#AtoZChallenge: M is for Manifest your dreams? No thanks. (Here’s why.)

stormtrooper lions 2018 photos antique shop

Madison texted when she was out and about.

AtoZ2019M (1)What do you want from McDonald’s, pops? She asked. She’s as ready for a snack at the drop of a french fry (just like dad.) I ordered a McDouble, no onions. And I proceeded to shut out the universe like it was a veggie burger.

On wheat.

It’s just a snack. But if I had said, surprise me … imagine then. Sure, that puts Madison on the spot. But what could happen? She might have ordered me a Quarter Pounder. With Mac Sauce. Or something new, like a McGrilledCheese with bacon and a Star Wars toy.

I don’t know.

Anyway, I miss out by choosing the narrow path. Or, if Madison remembers what dad would order on a budget, and that’s cute. The greater lesson here: If I say surprise me, I kind of surrender it to the universe, don’t I?

mac and cheese churches 2018 vittles church's
I should have manifested more bites of mac and cheese with this meal.

Career bliss? Coming right up

We’re told constantly to think things into existence. As if the universe was a short-order cook, ready to serve up our heart’s desire. A girlfriend who looks like Felicity Jones and a career as F1 champ? Coming right up!

I love some of the mindful posts I heart on Instagram – which say my time is coming, I’m right where I need to be, that today’s patience will become tomorrow’s fulfillment.

Only, as the sign says in the sandwich shop I ate in today “free food – TOMORROW.” We wait around for our order to come through, for it to be Amazon Primed right into our lap in two days. Oh wait, I said FELICITY Jones, not January … although, you know.

I hope with all I am that my greatest dreams would blow my feeble mind.

I detest the post that promises I’ll become the richest person in my family. Or suggests that I can attract the type of fortune I want, just by willing it. Well, then why aren’t we all not eating grilled cheese sandwiches to gain muscle mass and clearer skin?

Clearly, that’s what the masses would choose if it was this easy.

My dreams are big. The universe? Way bigger. If the universe took my order and stuffed my freezer with 23 years worth of Totino’s pizza and made Samantha Ponder follow my Instagram, sure, that’s instant bliss. But – what else could it have delivered?

What is possible?

What could the universe really deliver? It makes curbside Walmart look like a corner mini-mart with a broken chip reader. What isn’t possible? I know there’s a path to a happier me but Totino’s will fill the void only temporarily.

Eventually, Sam Ponder will grow weary of my foodie posts.

What is it I really want, then, if not my dream order? It’s for the universe to surprise me. Give me something I haven’t been consumed dreaming about. Light up my world in big and small ways. A connection. A conversation. A reemergence. A realization.

Give me something, universe. Anything.

Help me to believe again. Help me to catch my breath. Show me a way that the changes I strive so hard to make reality are changing my soul somehow. Give me a sign I’m on the right track. That I’m doing okay when I father and write and coach.

Or, is that too specific?

A to Z Challenge:

A is for Almost (and also At Last)

B is for Baggett (as in Laura, the actress, and #GirlsRock interview)

C is for Cursive, Cats, and Chinese Restaurants (Go Ask Daddy about them)

D is for Drawing the Line

E is for Every Day Gratitude

F is for Fieri, Falling in Love, and Focus (Weekend Reads IV)

G is for #GoAskDaddy: An interview with realtor Kristen Foxx

H is for Habit of Peace

I is for I Shot the Sheriff, Item Lifting and other Illegal Activity (Go Ask Daddy)

J is for Journalist, a #GirlsRock Interview with Esther Robards-Forbes

K is for Kickass Kindness (to go with #gratitudeandshit)

 L is for Low Self-Esteem, Life Sucks, and Electric Lit (Weekend Reads V)

richards quote manifestation


  1. ksbeth says:

    I’d say those are the perfect things to ask for –

  2. I’m tired of the idea you can think something into existence. Just think about your heart’s desire hard enough and you will short circuit the hard work, practice and daily effort that the losers have spent to reach their goals. Positive thinking is not magical thinking.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Me too. I feel people would probably wish for things like no wait on a Saturday at Cheesecake Factory anyway.

      Just keep me open and possible, universe. I’m good with that.

  3. One of my favorite definitions of abundance is knowing we can have what we need, when we need it. As simple as that. And we see this in action all the time, when you look for it. It’s not really about money.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      A lot of that is within us already, isn’t it? I try to convey that to my soccer player, too. Maybe it’s so subtle and innate that we take it for granted. Riches go so way beyond money.

  4. Beth says:

    I’ve pondered these thoughts myself as I have been following Rachel Hollis as you know and just saw her speak and she tells we’re made for more – I’m not sure what my more is yet, but I feel it in my bones, just gotta figure it out!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love her approach, Beth – it’s about being open to wonderful possibility, not narrowing our focus to what would assauge us in the present! You know how I love Rache.

  5. There are some dreams we chase, and some that chase us. We need to be open to both.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s a wonderful way to put it, Mimi. I’m ready for both. And other categories. too.

  6. Yes!! Manifesting has been such a hot topic lately and it drives me nuts. I wish I could “manifest” a million dollars in my bank account or a new sports car in my driveway! I was nodding so much while I was reading this because I’ve had very similar thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  7. WAY to specific! LOL! I never say Surprise Me! I don’t like surprises! But I can usually handle what the Universe throws at me anyway…well most days. 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Gotcha, Courtney! Some surprises are good – like when I got a crunchwrap in my to-go bag last night that I didn’t order at Taco Bell. Or, bad – like when I got a tiny container of mac-n-cheese with my family meal from Church’s.

      I like when the universe throws me food.

      1. LOL! Food is always a good thing! 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I think about lunch while I’m still eating breakfast.

      3. That is my problem… I love food. But I also turn to it when I am down or depressed which is NOT a good thing.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m a happy eater and a sad eater. 🥫

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