Wishing Well – Setting Your Wishes in Motion

August 30th, 2009

dandelion wishes

I grew up in a house on the edge of a State forest, so there were no big city lights around to dull the sky. When you went outside at night and looked up, you'd be overwhelmed by stars. As a little girl, I used to wish on stars out the living room window. I remember wishing to win the lottery a lot, which looking back now, seems silly. I mean, how many little girls do you know buy lottery tickets? I didn't even have a grandmother who gave out scratch tickets and my parents never played the lottery either, so the choice of a wish there was a little odd.

I think when I wished to win the lottery, what I was wishing for was lots of money, so that I could then go out and get for myself all the things I wanted, like the mini motorized car that I circled and starred and dog-eared in the Sears Christmas catalog every year.

In my teen years, we got an incredibly sweet, buff-colored cocker spaniel named, Sable. It was my job to take her out every morning, around 5:30 am, and last thing before I went to bed, around 9 pm. Growing up in New England, it was usually frigidly cold at both those times of day and I'd often dance around the grass to stay warm while Sable sniffed out the perfect spot. One night, I looked up a the light-bright sky and made a wish on the first star I saw. It became a habit, something I'd do every night when I took Sable out. I'd look up into the sky, focus on the first star I saw, and whisper, "Star light, Star bright, First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." And then I'd wish...

By then I'd realized the folly of wishing to win the lottery that I didn't play. I'd moved beyond wishing for the "how" and moved into wishing for the "what." I wished for that certain boy to notice me and ask me out, to get a part in the play, to travel abroad, to do well on the SAT's, to get into the college I applied to, etc... I made my wish with all my heart and then just as quickly, I'd let it go, mainly because by then the dog and I would be quite numb and ready to get out of the cold. Amazingly, this time around, an astounding amount of my wishes came true and in record speed.

by the light of the silvery moon

I've always had an interesting (and seemingly contradictory) balance of the "practical/cynical" and the "anything is possible" going on in my head. I'm not sure why this is, but it's there. I picture it like I'm holding a balloon that sometimes has my feet lifting lightly off the ground, but never strays too far. I can't see completely delving into either side. Both feel necessary to me. I appreciate the logical side while being fascinated by possibility, magic, and synchronicity.

In my 20's I was introduced to The Artist's Way in which Julia Cameron talks about her "God Jar," a place to tuck wishes and worries that you simultaneously put out there and let go of. I made my own out of an old spagetti sauce jar that I painted with dancing figures. Every couple years I check all the little folded pieces of paper inside to see what has come true and what I might like to add. About once a year, I also have a practice of writing about my ideal day. In both cases, I'm amazed by how these practices have worked for me. I think I hold them lightly in a, "well, it can't hurt" kind of way.

Thinking about it now though, I realize that I clearly do believe in the power of wishing. I've developed a regular practice of making mixed-media vision boards with the full moons along with Jamie Ridler's dreamboard group, I often take advantage of Havi's personal ad posts, I used Jennifer Lee's "Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit", and I'm taking Jen and Andrea's Mondo Beyondo course right now.

With the month of move coming to a close, I've been thinking about how making a wish is a way of setting things in motion. Even if you can't always see the movement happening, just putting it out there may be aligning the stars in ways that we can't understand. There's also something quiet brave about speaking your wishes out loud. Wishing is a vulnerable act. It's often why we whisper our wishes to the stars or don't tell anyone what we wished for after blowing out our birthday candles. It's not just that we're risking them not coming true, we also risk being disappointed, we risk failure, we risk feeling unfulfilled. But in the wishing we gain a sense of empowerment and sense of valuing ourselves.

Taking the Mondo Beyondo class has inspired me to reexamine my own big wishes, to grow some of them larger and to wonder about how much I really want some of the things I thought I did. Some of my newer wishes include owning a home in Maui and teaching at a retreat in Costa Rica. Some wishes are ones I've had a long time, like publishing a book about creativity and writing/illustrating a children's book. Some are still too young and tender to share quite yet. But just writing them down, it feels like I've taken some great big, bold leaps forward.

Do you dare to wish for big things? What are the ways you put your wishes into the world? What wild things might you set in motion by expressing your deepest longings?

17 Responses

Oh I definitely think allowing your wishes to be heard even if to no one else but you and the stars, is a way for the universe to work her magic and align the stars as you say in ways that we can’t understand. I think your subconscious mind plays a big role of connecting your desires with your actions for the good, all you need to do is cast that first wish:)

I love the idea jar, I have done that too but mostly I stick with creating lists of achievements I want to accomplish. Like you said, what could it hurt??! For me, it helps me to continue to move forward :)

Oh Leah, you are just so amazing ! I love how you write and inspire and open yourself up to the world. You really are such a loving and talented star yourself !

When I have had faith and really let go of my wishes, I, like you, have seen them fulfilled quickly and perfectly. I have kind of forgotten that in the midst of sometimes just trying to live my best in this day. I need to get those wishes out there if I want them to come true, don’t I ? Shining the light on them …I love that.

