One absolutely crucial “law” of manifestation is that what you think about perpetuates. If you focus on what you want as if you already have it, you’ll start bringing it into your life. And if you focus on what you don’t want, you’re going to perpetuate or manifest it in your life. But negative thinking is insidious and sly and you might be manifesting what you DON’T want more often than you realize.

I’ve learned these lessons via some very stressful experiences as of late, and I’m actively trying to change my mindset to work FOR me rather than AGAINST me. Low self-esteem and self-sabotage are the enemies of positive manifestation and they do their work in the dark.

Here’s my story.

About a year ago, I quite a great job to pursue freelancing again, in an attempt to acquire more freedom. I found a great job with a web agency, and soon moved into a beautiful, new, expensive apartment in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods of Seattle. I was living the dream: Working 30 hour weeks on a great project with a great team in an office at WeWork (the most gorgeous coworking building you’ve ever seen), making good money. I was living in a clean, light-filled apartment with a washer/dryer setup, hardwood floors, a huge balcony, a rooftop garden, and a gym just down the hall.

I felt absolutely filthy stinking rich. And, going through a painful and mindfucking breakup, and having had no reason to slow my spending, I continued to eat and drink out a fair amount, overspend online and off, and just generally impulsively throw money away on whatever it is I felt I needed in the moment to soothe my aching heart. So you know. I soothed myself a lot.

Everything felt pretty damn amazing. I felt alive. I felt like I was getting healthier. I felt independent, and nearly at peace with myself. I felt so much in abundance that I could focus on really privileged shit like, I dunno, teeth whitening toothpaste and buying brightly colored wigs from Amazon.

But this whole time I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t deserve any of this. I felt actively ashamed to be supporting the very evil real estate companies that have been forcing out Seattle’s most devoted music venues and many of my less affluent friends. I told myself I shouldn’t be living here or working in this beautiful office. I either lied to my friends about where I lived or I told them how ashamed I was. How it didn’t feel right.

Meanwhile it pretty fucking amazing. I had made this choice to spend extra on my living situation to attempt to wrangle all of my bad habits. Living there made everything easier – I wanted to stay in and cook more, I did yoga and meditated every day, I exercised every day, I drank less, I could focus better, I experienced less depression and anxiety. I was finally getting my shit together.

Yet this mindset persisted. After about 4 months, I lost the job with the perfect client in the perfect office. Then I freaked out and broke my lease at the perfect apartment complex. I moved in with the only friend who would take both me and my cat. I looked for work. I bought an RV on a whim and moved in 2 months later. I continued to overspend, pulling heavily from my credit cards. I turned down work that felt below me (cheap, short term freelance projects), and I turned down work that I didn’t feel capable of devoting myself to (well paid, 60-80 hour salaried positions).

If you’ve been following my video posts at all, you will know this story. It’s been bad. It’s gotten worse. It was a total downward spiral and as I write this, I have $6 to my name, my credit cards are maxed, and I have no idea where my next paycheck is going to come from. I have a few job leads, but they’ve been frustratingly slow in getting back to me.

I’m pretty much at my own rock bottom. Though with an irritated yet supportive father, the only place I could go from here is to his house in Hawaii. So. I’m doing much better than many people I know. Rock bottom is not on the streets. But I’m still terrified, feeling lost, and feeling deeply, deeply ashamed.

And guess what? I did this to myself. I manifested this!

Look at all the power we have you guys!

My FOCUS during that trying but wonderful time of expansion and abundance was SO MUCH about how I didn’t DESERVE what I had. How I was BETRAYING people by having what I had. How I was SPOILED and PRIVILEGED (you know, in the bad way). How I didn’t work hard enough for what I had. How so many people work harder. How I wasn’t being responsible enough. How it was financially irresponsible to have this nice apartment.

And guess what? I lost it all. My reality conformed itself to my perception. I went from a guest bedroom to an RV and now to a room in a house with 3 other dudes. I was given the opportunity to learn about the ways of living I felt I deserved (which again, were none of them awful, just not what I actually want). I failed to attain consistent work. I stopped having spending money. I learned discipline, restraint, and what it felt like to be in very real scarcity.

I even started eating ramen again. I realized to a completely new degree how fortunate I’ve been.

And again, I asked for this. My focus in the past 6 months has been so much about “I don’t deserve these nice things”, “I have a spending problem”, “I don’t work hard enough”, and so on.

Lately I’ve even noticed both new and chronic patterns that are likely affecting me negatively. I gained 12lbs in the past few months of this downward spiral, and I keep saying to my very loving, very attentive, very supportive, very complimentary new boyfriend things like, “I’m so fat. Just wait until I’m fit again. I’ll be hotter soon. I feel fat.” I mean, what am I manifesting there? Low self esteem that’s going to lead to more drinking and eating badly? Yuuuup.

I even think about long-term patterns, like the thoughts, “I am an alcoholic,” or “I can’t stand web design anymore,” or “I have social anxiety,” or “I’m not smart like I used to be.” What are these thoughts perpetuating? What are they blocking from coming into my life?

OUR THOUGHTS CREATE OUR REALITY. Our bodies respond accordingly. Our behaviors seek to verify and perpetuate. And our reality fills in the blanks.

So today, and every day, find ways of reminding yourself to focus on what you want to manifest, rather than what’s missing or what you have that you no longer want. Write stories about how you’ll feel when you are living the EXACT, TOTAL AND PERFECT LIFE YOU ARE HOPING FOR, complete with immense detail. Read the stories often. Know you deserve everything you want and more, because you are a good freaking person!

It’s mental and emotional weightlifting. And yes, it can be REALLY hard when you’re feeling depressed and hopeless. Just do your best to write down and think about and FEEL the EXTREME POSITIVE of all those negative thoughts and stories running around in your head.

As soon as you start to do this, things will start to change. But be patient, and try not to slack in your daily practice. Pay attention to cues. Keep believing. And take supportive actions towards your goals every day. Put love out there. Practice gratitude. Smile even if it feels forced. And FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS on the stories of what you want, who you want to be, and what you already have. Feel that abundance!

Cripes, I feel so strongly about the power of our thoughts that I don’t even want to post this for fear that I’ve somehow given power to all these concepts I no longer want my brain to ever think. I suppose I’ll have to write twice as much about how GOOD things are, and how AMAZING they will be this coming week!