Manifesting is something thought of as magic and “woo-woo” by anyone who has grown up believing that hard work, perseverance and sacrifice are the only ways to get what you want.
Many manifesting instructions lean heavily on the spiritual elements of bringing what you want into your physical reality. These include goal-setting, visualization, positive thinking and affirmations. If you read books like “The Secret” you might think that that’s all there is to it, and then when it doesn’t work, you think, “Well, it was all hocus pocus anyway.”
Manifesting is NOT magic, it is not wishful thinking. You actually do have to get off your butt and do something.
Here’s a real example, a true story of a friend of mine.
My friend wanted to manifest a great life as a photographer and a writer. Of course “everybody” told her, “You can’t make a decent living doing either one of these” (uh… really?… but that’s a discussion for another day). And so, buying into that commonplace perspective she said to herself, “I’ll start at the bottom, pay my dues and slowly hopefully work my way into professional recognition and success.”
For four years, she struggled. Long hours taking low-paying projects just to get her name out there, and frustration at not knowing how to market herself without spending money she didn’t have.
Then, she discovered the real secret to manifesting. Here’s how she turned her life and fortunes around, in just one year of focused effort that had NOTHING to do with working harder than she already was:
1. Know what you want. Going back to my friend’s example, being “successful” as a photographer and writer isn’t enough. What does success mean? To my friend, it means time to play and work on her own schedule (she’s not the 9-5 type); it means comfortably meeting her financial obligations and having a little left over for fun and indulgences – and by “a little” she specified $1,000 a month on top of any other imaginable financial expense; it means having a steady clientele who advertise for her, through word of mouth, so that hunting for clients becomes unnecessary; and, it means doing work that is fulfilling and satisfying.
2. Use affirmations. An affirmation is a declaration of an acceptance of fact. Through repetition, the affirmation is imprinted into the subconscious, and then it drives actions. My friend had a dog and she would walk him every day and repeat the affirmation, “I am a successful photographer and writer. I love what I do and I earn $100,000 a year.” At first, there was lots of internal resistance to this. Predictably, since she was only earning $20,000 (if she was having a decent year) and working 50-60 hours a week! But she played with this as if she were a child playing pretend. What’s the harm in pretending, after all? Affirmations tell your brain to FOCUS on what you want. This is important.
3. Use emotional visualization. My friend would visualize herself photographing weddings, writing novels, selling her images in galleries, autographing books at book signings, depositing large checks, withdrawing money from her account knowing there was always plenty… and in her visualizations, the overwhelming emotion was joy at being able to live this perfect life.Emotions, not logic, drive actions.
Okay. So far, so good. Lots of repetition and mental rehearsal.
My friend plugged away, slowly becoming more established as a writer with repeat clients and was building a good photography portfolio as well.
4. Take action on whatever you notice.Whether or not you believe in divine guidance, if your brain took the trouble to bring something into your conscious awareness, it’s probably a good idea to act on it.
After about 4 months of this intense self-work, a “miracle.” Or…? One client referred her to a friend, and even though my friend was buried in work, something resonated. My friend helped this new client launch her business. The work included content writing and web design – suddenly my friend was using both writing and photography together in a very exciting venture. Today she is the creative director for this company… telecommuting, working her own hours, and in control of the content and visual presentation of the company’s products and advertising. And… she currently makes $100,000 a year.
Skeptics would say, it was just coincidence that she happened to find this one particular opportunity. And there’s no harm in thinking like that. What is important though, is that she was focused on her ideal life and so she was READY to act on the “coincidence.” That is the real secret. Her focus caused her to:
prioritize honing her skills as a photographer and writer.
be highly attuned to what her competition was doing, and learn from the best.
LOVE her life, and LIVE hear dream even as her dream was in its infancy and developmental stages. She never worried about “when” or “how” or what might happen. She just fell in love with her life – deliberately working only mornings and evenings so she could spend her days playing (and yes, sometimes, those evenings would drag on ‘til the wee hours) … she cheerfully gave her best, and when this opportunity came along, she had already done so much mental rehearsal that it was a perfect, natural fit where she could highlight her talents and work with passion and purpose. It was her happiness, I’m convinced, that caused her client to refer my friend for this particular job, instead of the other writers she was working with.
relax. Her focus was not pressured in any way based on trying to escape an unhappy life. She WAS happy. Her mental/emotional work was pure play, pure pretend, and her “work” was joyful and on purpose.
There was no “magic” except in how magical her life had become, just through “living her focus.”She embodied the thoughts she was thinking. She put her mind to it, and mentally laid a strong foundation for whatever happened to come along.
Whether or not you believe in coincidence… IF you know exactly what you want, and IF you are not afraid to take action on the opportunities that present themselves… then your dreams will manifest. It’s a brilliant combination of focus and inspired action, that gets the job done. No hocus pocus.