photo: cheriejoyful on flickr

When you think about your life, what comes to mind?

Is it bursting at the seams with love and creativity? Or is it just limping along, looking for a place to rest its weary head? Or maybe it’s somewhere in between.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, my guess is that things could be better. Even if they’re already great, they can always get better. Right?

But how do you get from here to there? Whether you’re limping along or jumping for joy, how do you make things better?

photo: RichardBH on flickr

Before I answer that question, I need to point out the two major approaches to spiritual growth. These two approaches play a key role in how we tackle the question of making things better.

These two approaches can be summed up in two phrases:

“Make it happen” and “Let it happen”

1. “Make It Happen”

photo: official navy page on flickr

The “Make it happen” folks are the ones who use affirmations, prayer and creative visualization. They read Abraham-Hicks and Shakti Gawain, and go to place like the Centers for Spiritual Living. If “Make it happen” folks want something changed in their lives, they use a wide variety of techniques to bring it into being.

The advantage of this approach is that you’re utilizing your Divine creativity to change your life for the better. The disadvantage of this approach is that your ego – or elf self – can get in the way, sabotaging the process with its petty ideas and unexamined beliefs.

2. “Let It Happen”

photo: Lisa Omarali on flickr

The “Let it happen” folks are the ones who do nothing to disrupt the natural flow of life. They read Eckhart Tolle and the Tao de Ching and go to Gangaji retreats. Rather than changing their lives, they find ways to make peace with what is.

The advantage of this approach is that you cultivate an ability to surrender to the Divine. The disadvantage of this approach is that your ego can hijack the process and keep you stuck in less-than-desirable circumstances, insisting that “it’s God’s will.”

An integrated approach to the spiritual path involves both of these views. The key is knowing when to lead with the “Make it happen” view, and when to soften into “Let it happen.

Which brings me to the topic of changing your life for the better.

photo: Alex Valli on flickr

The title of this blog is “How to Make Your Life Better Than You Could Ever Imagine.” One would assume that this puts me solidly in the “Make it happen” camp.

Yes and no.

Let me explain:

As many of you know, I’m in a relationship with a wonderful woman named Melissa. In fact, we recently got married!

photo: Karen Fry

My relationship with Melissa is more amazing than I ever would have imagined – a relationship beyond my wildest dreams.

Given that relationships have been the most problematic area in my life, my current relationship is nothing short of a miracle.

So what happened? Let me tell you:

Four years before I met Melissa, I started opening to the idea of a new relationship. Using both affirmations and affirmative prayer, I began to envision a fabulous new intimate relationship.

For those of you who read my previous post on affirmations – and for those of you who have ever worked with affirmations – you know that the first step of affirmative work is wading through unexamined beliefs that are flushed to the surface by the new, affirmative thinking.

That’s what happened to me. All kinds of old, limited beliefs about relationships began to manifest in the form of actual interactions with actual people. Given that relationships had been so problematic to me, this was not surprising.

But it was also pretty frustrating.

At one point, several years into the process of affirming my new relationship, I went to hear a talk at the Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa given by a woman named Melissa Phillippe. Yup, the Melissa.

photo: Michael Corsentino

In case you’re wondering, there were no lightning bolts, no proclamations from the sky. I had no idea that this was my soul mate. There was just this woman on stage, talking about affirmative prayer.

But what she was saying definitely got my attention.

Melissa was talking about the power of the phrase: “Better than I could ever imagine.” Specifically, she was talking about the power of this phrase to release our small, limited beliefs about what’s possible in our lives. She explained that this phrase allows us to open to the Divine’s ideas for us.

The minute I heard her say this, I knew I needed to start using this phrase in my affirmations about a new relationship.

I had been clinging to my old, outmoded ideas of relationships, ideas that were manifesting in less-than-desirable real-life interactions. It was time to let in a new idea.

A Divine idea.

photo: Isaac Wedin on flickr

So that’s what I did. The next day, I started affirming a relationship that was more amazing than I could ever imagine. And not just more amazing – more creative, more passionate, more fun, more transformational, more alive.

Yes, I was “making it happen” – I was using my mind and the power of my imagination to affirm the qualities I was desiring in my new relationship. But I was also “letting it happen” by trusting the greater wisdom of Source to manifest a relationship that was even greater than my small mind could conceive.

And that’s what happened.

About a year after I started my “better than I could ever imagine” prayers, I attended a retreat called WomanSpirit. And who was there?

Melissa Phillippe.

She came up to introduce herself to me because she’d heard I’d written a novel and she wanted to talk to me about it. We had a great chat about creativity and spirituality. A few months after that, I went to her for some lessons in improvising on the piano. During my second lesson, we ended up talking for more than four hours. We both felt like we’d found our new best friend.

We then proceeded to spend two months falling in love without realizing what was happening.

When we finally woke up to what was going on, I realized that my prayer had manifested.

Unexpectedly. Miraculously. Divinely.

photo: WomanSpirit sister

So when I say that you can make your life more amazing than you could ever imagine, I mean it.

Whether your life is already amazing, or only so-so, it can get even better. Find a way to incorporate the phrase “Better than I could ever imagine” into your daily life – be it in meditation, affirmations, or even just daydreaming.

You can “Make It Happen” and “Let It Happen.” And it will be amazing.

I guarantee it!

photo: Karen Fry

How do you “Make it happen”? And how do you “Let it happen”?


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