When the fabulous Daniela Acitelli interviewed me in 2021 on Narrator’s Cup of Joe, her fantastic YouTube video show, we talked about a lot of different topics. She invited me on the show again in December, this time to discuss “woo woo” subjects: affirmations, visualizations, and manifestations.
Long-time readers will feel no surprise in my belief in and usage of affirmations and visualizations! Daniela and I enjoyed the sort of deep, meaningful conversation I could have all day, and I hope you like it, too.
Of course, I have additional stories and many resource links to share! I’ll add the video timecode for your reference.
In the 1990s and 2000s, I listened to Wayne Dyer’s talks and books on CD as I commuted 30 miles to and from my thrival job in downtown Atlanta.
In his book called You’ll See It When You Believe It: The Way to Your Personal Transformation, Dyer wrote about how we have to change our belief system BEFORE we get the manifestation of our dream.
I met Dr. Dyer and he signed my copy of this book at a conference 10 days after my precious daddy passed away.
I didn’t think I’d get to speak to Wayne that day. A crowd of people were circled around him after his lecture. He said he could only meet people for a few minutes as he had to catch a plane.
It seemed like the crowd parted and kind of pushed me forward until I was right there, face to face with him.
I’m surprised I could even say anything to him, given the emotions I felt.
I told Wayne that I’d just lost my dad, and it meant a lot to me to be there with him that day. He surprised me with a hug and said “no one ever dies.”
As an aside to this story, I was wearing a bracelet that day that I think picked Wayne’s polo shirt when we hugged. I felt bad about that for years.
When I told this story to a friend, they said that if my bracelet did pick Wayne’s shirt, he would probably have viewed that as evidence that his work was valuable and that he had made a real connection with me.
Two other books from Wayne Dyer that made a big impression on me were The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way and Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling.
On 6 April 2006, I was helping a person who had car trouble when something extraordinary and enchanting happened, as I wrote in my journal the next day:
On the ground was a magnificent butterfly, which I learned in a later Google search was an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. I wondered if it was alive because it was so still at first. When it moved, I began to wonder if it was hurt. [I was afraid the person I was helping would step on the butterfly.] Fortunately, she didn’t.
The whole time that I watched the butterfly, I was thinking of Wayne Dyer’s story of a magical encounter with a butterfly. He talked about it in his newest book “Inspiration”, which I recently read, and on the PBS special about the same. The whole book is about living in spirit and being of service. Here I was, being of service to someone who needed it, and I had a beautiful butterfly before me as a symbol of it. After all, I was inspired to act on the impulse to help this stranger, who turned out to be my neighbor.
The wind blew and made the butterfly’s wings stand straight up. He still didn’t fly away, so I thought more that he might be hurt. Drew told me to tap his wings (his meaning the butterfly, not Drew!). I told Drew a little about Wayne Dyer getting a butterfly to sit on his finger, so Drew said to put my finger down there and see if the butterfly would jump it on like a perch.
I did…and he did!
Then the wildest thing happened — he walked all the way up my arm and looked at me!!!!
It was just like the way it happened for Wayne Dyer. I wanted to get a picture, but Drew couldn’t get one fast enough with his cell phone. Wayne Dyer thought his butterfly was his dear friend Jack. It even seemed to me that my butterfly could have been Daddy [or at least sent by him].
The reason Drew couldn’t get a picture is because, after a minute or so of being on my arm, my beautiful butterfly flew off across the street, landing in a yard. Maybe he was just tired (like me!).
I mentioned Louise Hay’s landmark book You Can Heal Your Life. She lists physical ailments, the thoughts that may have been behind the symptom, and new thoughts to think.
When Daniela referred to the Reticular Activation System (RAS), I was reminded of the first time I came across that phrase. Of course I read it in a book! Henriette Anne Klauser’s wonderful book Write It Down, Make It Happen describes the RAS as a:
…filtering system of the brain. Writing it down sets up the filter. Things start to appear — it’s a matter of your filtering system.
