Before I get into sharing the three steps to co-creating with the universe I want to share with you a little story from my life that illustrates the topic beautifully. I never intended to share this story. I sat down to type out an Instagram post about my lovely day teaching yoga in the Hamptons (because that’s insta-worthy right?). What I ended up with was a whole story about how I started to create my dream life.
In 2010 I was in graduate school. The stress of school on top of my anxiety disorder weakened my spirit and left me feeling empty, often crying for no reason, then feeling guilty for feeling bad because there was nothing really “wrong” about my life. I started to do yoga more regularly that year because there was a free class offered at the local studio, and being in grad school with no income, it was a gift every week to get on my mat, and begin to establish a connection to strange new entity…myself.
That year I had mentioned to my boyfriend that I would like to get certified to teach yoga someday. He assumed I was only saying that because a good friend of mine had just become certified and was posting beautiful shots of herself doing advanced yoga poses on the beaches of Hawaii. “No, I really think it’s something I want to do someday.” I remember replying.
Meanwhile, growing up on Long Island and spending my childhood summers in Montauk, I always felt drawn to the area known as the Hamptons. Aside from the mega mansions and celebrity reputation, I loved the old-fashioned charm of the towns juxtaposed with the chic restaurants and stores; all amidst the backdrop of the Atlantic ocean on one side, and sprawling horse pasture on the other.
I got into this phase in grad school, where my nightly escape was not Netflix, but browsing real estate websites, looking at houses in the Hamptons, dreaming I would someday live there. That’s not really normal for a 22 year old. Maybe it is, I don’t know. It was so far out of left field to think I could one day live there. We were going to move wherever my boyfriend got accepted to medical residency, which could be ANYWHERE in the country. The chances of ever ending up exactly where we wanted were slim.
Then one day we were at a residency fair (like a college fair but for residency programs my boyfriend was looking at). Well wouldn’t you know, Southampton Hospital had a table. They were beginning a new program for surgery, the field he wanted to go into. The program had just started so he would be only the second class to get into the program. Residency is hard, the interview process is hard, and matching at your desired program often doesn’t happen.
As chance would have it, by some date mixup he wasn’t able to submit his application on time because he didn’t rotate there early enough in the year. MAJOR BUMMER.
Chance is a tricky thing, and can turn around to bite you, or bless you.
We were blessed.
He was able to apply for an intern year prior to residency, which he was accepted to, and would likely be followed by a spot in the residency program (unless he totally screwed up or something). So now instead of 5 years in the Hamptons, we were given the opportunity to live here for 6 years. Did the universe hear my desires or what?
Meanwhile I totally forgot about wanting to be a yoga instructor. I was in a job I hated, with a commute I hated even more, anxiety was at an all time high, and I had no time for self-care, fitness, or yoga. When I left that job and moved out to the Hamptons I met a nice girl named Erica who worked at the vineyard that was beginning to host yoga classes. I mentioned to her that I’ve thought about becoming certified one day. As chance would have it, again, she just completed her yoga teacher training right here in the Hamptons. There was a program that ran on weekends, which was perfect since I had a weekday job.
…THEN NOT TAKING ACTION
I looked into it. Thought about it for moths, missed the deadline to sign up, and let a whole year go by while I went back and forth, wondering if I was ready. Then finally I did it. I was tired of waiting around for my life to change, and I realized the only thing holding me back at this point was myself. The opportunity was there, I just wasn’t taking it. The only lesson this taught me looking back, is if you want something and you have the opportunity, take it. Or else stop complaining that your life isn’t how you want it to be.
DREAMS REALIZED THROUGH ACTION AND INTENTION
Fast forward to today. I have lived in the Hamptons for 5 years and have been teaching yoga for 2 years. This community is more of a home to me than I ever imagined it would be when I was looking through real estate websites. I still have my regular job, and a long ass commute, but today I stopped and thought back to those moments in grad school and said to myself “wow, I’m actually living the life I dreamed of all those years ago.” It was like at the end of the parent trap when Lindsay Lohan says “We actually did it!” (sorry, I love that movie)
CO-CREATING WITH THE UNIVERSE
Don’t get co-creating confused with getting your wishes granted. Nothing happens in our lives without our active participation in it. You can put out all the “wishes” and “desires” to the universe, but if you don’t show up, do your part and leave the part that’s out of your control to unfold in it’s own way, then we can never create the life or experiences we want.
- Set your intentions and let it be known. Yes, it sounds a bit woo woo but by putting out intentions into the world you are sending the universe signals in your actions and in your energy. For me that was taking those yoga classes, telling my boyfriend that I wanted to be an instructor someday, reading, researching, and dreaming about life in the Hamptons.
- Take the action that you CAN take. This is the practical, show up in your life kind of stuff. For us that meant applying to the program at Southampton Hospital. For Tim it meant performing well at his rotations there, setting a good impression, and securing a spot in the program. And for me that also meant going to yoga classes, talking to people about my interest in becoming a teacher, and following through with it. Making the decision to put that money down and invest in the training was hard, but worth every penny and then some.
- Not attaching to the outcome or trying to orchestrate every little bit of it. Did I know HOW I was going to make that happen? No. I wasn’t concerned with the HOW (honestly because it never actually felt like a possibility) which allowed me to not focus on how it would happen. I knew what I wanted to see unfold in my life, and put my energy into envisioning and dreaming about it. Trusting that whatever unfolds is exactly what you need and asked for. I always say “May it be this or something better”