Are you a results-oriented person who is persistent about achieving your life’s goals and desires?
If you are, then do you demand the same kind of results from the universe around you?
It’s good to have personal desires and goals, and pursue them with a laser-like focus. That’s how many of us have been able to achieve success and results in our lives. But at the same time, we tend to be pushy or be overly-demanding of the universe around us.
I’ve noticed that whenever I’ve wanted a particular job in my life or some circumstance to work out the way I’ve wanted it to, the universe has met me with barriers and challenges.
When I pressure the universe into delivering the type of professional job I’ve wanted or the location where I’d like to do the job, the universe shrugs its shoulders and seems to hardly care. When I’ve expected my partner in a relationship to be a certain way or do something I had expected, the universe again has gleefully delivered the opposite or ignored me all together.
What is the universe? The universe around you is the all-pervading intelligent design that some call nature, God or simply the field of energy that surrounds everyday life. Similar to the laws of nature, the universe operates on its own set of rules and guidelines. Work against these rules and you’ll continually run into obstacles and challenges. If you embrace the universe, however, and live in sync with it, you’ll start manifesting all of your life’s desires.
I’ve found these 6 powerful ways to work with the universe which has allowed for favorable life events and positive manifestations in my life.
Here are 6 ways to allow life to unfold on the universe’s terms:
1) Let go. It’s perfectly acceptable to have reasonable expectations and goals for yourself, and make requests of the universe, but you CANNOT control how the universe manifests those expectations and goals in your life. You cannot micro-manage the universe or control the universe like an over-bearing boss or lover.
When you desire something, let the universe decide how it’s going to do its part and deliver it for you. If you want a particular job, for example, do your part and apply for it but contacting the office manager 12 times a day, becoming a stalker of the H.R. department and sending them flowers daily will usually not be appreciated and could invite the local cops to pay you a visit.
2) Stop demanding. You cannot shake down the universe like a mob boss demanding protection money. The universe doesn’t like to be threatened, cajoled or shaken down. Accept the fact that the universe will not do what you want, in exactly the way you want it to.
Don’t tell the universe that you ‘MUST’ have that particular job, or this particular boss, or that the office must be located on 24th street for you to take a job.
You can have desires and personal preferences of what you’d like from the universe but trying to demand results from the universe like a mob boss will likely result in your disappointment (and potentially a long solitary drive into the desert).
3) Be open to all possibilities. While you may have an expectation of something working out a particular way and personal goals of when that should happen, permit the universe to work its wonders.
You may want the job of your dreams and a safe and practical car to get you to work. Imagine if the universe delighted you with a safe and practical job which fits your career goals instead and delivered the car of your dreams into your life!
4) Allow the universe to lead. Like the waltz or Argentine tango, you must allow one person to lead the way when dancing. I’ve found that the universe prefers being the lead.Allow the universe to point you in the right direction, bring opportunities forward and guide you.
If you try to take the lead, the universe can break your leg or refuse to dance in the direction that you’d like to go. The universe is all-knowing, intelligent and knows what you want. It may not be how you’re used to dancing but why not allow it to lead you a better place?
5) Align with the universe. Your ability and power in all of this is your ability to align yourself with the universe. What do I mean by that?
Aligning with the universe means working in concert with the universe. Many spiritual and mindfulness practices can help you better connect and work in unison with the universe. In addition to the many benefits of mindfulness, awareness allows you to be in sync with the universe.
Being present and connected with yourself allows you to tap into the universal intelligence and see more favorable results in your life.
6) Trust. The universe is wise, loving and intelligent. Trusting the universe is as challenging as difficult as trusting ourselves. Trust in yourself to follow the intelligent design of the universe. More importantly, trust that the universe is all-knowing, intelligent and generous. Trust in the universe’s ability to deliver what you need in your life, when you need and how much of it you need..
The universe has no interest in being directed or controlled by you. While you can set your goals and visions for your life, keep your focus on your actions. Leave circumstances you can’t control and outside of your capabilities for the universe to handle.
When you learn to live in sync the universe and trust the universe to do its part, you’ll see all your dreams and goals manifest right in front of you.
