Laughter met me at the door before I even saw who entered. With thirty seconds to go before the start of the workshop three people came bustling in. I greeted them with a smile and welcomed them. Internally I sighed a sigh of relief, let go of the plans I was unconsciously making with the anticipated free time and began the workshop.
After the workshop I felt grateful that three individuals had taken time out of their day to experience this workshop. I felt honored that they had given up 2 hours of their time to interact with me and learn about this new healing modality. And then I paused as I heard my words: ...honored that they had given up 2 hours of their time… Hum. Had they really given up their time? That use of language gave a me a clue to an underlying belief that had driven my process of marketing for this workshop. And, as you’ll read in a moment, this underlying belief attracted to me exactly what I had asked for.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past twelve years. I have had the privilege of buying (and selling) two small business, leasing the rights to operate one established business, and began three separate private practices in those twelve years. What have I learned in all that time? That Kevin Costner in his movie Field of Dreams made it sound way easier to bring a dream to fruition than it actually is.
The art of manifesting a dream or vision is more involved than just doing the external work that seems necessary. It takes more than “just building” it. For example, for my free workshop I did all of the following things:
*I created a two hour free introductory workshop
*I offered it on two different days at two different times
*I networked with an established wellness center who sent out a notice about this workshop to over 700 people two different times
*I emailed my small but growing database of interested people
*I posted flyers all over the place in three surrounding towns
*I talked to random people in coffee shops etc. about it
On the external it appears I did quite a bit to call participants into this workshop. But the question I found I kept asking myself was this: How willing was I to actually be seen in what I was offering?
Well, the amount of work I did to market and advertise this workshop would suggest I was quite ready to be seen. And if I had stopped there with my reflection, I would have missed the bigger picture. I would have missed the roadblock to my success. So, leaning into my training, I took that inquiry into meditation. What I found was an old familiar belief, a lie I have been telling myself since I could form conscious thought: My worth is only as good as others deem it to be.
In the yogic tradition this kind of deep seated self defeating belief is known as a vikalpa - a false imagination that I believe and live my life from. It is a belief we are born with that was generated from our past experiences (karma) and is with us in this incarnation to teach us. My teacher, Rod Stryker, says that we are each born with 3 lies we will tell ourselves. And becoming aware of even just one of them can have a lasting effect on the outcome of our lives.
When I believe this lie, that I am only worth what others deem, I make choices that have unconscious effects on my ability to manifest what I want to create. I will attract to me the energy I put out. And when I operate from this vikalpa, I am asking the universe to affirm this belief for me. Hence, three people will show up and I can believe that my worth (and the worth of what I do with my life) is measured by that attendance.
What does this have to do with manifesting a vision, you may ask? If I build it, they will come because all aspects of myself believe in it. From my training with Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy I have learned that I can’t control the outcome - I can only direct the process. Outcomes happens as a result of more subtle influences (conscious, unconscious, mine and others) than I could even begin to wrap my head around. The best I can do is what Krishna advises Arjuna to do in the Bhagavad Gita: Act and let go of the fruits of your action.
Letting go of the fruits of my actions, however, does not mean that I am not engaged, curious and willing to learn from the fruits that appeared from my action. The fruit of my action is what helps me learn more about the action itself. What was driving it? What desire (or attachment to a desire) created that action? From what part of myself did that action derive from - one that is in alignment with my highest self? Or one that came from fear, insecurity or other shadowed parts?
If I build it, they will come - to the extent that my actions are in alignment with my truth. If my truth remains that I am only worth what others deem, then I will stay small in the fruits of my actions. Even when the fruits grow, my self worth would be determined by others and while I might feel better about myself for awhile, it is in false pretense. The most profound marketing and advertising work I can do is to learn to act from a belief in my own worth and value.
The next time you are building in your life - be it a relationship, a private practice, a yoga class or something else - pause a moment and consider the part of you that is acting. See what happens if you take time to reflect on what you have built. Maybe you too can discover one of the lies you tell yourself and use that knowledge to take actions that create more fulfilling fruits.