“I don’t know,” my client sighed. “Maybe it just isn’t meant to be.”
“I really want to join your mentorship,” the email went, “but if it’s meant to be, maybe you’ll do it again next year.”
“The board turned me down…I guess it just isn’t meant to happen.”
“I never heard back from the agent/recruiter/HR department…so I guess it’s not meant for me.”
Meant to be according to WHOM?
The forces of inertia, lethargy, apathy, and distraction? The scattered attention of someone who has 84,000 other things on her mind? A faceless bureaucracy? The whims of your kids, partner, and your search engine?
Do not put your dreams in the hands of these things.
Keep them in YOUR hands. And ask fate for help.
Forget what’s “meant to be.” Focus on what you are creating. Hold that vision with unerring clarity until it becomes real, or you have a new vision.
Listen, I know that this goes against most of the self-help advice you’ll hear out there. Right now the personal development world is experiencing a massive pendulum swing toward receptive passivity. The big buzz words are surrender, and acceptance, and releasing attachment. People are waiting for signs, synchronicities, and permission. Things going well must mean that the universe is “in your corner.”
If that is working for you, stop reading right now. This is not for you. Go off and meditate, honey— and keep manifesting checks and Ferraris left and right.
But what if it doesn’t feel like the universe is in your corner at all? What if you get rejections, clusterfucks, and glitches? Does it mean you should go back to bed because your dreams just aren’t “meant to be”?
If you’re feeling frustrated, ignored, cock-blocked, or shat upon— if what’s “meant to be” feels small and narrow and disappointing— it’s time to take your power back.
I don’t think the universe is out there like a grim judge saying, “This is your fate! Conform to it!” I think the universe is much more like a playful toddler saying, “Let’s play! What shall we make today??? Look at all the colors I have!!!”
Your life will hand you all sorts of raw material. Opportunities. Privileges. Setbacks. Talents. Heartbreak. Joy. Injustice. Beauty. It’s your job to decide what you’re going to make of it.
Because honestly— if it seems like the universe is giving you a raw deal sometimes, imagine how it must feel about us. Most of us haven’t exactly been the most incredible stewards of its gifts. Here we are, living in incredible privilege (don’t think so? read up on Syrian refugees), and instead of being blown away by the fact that the sun RISES every goddamn DAY and it is BEAUTIFUL when it does this… we spend a lot of our time being frustrated by problems of our own making.
Now hold up. Please do not feel bad about this. This is the human way. It has always been so.
And I am right there with you, folks. Yesterday I got in a magical little metal tube that flew me— I am telling you that I FLEW!!!! across the sky!!!!— across thousands of miles in under two hours so that I could safely land in another country and step into the arms of my beloved. No one shot at me. No one was even RUDE to me because Canadians are even nicer than Portlandians. And you know what I thought? “Oh what a blessed and charmed life I lead!!!”?
I thought, “Why can’t they turn the fucking loudspeaker down?? It’s bursting my goddamn eardrums!! And why doesn’t my suitcase roll more SMOOTHLY????”
I’m pretty sure that the universe has to take Quaaludes and very deep breaths when I am like this. Sorry, universe.
But paradoxically, we are also the universe’s best raw material. We are its favorite. You, dearheart— you are the universe’s FAVORITE. And we are its chosen method for shaping the course of history, plus lunch.
How does the universe create what it wants to see meant to be? Through us.
As Madeleine L’Engle was wont to say, we are “cocreators.” It’s a dance. A collaboration. And the universe needs us to do our part.
So forget what’s “meant to be.”
Ask yourself what you mean to be. Ask, “What will I make it all mean? And what shall I make today?”
And then, darlings, let’s make it something delicious.
P.S. If you’re kicking yourself because you think that you were maybe meant to join the EFBA Mentorship (see what I did there?)… registration is now closed but we’ve opened up a waiting list. Because life and its raw materials are messy sometimes. If you want to be on that waiting list, hit reply to this email and let me know.