Do you let the universe deliver or are you a mob-boss type who regularly threatens the universe? Let me know in the comments below. (If you enjoyed this article, please tweet or share this article on Facebook and with the universe)
Imagine trying to become a world-famous Chef like Julia Childs. Or even Julie Powell for that matter, who spent everyday of a full year cooking up one of Julia Childs’s recipes.
Or pretend you’re on the run from the authorities and need to spend a few months in the Central Americas, let’s say Nicaragua for now, and are trying to learn Spanish.
How do you do something you’ve never done before and excel?
How do you get good at something? What’s the language for success?
As you know, I’m in the spiritually buzzing city of Granada, Nicaragua, learning Spanish. I took 4 years of high school Spanish but like my French, oh, I’ve never learnt or spoken a word of French in my life!), my Spanish had become rusty. When I snuck into Nicaragua this past month, however, I’ve only spoken Spanish at home, at school, church, and to people on the street.
In fact, here I am with the Spanish school director (who refuses to publicly acknowledge I’m a student of the school):
Don't ever tell anyone you studied here.
The student who wouldn’t speak Spanish.
At Spanish school, I met a fellow-student who had visited Nicaragua several times now but she still didn’t speak Spanish much. She’s understood everything people were saying to her but usually did not respond. I probed her a little bit trying to inquire why she didn’t want to speak the language.
She said that she didn’t want to look bad by speaking it wrong. She wanted to speak it perfectly, so would continue to think about each word and sentence and perfect conjugation before saying what she wanted to say.
I, on the other hand, was told by my Spanish teacher on the first day of class that I speak Spanish like a ‘directionless bird’ – without any reference to tenses, time or proper conjugation. I’m not trying to brag in any way here about my bird-like ability to speak Spanish but I have and continue to reach a level of proficiency that I can get my basic point across (no matter how bad it comes out) and carry on a conversation.
That’s when I realized the successful ingredient to speaking Spanish or being successful in anything in life.
1. The language to success is learnt by failure.
Instead of hiding from the language or something new, the best way to master it is to attack it. You have to jump in there and get your hands dirty (if cooking), your feet dirty (if playing soccer) or your mouth dirty when speaking Spanish (You know what I mean!).
You must persist in pursuing a new skill or habit you desire to master, and be prepared to do it wrongly, incorrectly and so bad that you’ll be laughed at!
2. Cuddle with AND embrace failure. And no I’m not suggesting you go to bed with that loser ex of yours:) Not only is it a good idea to fail and fail often but also FAIL BIG. Because the more you fail, the more you’re learning. Most people don’t like the idea of failing because they look bad or feel embarrassed. But the flip side of never failing is never learning and never growing.
If you’re trying to learn a new course, a new language, mastering becoming a ninja, trying to become a yoga instructor, then go out and fail. It’s the same way when we were learning to ride a bike or mastered our handwriting as kids. We didn’t just come out on the first time and excel at it. We continued to mess up, look bad, feel horrible, had our parents yell at our incompetence before we figured it out and mastered it.
3. Treat your failures as your building blocks to success. When you do fail and do fail big, treat those failures as the vault of your future success.
People think the more you fail, the more of a loser you are. What if instead, the more you fail means that the more you know how not to fail in the future. And if you fail a lot now then you can’t help but being successful at the skill you desire to master, the habit you desire to have or the business you desire to build.
So, I’m not going to tell you to go out and pursue success. No, my friend, I’ve learnt that the language to success is failing big and often. Falling flat on your face is a good thing.
My Spanish teachers hate me and are trying to ban me from coming back to the school because I speak the language horribly but I’m speaking it everyday, conversing with people and getting better.
The other day, I told the woman who tried to sell me a wallet that I wanted a $10 cordoba ($.50 US) discount because I didn’t want a plastic bag for the wallet. No, she didn’t give me a discount and no I didn’t buy the wallet but we both conversed without the dialogue turning too violent or her ripping me off.
Go on now – go FAIL at something. Keep failing your way to success.
Do you agree about failing being the recipe for success? Do you love to fail or do you embrace failing like a shark in an aquarium?
