You’d think I wouldn’t share this story.
I mean, the Kindle version of The Complete Guide to Vision Boards just went to #1 on amazon.com. (It’s a revised edition – with never-before-seen content – and a whole new section on Intention. Click here to get it.)
So you’d think I’d refrain from sharing a story about failure. Something that didn’t happen. Something that didn’t work.
But here I am. Sharing it anyway. Because it’s one of the most common questions I get. “What about when you don’t reach your goal?” “What about something that just refuses to happen for you?”
You may be surprised at my answer. Read on…
Way back when I did my very first Vision Board, it shocked the hell out of me when things manifested…
An assistant to help me in my business.
But there was one thing that simply would NOT happen.
No matter how many times I re-made my Vision Board. No matter how many different placements I tried with this one image, there it was. Decidedly NOT manifesting.
The Grammy Award. (Background: Before I started the company I now own, I was a musician.)
I had plastered that Grammy at the top center of the board.
Then I put it on another board I made a year later. Then on another one a few months after that. I just kept ripping out that photo and putting it on my board, no matter how dumb it made me feel.
One morning, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself because I hadn’t yet “made it.” I looked at my board. Smack dab in the center was that fucking Grammy Award. It was mocking me.
It said, “How’s that Grammy coming along, Christine?” You famous yet?”
The familiar biting feeling of my own self-criticism threatened to spiral me into a terrible day.
But something made me stop. One of those “Lo! And the angel of the lord appeared before them!” kinds of things. A moment of truth.
It simply asked me to sit still. The emotion and the fever seemed to fall away, giving me the space for some clarity.
I stared at the Grammy award. And then, something invited me to ask myself why it was even there.
My answer was honest and the slightest bit needy.
The Grammy was the ultimate symbol of music success, right? A symbol that was agreed upon by everyone as proof of someone’s validity. In other words, I was waiting for the external world to validate me. (I warned you it was a bit needy.)
The Grammy on my board was about fear. Not about intention. This fear had driven me for so long, I couldn’t see myself without it. I made decisions from it. I betrayed myself in the name of it. I did showcases I didn’t really want to do because of it.
And then, a question appeared in my head. It wasn’t a rational thing. Nor was it one of those pro-and-con debates that arises when we’re struggling to make a decision.
It was a wise voice. An objective voice. And it had the slightest hint of humor.
It said, “Okay, Christine. Here’s a question for you. Honestly. Tell me. How many times have you ever even watched the Grammy’s?”
I sat there for a moment. And then I laughed.
Once when I was in high school snowed in at a friend’s house.
And the other time was just to see Mary Chapin Carpenter (who I had followed from her very first CD) perform on the stage. And I only watched it until she was done.
Twice. That’s how much my soul truly gave a shit about the Grammy’s.
In fact, I can’t even tell you who has ever won a single Grammy. (I don’t even remember if Chapin won that night.)
Music? Loved it.
Songs? Worshipped them.
Building a business around my creative life? I even liked that too.
But other than seeking to fill some worthiness hole inside of me, I didn’t care about Grammy awards.
Then that same wise voice simply said, “I don’t think you got into music to get awards. I think you got into music for something that matters to your soul. It’s up to you now to get congruent with that path.”
So, if you had been watching in that moment, what I did next would seem a trivial, even pointless, gesture. But it changed something inside me forever.
I walked up to my Vision Board and slowly, as tiny sounds of tearing paper filled the silence, I peeled the Grammy off the board.
I was shaking. I was letting go of what I had thought was my dream. I was taking the reigns from my ego, albeit only symbolically. I was admitting, “I may never get external validation. So be it.” And this was scary to me because my ego promised me it would forever leave me alone if I won that Grammy.
I didn’t have a clue at the time, but removing that image was every bit as important as everything I ever achieved on my boards over the years.
So when people come to me hurting because an all-important goal hasn’t been reached, or an intention hasn’t yet happened or they haven’t “made it” yet, I am compassionate. Because yes, it sucks.
Then I tell them my Grammy story.
After that, I share three thoughts:
The first is about persistence.
It’s possible that you are still in the process of calling this intention toward you and ego is feeling impatient. That’s all. (I mean, if I had chosen to keep pursuing the Grammy, I may have been able to make it happen with time. Who knows? I just wasn’t willing to take the actions needed, nor did I want to focus on an award anymore.)
The second is about relationship.
Any time we set an intention, we are now in relationship with that intention. If we rail and moan because this thing hasn’t made us happy yet, then we’ve abandoned the relationship, we’ve separated ourselves from it. We are no longer relating to it. I believe that the moment I sat there and admitted the truth about the Grammy was the first and only time I had stepped into real relationship with that intention. I truly called it into my heart. Where are you in relation to this intention of yours?
The third is about your soul.
Consider this. Your business is the territory for your soul’s expansion. That means you are being called to grow, evolve and become. Who are you being called to become?
In my Grammy lesson, I was becoming someone who could run her own business without any gatekeepers or approval, while leaving behind the pattern of waiting to be rescued.When you hit a wall it can mean you're out of the shallow level of trying to get more stuff. Click To Tweet
This non-manifestation literally turned me into an entrepreneur. In fact, the year I let go of that goal was the year people started asking me how I had gotten so successful in music and could I give them some places to start in their business.
So when you do it right, intention is a teacher. It is there to evolve you and expand you. When you hit a wall, sometimes it simply means you’ve moved out of the shallow levels of just trying to get more stuff. And this is when things get really, really powerful. Open up and see what you are really trying to call into your life.