May 12, 2023 | Your Adventures, Your Self

Catherine Wood

A Manifestation Guide for Highly Sensitive People and Intuitive Empaths

I was recording a podcast earlier this week with a colleague on the power of manifestation and visualization. Many of us do not give enough credence to the power and accessibility that our thoughts, beliefs, dreams, and ways of being have on influencing our intended outcomes and goals.

The episode was an absolute delight to record and wildly synchronistic in the similar experiences we have both manifested in our lives, from romantic love, in our businesses, to our ideal lifestyles and physical environments.

But what caught me off guard was when I unexpectedly made my guest cry, by sharing one of the dreams I most ardently desired yet resisted allowing myself to openly acknowledge or share for much of the past decade…

I find this experience of self-withholding all too common and familiar for sensitive empaths. We stand to benefit most from tapping into our intuition and the power of our dreams as we are naturally creative.

As highly sensitive people and empaths, we are naturally intuitive, highly creative and gifted dreamers.

What were some of your favorite fictional characters you dressed up as a child? The intricate and magical stories you acted out? The complete messes and adventures you got into in your backyards or in my case, the woods?!

Perhaps you dreamed of becoming the next Nancy Kerrigan when you grew up or the first female identifying president of the United States. I often envisioned being Laura Ingalls Wilder myself, farmer, school teacher, wild woman, and the horse whisperer herself.

If you’ve been here a while, you too are likely a natural dreamer at heart. But being willing to dream is a vulnerable practice, at best. It also takes a lot of courage and bravery to be willing to then share your most ardently held dreams, let alone open your heart big enough to allow yourself the full range of having those dreams in the first place.

And for many of us, while we were natural dreamers and creators in childhood, we also had extremely big hearts and high sensitivity.

We were extra receptive to our caregivers’ opinions, judgements, and critiques of those dreams and often ethereal and sensitive responses to the world around us.

Our tendencies to care for and please those around us, often resulted in disconnecting from those creative parts of ourselves. We were prone to abandoning ourselves and our dreams in lieu of caretaking and people pleasing. Plus a default orientation towards achievement, seeking external validation, and ‘doing what we were told was good or right.’ Naturally, those voices were often louder, more assertive and more commanding than our own.

All of these responses were a natural reaction to protect our sensitive hearts and extremely caring natures, but further disconnected us from our inner knowing, our creative ideas and our dreams.

It’s important to share this first, in order to normalize that it’s hard to reconnect with your dreams when you disconnected from them a long time ago in order to maintain a sense of safety and self-protection.

So much of your growth as a highly sensitive person and intuitive empath is to do the courageous work of opening your heart, trusting yourself and your intuition, reconnecting with your creative self, and allowing yourself to dream again.

Continue reading my top 7 manifestation practices to begin redesigning your life. 

Generate a Joyful State

Joy is an essential ingredient for manifesting and visualization. If you imagine yourself casting a potion to manifest something into your life, throwing joy into the cauldron is the first ingredient on the list! Research suggests that when we’re in a joyful state, we are more connected with our bodies and heart centers and less in our heads. We are also detached from the outcomes of our dreams and goals when we are happy and joyful because we are more connected with ourselves, others, and the world around us.

In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron talks about the importance of taking yourself out on a weekly Artist’s Date to reconnect with your creative self and I find this is also a helpful structure to generate your own joy.

Take Yourself Out on a Weekly Date

When I chose the first title for my book Belonging, I landed on “I Just Want to Date Myself!” Truthfully, learning how to treat myself the way I wanted to be treated by others has been a big part of my journey in manifesting love in a romantic partnership. It has also been a helpful practice in reconnecting with what I most love and cherish doing with my free time. The more you treat yourself the way you want to be treated by others, the more naturally you will attract those individuals into your life.

Find an Embodiment Practice

Whenever we are bringing an idea to life, it requires us to get outside of our heads and into action. Manifesting a business idea, concept, or goal without taking inspired action is magical thinking. It’s also a set up for disappointment and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When we find a practice to move our physical energy or release trapped emotions, it allows us to activate our parasympathetic nervous system or state of calm and peace and connect with more of our intuitive knowing and inspired actions. Personally, I am a devout practitioner of kundalini yoga for this reason and committed to a teacher training several years ago to more deeply connect with the practice. Consider trying out several embodiment practices until you settle into one that feels aligned.

Act As If

I first heard about this manifestation concept in Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and it stuck! Essentially, it it is the principle to act as if you are already where you want to be. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending as if you’re already a millionaire, but acting as if you already live a seven-figure lifestyle. In our household, one of my favorite ways to practice this is intentionally investing in credit cards and maximizing bonus sign-up offers to almost exclusively fly business class. We arrive at the airport early to linger in the Delta lounge and board the flight first and fully enjoy the experience.

