Freshman year of high school, I had the most wonderfully kooky English teacher.
She would go on feminist rants over Henrik Ibsen and tell stories of her youth — motorcycle rides with bad boys, torrid affairs with sailors, adventurous tales of self-discovery. One day, she told us the secret of how to find your soulmate…
“Take a piece of paper and list every quality you’re looking for in a partner. You can be very detailed, and the things can be big or small. They just have to be non-negotiables — the traits you really can’t compromise on.” It sounded easy enough. “But be careful what you wish for,” she cautioned. “It really works.”
Her 14-year-old audience looked confused. At the time, my list of non-negotiables likely included a cool AOL screen name, so it’s possible we weren’t her target demographic.
I managed to forget this little nugget until earlier this week. My newly-engaged friend Ilene and I met for dinner, where she told me how she crafted a similar wishlist before meeting her fiancé.
“I was visiting my friend in California and she was stuck at work,” she said. “I was bored, and I spotted her DVD of The Secret.”
Then we both died of laughter.
“But I was like, ‘Why the hell not?’ It advises you to make a list of everything in your life that you’re grateful for. Friends, family, job, apartment… Then you’re supposed to write what you want but don’t currently have, and to be very specific.”
When the movie was done, Ilene’s friend was still at work, so she went about making her list. She included an exact description of the guy she wanted to meet—his values, personality, even his looks. Next she wrote a timeline of when they would meet, get engaged, get married, and start a family.
She wrote the list in late October of 2013 and in January 2014, she met exactly the person she had described. (Cue chills.) And as she had predicted, they got engaged last week.
It’s not so much that writing things down magically brings them into being, we agreed, but rather that it forces you to take stock of where you are and what you really want. When you have a vivid image of what you’re after, it’s easier to help it manifest.
Of course, the listing needn’t be limited to the finding of soul mates. You could describe your dream job, your next trip, or your fantasy birthday party where Channing Tatum dresses up and plays the didgeridoo. (Not sure why that last thing came to mind, but it sounded kinda fun.)
Anyway! Have you ever tried this? Did it work for you? Or does it sound like hoodoo crazy-pants nonsense?
I’ve got no plans tonight, so I guess we know what I’ll be doing…