Do What You Love and the World Will Love You Back

A few years ago, my husband and I joined some friends for a ski weekend at a resort nestled in a small community. At the end of the day, we gathered in the lodge for good food, good beer and live music. The mood was mellow as we enjoyed the satisfying fatigue that comes after a full day of skiing. The band consisted of a few local folks who likely traded their time playing music for dinner and a beer. It was an eclectic group of middle-aged men dressed in flannel shirts and work boots, and one unassuming woman. (Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name…) As they took their place in the corner of the room, guests continued to talk among themselves.

As the band began to play, the energy of the room shifted. The tiny clusters of conversation that scattered around the room all stopped to listen. As the members synced up with one another, their energy enveloped the entire room and we couldn’t help but be drawn in.

And then this incredible, powerful, woman stepped up to the mic. This woman, who moments before could have disappeared into the shadows, stood with so much presence that even the pause of silence before she cleared her voice demanded full attention.

She began to sing.

Raw. Radiant. Robust.

I was hooked.

The energy of this woman and this band continued to light up the room, and every person was dancing, moving, grooving, and enjoying the power that comes from a group of people who share what they love to do with others.

And that is the key. They were in love with what they were doing. In love with the music. In love with the performance. In love with each other and each of us. That kind of passion and joy is what draws people in. As an audience, we couldn’t help but be in love with them, too. It doesn’t matter if you’re sharing your gifts with 3 people or 30,000 people…It’s about going all in with whatever lights you up, and not being afraid to show your enthusiasm for it.

Whatever you ache for, excites you, brings you pleasure, lights you up, and opens your heart is your thing. That’s your gift; it’s the thing that you are here to express and share with the rest of us. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or fits in with the norms of society. If you love it, that’s the only sign you need.

And what if you’ve never discovered passion like that?

Keep searching, because it’s there.

Sometimes we deny ourselves pleasure for so long that it begins to atrophy, and we’re not even sure what we want or enjoy anymore. If that’s the case, you’ve just got to start working out those pleasure centers of your body—just like building a muscle, you can build up your relationship to pleasure. Start by indulging in the little things that bring you joy. What would you like to do now? Do whatever small thing is possible at the moment. Maybe you want to eat ice cream for breakfast, or go for a drive just because it feels good to get away. Maybe you want to watch a cheesy movie, or doodle on a scratch pad. Whatever it is; do it like it’s the most important thing in the world—because when you meet it in the moment—it is.

Place pleasure at the center of your day. It doesn’t mean you have to skip out on all of your obligations, just shift your perspective to recognize that your joy and pleasure is critical. It is what leads you to the gifts you have to bring to the world.

And once you’ve found something you love; go all in.

Step through all the fear, all the doubt, all the insecurity and excuses and reasons why it doesn’t make any sense…and share it with the world, because that is when you draw people in and give them the gift of you.

Step into what you love.

Share what you love.

Be what you love.

And the world will love you back.

mandala2This beautiful Sun Lotus Mandala is a wood carving created by my talented friend, Mike Langenheim. Check out more of his work at www.michaellangenheim.com

Write your own manifesto: Here’s how

First of all; just in case you aren’t quite sure about what a manifesto is, let me tell you.

It’s a statement about what’s important to you. It can be a personal statement just for you; it can be for your family, or it can be about the work that you’re putting out into the world.

And it’s kind of a big deal because it helps you get clear about your beliefs and what you want to attract into your life. Words carry a lot of power—especially words backed up by feeling. So when you write your manifesto, you’re making a statement about why you’re here, what’s important, and what you want to create out of your life.

There aren’t really any rules when it comes to writing your own manifesto, but I do have one helpful suggestion: Write from your heart, not from your head.

