Your Life as a Work of Art: An Interview with Rick Jarow

Rick Jarow, PhD, a professor of religion at Vassar, is an alternative career counselor who teaches his students that our lives are works of art—and that the shaping of our lives is a craft that can be mastered. Here, Rick talks about his new release with Sounds True, The Advanced Manifestation Program—an at-home workshop to realize your deepest potentials in every arena of your life.

Sounds True: What do you tell people with an ongoing struggle? People who really want to manifest something in particular but are not able to?

Rick Jarow: First, you need to take the pressure off yourself. We are whole and fragmented at once, and everyone will always have a piece of their life that is unknowable, unsolvable. This is known as having to carry your cross, and it is why the Navajo always leave one mistake when they weave a blanket.

Next, can you just relax? Be grateful you are alive under the blue sky, receive every gift that is given to you. Manifestation is not about getting everything you want—it means that you open yourself to the fullest extent of your love and creativity. Then miracles do happen. You can stop and see the beauty of existence, you root for others as much as for yourself, anxiety vanishes, the whole world is transfigured. In abundant alignment, you can be confident that you will receive what you need to do “your work.” And soon, you are receiving so much that you are inspired to share, to offer—and that is the art.

Sounds True: What do you say to the overwhelmed person—someone who has very little time to even think about their dreams and hopes?

Rick Jarow: Well, everyone is overwhelmed and overextended. It is the contemporary condition, and we have all created it because we don't know what else to do. Dealing with these things intelligently is the whole point of manifestation. We are not seeking a state beyond these things; rather, we understand that every event and person in our lives are here to teach us something. What we need is a counterbalance, a center to sustain us.

On The Advanced Manifestation Program, you will go through meditations on the 12 main arenas of life, yet you always begin and return to the center—it is a practice you can return to on a regular basis. “Regular” is crucial, for it establishes your elemental power, the set of thought-attitudinal habits that can move you on the upward spiral. If you have a strong practice—even for 10 minutes a day—then you can step in and out of the chaos without letting it get to you.

Sounds True: What can someone do when they are in a state of transition? How can they use a manifestation practice then?

Rick Jarow: The answer is not to hurry or worry. I remember when I was in the sixth grade, I was so concerned about what Junior High would be like: the teachers, the homework, could I handle it? And it all worked out, and so it will after we graduate from the earth school. “If you stop worrying about tomorrow it won't all be chaos.” Someone told me that when I was 18, and I took it to heart. So, if you have been given the gift of transition, live it fully, ask yourself if there is any business you haven't really finished, and do the Manifestation Work, make yourself ready. You cannot make the wind blow, but you can leave the window open, so you'll be there when it happens.

Rick Jarow

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Rick Jarow, PhD, is a practicing alternative career counselor, a professor of religion at Vassar College, and author of Creating the Work You Love, In Search of the Sacred, Alchemy of Abundance, and m...

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