You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 121.
Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.
Hey friends. Are you ready to do the impossible? Are you ready for some miracles? We could use some miracles right about now, couldn’t we? I can think of a lot of miracles that we might want in this moment when we’re several months into the pandemic and lots of other things.
So let’s talk about today’s guest, it is Lana Shlafer. Lana Shlafer is a manifesting queen, guru, expert, and just saying the term manifesting, I know is a little tricky for some people, there’s a lot of skeptics. What does it mean? It sounds a little woo woo or a lot woo woo and maybe it doesn’t align with my belief system. And there’s a lot there to unpack.
And that’s what I really love about this episode, because Lana really just breaks it down. And it’s not about something religious for her or even super spiritual, it’s pretty much a step-by-step super practical approach to creating what you want in your life, to making your life better today, by what you focus on, how intentional I know all you are. And really she helps people create what they believe to be impossible in their life.
So if you are ready to say, “What is possible for me,” or, “I want that impossible dream and I want to make it happen,” you’re going to absolutely love this episode. I loved it too. And I think that you may have a whole other definition or concept of manifesting after this episode. So enjoy this conversation with Lana Shlafer.
Tobi: Hey, Lana. Welcome to the Design You podcast. I’m excited to talk about manifesting miracles with you today.
Lana: Thank you so much for having me and for saying that without laughing.
Tobi: Oh no, I mean gosh, it sounds like a perfect afternoon to me of really figuring out how to create things you don’t believe are possible. So before we get into that work why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about you, they might not have heard of you yet? So that they kind of understand who you are, a little bit of your story and then we’ll get into this exciting work that you do.
Lana: So it’s always funny to describe yourself in a few sentences. But one of the things that defines me is that I grew up in Russia, I came to the US when I was 12 as a Jewish refugee, my parents got a Green Card. And then I was in San Francisco and lived this goal of creating the American dream.
And worked really hard and went to a really good college and worked in investment banking and had a total quarter life crisis by the time I was in my mid 20s. I had achieved pretty much what my parents had hoped for me and what I had hoped for myself through their eyes. And I was more miserable than ever. I had a raging eating disorder. I pretty much hated my life and thought I was selling myself for money.
And I didn’t know how to even begin thinking about what happiness is, what fulfillment is. Those were not words that I was raised with, I was just trying to survive and fulfill whatever obligations that were in my family. So for me it started this journey of really recognizing, hey, my grandparents and all of my ancestors have really fought for this right to have the privilege really of discovering what freedom can be.
And for the last 15 years essentially I have been on this journey and no end in sight so far. But really discovering what it means for me personally to be fulfilled, well, what happiness is, how I can feel okay within myself. That was my first goal. It wasn’t a very exciting goal. How do I not hate myself was a tall order. And a lot of healing, a lot of personal work and it led me to teach yoga for many years and do personal training.
And then I got into the mindset and manifesting and then I went to graduate school for transpersonal psychology, which is kind of a more holistic fourth wave as they call it of psychology. And all of it now comes together with kind of my own perspective on what life is. And I’ve just been sharing it, people resonated, I have been doing courses, and podcasts, and videos, and all kinds of things. Really just wanting to shout from the rooftops what was not obvious to me at all.
And after I learned it I just felt this fire in me like how come not everybody knows this? Why isn’t this taught everywhere? Why did I not realize that what I feel and what I think will be reflected in my life? Nobody ever taught me that. I just felt powerless in the world. So that’s where the passion really started.
Tobi: Yeah, I agree with you completely. I say this so often, especially when I’m on the phone with my friends who are peers of mine, who are life coaches, or even people on the podcast. And we’re like, “Why does nobody teach us this?” And I do think it’s really fascinating that even in just the last month or so, you’re at least the second, if not, third person that I’ve interviewed for the podcast that have mentioned having a quarter life crisis, which I think is also really fascinating. Because my whole life, I grew up, and I’m sure you did too, thinking that midlife crisis was a thing.
But isn’t it fascinating now that we have a whole generation that it literally only took till 25, not till 50 to kind of have this meltdown because we weren’t in alignment with a lot of things? Like you said, we didn’t love who we are, we’re on this treadmill or we’re trying to just make money or whatever.
So let’s talk about that for a minute before we get into this, because I think this is really important. Why – I mean obviously we could come up with a lot of things off the top of our head of the way culture is in America, especially in our expectations of ourselves. And there’s even everything from the digital world that we live in that moves so fast. Do those things – is that what plays into the fact that so many more people are hitting these kind of breaking points earlier or are they, are they earlier? And what do you think that looks like and why is that happening?
Lana: Well, I think that there are a lot of factors. But one of them, and I talk about this in the book, is – in my book, Manifest That Miracle, which I’m sure we’ll mention later. Is that when you have – nobody can see me but I’m gesturing as I always do.
Tobi: I can see you, yes.
Lana: So imagine I have a couple of inches between the palms of my hands and a hierarchy, one’s lower, one’s higher, so this is where you are, low end. This is where you think you can be and there is a couple of inches between you.
Well, what happened in our society is that with social media, with more awareness in general there’s been so much more possible, in people’s minds, in their vicinity. They now have friends who are taking jobs outside the country or they are seeing whatever, people they went to high school with, or middle school with, doing these amazing things that they would never typically hear about.
And I’m definitely that early generation, like those first Facebook users, I was right in that cusp where I was starting to see that all of this rhetoric of yes, you can be happy, you can have what you want, you can. It was really starting to, I think be a lot louder at that time, and where I was turned out to be created this bigger gap, so the gap was the uncomfortable part. Now, if you’re just poor and you don’t think you can ever have more than what you have and you don’t aspire to anything, there’s a sort of easier approach to say, “Well, I’ve got to make peace with where I am.”
