During lockdown no.1 I had something of an epiphany. Amidst the ‘unprecedented’ chaos and the panic about the things I took for granted slipping away into the unknown, I realised that life was precious, and that I wanted to make mine even better. Rather than waiting for things to happen to me, it was time to make them happen for me.
That’s when everything changed.
I first heard about manifestation several years ago. Although I liked the idea of it, I was in such a tricky spot in my life that I felt it would take more than a few pretty pictures on a Pinterest board for my dreams to come true. And in any case, I’m not even sure if I knew what they were. Looking back now, I find it fascinating that something so simple - and completely free if you ignore the increasing number of attempts to monetise it - took me so long to grasp.
Sure, the Pinterest board grew to accommodate a few trinkets I’ve always coveted and holiday resorts I wanted to visit, but I didn’t put any of the other work in.
So what is the work?
Whether you call it the law of attraction, visualisation or simply being clear about your goals and dreams, manifestation is about setting your intention and sharing it with the universe, consistently and with an open and grateful heart. It sounds incredibly simple, but I guess if it was, everyone would be doing it. The tricky part is getting your mindset into a place where you genuinely believe that achieving your dreams is something that’s possible, no matter how long it takes. This isn’t easy if we’re trying to get back on our feet after some knocks and are feeling hurt and cynical. But I genuinely believe that with practice, it can be done, and it can get results.
Here’s my approach:
- I decide what I want: I’m not sure how it works in terms of the number of things you can ask the universe for, but I’m pretty understated by nature, so I generally have three or four things on my list. The trick is to get really clear about what they are, and be consistent until you get them
- I put my four things out ‘into the universe’ daily: I say them out loud when walking my dog (out of earshot of others, obvs) and I can’t remember the last car journey I had which didn’t involve me having a conversation with the universe (thank god for Bluetooth)! I write them down in a beautiful journal, I sometimes talk about a couple of them on social media and where possible, I find images of what they might look like and view them regularly. This is where Pinterest is wildly useful, but if you really want to to go for it, build a vision board. I haven't done mine yet (well, besides a crap drawing of a cheque for an undisclosed sum which I stuck on the inside of my wardrobe) but they're increasingly popular with people who want to give this a proper go
- I try to feel as if I’ve already received them: And I mean really feel it. I try to step into the shoes of my future self and summon all those feelings of excitement, gratitude and joy. And yes I felt silly at first
- I back it all up with action: If one of the things you’re trying to manifest is a healthy body you feel good in, you’re probably not going to get it via steps 1 to 3 alone. I suppose that logic applies to much of what we have on our wish list, so a plan is definitely helpful. But what underpins manifestation is positivity, gratitude and intent. If you have those, you’re far more likely to be motivated to make stuff happen. It’s a powerful combination!
Gradually, I’ve been able to start ticking things off, mainly around selling my house, getting my writing published on a larger scale and feeling really positive about staying single until it’s the right time not to, and it feels really good. Every time I achieve something, I replace it with something else, so I’m always consciously working towards a set of things I can get excited about. This is so important for me during the latest lockdown. Rather than feeling like my life is on hold, it flips the script and I see it as an opportunity to work towards something, which I’ll feel the benefits of when things do return to normal. And they will.
There is of course a school of thought that this stuff is ‘mumbo jumbo’, but there’s increasing evidence to suggest it’s not. I mean regardless of the science - which is pretty impressive - what harm can it possibly do to believe that something good is going to happen to you? What does it take away from your life to focus on your dreams and get really clear about what you want? After all, there’s enough of everything on our planet for everyone, or there would be if humans were less greedy and more gracious. At present, it feels like much of it is disproportionately awarded to the same tiny percentage of people (think Kim K on her gaudy island ‘vacay’, or Philip Green floating interminably on his yacht). If by being more positive and believing what you want is already yours means you’re more likely to get it, then grasp it with both hands and take what’s yours.
Manifestation must dos
- Be authentic – ask for the things you genuinely want in your heart, not the things you think you should ask for
- The more positive the energy you put out, the more it’s reflected back, so focus only on what you want, NOT what you don’t want. That means using positive language that puts you in the right mindset. For example, “I want a career that is enjoyable and rewarding, with a kind and inspirational boss”, rather than “I want to leave work because it’s shit and I don’t like my boss”. Give the universe a fighting chance of picking up the signals!
- Be thankful – if you approach manifestation from a place of abundance and gratitude, you’ll get more of the same. If you approach it from a place of lack, you’ll also get more of the same