We each come into this life with unique temperaments and quirks, a self-symphony, both breathtakingly beautiful and awkwardly arranged, and, as par for the course agonizingly, difficult to navigate at times. We come in with a vibration that is, above all, inherently distinct and unable to be replicated by anyone else we encounter in the world. We enter with talents, gifts, inclinations and passions, some of which seem to be inextricably woven into the fabric of our being and others, more clearly informed by the environment and culture in which we were raised.
Our destiny, in part, is the picture we choose to create from this kaleidoscope of things; how we put this palate of colors and array of materials all together to create the landscape we call our life.
We are each born into this life and have experiences with people who raise us and with people who surround us outside of our nuclear family — peers, teachers, co-workers, lovers, family friends, strangers who become closer than family, and family who become strangers. Some of these experiences will cause an extraordinary amount of pain and suffering. Some will bring joy we could have never imagined. Our destiny, in part, is how we choose to make sense of and transform these unique experiences.
Our destiny is never something that occurs without our participation, and so the first thing we need to know is that we, and only we, are the creators and the keepers of our own destiny. No one else gets to claim this right and no else can create it for us.
If we look up “destiny” in the dictionary we find in the Merriam-Webster version that destiny is: “the things that someone will experience in the future” or “a power that is believed to control what happens in the future.” Let’s break this down a bit further to understand the what’s before we get into the how’s…
Since our destiny is composed of the things that will be experienced in the future, we first need to understand the meaning of the future as it relates to the present. With this knowledge, we can become truly empowered. The future is always being made up of the present moment. In other words, what we choose to think about, what we choose to ignore thinking about, how we choose to act, what we choose to eat, how we decide to relate to ourselves and others to name just a few of the choices we are making on a daily basis are choices that shape our future and how it specifically unfolds. This means that our future is always changing and that our destiny can drastically change course at any moment in time — that is, if we choose to take charge of it.
Now back to our dictionary definition… Destiny is also defined as “a power that is believed to control what happens in the future.” And what is this mysterious power believed to be in control of our future? We are that power. You are that power. And that power lies nowhere other than inside the vessel through which we navigate this earth — our bodies — a vessel of extraordinary power to create extraordinary things.
Unfortunately, we have been told that we aren’t this power, and there are very strong systems in place that perpetuate this disempowering myth; from the governing bodies that organize our society and create false dependencies on things outside ourselves, to the dysfunction within our own families that set up dynamics that empower some family members over others, to the programs of fear we keep running in our heads, which keep us passive and in a state of spiritual amnesia and victimhood.
Taking charge of your destiny:
If we want to take charge of our destiny, we need to take our power back. Here’s how:
Entertain the possibility that you can change the course of your life.
Let’s begin with the basics. What I am about to suggest may run counter to anything you have read on the topic of manifestation or law of attraction however, it is imperative especially if you are feeling resistant. You don’t have to believe that you can change your destiny. In fact, you don’t have to believe anything. To start, the only necessary thing is for you to become open to the idea that it is possible; to be curious about a new path for your life that you can’t quite see yet. So first, please open this door of possibility: “I am open to the possibility that I can change the course of my life.”
Greet the pain and suffering in your life.
The reason we get stuck in the same patterns, relationships and routines over and over again is because we aren’t greeting the pain and suffering we experience with an open invitation. This includes anything from past traumas, to unresolved grief, to the pain over a breakup to more minor frustrations we all experience in our daily lives. Instead, we tend to resist and run away from what feels uncomfortable and understandably so. It’s not easy being present with emotions we were taught we shouldn’t have or revisiting pain that was overwhelming and unsafe to experience at an earlier time in our life. However whether we like it our not, our pain is there for a reason and it is to alarm us that there is something inside of us that needs attention and healing. It is there to show us that a part of us isn’t living to our fullest potential. When we don’t honor those parts of us in need of recognition and expression, then we live unconsciously. When we live unconsciously, our pain and our fear of pain is what creates our destiny.