But I had this duality with this whole – and even the immigrant mentality ultimately is like you can get there, you can do what you want, you can. And I did but I felt like I was aiming with all my might but at the wrong target ultimately. And so this possibility was calling me. So, Michael Beckwith has a saying, “You’re pushed by pain until you’re pulled by a vision.”
Tobi: I love Michael Beckwith, he’s awesome.
Lana: I went to Agape for many years, he blessed my pregnancy when I was pregnant with twins. I ended up having this amazing twin home birth. That’s one of my miracles. My twins were born 33 hours apart. They have different birthdays. So that’s one of the miracles that I’ve created. But this idea that I can and it’s possible and now it’s just becoming unbearable to just grind and stay where you are. So I think that the gap is creating even for millennials and Generation Z, this discomfort that is so much stronger than in previous generations where you just couldn’t aspire to much more.
Tobi: Yes, I love this, so a couple of things there. So for one thing it looks like a positive and it can be, depending on how you approach it, is what we’re saying. There’s so many things available to us now in an amazing way. It’s like if the sky was the limit before, it’s 10x better, a 100x better now for what we can do with our lives if we want to. And then there’s the other side of the coin which is but we’re also watching other people do that while we’re not there yet and we’re comparing.
And then I think kind of the third leg of that, it’s like a stool I guess, I don’t know, it’s a little wobbly still. But the third piece of that is the only way we were taught to achieve that stuff is what you just said was the grind. You’ve got to work really hard to make a lot of money or you’ve got to work really hard to have all these things. And that’s not really sustainable for us anymore, especially when we have these super huge goals and we see all these possibilities.
And also maybe it’s not just like we have one super huge goal, but we’re saying yes to all the goals and all the things all at the same time. And it’s a recipe for burnout, right?
Lana: It’s a recipe for burnout, there are so many things that I want to respond to. One is that focus, and dedication, and ability to show up for something is one thing. Anything that you create any kind of greatness in you’re going to need that. But hard, I feel like English is a poor language, I wish it was more like Russian where there were like five words for hard and I could pick the version of hard.
The one where you are so out of alignment with what your soul needs, what you actually desire, so you are doing what you’ve been taught to do and you are trying your best to show up with the dedication, with a focus, with an intensity. But it is again, aiming with all your might but at the wrong target.
So it’s not the aiming with all your might, because when you’re aiming at the right target it feels like co-creation. It feels like you’re just, you know, Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, she calls it it’s like your lover, an affair. You just want to sneak away every moment of the day with your lover, with your passion, you want to write, or you want to edit videos or you want to dance, or you want. Whatever it is that you want to do, it takes hold of you but it is both sides.
It is a relationship that is symbiotic between this creative thing and you, versus what I had going on it was very parasitic. I felt like it was sucking me dry, it was not anything that – I tried to get passionate about it. And I found ways to make it work. But ultimately I was being called towards something else, but in my paradigm of my life I wasn’t allowed to go towards that something because that was supposed to be not successful, people don’t do that.
I wanted to study psychology in college, instead I ended up studying economics, because that was more reasonable and was going to get me a good job. So, all of these desires just kind of had to get squashed for the practicality of things and then the other…
Tobi: Yeah. I was just going to say, I can relate to that in a couple of ways. Two things that were coming up for me there, one, I was kind of envisioning what you were saying as flow, being in flow versus forcing. And a lot of times I do feel like I’m forcing, as the jaws clenched and the, like it feels that kind of hard. And then I can relate so much of what you’re saying about what’s allowed and acceptable. And I think a lot of people can that are my audience members, the creatives, because I have an accounting degree and an MBA and an interior design degree.
And design was the thing I came to later because getting an accounting degree was going to take me to a respectable responsible business. And the other was kind of like the whole starving artist mentality, like it was like…
Lana: I mean it’s so crazy how it’s predetermined, somebody just told you and then we just accepted these beliefs to be true, this path leads here and this path leads here. Even though there is a ton of evidence, that’s the other part of the bargain, there is a ton of evidence now that you can make money as an artist or creative or whatever. So it’s getting harder and harder to stay in that old paradigm, that these paths are valid, and reasonable, and best and these are not.
So I think that the quarter life crisis situation is a great thing because people are waking up earlier and earlier and saying, “You know what, what is true for me?” And nobody can really tell you that. And I do believe a little pushing against is important, a little friction is important, or a lot of friction. It’s the diamonds are created from that pressure, and unless you have the pressure you really don’t know what you want, until you’re feeling what you don’t want you really don’t know what you do want. It is that push by pain until you’re pulled by a vision.
And I think that that’s another common mistake, and I really went through that, or not mistake as much as an assumption. The harps will start playing and the sun will come out and you’ll just know what you’re supposed to do, in this moment of lucid clarity. And as far as I know that does not happen in real life. You’re trying a lot of things, you’re learning as you go along. If you find something that is worth really scaling those obstacles, whatever is in your way, you are learning, and growing, and enjoying it. I’m sure you faced challenges in your design career or in anything else.
But there is a different quality when it is something that you love, you resonate with, that inspires you. Again, it’s like that symbiotic relationship. It gives you something versus just draining you for all your resources. And so I feel like that’s the difference is you do need to give yourself the room to explore, because not everyone’s just going to discover it magically.
And then pay attention, which is another thing that I bring up a lot, just people are so disconnected from their feelings, from their body. I call it living head up. They were just talked out of it for most of their life. [inaudible], “How does this feel?” They’re like, “I don’t know. I have no idea.”
Tobi: I just did a podcast last week about this with my friend who’s a life coach and she teaches people how to have a more healthy relationship with alcohol. And we were talking this exact conversation of like I feel like I live a lot of things. I say from the neck up, but it’s the same thing. I feel like I live so much, especially if you’re driven, if you’re smart, if you’re type A, if you’re used to using your brain to solve your problems, if you’ve been relying on your thinking. And we just completely detach from our body.