Your heart is the space in you that really knows who you are and what’s most important, so if you can tune into that space, you’ll tap into the feeling of your manifesto, which is where all the power is. In fact, the feeling of it is more important than the words and phrases you select. And here’s why: because feeling attracts feeling. Ever heard of the law of attraction? Well, a manifesto can be like a beacon of light, attracting the reality you seek. So if you want your busy family to all come together once in a while, write, “We are connected,” even if you’re not quite connected yet. Every time you read that phrase, the feeling will be there, and that feeling will attract the reality that supports it.

I know that for some, expressing yourself through writing may not come easy, so here are a few tips to get you out of the headspace and into the heart space:

1. Stream of consciousness writing. All you gotta do here is write. Sit and write whatever comes to your mind for a full 5-10 minutes. No, it probably won’t be meaningful or poetic, and yes it might be a full 5-10 minutes of writing about how you have absolutely nothing to write about. That’s okay. Because the point of stream of consciousness writing is to peel off the outer layer of nonsense thought so you can sink into the good stuff. So write about yesterday’s conversation; what you’re having for dinner later; or the fact that the bottom of your foot itches….you get the point. Just write.

2. Tune into the feeling you want to convey in your manifesto. Do you want it to inspire? Evoke love? Peace? Joy? Maybe you want it to be silly and light. Generate the feeling you want to convey. Use your imagination to call it up, or read through some other examples (scroll down) to get a feel for what you’re looking for.

3. Now, start a few sentences with I believe…, I feel…, or I am…. See where those sentences take you. Write as many ‘belief’ statements as you like, then sort through and select the ones that really stand out. And as you write, notice how you feel. The ones that make you feel something are the power words and phrases; use those. Or, if you’d like to get started with a script, hop over to this super helpful post by Alexandra Franzen…she’ll help get you started with some creative writing prompts.

4. Or, state a few truths that you know for sure: “Smile every day,” “Go to bed happy,” “Rise with the sun…” Don’t doubt that you’ve got some wise words to share. If it helps, imagine that you’re telling this to your eight-year-old self. As the wise person that you are, what would you like to share with a younger version of you?

5. Steer clear of words that place the action of your manifesto in the future. Words such as someday…, or I will…, those words will always reflect some time other than now. Write as if whatever you want is already happening, even if it isn’t yet.

6. Write it again and again. This will help free up any anxiety about ‘getting it right’. Just start writing. The first five drafts might be throwaways, and that’s fine. Great work usually starts with a few rough drafts.

7. Once you’ve nailed it; put it somewhere visible to you. Frame it up for your home, or if it’s personal, put it somewhere for your eyes only—hang it in your closet, or tuck it into your wallet where you see it every day. The key is to use it as a reminder of what matters most, so that every time you see it, you feel that sense of peace or love or joy that came through the practice of writing it.

8. Let go of any notions about how it ‘should’ be. This is yours, so whatever you write will be a perfect reflection of your unique creative expression and personal manifestation.

I love being inspired by other people, so I’ve posted a few examples of some of my favorites. I’d also love to be inspired by you. If you have a manifesto you’d like to share—whether it’s one line, or a whole page—I’d love to see it. You can post it in the comments below, or better yet, post it on Instagram or Facebook to inspire all of your friends; just be sure to tag me so I can see it: @emilyperry.yoga (on Instagram) or post it on the Make It Manifest Facebook page.

Also, I’ve recorded a segment on this topic for KSL Studio 5. You can watch the segment right over here. Enjoy!

And for inspiration to get you started on writing your manifesto, here are a few of my favorites, or hop over to my about page to read mine.

The-Holstee-Manifesto

beginanywhere

Begin Anywhere Manifesto: Bruce Mau

womeninbusinessmanifesto

focus

Focus Manifesto: Leo Babauta

A Message For You

I have to be honest; sometimes pursuing your dream can be, well…really, really hard. Even if you know with every cell in your body that you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, there are still those moments—those moments when you don’t feel capable of handling all that is required to follow your dream.

