“The universe is not punishing you or blessing you. The universe is simply responding to the vibrational attitude that you are emitting.” ― Abraham Hicks

Creativity can take a lot of different forms, each dependent on exactly what we as the creators wish to accomplish. We’re all familiar of course with traditional modes such as writing, painting and acting. These are just three of many tangible ways we can express our vision to others. There are literally dozens more.

But what about when we need to make our vision visible to ourselves? What happens when the art we want to make is about our own life? What if we want to write a new chapter to our own story, or wipe our own canvas clean and start over again?

Is it possible to be creative … with living?

I’ve wrestled with this question a lot this year, and I think the answer is a resounding “yes.” Sometimes—most times—the most powerful way we can be creative is how we shape our own lived story. That story, I’m convinced, is the greatest one we’ll ever tell. It’s also the one we tend to most overlook telling well.

So will you completely think I’ve lost it completely, if I tell I’ve discovered how I actually can create my story?

Or that I can now alter my reality … by thinking about it?

Six months ago, if I’d heard someone say that, I would have thought he/she was indeed insane. But while undergoing a recent major life transition, I began to notice that the things I was thinking about were actually showing up in my life. If I expected loss, I got loss. If I expected pain, I got pain. If I expected joy, that too was what I got.

Through this simple observation, I began learning about a different aspect of creativity I had never really considered: the practice of creating reality.

Okay, now I’ve done it. I hear the gasps. I can imagine the eye-rolls or the fingers flying right into your ears. Does all that sound too woo woo or spiritual? Does it sound like I’ve gone off the deep end now?

Sure, maybe I have.

Or maybe I’m just finally learning how not to just write about magic in fantasy books, but to practice magic in my real life.

If the “deep end” is where magic lives, then I’d rather drown in the depths of the ocean than ever go back to the wading pool.

So grab your life jacket and tread water with me. I promise, the sharks may swirl but they won’t take a bite from your toes. Here we go!

The first thing I’ll say is that creating reality isn’t difficult. But it is full of challenge. And it involves doing the one thing we as humans probably find more uncomfortable than anything else: turning our gaze inward, to really examine ourselves.

Because at its core, the idea that you can (and do) create your own reality every single day is based in the core belief that the universe sends us not what we want, but what we are.

Or put another way, what you put out into the world is what you get back.

Some of you may have heard of this concept under the name “Law of Attraction” (This title implies that there are principles by which you can magnetize into your life the type of people, energy, opportunities and experiences you want.)

Other practitioners call it “manifestation” and may say, “I manifested this or that [thing] in my life” to express how their inner landscape altered their outer experience.

Still others call it conscious co-creation of reality. I personally prefer this last term, because it reminds me that my life is as much an act of creativity as any fictional story I put on paper or the paint I splash on the page.

In some instances this practice gets treated like a "mystical Christmas tree," under which you put in your order, so that gifts may appear. But it doesn't have to be. In fact, the best teachers on manifestation will tell you that this is not a cosmic Amazon.com. It's an intensely difficult journey of mastery over mind and emotion. A worthwhile endeavor for any of us, I'd say, whether or not we believe it will bring our thoughts into tangible form before us.

(NOTE: There are of course quite a few skeptics who critique this practice. Reading them is well worth your time if you're truly interested in a balanced view. Personally I tend to be a pragmatist, so as long as conscious co-creation keeps working for me the way it has been in my life, I'll keep using it ... even if the skeptics have valid doubts to exactly *what* is going on.)

So how exactly does this “co-creation of reality” work? Well, the theory goes that the universe is made up of energy, and the energy you put out into it (thoughts, feelings, intentions, beliefs) directly impacts energy you experience around you and energy you receive back from others. Which means at any given time, you have to ask yourself: do I like the energy in my daily life? Is this the life I want? And if not, how do I change it?

The fact that you actually have a choice about the reality you experience is the single most staggering tenets of The Law of Attraction.

And you can change your reality simply by setting intentions and acting in alignment with them.

Intention is to reality what current is to energy. The type of current you’re wired for affects what you can actually process. Your intentions—what you desire to see come to fruition in your life and the lives of others—are your most powerful tool for shifting your reality.

You might be tempted to think of an intention like a wish, but it’s much stronger. Wishes are hopeful, but intentions are grounded in a faith-filled certainty. They are a vision of a future that we believe to be completely true even though we haven’t seen it yet.

Intentions also act like a homing beacon. The universe responds to your intentions and uses them to guide what comes into your life … but only if they match the energy that you’re actually putting out.

Successful intentions feed off of faith, hope, belief and all sorts of other positive, healthy emotions you are already feeling. Unsuccessful ones (or negatively successful ones) feed off of insecurity, doubt and fear.

Which means, the power of an intention, and the way the universe answers it, is directly impacted by the state of emotion you cultivate in your every day life.

Like everything else in this paradigm, you get to choose your emotions.

This can be an uncomfortable idea, and it certainly was for me when I first encountered it. Me, believe that my reality was shaped by the energy I put out into the world? And that that energy was affected by emotions, which were also my responsibility to shape? Given that I didn’t really like what was showing up in my life at that time, or how I felt on a daily basis, I was super resistant to the idea that I had created those things (or rather, attracted them).

I mean, does this mean we tell any victim of mistreatment in the world that, “Hey, sorry, but you attracted the rapist, or the swindler, or the unfaithful ex.”

Before you get the wrong idea, let me be clear: OF COURSE NOT. We are not responsible for everyone else’s actions. We are not guilty if someone wrongs us.

That being said, we ARE indeed responsible for our next steps taken in response to those actions.

Because those next steps will affect our entire life going forward.

The idea that you attract what you are is not meant to excuse all wrongdoing that’s been perpetrated against us or others. It is also not meant to saddle us with guilt that is absolutely not ours to carry.

But it IS designed to help us see that how we react to the circumstances we encounter—the choices we make in response to what life sends us—will determine the trajectory of our lives every single day.

The more I pondered this, the more I realized that such an idea was actually freeing. If nothing else, it puts the power back in my court to shift what I don’t like about my life, instead of complaining about it or wishing it would change.

Simply put, if you can create your own reality, then by definition, you can never be truly powerless again.

When I realized this, I became much more interested in, and incentivized to experiment with, co-creating reality. I mean, if you can change your life by carefully directing your emotions and intentions to emit a certain vibration … why not?

So that's exactly what I did.

Next week, I’ll share what happened when I began wading into this weird but wonderful new approach to creativity.

~ to be continued ~

NOTE: For further reading, I recommend the blogs by Steve Pavlina and Kelli Cooper. Both are intelligent and well-reasoned, and neither approaches manifestation like a "mystical Christmas tree."

Until next time, speak freely.

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