Two weeks ago, I received a phone call that would change my life. I learned I was the grand prize winner of Hay House’s San Francisco Writer’s Workshop contest. The top prize consisted of a book publishing contract with Hay House.
I was over the moon ecstatic, but I wasn’t surprised. I knew I was going to win, but I almost didn’t enter.
Becoming a Hay House author has been on my bucket list for years. I’ve always wanted to write a meaningful book—one that would change lives and make the world a better place. So when I first learned of Hay House’s Writer’s Workshops which offer a chance to win a book publishing contract, I knew that’s how I would do it.
Early this spring, an announcement arrived in my inbox about a Writer’s Workshop being held in San Francisco. I checked in with my heart and it said, “This is my time.” However, my mind said I wasn’t ready and to wait until next year.
I felt scared. Since I use fear as a signal to jump in and do something, I immediately signed up for the workshop. Or at least I thought I did.
It was only during the week before the event that I realized I hadn’t signed up. I had meant to, but had forgotten that I didn’t actually sign up. A quick scramble ensued and I was registered to attend.
At the event, I knew I was there for one reason—to win the book publishing contract. You know the outcome, but you don’t know what it took to win because it was one heck of a crazy journey where trust in the Universe and belief in myself were the keys to my success.
Here’s my story and I hope that by sharing what really happened (not some glossed over PR story), my story will help or inspire you to take action and make your dreams come true too.
This Law of Attraction stuff really works. Here are the four steps that I took to manifest my dream :).
Step 1: Claim What You Want, Really OWN It
Step one is obviously to decide what you want. Most people are pretty good at this. However it’s the second part which people tend to overlook. You have to 100% decide that you really want your dream and everything that comes with it. You have to step up and claim it.
It’s similar to ordering a meal at a restaurant. You want the pasta, you order the pasta. You expect to get the pasta and you certainly don’t think that someone else will get your pasta. While the waiter may deliver it to the wrong table, you eventually get your pasta.
So if you have a dream, you have to own it even if you have no idea how it’s going to happen.
When I went to the Hay House conference, I knew that I wanted a book publishing contract with them. I didn’t know if I could get one. I had fears that I wasn’t good enough to get one. I was even scared to get one.
The truth was that I really really REALLY wanted my book to be published with Hay House. I tried pretending to myself that if I didn’t win, it would be okay, but inside I really wanted that contract.
I listened to other participants at the workshop use phrases like, “I hope I win,” or “I think I have a pretty good chance.” When I heard their words, I knew they weren’t claiming the prize. If you claim something, you don’t “hope” it happens. You believe that it’s yours and you ignore all the inner doubt and dialogue. You have to trust in yourself and listen to your heart. In my heart, I knew the contract was mine to win.
I didn’t even allow myself to see what second and third prize were until after I had submitted my book proposal entry. That’s because I was aiming to win, not get second or third place.
So if you have a dream, act like it’s yours. Believe it even if your mind doubts you and throws up all sorts of roadblocks. Mine did. Remember how I thought I registered, but didn’t? That was a roadblock from my mind. However, it was something entirely different that almost made me not enter the contest.
Step 2: Stay Aligned with What You Want
This takes conscious effort. You have to retrain your mind like you would train a rambunctious puppy. Mine always wanted to wander off and I had to keep bringing it back into alignment.
How do you stay in alignment? I’ve read many books on the Law of Attraction and they say that you have to become the person that you want to be in order for your desire to manifest. For example, if you wanted to be a millionaire, you were supposed to observe millionaires and act like them. I tried this before, but honestly, I didn’t really understand it and it didn’t seem to work.
It’s only in the past year that I really started to get it. You don’t necessarily change how you appear on the outside. You don’t change what you wear or how you speak because you think that’s how a millionaire would act. What you have to change is what you’re thinking on the inside.
In the case of being an author, I had to monitor my thoughts and bring them into alignment with being a person who would win a publishing contract with Hay House. When people asked me how my book proposal was going, I caught myself in mid-thought full of doubt and I had to remind myself, “I’m a winner” and then I could confidently say, “It’s going well.”