I’m not sure there’s any way around it; it’s more a process of moving through it—breathing, observing, releasing tension as it rises—and remembering that it will pass. The creative block will pass; the trial will end; the fear will dissolve. And what you’ll be left with is strength. You’ll be left with more strength than you had before, because you made it through one more wave that tried to knock you over.

I recently moved through one of those waves of fear, and just when I was feeling depleted, discouraged and filled with doubt, I got a message…a simple ‘thank you’ that changed everything I had been battling for a few days prior. It’s all I needed to redirect my focus and clarify my intention.

My challenge for you this week: offer a simple thank you to someone who inspires, or offers you support in some way. Perhaps you could recognize someone close to you—someone that you don’t thank often enough. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture—a simple thank you, a kind note; simple recognition.

If you’re on Instagram, I’ve made it super easy to send a little thank you note. I’ve put one up as a photo. If it resonates with you and you’d like to pass it on to someone else, just tag them in the comments. It’s easy, effective and it might just change the course of their day.

And I want you to know:

You’re amazing, and even if it’s not always recognized, you’re doing amazing things every day. The work you’re putting out into the world makes a difference and means something to people you may never meet. It means something to me.

Thank you for doing what you do.

Thank you for being you.

Thankyou

In Between

We’ve all been there—the dreaded no-man’s land—the space in between; neither here nor there.

Waiting for the call…sorting out emotions…planning the next move… all the waiting, wondering and wandering can sometimes feel unbearable, but here’s the thing about not-knowing what’s next: It usually precedes something big.

You know that moment at the very top of a roller coaster, after you’ve slowly climbed the ascent and you’re about to go down—there’s this pause—and you want to go, but you don’t, but you do…and it’s exciting and scary and before you know it you’ve slipped into the ride of your life?

Well, sometimes the ‘in between’ can feel like that; and the waiting is there because you need a moment to pause, gather yourself, and get clear so that you can finally exhale, release, and let go as you give into the big ride. It’s okay to be in between. In fact, it’s essential for what’s coming up next. If you’re about to enter a new phase, you need some time to get clear about what you want and where you’re going.

Observe your breath for a moment; notice that there’s a pause at the top of an inhale, just before the breath turns around to release and there’s also a pause at the bottom of an exhale, just before the breath turns around to draw in again. Those tiny moments of suspension are the gateways to the energy that sustains everything—they offer you a glimpse into your true self, and act as a reminder to tune into your heart’s desire. It’s hard to get clear about what you want when you’re going, going, going, so those little moments of ‘in between’ give you the time you need to listen to yourself; time to be alone—all one. It’s a time to gather yourself—all the parts of yourself—so you can unite and proceed with clarity and poise.

For the next few days, look for opportunities to practice being ‘in between’, even if it’s as tiny as the wait at a stoplight. Use those tiny moments to practice being okay with the wait. You’ll soon recognize that being still doesn’t have to be uncomfortable; that it can be a welcome reprieve from constant activity. Because when things get moving again, you’ll be glad you took the time….and also, because sometimes the breathless suspension is the best part of the ride.

Breathless

Make it Okay

First, a story:

Long day; the last of too many yoga classes: I was burned out, exhausted and not exactly rooted in my best self.

A student walks up to tell me that she didn’t really like the class; it was too fast, she felt lost, and she liked the other teacher better….ouch.

I was stunned and embarrassed and a little pissed off.

I mumbled an apology, maybe an excuse or two, and she left.

And there I was, alone with full-blown resistance toward myself, the student, and the entire situation. My face was flush, my body felt tight, my mind was spinning, and I just wanted the whole thing to just go away.

For the next few days I went through a series of reactions—I felt sad, irritated, angry; tried to forget it, flung out excuses, pretended not to care, and imagined the things I should have said…

I kept pushing and it kept pushing back.

Finally, after I had grown tired of the wrestling match, I tried a different approach—I invited it in. It wasn’t pleasant and I didn’t like it, but I sat with it anyway. And when I did, I realized that my resistance to the situation was softening. My body softened, my mind stopped spinning, and my heart started to open just a little bit.