Thanks for the creativity spur, beautiful Leah !

I think this is why putting our MB list out there feels so scary. We know that once we say it out loud or on paper, something magical is set in motion. Things begin to change, to rearrange…

I have started a kind of wish/to do list notebook…in keeping with the vision board theme. I cut and paste phrases, inspiring art from magazines, and have been writing things in there…not only to do lists but whole scenarios that I hope to play out in my life…but I write them like they are happening right now. It’s kind of fun and I am getting in he habit of just flipping through it on a daily basis even if I am not adding anything new.

oh i love this post leah. i am a new thought practitioner, which means i create affirmative prayers to help people (and myself) attract what we want into our lives. even though that seems really silly to me sometimes (peole come to me and ask me to pray that they get a new partner or a new job or to heal an illness), when i look at my track record it’s amazing. we really can have anything we ask for.

i have been pushing myself to create some new bigger dreams because i am living a lot of what i used to consider “impossible dreams”. right now my big dreams include: a new home with an indoor greenhouse/conservatory (not just for starting plants early but a beautiful place to be in all year round) and indoor salt swimming pool (i live in a cold part of canada)and creativity workshop cruises in the mediterranean and alaska.

Great post Leah. I’d forgotten about wishing on dandelions – what a lovely memory! For me, my wishing practice is as important as my gratitude practice. They seem kind of hand-in-hand to me. I have a formal new moon practice wherein I write down my wishes for the month. I like how writing them down feels like an official commitment to them. But I also like whispering my wishes to the night sky (and Mama Moon) upon sighting that first star of the evening. Wishing is wonderful and fun, and I hope all yours, big and small, come true!

Oh, I love the “God Jar”…I think I may do one for our girls and one for me and my husband….great post, and thanks for sharing that precious story and memory of wishing on the first star…you seem like a wonderful dreamer..as am I.
I get set on my favourite number…which is 9.
When I see it, it makes me feel like I’m on the right path…it’s always been lucky for me…when numbers add together to make 9…that’s lucky too…I know it’s strange…but true.
Wishing keeps ones dreams in their realm of positivity.

I definitely believe in putting our wishes out there into the world. Whatever you focus your energy on has a tendency to blossom. I don’t know if it’s pure energy or magic or just how when you’re thinking about a thing, you naturally start to take steps toward it. May be all of those things. Maybe more. DOn’t know.

Wishes are good. Especially when you don’t just wish but also do.

Leah, as usual, a thought provoking post. Wishes, like prayers, help keep us focused on our goals and dreams – whether spoken out loud, or held deep in our hearts. Best wishes sent from my heart to yours.

Beautiful post, Leah! I think wishes create a focus of energy that puts us in touch with not only with “what” we want, but “why” we want it which put us in touch with our heart’s desires in a deeper, more passionate way which gets those energy swirling. Then,the Universe can’t help but conspire with us. Wishes do come true! I know this not only from own life, but so many other dear souls.

Beautiful post and I love this piece of art.
Dandelions and wishes go perfectly together.
Dandelions float wherever they wish.
Go wherever they wish.
And grow wherever they wish.

When I think of your artwork, its all about wishes, dreams and intentions. Its so central to your essence, that daily practice with Sable shines forth so brightly now. Thanks for sharing that gift with us and reminding us of its importance.

Thank you! This was really lovely. And I enjoy the dreamy, ethereal quality of the artwork. I did the same thing as a child, always made a wish on the first star I saw. Shame that in the hustle and bustle of adulthood we focus on getting things done, to the exclusion of wishing and dreaming.

Ok. My wishes for the next six months are that my small business has a successful holiday season, and that I travel to London and Paris!

Leah, I am loving your dandelion dreams artwork!!! I love the story as well, very inspirational. It will take me a while to read everyone’s comments but I can see they are worth it!

I loved the dandelion artwork too! And the colors! Well done Leah. I loved reading your story. You are a special little lady.

I taught Caitlin (4 yr old granddaughter) how to blow dandelions and make a wish. I’m not sure she’s picked up on what a wish really means but she always blows on a dandelion when she finds one. It makes my heart sing. So, your artwork is special to me, in that way.

Leah, if you have seen “The Secret” you’d know that our wishes can come true. We just have to really mean the wish and be grateful for what we have. That’s it. I believe it to be true.

Thank you so much for sharing all this Leah. Beautiful and inspiring. I agree with so much of what you say. Although I haven’t ‘checked in’ this month yet, these are the kind of thoughts I’ve been having too, and where the theme of ‘move’ has taken me.

I loved reading this childhood story! Of course now I am thinking you totally MUST by a lotto ticket, lol. I mean helloo, you didn’t put a time frame on that first wish.
Any way, love those two paintings so much. The first one really caught my heart. So soft and wishful. They both are fantastic.

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