P.S. Can you do me a favor and share this article with the patrons at the pub you’re reading this post at? Or via social media, if easier. Cheers!
Even if you have no interest whatsoever in spirituality, religion, faith or this blog, you’re probably a fan of music. Well, how ’bout spiritual tunes that can stir your heart and awaken your soul?
Music can be a big part of anyone’s spiritual practice. Having grown up in a Hindu household, I regularly awakened to hot devotional tracks with shout-outs to every Hindu God that existed (more than 20,000 it felt like) and spent Sunday mornings singing group devotional songs called bhajans.
Some call spiritual music the universal language of God; a way to invoke the divine in our practice. (Others of you might call music a must-have for building up any modern-day, main-stream cult but that’s a conversation for another day)
So, what are my favorite spiritual songs?
Here’s a list of my top 7:
1) Familiar with the Gayatri mantra? If you’re not Hindu, probably not. If you are, you’re probably sick of hearing this chant. But how could you be? This particular Hindu mantra recited by millions of people at sunrise and sunset around the world is a divine recitation straight out of the Rig Vedas of ancient times. Set to catchy music in this video, this mantra praises the divine creator in the world and asks for enlightenment. Who can ask for more, yo?
I’ve known people who have told me that reciting this mantra has brought miracles into their lives. Check out the song and let me know what you think.
2. Who isn’t moved by the magnificence ofAmazing Grace? Basically the spiritual story of an Englishman, John Newton, this hymn has been a strong part of our culture in the United States from the time of the country’s founding. Newton was an obscene sailor living an irreverent life ‘til one day he found himself in the midst of a terrible storm. His spiritual conversion started right there on that rocky ship and produced this beautiful hymn later in his life. Here’s a rendition from child gospel singer, Rhema Marvane:
3. Ave Maria is a Catholic prayer, based on the Gospel of St. Luke. Here’s a wonderful rendition of this Catholic hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary, by Mirusia:
4. Swing Low Sweet Charriot is an African-American spiritual with references to the underground railroad, which helped free thousands of slaves in the United States. It’s a deeply moving and spiritual song.
5. Om Namah Sivaya is a Hindu mantra praising Lord Siva, the powerful Hindu God know to destroy evil spirits. Siva is as big as it gets in the Hindu faith and most temples have a shrine dedicated to this powerful God. Enjoy this devotional tune dedicate to the all-powerful Lord Siva:
6. Oseh Salom was a song I had never heard previously until I came across it in the CD to the spiritual tome, Spirituality for Dummies. Sharon Janis has put together a terrific collection of songs bound to get spiritually inspired. Oseh Salom is a beautiful song praying for peace and wholeness.
7. Finally, Creere, by Tercer Cielo is a song I’ve fallen in love with in my travels in Central America. A tour guide introduced me to this song on his Ipod, as one of his favorite’s, while on a hike in the heart of the La Amistad International Park tropical rainforest. It translates to “I will believe” and is an inspirational song about believing in yourself when the doors are closed and going forward in life even when you feel like you can’t.
For my book on spirituality and resiliency, Is God Listening?, click here.
The spiritually-buzzing landscape of Granada, Nicaragua
“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” Khalil Gibran
Have you rolled out of bed after a night of bar-hopping to a merciless hangover? Yes, a head-throbbing headache, vomit, unquenching thirst and not knowing where the hell you are or what happened the night before?
Now, can you imagine a morning filled with strength, hope, peace and enlightenment?
You’re kidding right?
No, my friend, I’m talking about church-hopping and no better place to have discovered this activity than the colonial, spiritual city of Granada.
The city of Granada, Nicaragua stands out for it’s colonial architecture, historical heritage and yes, beautiful churches! I’ve found this to be an extremely spiritual city as well.
Not only is the landscape filled with sacred churches, (I walk past exactly 5 each day to Spanish class) but the people here emit a kind of spiritual vibrancy.
What’s a church-hopper?
If you hopped bars on a Saturday night, you’re a bar-hopper, but what if you hop through churches instead?
I’m going to call you a church hopper if you frequent churches, temples, and places of worship like you do your favorite watering hole.
