Part of the process also included choosing what date the creation would be manifested by. This was a technique I’d tried and inevitably failed at in the past. But this time, instead of deciding with my mind what the date should be, I inwardly asked what the correct date was.
And although the date I was given seemed an impossibly short amount of time for my book to be written and published by (a mere three months), I decided to trust it and just go with it. With clear intent, I affirmed that I would be holding my book by the date I was given.
And it was magical. Each step of the way to get to the final date played out with numerous synchronicities and perfect timing, and the book was in my hand on the very date I had been given in the process I’d done. AND, much to my delight, there was a lovely sense of peace and surrender throughout the entire process.
Somehow, because the directive to manifest the book had come from a higher source within me, rather than from my mind, I was able to relax and trust the process. I was somehow just following “instructions” my higher self was giving me. I wasn’t feeling any pressure to achieve results my ego could attach to.
It’s Not an Either-Or Answer
As always seems to happen whenever I get into an either-or frame of mind—like “Do I take charge of my consciousness to create what I want, or do I simply go with the flow?”—the answer ends up being neither one.
It’s usually somewhere in between the two approaches, incorporating the truths of both.
What I realized is that I can continue to live my life in a flowing state of surrender, accepting and welcoming whatever appears in my life. And when I feel an urging from a higher aspect of my consciousness to create something, I can follow it. I can put out the intention, affirm it is so—and guide my thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions toward the goal, trusting it will happen.
And I can relax, knowing that I am creating from the part of me that truly knows what is best for me and what I most need at this time as I move along in my journey into the Fifth Dimension.
I have complete trust at this point that absolutely everything that comes into my life is perfectly and divinely orchestrated. Life is a dance involving periods of simply allowing the music to take me where it will—and others in which I am inwardly moved to create my own steps to take me to another place on the stage.
There is no conflict between these two approaches. They interweave and complement each other. And allowing them both to function in my life has brought unprecedented peace and fulfillment.