But so much of the magic happens, it’s the only place to really feel is like especially in your torso. But from the neck down, your heart’s there, your gut’s there, all those things that are intuitions there. And we’re only operating from our head space, right?
Lana: Those are real processing centers, they are real brains in the body essentially. Your heart has a focus and a function to be able to process information. Your gut has a million things living in it, they keep discovering, I think that’s the leading edge of science and medicine currently. So there are these, if you want to call them multiple brains that are happening in your body. They’re giving you information, but if they are working together, that’s what alignment represents, but with the feeling of connection and wholeness.
People say, “Well, how do I feel whole?” Especially if they feel really broken, or lost, or confused. And you have to add the body in it because you cannot feel whole living from the neck up. How whole are you then? You’re literally using a tiny portion. And really the brain is such a powerful, powerful, focusing and processing mechanism. But it is best used when it includes all the other information.
Tobi: Yes, so good.
Lana: And when it has access to that information then it can compute a totally different outcome. So I am all for rationality, I am all for being skeptical, I am all for using your reason. Just use your reason that includes all the information available to you.
Tobi: Yeah. And you have to do a lot of things like get quiet, and other things to access some of that other information. And a lot of us have a hard time doing that because just like we said, we’re in the hustle and we’re on the treadmill. And we’re forcing ourselves into places we shouldn’t be forcing ourselves really. And then we don’t understand why we can’t hear all of the wisdom that we’re needing to hear, right?
Lana: Yeah. It takes two things to hear. One is recognizing that it’s a master volume button. So as you start to hear some of the intuition, hopes and dreams, kind of clarity about things. You will also be hearing more of the pain, discomfort, the way that you put up with things that really were crossing your boundaries. So, essentially for most people they’re like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I want to hear that part but not that part.”
Tobi: Yes. And I was going to say earlier when you were talking about Michael Bernard Beckwith’s concept of the pain. We were taught that when we felt the pain or the suffering that that meant that was a bad thing, don’t go there. It’s like that means stop, that means turn around, that means go in a different direction.
Lana: Right, except when it comes to the hustle, how paradoxical is that? That’s when you’re supposed to grind or whatever.
Tobi: Grin and bear it, yeah.
Lana: Grin and bear it, which is another thing, that the paradoxes within us are very hard for the body, let’s call it. But there’s parts of you that are literally warring inside of you and no matter which part wins, you lose, because you are all of the parts. So to make sense of this, and so the part of pushing the master volume button, it’s actually not that complicated. And that’s kind of my jam, that’s what I do with people.
The trickiest part of all of this is creating a sense of safety enough in your life where you feel safe, meaning ready, meaning capable, meaning supported, whatever it is, so that you can actually hear all of those things that you’re turning up. And especially some of the lower notes, so I equate all emotions like a keyboard, so you have the lower notes, the higher notes, the in between notes, you have all these octaves. And what a lot of people want to do is they just want to hear the higher notes.
And how annoying is it when somebody’s super ‘positive’ and they’re just going, “nananananana,” upper note. Versus somebody who’s really heavy and they’re going, “Rrr,” that kind of heaviness. What you really want to do is to learn how to play. So you’re not stuck on any one note, you can strike multiple chords.
You can create a masterpiece, any great masterpiece of an experiment, of an experience, a project or a person is going to have the full keyboard, but they are masterfully playing it, it’s not playing them. And most people feel like their emotions are playing them and they are powerless.
Tobi: Yes, absolutely. And I think that you’re right, when we’re in just the positive space people are like, “Well, that’s not even possible,” and they’re really skeptical. But when you’re in just the negative space nobody wants that either, that whole Debbie Downer and everything’s always a problem. And you get into feeling depressed and a lot of that. So what you’re saying is we’ve got to put the good that causes the positivity with the bad. So what did you say, it was the pain and the vision almost? You’ve got to bring them together.
Lana: I’m not a huge fan of terms like good and bad or right and wrong. I call it all information. This is telling me this is not comfortable.
Tobi: Feedback, yeah, I love the word feedback, yeah.
Lana: Viral feedback, this is not feeling good, something’s off, your body’s probably indicating to you that – I don’t know – you need to draw a boundary, you need to move away, you need to do something, whatever that situation is.
Tobi: Yes, rest, something, yeah.
Lana: Maybe, whatever it is. Now, if you don’t want to hear it, you’re going to keep suppressing it and it’s just going to get louder and stronger. And that’s when it feels like it’s bigger than you. And the higher notes are also not good, and in some absolute sense, they’re also information. They are saying, “Okay, there’s something here that I want to keep exploring, this is exciting.”
But just like too much of a good thing, it’s too one sided. You could love orgasms but you don’t want to lay in bed all day every day. You want to do other things in there, so the entire spectrum of the life experience that is valuable, meaningful. I used to say quite frequently that it’s a gift. But a lot of people would take it to be like you have to find something ‘good or positive’ in it, and that’s not what I mean.
When I was in grad school for therapy one of the key things that I learned was that one of the best ways that we could support a client is to help them make meaning of what they’ve lived and what they’re living currently. When we make meaning, when it can make sense, when there is a framework that is loving, or compassionate, or hopeful, or just in some way organized, it already starts to feel like there is more wholeness and more peace within ourselves.
So people want to get to the peace by skipping all of the notes that they now need to learn how to play. And this is not the way that you can do it. So they either spiritually bypass and pretend they’re there, which is not very effective because their body will frequently signal in lots of ways to them that they are bypassing the stuff. Or they really are so afraid of these notes where they will go into depression and all kinds of other things.
