A few months ago a client “David,” who suffered from severe, debilitating anxiety was referred to me. For many years his negative thoughts had controlled the way he viewed the world. He had somehow been able to hold down a stressful job, however his mounting anxiety had taken a toll on his emotions, his physical health and his relationship with his family.
In our first session, David shared with me that he had just come from a breakfast meeting with an eighty seven-year old man named “Stanley.” Stanley woke up every morning at 5:30 a.m., took long, leisurely walks along the beach, went home to his adorable girlfriend to give her a “smooch” and her “daily surprise gift” before leaving for work.
David had talked endlessly about the impact that Stanley had made on him. “I want what he has,” he sighed longingly, wishing that he could view the world with such positivity, gratitude, grace, love and hope as this elderly man. He went on, “Stanley doesn’t even care what other people think of him. He just does what he feels is right in the moment without any worry at all. It’s…amazing.” When I told David that he already possessed this innate power, he leaned in, whispering with a distant smile, “I think so too but…,” he quickly leaned back and murmured, “I’m too afraid to access it.”
For the next few months David began to slowly reverse the way he’d defined both himself and the outside world through the lens of anxiety. And the more his thoughts and inner dialogue shifted, the more he was able to begin releasing unhealthy coping mechanisms that had kept him stuck in dysfunctional patterns for many years. And before he knew it, David began to embody his “inner Stanley,” taking long morning walks on the beach that he’d once only dreamed about and even buying small gifts for his wife every now and then before he left for work.
Becoming clear and cognizant of what you want is the first step in manifesting yourself in the outside world. If someone or something sparks your attention and creates longing, it is because you want to manifest this quality within yourself. Everything and everyone is a positive or negative projection of your own unrecognized and undeveloped self. It is when we pay attention and put our energy into our intentions that we slowly recognize these longings and begin transforming them.
Ask yourself: Where is your “inner Stanley?” And – How will YOUR “inner Stanley” be recognized today?