If you’ve been following this blog since the beginning of the year, you might have a question. It might go something like this. Ros, how does ‘being a conscious creator’ fit in with a lot of angry people having a go at you on Twitter? Fall asleep or something?
So here’s The World According To Guardian-clickbait-author.*
We are all of us creating our unfolding lives through the thoughts we think and where we place our attention. Most of us are doing so unconsciously. Some of us have learnt to do it consciously (see Dream House) but still do a little unconscious creation when we are – you guessed it – not paying close attention.
Example. Long after I had manifested my dream house and a few months after I had manifested the long-desired Major Book Deal, I sprained my ankle so badly that I thought it was broken, was on crutches for a fortnight, and had significant pain for nearly eight months.
There are no accidents
If you recognise you are the creator of your own reality, you have to take responsibility for everything. (In your life. Not in the world. That’s madness. Or possibly Ho’oponopono.). Ergo, there are no such things as accidents. So Ros, what was that about, playing Pet Hotel on your phone while you’re crossing on the pelican crossing that (being remodelled) has an inch-lower section just before the curb? Answer (apparently): not feeling good enough for the UCL PostDoc. It took me a little while to feel into the truth of this. My initial reaction was swearing, passing out from the pain and being carried home by the road crew.
While my ankle was raised and iced I had plenty of time to identify the real cause of the ‘accident’: not just my inattention to the changed level of the road surface, but to the flurry of ‘not good enough’ feelings that whispered bad things in my ear every time I looked at the UCL application form, or looked at the world-class academics who made up the English Department. I was trying to affirm myself onto a path that was not going to admit me (don’t get me started on the uselessness of affirmations), ignoring all the painful thoughts this course of action caused. But you can’t ignore painful thoughts for very long. Whatever you focus upon with emotion, wanted or unwanted, you are likely to manifest. My thoughts, which manifested into a beautifully symbolic injury, were as follows: I couldn’t move forward, I would come a a cropper, and it would hurt. And really, bloody ow. With a mild surface depression on my route, a mindlessly addictive app, and UCL represented by a curb, I created for myself a world of pain, and was unable to move forward. Magnificent manifesting, kid! Ten out of ten!
In fact that year I sprained my ankle twice, and fell down the stairs, top to bottom, twice (sober, I might add), so getting fully conscious became a serious priority. These days, because I loathe being in physical pain and my body seems to ramp up to it faster than a cat takes down a sparrow if I ignore the subtle signs, I’m very conscious of my thoughts. If I feel them turning against me (indicated by a negative emotional state) I tend to notice, and turn them around, pretty quickly. No more monster ankles for me, thank you. Not if I can help it. Which brings us back to the opening question. How does a conscious creator create a shitstorm? Especially one they didn’t actually see coming (and would have avoided, given the choice)? And why am I not actually unhappy about it (even though it felt pretty bruising at the time)?
“Bad” is good
During the last nine years, I have learned to see everything that happens to me as a blessing. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” said the wisest man in English literature, and as the sassiest pop singer of the Eighties answered, “who am I to disagree?” So when something “bad” happens, I tell myself it’s actually for my benefit, and if I can’t see the benefit, that’s only because I’m not seeing the bigger picture. The minute I relax about the “bad” thing, or even better, bless it, the benefits tend to arrive pretty quickly anyway. In the case of my recent social media experience, it was obvious that it was part of a hugely positive trajectory, rather than some kind of ‘course correction’ or universal smack down.
In the two weeks before it happened, I had:
- Finally bitten the bullet and asked (the universe at large) for money.
- Explained why I was asking for money in a blog post which was widely shared and universally (or so it seemed) appreciated.
- Landed a commission for a Guardian blog post as a result…
- …at a moment when I was very pressed and would have very little time to write it and no time to sit on it/edit it.
You have to assume, too, that everything arrives with perfect timing (even when the timing doesn’t seem particularly perfect). My mood in the run up to the Guardian getting in touch was possibly as elevated as my mood has ever been (though I set new highs of cheerfulness every few months). On March 11th I was “happy for no reason” and “feeling bulletproof”; on March 14th I was “still buzzing with joy”. But being approached by The Guardian made me “slightly nervous” (more about what the editor would think of my article than anything) and on March 21st (hours before it was published) I reported to a friend I had “come slightly off the high, mostly because of having no time on my own (=no time to recentre and ground myself)”. So the article had been written with a little bit of fear and trepidation in the broadcast signal. Humans are social animals, and very good at picking up these subtleties, whether they know it or not.
The value of outrage
Yet the upshot can only be good. Outrage meant my piece was shared far more widely than it would have been had everyone agreed with it (or read it as the jocular opinion piece I intended). The article had over 40,000 views, and tens of thousands of people who had never heard of me had my name appear in their social media timeline: not just linking to the Guardian piece but to the numerous response pieces, subtitled ‘my response to Ros Barber’ or ‘open letter to Ros Barber’.
I started the month by asking for more money. The road towards more money is name recognition. So I guess I’m on the road.
Yes, some people have decided they don’t like me and would never buy a book of mine, but they don’t actually know me and I’m pretty sure they probably wouldn’t have bought a book of mine anyway. Many more people heard my name for the first time, enjoyed the article, came here and found out more about me. Some have bought my book; others have offered me paid work and other opportunities.
Outrage is quite a publicist. I would never recommend you could it deliberately. But if the universe sets you up with Outrage, accept that the universe has got a better grasp of things than you do, and that it’s working for your benefit.
Path of least resistance
Here’s one final observation from a conscious creation standpoint. If you ask for something, and it comes (or in my case, starts to come), but the way it manifests is painful, that’s an indication of how much resistance you’re holding. At a seminar once, I heard a man who had been trying to manifest enough money to completely remodel a room in his house, and then a pipe burst, the ceiling collapsed, and he got the money for remodelling from the insurance company. But as he pointed out, he would rather it had come a little easier than his bathroom actually falling into his dining room. And as was pointed out to him, given his level of resistance to receiving money (and common associations of wealth with evil make some of us *very* resistant), one eighth of his house being destroyed was the easiest way it could be delivered. The social media shitstorm was just my ceiling collapsing. The remodelling is already in progress.
*Hoping you get the John Irving reference, though I suspect it dates me.
If you like what I write and want to help with the remodelling (of my finances), you could always consider becoming one of my patrons. It costs less than a dollar (and even less than a quid) per month and puts an unbelievably big smile on my face, a picture of which I will happily send you if you ask me to! I will also write to regularly with behind the scenes action and deep gratitude. Find out more here: http://patreon.com/rosbarber.