When I moved to Philadelphia some eight months ago, I made the conscious effort to spend less time on social media and more time on myself: I joined a gym, read more, listened to podcasts, watched TED talks, etc. One of the many topics I took interest in was the power of manifestation, which is the belief that we have the power to shape our reality based on our thoughts and actions. So my move to Philly would be a good example of how I manifested my reality although I didn’t realize I was doing this at the time.
Eager to learn more about manifestation, I booked an hour session to meet up with a New York manifestation coach that I found from Airbnb’s Experiences page so I could pick her brain. To make a day out of it, I booked another Airbnb Experience to tour some energy efficient buildings in Brooklyn and eat at sustainable restaurants, led by a local “green” blogger. This is how my unique day trip went…
The Fanciest Cup of Starbucks I Never Got
The night before my trip, I ran into a friend at Whole Foods and told him about New York. He discussed a business trip he recently took to New York and visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, saying it was one of the nicest Starbucks he’d ever seen but found the crowd to be reedonkulous and unbearable. With my curiosity peaked, I did some research afterwards and learned there are only four of these Starbucks in the world: Shanghai, Milan, Seattle, and New York. Well, now I have to see this place, of course! I thought, and placed it at the top of my list.
Fast forward to the next morning. I emerged from the subway at 14th St. & Eighth Ave. and as soon as I stepped onto land, I was immediately thrown back by a strong, cold spring wind! I quickly whipped on my hoody and covered my blue beanie and headed west, using Google Maps as my compass to find Starbucks.
I ventured through the “Meatpacking District” and walked by a cool-looking brick building called Chelsea Market. I peeked through the front doors and was intrigued to see what was inside, believing it to be a neighborhood filled with local restaurants and vendors, and I contemplated going inside and looking for coffee there, then I saw that Starbucks R.R. was just right across the street so I stuck to my original plans.
I entered Starbucks by using my entire weight to open the large wooden door, fighting the hurricane wind, and was impressed by what I saw:
To briefly describe it: There were a couple of ordering stations on the main floor, another ordering station on the basement/lower floor, and a liquor bar on the second floor that actually served cocktails. The entire layout as well as the furniture were shades of espresso, the ceiling had chocolate square tiles that lit up ember, and there was a security guard standing in front of their large bronze roasters.
As interesting and impressive as everything was, I felt nothing for this place. Zilch. Nada. And that’s because I reallyyy wanted to see what was inside Chelsea Market so I headed there instead!
I roamed around Chelsea Market and it was everything I imagined—in the sense that it was filled with vendors and restaurants, not magic. I stumbled across a café called CHALAIT (pronounced “chalet”) (here’s a pano) that specialized in Japanese matcha green tea. I ordered an iced green tea in my YETI mug that I carried in my backpack and found it refreshing.
I wandered around the Market and lost track of time. When I did check the time I realized I was running late and sprinted to the nearest subway and jumped on an express train to Brooklyn just in the nick of time. #wandererprobs.
(Quick factoid for you sweet-tooths: Chelsea Market used to be a bakery for the National Biscuit Company—what’s now called Nabisco—at the turn of the 20th century where Saltine crackers, Oreos, and Barnum’s Animal Crackers were made until the company relocated to New Jersey in the 1950s.)
My Eco-Friendly & Tasty Tour of Brooklyn
I arrived underground in Brooklyn (in the Prospect Heights neighborhood) and ascended up a long staircase and emerged in front of the Barclay’s Center; if you look at the above pic from Barclays Center’s website, the bottom-left green thingy is the staircase I emerged from. The Barclays Center is where the Brooklyn Nets play and its roof is covered with sedum flowers, which makes it look pretty and acts as a noise muffler.
My group was set to meet inside a Starbucks that was built in front of the stadium. I walked inside but didn’t see our host, comparing her Airbnb profile pic to people’s faces. I did, however, notice a man who recently posted a message in our group (his profile pic was attached), stating he was there. I approached and asked if he was that guy and he said yes.
Xin was his name. Kind, humble, well-dressed, from China. He introduced me to his wife Rev Wang, also from China. She was soft-spoken but had this amazing, warmhearted smile that soothed your soul. I learned they came here for work; Xin worked for a startup. While waiting, we discussed our eating habits and places we’ve visited in New York (this was my fourth time in the Big Apple but first time in Brooklyn).
