Last week, I ran into two women I know. Both had been recently laid off from the marketing team of a well-known apparel company in the Northeast. Their attitudes, however, were like day and night—which was brought home even more by the fact that I met them both on the same day.
The first one was bitter and resentful. “How could they do that to me?” she complained. “I’ve been serving them for so many years! Not that I ever got a thank-you for it.”
She was afraid she might not be able to find a new job as well paid as her old one. The fear of what would happen to her, her husband, and her two kids was clearly written in her face.
I was a little apprehensive when I bumped into the other woman that same day, but my apprehension vanished when I saw her upbeat smile.
“Oh, I’m fine,” she said, her eyes sparkling. “Spending a lot of time with my kids right now. You know, it’s a layoff, nothing personal. And as long as you stay positive, good things will come to you.”
She looked at me and grinned. “You should know—you’ve been always really good at this kind of thing.”
I felt a bit ashamed because, frankly, as the “manifestation expert,” I’m supposed to be the one who knows and reminds others of these things. But I had so empathized with the misery of my other acquaintance that I had actually started vibrating on the same low energy level of pessimism and hurt.
So how do you get and hold that upbeat energy when something bad happens to you?
The easiest and most effective way I know of is to “reframe” it. I believe I’m here on this Earth to evolve, spiritually and as a person. So I view everything that happens to me as a learning experience—and a chance to overcome a challenging situation.
First of all, you have to accept the situation. Surrender to what is.
This is a very simple thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy. If you already believe in a Supreme Being, you’ll probably find it easier because surrender to the Divine is a central tenet of most religions.
Say “Thank you, God/Spirit/Creator, for sending this valuable experience my way.” And then ask for help to learn from the experience and transform it into something wonderful.
Go on, ask for a miracle. Even better, expect miracles, and you won’t be disappointed. Just stay upbeat and look for opportunities presenting themselves to you in the following weeks and months.
When I’ve approached challenges with this attitude of sincere gratitude and optimism, Spirit has never let me down, not once. I was fired twice in my life, and both times it turned out to be a blessing in disguise within the span of mere days.
This story shows you something else too: you can never let your guard down.
I’ve been actively practicing manifestation for over twenty years (and even teaching it at times!), but I’m as susceptible as anyone to plunging back into the morass of dark thoughts and pessimism and general obliviousness to those higher principles.
If you’re facing a challenge today, I’m daring you to reframe it. Thank Spirit for it every day and ask for guidance and protection. Surrender to what is; don’t fight your current circumstances. Just let yourself be carried by that soft current, like a slow-flowing river in the landscape of your life. And trust that it will carry you.
On the other side of what may look now like a dark tunnel may be a very bright light.
It sucks being torn between two (or more) choices.
Should you spend your meager savings on that new car you’re going to need soon, or should you pay off your credit card debt first?
Should you take the job in Company A (which pays less but looks kind of cozy)? Or should you go for the job at powerhouse Company B (where you could climb the ladder fast, but where the atmosphere is highly competitive)?
Should you date the nice guy or the hot guy?
Well, you can stop agonizing because there's a way to make the right choice. You don't have to do it all by yourself: All you have to do is ask Spirit (aka God, Creator, the Universe) for help and keep your eyes open for an answer.
Here's a personal story to show you how signs from Spirit and synchronicity can point you in the right direction.
Dammit, what kind of book am I supposed to write?
I had started working on two very different books: one was a middle-grade novel and the other a nonfiction book on the Law of Attraction.
For a while, I was going back and forth between the two, but I knew sooner or later I'd have to make a decision.
This was not just a choice between two books, though. It was also a question of where my life was headed. Was I a children's book writer or a nonfiction writer?
So I asked God to provide an unmistakable answer.
Spirit's two-by-four response
As soon as I started working on the Law of Attraction book again, I immediately noticed a shift in energy. Whereas I’ve often felt dejected and stuck working on the novel, the nonfiction writing went much more smoothly.
I also noticed a measurable uptick in Twitter followers, many of them motivational speakers and spiritual teachers, some even famous. (And that even though I didn’t write about manifestation on Twitter at all.)
I also started meeting more and more nonfiction writers in person. And the little miracles kept coming.
One night, I attended a local mini-workshop called “The Art of Transformation” with Ronald Rand, a seasoned theater man. I had expected to learn more about acting, but I hadn’t expected a lesson in spirituality.
At some point, Rand started talking about and quoting from the book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle.
“Forget about guilt,” Rand said (I’m paraphrasing), “forget about worry and fear. Just trust that the Universe will support your dream, your life’s purpose, and that it will guide you where you need to be.”
That caught me completely by surprise. But it still didn’t answer the question: Fiction or nonfiction? Children’s novels or body, mind, and spirit?
When I went to bed that night, I grabbed the book The Weekend Book Proposal by Ryan G. Van Cleave, which I had started to read a few days earlier. Now, in case you don't know this: you ONLY need a book proposal for nonfiction books, but not for novels.
I turned the page and saw this:
The last two books I bought? The Elfstones of Shannara and Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. I picked up Terry Brooks’ fantasy novel because the poet in me loved the sound of elfstones and Shannara. (I’m also partial to anything that reminds me of Tolkien, the first “adult” books I ever truly loved.) My inner child insists that I buy one fantasy book a month, so I was browsing the Sarasota Barnes & Noble sci-fi/fantasy shelves, wondering if I should finally read Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when my eyes fell on Brooks’ fantasy book.
Okay, so if you read a book and find your first name mentioned FOUR TIMES in the span of a few paragraphs—especially if you have an unusual first name like me—please don’t shrug and turn the page.
First, gasp in awe. Second, say "Thank you, God." Third, stop and ponder what this may be telling you.
EXERCISE: This week, watch for a sign
Here’s a little fun exercise for you. Ask a question you really want the answer to, about some choice you have to make or a problem you’re facing. Ask Spirit to send you guidance in form of a clear sign. Ask out loud and then let it go.
But keep your eyes open.
Don’t walk through your day like a zombie, as most people do. Be aware of what happens around you and keep looking for that sign.
Observe and scan everything that happens to you, every day. Observe how dealing with certain things makes you feel. The more observant you get, the more frequent and clear the signs from Spirit get.
I think they’re there all the time, it’s just that we’re not paying attention. But if you practice this a lot, at some point the second-guessing stops and you just know—which is the exact moment when you’ll start to live a truly enchanted life.