Bring to mind the happiest and most successful people you can think of and you can virtually guarantee two things:
- They have a meditation or mindfulness practice.
- They have conscious mornings rituals.
People who have manifested their best lives will tell you that success didn’t just land in their laps; they had to work for it. They had to make choices and sacrifices as well as set deliberate habits into play in order to see their wishes unfold. They visualized what they wanted, they went for it, and they took advantage of the most precious hour of the day to focus their minds, envision their success, and set their intentions.
Waking up, hitting the snooze button, and letting the day unfold without direction is one of the biggest missed opportunities imaginable, yet millions (if not billions) of people live lives of complacency simply by letting their days happen by chance. The fact of the matter is this:
How you start your day sets the stage for your whole life.
Give this practice a try and see if you don’t feel tangible forward movement toward your life’s goals and dreams. The following nine keys to manifestation will revolutionize the way you engage with your life. Incorporate them into your meditation techniques or develop a new meditation plan.
1. Make a Decision
It all begins with a choice; a conscious decision to shift your habits and take charge of your life. If today is the day that you stop waiting for everything you want to just “happen” for you, write it down, tell a trusted friend, and make up your mind that you will rearrange your day in honor of creating lasting joy and success. Commit to yourself that you will follow through no matter what. That you will find a way, and that you will not fall prey to only doing what is easy. Make a sacred contract with yourself that you are worth your time and energy.
2. Prepare for Your Morning Practice
If you don’t consider yourself a morning person, you don’t get to skip the “morning” part of this meditation formula. Why? Because morning people are generally happier than people who consider themselves night owls. Not enough incentive for you to start waking up a little earlier? Early birds also get better grades. A study found that early riser college students had a GPA a full point higher than their night-owl counterparts.
And morning people are also more productive than evening types. So prepare for your morning practice by getting enough sleep and setting up your meditation space the night before. Morning meditations don’t often just happen, they require a decision being made (see number 1).
If you find yourself resisting the idea of waking up earlier, remind yourself that you have made a choice to follow your dreams and accomplish your goals, even if it is challenging. Like most habit change, the beginning can be uncomfortable, but before long, your new way of being will become your new normal. Don’t give up before you’ve even started!
3. Bring Ritual and Sit Still
Once you have made it to your morning meditation seat, establish a sense of ritual that delights your senses and invites you into the creative space. Pour a cup of tea, light a candle, pull an oracle card for the day, or read a passage from an uplifting book or sacred text. When you are ready to sit, get comfortable in your body so you can be still for 20 minutes. Use cushions, pillows, or blankets to help you sit upright. You want to get comfortable, but you want to remain active, so avoid the temptation to lie down or recline, since you might fall back to sleep. Part of the magic of a morning manifestation practice is sitting up tall so you can hear the voice of your highest wisdom.
4. Start Where You Are
You can’t get where you’re trying to go if you don’t know where you are beginning. Once you’re still, start to scan your body, your breath, your emotions, and your state of mind. Without judging them or getting into the story behind them, simply notice yourself with loving awareness. If you are feeling negative, insecure, or anxious, try accepting whatever blocks are showing up within you and offering them to your higher power. Remember, it is the ego’s job to try to protect you from getting hurt, so if your mind is racing, thinking of all the ways it could go wrong or you could fail, you could thank your ego for doing its job, and then ask it to move to the back so your heart space can take the lead.
5. Focus Your Mind
Deepen your breath and pay attention to smoothing out the edges. When the thoughts come up, come back to your breath. Withdraw your senses from distractions and strengthen your resolve to focus on one thing at a time. If you lit a candle as part of your ritual, try a candle-gazing meditation. If there is a guided meditation you enjoy, give it a whirl. The point here is that you want to create the conditions for your entire being to breathe, relax, and experience single-pointed focus. Your morning meditation is not a time to think things through, it is a time to quiet yourself, listen to your intuition, and bring life to your desires.
6. Clarify What You Want
After a few minutes of quiet, open focus, it’s time to clarify what you want. You can simply ask yourself, What do I want? a few times, and wait for the answer. Forget logic or limits, and just ask yourself what you really want to be, do, and have. Then ask yourself, What do I really want?, and see what comes up. Oftentimes what you think you want is covering for something deeper (for example, wanting to be accepted to a certain college might be more about wanting to move out of your hometown and feel a sense of independence and freedom). What you are interested in here is more the feeling place of what you desire than the details, since you want to remain open to how your dreams will unfold.
7. Visualize the Future
When you have clarified your desires, it’s time to feed them with positive energy. Spend five to ten minutes each day visualizing taking the action steps toward achieving your dreams. Where most people go awry when attempting a visualization practice is focusing on the outcome, rather than the process.
So if your dream is to write your first novel, rather than envisioning what it would be like to have finished the novel, spend time picturing yourself sitting in your office every day drinking a latte from your favorite mug while the ideas pour through you and into your computer. Picture writing at the same time every day, and what it would feel like to have the discipline to complete one chapter at a time. Visualize the person you need to become to achieve what you want, and it will form a magnetic pull on your future.
8. Affirm Your Future
Once you have connected to the feeling place of your desired life and visualized yourself putting in the work to get there, it’s time to create positive affirmations that will keep you on course. Affirmations can sometimes get a bad rap, but when used effectively to fortify your mindset, they create the inner compass toward following through on your commitments.
Ask yourself, What am I willing to do to achieve my dreams? Declare what you are willing to do with precise detail and craft it into a powerful statement. Here’s an example: a less-useful affirmation would be “I am a best-selling author.” A far more effective and motivating affirmation would be, “I am 100 percent committed to writing my novel by January 2020; therefore, I will spend two hours every morning, six days a week, writing without distraction.” This affirmation works better because it reminds you of the power of your actions and keeps you moving forward. Also, since you’re not yet a best-selling author, writing affirmations this way prevents you from feeling like you’re a fraud or a liar. Your affirmations are promises you make to yourself, and you should repeat them every day with heartfelt earnestness.
9. Remain Open
Close your meditation by offering a prayer of gratitude and release to your higher power. While this meditation practice is meant to help you manifest your dreams, yoga philosophy teaches not to be attached to the outcome of your efforts. Pray that your actions be of benefit to all beings, and that they serve the highest good—even if the results turn out differently than you might have expected. By offering the fruits of your labor to the highest, you stay open to all the ways the Universe can delight you. Rather than remaining rigidly attached to certain expectations, try to surrender your need to control the details. You never know—there might be something even better in store for you on your way to the journey’s end.
The benefits of meditation can be found all around and inside you. Deepen those benefits with a daily meditation practice and routine aimed toward bringing the deepest longings of your heart to life. Starting your day with this level of focus and intention is sure to move you forward on your path. So stay steadfast with your practice, and then get out there and make your dreams come true!
Ready to start flowing with the Universe, instead of against it? Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps make every day feel easy, fresh, and fulfilling with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More.