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What You Focus On Will Grow.

Ever wonder how some people create exactly what they want in their lives? Click through for the secret on how you can learn to do this too.

While I was getting ready for the day this morning, a somewhat shocking thought popped into my head: I’m actually living the life I’ve always dreamed of.  I mean not everything is exactly as I want it to be, but for the most part it’s pretty great. I wanted a pretty simple life surrounded with the basics–a loving partner, comfortable home and meaningful work–and all of a sudden, I have all of that.  If someone had told me years ago when I was flying solo in my cozy apartment that I would feel this way , I might not have believed it.  It just always seemed like it would happen sometime in the future.

But these things didn’t happen by accident, I was taught how to draw them closer.

Growing up each summer before the school year started, I’d go on an annual goal setting luncheon with my mom and that really set the stage for a lot of my powerful, positive beliefs. It’s pretty simple: think good thoughts and good things happen.  I’ve seen it work over + over.  And even though I have always believed in affirmations, setting goals and putting ‘it’ out there in the universe, when these actual things come to pass?  It still feels a little bit like magic.

Because the saying is true–what you focus on, will grow.  When I’m in a bad mood, all I recognize is the nasty person on the check out line or the horrible events happening in the world.  When I’m in a happier, more intentional state of mind, it’s easy to recognize the sweet words from a friend or the magical luminosity of the full moon.  I see it again and again: I create my own reality.

So as I gear up for the next phase of my life–growing deeper in my relationship with Chris, working to make my art business bloom and sprucing up our little nest –I want to tattoo this phrase on my heart so I never forget.  What I focus on will grow.

I want to focus on guilt-free, gentle living.  I want to enjoy the birds and wildlife in my backyard and spend hours blissfully painting in my studio.  I want to love Chris up so much that he’s a puddle of calm.  It all sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

So what stops me from always being this way?

I started reading this book called The Big Leap last week and it talks all about this exact topic: what stops us from accepting that we could always be content, happy or satisfied?  The author insists that it’s about how we periodically reach what we believe is our own ‘upper limit’.  Which means this:  when we feel like we’ve gotten to what we believe is the level of happiness we deserve, we self-sabotage.  We stop the flow of happiness and good vibes right in their tracks; it’s as if we don’t believe we have the right to an endless well of good fortune.  And yet, we do.

So I try to remember: what if I let go of those old fears + boring script that runs around in my head and expected happiness as the norm?  It would continue to improve my life, and here’s the kicker–it would make other people’s lives better, too.  Because aren’t we are all encouraged by other people’s success and happiness?

I’m deciding to look at it as bravery to accept continual happiness as my right, even though it may feel a little arrogant at times.  And maybe it’s even my duty to show how you too, can be perpetually satisfied; all  you have to do is focus on what you really, really want.





Related: Creating a vision board and How to create what you want

What You Focus On Will Grow.2018-03-29T20:23:10-04:00

You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.

Did you know that you're absolutely magical? You can manifest whatever you want, you just have to decide what it is! Click through to read--You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.

Did you know that you're absolutely magical? You can manifest whatever you want, you just have to decide what it is! Click through to read--You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.

I love the whole process of creating.  Even better, I love hearing about the process of how other people create because we’re all magicians in our own way + I love learning new tricks.

And whether we realize it or not, everyone is always creating.  It can be for a change in life circumstances, a new job or making new habits; it all falls under the umbrella of manifesting what we want.

The act of creation is the ultimate expression of getting what’s on the inside to show up on the outside.

Every change starts with a feeling. I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction + the power of thoughts, and I have experienced first hand that the best way to create what you want is to stay positive.  What you focus on will grow.

Because your feelings are your compass.  And your primary focus with those feelings should be to always feel good. When you focus on feeling good, specifically about what you want, you’re sending a signal out that will attract back to you the material equivalent. You don’t want to attract back your bad mood, right?

Your feelings are like a smoke signal to the universe.

So how do we actually use this idea of creating what we want and have it actually work? It’s pretty simple, but most people make it waaaayyyy more complicated than it needs to be.  Here’s the trick on how to create: act as though the object of your desire is already present in your life.  Think about it like it is already here, and watch it magically appear.

I know this all sounds hippie-dippie, but trust me, it works.

Here’s an example: want to lose weight? Start thinking about how your body will move differently once the weight is off and practice moving like a skinnier person.  Go shopping and check out some clothes that will fit you at your new weight.  Visualize yourself doing an activity easily that may be a bit of a struggle right now.  Act as if.  Be intentional about the feelings you’re putting out there.

Here are some ways that I maintain an environment of feeling good so I can create what I want:

  • I keep a list of feeling/pictures/phrases/memories that bring me to a good space.  When I am feeling down or needing a moment of inspiration, I refer to these lists/images for a boost.  It immediately gives me a lift and brings me back to the place of feeling light and happy. Creating from that place is much easier.
  • I wear clothes that allow me to move, breathe and be comfortable.  I feel like the more restricted my clothes are, the more restricted my feelings get.  My litmus test?  I want to be able to sit indian style at any given moment without feeling I’m going to split my pants/skirt.
  • I schedule time each week to be creative.  Even if it feels a little too contrived at the time and I’m not in the mood, I just get my body and mind there in the space;  eventually I get inspired and explore ways to express my creativity.  This set time keeps me moving forward in my creative path so I’m ready when inspiration strikes, kind of like building a habit.  Right now my blocks of time each week is my abstract painting class and Friday morning painting–anything other than those times is a bonus.
  • I try to stay open to inspiring moments throughout the day.  A beautifully colored leaf or tinker of laughter can ignite my heart at any moment.  I try not to wait for that lightning bolt of inspiration, but  try to be thrilled by everyday life so I stay in the flow.
  • I seek out others who are on the same path.  Birds of a feather, right?  Social media makes it so easy to check out what others are doing and get inspired; the different communities I chime in on give me courage to keep creating and help me appreciate the process rather than constantly sprinting to the finish line.

You are a glorious magician. What will you create today?





P.S. What is calling you? and How are you stoking your creative fire?

You Are A Magician: How To Create What You Want.2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

Change Is Inevitable. {How You Deal With It Is Optional.}

How do you handle change? Click through to hear about how a common experience helped me to handle change as an adult and how it may help you, too.

I can remember my first day of kindergarten quite vividly–I wore a navy jumper and was rockin’ a Dorothy Hamill bowl cut.  I had been working myself into a tizzy for months; that summer I got up everyday and practiced packing my bag for school.  (Yes, I actually did this.)  I am the third of four kids, so I’m not sure who was more excited–me or my parents, but their calm and encouraging attitude fueled my glee.

Little me

Little me going to kindegarten.

Fast forward to the Fall of 1991, my parents were sending me out into the big world again, but this time it was college.  When they dropped me off at the residence hall, I was choking back the tears because I wasn’t ready for that change; I was still in high school mode and used to having my childhood friends close at hand.  (I learned years later that my mom wasn’t ready for the change either–she cried the whole way home.)   But at the time, we each put on a brave face and marched toward the next phase of life.

Change can often feel like both of these extremes–exciting and fun or nerve-wracking and dreadful–it depends on how you approach it.

It’s natural for us to dig our heels in and want the comfort and security of what we know; but without these constant revisions, we become stagnant and bored.  Change is a necessary part of our growth.

Transitions create an emotional shift in our otherwise routine life; they challenge us to try new experiences, even when we’re not quite ready for them.  Could it be because we know a door is closing, in order to make room for what is next?