So I feel like I’m neither the bearer of good news or bad news, I am more of an informant, like this is what I’ve recognized as nature of reality. And we can find our way in it. My goal has always been to have fun doing it and to look at it as an experiment and something that you can hopefully enjoy as the process. So in my book and in my programs, I do everything I can to make it ‘fun’. Fun meaning something you can enjoy, learn from, something that is a balance on those notes, so you’re striking the chord in multiple places, doesn’t feel all heavy or all light, it’s kind of a blend.
So that you can really learn how to play, again, if I was a piano teacher, I would want you to play all of these chords and learn how to master it, and be able to flow between them. And that’s really what mastery is, is that you can be in a place where something triggered you and you are angry. You can feel the anger, you can express it, you can allow it in. You can let it inform you. You can make a choice that then gets you to a place of whatever that anger was indicating. Have the conversation, saying no to something, doing something else, rising up.
And then you are able to receive the meaning and the value of that experience so you’re not upset at yourself for being upset, which is so common. When you’re resisting what you’re feeling, which is the hardest thing, because you can’t be not feeling what you’re feeling, but yet you are really mad at yourself for feeling what you’re already feeling.
Tobi: Well, yeah, because I think that we’re taught that we’re supposed to be happy all the time. And that this shouldn’t be happening and we shouldn’t be having anything negative, and we should never feel anxious or nervous or angry or anything else.
In my experience, which aligns a lot with what you’re talking about is when I’m just hanging out only in the happy place, a lot of times it’s not even the truth, it’s some level of buffering and covering up reality. It’s like that’s why we all use food and alcohol, and Netflix and everything to try to sort of fake feeling good. Or we’re really in the dumps about this negative thing, instead of like you’re saying, I love to get a little space and go, “This is only here to teach me something. It’s not, not supposed to be here, it’s 100% supposed to be here. It’s also not the end of the world.”
I just need to open up my eyes and say like you said, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” So that’s what you’re saying. And one of the main things we may need to learn is we’re not made to be happy 100% of the time. And for me, my growth comes more often in the moments that aren’t as happy. And it might not be that they’re unhappy, they just may be like anxiety or they may be nervousness, or they may be boredom, or they may be something unmotivated or uninspired. But that’s where I learn the most, when I have allowed myself to learn how to let those emotions in.
Lana: Well, I hear you a 100%, and especially women, I like to remind us that we’re people, not dolls. We are not one-sided somehow robotic, like this is what we feel. And too, one of the things that’s kind of my little bit of a gripe with the kind of life coaching and self-help industry, is I find a lot of people sharing what works and these formulas, always kind of irked me. Because I feel like the quality of our life depends on the quality of the questions we ask.
Tobi: True, yes, very true.
Lana: And I really seek to ask better questions, and that is a service that I try to give to myself and to my clients. So when you ask, “How can this serve me?” And I keep refining these questions that I ask myself at times of extreme fulfillment and at times of extreme un-fulfillment and everything in between. I’ll ask myself, “What are the factors that are really adding to – what do I feel? Why am I feeling this? What can I learn from it?” One of my favorite questions is to say, “What if this was for me?”
Tobi: Yes, I love that too.
Lana: What would be enough for me? And it’s light, it’s not like I’m pre tuned to myself saying, “This is for you. You’ve got to look at this way.” And it’s not cram down your throat kind of approach, it’s more, “Hey, try this on.” And it inevitably feels better to say, “What if this was for me?”
Tobi: I love that question too. Yeah, the way I say it is, “What if this is happening for me?” Yeah, instead of happening against me or whatever, and of course it’s not like the weird thing like somehow we made something horrible happen to happen for us. But because it is happening, because it is reality, what shifts in us if we just play with that idea, or that question, or that thought. Hey, what happens if I choose to ask myself the question or believe this is happening for me? And you open up a world of other thoughts and ideas and information.
And a lot of times it just moves us out of the place of being stuck or resisting reality and moves us into…
Lana: Yeah, which is the worst place to be.
Tobi: Yeah, it’s terrible, and moves us into a world of possibilities, right?
Lana: Yeah. And at that point you’re seeing with new eyes, you’re listening with new ears. Everything is different, and from the place of feeling stuck you can’t imagine some of the things that are after you got unstuck and you’re in this place of possibility.
So a lot of times I don’t even try to convince people that this is what’s going to happen and this, because I have seen it a million times at this point. I’m like, “You will think differently, look differently, the people that you’re interacting with, your interactions will change. Everything will shift. But let’s just start with do you feel better?” Because I feel like that has to be the main measuring tool, and better is a very open ended, you know, [crosstalk].
Tobi: Yeah. I mean is it 1% better, is it 99% better? But just it’s better, right?
Lana: Right. You’re moving in the right direction, it’s like hot or cold, like here it’s warmer, warmer, warmer so keep going. If it’s colder, colder, maybe you should look for something else. So it again comes back to if you’re not aware of how you feel and if you haven’t learned how to use that information as guidance, that is absolutely step one. And what I love to remind people is, “Listen, you were born knowing this. You knew this as a kid, go back.”
Even kids that had the worst childhoods, there were moments where they were at peace, where they were involved with something, kids have this incredible ability to just focus on what’s in front of them and not really remember or pay attention to what happened before or what’s coming after. And that kind of presence allows you to really feel what you’re feeling. They also have no filtering ability. They haven’t learned how to block it out.
And so I love to remind people, “You’re not learning this, you’re just remembering, but you knew this. You’re literally just remembering what you used to do.” It doesn’t mean, because inevitably people will be like, “What, I’m just supposed to be lazy all the time and not do anything or become comfortable?”
And I’m like, “Come on, you don’t have to be swinging the pendulum all the way back, it’s not either or, it’s both and. Yes, you can still go to your job and you can be paying attention to how you’re feeling and noticing when you feel better and when you feel worse and making those shifts in your life to feel better.” It’s not some extreme, you’ve got to quit everything.
