I’m not a fan of kid shows, especially princess cartoons.
Annie (the 4-year-old) loves Sofia the First, so much that Sofia makes an appearance in my next book, Managing the Motherload (Hay House 2019).
(Okay, the story in my book is about how much I dislike playing the Sofia the First card game. I’m just saying Sofia is a big part of our lives. There was a week when Annie changed her name to Sofia and wouldn’t answer to anything else.)
A couple of days ago, Annie was saying how sad she was that she didn’t have a magical amulet like Sofia. The amulet grants wishes and gives Sofia special powers.
(If you know Annie, you would know that the last thing I want her to have is magical control over her environment or the people in it. I’m already pretty sure she hypnotizes the rest of us into submission before breakfast every morning.)
I remembered that my oldest, Winona, got her a personalized necklace for Xmas with her birthstone charm on it. I put on my invisible mom cape and saved the day! “You have a magical amulet on your necklace. Go get it!”
Annie hurried to wherever she hoards her treasures (and the “borrowed” treasures of her brothers and sister) and returned with the necklace. “It’s magical, I promise. You can use it to make wishes,” I told her.
Wishes really do come true.
She was skeptical. “I can wish for anything?”
“Yup,” I answered. “Try it. But just so you know, it might take a while for your wish to come true. You have to be patient and keep looking for it to happen.”
(I realize that this might not be stellar parenting, lying to my kid about magic and creating unrealistic expectations. Please understand that it was Xmas break, I had four kids in the house, and I was tired and needed a break from good momming.)
“I wish… I wish to be a princess like Sofia,” she said right away.
Uh oh. “That might be one you have to wait for. But keep watching out for signs that you might be becoming a princess. You already look like a princess right now in your beautiful dress and crown. Your wish is already coming true!”
(Annie’s almost always wearing a dress and a headband or tiara. And she rules over us like a tiny monarch, so… accurate?)
“I wish to be a tiger.” Her second big, unrealistic wish.
(Who knew that 4-year-olds have imaginations and the belief that anything is possible? At 4, that’s marginal, right? *liberal wink*)
I suddenly realized that I had made a mistake. “That might be too big of a wish,” I warned. “Try something smaller, easier.”
Avatar to the rescue.
Our 7-year-old, Sunny, who was witnessing this whole interaction, stepped in. “No, it can come true. But maybe it coming true means you have to make yourself into a tiger,” he offered.
Whaaaaaat? Look at Sunny dropping wisdom like he’s tapped into some Universal Truth!
Annie received the gentle prompt from her older sibling—it took no time at all for her to get to work on manifesting her wish. She raised her hands next to her face and made fierce little claws with her fingers. A booming and ferocious “roooaaar” followed.
“You’re a tiger!” I shouted.
“See, Annie, that’s all you needed to do to make your wish come true,” Sunny said with a smile and a twinkle in his eye (which made me immediately wonder if he might be an incarnation of a great master or could do neat-o tricks like bend air, Avatar-style). They both giggled and ran into the other room.
✓ Dodged a bad-parenting bullet.
✓ Got to witness my kids take a giant leap forward on their spiritual journeys.
✓ Ended up alone with happy little ones playing in another room.
After a few moments, I could hear Annie rattling off new wishes and Sunny advising her on when and how they might come true. I settled into a moment of sweet contentment and ease. They had mastered manifestation on their own!
Not all parenting dilemmas end this wonderfully validating, but a good amount of them could if you’re paying attention to the lessons and showing up in the spirit of receiving.
Manifestation isn’t what you think.
If your only exposure to the art of manifesting were Instagram memes and a certain not-so-secret book and movie about the Law of Attraction, you’d think manifestation was an easy and magical process of wishing with all your might and waiting for the Universe to answer your prayers. And you’d believe that because of how well it was working for the people delivering the message.
