One of the most magical things in life is to observe our own powers of visualization and manifestation. Six years ago, when I completed my 200 hour yoga training, I had scribbled in the margins of my notebooks a bunch of ideas for a yoga business – class names, the overall vibe, meaningful mantras, and the like. At the time, I was managing an art gallery and had no students or following to speak of in the yoga world – I didn’t even have a local studio that I attended with regularity. What I did have was a love of yoga, a passion for the beach lifestyle, an enthusiasm for surfing and all water related fun, and a desire to connect deeply with women all over the world who needed healing. In short, I had a vision and a dream… and absolutely no idea how to bring that dream to life. I had no idea that in my little doodles were the foundation for my biggest dreams – that I was actually journaling for manifestation.
As I doodled in my notebook during yoga philosophy lecture (or maybe it was anatomy), I found myself drawn to the idea of classes called “Stoked Yogi” – which would be yoga for surfers, combined with a focus on positive thinking. After training was over, I eagerly rented a small local space, printed up some marketing flyers, planned thoughtful playlists and sequences, and waited for the students to arrive in droves to my tiny little donation based yoga class.
Sometimes people came. Sometimes they donated a few dollars. Sometimes it went well, but for the most part, I was left sitting alone in that little studio, feeling like my dream was nothing more than air – I could feel it, but couldn’t see it, and it was impossible to grasp.
Flash forward six years
I am setting up to teach my “Stoked Flow SUP Yoga” Immersion Retreat for Yoga Journal Live! in San Diego – where I am teaching alongside globally recognized teachers. As I lay out beautiful Vishudda chakra wrist malas from Blooming Lotus Jewelry alongside special journals for my students, setting up a visualization and goal setting exercise, I reflect upon the margins in my notebooks, and the girl who dreamed of using her love of yoga, the ocean, and healing to connect deeply with other humans… and I stop for a minute, overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement at how my dreams have come to life.
Over the years, I’ve never stopped doodling ideas, dreams, and writing fancifully the ways in which my life might unfold. Sometimes I forget about the journal entries entirely… until they come true. I have countless examples of small dreams and goals, which after clearly stating them in concrete terms, as though they’ve already come to pass, have actually transpired – in ways more magical and unfathomable than I could have ever foreseen.
I want to share this magic with you.
We all have dreams that exist in our hearts – whether related to our love life, career, personal development, self-image, family relations, health and wellness, or any other aspect of our lives. I can’t emphasize this enough:
Your dreams exist within you for a reason. Acknowledging them, cultivating clarity, and speaking them aloud can bring them to life.
Grab a journal. You can do this exercise any time, any where, with nothing more than a pen and a few minutes of quiet. If you’d like to incorporate a yoga practice, try this chakra balancing sequence for the throat chakra – our center of communication – before sitting down to write.
Bhavanization & Manifestation Journaling
Uncover your purpose and inspire meaningful change.
What Does It Mean to Bhavanize?
Bhavanization is a visualization and journaling practice which uses elevated emotion, clear intention and vivid imagery to implant powerful messages onto your psyche, often resulting in manifestation of goals, revelation of dharma, or meaningful life changes.
What is Dharma?
Dharma can be defined many ways. Loosely explained, it can be translated as purpose or calling, one’s duty, or the natural law and order of the cosmos. I like this definition:
“Dharma is fulfilling one’s destiny, performing one’s duty, despite any and all doubts, fears, insecurities, and distractions.”
Many different aspects of our lives can be intertwined with our dharma: jobs, vocation, habits/hobbies, service to community, family relationships, and spiritual inclination.
How do we recognize our Dharma?
We may have many different dharmas, and they may change throughout our life. Checking in with these criteria can help clear up if something is in alignment with your soul’s purpose.
- You enjoy it.
- Others benefit from it.
- It sustains you.
- You feel guided and protected.
- You experience gratitude and growth.
How do we realize/achieve our Dharma?
Pursuing your life’s purpose is not for the faint of heart; It requires abhyasa (practice), vairagya (centeredness, dispassion) and shradda (faith), much like the yogic path.
How can we use journaling to bhavanize, manifest, or reveal our dharma?
Spend 3-5 minutes in silent meditation, focusing on the breath. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like clouds in a clearing sky. Then begin to focus on an elevated emotion, the sensation of joy, happiness, and soul satisfaction. Begin to write freely, elucidating a detailed picture of the scene which brings you such great joy.
Pick a point in the future (anywhere from 6 months onward) and write a detailed letter about what you see, smell, taste, touch, and feel. Describe your circumstance, emotions, and sensations right down to the clothes you are wearing, the amount of money you are making, the feelings you are experiencing, the people surrounding you. Be bold. Write without judgement for approximately 10 minutes or until you feel complete.
When you finish writing, if you feel so inclined, share your bhavanization with someone you trust (you can email it to me!) Ask them to share it back with you in a set amount of time – 3 months, 6 months, a year, or five years. You’ll be amazed when you receive it back the ways in which your intentions have become manifest in your life.bhavanization, blooming lotus jewelry, dharma, journaling, manifest, manifestation, visualization