That’s a part of the, I guess, questions that I find to be not as useful is what if I do this diet? It’s like these binary questions that are yes or no. But typically cannot encompass the full answer, versus if you say, “What about this? What about this? What if part of this works, part of that works?” I’m sure that’s how you built a lot of your business is you’re like, “Well, let me try this, let me explore this.” And then you take those pieces and you integrate, that’s creativity, you get to create something new.
And I do feel in our heart of hearts human beings really want to create, it’s a necessity. When you watch kids they want to build things, they want to have imaginary friends, they want to draw. They want to do something that creates something that they don’t currently see. And I feel like if you want to broaden, because I think everyone needs to ask themselves, “What is fulfillment?”
What is fulfillment? Because that’s like a word that people throw around. To some people, it’s money, to some people it’s relationships, to some people it’s maybe being a parent or whatever. I find that whenever someone reaches the tangible thing that they think is fulfillment, it doesn’t actually leave them fulfilled forever.
Tobi: Almost never.
Lana: So then they’ll start asking back questions like, “Okay, well, if this isn’t fulfillment, what would fulfillment be for me?” If it’s not in this person, or this situation, or this manifestation within itself, so the irony of me teaching manifestation is that I don’t teach manifestation at all. I teach how to manifest yourself.
Tobi: Yes, that’s so good, so good.
Lana: How to create yourself, so that you can create fulfillment wherever you are.
Tobi: I love that, okay, so let’s get into that, because we’ve kind of been talking about really, okay, you’ve got to learn to feel your feelings. The first step is really to kind of cut out all of these just black and white, good or bad, all of this. And really get into your body and say, “How does this make me feel or not?” But if we want to really create that life of fulfillment and we want to get into the idea of manifesting, being in charge of our own destiny, creating that exact life we want.
And maybe what we dream about we don’t even really believe is totally possible. We see it, we see other people doing it. Maybe we don’t believe it’s possible for us. And maybe we even don’t even believe manifesting something is possible. What do we do? How do we get into this next level of thinking that allows us to create exactly what it is that we’re wanting? Because you even call them miracles, manifesting miracles, not just like the everyday, but the next whole other level of a life of fulfillment, so how do we do that?
Lana: Well, my definition of a miracle is something that hasn’t happened yet, that’s it. It used to feel like a complete and utter fantasy for somebody to fly to the moon for a human. Until somebody went and did it and it was a fact. It used to be a complete like, you know, there used to be scientific papers actually saying it can’t be done to run a mile in under four minutes. It was deemed completely impossible by a human to do that until Roger Bannister went and did that and then everyone else did it afterwards.
So if you start to recognize that if – actually Michael Beckwith, speaking of him, he has a really, really great story and I’ll probably butcher it. But he told it one time in one of his services, that there was a group of mathematicians and this guy was in class at grad school. And he came into class late and the professor handed them some homework but he came in so late he missed the first part of it and just got whatever it was. And then went away and spent however long it was, a week or two weeks or whatever it was, doing it.
And I really wish I remembered the full story and the names, and I don’t. But I remember the essence of the story which is he came back and dropped off last minute into professor’s inbox that homework after he spent all this time, it was such a difficult theorem, such a difficult problem. He’s like, “Oh my God, why can’t I get this? Why can’t I get this? This has to have a solution, why can’t I get this? This is an assignment, there has to be a solution, I have to get it.”
So he turned in his best solution to the professor and then he gets a knock at 3:00am on his door and it’s his professor in his pajamas standing there. He’s like, “Did you do this?” And he’s like, “Yes.” He goes, “This is like a scientific discovery. This was an unsolvable theorem that I gave you guys to explore.” That the beginning part of the class is like he said, “It has never been solved, this is something that.” So he had the idea, somebody is going to do this.
Tobi: Yeah, he believed it was possible, he didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be, yeah.
Lana: So when you recognize that hey, maybe it’s impossible, I just say, “Okay, maybe it’s impossible, try anyway. Do what you can and explore the journey as a part of the destination.” So let’s say I want to – I don’t know – a lot of people want to manifest money. Let’s say you want to build a seven figure business, and you’re starting off and you have never built a business and you don’t know what you’re doing.
So if you can accept that the journey there is going to be something that’s valuable. You don’t have to want every part of being an entrepreneur, until you’re in it you really won’t know anyway. But you can at least acknowledge that this is something that’s possible. Somebody else did it, why not me?
And you just put one foot in front of the other and you will have all the notes on that keyboard. You will have the highs, the lows; everything in between you will have to learn. And you will get to the million if you get to the million and you’ll realize that the biggest reward is not the million at all. It’s who you’ve become. But the million was a really good focusing goal. So I’m all for goals as long as you recognize that they within themselves will not fulfill you.
Tobi: Yeah, that’s so good, because people don’t know that. And then they’re so frustrated or confused. And are like, I thought I wanted to be on the cover of a magazine. I thought I wanted to make two million dollars. I thought I wanted to have the perfect husband or have a baby. Why do I feel so bad, right? Yeah.
Lana: Because no feeling lasts forever, and you’re not going to feel fulfilled forever. Have you ever had a feeling for forever? No. So you’ve got to accept that you are going to have a range of emotions, if you’re going to be human on this planet. So recognizing that that fulfillment will be short lived, but who you’ve become you get to keep.
Tobi: That’s so good, that is so, so, so good. I haven’t ever heard it said exactly that way and I love it, because I think we get wrapped up in saying, “It’s about the journey, it’s not the destination.” But I love how you just said it, the fulfillment will be short lived but who you’ve become you get to keep. That is wow, so good.
Lana: Thank you.
Tobi: Mic drop.
