Co-Creating with the Field: Tapping into the Energy of Expectancy
This article continues an exploration of our capacity to create desired outcomes with the power of the mind.
In Manifesting with the Mind: Does it Work? I described the hit-or-miss nature of peoples’ experience with using the law of attraction to create desired outcomes in their lives and discussed some reasons for this inconsistency. I suggested that a co-creative approach to manifestation leaves room for Spirit, God, or the energy of evolution itself to revise, improve, and otherwise save us from the unintended consequences that some of our fondest wishes may bring upon us. Continuing with this idea, we might say that our fixed expectations are prone to bring us very different results than those that arise from a more fluid state of open expectancy regarding the outcomes we seek. Though this distinction between fixed expectations and the energy of expectancy is highly nuanced, it is quite useful to the co-creative process.
Fixed Expectations: Our expectations tend to center on definitive results that are based on a pre-conceived story about how we want things to turn out. Most of the techniques for manifesting things that you want in your life – even the techniques I was taught in my N.L.P. training – emphasize the importance of clarity and specificity. You are instructed to set desired outcomes, make them very specific with measures and dates, and to use words, sounds, and images to make them as real as possible. You are encouraged to focus on these qualifiers intensely. You are taught to affirm them into existence with great conviction.
One problem, though, is that many of the things we clearly want at a conscious level are out of sync with what we hold at an unconscious level. The most enthusiastic visioning and affirming of prosperity is likely to be unequal to the power of an unconscious belief that material success is not spiritual, for example. Or maybe some buried guilt over a transgression from long ago creates an unconscious sense of unworthiness that effectively cancels the conscious intention to create a better life. An unresolved wound from a past relationship can build a wall of fear that keeps new love out of one’s life. The possibilities are as multitudinous as the human psyche is complex. When such unconscious confounds are present, it is rare that people attract desired outcomes into their lives.
The second problem, mentioned in the earlier article on manifesting with the mind, has to do with the limiting nature of our expectations. Most of us are notoriously bad at knowing what is in our best interests and what is not. So even when we do manage to be successful at manifesting the things we desire, the practice can be risky business. As Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde quipped, “When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.”
“When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.” Oscar Wilde
Even when there is no obvious drawback to the outcomes we seek to manifest, they can be still fall short of countless other possibilities that could be better. Yet we are so focused on the fixed outcomes we have set for ourselves that we miss seeing those other possibilities. That ability to stay open to many possibilities is what I am calling here the consciousness of expectancy. It is about co-creating with a field of limitless possibilities by tapping into the energy of expectancy.
The Consciousness of Expectancy: Where expectations center on specific external conditions that we wish to bring about, expectancy is more aligned with intent than with specific outcomes. It is a state, a consciousness, that remains open to what the universe might send our way in response to our intentions. In its most powerful forms, expectancy is about moving into the emptiness that is alive and pregnant with possibilities. One of my favorite lines to use in doing hypnosis with people who want to make positive changes in their lives is “things can seem to be one way… and then turn out to be even better.” This takes the intent of all the things we have talked about before doing the hypnosis and opens the door for something better than either the client or I could have strategized.
At times, expectancy involves sitting in the unknown space between intention and outcome. It is characterized by a willingness to wait when the waiting may be uncomfortable. When our expectations are not met, it is human nature to think something must have gone wrong or that we did something wrong. Expectancy has the patience to watch and wait. It cultivates the capacity for noticing the subtle cues that daily life offers, and it develops the curiosity to see patterns that tie those cues together into what we may call guidance. Ultimately, it is about cultivating the attribute of abiding trust in the process that continues to unfold us. As such, it engages us with the evolutionary engine of creation itself.
Even our attempts to grow spiritually can be hampered by fixed expectations. The impact of fixed expectations extends beyond desired physical circumstances or material attainments. Our most spiritual intentions can also be subverted when they get locked into fixed expectations. Imagine, for a moment, an intention to increase the awareness of God’s presence through the regular practice of meditation. That intention can very quickly morph into the expectation that proficiency in meditation will lead to blissful feelings of God’s presence. With such expectations, most people start to evaluate the “success” of their attempts at meditation according to how blissfully close to God they feel while meditating. Forgetting that the core intention is to be more aware of God’s presence, these fixed expectations start a roller coaster ride where a “good” meditation is one where God feels closer and a “bad” meditation (distracted mind, non-blissful feelings, frustration, etc.) only feeds the fractured feeling of apartness from God.
By contrast, if the intention to become more aware of God’s presence feeds a generalized state of expectancy, we will be open to a vast array of life experiences that can feed that awareness – including, but not limited to, some meditation experiences. An expansive, open curiosity has us looking for the many ways that God’s presence may be noticed. We may start to realize God’s presence each time we are moved by a beautiful scene in nature. Maybe we will find God to be present in a pleasant chat with a stranger. We may notice God present within us when we give another person the benefit of the doubt. We may get better at recognizing synchronicity as one of God’s love languages. We might discover new depth to God’s presence precisely because of meditations that only point out our distractions and anxieties.
Learning to use desired outcomes as a springboard: Does all this mean, then, that it is bad practice to identify desired outcomes? No! There is still a valid and important role for strong, clearly imaged outcomes in the co-creative process. If we use the energy bound up in the things we really want as a springboard, they can help us leap into the field of limitless possibilities. The key is to allow the want-it, see-it, hear-it, taste-it, feel-it specificity of desired outcomes give way to the energy of pure, open-ended expectancy.
To do this is to throw it all out there into the creative field that brought the universe into being and claim that as our partner in creation.
In my upcoming lecture-workshop on Co-Creating Your Life: Tapping the Field of Infinite Possibilities, I will be leading participants through a process that uses these principles of co-creation. This event, sponsored by the A.R.E. Bookstore’s Conscious Community, will take place on Wednesday September 25 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the A.R.E. auditorium, 67th St. and Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach. If you don’t live in the Hampton Roads area, you can still join in as it will also be live-streamed on A.R.E.’s Facebook page. To join via Facebook, click on this link to the event. Then be sure to mark your calendar to tune in at 6:30 on the 25th.