Listen to yourself.
We must be in an open and intimate relationship with ourselves if we want to change our life. Period. This means we need to start listening more carefully to the little sparks of excitement that go off inside us at any given moment. I’m talking about the small stuff here. For example, if you like to dance and feel this small yet nagging urge within to dance more but continue to not because you wonder if it really matters, then it is absolutely time to start dancing. Why? Because there’s a part of you that needs this for whatever reason and the beauty of this is not only the part of you that needs to be fed benefits but it will ripple throughout your whole being opening doors you could have never imagined. For example, as an unintended side effect you might start becoming more creative at work, your sex life might get better, your health may improve, you may meet the love of your life. You change your life by listening to the small things. The small sparks, the whispers, the urges, however you experience it, know that these small things are your destiny speaking-asking you, daring you to accept its invitation. Each moment you agree to listen is a moment you will look back with the realization that very big things happen in very small steps.
There are no mistakes.
Similar to our pain and suffering, we must also meet each experience that unfolds in our lives with openness whether they are the products of a terrible decision, a great one or seem to be coming from out of nowhere. Each experience that emerges in your life is as it should be and is part of-not outside of-your destiny. Therefore, if something happens that is not pleasing, this thing must be observed and welcomed even if it feels terrible. In it lies an opportunity for something new to be born, if you just give it the chance.
Self-blame and pointing fingers are the opposite of observation. Both lead to victimhood and to the repeat of whatever cycle you find yourself in. Instead of wrapping yourself up in the energy of blame, bathe in the energy of curiosity: “How can I navigate this situation differently than I have done before?” “What new thing can I learn about myself from this experience?” We find the life we want through experiencing what we don’t want. By removing blame and riding out the wave of whatever difficulty is passing through our lives, our destiny begins to speak and open up to us in a new way.
We must open our hearts. Little by little, we have to take this risk. When we push ourselves to be more vulnerable with others, we can connect more deeply to ourselves. All of life is a co-creation and so the shaping of your destiny is also a co-creation. By this I mean it is through our connection with others that we see ourselves, that we see our deepest potential, that we wake up to our dreams, that we crack ourselves open to the messy, wilderness of our deepest desires. We are here to love ourselves and love others and the more we do this the more expansive our lives get. Anything becomes possible and so your destiny has no limit. It is as expansive as you want it to be.
Play… a lot.
Life isn’t that serious. When we buy into this belief, we start becoming rigid and rule bound and in agreement (often not knowing we are in agreement) with a system of living that simply isn’t ours; a system of living that inherently blocks those feelings that inspire us to look for something more and which equates this desire as the product of a wild and unrealistic imagination. Run around like a child, dance in the streets, scream, laugh, play. Through play, we rediscover ourselves and reach our creative potentials that we thought we needed to abandon. Our destinies absolutely demand that we be creative so drop your books and go out and play.
So, you see, our destinies after all is said and done are solely in our own hands. They aren’t pre-determined, they aren’t limited or far off, and although magical things do happen when we tap into our own power, it really isn’t a mysterious process. We get to dream up what we want for ourselves and it all happens right here, right now, in the midst of our lives as they are in this very moment.
Also by this author:
- Dream On! 6 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Dream Recall
- How Meditating with My Younger Self Changed Me
- The Science Behind Our Heart’s Intelligence and Tips on How to Start
About the author:
Danielle Benvenuto is a psychotherapist and energy healer who specializes in psychoanalysis, energy work, and mindfulness meditation making the work she does integrative in nature. Tuning into the body, nature, dreams and the healing power of sound and visualization are important elements in her work as is working directly with the breath to heal the mind and body. She holds workshops in NYC and internationally on topics such as integrating mindfulness with psychotherapy, using imagery to transform trauma, and the art of manifestation. She is also a guest lecturer at NYU and has written articles on various topics.