Lana: Mic drop. And you know it’s so simple when you start really applying these principles. And by simple I mean it is not complex to understand. My kids understand manifesting. It doesn’t mean they perfectly implement it, it doesn’t mean that they are somehow are, again, not emotional and don’t feel all the emotions. But they do know how to work with their emotions and that’s what I’m hoping to teach people, is to not feel punished by life and to not feel powerless by what’s happening.
But to be able to recognize that if this is here to serve me, in what way? What am I really creating? What am I really learning and experiencing? And that creates a fulfillment that is beyond that one singular goal that you might have had. But like I said, I am all for picking a goal, I just laugh because a lot of people will be like, “If I just meet the partner of my dreams.” And I always joke, “Well, just wait, then you have with that one.”
Tobi: Right, yeah, and pick up his socks. You’re going to have him but he might drive you crazy the way he chews so loudly, or when he snores, or all the things that come with it, right? Yeah.
Lana: Totally. Totally. You just recognize that there will be all of these elements. Great, so then set a goal to not be annoyed by his chewing, just to get to enjoy meals together without focusing on that. So I think we do need goals and visions as a way to focus.
Tobi: I love that.
Lana: And so I feel like they are kind of our, you know, it’s like you program your GPS; this is where your destination is, but you don’t want to – if you’re let’s say traveling for the first time through France or something. You don’t want to just get to the destination, you want to enjoy, you want to taste all of the street food.
Tobi: The countryside and see the views and all the things, yeah.
Lana: You want to drink all the French wine, you want to…
Tobi: Have some geleta or some desert, whatever, what are they called in the little? Cream puffs, in France, yeah, all the things, yeah.
Lana: You want to have all the things, so this is my kind of current definitions of fulfillment is, is that – and I have this quote in the book, to get what you want you have to want what you’ve got.
Tobi: So good too, yes, absolutely.
Lana: So if I can want what I’ve got, because it is not going to be here forever, then I feel like I am really kind of able to enjoy the fulfillment, suck out the fulfillment of this moment, and then the next moment, and then the next moment. And they’re all different moments, some involve a crying toddler, and some involve sitting on a Caribbean beach in Puerto Rico where I live. But I can suck the enjoyment, even when my toddler’s crying, I just keep thinking – because he’s my third, I’m thinking he’s not going to last. I won’t be able to comfort him for…
Tobi: I’ll wish back for those moments when I could put him in my lap, yeah, my daughter’s 15 tomorrow, so I can relate to that, yeah.
Lana: So that kind of a capacity to enjoy what is and really find value in it is mastering. To me that’s enlightenment, that’s what, you know, when I studied yoga and the master’s, [inaudible] master, some of them were in the aesthetic path – or not aesthetic, what do you call it when you denounce everything? There is a word, English is not my first language so I forget sometimes. Anyway, when you denounce the worldly possessions and you go…
Tobi: Got you, yes, like that a monk or someone does, it’s called…
Lana: Yeah, there is a word.
Tobi: Yeah, it’ll come to me in a second, I wasn’t on that train of thought at all. I’ve got you, yeah.
Lana: But you don’t have to choose that path. That is a path to kind of bridge that gap because what they did is that gap between where you are and what you want is very small. You just want to live on a bed of nails and eat some berries from the – that’s what you’ve got. So there is a sense of fulfillment. However, if you have the big visions and the sense of possibility, a part of bridging that gap has to be to appreciate where you are currently as well.
Tobi: Well, I love a lot of what you’re saying. I mean gosh, it’s so beautiful, for one thing. Because so many people spend so much time already looking to the next phase and not wanting what they have. Even though they thought they wanted it, they never want it. I don’t want it today, when I arrive to tomorrow I’m not going to want it either. Everything’s always in the future. And I have to really fight that because I’m very future focused, which can be a good thing. But if you can’t really be in the moment at all then it can become problematic.
But I also love that from the standpoint of thinking of manifesting or even goals, when you already know that it is about enjoying the process, the journey and what you’re becoming, that I don’t think you have to hold so tightly to those goals. And so to me I can already see how that allows some of the forcing to fall away, because you need it as your spot you’re trying to land, it’s kind of your North Star. But it’s less about the getting there, and I think that opens up so much possibility. Because I think so often we’re too hyper focused on the goal and we miss a lot of information.
I mean that goes right back to the whole feeling of the things, we’re like we don’t listen to the feelings, we don’t listen to the experiences. We’re not learning, we’re not picking up all the wisdom because we’re so hyper focused on I’ve got to get the million dollars or I’ve got to get the man or I’ve got to get the, whatever it is. And I can really see it’s so beautiful, it just kind of loosens your grip a little bit on this, to me, which is beautiful.
Lana: Yeah, it loosens your grip on how to get there. When the goal is important enough to you, meaning you feel it in all of your body centers, like having kids, or being in love, or creating some sort of social change. That really speaks to you at every level, you don’t let go of the vision, you let go of the resistance about how to get there.
Tobi: Yes, the forcing, yeah, the forcing.
Lana: Because there’s so many paths to that, and when you are focused on finding some meaning and fulfillment in the journey you will actually look with new eyes and see paths that you did not see before. Because if you want to just get to a million dollars and you think it’s got to be this way and you’re very, you know, you’ve got your blinders on, you’re micro focused, you might be missing all these other ways that could be, and this is so frequent.
And I’m sure you’ve heard this, when you hear people who have really created an incredible level of success they will frequently say, “It was like one thing led to another. And I did this thing and then it moved me in this direction.” They couldn’t have predicted this path. They were literally following this path of least resistance as Abraham Hicks calls it. Or that attunement to their body that is saying, “Ooh, this is good, this is enjoyable, this is value for me, this is valuable for others, let me do more of it. How else can I do it better?”
