I often begin a yoga class asking the students to observe their energy, see what they brought onto the mat with them that day, and to set an intention. Something they would like to cultivate during practice, whether it be remaining present, watching the breath, dedicating their class to someone, finding courage, strength, whatever is on the persons mind at that moment, to breathe that in and shift it, internalize it…to intend it. In fact, it has come up so often recently in life, manifesting intention, those small things that I was thinking about that caused a chain reaction, the many conversations I had with people hearing how they were manifesting their beliefs, that caused me to pick up a book on the subconscious.
With that in mind, let’s backtrack a bit. I can remember being in a yoga class one day following an injury. It was the first yoga class I’d been to in a long time. And it felt amazing and I couldn’t understand how I was able to go so many months without stepping onto my mat. All I could think was, Holy shit, I need to get more yoga in my life. I thought it over and over and over again and I thought it in every single yoga class I went to and during the day when I was dreaming about being on my mat. The thought was always, I need more yoga in my life. Two weeks later I had two classes that I was teaching and I had a full-time practice. It would seem that what I was thinking during all those classes manifested for me. I became a believer in intention, and started to realize all the different areas where similar thoughts had written my story’s path. I could trace the pattern of what I thought and what I intended and how it actually formed my life, on and off of the mat. And I flowed this way for years. Watching as my intentions started to form my life more and more as I became more aware of their importance. I even coined a term, Intentional Coincidence, for those moments when it seems coincidental but when you trace things backwards you can see where your past thoughts would have manifested what you were currently experiencing. I mean, let’s face it, these things are not always immediate but some take time to manifest.
When I thought about the why of it all, I thought in terms of the Law of Attraction: the quality of energy you exude is the quality of energy that surrounds you and that you experience. That which is like unto itself is drawn. Like attracts Like. Birds of a Feather Flock Together, Misery Loves Company, Two Peas in a Pod…the idea wasn’t anything new, we hear it in these adages. Add that I’m really not a science person, that I am a really trusting person (at times to a fault), and that I had limited time to think about it (I was busy intending thoughts, lol) so I had little need for the reason behind it since I had experiential knowledge of the truth in the idea. I could trace it’s presence since childhood…and I was able to just trust that if I put out the positive energy, the universe would take care of me.
And then I forgot the power of my intentions, went to a dark place and remained in a vortex of consuming negativity. And I saw my negativity manifest even more negativity…and my panic create more stress…and my fears take me deeper into the depths of this shadow. The angrier I got the more things happened in my life that pissed me off. Again. Law of Attraction. I was literally creating my own worst nightmare and yet was so blinded by anger I didn’t see that I was the one responsible for writing my story. I allowed life to happen to me. I allowed others to make my decisions. I let go of intention and was swept away…sometimes drowning, sometimes swimming upstream, sometimes gasping for air, sometimes not even knowing if I was under or above water. It was fast and furious.
Years pass. Shit happened. Shift Happened. I emerged from my intimate dance with my shadow self…And a couple of weeks ago I picked up a book on the subconscious.
And here began the thinking behind what I had been experiencing. That law of attraction that manifests in all forms in life without judgement: light and shadow, brilliance and darkness, and everything in between. Maybe it’s a science. Maybe it’s psychological. Joseph Murphy seemed to have been a bit of a gypsy spiritualist with a background in religion and chemistry. (Those are my words based on his wikipedia page, so I could be wrong.) At any rate, I appreciated what he was saying and took into consideration his ideas on the relationship between the conscious mind and our subconscious mind.
All your experiences, events, conditions, and acts are the reactions of your subconscious mind to your thoughts. Remember, it is not the thing believed in, but the belief in your own mind, which brings about the result. Cease believing in the false beliefs, opinions, superstitions, and fears of mankind. Begin to believe in the eternal verities and truths of life, which never change. Then, you will move onward, upward, and Godward.
– Joseph Murphy
The idea is, that our conscious mind is our thoughts, be they fully-intended, habitual, or if we’re even really that aware that we are thinking them. It is the waking mind, the surface self, the voluntary and rational mind. Opposite of that is the subconscious mind, the sleeping mind, the deep self, the involuntary and irrational mind. By the way, here it means able to discern. The conscious mind can consider a thought, mull it over, and alter it so that it is of a quality that the thinker wants to manifest. Whereas the subconscious says, Okay Captain. Whatever you say. And our subconscious listens, without judgment, to those thoughts. It is the seat of emotions and is the creative mind. It is the builder of your body and can heal it. You’ve read, I’m sure, how you can say to yourself right before you go to bed, I want to wake up at 8am. And you will. Well, that’s the conscious mind thinking the thought, and the subconscious mind saying okay and creating the thought in life. And similarly, if you think you can’t quit that addiction or change that habit, you probably won’t.
“The power of your subconscious is enormous. It inspires you, it guides you, and it reveals to you names, facts, and scenes from the storehouse of memory. your subconscious started your heartbeat, controls the circulation of your blood, and regulates your digestion, assimilation, and elimination. When you eat a piece of bread, your subconscious mind transmutes it into tissue, muscle, bone, and blood. This process is beyond the ken of the wisest man who walks the earth. Your subconscious mind controls all the vital processes and functions of your body and knows the answer to all problems.”
– Joseph Murphy
It is the place of healing and manifesting. It is designing a life you love. I believe it to be that space where the muse dances and sirens sing. Where visions are inspired by kundalini surges. Where portals are revealed when the pineal gland is touched. The psychedelic realm where vision is expanded, energy becomes united, akashic records explored, and where you have the influence to navigate the waters in which you flow through life.
As Peter Pan suggested, Think happy thoughts and you’ll fly. Again, it’s a thought we hear over and over. And it’s a powerful thought. That which we think is manifested in our life. Not necessarily the way we want it, but more the way we need it. I like to think of it as a collaboration with the universe…I’ll think general concepts, high level ideas, big picture thoughts…and I’ll trust the universe to think of the details. But it’s my responsibility to bring intention into my thoughts and to follow through with them. It’s no longer an, on-the-mat idea…it’s bigger than that. It’s in everything I do. I still struggle, I still forget…but the time is sometimes 7 hours instead of 7 years. I’ve been “intending” in my thoughts to make habits of setting intentions. When I wake up, thoughts for the day; when I get to work in my to do list; in my yoga classes, for whatever I happen to be needing. And with my students, with you, whatever you happen to be needing, in life or in the moment, craft the thought in such a way that it is uplifting. Our thoughts set the stage for the action of the Law of Attraction. What we think is what we are attracting. Be kind and gentle, loving and compassionate, think about the life you want, the dreams you have, turn them into mantra’s and meditate on them, and every so often, as you’re thinking about these things, smile, and cheers the universe.