This List Will Change Your Life

The list mockup

12 Steps to Change Your Life: Your Dreams can be Reality

My mission is to help people reach their potential with inner ease. To do this, I share the wisdom of horses, adding bits of science and psychology, and teaching simple techniques like HeartMath®. Today I want to share something extremely powerful that I do all the time and was recently reminded of at a healing workshop with the brilliant Dr. William Bengston (“just call me Bill”). He calls it Image Cycling, I call it The Magic List.
Since I attended his workshop, I have motivated many people to try this technique. Keep reading about my assistant Emily’s experience, and read on until the end where I share the step-by-step guide for you.

Emily says: 

I’ve been working with Christina for almost a year now. During this time, I have been exposed to many different types of her methods, and I’ve even been lucky enough to become trained in HeartMath. I have seen many people benefit and even transform under her care. I just figured that wasn’t due for me. I am not a client. 

That is, until one day, Christina turns to me and says, “You’ve been with me for how long? A year? I think it’s a good time to ask you this question: Where do you want to go?”

I looked at her, felt my brow furrow, and was confused. What did she mean? Was I supposed to be going somewhere? I came to work every day. I gave her updates on our projects. Did I miss something?

So I asked her, “What?”

She smiled and stopped typing and looked me square in the eye.

“What do you want? What are your plans? How do you see your future?”

Now I was starting to verge on panic mode. I was stymied. I didn’t know. I mean, first things that come to mind are the basics: financial stability, a comfortable home, food on the table. Isn’t that what everyone is working for?

So I answered, haltingly, “Financial independence?”

Christina closed her computer and picked up a notebook. “Come here, sit with me. Bring a notebook.” 

We crossed over to the overstuffed couch in the waiting area of the Sin Miedo center, plopped down, afternoon sunlight streaming through the windows. I opened my notebook, clicked my pen, and waited.

12 Things you want from your Heart

“I want you to write down 12 things that you want. 12 things you can picture yourself having, in detail, no matter how selfish it feels. No detail is too small. It can be anything, big or small. Just write 12 things that you want, from your heart.”

Ok, I thought to myself. That shouldn’t be too hard. I want things all the time. Walking down the street, I see a nice leather jacket in a window I would lust after. But that felt frivolous. Things from the heart – -that doesn’t include clothes, does it? She said it could be selfish. I’m not good with being selfish, though. Maybe I should put down something about ending homelessness?

Christina could see these thoughts running through my head. After a year, she knows me pretty well.

“Don’t write down “world peace” or anything like that. This is for you, and you alone. BE SELFISH!”

Alright then. I sighed. I guess this is going to be a lot harder than I thought! 

Selfish. The word swirled in my mind. Selfish. What do I want? Really? I have what I need to survive. But what if I could want more than that? More than survival.

What if I could thrive?

The first couple things came easily: my own house, my own car. I showed these to Christina. 

“Good,” she said. “Now get specific. What is your house made out of? Where is it? What color is your car? Where are you driving it?” 

Ok, I was getting it now! I need to see what I want in my mind. Hold the image. Describe it. House and car. I got those; it was fun! Like imagining myself winning the lottery.

But after the first few, I was stumped yet again. How did I describe number 11: “Fall asleep without medication.”? 

“Picture what success would look like,” Christina advised. “Would you tell someone about it? Who? And what would you say.”


I quickly learned this list was more than just asking for something from Santa for Christmas. This list was to represent anything that I wanted to implement to change my life. It was abstract, yet at the same time, extremely tangible. This list was a tool to move me beyond my daily goal of survival. This list was to dig deep into what I really wanted. It could define who I really am. It isn’t selfish; it’s growth. As someone who is deeply uncomfortable discussing my own needs, the list really challenged my way of thinking. 

I am not 100% finished with the list yet. I am finding it much easier to focus on it deeply for several minutes a day, rather than forcing myself to put all my energy in at once. I would say I am 80% done, and yet, just this morning, one of the things on my list came to me! It wasn’t huge or life-changing, but it was exactly something I needed to improve my daily self-confidence. It was on the list! Now there’s an empty spot…

What will I fill it with next?

written by Emily Leukhart
Visionboard 2022

 Step by Step: How to get what you want

Do you resonate with Emily? Is it hard for you to be aware of, let alone discuss, your needs? If that is the case and you want to thrive, then this exercise is for you.  The exercise is better than manifesting and is taught by Bill Bengston ( who is an amazing researcher, and my hilariously funny teacher in healing techniques. 

Here are the steps. 

  1. I want you to write down things that you want. Write things you can picture yourself having, in detail, no matter how selfish it feels. No detail is too small. It really can be anything, big or small. Just write down everything that you want, from your heart.
  2. Do some items include other people? Take them off the list. You should not include others. If you want to be with friends at a party, imagine being with people you like, without giving them faces or names.
  3. Check your list. Are the items specific? Can you know once you have it, and how would you know that?
    Example: “I want to be smart”
    That is not specific. “Passing x exam and getting the paper back with a good percentage”, that is specific. Create a mental image/feeling /sensory sensation for the moment you know you have the item on your list. 
  4. Continue until you have at least 12 items on your list. Why 12? Because I love the number. You can choose another number. Your list should have more than 10, better 20 items on your list. We don´t want to obsess over 1 or 2 things, we want MANY.
  5. The “hard part” is done. Now the fun starts. I want you to imagine HAVING the items on your list. Create mental pictures, or feelings, or sensory experiences around your items. Spend 5-15 minutes with EACH ITEM, and imagine how it feels in detail having reached that specific goal or wish.
  6. Bonus, only for thrivers: After creating the images, try imagining all the 12 images in a row. Like a filmstrip. Or like a picture book. It takes some practice, but it will be really fun when you get it. 

Bonus II, only for Megathrivers:
Imagine the 12 images for a second each when you feel a strong emotion. 

To most people the above sounds either like a mental practice, or a funny way to waste your time. To me, it is a lifestyle and maybe THE single most important thing that is driving my success.

ONLY if you know what you want is it possible to reach it.

Read that again. 

Intrigued? You should be. 

And there is one more point. 

  1. It´s not a static list. Every time you receive one of the items, you need to take them off the list and add something new. I just crossed off “having an amazingly hot, steamy shower in my new house” which seemed impossible last week because we didn´t even have running water in the house. Then it surprisingly happened yesterday. The shower was actually a little too hot. Be careful what you wish for… 
Now stare into the sunset if you have to, but get your list going! 
Always yours with love and care, Christina

Final notes: The Magic List will create an expansion for you and after an expansion comes a rest. After an expansion you´ll probably go back to your previous state at least for a bit. The time of tolerating the expansion will increase with time and practice until it becomes second nature and then you can expand again. Remember that change will happen in bursts. Keep working on your list.
A visual representation of my current list:
Vision Board