If you have never owned a Honda before, and you buy a blue Honda, all of a sudden you see blue Hondas all over town. You might wonder, Where are all these blue Hondas coming from? But they were there all along; you were just not paying attention to them.
Putting a goal in writing is like buying a blue Honda; it sets up a filter that helps you be aware of certain things in your surroundings. Writing triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: “Wake up! Pay attention! Don’t miss this detail!” Once you write down a goal, your brain will be working overtime to see you get it, and will alert you to the signs and signals that, like the blue Honda, were there all along.
I love her book because she offers different methods and examples of writing our plans and goals to give us clarity and aid our manifestations.
I talked about Louise Hay’s book Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life. This book offers affirmations and journal prompts to help you re-connect with your true self.
I was discussing the energy you put out to the universe. If you’re obsessively thinking, feeling, saying, and writing words coming from desperation, you’re telling the Universe that’s what you expect to see mirrored back to you. I wrote about changing your mindset in my 2008 article Think/Write/Speak what you WANT into BEING!
In addition to the book linked in that article, I want to recommend Secrets of Success: The Science and Spirit of Real Prosperity by Sandra Anne Taylor. I read it in 2007 and copied these passages about obsession/desperation in my journal:
If you were to project a laser light through the hologram that is your own consciousness, what would that picture hold? What would be revealed in the front, in the middle, in the back, and all the way around? Would there be a confident image on the surface with fear hiding behind it? Would there be an exterior of optimism with an interior of doubt? If so, you need to know that the Universe sees your entire truth—every bit of it—and responds accordingly.
So if you’re visualizing meeting your perfect partner, yet a part of you thinks such a person doesn’t exist, then that consciousness of limitation overrides your specific intention and actually creates a stronger vision of lack (my emphasis).
If you’ve created the goal to attract a better job but you consistently doubt your ability to make it happen, then that failure-consciousness will move out into the Universe, projecting a dark void where no real value can come to be.
Your entire consciousness needs to be considered. You may send out intentions, treasure maps, and even prayers to make something happen, but all of that will go unanswered if it’s the only approach you take. Without a supportive consciousness, your individual desire will just float out in space, and your results will be hit-or-miss at best—or nonexistent at worst.
To get the Law of Manifestation to work the way you desire, you must consider the whole. It’s not enough to say, “If I only focus on what I want, then I’ll get it.” You need to support that intention with a positive multidimensional view of yourself. You must see yourself as capable and worthy of receiving—and perceive the world as abundant and willing to provide. You can visualize buying a winning lottery ticket all you want, but if you look in the mirror with judgment and self-doubt, your outcome will be consistently disappointing.
This is the holographic reality of manifestation: Your consciousness can’t create something that you’re not fully aware of deep within yourself. Your system of thoughts and beliefs is a driving force in the field of Universal intention, so it’s important to know that the value you seek in the external world can only come from a pervasive sense of value within.
If you’re always—or even often—focused on worry, lack, and unhappiness, then that is all that your consciousness can create for you. If you’re not aware at least on some level of the intrinsic value already within yourself and your life, it will be a constant struggle to create value in your destiny. This pit of self-negation is one of the biggest problems people face in trying to create a brilliant future.
You’ll see throughout this book that if you’re facing failure, this is usually the first place to start. Even if your self-esteem doesn’t seem all that negative, if you’re merely self-conscious or experiencing some self-doubt, or you’re just confused about your place and your power in the world, it can be enough to darken your energy and move your consciousness and your quantum psychology in a negative direction—and send out a holographic projection that attracts rejection.
I brought up Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. The 4 questions are listed in this interview with Katie, and she explains how they help you move to better thoughts.
I mentioned Mike Dooley’s courses and daily Notes from the Universe. You can view his offerings and sign up to receive the free, inspirational Notes at this link.
