It’s 2016! Cue the cheering, the strobe lights and celebratory woo-hoo’s.

It’s also a year I never thought I would live to see. Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, I was taught that Armageddon was en route any day, and so, I spent my early childhood nights praying that I would be able to graduate high school.

Somewhere deep inside of me, beyond the places religion and my parents could control, I had a hunger to learn.

I knew intuitively that education was the key to my inevitable freedom — if it did exist — and so I prayed nightly that Armageddon would be delayed long enough for me to complete my education (and I really wanted to go to at least one high school dance with the hot quarterback on my high school football team, so there was that too).

And even with Armageddon looming and the potential to never have a future in the life that I was in, I imagined myself a teacher in a classroom or a writer and editor working at a successful and hip magazine (Seventeen magazine was the guilty pleasure I indulged in at the local library when my mother wasn’t looking).

I couldn’t help myself, the future — even in all of it’s unknown and potentially never-to-be-ness — beckoned me. I could not not intend for what I wanted as it called to me so strongly…

When impending doom never took place, I was thrust into a world that had so much to offer it made my head spin. Intentions were oozing out of me – I wanted it all!

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And then after watching the movie The Secret in 2006, I went wild with intention setting and vision boarding and “deliberate creation” as Abraham-Hicks call it.

Everything that my eyes saw that was new (and after a pretty isolated existence as a JW for the first 24 years of my life, it was all new) I wanted, I desired, I thought I had to have it all.

But only a few of my intentions and vision boards and deliberate creations ever came to be.

Why?

I have learned through my journey with Spirit, it’s because they were created solely from my mind, and the mind is made up of the contents of our conditioning — religious, familial, cultural, etc.

The mind is a computer of sorts that has been stocked with programs from the past — and depending on your past (and in my case, a past filled with chaos, abuse, lots of rules and pain) — this is hardly the place to positively manifest from.

For me, I was so hungry for experience, I wanted it all. My Soul no doubt managed to slip in clarity about my truest and Highest intentions here and there even back then, but the power of my mind had been so well-trained from school, my parents, religion, media – that my Soul didn’t stand much of a chance of truly being heard.

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And so now it’s a New Year and all of the talk out there is about intentions and actions and what’s next.

You may feel a desire to connect to your intentions. But you know as I do and as most do that the old ways don’t work anymore — statistics show that most people by the second week in January have completely abandoned their New Year’s intentions.

Why? These intentions did not stem from the true being that they are.

Intend your best life.
Intend your best body.
Intend your perfect relationship.
Intend to make gobs of money.

Initially this is exciting and empowering, and then eventually it becomes heavy and overwhelming.

But it needn’t be this way. Our intentions can buoy us with Light, with joy, with a serene knowing of our truth.

Here’s how…

On a Spirit-Led path, you recognize that if you leap into intention-setting/vision-boarding* mode without focused connection with your Higher Self or Higher Wisdom, not only will the results be close to non-existent, but life is not filled with the fun and Magic that you came here for.

You recognize that it is not a matter of “manifesting” anything, it is a matter of co-creating with this Higher Wisdom so that Magic is your daily experience.

The Magic that I speak of is discovering who You truly are beyond all of your conditioning.

For example, your mind may be drawn to an image of a couple getting married or sparkling diamonds or a new house but your Higher Self is focused instead on an image or intention of a woman at the beach twirling and dancing with joy, or an image of a small child laughing with glee, or a beautiful cabin in the woods with the sea in the background. Who knew?!

As it so turns out, that may be exactly what the true You really wants in 2016.

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When you are Spirit-Led, you are surrendered ultimately to Divine Will.

I want to be clear about what I mean here.

Divine Will is not the intentions that God/Universe/Source (or whatever term you resonate with) set for you. It is the intentions that YOU set for you before you incarnated.

