In Part 1 of this blog, I told the story of my cheetah encounter during the Africa STAR retreat with Martha Beck at Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. What I hadn’t realized at the time, because we weren’t being intentional about it, is that those of us in the Land Rover who were blessed to have our sacred moment with the cheetah had been doing exactly what Martha teaches about how to bring into being what you desire.
Let me be clear here. You are not about to get a lesson in The Secret. This is not about how to manifest a Ferrari or cast a spell that suddenly makes the guy you’re lusting over fall head over heels for you. What we’re talking about is not about giving God a shopping list of what your ego desires. This is about how to “call in” that which is aligned with the highest good. In Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, Martha teaches what she calls the Four Technologies of Magic. Tosha Silver also teaches a similar process in Outrageous Openness, which I wrote about here. How I call in cheetahs is informed by the process of both of these spiritual teachers, so what I’m about to share with you is an amalgam of both that reflects my own process of bringing into being that which I desire.
Whether your cheetah is an animal you wish to see on safari, the Divine Beloved you wish to call in, clarity about your soul’s work, the perfect client who will be uplifted by your service, or the money to fund your dream, this process applies to it all. The following steps are not necessarily linear. Some will happen simultaneously. Some happen out of order. But they give you a guideline about how to bring your cheetah one step closer to you.
Step One: Set The Intention
It all starts with desire. In spite of what you might have been taught in Sunday School, desire is never wrong. It’s a signpost pointing towards what lights you up, feeds your soul, sparks your enthusiasm, and makes you feel alive. Sometimes we’re misguided in what we think we desire. You might think you want your best friend’s husband, but what you really want is the kind of soulful connection you feel when you’re with him—which you’re likely to find in someone else in a way that doesn’t threaten your integrity and leave you betraying your best friend. Desire is information. It’s feedback about what sparks your Inner Pilot Light, and it’s often a marker of what wants to become in what Martha calls the “Everywhen.”
Once you identify the desire, get clear on your intention. What do you want to call in? In the case of calling in the cheetah, the desire (aka intention) was to see a cheetah at Londolozi. What do you desire right now? What intention will you set?
Step Two: Surrender
The minute you identify the desire and set the intention, turn it over. Usually we skip this step. It is a practice to make this a knee jerk response to desire. It requires paying attention every single time we want something to happen. You want a parking space on the busy city street? Surrender. Trying to find the right gift for your bestie’s birthday? Surrender. Frustrated from trying to fix the computer glitch that just ate your blog post? Surrender. If you’re like most of us, surrender happens on your knees as a last ditch effort when everything else you know how to do has failed.
Try surrendering first. To call in your cheetah—whatever your cheetah may be—it makes the process so much more effective and easeful to surrender your desire the minute you identify it.
How do you surrender to the desire? Tosha Silver teaches us to see the desire like a 100 pound box pushing heavily on the heart. Then visualize giving the weighty box to God. The longing is no longer yours to force into being. The problem is no longer yours to solve. Give it to the Universe. Trust Divine Will. Let go of attachments. As Martha Beck says, “Attention. Intention. No tension.”
Another way to surrender is to lean into the desire, to really relish in it. Mama Gena and Anne Davin taught me to savor my desires. If I want to see a cheetah, they recommend allowing myself to pleasure in the longing itself, to find the perfection in the longing, rather than resisting it, to surrender into the longing, rather than resisting it, to let myself feel it—the yearning of it, the heartbreak of not having what I desire in it—the rapture of it all.
However you surrender, the key is releasing attachment to the specific outcome you desire. Let your prayer be “This—or better.” Maybe I’m wanting to see a cheetah but the Universe wants me to see an angel flying overhead instead. Be open to miracles and shifts in what your desire looks like.
In the case of the cheetah, we surrendered when we quit looking for wildlife and just stopped, had coffee, laughed, enjoyed each other, and let go of expecting to see anything more than birds. Because we weren’t grasping at a cheetah sighting, frantically chasing after our desire, we opened up room in the energetic web to bring the cheetah closer. As Tosha says, “The very act of grasping for the feather creates the wind current that pushes it away.”