Then our host Jintrovert showed up. African-American, she wore a scarf around her head, had an outgoing personality, and a Jersey accent which slipped out on certain words. She led us on our tour around Brooklyn. Now I won’t discuss every place she took us to because we covered A LOT of ground in three hours, so I’ll just highlight my favorite parts.
First off, we grabbed croissants at Orwashers, an artisan bakery that’s been around since 1916. They partner with regional farmers and have the flakiest, butteriest croissant I’ve ever tasted, and good-portioned too, we’re talking Catcher’s mitts! All the food and drinks we’d sample were paid from the cost of the tour, which was around $40.
Then we hit up the Ft. Greene Park farmer’s market. I became excited when I found a sauerkraut stand because I love krauts—they ferment good bacteria for your gut! I sampled a kraut made with kale and found it spicy and delicious. I told Jintrovert she had to try it and she felt the same way, too, and immediately bought it.
At one point, Jintrovert and I roamed around and we talked about waste in the environment. She said the majority of clothes end in a landfill and the massive amount of fumes used to burn them are bad for our environment. She only buys clothes secondhand and said, “I can’t remember the last time I bought a new T-shirt.” “Damn!” I exclaimed. “That’s awesome!” She said she’s led classes where they take old T-shirts and repurpose them into shopping bags. I gave another “damn, that’s awesome!”
Our group grabbed some mid-day coffee at a tiny place called Bittersweet. Jintrovert said they brew coffee from this ethically-sourced company called La Colombe. She asked if we ever heard of about them and I grinned and said, “Yeah, they’re based in Philly.” “Oh, really?!” “Yeah, I live by their flagship store. I go there all the time.” I felt like badass for knowing this and was proud to be a #newfoundPhiladelphian.
Afterwards, we went to a restaurant called Baba Cool and shared plates of these turmeric roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and sweet plantains. Mmm Mmm. As we ate and talked over veggies, we learned that shy Rev Wang was a sculptor and told her share her amazing gift with the world. I hate it when artists are modest—dammit, be unapologetic about it! Our world is having an existential crisis because we’re losing touch with our creative side (everyone is born with creativity but loses sight of it since its not really fostered in our society). Check out Rev’s website. You’ll be blown away by her work!
We concluded our tour at the DeKalb Market Hall (a unique food court filled with 40+ food vendors) inside the recently built City Point Mall. After exchanging our goodbyes, I hopped on an express subway for Midtown Manhattan and was excited to meet my manifestation coach, Kristen.
The Manifestor Who Makes Her Dreams a Reality
I rushed out of Grand Central Terminal, zigzagging around people and skyscrapers that were inconveniently in my way, and arrived at our meeting location, Joe & The Juice, out of breath. Kristen messaged me while I was on the train, saying she had a table in the back, so I glanced towards the back and saw a pretty Asian-American woman smiling and waving at me. I flashed a smile and threw up a wave. I crossed over and we shook hands. I sincerely apologized for being late then removed my pique coat that was covering my hoody and sat across from her.
We fluffed talked about New York traffic then she started our session by talking about her background. Interested in psychology and self-development books from a young age, she knew she wanted to work in this field but ended up in the financial industry after college, specifically mergers and acquisitions. She eventually discovered the power of PSYCH-K® (which I’ll discuss here in a moment) and left her job to become a PSYCH-K manifestation coach. Now she’s more successful financially than she would’ve ever been at her corporate job. You can read her bio here on her website.
So what is PSYCH-K? It’s a belief that uses a series of muscle tests to find out what our limiting, subconscious beliefs are and once we’re made aware of them, we can set new goals to achieve anything we want. Or, as the PSYCH-K Centre International describes on their website: “the overall goal of PSYCH-K is to help you free your mind from beliefs that limit your recognition of yourself as a spiritual being having a human experience.”
Society can unintentionally or intentionally place thoughts in our heads that limit our own self-belief, whether through traditions and norms or through marketing. The universe, though, never created self-limiting beliefs, cultural divides, or beauty pageants for toddlers—only we did! This means we can break free from the thoughts that don’t align with our true nature, which is that we’re all capable of love & achieving anything we want.
Achieving what we want isn’t always easy, of course, but having the right mindset IS easy. Kristen said that as long as our thoughts and actions are headed in the right direction then the universe will respond and bring us the right people and forces at the right time to make our dreams a reality. “We were placed here to live out our desires.”
“We were placed here to live out our desires.”
Kristen said there are many possible versions of ourselves that already exists (think multiple universes) and that our goal is to work towards becoming the highest version of ourself that already exists—the one that’s pushed aside his/her fears and is living our best life, kind of like how she was living hers.
Kristen then talked about the Law of Attraction and I mentioned how the Law of Attraction most likely brought me to Kansas City to meet a like-minded individual named Kristina (my 2nd blog post). At that point in our lives, we both felt stuck and yearned to be elsewhere. We kept in touch and kept faith in each other up, but had no idea we’d end up moving to different parts of Pennsylvania months later! I also talked about my Philadelphia story and how I stopped at nothing to make it real. “See! Those are great examples [of the Law of Attraction]!” Kristen said. “Nothing in our lives is an accident… We’re all meant to be where we are.”
“Nothing in our lives is an accident… We’re all meant to be where we are.”
My Manifestation Session
“Think of one or two things you want to manifest in your life,” Kristen asked me as we transitioned into the next part of our session. Hmmm… I actually meant to think about this beforehand but just didn’t, so I took a minute to reflect on what I wanted and these two thoughts pop up in my head:
- I wanted to manifest a van so I could live the #vanlife and go on many great adventures!
- I was tired of feeling lonely, with having a remote job and being in a new city, that I wanted a different lifestyle.
I told Kristen about these goal and she questioned the van goal. “That seems like a want, not a need, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but do you really need a van to have these adventures? I mean, it sounds to me like you’re already having them.”
“Oh my god… you’re right!” I said dumbfounded, having an epiphany. “I don’t need a van. Wow! I think Instagram’s really getting to my head or something.” That last part cracked us up, and I continued, “But you’re right! I mean, I can still enjoy a sunset without lying in the back of a van at the beach or the Grand Canyon!” I felt like a complete dumbass for not knowing this, or at least for allowing myself to forget this was a part of my spirit.
So we canned my van goal and continued to the next one: upping my friends/support system. I forgot that I recently accepted an IT Support position with the University of Pennsylvania and told Kristen, also telling her that when I put in my two weeks notice, my co-workers admitted how much they were going to me miss me and that I was the most helpful and reliable person they knew (even though I was a thousand miles away)!
I babbled on and realized that I already had a great group of friends: my Philly writer’s group and my Whole Foods peeps. Regarding the latter, this group came to be when I met a guy at Whole Foods one afternoon named Walis (“Wa-leese”). He was working remotely and sitting near me when he asked what I was reading (The Intelligence of the Cosmos) and we hit it off. Eventually, Walis introduced me to his friends and now I run into them often, which is how I ran into Joe at the beginning of this story.
So basically, I was fixing my own problems without realizing it, and Kristen helped me reframe my goal: To feel safe and supported in my current environment; or something to that effect. I can’t remember, just that it was a weird phrase because I created a weird situation for us to work with.
Kristen had me stand up and hold out my right arm. Standing in front of me, she explained that she was going to ask me a series of questions and I’d say the first thing that came to my mind (e.g., “I currently feel safe and supported by my friends.”). She’d apply pressure to my arm, running her “kinesiology tests,” and if it went down without effort then this meant that my subconscious wasn’t in alignment with what I was saying—because our subconscious is engrained in our muscles, in our entire being! So Kristen was going to interrogate my muscles and get my mind to speak the truth, and any doubt I showed was a chance for us to rewire my subconscious.
I closed my eyes. She asked questions. I answered them. She pressed my arm. I passed some and failed some. Then I had an interesting thought: If I already have what I want, then what’s left? And the answer came simply: Love. The whole reason I moved to Philly was to look love, in a romantic sense, but now also in the community “love everyone” sense. My life definitely needed a revitalization since I’d only been on a few dates since moving to Philly, and it never hurts to make more friends, especially when friendship leads to “something more.” It’s called the City of Brotherly Love, after all!
I wanted to tell Kristen about my new goal but didn’t want to derail her focus nor go over on time, which we were about to do, so I just kept my this inside and continued on, answering her questions with my own ulterior session going on. Then the end of our session came and Kristen had me bring my two hands together, representing the two halves of my mind—logic and emotion, and when I opened my eyes I felt renewed.
“How do you feel?!” Kristen asked ecstatic. “Great?!” “Yeah,” I said, and met her high-five. I felt bad for not keeping her in the know, though, but planned on coming back to make it right for both our sake.
Done with our session, we chit-chatted about randomness. She asked if I ever heard of Human Design and I said no (which is funny because now I hear it all the time on this podcast I listen to called Soul on Fire). Kristen explained there are 5 personality types in the world and we’re here to fulfill a purpose based on our type. After describing her type, a Manifesting Generator, I realized I was also this type. The website Authentic Synthesis perfectly nails the description of Manifesting Generators:
Manifesting Generators (MGs) are multi-passionate, active multi-taskers. They have endless energy for what interests them and they are extremely fast learners. They are here to take in information, try things on & articulate (using their unique voice) what they have discovered.
They are the people that have several projects going at once, and MGs actually need to be doing more than one thing at a time. This is because MGs are actually more focused and productive when they are busy.
MGs are often told they should “stick to one thing” or “finish what they started.” MGs are also often told that they are “all over the place.” Because MGs get this messaging frequently, they can become convinced that being good at lots of things instead of the best at one thing makes them not good enough. They may compartmentalize, hiding their varying interests from others for fear of being judged.
I told Kristen this reminded me of a book I was reading called The Journey of Souls and pulled it out of my backpack. As she grabbed the book, I gave her the synopsis: Michael Newton, Ph.D, a hypnotherapist, places his patients under “spiritual regression hypnosis” (a special technique that took him a long time to develop) and in this superconscious state where his patients are neither asleep (“off”) nor awake (“on”), they’re able to recall their past lives and where their souls go to in-between lives.
According to the book, we go through many lives to learn certain lessons until we get everything right and can suffer to pay for past actions. One subject recalled being a ruler in a prominent society and oppressed his people, including his mother. Then in his current life, he was abandoned by his mother as a child and felt anger and unworthy of love his whole life; now he understood why, he had to learn his lesson.
The book also states that we have spiritual guides and “soul friends” who can show up when we least expect them and need them most. They may only show up once in our lives, and for a brief moment of time, but they’ll be there.
I was skeptical when I first bought the book but was fascinated by the end and highly recommend it. Even if you don’t believe in soul reincarnation you should at least believe in its appeal: We need to strive to be our best selves, right here, right now—in this life!—and ensure we don’t create suffering for others. Be humane.
Anyways, Kristen was intrigued and jotted down the book title in her notebook while I jotted down “human design” in my phone. We began to pack our stuff and I wanted to pick her brain on something before we left: the concept of time. I asked because I feel like time isn’t real sometimes… I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. I told Kristen I’ve read theories stating that time isn’t as straightforward as we think, that it’s intertwine—the past, present, and future are always connected, and we might be able to influence our past, possibly in a different universe. Additionally, it’s believed that our limited human senses can’t perceive the true nature of time, whatever “time” is.
Kristen reflected on her thoughts a moment then agreed that time is connected through energy. She explained that we are energy all the time. We create it through our thoughts and actions, which affects everything the future, and meanwhile, we are the result of past thoughts and actions. For those of us who carry around bad, vicious energy from eons ago, it’s up to us to break the cycle and heal the past. So Kristen believed that time is always connected through us, through the energy we create. *Mouth drops…* Goddamn, woman! Blowing my mind again!
My New Conscious Self
I walked out of the coffee shop feeling like I had a new brain and fresh pair of eyes, wishing the people of New York knew what I knew, especially the young girls standing on a nearby meridian (possibly Russian based off their native tongue) wearing pumps and sheath dresses, taking selfies.
On my train ride home, I scribbled everything that Kristen told me in my notebook. I wrote so ferociously and was so in my zone that my 90 min train ride felt like 10 mins! (Remember how I said time doesn’t feel real sometimes?…) At one point, I took a break to post on Instagram and uploaded this pic I took from inside Grand Central Station after my session:
I arrived home late into the night. I half-assed brushed my teeth then went into my room and rolled out my sleeping bag, which is actually my bed. I’ve procrastinated about buying a new bed that now I’m just use to my sleeping bag.
As soon as I laid down, I passed out and snored away… Then I suddenly woke up, swallowing air loudly, and my Instagram image of Grand Central popped up in my head, followed by this profound and serendipitous thought:
There’s NO WAY a year ago that I would’ve ever seen myself here today…
Then I let out a small, joyous laugh and fell back asleep with the largest grin on my face, ready to take on tomorrow and the rest of my life…
You can follow Jintrovert on Instagram @nerddna.
Rev Wang’s website: http://www.revwangyue.com.