Guest Post: The Simple Practice That Helped Me Manifest My Dream Life.

Lindsay is such an inspiration. We met ages ago when she was my contact at Federated Media. At the time we both had day jobs with side hustles. Me at BaubleBar, her at FM. Part of her job included editing all of the sponsored posts I worked on with Old Navy via Federated (frequently making adjustments to my grammar- ha!). Flash forward a few years later and she’s taken her dream job working for mindbodygreen... she’s launched a podcast (which is amazing by the way – I can’t wait for it to come back), and of course is still blogging. When I decided to launch my Wellness Challenge, Lindsay was at the very top of my list for contributors. I knew I wanted her to write a guest post. We chatted on the phone and ultimately decided to have her share a more personal post about how she’s managed to manifest her dream life. Read on – I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.

If you’d told 14-year-old me that I’d one day be instrumental in content partnerships with Sephora (my favorite store at that age), that I’d be writing for a living, that I’d host my own podcast, and have co-written a book, I honestly would have thought you were joking because it sounds too good to be true. Alas, here I am — living in New York, working as a wellness and beauty editor at mindbodygreen, with passion projects that include my own podcast and a book due out later this year. It’s just as much work as it is fun, to be sure, but aligning with a mission-based company whose purpose is to connect and help others is a great privilege and a dream come true.

How did I get there? It was anything but linear, but it was no mistake. I believe the magic started to happen in 2015—the same year I launched my blog and podcast, WELL / AWARE (editor’s note: the site is under construction, and the podcast is relaunching in February… stay tuned). I was working at a media company and loved the people more than the work, which is not inherently a bad thing, but it’s a situation that lends itself well to the pursuit of passion outside of work hours. I started attending to moon ceremonies, went to all kinds of fitness classes, shopped for green beauty, discovered a like-minded community at a new yoga studio, and loved going to events that sounded remotely wellness-related. I was hooked and I wanted more, but most new content was from a few savvy fitness instructors who also had blogs and social media. That year, I started my website and podcast to fill the gap. I was having these conversations already on coffee and wine dates, so it felt organic to share them with the world. After a few months, the podcast took off with unexpected success, and provided a strong foundation for opportunities to come.

It was on New Year’s Day in 2015 that I started the practice behind it all. You know how most people these days are totally over the idea of resolutions? I was the weirdo who loved them. There’s something so appealing about a clean slate, a fresh notebook, and new lease on life. Or so I thought. Indeed, the resolution mentality is alluring and damn near seductive, but it’s also the reason many resolutions fail. It’s a wonderful concept, but in reality it’s tough and goes against our innate nature as human beings to be creatures of habit. Instead, this practice addresses the underlying thinking behind the habits we have and want to create. I don’t abandon the opportunity all together, I couldn’t! I love it too much. But I changed the way I look at resolutions. Instead of setting a handful of lofty goals, each year I choose a word—a single word that captures the essence not of what I want to change, but how. It’s so basic, it’s almost funny but hear me out! Filtering the year’s big decisions through a specific word and lens is a powerful tool to change the way you think and act.

Here’s how to choose a word that works for you for this year:

Think about the things you really want to do, but haven’t done yet.

It’s bucket list time! Once you make that list (it doesn’t have to be pages long) ask yourself honestly what’s holding you back. This can take a few minutes, hours, or even days so be patient with yourself. For example, you may want to travel more but you don’t have enough money, you may want to read more but don’t have enough time, or you may want to finally take that yoga teacher training, but you don’t feel like you’re ready. Jot it all down, whatever comes to mind.

Identify the current, main patterns that are holding up your dreams.

Using the aforementioned examples, your lack of traveling might be due to spending too much or not earning the right amount; not reading enough could be because you’re too distracted or working too much; and putting off your yoga teacher training could be because of fear of failure, timing, or priorities. Be gentle here! All of this is A-OK. There’s no positive or negative charge here, just looking at the facts.

Find the antidote to your current patterns by asking why—one of these “antidotes” will inspire or become your word.

Why do you spend? Do you have a hard time feeling like you are enough? Then your antidote to spending might be creativity—creating from what you already have. It might be self-care, if spending is particularly therapeutic for you. It might be to meditate and listen to the voice within, if you’re always find yourself looking for approval on the outside. The idea is to make it bigger than the required action—in this example, “save,”—because “save” doesn’t get to the underlying issue. (By the way, I know these examples because I am these examples.)

You also don’t have to follow this process and can simply choose a word that’s resonating with you right now. I like to choose words that, ultimately, can guide the big questions that come up that year. Here’s a look at the words I chose and how life changed as a result:

2015: manifest — I started the podcast that became a foundation for so many things.

2016: practice — I completed my 200 hour teacher training, right before turning 30.

2017: say yes — instead of noodling on something longer than the time it takes to complete it (hello perfectionism)

2018: reveal — we’ll see where it takes me.

Happy 2018 to all! Tell me, what will your word be?

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Comments

  1. I saw a tip for having a word of the year a while ago, but I have yet to decide on mine! I think “say yes” is a great one, though!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Alex says 1.17.18

    Love this and love Lindsay’s podcast! Also so thrilled to see something about manifestation that feels true and is less about just making yourself have positive thoughts, The Secret-style : ) I really connect with the idea of tuning in to yourself and meditating instead of waiting for external approval/ validation. Maybe ‘tuning in’ is the word..

  3. Theodora says 1.17.18

    I love this, as I’m at a transitional phase in my life. My word is “focus” — i.e., don’t be a gerbil!! 🙂

  4. A N D says 1.18.18

    My word is “discipline”. I’ve been really lacking in follow-through for the last several years. Procrastination has become too ingrained and it’s time to throw that off!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.18.18

      Love that!! (And can be guilty of the same!)

    • Lindsay says 1.18.18

      SAME! It’s so easy to start things but so much harder to keep it up (at least for me). I really admire people who can do that. I support this one and now you’ve inspired me to re-commit 🙂

  5. Victoria says 1.18.18

    I love this! I’m also really into the idea of words as themes for your year ahead. Last year mine was “forward,” and this year, it’s “nurture.” So awesome to hear about your journey, Lindsay!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.18.18

      I love this!!!

      Nurture is a great one. Xo

    • Lindsay says 1.18.18

      Thank you Victoria! As an admirer of your work, it’s been a privilege to follow yours as well! 🙂