I’m going to take a beat for a moment to let you know that the driving force behind a lot (if not all) of those messages is something called privilege, and that’s what can make them harmful. When we’re trying with all our might to wish, hope, and manifest, and nothing seems to be working, it’s easy to believe that we’re doing something wrong or that we’re not worthy of blessings. Look, we all benefit from unearned privilege, but that doesn’t make us unworthy of blessings or achievement, Nevertheless, it’s critical to understand how and why we have what we have—what is unearned and what is a result of our direct action and how we can be better at leveraging our privilege for the benefit of others and the greater good. (I talk about my unearned privilege in an Instagram post here.)
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This picture was taken at a church event a couple of weeks ago. It was a good day filled with fellowship and joy. Yesterday’s horrific event—Jewish people being gunned down in their place of worship—made me think even harder about this day. It shined an even brighter light on all the privilege I enjoy every day, even in the midst of marginalization. I’ve never been afraid to go to church. . I finished reading ‘So You Want to Talk About Race’ by @ijeomaoluo recently. In one part of the book, she challenges the reader to list how they are privileged. And she tells them to resist listing how they are not. I took the challenge. . – I am light-skinned/white-passing – I am able-bodied – I am neuro-typical – I am tall and thin – I am cis-gender – I have inherited property/wealth – I had competent adult caregivers/mentors – I grew up in and live in a safe neighborhood – I have access to transportation, culture, free education, medical care, fresh air, clean water, fresh produce, nature – I was born an American citizen – I enjoy free, unrestricted use of social media to air my thoughts and opinions – I can drive without fear of police brutality – I was given a conventionally “white” first and last name . When I wrote that list, I didn’t even think to add “I can worship without fear of oppression or violence.” . It was hard not to think, “But I have suffered, too!!” But I understand that it doesn’t matter. Privilege exists in the midst of struggle, and it’s important to recognize that. And it’s also important to know that privilege MUST be leveraged for good. That’s why I’m talking about it now. So that you can see that acknowledging YOUR privilege will unlock power that you didn’t even know you had—power that can open doors for others, that will allow you to be a voice for the voiceless. . I’m calling on you to write your own list of the unearned privilege you benefit from and to think about how you can use that privilege to help others—NOW. Use my list as inspiration or leave yours in the comments to inspire others. Thank you for reading this. I love you. (Also, buy @ijeomaoluo’s book and follow her. Follow Black women.) #followblackwomen #blacklivesmatter
Here’s the kind of manifesting my little ones were practicing in three simple steps:
Step 1 Have a desire and believe in the possibility that it can materialize.
Step 2 Speak that desire out loud (to hold yourself accountable and to allow others to hold you accountable and offer their help).
Step 3 Look for the magic (the synchronicities, the luck, the “Divine Assistance”) but also be ready and willing to create it yourself (or with the physical help, example, or wisdom of others). Manifestation isn’t *only* magic. It’s action.
Be the tiger. Paws up!
I want to invite you to think about how you can apply these steps to your big dream. Can you call in a desire and believe—even for a moment—that it can happen for you? Are you willing to share your desire with a trusted friend, partner, or even a social media group? Are you ready to keep your eyes (and heart) open to opportunities that could lead to the realization of your dream? And can you outline all the big and small steps that it might take to make your dream come true, assigning which are easily doable on your own and which require assistance from others (and then actually enlist that help)?
Of course, most big dreams require significant effort (and some luck, a dash of vulnerability, heaps of humility, and a whole lot of showing up and staying the course, even when it feels like nothing is happening). But there are tiny victories along the path of making any dream happen that should be recognized and celebrated.
Here’s a juicy secret about pursuing your dreams.
It doesn’t necessarily matter how you get “there” (just remember to be humble, grateful, and generous with every step). It doesn’t even matter if you get “there.” One thing I’ve learned through decades of practice is that so much of the magic (if not all) happens along the way—in the tiny details and detours of a manifestation journey. Almost every big goal I’ve ever achieved delivered more joy in the process than in the final result. Keep moving toward your dreams and appreciate every step as something that’s growing and nurturing you. Know how many blessings have been planted on your path ❤
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, founder of BexLife.com and the Blissed In® wellness movement, is a mother-of-five, TV host, meditation guide, author, speaker, birth doula, fitness and yoga instructor, and popular social media personality. Her first book, You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life (Hay House 2017), is available now, wherever books are sold.