When that happened, I started to listen.

What can I learn from this situation?

The student had been right; I was moving too fast, I was unengaged, disconnected, and not teaching from my heart. I didn’t want to accept it, but it was true.
And when I accepted the reality of the situation, I found myself in a space of clarity; a space with options; a space where I could actually facilitate positive change.

And so I did.

The experience became my wake-up call; a call toward positive change and necessary introspection. I reevaluated my schedule and lightened my load. I didn’t love the way the message was delivered, but sometimes it takes a hard hit to get the point across.

My point is this: Acceptance isn’t easy and you don’t have to like it, but if you can drop your resistance to yourself or the situation, you will enter into a space of clarity—a space where you can proceed with wisdom and grace.

If you have resistance toward something; pay attention. Be brave; look at it; invite it in, and most importantly, listen.

And then look at your options with clarity:

“Leave the situation, change the situation or accept it, all else is madness.” –Eckhart Tolle.

Leave it.

Change it.

Accept it.

Whatever you do, don’t let it bind you into a tiny ball of resistance, because when you resist, you’re closing yourself off to the good parts of the experience.

Your practice for the next couple of days is to watch for moments when you slip into resistance—the moments when you don’t like your body; the moments when you’ve been dumped with more work; the moments when you wish you hadn’t said what you said, or heard what you heard. And pay very close attention to the moments that you wish would just go away.

Those moments are the doorways to something bigger—they’re the doorways to greater awareness, greater compassion, greater understanding…..greater versions of you.

Contraction precedes expansion. Moments of non-acceptance aren’t meant to tear you down; they’re meant to teach you how to get bigger; find space; and then proceed from there.

Now it’s your turn. Dive into the work, and see what insights you can find in the moments you wish weren’t there.

And if you can’t quite get to a place of acceptance? Accept that you’re trying and that’s good enough.

Okay

Make An Observation

I’ll be honest: I want Make it Manifest to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. I want the blog to be inspiring and authentic; I want the Instagram photos to be beautiful, and the Facebook page to be something that makes you feel good as you scan through updates.

But the thing I want more than anything is to help you take action. I don’t want you to just read about creating a life that you love, I want you to actually do it.

So, this post and the few that follow will include a little exercise. It doesn’t take any time at all. You can even do the exercise as you go about your day. In fact, I encourage you to do the exercise as you go about your day, because that’s when the magic happens.

Today, we’re going to make an observation. This is all about looking at your situation without judgment. Seriously, NO judgment. Learning to observe without judgment takes practice. If it helps, you can think of yourself in two parts; there’s the ‘you’ that consists of your mind, your body, and your emotions moving through the events of your life, and there’s the ‘you’ that can observe it all. For today’s exercise, be the observer.

Ideally, observation is something that happens in every present moment, and I encourage you to work toward that. For now, let’s just focus on one area of your life where you can fine tune and sharpen your practice of awareness.

Life is very full and complex and there are many different parts and pieces of parts. So for now, I’ve narrowed things down into four categories that you could more or less cram all of those pieces into. They are:

Health: This includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Relationships: This is about the relationship with yourself and also the relationships you have with others.

Wealth: Everybody has their own definition of wealth, but it more or less includes your home, money, lifestyle, and the feeling of support and stability.

Self-Expression: This is what you put out into the world—your work, service, talents, hobbies and creative expression—any way you choose to express yourself—which may be something you share with others, or choose to keep to yourself.

(You’re welcome to move these around to your liking; add, rearrange or takeaway…I won’t mind).

These four parts of your life are all important, but some will be more significant than the others on any given day, so let’s just focus on which one of these areas speak to you today, right now. Pay close attention to the area that pops out, and also pay close attention to the area that you really want to ignore. (Your tendency to avoid one aspect could be a sign that it really needs some attention). If you want to get more specific, select one part within one of the four categories that you know needs some extra TLC. Narrow it down as much as you like. That will be your focus for the next few days.

