Thursday, December 18, 2014

Are You Flowing or Forcing?

One of the key principles for living life in the divine flow is letting go of your attachment to a specific outcome. Sometimes that is fairly easy to do, especially if you can envision other outcomes that would be equally acceptable.

But what if—to your mind—there is only one acceptable outcome? And what if it would be really easy for you to achieve that outcome? What if, in fact, you only had to say, “Yes, that is what I want,” and you would probably get exactly what you wanted? Should you say it? Would you still be “in the flow,” or would you have moved into the forceful world of manipulation and control?

Quite often, the point where flowing turns into forcing is very subtle, and it can take a fair amount of self-awareness to determine if you are at that point. Here’s an example:

In my former career as an advertising writer, I was once asked to create a magazine campaign that would feature both American Airlines and American Express in the same ads. At that time, those two companies had entered into a partnership to offer special benefits to travelers who used their American Express cards to purchase flights on American Airlines. Because we always offered the client a choice, I developed two different campaigns:

The first campaign I created featured couples enjoying activities in various vacation destinations. One ad, for instance, showed a man and a woman riding a tandem bicycle near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The headline read:

The Best Way To See The West
Is In Tandem.

The phrase, “in tandem,” of course, was referring to the partnership between American Airlines and American Express.

The second campaign I developed featured famous American duos, and how they expanded our horizons. For example, one ad depicted two famous explorers of the 19th Century looking out over a vast landscape. The headline read:

Not Since Lewis And Clark
Have Two Americans Opened Up
So Much New Territory.

You get the idea, right? As is usually the case, I preferred one of my ideas over the other. I thought that the Two Americans idea was more unique than the Vacationing Couples idea, and I would be much happier if that was the campaign that was produced. So that was the one I wanted to recommend to the client.

The trouble was, I wasn’t invited to the meeting where my work would be presented. For a variety of reasons, only my Creative Director, Dave, would be attending. So Dave asked me, “Steve, which campaign do you think I should recommend?”

“The Two Americans,” I quickly answered.

“Hmmm,” Dave responded. “I think I should recommend the Vacationing Couples.”

“What?” I questioned. “No! The Two Americans is much more unique! I really think you should recommend that one.”

“I’m sorry, Steve,” Dave replied. “I’m the Creative Director, and I want to recommend the Couples idea.”

“Please, Dave,” I pleaded. “Please recommend the Two Americans.”

Dave paused for a moment, and finally said, “Steve, if that is what you really want me do to, I’ll do it. Is that what you really want?”

And there it was: The decision point—that point where I had to discern if saying “Yes, that is what I want” was in the flow . . . or, instead, if I was trying to force something to go the way I wanted it to go.

It turned out to be an easy decision to make. Because right then, something deep within me warned me to be careful. It was like driving down the road and suddenly coming upon a big, yellow “Caution” sign. I wasn’t ordered to “Stop,” but the tension I was feeling was telling me to slow down and consider my choice very carefully.

So I did. And in that moment of reflection, I realized several things: One, I didn’t know with 100% certainty that the Two Americans idea would truly be the most effective campaign for the client. Two, the Creative Director had the absolute right to decide what to recommend, not me. And three, for all I knew, the client might choose the Two Americans campaign anyway!

So I decided to pay attention to my inner warning, and I let go of my rigid attachment to the specific outcome I wanted. “Dave,” I said, “On second thought, go ahead and recommend the Vacationing Couples idea if you think that’s the best campaign.”

Well, that’s exactly what Dave did, and the client agreed with his recommendation. And it was a good thing, too. Why? Because a few days after choosing the Vacationing Couples idea, the client called with a list of specific things they needed this campaign to communicate. And you know what? My preferred idea—the Two Americans—wasn’t flexible enough to accommodate any of their needs at all. But the Couples idea could handle every single one of their requirements with ease. Whew!

Friends, there will be plenty of times in life when you are headed down the stream toward your dream, and you will reach a point where you inadvertently begin to row against the flow, rather than with it. I hope the example I just shared will remind you to pay keen attention to sudden feelings of tension or anxiety, instead of ease and grace. Because there’s a good chance that is your inner sense of wisdom—your Divine Self—warning you that you are about to leave the peaceful world of the divine flow, and enter the willful world of force. And friends, in my experience, nothing ever turns out well in that world.


© 2014 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fruition Through Intuition

In my last post I wrote about a time when I manifested something extraordinarily easily. One evening I simply decided what I wanted, went to bed, and the next morning what I desired had literally appeared on the lawn outside of my apartment. It was a great example of what I call “attracting without acting.” 

Generally, though, manifesting is about “acting on what you are attracting.” In other words, what you attract into your life is usually just a steppingstone to the fulfillment of your desire, and it is up to you to take advantage of that steppingstone. The challenge is recognizing that steppingstone when it appears, because it is not always obvious. That’s when your intuition can help. 

Your intuition can tell you what person in particular you need to talk to, or what specific circumstance you need to cooperate with. Even if your intuitive guidance is extremely subtle—just a sight nudge in a particular direction—it is important for you to heed that thought or feeling. Here’s a nice little example of what can happen when you do:

When Carol and I lived in Dallas, we had a lot of friends who were single. In fact, one evening we realized that almost all of our friends were single. They weren’t married, engaged, or even dating. And we missed having friends who were couples like us. We didn’t know how we would manifest friends like that, and we didn’t discuss it any further. It was just something both of us wanted.

Well, the next day I was at my computer looking through all the emails I had not yet read. A large number of those emails were from a friend of mine who was constantly forwarding jokes and funny pictures to me. Even though I do enjoy a good laugh, she was sending me far too many emails like that, and I had begun to routinely delete them without opening them.