Church hoppers maybe religious-junkies, spirituality-addicts or you’re probably thinking, lost souls who are going to spend their afterlife in a very hot place.
I would classify church-hoppers as people who frequent religious establishments as a religious or spiritual practice. People who realize that God’s everywhere and no religion has a monopoly on God; that God can be found in all places of worship.
Why church hop?
Having grown up in a Hindu household, I now do religion like you do all-you-can-eat buffets. Hinduism teaches us that there’s only one truth (or God) (or entree as the case may be) but many paths (religious or spiritual practices) to help get us there.
Since there are no Hindu temples here, I have no problem visiting and worshiping in some of the sacred churches of Granada.
In fact, I drop into one or two a day for a little prayer, reflection and meditation. A brief visit to one of the area church’s can give you a little boost of energy for the day, peace of mind and awareness. A little prayer in life, I’ve always found, to instill hope, strength and wisdom into my life.
As a church-hopper, you also get the variety of different religious practices and traditions. Church-hopping shakes up your regular worship routine.
Is this for real Vishnu or are you smoking some ganja in the Nicaraguan barrio?
Listen friends, this isn’t for everyone. If you believe that only your faith or religion has the true connection to God, then by all means attend your church. If you belong to an organization which demands absolute loyalty, a uniform and compound to live, by all means stay 🙂
I’m not advocating this as a path for everyone but if you’re thinking it’s time to give religion a go again, time to try a different religious or spiritual path or just want to get a feel of another religious establishment, then by all means go for it.
This can be a spiritual, cultural and travel adventure of sorts if you’d like! Plus, this is absolutely free and at many Eastern temples and places of worship, you get fed!!! (That’s probably half the reason I’m considering converting to Sikhism)
And come on – worshiping in someone else’s church or temple doesn’t simply mean you’re abandoning your beliefs, faith and traditions. I take it to mean that you’re so confident in your faith that you have no problem worshiping outside of tradition and your comfort zone.
Vishnu, are you going to hell?
In some folks eyes, this could seem as complete heresy, blasphemy and a one way ticket to hell.
But I’m three steps ahead of you. One, I’m increasing my odds of getting to heaven by spreading my risk – there’s less chance I’m embracing the wrong religion if I embrace them all. In fact, I’m probably increasing my chances of escaping hell and making it to heaven.
And if all else fails, as a Hindu, I’m just going to embrace the theory of reincarnation and plan to return in my next life to figure this one out.
Now before you head over to the comments and start giving me a earful, let me use these Nicaraguan church photos as a way to distract you.
Cathedral church, across from Central Park
Iglesia Xalteva - the church closest to home.
You can find the Virgin of Guadalupe in all churches here.
Don't worry - plenty of room for you.
If you enjoyed those photos, check out this video I captured for you last night of the spiritual vibrancy here. It’s a street parade & celebration of a revered nun in Nicaragua.
What do you think? And I especially want to hear from the militant religious-type fanatics out there:) Is church-hopping absolutely ridiculous or can worshiping in any religious establishment be ok?
Do you want to look ravishing, land a leading actress role in Hollywood, snag your own reality TV show and sport a Mercedes?
Getting spiritual won’t help you achieve any of those things.
HOLD ON there paisano! Before you flip the channel, hear me out…
What CAN spirituality do for you? (let me make you an offer you can’t refuse on getting spiritual – in addition to the free makeup kit and hairbrush, of course)
Hustling spirituality in your life will have you to start asking some deeper questions about meaning and purpose. It might question your desire for the fancy car and reality TV show in the first place. Living from a spiritual place will bring about a re-examination of your desires and intentions.
Getting spiritual will also help enhance your life in these 6 ways:
1) Reduce suffering from indigestion, anxiety, stress or jet lag.
Ok, I don’t know about jet lag which you mostly get from flying across time zones but connecting with your inner self can help you dramatically reduce or alleviate some of your life’s stresses. Seizing a spiritual practice can make you less anxious, reduce your blood pressure and lead to a calmer and more balanced life.
2) Control your mind like a lion tamer.
