I've never heard the term "manifestation" used as much as I have in the year and a half I've lived in Los Angeles. Everyone here is a dreamer and everyone has a podcast, Instagram handle, blog etc. that acts as a platform for them to talk about the universe, spirituality, and the art of manifestation. I guess I'll just quietly sip the KOOL-AID and throw in my two cents here.
This past January, I made a vision board after going to my friend Matt's workshop on finding happiness. I only recently have fully come to understand the power of setting an intention, which is what a vision board is meant to do. Not that long ago I remember asking Matt a serious question about how a mutual acquantance had landed an awesome gig and he answered in dead seriousness "Well, because she put it on her vision board and it manifested." It sounded so silly at the time but now I get it. The first step to achieving your goals is imagining what achieving your goals even looks like.
I'm thinking about this right now because this past weekend it just really hit me how charmed my life is right now. I had the perfect California weekend, practicing yoga in the morning, walking my dog through my eclectic Santa Monica neighborhood with a coffee in hand, celebrating a birthday party with cake on the beach, surfing, mountain biking, and cooking dinner with my boyfriend Tyler. More than once, I've asked him, "How did I even get here?" As in, if you would have dropped directly into the life I'm living now 3 years ago, It would have been hard for me to imagine all of the things that would have needed to happen for me to get to this moment.
It didn't happen all at once and it was the consequence of me listening to that voice of intuition that nudges me in the right direction, forming a big picture idea of what I want my life to look like, and learning to let go of the things that are no longer serving me. The latter of the three has been my most recent lesson learned and I found that as soon as I let go of the relationship or job that was blocking me, other parts of my life seemed to fall together almost immediately.
I didn't put a ton of thought into my vision board, I just cut out words and photos from a magazine of things that I was drawn to, but somehow almost all of the things I put on it have manifested in an important way this year. Here's a few highlights:
"Into the Wild": I had three months off work this year and I used that time to take a series of "Kelseycations", what I call my solo road/camping trips. I always feel like I'm thinking most clearly when I'm out in nature. Because I had a whole three months and lots of flexibility on time, I had a few friends join my Kelseycations, to Big Sur, Joshua Tree, Ojai, Topanga Canyon, and Portland. At the end of it, I realized that even though I love being alone outside, it was even better when I had people with me to share my adventures with.
"Speaking Truth": I think of myself as a very chill person, although more than one former co-worker has described me as a Type-A personality who wishes she were Type-B so I guess that's not entirely true. The problem with it is I'll pretend that I'm not upset about things when I am, preferring to sweep it under the rug rather than deal with conflict head-on and it turns out that that really doesn't work for me. I've made it a point to tell people when I'm upset, preferably sooner rather than later, although if later is the only option I have then it's better than nothing. It makes my relationships stronger to just be honest about what's going on in my head.
Meditation: I clipped out a photo of a girl meditating and I've tried to make an effort to meditate once a day, usually in the morning. I can tell such a difference in how the rest of my day goes when I do this, even if it's only for 5 minutes. I think of it as my time to high-five my soul, or check in with the part of me that is always there, unchanging and overflowing with love. I know this sounds super hippie dippy but see the previous paragraph where I said I'm speaking my truth more ;)
"Stargazer": On one of my first dates with Tyler, we laid in a park in the grass on a cliff that looked over the ocean while staring at the stars trying to remember the lyrics to the Chris Stapleton song "When the Stars Come Out". The best way to describe it was magic. It was another one of those times where I took a step back and wondered how I got to that moment.
Girl on a paddle board tossing her cell phone in the water while "Work" is calling. I got laid off this year, something that turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened to me, once I got past the initial bruised ego. It led me to my three months of adventures, it forced me to let go of a lot of negativity I was holding onto, and ultimately it helped me come to the conclusion that when you go through a rough time, you can either decide to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself or you can stand up to the circumstance and find the good in it. The universe always rewards you when you decide to see a bad circumstance as the stepping stone to something better.
"End the Hate": I hate politics but one social cause I feel strongly about is equality. I was in New York during Pride Week with my brother and his boyfriend this year so we got to watch the parade. The energy that you can feel from thousands of people standing up for love makes me want to cry. :)
Dogs. I cut out a couple photos of girls with their dogs, I guess because I've known for a while I wanted a dog and finally in February I decided to just go for it. Having a dog changes your life subtly but substantially by changing your habits and thought patterns throughout the day. I now wake up early every morning to take care of someone besides myself, I think positively when I'm home alone more often than not because it's impossible not to tell him what a good boy he is, and he made my three months off work so much more fun.
"Catch the Wave". I've wanted to call myself a surfer ever since I lived in Portland wishing I lived in California. I was starting to get into surfing before I left Oregon but for some reason I haven't fallen in love with the sport yet. Every time I go I seem to get worse, probably because I keep learning to be afraid of the waves every time I crash. Plus Californians are intimidating in the water. However, this past weekend was my perfect California weekend and I caught a wave on my first try.