I was in the process of doing just that when I came to one of her emails with the subject line, “You Might Like.” You might like? That sounded like something I probably wouldn’t like—just another time-waster, and I had work to do. But something unexpected happened when I started to click my mouse to delete it. Something deep within me told me to stop.

I hesitated for an instant, and then I started to click the mouse again. But once more I got the feeling I should not delete her message. In fact, I got the feeling I should open it.

So I did. And I couldn’t believe the very first sentence I read: “Would you and Carol like to join a committed couples group that is being organized at the Unity Church of Dallas?”

Wow! Would we? You bet! Suffice it to say that Carol and I went to the first meeting of that group, and we met at least a dozen like-minded couples. It didn’t take long for us to form some very long-lasting friendships.

Friends, your intuition is the most valuable and reliable source of guidance you have. It may come to you as a sudden thought, or an unexpected feeling, or something that is a combination of both—a thought/feeling, so to speak—which is what I experienced. No matter how quiet your inner voice may be, I encourage you to heed it. It is the voice of your inner Divine Spirit. It knows what you want. It knows what you need. And it is constantly telling you the next right step you need to take to fulfill your desire . . . even if that step doesn’t look like it could possibly be fruitful. 

To put it poetically, “If you want your desire to come to fruition, pay attention to your intuition.”  I am certainly glad I paid attention to mine . . . and still do.


© 2014 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Attracting Without Acting

In my last post, I mentioned that we have the power to attract what we truly desire in life by attracting the people, events, and circumstances that lead us to the fulfillment of those desires. And that is generally the way it works. We are led to what we want . . . like following the flow of a stream to eventually reach our dream.

Sometimes, however, it works the other way around. What we want comes to us. We don’t have to follow the flow anywhere, or do much of anything. What we want just shows up on our doorstep—sometimes, quite literally. That is rare, of course, but it happens. And I’ll never forget one particular time it happened to me:

When Carol and I were first dating, we lived in two separate apartment complexes just north of Dallas, Texas. One night, Carol came over to my apartment to cook me a spaghetti dinner. She brought a loaf of French bread with her, and she asked me if I had a bread knife. I responded by asking her why she brought French bread, since we were having spaghetti. Shouldn’t she have brought Italian bread, instead? Silence ensued. Okay. Bad joke. So I answered her question. “No, I don’t have a bread knife. But I have a set of Ginsu knives. As seen on TV, those things will cut anything!”

Not so. You know what a Ginsu knife can’t cut? Bread! No matter how carefully I tried to slice it, the bread would only shred and tear and rip into jagged little pieces. “You really need a bread knife,” Carol said. And I agreed. I did, indeed, need a bread knife. Which reminded me of something else that was needed, too—something we both needed, in fact.

You see, at the time, Carol and I were spending one or two evenings a week visiting her mother, who lived in a nearby nursing home. The problem was, there was only one easy chair in her mother’s room, which meant at least one of us would end up sitting on the side of her mother’s bed. So while we were on the subject of needing things, I said to Carol, “You know else we need? A couple of chairs to sit on when we visit your mother.”

That’s all I said, and Carol agreed. But there was a little more to it than that. Because when I said “chairs” I was actually envisioning something very specific. Ideally, I wanted two straight-back, cherry wood chairs with red-and-green upholstered seats, so they would match the other furnishings in her mother’s room—namely, the cherry wood chest-of-drawers, and the red-and-green drapes and bedspread. (For a man, I am very decorator-oriented.)

This conversation occurred around 8 o’clock on a Friday night. Afterwards, Carol and I enjoyed our dinner of spaghetti and shredded bread, watched a little TV, and then Carol went home.

The next morning I woke up, looked out the window, and was greeted by a strange sight. Someone’s possessions were scattered all over the greenbelt between my apartment building and the next one, and there were a lot of people milling around and looking through it all.

I quickly threw on some clothes and went outside to see what was going on. I was told that a man in a nearby apartment had to be forcibly evicted. He had been given many months to pay his rent, but never did. Finally, the police were called to escort him from his unit, and everything he owned was removed and placed outside. That’s how forcible evictions work, I learned.

I felt bad for the man, and asked if there was anything I could do to help this person gather up his stuff and move it someplace. “No, he’s already gone,” a neighbor explained. “He rented a truck early this morning, loaded it up with everything he wanted to keep, and drove away.”

“If you really want to help,” this person continued, “you should look around and see if there is anything here you want or need, and take it. In fact, you would be doing the office staff a big a favor. They would love it if everything out here was gone by the end of the day, so they won’t have to haul it off themselves.”

“No problem,” I replied. “I’ll be happy to look around.” So I did, and I quickly spotted a few things I could use, including two things in particular. You know what’s coming next, right? You guessed it. Only 12 hours after deciding I needed a bread knife and two straight-back, cherry wood chairs with red-and-green upholstered seats, there they were . . . laying in the grass right next to my apartment. Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

Friends, that was not the first time in my life I manifested something that specific. It was not the first time I manifested something that quickly, either. It wasn’t even the first time that what I desired virtually showed up on my doorstep. It was, however, the first time all three of those things happened together. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if the manifestation process was always that quick and easy? You might think so, sure. But as I have pointed out in prior posts, there can also be a great deal of satisfaction in patiently following the flow to the fulfillment of your desire, instead of just having it instantly appear. Either way, the experience can be just as miraculous and just as joyful.

Whether your desire is fulfilled overnight, or over time, here’s to staying present in the process and appreciating every single moment of it.


© 2014 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC