When I first started practicing metaphysics, I thought of it as a process of adding something, or tacking on something extra. You know, my normal everyday existence, plus a new romance or a new job (or whatever it was that I chose to manifest). In time, however, I began to notice that if I was out of alignment with prosperity consciousness (for example), a prosperity ritual would not merely bring forth riches out of nowhere. Rather, it would help align me with the energy and the feeling of prosperity, so that prosperity would naturally begin to flow into my life experience. And, if there were aspects of my habitual thought/feeling stream that weren't in alignment with prosperity, something would arise that helped these aspects fall away. I might "happen to" discover a book such as Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, or "inadvertently" vocalize a limiting belief (such as, "We always live to the edge of our means"), and someone would notice and point it out, helping me to see that it didn’t always need to be true.
So I began to see that it wasn't about adding. It was about opening up to, and tapping into, the generous flow of prosperity that was already in existence. Like finally beginning to hear, and then dance to, the music of prosperity that was already playing on the radio.
I also noticed that when I worked on manifesting something that really brought joy to my heart, that joy always fueled my success. The more joy, the more success—and the quicker it flowed. So this led me to understand something else: that our truest desires are not something extra, but a part of our true selves. When we remember that we are energetic beings, we see that we are not just a body and a mind, but a unique flow of divine energy—like a pattern, a blossom, or a song.
Consciously manifesting things that bring us joy, then, is a process of opening up to who we really are and aligning with the divine energies that naturally want to flow through our life experience. It's like how water wants to flow through a river in a particular way, or how an acorn wants to become an oak.
What's really fun to me about the wisdom in The Art of Bliss is that it's a framework for helping us clear the way for this flow, and to get in alignment with it, in the most ideal and natural of ways. So it's not just about doing a prosperity ritual or a love spell, but rather about opening up to the already existing flow of prosperity or love, and seeing how this nourishes everything else that's going on in our life. Once we make a habit of interacting with the conditions of our lives in this holistic way, our life experience begins to spiral like a glittering galaxy into greater and greater levels of harmony, wisdom, and joy.
To introduce you to the nine life keys that provide the framework for The Art of Bliss (which are derived from the feng shui floor plan and the wisdom of the I Ching), and to help you quickly assess how each one is currently flowing in your life, I've prepared the quiz below. In your journal or notebook, number 1 through 27. For each quiz item, write a number between 1-5, a five meaning "strongly agree," a three meaning, "sort of agree," and 1 meaning "strongly disagree." After the quiz, you'll find a key.
- Most of the time, no matter what is going on in the outside world, I feel a sense of stillness and calm at the center of my being.
- I exercise regularly, and feel good about my exercise habits.
- I enjoy spending time alone.
- Regardless of my current "job," I feel that I am constantly flowing into deeper and deeper levels of joy and satisfaction when it comes to my overarching career path.
- I regularly follow the path of my passion and spend time on the things that interest me.
- Even though it is beyond words, I feel that I have a strong sense of myself: I know what I want, and I feel grounded in authenticity.
- Everyone always seems to be helpful.
- I often find that I happen to be "in the right place at the right time."
- I feel that I have a lot of support in my life, from both seen and unseen realms.
- I creatively express my uniqueness.
- I often feel playful and imaginative.
- I take good care of my inner child.
- I am comfortable with my body, and enjoy the feeling of being present in my body.
- I am a sensual person: I love slowing down enough to really enjoy things like scents, massages, beautiful landscapes, music, and yummy food.
- I am happy with my current romantic situation.
- I love being seen and appreciated.
- I regularly shine my light and share my talents with the world.
- I am well known and well respected in the ways I would most like to be.
- Everything I need is always provided for me.
- It feels natural for me to receive an ample supply of money and resources.
- At least somewhat regularly, I let myself enjoy the things I really like to enjoy: going out to eat, taking vacations, etc.
- Even if I’ve endured hardships in the past, I’ve healed from them, or I am currently moving toward healing from them.
- I have a positive relationship with, and feel supported by my family, or a family-like group of friends.
- I feel connected to, and inspired by, my genealogical and/or spiritual heritage.
- I feel grounded and centered, at least most of the time.
- I feel like my life is—generally speaking—in a healthy balance.
- I feel like there is a healthy connection between the various aspects of my life experience. For example, my partner gets along with my family and my job is in alignment with my passion.
Numbers 1-3: Serenity. This is the key that has to do with exercise, study, meditation, self-improvement, and that sense of stillness that allows everything else to flow more smoothly and enjoyably.
Numbers 4-6: Life Path. This key is related to your sense of authenticity, and your alignment with your truest inner self. It often manifests as an overarching career path, and it infuses everything with a sense of purpose and joy.
Numbers 7-9: Synchronicity. This key has to do with things flowing smoothly, easily, effortlessly, and auspiciously. Things like finding parking spaces, procuring employment, and catching your plane fall into this key, and it also has to do with your connection to all your helpers in both seen and unseen worlds (i.e. angels, friends, and people you don’t even know).
Numbers 10-12: Creativity. The Creativity Key governs your relationship with everything you create, whether it's children, cookie recipes, or paintings. It is the most playful key, and is related to laughter, spontaneity, and the wellbeing of your inner child.
Numbers 13-15: Romance. This key has to do with your love relationship and your ability to appreciate your body and sensual pleasures. When this key is activated, you're more receptive to all the gifts of this life experience.
Numbers 16-18: Radiance. The Radiance Key is all about the way you are seen and known in the world. In many ways, it's about the full realization of the Life Path key—the generous, outward expression of your deepest inner joy.
Numbers 19-21: Prosperity. This key has to do with resources, blessings, and gifts of all sorts. In our culture and in this present time in history, it is closely related with money and finances.
Numbers 22-24: Resilience. My favorite key, this key is aligned with our ability to weather the storms of life and to reap the blessings that they bring. It also has to do with our physical health and family relationships.
Numbers 25-27: Synergy. The key that falls into the center of all the other keys (imagine a tic tac toe board), The Synergy Key is about balance and flow, and about the way all the other keys interact with, and nourish, each other.