Got one?

Okay. Now, don’t think about it; just tune in to how you feel about it. Heavy? Open? Agitated? Excited? Nervous? Quiet? Where can you feel it in your body? Your heart; your gut; your hands; Are they tense? Tight? Sick? Anxious?

Now, this is important: Is your mind spinning stories about it? Stories might sound like excuses, scenarios, limitations, blame…anything that labels your experience or takes you out of the present moment. If you’re spinning stories, you’ve slipped into the ‘you’ that lives in your body. Slip back into the ‘you’ that observes; catch those thoughts and kindly ask them to fade out for a while and make your awareness bigger so that you can observe the ‘you’ that is judging. Bring more of your attention to the part of you that is observing, until you are holding the entire experience in a space without judgment.

Return to feeling.

Take one full breath all the way to the top of an inhale; feel the pause just before the breath turns around to release. Exhale it all out; all the way to the bottom of the exhale and notice the pause again. Repeat if you like; slowly, consciously.

That’s all there is to making an observation; it’s just a process of seeing what’s there. It gives you a broader perspective and it helps to flush out the stories so that you can actually facilitate some positive change. Those stories that your mind is constantly spinning keep you stuck and small and barely breathing, and when your mind keeps you stuck, it’s pretty hard to find your way out. Observation gives you a grander view so you can see that you’re actually not stuck. In fact, you have so much space, your mind can’t possibly fill it up; the space is unlimited.

Keep in mind; awareness and observation doesn’t always make you feel better or change things. It’s just a different vantage point. So if you still feel anxious or irritated, that’s okay; just observe the irritation; observe the annoyance; observe whatever is there and have some compassion for yourself. Be extra kind and gentle with your inner dialogue. Take a moment to rest or breathe consciously. The simple act of observing offers so much, but it may take time before it starts to usher in a sense of peace and clarity.

It’s that easy. The hard part is remembering to do it. The beautiful thing is that your body acts as a constant reminder; sending you the message to stop, listen and observe. Every time you feel tired, anxious, achy, irritated, frustrated, angry, sad, or any other physical or emotional sensation that doesn’t feel so great, that’s your body telling you to check in, get clear, get focused and make space.

When it’s been a while since you’ve experienced the feeling of clarity and peace, you start to think that it’s normal to feel less than great, and when you think it’s normal to feel shitty…well, you stop recognizing the messages from your body as signs to stop and observe. When you practice observation, you’ll start to feel and recognize tiny glimpses of peace that will expand each time you practice. Those glimpses of peace are the real you—your true nature and the essence of who you are.

Eventually, with practice, you’ll flip things around; instead of living in unease with brief glimpses of peace, you’ll live in peace, with brief glimpses of unease—which, of course, will be the simple reminders to return to peace.

So for the next few days, practice observation. You can focus on one of the four areas mentioned earlier, or just observe the present moment. Notice when you don’t feel great and use it as a reminder to tune in. Get bigger than the feeling until it loses some of its power. See if you can return to peace.

And please, please, let me know if you’re confused or if you have any questions that come up. Furthermore, let me know if you have any suggestions, or share your experience. I want to learn from you, too.

You’re well on your way to creating a life that you love. It’s happening now. Can you feel it?

observation4

Cause For A Celebration

I caught myself rushing into the ‘next thing’ the other day, when I realized that I hadn’t stopped to celebrate the thing I just did.

It’s seems that many of us have this ‘go, go, go’ mentality (myself included), that keeps driving us forward, and while the enthusiasm and motivation is good, It is so important to recognize the ‘in between’ stage; the moment when one thing has ended and another hasn’t yet begun.

Otherwise, what’s it all for?

And more importantly, if you don’t stop to pause, listen, feel, and offer a moment of gratitude for your accomplishment, then how will you proceed into the next phase with conscious clarity?