And you end up finding this, what feels like a circuitous path, which might actually be the most direct path, and especially the path that doesn’t give you cancer or divorces or whatever.
Tobi: Yeah, a heart attack, yeah.
Lana: Heart attacks, I mean the kind of linear success that we’re talking about comes at a really high cost. For most people it will be a huge sacrifice and when – this is kind of what led me to my quarter life crisis, I realized, what am I sacrificing it for? The result wasn’t worth it to me. I wasn’t like feeding hungry children in the world. I wasn’t doing anything that was particularly important to me. I was making more money for the companies that were in Silicon Valley, it just didn’t have a zest for me in it.
And so you realize that that kind of sacrifice, again, that parasitic relationship with your goal, like you’ve got to kill yourself to get to that goal. What kind of goal is that? But if you can say, “This is a vision that just grips me, this has meaning to me.” For some people it might be creating beauty in people’s lives. It’s something they think about in the middle of the night, it’s something they like to talk about. I’ve always been the person that people come to, to talk about their emotions, and their problems, and their situations. I love people more than I love numbers or anything else.
So it was always there and when I started putting that same kind of focus and intensity towards aiming in the right direction, it’s almost like whole new worlds opened up to me. To be able to find those paths of least resistance, and they looked weird, why would I have done yoga for so many years and then went to this kind of not very well known grad school when I could have gone to Berkeley or wherever? It was something that called me. I did the school visits.
I was actually going to go, I graduated from Berkeley in my undergrad. So I did research there and thought that I would go back and get my PhD. So I went, which was so genius, and I recommend this for everyone. I interned there for a summer, I was working and I would go one day a week and be in their labs. And some of the people that were studying, ‘prosocial emotions’, which are empathy, love, compassion were some of the most miserable people I have ever met.
I was like, “I do not want anything that has to do with this. I do not want to get a degree, for what? How is this getting me anywhere closer to any kind of fulfillment?” I kind of reached a point where I was like, even if I die trying, I’m going to look for this goal, because I realized that I could achieve almost anything. I do have that kind of drive. But for what, this is what my grandparents died for, so I could just sit here and collect money and have 2.5 kids and a car and a picket fence?” That felt very un-fulfilling.
And if that fulfills you, go for it, that everyone is different and to not be apologetic about your desires whatever they are. But also be clear that it’s something that you actually want truly at every level of your being. And you will know that when it is in your dreams, when you can’t wait to think about it.
Tobi: Yeah. And if you’re willing to question too, if you’re willing to ask hard questions and not just follow the path that someone told you, your parents told you or that you’re seeing other people, kind of like we started out earlier, like not just getting on. Okay, so you’ve said so many amazing things that I’ve really resonated with. But let’s talk specifically about manifesting and tell me first your definition of manifesting? What is manifesting?
Lana: Manifesting is perceiving what you don’t currently see.
Tobi: Okay. So that’s fascinating because it’s not necessarily getting something you don’t currently have.
Lana: That you don’t have, which is so resistant, I’ve got to go and get that thing out there.
Tobi: And I think that’s what people think manifesting is, they’re like, “I currently don’t have any money and I’m going to just manifest, I’m going to read the book, The Secret, and a million dollars is going to fall into my lap.” And you’re saying that this is not at all what manifesting is. It is about the way we perceive, the way we think.
Lana: It is a perception shift. So for example, let’s say I did a launch and it brought in 100,000 let’s say, dollars. So however many people that had to join to do this thing, that money already existed, those people already existed. They were already interested in manifesting before they saw my book or before they saw one of my courses. That was already in existence but if I couldn’t perceive it I couldn’t receive it.
Tobi: Yes, absolutely, meaning almost like if you couldn’t believe it, if you couldn’t believe they were there for you or that they wanted your thing, or that you needed their thing then you couldn’t come together, those two things?
Lana: Exactly, it is things coming together, which is one of the terms that a lot of people like to use in the law of attraction and I love it. Co-creation, that you are creating with something else that is also creating, and you are coming together. So all manifestation is a meeting of something that you couldn’t see previously, so when you ‘manifest’ your ideal partner, they were also already in existence, you just didn’t know them, didn’t see them, didn’t recognize them.
Didn’t create the kind of interaction that you’re having, that’s another way of saying like create the perception that for example let’s say a couple is fighting. And so here they go, one is getting triggered, triggering the other, everyone’s mad. And they have whatever defense mechanisms that drive them further apart. When they want to create an amazing relationship where, for example, they feel loved, and seen, and supported, and whatever intimacy and love means to them.
One of the big perception shifts that has to happen is they have to see each other as on the same side versus the problem or the opportunity, otherwise you’re just fighting each other. Again, no matter who wins the other one loses, that is not a good relationship. That is not a relationship that will nourish each part, so all problems are problems of perception.
Tobi: So good, yeah, really good.
Lana: Now, that has deep roots and I feel like I’m so used to objection that I’m already jumping in to say that does mean that you do not act, that you do not take action, that you do not actually make decisions and go places and do things, just because, is it a perception problem, the goal of all the tools that I teach.
This is one of the quotes, the formulas or whatever you want to say in my book is that inspired intention plus inspired action equals miracles. That you can’t just have intention and just have action because that’s where you’re picking a goal and you’re killing yourself to get it. That equals some sort of sacrifice and maybe some success in someone’s definition.
But when there is that level of inspiration, and I define it to be something that you do need to connect with within yourself, some sort of connection, whether your soul, or God, or whatever you want to call it, but there has to be that connection with your purpose. And then there is inspired action, and without the action you are getting nowhere, you’re just daydreaming. And with those two things combined you are unstoppable. So it is having that inspired vision that feels to you like it is an element of your purpose, of fulfillment, it has meaning to it. It has intrinsic value.