When I joined a writers group, I thought about not mentioning the book contest to them. I was afraid of telling people in case I didn’t win. I didn’t want people to ask me if I won and then have to say I lost. I recognized this train of thought was not in alignment with what I wanted. I remember distinctly thinking, “That’s not going to make it real. Act like it’s real.” So, I boldly told people about the contest.
Alignment is also about aligning with the energy of the Universe. So it wasn’t necessary for me to always think that I was a Hay House author. I had to grow myself into the person who would be comfortable with the idea of being a successful author. So if you want to be a millionaire, you have to grow into the idea of being comfortable with being a millionaire.
Aligning your energy also means not stopping at your goal, but going beyond it. I realized if I won the book contract, that wasn’t the be all and end all. To align my energy with the prize, I had to start thinking about what would happen AFTER I won.
How many did I expect to sell? What would my next bestselling book be? When would my book hit the bookshelves in stores? Could I become comfortable with the idea of being a famous author? What would I do with the book royalties? Thinking beyond the end goal helps to pull the energy through so that your dream can manifest.
The other thing about alignment, probably the most important thing, is that you have to feel good as much as possible. Ideally all of the time. You have to feel good about yourself, your life, your relationships, your body, etc. That’s because anytime you’re not feeling good, you’re pushing away your dream.
So on those days when I woke up cranky from not getting enough sleep because I stayed up too late, I had to really patrol my mind. When someone cut me off while driving and I started having angry thoughts, I had to remind myself that I was cutting myself off from my own abundance.
Whenever fear or judgment went through my mind, I had to recognize that I was only hurting myself. With this perspective, it was very easy to let go of negative thoughts. I simply asked myself, “Do I want to let this cut me off from what I want? Do I want this to stop me from winning my book contract?”
As soon as I asked myself these questions, I did whatever was needed to turn my thoughts around and find a better feeling thought as recommended by Abraham-Hicks, another awesome Hay House author.
No matter how cranky, frustrated, sad, scared or just plain bitchy I felt, I had to steer myself into feeling neutral so that I could then move into a more positive vibrational energy.
Being in Alignment Also Requires a Lot of Faith
I made a pact with myself that if I was able to earn $10,000 over a particular time period, our family would go on vacation to San Diego. As we got closer to my self-imposed deadline I hadn’t yet made that amount of money.
And that’s when I had to take a leap of faith and be the person who believed it was possible. It crossed my mind that if I won the Hay House contract, it came with a $10,000 prize. I went for it and booked the vacation. Two days after we returned from San Diego, I got the call that I had won.
Step 3: Let Go of Attachment to the Outcome
When you’re focused on the end goal and know you’ll be devastated if you don’t get it, then you’re not in alignment with what you want. It’s rather ironic, isn’t it? The more you want something and the more attached you are to getting it, the less likely it is to happen—at least easily, quickly and effortlessly.
There were many times when I was scared that I wouldn’t win. How would I ever get my book out into the world? Oh, woe is me! It was during these moments of fear that I noticed my judgment and thoughts were not expansive and they had a very low and dark vibration to them.
For example, during the Writer’s Workshop, Reid Tracy, President and CEO of Hay House invited a man from the audience to come up on stage and speak. Reid had met this man in a mastermind group, so I knew that the two of them must have been pretty good friends.
The man had thousands upon thousands of followers. He had built up a very successful platform and huge audience for himself. When he got up on stage, he was very entertaining and engaging.
I caught myself thinking very small-minded thoughts. “How can I compete against that?” I felt like this man was going to “steal away” the prize from me. Not very abundant thinking, huh? But wait, it gets worse.
When I joined a Facebook group for writers attending the workshop, I looked up people’s websites, sized up the competition and measured myself against them. How could I compete with people who had a natural gift for writing? I had simply developed my writing skills over time with lots of practice, but I didn’t feel gifted with the ability to make words dance and sing.
I found myself denigrating these people in my mind. I looked for weaknesses, their soft underbellies. The man with the huge audience, I thought, “Maybe he’s not a very good writer. He’s so high-energy, maybe he can’t sit down and focus on the introverted task of writing.” For the gifted writers, I thought, “Maybe this person doesn’t know anything about marketing. Maybe they don’t have a platform.”
