Awesome Lais asks: “Lately I’ve been working on being in the NOW because I used to always be either thinking about the past or imagining the future. From everything I’ve read so far about the importance of being in the now, including some of your blog entries, I’ve learned that we can manifest and be in alignment while being in the now. But the law of attraction clearly states that we have to feel as if we already have what we want and visualize the things we wish to manifest, which means thinking about the future and anticipating something we don’t have yet. Doesn’t one thing contradict the other? How can I be and manifest in the now if I have to visualize and feel something that’s not in the now yet? How can I simultaneously be in the now and create my reality that’s in the future?”
Dear Awesome Lais,
This is a question I get a lot, and something most students of LOA struggle with. The answer is actually quite simple, though. So just relax and let Auntie Melody provide you with some clarity.
Feeling as though you already have it
First, I’m going to get a bit sticklerish about the semantics of the much repeated but usually misunderstood sentence: “You have to feel as though you already have it.” You’re told to visualize what you want and get into the feeling of it, but if you’ve never been a rock star, how can you possibly know exactly how that will feel? There seems to be something missing here. There is. Let me rephrase that sentence a bit:
In order to line up with what you want, you have to feel the way you would feel if you already had it. This might seem like the same sentence, but it’s not. Here’s why:
If you were rich, how would you feel? I don’t mean about money, I mean in general? Would you be worried about your future? Would you freak out about small things going wrong? Would you feel powerless? Or would you feel safe, free and empowered? I’m guessing that your vision of having money includes the latter set of emotions. So, to you, having money is a representation of those feelings.
If you can find a way to generate those feelings NOW, whether or not you have money, you’ll line yourself up with the frequency where the money is. Instead of wanting money so you can feel the way you want to, feel the way you want to, and as a consequence, everything that represents that feeling, including money, will come to you. It has to. That’s how the law of attraction works.
Do you have to visualize what you want?
Most of these types of questions stem from the fact that a lot of people have gotten the wrong idea about visualization, what it is and what it does. I’ve written about this before (several times, like here, here and here), but let me give you the gist: Visualizing is NOT part of the creation process. You don’t have to visualize what you want in order to get it. If you did, you’d never, ever be surprised by anything (having had to visualize it exactly before it could come). Visualizing is a tool we can use to ferret out resistance (active thoughts that contradict what you want and get in the way of you receiving it). It’s a very useful tool, but it’s by no means necessary and it certainly doesn’t suit everyone. Some people, for example, can’t visualize; they’re not floating about in a vacuum, unable to manifest their reality, are they?
When you visualize, you’re doing your best to point yourself in the direction of what you want, getting as close as you can to it (i.e. you generate the best feeling about it that you have access to in this moment). As you do that, you’ll naturally start to hit any obstacles that are in the way – those contradictory thoughts. So, you might be seeing yourself on stage, rocking out with your band while thousands of adoring fans scream your name and throw their hopefully clean underpants at you (this is the main reason I’ve never wanted to be a rock star; my fear of being hit in the face with a skid mark laden pair of tighty whiteys. Well, ok, that and the fact that I don’t play an instrument). As you envision this delightful scenario, your “helpful” mind begins to morph the fantasy and bring in some unwanted elements. These are representations of the contradictory thoughts and fears which are currently blocking you from being the next Mick Jagger.
So, you might see yourself arguing with the band (fear that you won’t all get along, or that you’ll have to make artistic sacrifices to get where you want to go), or overdosing and ending up in drug rehab (belief that this is just part of the lifestyle and that you’ll lose control and be unwittingly sucked in somehow). You might have a very hard time seeing yourself playing to that many people, and trying to do so might make you really uncomfortable, because you’re afraid you’re not a good enough musician. If you give your visualization free reign, it might well take you down a dark road before you know what happened. This is not a bad thing. All that’s happened is that your mind has visually shown you where your current vibration (your current, active thoughts and beliefs) is at. You can then use the tool of visualization to deliberately change that negative picture to a more positive one, gently and incrementally shifting the fantasy into a more positive place until you’re completely comfortable with the vision of being on stage in a huge stadium. This is a wonderful and very effective way of contradicting and shifting those resistant thoughts, but it’s just one tool of many that are at our disposal.
But doesn’t visualizing make us focus on the future?
And now to the heart of your question: If we’re visualizing something that’s in the future, aren’t we taking ourselves out of the NOW? Nope. You see, here’s the thing: You can’t really take yourself out of the NOW. There is only NOW. The future doesn’t exist yet and the past is over. When you remember something from the past, you’re doing so NOW. If that memory makes you feel sad, you’re feeling sad NOW. When you worry about the future, you’re anxious NOW. It’s always NOW.
So, when we talk about being in the NOW, making peace with the NOW, feeling good NOW, etc., what we’re really talking about is stepping into a state of awareness and allowing. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging without an explanation of what, exactly, THAT means.
Being aware in the NOW simply means being conscious of how you feel, instead of ignoring your emotional state as most people do. When you worry about the future, it doesn’t feel good. But most people will be willing to sacrifice feeling good NOW, in order to “safeguard” themselves against all possible negative outcomes (hint: this doesn’t work. Read my explanation of why not here). In order to be able to bear that, they have to effectively ignore how they feel NOW. You can’t consciously focus on the fact that you’re feeling bad and not want to do something about it. The only way you can accept feeling negative emotion for any length of time, is to NOT focus on it, but to distract yourself with something else instead. And boy, have we become masterful at distracting ourselves in this society. So, another way of saying “Be aware in the NOW”, is “Be honest about how you actually feel, you know, for a change.”
Being in a state of allowing can be explained in many ways (each teacher has their own definition). Here’s the really simple one (admit it: this is why you freaking love me): Choose to feel good. Now. Even if you don’t yet have what you want. Feel good anyway. I know, I know, this is much easier said than done. Only, it really isn’t, once you really make the decision to make feeling good your ultimate priority (the idea that it’s hard is only a belief).
So, if you start paying attention to how you feel (NOW, since there is only NOW), and you decide to consciously (since you’re paying attention now) feel good (instead of faking it while you ignore how you really feel), you are in the flow, at peace with the NOW, in a state of allowing, etc. If you could maintain this state long enough, everything you’ve ever wanted would start flowing into your reality. Yes, it really is that simple.
When you’re using the tool of visualization, you’re not projecting yourself into the future. You’re simply focusing on what you want (NOW), in an attempt to fish for and release resistance (catch and release. Get it? Ha. Yeah, I’m a dork). In order to do that, you have to consciously notice how you feel (NOW), and then deliberately focus in such a way that you feel better (NOW). Essentially, visualization and other tools like it can help you to ferret out some negative emotions that you’ve been feeling for so long that they’ve become so “normal” that you’re not aware of them. These tools help you to amplify and become aware of how you truly feel NOW. They help you become consciously aware of your vibration. Because, let’s face it, if you knew that you were feeling bad NOW, you’d stop it. No one makes the fully conscious decision to suffer. No one deliberately chooses pain (note, I’m not talking about pain for pleasure, but painful pain). These decisions are always made while in the fog of unawareness. So really, when we talk about being in the NOW, we’re speaking about becoming more and more aware and conscious of how we’re truly feeling. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most succinct statement on the Law of Attraction and all the related “work” we do that I’ve ever offered. I guess I can take a nap (NOW). My work here is done.