By the time you’ve devoured this post or glanced at this sentence, probably a hundred thoughts have gone through your head. Your mind is like a rabbit in search of a carrot . Or a lion about to eat it’s tamer:) It’s frantic and wild (and is jaw-crushingly strong) – how do you tame your mind?
Start a mindfulness practice to calm your mind. If you calm your mind like a lion tamer tames his cat, you will achieve more awareness, clarity and can become more effective in life’s daily activities. I’ve found having a tame mind helps stop procrastination, increases focus and helps you achieve goals. My friend Sandra has provided you with 10 essential tips to tame a wild mind here.
3) Open your heart.
Spirituality has been known to put you in sync you with the world. If you start thinking the world around you is a part of you, you’ll be acting from a place of connectedness, abundance and love. And when you operate from such a divine place, all positive things and infinite possibilities start opening up in your life.
Oh, yeah – you’ll start having profound life revelations. Material and trivial things begin to fall away from what actually matters. Prada purses and fancy sports cars lose their meaning in and of themselves. You may have thought your purpose in life was to be the divine Goddess to all men but you might realize that the purpose for your life is to be simply divine.
With clarity, you’ll find purpose.
You’ll bail out of professions that don’t suit your soul or fulfill your purpose, and start tackling work that does. You’ll stop wasting time and procrastinating because you’ll become inspired with your life. Clarity is a beautiful thing!
5) Being content.
You might be living a life of lack and unhappiness because you don’t have the perfect mate, house or car. You’re running frantically trying to achieve a dream, goal or fulfill an expectation of you.
Getting spiritual will help you realize that you don’t need to fulfill a single damn goal or dream to be happy. You’ll also realize contentment in the place you are in life for the the things you do have. If you’re content with what you have and grateful for it, you’ll be rocking a life filled with abundance. Spiritual teachers of new and old also teach us that being in alignment with abundance will bring forth everything that you’ve ever needed or wanted.
6) Having the universal laws work with you, instead of against you.
Does everything feel like it’s working against you? You want bullet it home and find yourself in a hellish LA rush hour! You pain-stakingly sign up to take that horrendous architectural exam to find out it’s being offered in a different city. On a different %(&#%@$* continent! You want to marry Giovanni but find out he already is!!
Whenever I’ve noticed that things go bonkers in my life, I’ve noticed it’s because I’m not in sync with the universe and stopped pursuing my spiritual practice momentarily.
When you are in sync with the universal laws, things just start to shift. Opportunities come your way, obstacles get removed and life becomes magical. Traffic jams disappear as God himself intervenes to get cars off the 405 (in Los Angeles)!
I hate you, blogger-dude. Or what if you’re already spiritual?
Oh, I get it – you were born at Woodstock, grew up going to Sunday school or spent your college years being a Hare Krishna. You drink organic chai, visit church on Christmas and do yoga. You’ve got spirituality locked up.
Well here’s the deal – practice allows you to be more conscious of and grasp your spirituality more. “In the spiritual realm, it is not that practice makes perfect so much as that spiritual practices reveal your perfection” according to Kumuda, aka Sharon Janis, in the sacred Spirituality for Dummies.
“If you’re a multi-billionaire but you don’t know it, you may find yourself living like a pauper instead of in luxury. Similarly, if you don’t know that you’re an express of divine universal spirit, you may think that you’re just a world-entrenched person living in spiritual poverty” Janis tell us in her spiritual guide.
So even if you think you’re spiritual, spirituality is something that can be perpetually refined. You have to practice spirituality to realize your perfection. It’s not just reading a Deepak Chopra classic the next time you hop on a flight. Spirituality, like dating and diets takes work.
If you’re spiritual, what are your practices and what benefits have you received? If you run from spirituality like you’ve just seen a 7 headed-monster, why?
To pick up my book, Is God Listening, about spirituality and resilience, click here.
Hi, I’m Vishnu
I help people overcome their devastating breakups and divorces and find love again. Instead of visiting the Himalayas, sign up below and join me. I am taking a writing break but will be back soon.
This guide is free. A ticket to the Himalayas is $2000. Your move.