There is a Higher Self part of you that is connected intimately to Source energy. It is the wise being that you truly are. It is the part of you that knows why you incarnated, what you’re here to do and who you are here to do it with. It is the You that set this whole game of Life up for you along with your Spirit Team (Angels & Guides of the Highest Light) and Source.

And so, when I say “surrender to Divine Will”, I’m talking about the Will that the Higher Wisdom part of you intended for you in this lifetime. This isn’t about handing over your life to some other entity.

This isn’t about something outside of you knowing more than you. This is about the true You knowing more than the in-the-body-physical-mind-you knows.

Let yourself be open to what wants to come through you in this lifetime, as opposed to what you think you have to go out there and “get” to “make” your life happen, or worse yet, assuming that you have to wait for something to change.

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Co-creation means you must be involved, it means your action and intention matters. But it must be all of You, not simply your mind and conditioning. Your Higher Wisdom must be consulted at every turn.

This Spirit-Led path allows for exactly this as you partner with your Higher Wisdom to discover your truest intentions for this life, not simply the intentions that the mind/conditioning are drawn to.

Because you do not know how beautiful your life is meant to be.

The true You, the Higher Self You, does. And it’s right there with you in this body-mind, ready for you to lean on this deeper Wisdom more fully to guide you while you are in a body.

That’s what Spirit-Led is.

It’s not about giving your life away to someone or something else.

It’s about surrendering to the true You and making it your conscious and intentional focus to connect daily to your Higher Self, Spirit Team and Source so that your life is extraordinary.

Extraordinary in that you are living as all beings desire to live at their core, but which only a select many will take action to actually do so.

Extraordinary in that you recognize that every event, person and opportunity in your life is communication from that Higher Wisdom (your Higher Self, Spirit Team and Source) and that it is all set up to support you in living the most joyous, miraculous and rich life possible.

Extraordinary in that you know you in your physical body are not in total control and that’s a very good thing.

Extraordinary in that you know that when you partner with Higher Wisdom, your intentions and vision boards elevate in their truth, in their power, in their preview of what is to come for you.

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This is the first year that I allowed my New Year’s ritual and vision board to be fully Spirit-Led.

Before cutting out any image, I let myself “feel” the image — was it truly a representation of what I desired in my 2016 or was it what I was expected to desire from media, New Age thought, culture and other programming?

I was shocked as the images that my mind / personality was pulled to — images of Bradley Cooper and Tim McGraw (gorgeous, powerful men), an image of friends taking a selfie (sad, yet true), images of stacks of jewels and diamonds, and bright cityscapes — while aesthetically attractive were not at all what my Higher Wisdom desired.

Instead and for the first time ever I have a vision board filled with glow, with sunlight and dancing, with a puppy (?!), with art and joy. The theme is happiness, joy and peace.

Gone are the wedding scenes, clothes, cars, and best-seller lists (and for the record — there is nothing wrong with any of these things at all, they are simply not what the true Me desires) and instead is a vision board that is glowing so bright I have to take my eyes off of it after a few minutes of staring at it.

I used to look at my intentions and vision boards and feel pride. I would feel this masculine, aggressive, “yes, I’m going to get that!” Today, when I look at my vision board I feel my heart open and expand, I feel peace, I feel grounded. I am co-creating with Higher Wisdom. I am home. And 2016 is going to radiate like no other before it.

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So with this New Year upon you, this glorious 2016, you have an opportunity and a choice to make.

You can choose to dive into intention setting galore, or you can get quiet, you can get centered, you can get present and you can ask to be shown where your focus will serve you the most in 2016.

You can ask to be shown where your creative energy will most serve you in 2016. You can ask to be shown the people and opportunities and cash-money that will most serve you in 2016.

And from that place, you are no longer overwhelmed or confused and you certainly do not abandon the intentions your Higher Self gives to you a few days into the year. Instead, you are grounded. You are clear.

You are certain that all is unfolding for you to fully enjoy this game of Life — the whole way through.

Guide to Inspired Life