Your path is changing all the time, and if you’re barreling forward without an upward glance or a pause to take in the view, then you just might find yourself…well, lost.

Or you might be moving forward in ways that are so familiar that they’ve become habitual, and when that happens, you might find yourself running circles and wondering why you keep getting stuck in the same scenarios with the same types of people.

It is so important to pause. One breath. One moment. One day. One week, if you need it—and celebrate what you just did.

And celebrate the little things—it doesn’t have to be a huge party; a simple moment of recognition will do.

You got out of bed without hitting snooze? Celebrate.

You chose the apple over the oreo? Celebrate.

You made the call, published the post, finished the project? Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate.

Because your time is worth it. Your effort is worth it. YOU are worth it.

And also because your next move will be fueled by rest, appreciation and self-love, and those are all really important qualities to bring into whatever is up next for you.

How will you celebrate today?

CelebrateYou

P.S. I bought myself the sweetest treat this week to celebrate the launch of my new project, Make it Manifest. Come check it out on Instagram. It is SO lovely.

Leap

This is my first official post on this blog, and after weeks and weeks of pulling ideas from my heart, organizing them through my mind, and finally, finally, offering them out into the world, I feel…terrified.

I feel terrified because it doesn’t feel quite ‘finished’ yet.

But that’s just it; creative work is never ‘finished’.

Creativity is always moving, shifting and evolving, so if you’re waiting for some magic moment when you can grab it and say that it is finished; ready; perfect…well, I don’t think it ever happens—not completely anyway.

I think when it comes to creative work; the best you can hope for is ‘enough’. It’s enough. It’s done enough. Good enough. And if you can catch yourself in that space, you had better take the leap before the moment is gone; before the courage to share it slips through your fingers.

How much of your creative work has never been seen by anyone else? And since art is in the eye of the beholder, who’s to say that your work isn’t already perfect to somebody else? Once you offer your creativity out into the world, it doesn’t belong to you anymore anyway. It belongs to everyone, and anyone who lays their eyes upon it gets to own a part of it as they interpret it in their own way.

So if you’re sitting on some creative work or ideas, I encourage you to take the leap. Let it go, and let it be whatever it is meant to be to everyone else.

And here’s the best part: when you release your creative work, you create space for more; and the more it flows through you, the more pure it becomes, and what you hold in your heart will manifest more closely to what you had envisioned it to be.

Don’t look, just jump.

Take the leap.

For one more little boost of inspiration, hop on over to my Make it Manifest Instagram page for a lovely quote by Agnes de Mille.

Welcome!

Dear brilliant, beautiful, you: Thank you. Thank you for coming here. Thank you for following your hunch, or your heart, or accidentally clicking on the wrong link as you stumbled into this space… whatever the case may be…I’m glad you’re here.

Let me tell you why.

Because the world needs you. I need you. YOU need you.

This space is about listening to your heart, getting clear about what you want, calling back your power, and channeling your energy toward YOUR true calling. Yes, you have a purpose, a path, a true calling; it’s why you’re here. And it’s kind of a big deal because your true calling fills a void that the entire world aches for, and you are the only one who can fill it. I know that might sound sort of mysterious and magical, and maybe a little bit crazy, but it’s true. It’s true for you and it’s true for every single person on the planet.

Okay, now what? So, you’ve got this ‘true calling,’ and maybe you know exactly what it is; maybe you have a vague idea, or maybe you don’t have a clue. That’s okay. You’re here because you’re ready to find out. It’s important for you to know that your purpose isn’t something you have to go out and search for, because its already part of you—it’s just waiting to be discovered. What I’m sharing here will just help you recognize it, call it up from inside of you, and give you the courage to share it with the world.

I hope you’ll stick around; scroll down for my most recent posts, or peruse the site for ways to stay connected to yourself and the gifts you have to offer.