I’ll be honest. I was aghast and disgusted at myself for having thoughts like these. But thankfully, I had the wherewithal to realize I was lowering my vibration by thinking badly of others and then on top of that, judging myself for it.
I had to remind myself that I wasn’t going to win by finding fault in everyone else. I was going to win based on my own merits because I delivered an awesome and amazing book proposal. Constantly catching my thoughts helped me stay in alignment with what I wanted. However, it was releasing the fear of NOT getting the book proposal that really truly freed me.
I struggled to write my proposal. I had 6 months to write it, but for most of the time, I didn’t feel like writing it, so I didn’t. In school, I developed a habit of meeting deadlines by forcing myself to crank out work that was good enough to get decent grades. I was used to doing this in school because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to. Honestly, who gets excited writing an essay about Keynesian economics?
So I had a habit of completing stuff in a half-ass manner to meet a deadline. I noticed I was doing that with my book proposal. So I stopped myself. I told myself that I had one shot at submitting a proposal and once it had been submitted, I didn’t get another chance. I knew I was being a little overly melodramatic.
The point however was that I didn’t want to submit a “good enough” proposal for a “good enough” book. I realized that I wanted to submit a proposal for the book that I was meant to write—the one in my heart to give to the world, the one with the words that I knew could change people’s lives. If I couldn’t write that, then there was no point in writing the proposal at all.
As the months went by, I decided if I didn’t feel good writing, I simply wasn’t going to write. As we got closer and closer to the deadline for submitting the proposal, I let go of my attachment to winning the contest. I opened myself up to the possibility of not even entering the contest.
The easiest way to release attachment to an outcome is to realize what your bigger goal is. I remembered that my end goal wasn’t to get a Hay House publishing contract. It was to get my book out into the world. When I remembered that, it brought me peace because I knew that if I didn’t enter this time, I could always go to another workshop and enter then. As well, there were many other ways that I could get my book out into the world.
By letting go of attachment to the outcome, I let go of fear and judgment. I let go of any negative energy I had surrounding the book proposal. I gave myself immense freedom to write what was flowing through me and coming from my heart.
Had I clung to the outcome, I would have cut off the source of energy that was flowing through me onto the page. I would have turned off my tap of creative wordsmithing.
Step 4: Play Play Play
When things aren’t flowing, the best thing to do is nothing. That and play more!
A month before the submission deadline, I still didn’t have my book proposal written. What I did do was get my Akashic records read by a dear friend of mine, Jen Duchene, Astro-Numerologist extraordinaire. I asked about the block I was experiencing with my book proposal.
I had channeled the answers myself previously, but hearing it from someone else with a different perspective really brought those messages home to me.
Basically, I needed to play more. I had to give myself permission to do nothing. It was okay to not get anything done. Jen also told me that I had most of the pieces in place, but I was missing one. I needed to develop a greater sense of compassion and connection with the people around me.
Jen told me that when the pieces came together, the book proposal would come together very quickly. I remember looking at the calendar and thinking, “That ain’t going to happen in three weeks.” She also said it was okay if this wasn’t the route for me to get published.
With just a few weeks before the submission deadline, I decided I was okay with not submitting an entry into the contest. I didn’t have a book title. I didn’t know what the book would be about other than something about Chinese Reflexology. I had no sample chapter written yet. Heck, I couldn’t even get myself together to write the “About the Author” section for the proposal.
A week before the deadline, I was still in the same boat, but I had totally taken Jen’s advice to heart. I had been very “busy” playing and doing nothing. I was doodling, I was making a felted wool dolphin, I was singing. I allowed myself the freedom to do a whole bunch of crafts and a whole bunch of crap. I binge-watched reality TV shows. I indulged in teenage paranormal romance novels about werewolves and vampires. I built lots of Lego with my son and even bought Lego sets just for me including a very cheeky Santa’s Workshop.
I was feeling very relaxed and carefree. In this relaxed mindset, ideas and inspiration would come to me in what I call the spaces in between my life.