Step Three: Get Wordless
This is an energetic step, which requires a certain state of consciousness. Getting Wordless is Martha’s First Technology of Magic. (For practical exercises in how to get Wordless, consult Martha’s book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World.) Most of the techniques are a form of activating both sides of the brain, specifically the right brain, which is often overpowered by the logical, rational left brain. When you get Wordless, the right brain lights up. Various meditative states lead to Wordlessness, which you can feel within yourself as a sort of energetic state of being. It’s the same state that allows you to bend a spoon, which I wrote about here.
With the cheetah, we got Wordless when we were drinking in the beauty bath right after our coffee break. We sat in silence in the Land Rover, reveling in all of our sensory input. Doing so crashes the rational mind and opens a portal into the magic.
Step Four: Tap Into Oneness
When Kate started talking about cheetah habits, many of us—without realizing it—became the cheetah. We were feeling the cheetah’s meanderings, becoming cheetah-like in our energetic signatures. It wasn’t us versus cheetah, humans on the hunt for a wild cat. We were the cheetah on some level, and in doing so, we vibed into the cheetah.
Regardless of what you desire, you can tap into Oneness (Martha’s Second Technology Of Magic) by allowing the separation between you, other life forms, and what you desire to dissolve. It’s about getting out of the ego and becoming One with all that is. When you fall into Oneness, the illusion of separation disappears, and miracles happen more commonly. When this happens, it’s as if you’re sending an email on the energy internet, bringing the essence of what you desire closer to you. Don’t forget that what gets closer may not be the thing you thought you desired. It may be a feeling state you think you’ll get when you wish for something. Perhaps you think you want a million dollars, but what you really desire is the feeling of ease that accompanies your idea of having a million dollars. It may be that ease shows up in other ways, minus the money. Whatever lies at the pure core of what you desire, when you are in Oneness, it draws closer.
Step Five: Imagine Your Intention Into Being
When I saw a vision of the cheetah like a movie in my mind, I didn’t realize it, but I was sending out an email on the energy internet to the cheetah, asking it if she wanted to play. Maybe it was a psychic vision of what I was about to see, or maybe it was just a fantasy of my wish, but by seeing it as if it had already happened, I was practicing Martha’s Third Technology Of Magic, which requires sensing into what wants to become. Although it may seem quite similar, this process is vastly different than fantasizing. Fantasy has a quality of grasping about it. It almost hurts to fantasize because you’re afraid you’ll be disappointed if you don’t get what you’re dreaming of. Fantasy often has an unachievable feel about it; whereas imagining feels like, in some dimension, what you desire has already happened. Imagining is about sensing what yearns to be created, rather than merely getting what you want.
With practice and prayers, when you feel into a desire, you get a sense of what wants to happen. For example, my soul twin Dennis is Dutch, and the green card he has applied for hasn’t come through yet. Unless something changes, Dennis has to leave the US in July. This is not what either of us desire. From what our rational minds can figure, staying in California feels like what’s best. But when Dennis expands into the Wordless/Oneness state of consciousness and starts Imagining, he sees himself going to Peru to study with shamans for a while—then coming back to California soon afterwards with a green card in his hand. Although he doesn’t want to leave the US at all, that feeling of “rightness” about going first to Peru is growing stronger in Dennis. He’s seeing pictures of himself going to Peru. But he’s also seeing pictures of himself working in the US and starting a new publishing imprint that links science and spirituality. This is how Imagining works. By sensing into what feels like it wants to become, Dennis has now started co-creating something. Will he get to stay in the US? Will he go to Peru? Will he get a green card? No way to say for sure. But by Imagining the possible outcomes, he is participating in the creation of what is unfolding energetically.
Step Six: Be On The Alert For Guidance
Now that you’ve gotten clear on your desire, turned it over to the Universe, practiced Wordlessness and Oneness, and Imagined what you desire coming into being, it’s time to let yourself be guided. Practice radical listening. Watch for signs from the Universe. Listen for guidance. Pay attention to your intuitive knowing. The signs are everywhere, and they’re trying to get your attention, but you’ll miss them if you’re not on the lookout. Anticipate guidance and then tune in. Be aware of the tendency to misinterpret guidance, especially when it is guiding you away from what you desire. This is where non-attachment is especially crucial. Remember, it’s not about getting what you want; it’s about aligning with what wants to become.
