You dream. 

You hope. 

You create an intention. 

Have you ever seen an image in your mind that later on became a reality? That was me at the beginning of 2017 when I had this thought: 

“I want to dance in Dancing with the Stars.” 

The thought itself made me feel both excited and deflated because I saw no way for me to make this happen: I was, what you’d call a semi-retired professional dancer now working in the tech field. Nonetheless, for the first half of 2017, I focused on working diligently during the day and dancing my heart out in my free time. I even surprised myself by winning (in my category) at one of the largest West Coast Swing events in the world, the famous MADJam

MADJam in Baltimore, MD. March 2017

Still, the thought kept coming back: “I want to dance in Dancing with the Stars.” 

And then, on August 10th, I received a message from Glenn Ballthe Creative Director of Dancing with the Stars in Austin, a huge charity event that takes place once a year. Would I be interested in joining the show as part of the professional dancers’ line up? I remember smiling to myself when I read that message. This is what I had been waiting for! 

But to be perfectly honest, I was initially hesitant to say yes and almost talked myself out of it. You may relate to this when something you want finally shows up and it actually scares you more than excites. In my case, fear showed up in the following thoughts: 

“I haven’t been on stage in a few years.”

“I’m no longer dancing professionally.”

“And besides, I’m no longer 25 or 35. I’m just not the right fit.” 

Thank you, Fear. Thank you for showing up and trying to protect me from making a fool of myself, but may I remind you that this is my desire and now the Universe is knocking on my door asking me if I really want it. And I really want it!

So, after a few days of that torturous dialogue in my head, I agreed to do it. I saw the bagel not the obstacle that Simon Sinek talks about in his commencement speech on “Things I wish I knew when I was younger.” As the months passed by, my partner and I worked consistently to refine the choreography: a Hip hop routine to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling.

I also continued to incubate my intention by doing the following three actions on a daily basis, which I recommend you do if you want to manifest something new in your life:  


Create an affirmation that reflects your desire with these three guidelines: 

1. Starts with ‘I am’. Example: “I am joyfully buying my dream home.”

2. It’s stated in the present moment. Example: “I am happily learning a new language.”

3. it’s positive and when you read it and say it around, it excites you! 

I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. -Muhammad Ali

Need ideas? Check out: 35 Affirmations That Will Change Your Life

Draw & Journal

I recommend you spend 5 to 10 minutes every morning drawing or journaling (you can alternate between these two every other day) about things that excite you and that you want to create in your future life. I still get chills when I look at my drawing days before the Dancing with the Stars show. I drew a trophy with the words ‘winner’ underneath it and that is exactly the type of trophy (shape and size) that I ended up receiving on December 2nd, 2017!


On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier, running the distance in 3:59.4. As part of his training, he relentlessly visualized the achievement in order to create a sense of certainty in his mind and body. 

This is exactly what you’re aiming to create when you visualize an event that hasn’t yet occurred in your life: certainty and familiarity. There have been countless studies on the power of visualization as the fastest way to manifest something new in your life so definitely use this tool to your advantage. For techniques, check out: Seeing is Believing: The Power of Visualization and 5 Visualization tips that will change your experience.

The result?

Not only did I get to dance at the Dancing with the Stars show in Austin, but to my utter delight, my partner and I ended up taking first place. And the event raised $1.6 million dollars for the Center for Child Protection; I felt part of a great cause and something bigger, much bigger than myself. 

As you can imagine, I am now a firm believer that intent is indeed one of the most powerful forces in the Universe, to quote Eckart Tolle:

What is your intention for 2018?  

I invite you to reflect on something you really want to do, be, or have in this coming year and use the 3 techniques above (Affirm, Draw, Visualize) to incubate this intention into your subconscious and make room in your life to receive it.

Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it. 

-Jules Renard

Here is to manifesting more of what you want in the coming year! 🙂


  • Azucena

    Vice President, Mentor Program


    A native of Mexico, Azucena moved to the States to study Computer Sciences and swim for the University of Texas at Austin. She later pursued a professional career in Latin dance and has won Dancing with the Stars in Austin in 2017 and third place at the World Salsa Championships in Puerto Rico in 2008, among others. Currently, she's the Head of the Mentor Program at Ceresa in Austin, Texas and enjoys writing about personal growth, career development and mindfulness.