Manifesting and attaining your goals has become an increasingly popular pursuit. The movie, "The Secret," jump-started the discussion of the law of attraction and manifestation in mainstream culture. People seek out seminars, workshops and gurus to help learn the secrets of manifestation so we can fulfill our heart's desire.

My manifestation guru looks a little different than most. She has wavy golden locks, a shaggy beard, 3 inch eyelashes, four legs and speaks no English (or any human language). My guru's name is Sandy and she is my labradoodle dog.

Sandy suffered a back injury recently and her physical activity is limited while she recovers. I'm no longer bringing her tennis ball with us to play fetch (which is her favorite activity in the world). Over the past few weeks, however, I've watched her unfailingly manifest one tennis ball after another out of the thick, overgrown, ankle-high grass in our local school yard! So unless there are legions of dogs depositing their favorite tennis balls on a regular basis in that school yard, something magical going on here given Sandy's success at regularly finding what amounts to the proverbial needle in a haystack.

I've observed Sandy manifest her tennis balls and here are what I consider to be the keys to her success that we can all learn from.

1. Be Clear on What You Want

Sandy knows what she wants. It's not a stick, a squirrel, a pine cone, or her mom. It's a round, fuzzy, green tennis ball. If you've gone through a life challenge, like divorce, I'm certain you have a laundry list of all the things you don't want. To manifest your dreams, it's critical to take the time to be clear on what it is you DO want. Create that picture and hold it fiercely in your mind and in your heart as Sandy holds her beloved tennis ball in her jaw.

2. You Deserve What You Want

As humans, we have a unique ability for creating our own suffering. We diffuse our energy and focus wondering if we are worthy and deserving our dreams. Dogs like Sandy do not. There is no doubt in Sandy's mind that she is fully deserving of that tennis ball. She doesn't assess whether if her parents were different if it would be easier for her to find a tennis ball. Sandy throws herself into pursuit of her dream with no hesitation.

3. The Joy is in the Journey

Each time we go to the park, it's clear how in the moment Sandy is. She is grateful to be outside, sniffing the dirt, on the hunt for her treasure whether it's raining or sunny. Her tail spins like a propeller as she track down her ball. I swear she has a huge grin on her face as she looks up from the deep grass to check in with me visually. It's as if she is saying, "Boy, is THIS ever a lot of fun!"

Let's remember that the joy is in the journey, not simply in the attainment of our goals. Savor the process of discovery and be in the present moment. That is where the magic happens.

4. Belief is Stronger than the Physical Evidence

On the surface, finding a green ball in a field of overgrown grass seems daunting. I feel for Sandy as she searches and tell her that she's probably not going to find any balls today. That, of course, is the moment her head pops up from the grass with her latest conquest. Sandy's belief in her dream is unwavering.

Holding a powerful belief, even when the results you're looking for don't seem to come in, is critical. It's your job to maintain and hold your belief and its vibration as strongly as you can. Despite a lack of physical evidence in the moment, or even in the face of criticism or disbelief from people around you, hold your belief. Know that you can never connect to a dream without at the same time having the ability to manifest that dream into reality.

5. Consistent Effort

Quite often people don't get what they want and "cross the finish line" is because they give up before they get there. It's easy to get distracted with other goals or make excuses as to why we can't have what we want. I think a great degree of Sandy's success is because of her consistent effort. She keep circling, tracking and hunting down her goal. She has equal measure of passion and patience. Taking small purposeful action on a consistent basis is far more powerful and effective than taking one huge giant step every now and then.

By the way, I think Sandy sensed I was writing this article. Today, she found three balls in the park!

Author's Bio: 

Carolyn B. Ellis is the Founder of Thrive After Divorce, Inc. A Harvard University graduate, Carolyn is a Certified Master Integrative Coach, Teleclass Leader and the first Canadian to be certified as a Spiritual Divorce Coach. She has also served as a Staff Coach at the Institute for Integrative Coaching at John F. Kennedy University in San Francisco, CA, and has been trained personally by its founder, NY Times best-selling author Debbie Ford. Her award-winning book, The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive after Divorce was published in 2007. She is a member of Collaborative Practice Toronto. Her three amazing school age children and bouncy labradoodle dog are her daily sources of inspiration and joy.

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