I’m going to start getting very specific with my Vision Boards from now on. I am beginning to really feel the idea behind the Law of Attraction, or the Secret, or whatever you want to call it.

The key is the state of mind in which you enter in to your visioning process. If you grasp at things from a place of wanting material things or events to happen, without checking in with your essential nature – asking if you REALLY want it, or just THINK you want it – nothing will manifest. Or something will manifest, but it won’t be what you REALLY wanted.

It takes so much re-education or un-learning of the mind for us to focus on what our heart and soul REALLY want. I spent the past ten years or so trying to live a life that looked a lot like the lives of all the people I was ever TOLD to admire and look up to. These were the people who were put in my environment from an early age and held up as examples of the ideal. When I really investigated it from my heart, and my experience, I found that none of these versions were quite right for me. The problem is, knowing what you DON”T want is only the first step. It’s an important first step to get clear about. When you’re clear about what you don’t want, it makes space for other things to come in. Getting clear – REALLY clear – is a daily practice and constant process. It requires breathing, silence, stillness, then joy, movement, and vocalizing.

When you can get clear, make space, and allow your heart to sing to you, then the magic begins. The things that bring you alive start arriving in your life, quietly. It’s still your job to hear them, see them, and make commitments to yourself that will enable you to pursue them. When you’re clear, you can begin to trust that this is the right path at this time, even though you have no idea where you’ll end up as a result.

Then one day it’s undeniable. You experience an opening, and uplifting, so foreign yet also strangely familiar in the way that your childhood hometown feels when you visit it in adulthood. It’s the feeling of being alive in the way you REALLY want to be, but perhaps never allowed yourself to be. You start wearing the clothes YOU want to wear. The shoes YOU want to wear. Your hair the way YOU like it. It no longer bothers you to think about what other people may say, because you are in love with the feeling you have in your own body of what it means to be alive.

From this place comes a veritable onslaught of energy, expression, ideas…but not just that! Also comes the magic of the universe, with unexpected ways to make those ideas actually work!

All year I’ve been wrestling with ways to dial back my schedule, and make room for something I knew I needed to do (even though at the time I had no idea what IT was). My soul had the audacity, back in the spring, to say, “I feel like I should close my school before the fall.” This was more than nine months ago. The NERVE of my soul! How DARE it propose something so PREPOSTEROUS! I immediately dismissed it as the rantings of a crazed lunatic.

Of course, I knew it came from somewhere deep within me that was a first cry for attention. Later my soul would yelp a little louder, in the form of near-debilitating pain at the end of my teaching weeks. I would lie in bed and my entire body would be tingling. If I tried to move an inch, I screamed out in agony. Now THAT I could not ignore.

So I tried to inch toward that ridiculous idea of shutting down my school by examining the possibility of taking the entire summer off. Nope. Too scary. How about one month? Also very scary. What would people THINK? I don’t want to appear LAZY. Or worse yet, UNGRATEFUL for all these students who are PAYING me to do this. I went through this thought “sword-fight” in my mind for months. Finally I committed. No teaching at all in June. Just time for me and healing my mind and body. It turned out to be just the space the universe needed to allow in the things that would help me.

I didn’t know what to ask for. But my soul spoke to me and just said, “Stop right now. And listen.”

It brought me back to my body. A recommitment to yoga. It brought me Gail Larsen and Real Speaking. It brought me the strength let go of some students who were not in alignment with my teaching. It brought me Martha Beck life coaching. It brought me Silvia Nakkach and Sound Voice Music Healing. All of my new teachers were there, waiting for me, waiting for the space to enter my life.

And then I had to do the work. I had to stay clear, amidst all of these new influences, new ways of being, new ways of managing thoughts. All of this new energy was entering the space created in my life. I had to keep breathing it in and out, allowing it to flow into every pore – every long-neglected corner – of my body. The tops of my lungs, the sides of my ribcage, the bottom of my spine.

Now, I am in another month of space and distance from my students, as we have completed our holiday concerts and the intensive week of preparation. I gave them everything I had, while preserving my joy. We did well.

And now the space begins to fill. I sit down with purpose each day and the ideas about MY next phase begin to take shape. The manifestation process begins. This time I don’t rush it, but am a little wiser, so I wait and allow it to emerge. I trust.

And it does arrive. Never more than I can handle, but exactly what I need to fill the spaciousness of my heart.

And then things start to fall away. The universe is a gentle and kind teacher. As I wondered for the past three months how I could possibly “engineer” a schedule that took less energy away from me, so that I had some left to pursue my new avenues, I began to do the Body Compass rating on each of my students. This is an intuitive scale from -10 to +10, used to “score” the feelings in the body when imagining certain tasks or people. I felt in my body which students were draining and which were replenishing. I didn’t do anything about it. I just noticed it. I didn’t try to protect myself from them, or to change them. I just observed. And I maintained my joy.

And the universe finally spoke. This week, just in the past two days, two of those “energy-draining” students’ parents notified me that they will not be continuing. Silently, I thanked the universe for its recognition and kindness toward everyone involved. The truth was revealed in the most gentle way. And more space was created for new things to be born.

On my Vision Board created more than a year ago, I had images of stretching, metamorphosis, nature, rest, space, love, nurturing, and permission.

It’s time to make a new one! This time, with even more curiosity and renewed trust.

As I breathe in, I am reminded to trust. I may not know what to do right now, but my soul is speaking to me all the time. My soul speaks through the universe – they are one. If I just allow my soul to flow – with long, deep, fluid breaths – it will build strength, resilience, confidence, beauty. It will become all that it knows it is already. All I have to do is listen.