Often when anxiety strikes, it's because we are attached to an outcome. Defining the value of our endeavours or ourselves in correlation to the results ensures that our sense of self worth is at the mercy of elements beyond our control.
If i do X and Y does not ensue, X must have been wrong. I am wrong.
Anxiety and its dominant cousin, fear, are often related to a desire or attempt at control. If we were not attached to outcomes, what could there be to fear?
This is not to say that we shouldn't desire ends and goals, intending to manifest them into our life. But to me this is the paradox of a lot of contemporary spiritual work. On the one hand, we unblock our limiting beliefs so that we can believe anything that we want is possible. On the other hand, we learn to embrace presence by releasing our tightened grip on life, becoming open to the gift of receiving.
So it is never one or the other. There must be intention and there must be release.
Sometimes we manifest what we want and sometimes we don't, but in either case, we can then step back and reassess.
The gift of getting what you want is important because it helps you to reevaluate if this "thing out there" was all you perceived it was cracked up to be. That is a blessing I hope that many of us can accomplish so that we can be freed temporarily from the wishing and hoping of projection.
Our intuition can be confirmed, and we can feel the blissful resolution of our idea being met by its satisfying conclusion, experiencing a moment of wholeness. On the other hand, we can also achieve our goal only to realize it doesn't define or fulfill us as much as we hoped, which can be both depressing and empowering, as it reminds us that our value and joy was never to be measured by the landmarks we reach.
This disappointment allows us to pivot and take a renewed approach but from a place of clarity rather than confusion. But what happens if we do not attain what we are striving towards, or are unsure if we ever will? In the meantime, do we hold our breath and reserve self love and confidence for the day our wish becomes reality?
Does that not mean we could spend much of our life in a state of withholding love from ourselves?
One of the reasons we do this is because it breeds an internal tension that pushes us towards our goal - in other words, it fosters persistence. Very rarely do incredible things happen without a stubborn follow-through of some kind. Great achievers are often motivated by a nagging discomfort of low self esteem and a desire to prove themselves to a real or imagined audience. Without some insecurity, would there even be ambition?
Often when we are at our most peaceful, we don't need much but sand in our toes and the touch of a loved one. However that unconditional presence does not necessarily produce the magnum opus (nor a retirement fund).
So what balance must be struck between intention and surrender?
In manifestation-speak, we often instruct to release the "how." If you want something and are working on bringing yourself into alignment with it (to meet it halfway), it is then that you must let go of the precise manner by which your intention may become reality.
Life's resourcefulness far exceeds the limited, fear-based expectations that we use to define what seems possible.
Many of you have heard my Thy will be done story (I go into detail on it at the beginning of my morning routine course, Living by Divine Guidance) whereby I one day renounced control in a morning prayer and asked to be guided by the divine, instead of wilfully imposing my intention on life (to no avail - particularly in my professional life at the time). That day, divine intervention seemed to be delivered to my living room in the form of a sudden urge and apparition of tools required to quit a long time daily weed smoking habit.
That was not the only benefit I saw in letting go. I also ended up pivoting careers several times which led to the creation of Tour de Soul. Instead of banging my head against the wall to make something work, I asked life to choose for me, assuming it knew where my gifts were best served. This works so well until you stumble into the terrain of something you really want (or don't want).
Ok I'll surrender, as long as you give me this (first).
That's when prayer becomes more like asking Santa for an Easy-Bake Oven. The opposite, grace - which can be encompassed by a kind of gratitude in the face of life's natural intelligence and generosity - often fosters greater ease in manifestation anyway, because we emanate humility and confidence, rather than scarcity and desperation.
If you are feeling anxiety about something ask yourself if this is attached to an outcome. What do you insist has to work (or what has to not happen) in order for you to be happy and feel secure? Then see if you can "offer it up" and trust that if it's meant to happen, it will do so in the most favourable way. And if it's not, become inquisitive about the hidden gift in the redirection.
While this is easier said than done, it is a powerful muscle that we will all be called to exercise at one point or another, either by gentle invitation or brute force.
Become curious rather than insistent. Let yourself follow life's lead in the dance of manifestation. And when the Muse gently whispers her commands into your ears in the form of aligned action and proactive pushes, honours those too. Because whether or not they produce the desired result at least you can say you were loyal to yourself along the way.