Using our cheetah example, our guidance showed up in the form of a cheetah track on the road. Had we just barreled off road in our Land Rover, randomly plowing through the bush before finding a cheetah track, we would have wasted a lot of time and effort, probably with no cheetah to show for it in the end. But because we waited for a clear sign, we streamlined our efforts and ensured that we were aligning with the highest good.
Step Seven: Take Inspired Action
When you’re paying attention to guidance, at some point you will be called to DO SOMETHING. This fits in with Martha’s Fourth Technology Of Magic, which she calls “Forming.” You can tell the difference between inspired action and ego-driven striving because inspired action feels energizing and easeful, while just thinking about ego-driven actions can leave you feeling exhausted, stressed, or overwhelmed with dread. Inspired action may require you to put your ass in the chair and do something challenging, but it will have the feeling of play about it. Any action that feels like a “should” probably falls more into the category of ego-driven striving than inspired action.
Back to our cheetah, we took inspired action when we saw that cheetah track and decided to courageously venture into the bush in search of our girl. Although the trail we blazed was not easy, and Kate had to push over a lot of bushes in order to get to the cheetah, there was no energy of “should” or “striving” to this action. We were laughing the whole time as we barreled over small trees. Throughout our search, we maintained an air of non-attachment. Even if we never found a cheetah, the search was still fun. There was not an ounce of dread in our off road adventure. We were just a Land Rover full of cheetah lovers bouncing through the bush with a cheetah in our hearts.
Step Eight: Practice Patience
This is the hard part. Sometimes what you desire doesn’t show up when you want it in the form you want it in. This is when people have a tendency to get frustrated, blame themselves for not “manifesting” correctly, or get angry at God for not delivering the desire on a silver platter. Once you’ve practiced the other steps, be willing to wait. And wait. And wait. Trust Divine timing. Also, be willing to change course if guidance leads you to do so.
On safari, we were tracking wild dogs at one point. Apparently, they’re very rare, extremely hard to track, and almost impossible to sight because they move so quickly and erratically. But we found wild dog tracks and raced off in the Land Rover after them. More wild dog tracks had been sighted on the other side of the river. Had they crossed the river? Should we go around? Kate raced off to try to find them. Then we heard a crash, followed by a rustling, and there, 20 yards off the road, were six elephants barreling through the forest. We quit tracking the wild dogs and decided to relish what was lumbering along right in front of us.
Fortunately, our cheetah didn’t make us wait very long. But sometimes what I call “waiting and becoming” is part of the process. While you’re waiting, if you’re guided with signs signaling that what you desire is aligned, and if what you desire doesn’t appear in a reasonable period of time, be on the lookout for creative ways that your desire is being met elsewhere. Maybe you wished for a cheetah but you got a lion instead. Often, we have a desire because of how we think it will make us feel. Why did we want to see a cheetah? How would seeing a cheetah make us feel? Once you identify the feeling state you hope to achieve, you may realize you’re already experiencing that feeling state, even if what you desired didn’t show up in the form you hoped.
In our case, we were blessed to have our desire granted, which signaled to us that our desire was aligned with what wanted to happen. We called in the cheetah, and she came. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes you call in the wild dogs, and an elephant appears.
Step Nine: Practice Gratitude
Maybe you got what you desired. Maybe you didn’t. Either way, find the perfection in it. Be grateful for the learning. If your desire came into being, let yourself be awash in the grace of it all. If it didn’t, be grateful that something that’s more aligned with what wants to become—something even better—is on its way.
After saying goodbye to our cheetah, my gratitude so overwhelmed me that it left me in tears. When you started collecting evidence of a purposeful universe that is always conspiring to bring your aligned desires into being, it can leave you feeling unworthy of such grace. But remember, you are worthy. Just say thank you—and RECEIVE the blessings. As Mama Gena says, “Unexpressed blessings turn to shit.” Thank the cheetah, or the leopard, or the elephant that finally showed up. Trust the process. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
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