As I said on the Joe video, the Universe doesn’t deliver on our timetable and in the way we think things should happen. Since I used my house as an example of this statement, I thought you might like to see the house I dreamed about and the one I have.
I don’t remember when my dream of a Queen Anne Victorian house took root. I think even as a teenager I had pored over numerous books showing magnificent Victorian houses and subscribed to magazines devoted to Victorian homes. Starting on 11 May 2003, I began writing a house journal to describe my dream Victorian. As I came across or thought of aspects I wanted in my house, I added them to the journal.
My idealized house is pictured below. I affixed this picture to the tack board in my cubical for years during my IRS tenure so I would see it every day at work.
This second picture is my modern Victorian house, where we moved in 2018. It’s not the house I was dreaming of, but it is my dream house and better than I imagined in so many ways!
You’ll note that the architecture met my broad brush strokes with the turret and sharply pointed roofline, but this house was built in 2012 and has a spacious, modern floorplan, plenty of storage, central HVAC, and electrical and plumbing systems that are up to code! If you want to see the interior of the main floor turret room, head over to my Harp Videos page. My recording studio is downstairs in the back corner on the driveway side and is shown on my About Me page.
We replaced the front door with one that has a Victorian vibe. It looks like a vintage iron door but was made with materials to withstand temperature changes. We also recently painted the keystones and bricks over the windows to accent that feature. In addition, we painted the ceilings over the front stoop and back patio using the color that Southern Living called the perfect “haint blue”.
So, you see, even though the Universe didn’t deliver all the exterior details that I’d imagined, we’ve been able to make modifications to accentuate the Victorian characteristics. My HOA most assuredly would deny my desire for a “Painted Lady” color scheme, but I’m planning to request approval to make some minor changes to the façade, including adding some gingerbread in the gables. We’ve enhanced the Victorian charm inside with ceiling medallions and our lighting and decorating choices.
Daniela asked me about my harp. The 5 points I discussed in my article Resonance between harp and voice-over are still true for narrators today.
When I bought a flute in 2017, I wrote The Still Small Voice. Audiobook narrators will find it an encouraging story to follow their own inner promptings.
I recently published the article My Life as a Musician, which includes a number of resource links that other musicians may find useful.
As I chatted about writing in my journal, I was asked about the type of pen I use. I actually NAMED the Taccia Paris Lilac fountain pen for the company! I told the story and showed the picture of it in this article.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, I love discussing these kinds of topics! I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments, so please let me know your thoughts!
Madeline Mrozek says
So so fabulous, Karen! I just love all of this. And Wayne was such an incredible force, wasn’t he?? He was my first spiritual teacher, his works introduced to me by my very conservative mother, of all people! Your butterfly story is amazing, too. I’ve been manifesting that experience for myself for a long time and am really looking forward to the moment it happens. Namaste!
Karen Commins says
Hi, Madeline! It’s so interesting to see that you learned from Wayne Dyer, too! I loved his philosophy that we are “spiritual beings having a human experience.”
I know the butterfly experience is going to happen for you when you least expect it. When it does, I hope you’ll tell me so I can share your joy!
Thanks so much for your comment!
Todd Lewis says
Karen, I was delighted and amused when I read your article. I have had similar experiences not only with butterflies but with dragon flies as well. I was taking an improvisation workshop with Alan Arkin, one of my Altima favorite actors and writers, and on the second day during class a butterfly was causing a disturbance with the actors buzzing in the middle of scenes disturbing and distracting the actors who shooed the critter away. Alan made a comment about ridding the room of it and I chimed in that butterflies like me and like to land on me. He gave a doubtful look but when I offered it my finger, it flew right over and landed on it. I smugly walked it, past the stunned group, out to explore its freedom. Whenever I see a butterfly I always make it a point to say hi!
Karen Commins says
Hi, Todd! I love this story! That’s certainly one way to make a lasting impression in a workshop!