I try to remember these thoughts when those jittery feelings creep up:

  • Change is good.  All progress and movements forward happen because of change.  Without these adjustments, we become lifeless.
  • Everyone gets nervous about change.  It’s a normal reaction to be nervous, even when the change is great and it’s something we’ve been waiting for.  Transitions can bring butterflies to even the steeliest of bellies.
  • Being brave with the small changes will help prepare us for the big ones.  Testing the waters and finding our limits helps us be brave enough to move through the big and small transitions.  The more we know ourselves, the better we can prepare for change (and the smoother it will be).
  • Ride the wave.  Easy transitions are a lot about preparation.  And even when there’s not a lot of time to prepare, we can still mentally walk through the process to figure out where we may need extra support.  Once we’ve done the work, it’s important to embrace our choice and ride the wave into the next phase; half-committing to a decision doesn’t usually turn out very well.
  • Honor yourself.  Change can wreak havoc on the body and mind.  Checking in with ourselves about our needs and asking for help can be the difference between a smooth transition and a train wreck.  A talk with a trusted friend, a massage or a round at the boxing gym can do wonders for managing the stress and emotions that come up with change.  We each need to find our outlet.

The next time you face a change in your life, think about how you want to feel after it’s over.  Focusing on the after of change can often be the push you need to get through it.

When I’m confronted with a new opportunity to change, I try to remember that sweet kindergartner that still lives inside of me and how excited she was for her first day of school.  It reminds me that with an open heart and a willing attitude, transitions can be pretty amazing.






Change Is Inevitable. {How You Deal With It Is Optional.}2018-03-29T20:23:21-04:00

What are you creating in your life? Why making a vision board can seem like magic.


how to create a vision board and manifest what you want.

I wanted to share with you an oldie but a goodie I use to get my creative ju-ju flowing that also incorporates mapping out desires: a vision board.  I’ve created them periodically throughout my life–in times of despair when I wanted to drum up a much needed change, and also in times of happiness when I wanted to multiply flow that was already running through everything.

It looks like a poster board of pictures (it is) but it’s also a board where you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.  A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on your life goals or dreams.

Vision Boarding is like incorporating a little hocus pocus with art, topped off with a dose of letting go.  Sound a little interesting?

It’s also about focusing on how you want to feel while achieving your deep desires.  I think that’s the really important part because without being clear about the feeling, you won’t be able to create what you really want.

Everything you possess of skill, and wealth, and handicraft, wasn’t it first merely a thought and a quest? –Rumi

I was recently looking at at my own vision board that was a couple of years old.  I was fascinated that so many things had come true. It was like magic because I didn’t even remember everything that I put on there!  It wasn’t totally spot on, but for the most part I was pretty impressed with the outcome.  That’s when I knew it was time to do another one.

Here are 3 tips to get you started on your own vision board process:

1) It’s important to really dig in when you start creating a vision board.  Anyone can slap a picture up of a gorgeous house, an Adonis of a husband, perfect looking babies and a check for a million dollars.  But that’s not using your unique desires and imagination.  Tap into what YOU really want, not what you think you SHOULD want.

Don’t cheat yourself by falling into the cookie cutter trap.

You have to dig in deeper and closer to the source of why you want those things.

2.) Pay attention to the really deep part of your longing that emerges at very inopportune moments.  Like when you’re relaxed and you have that split second of yearning for something.  That’s the subconscious speaking to you and most of the time it doesn’t come in words.

Those split second desires can often come in the form of pictures, feelings, sounds and even textures.  When it happens, notice the things that give you that visceral reaction–a heart thump, a caught breath, a sudden burst of feeling.  THAT’s the reaction you want about items you slap on your board.

Those feelings will help you attract what you’re really seeking.

3) Once you create the board, put it in a place where you’ll see it just once in a while.  If you put it in the obvious in-your-face-everyday spot, you’ll begin to feel like you’re pushing things to happen (or failing at making them happen at all) and that’s counter-productive.

Set things into action with the creation of your board and then let it go.


Part of doing the vision board is having faith.  It’s about feeling something, creating a physical representation of it and then letting it go.  The faith part is knowing that the seed was planted in you so that it would, at some point, grow.

It’s time to create your very own vision board of happiness.


P.S. That picture above is the beginning of my new board.  I would love to see yours!  Tag me #stephaniemartel on social media to show me!

What are you creating in your life? Why making a vision board can seem like magic.2018-03-29T20:23:27-04:00
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