I would be showering when the book title popped into my head. While out for a walk, I would get ideas about what to include in the book. Answers to questions that had eluded me for months were coming to me effortlessly when I was in the energy of play.
I realized that by doing nothing, it enabled my mind to get into a space of creative inspiration. It was a mindset that most of us hold away from ourselves because we’re trying to get stuff done. I got more done doing nothing then I had with all my previous concentrated efforts.
Despite all the clarity, I went about business as usual without worrying about writing a book proposal. I was however inspired to write a pretty cool article for my blog.
In the days before the deadline, I received two very heartfelt comments about the article. One was from a reader who said that she had learned more from that one article in mere minutes than she had from any other article or book.
The other message I received was from a dear friend who wrote how much she loved the article and admired my writing. She was open, vulnerable and honest enough to admit that she felt just a little bit jealous because what I had written was so good. That’s when I realized I had something there.
Having been in the energy of play for a number of weeks, it was really easy to hear what the Universe was telling me. It whispered to me. It said, “You have your sample chapter. All you have to do is rework the article for a book.”
With that realization, I knew I could meet the deadline for submitting the book proposal. I figured I had about 10 days to write the proposal. It would be tight, but I could do it. Then the Universe whispered to me again.
I got the urge to look at the submission guidelines. I pulled out the folded piece of paper and I saw that I was mistaken about the deadline. For one second, I thought I had missed the deadline, but then I realized the date hadn’t passed yet.
It was four days away. I finished my entire book proposal in four days.
To do this, I had to trust the energy of what I was writing because there was no time to use my mind to filter or censor it. When I had a creative block and could not for the life of me write the overview section, I sought out play and fun.
I retitled the document to “Overview from a Place of Fun and Ease,” changed the font to a cutesy one and made it bright purple. Then I wrote my overview and it was damned good.
I made the deadline. I submitted my proposal. I won the contract. I couldn’t have done it without doing everything I described in this article which was to trust in the Universe and trust in myself.
I know that winning the contract will change my life, but it’s not an immediate life changer. That might be the best “secret” to Law of Attraction. You don’t have to immediately become the person you want to be. You can take it in steps.
When I submitted my proposal, I didn’t have to be a bestselling author. All I had to do was be the person who could submit a winning proposal. And so that’s why I take things day by day. I know I want to be a New York Times bestselling author, but I don’t have to be that person today. I’ve still got about 18 months to grow into it!
After I learned I won, I freaked out, jumped around the house, did a crazy happy dance, told all my family members, and all that good stuff.
However, the cat still whined at me for dinner. I was pouring water into his bowl and opening up a can of cat food like I did every night. We went out for dinner, but we ate at the same place we always do, a lovely Japanese restaurant that has a salmon teriyaki that my son loves.
In some ways, everything was still exactly the same. However, what was most significant was how much I had grown since first attending the writer’s workshop. Winning the book contract really showed me how much we hold back on what it is that we want. Making your dreams come true is as simple as what’s written in the Law of Attraction books that we read.
We already know all that stuff, but it wasn’t until this experience that I really understood it on a deeper level and realized that it’s really unbelievably easy.
Does this mean that every single one of my dreams will come true? Probably. Does it mean there will be no kicking and screaming along the way? Definitely not!
I hope that by sharing my story, what you’ve read about Law of Attraction will make more sense to you. Sometimes all it takes is another person’s perspective and then suddenly, everything clicks and you get it. I hope in some small way, reading this article brings you one step closer to realizing your dreams.
It seems like at this point, I should write some sort of uplifting spiritual sign-off like, “Namaste.” But, I haven’t gone to a yoga class in years and the truth is I actually don’t like yoga. It’s an amazing discipline, but just not my cup of tea.
So I won’t sign off now because that’s like saying goodbye. Even though what is manifesting in my life right now may be different than yours, we’re all on the same journey together. We’re all walking this path to expansion, growth and realizing our dreams.
January 2016 Update: I’m excited to share that my book, Sole Guidance: Ancient Secrets of Chinese Reflexology to Heal the Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit, will be released in summer of this year, and it’s currently available for pre-order. After completing the manuscript, I should write a post about the writing process as there are lots of lessons there, too!