And then you take the inspired action, meaning you don’t keep hammering at everything, you actually learn different tools, you learn to approach things. You flow as you said; you’re fluid in how you get there. That’s when – there’s a saying in yoga that enlightenment is accidental. And yoga practice just makes you prone to accidents. And I kind of feel like miracles are accidental, you cannot make it happen just with the power of your will. But when you do all these manifesting practices that I teach in my book you’re kind of prone to miracles.
Tobi: I love it.
Lana: It becomes more and more your norm.
Tobi: Yeah, because you’re looking for them, you’re looking for them and so then you can – I mean that’s the only way you can see them. Yeah, I love it. And I love that you kind of cleared up, I think that’s a huge misconception that when people hear the term ‘manifest’, again, it’s like you’re just passively sitting there and something falls into your lap, which is not at all what you’re saying. Not only is this active, that you’re doing something, but really the main thing you’re doing is changing the way you think about things, yeah/
Lana: Right. So if you’re sitting there and you’re visioning whatever it is that you want. Let’s say you’re envisioning your organization growing and serving people. And you are seeing the faces of the people whose lives you’re transforming, you are shaking their hands, and you are crying the happy tears, and you are writing the thank you notes, and you are reading their love notes. Are you kidding? You could not sit on your couch for one minute after you really enter there, you’re going to want to go and jump into action.
That’s the kind of inspired action where there is this intention behind it, and it feels almost like you’re carried, it feels like there is a momentum there propelling you to move in that direction. That’s when you can move mountains.
With all my births that I’ve had that we’ve had all these miracles with, a lot of my other miraculous manifestations. I’ve had a ton of dream home manifestations. We’re now living at this beach front home with the Caribbean over here. All of them, it was some intention, I had visioned how I wanted to feel, I had visioned looking out the Caribbean ocean when I’m writing my book and when I am doing the calls. And all of these things just led me to action.
A realtor said, “Hey, have you seen this? Hey, this happened.” All of a sudden all things happening, I had a limit in my budget. I said, “This is the most that we are willing to go.” It was so unreasonable, it was so unreasonable what we were asking. But yet they said, “Yes,” so now we got the deal that we wanted.
So it is taking that inspired action and not being too attached to the outcome like you said, for any one thing. Because I just knew, there is a house out there for us. There is already the perfect place. I just can’t see it yet. That’s one of those perceptions, I would talk to the house, I would walk by houses, I would say, “Is it you? Is it you? Is it you?” I had a heck of a lot of fun doing it. I’d go to people’s houses here and I’d be like, “Ooh, some day I might live in your house.”
I had a lot of fun doing that, the irony of it is that the dream house, when I saw their view, I thought – this was my first week landing in Puerto Rico, so we’d been at a smaller place leasing here. And I landed at a party at their house and it is right on the ocean, it has a spectacular view. And then I told them, “Every time I visualize my dream home I now visualize your view.” And the couple was like, “That’s so sweet.” I am literally above them; I am actually higher, so I have a 270 degree view, not just of their ocean, but all around it now. But it is hilarious that it’s literally that view, just the house.
Tobi: Yeah, it’s amazing, awesome. Okay, so if people are like, “I’m in, I hear you, I’m ready to do the work.” How do they find you? How do they learn this process? How do they get your book? Is it out? Is it ready to go? Tell them where to find you.
Lana: Yes, yes, yes. My website lanashafler.com has the book and everything else. You could also just go lanashafler.com/book to go to the direct page if you want to get the book. It’s on Amazon, it’s out on kindle. It’s coming out on September 15th on audible and December 1st in print. So we have a stretched out launch. We wanted to get the kindle out, especially with everything happening in Covid, we’re like, “We’ve got to get it out.” So we got the kindle out super fast. And so you’re going to be able to have it in all these ways.
So get it on my website for free or go get it on Amazon and I would love to hear from you. As you are reading, as you are trying these things, I really love the interaction and the co-creation, so please let me know if something really jumps out at you. And tag both of us, say, “I listened to this podcast with this crazy Russian girl.”
Tobi: Yeah. And so on Instagram, they can find you on Instagram, is it at Lana Shlafer?
Tobi: Awesome. Okay, well, we’ll put all that stuff as we always do in the show notes and they’ll be able to find you. Thank you so much, I really loved this, I can’t wait. I’m a huge reader. I can’t wait to read the book. I’m so excited to get it. And I just really love how you really redefined this whole process because I think it just takes a lot of the stigma and a lot of the fear, and a lot of the skepticism out of this process.
When we don’t think it’s necessarily this woo woo thing that’s outside of us. It’s literally just us changing the way we show up and I think that’s so amazing and I really love it, so thank you for that.
Lana: Thank you so much. I loved this conversation.
Okay friends, do you think differently now about manifesting? Are you open to it a little bit more maybe? Did anything shift with you? And at the very least did it just allow you to open up a little bit about what you think is possible in your life? I hope that happened for you. One of our core values of our company, Tobi Fairley is a belief in what’s possible. So this goes hand-in-hand with that and I hope you’re thinking bigger about what’s possible for you.
And if you want to get Lana’s book, she created a specific link for us, listeners of our podcast can go grab it, a free copy of her book that’s called Manifest That Miracle. And you can get that by going to lanashlafer.com/tobi – T.o.b.i. So we’ll put it in the show notes, but go check it out. You can get the book for yourself absolutely free thanks to Lana. And let us know what you think about it, what you think about the book, what you think about this episode. I can’t wait to hear from you.
And I’m expecting big things for you guys. We’ve got, what, five or so months still left in the year, to create some impossible stuff in our lives if we haven’t done that already. So I’m rooting for you. I’m here for you and I’m excited to see exactly what’s possible for all of us in the very near future.
And I’ll see you back here next week with another episode of The Design You Podcast. Bye for now.
Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.