Canfield says, acting as if means “thinking like, talking like, dressing like, acting like, and feeling like the person who has already achieved your goal. Acting as if sends powerful commands to your subconscious mind to find creative ways to achieve your goals. It programs the reticular nervous system (RAS) in your brain to start noticing anything that will help you succeed, and it sends strong messages to the universe that this end goal is something you really want.”

Co-conspire with the Universe

Several years back in our UNBOUNDED Mastermind, we read E2: Nine Do-It Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout. I was skeptical at best in suggesting it, but my skepticism is typically a clever way that my resistance shows up and I was so grateful I didn’t listen! This book includes 9 manifestation experiments that we spent the month doing. It was an incredible experience hearing the success stories of my masterminders one after the other sharing similar experiences choosing to see a specific color car and then seeing tan colored cars everywhere. Or deciding they were going to manifest a blessing and then generating a new client out of thin air the very next day.

One of the basic tenets of manifestation is that our currents results are the consequence of a previous thought. This speaks to both the power and the responsibility to be intentional with our thoughts. Grout expands on the reticular nervous system by describing it as a control center. She says, this center “has the job of sending what it thinks is urgent to the active part of the brain and to steer the nonurgent stuff to the back. But as it’s organizing, it’s also busy interpreting, drawing inferences, and filtering out anything that doesn’t jibe with what we believe. In other words, we rehearse ahead of time the world we want to see.” Begin looking for what you want to see and notice how it’s possible to find anything you look for. And that moreover, by changing what you look for, you can radically transform what shows up.

Create a Visual Display

If we don’t have a clear vision of what we want our life to look like or potentially what we want, how will we ever get there or appreciate being there once we arrive? What you focus on expands which is why I am such a proponent for creating a vision board. Something, you can keep handy and in your physical environment so that you are always subconsciously creating more of the felt sense of you want.

A visual display can be a vision board, a mind map, a powerful image that reflects your vision, or any other number of structures that supports your vision in coming to life for you in a sensory way. Additionally, a visual display will you connect you with how you want to feel and the experiences you want to cultivate, which is a powerful way of connecting with your creative world and getting outside of your logical brain where fear and resistance live. You can catch a sneak peak of my process of creating my most recent vision board over on the gram.

Write a Desires List

When I was preparing for our mastermind call last week, I picked up a book I wanted to reference and out slipped a few ripped out pages from my journal. In picking up the list, I realized the pages were an exercise we do in our mastermind together where we collectively hold space and individually write out a 50 Desire List. There are some guidelines to the exercises that only a limited number of the desires can be altruistic. We also normalize that writing the first 25 will likely be easier than the second 25 desires. Writing down your desires is an incredibly powerful practice. Challenging yourself to not stop until you reach 50 is very helpful in getting outside of your comfort zone, your analytical mind, and really connecting with the yearnings of your heart.

We adapted this exercise from another mastermind book favorite, Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth by Nancy Levin. In looking at my own list, I decided to count how many of those desires I had brought to life over the past 3+ years since initially writing my list. I pulled out a highlighter and started highlighting one desire after the next that had been fulfilled, from manifesting a fireplace in my next home, to getting a dog, to being hired by x and x. To the one that took my breath away and caused my podcast guest to cry upon hearing this story earlier this week, which was the desire of living near the ocean again…

After living in Washington, DC for the past decade, my husband and I relocated home to Massachusetts a year ago this month.  I never thought this dream would come true and was scared to fully let myself imagine because of how much it meant. My husband’s career was based in DC and our home and shared life has been there since 2014. But I have yearned to move home to the sea for about as long as I’ve been away from the sea. To date, I’ve fulfilled on 33 of those 50 desires.

Write down your desires list. Allow yourself to desire and dream. It is not your job to determine how you’ll get there or to be attached to the timeline or what it will look like. If you don’t allow yourself to desire and to dream, you deny yourself the possibility of your dreams coming true.

If you are desiring creating a powerful different experience of your life or your business, I cannot strongly recommend enough the power of having a values-aligned community like our Mastermind to remind you of who you are and your dreams when you forget. Being surrounded by creators who are dreaming and designing their lives is an invaluable support structure. Join us for an upcoming Non-Networking Power Hour with our UNBOUNDED Mastermind Community to get a felt sense of what it’s like and whether you’d like to join us. 

Marianne Williamson certainly said it best in a Return to Love,

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

ARE YOU READY TO TRULY CREATE YOUR PURPOSE-DRIVEN BUSINESS ON YOUR TERMS?

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Catherine is a Master Certified Coach and bestselling author of Belonging: Overcome Your Inner Critic and Reclaim Your Joy.

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Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

The Prosperous Empath Podcast is produced by Heart Centered Podcasting.

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