What we put into the universe, we get back as an echo, as the saying goes.
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That’s the essence of manifestation. The concept isn’t entirely new; it was based on 19th century American spiritualist Phineas Quimby’s Law of Attraction, who said that manifesting is all about the belief that our thoughts are energy. And now in the 21st century, the word manifestation is a trending hashtag.
In 2006, Australian television producer and author Rhonda Byrne popularised the Law Of Attraction again as she wrote the words in her self-help book, The Secret, “Your whole life is a manifestation of the thoughts that go on in your head.”
The book sold over 30 million copies, finding a strong fan-following in celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and American talk show host Ellen Degenres. The curiosity surrounding the word did not fade; in fact in 2020, it saw a surge of popularity during the peak of the pandemic and became a popular hashtag. It stormed social media apps like TikTok, which saw people writing out their desires on pieces of paper. In over 8 million videos, people recited their affirmations, fold the paper, and keep it under the pillow.
Celebrities across the globe also upped their manifestation practice game. Hollywood pop singer Ariana Grande revealed she had a ‘weird manifestation gift’, as an explanation for her astronomical rise to fame. For the consumers of Bollywood tabloids, chat show host and filmmaker Karan Johar’s talk show Koffee with Karan became the infamous ‘couch of manifestation’. Actors who featured on his show, expressed their romantic inclinations for other actors who apparently were hardly aware of their existence. Within a year or two, they were married.
Now coming to us mere mortals, the idea of manifestation might seem rather far-fetched. Most of us even get rather annoyed with platitudes like ‘if you set your mind to something it will happen’. But how? How do you put positive thinking into practice? Well, experts explain.
What is manifesting?
You can create your own vision board. Image Credit: Pexels.com
Manifesting is the power to will something into reality. It’s when your actions and beliefs are aligned. In essence, it’s how you can use the power of your mind, to change and create the reality you experience.
“We are magnetic beings. Every single day, we manifest, whether it’s consciously or not,” says Lauren O’Connell, life coach, self-help author as well as a beauty entrepreneur. “For the longest time, I noticed that if I was having a particularly bad day or felt down about something, that negative energy seemed to permeate into every aspect of my life. On days where everything was going my way and I felt excited and motivated, more great moments and opportunities would follow.” We attract experiences in our life, with thoughts, beliefs and emotions, says Connell.
Manifestation is a practice that compels you to become the most authentic and the best version of yourself. It’s not just ‘seeing is believing’, but acting on it too, as Dubai-based Sofie Dahlman, career and personal development coach says. If several opportunities come your way, but you have only a half-hearted interest in them, that’s not manifestation.
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You need the growth mindset to manifest something into reality
In order for manifestation to work, you need to have the growth mindset. A growth mindset allows you to be more flexible in your thought processes, and adaptable to new ideas. Image Credit: Shutterstock
In order for manifestation to work, you need to have the growth mindset, says Dahlman. A growth mindset allows you to be more flexible in your thought processes, and adaptable to new ideas.
The growth mindset entails that you are also aware of what you want to look for, and what you would want to achieve. It means taking risks, daring innovations, unconventional thinking and the courage to test uncharted ideas. Having a growth mindset also helps in reducing stress and anxiety by reframing thoughts in a far more positive manner.
We are magnetic beings. Every single day, we manifest, whether it’s consciously or not. For the longest time, I noticed that if I was having a particularly bad day or felt down about something, that negative energy seemed to permeate into every aspect of my life.
“You need to believe that ‘I can learn from this’. You need to have the belief that you can try something. That fires you up with motivation, and so even if you make mistakes and fail, you find a way to get back on your feet again.” This growth mindset is crucial, as it supports you to take charge of the opportunities coming your way, explains Dahlman. Rephrase your own words. Instead of looking at something as a failure and saying “I’m never doing this again”, instead say, “Okay, how do I work on this?”
How do you manifest correctly?
Sit down with yourself, and try to understand what exactly you want from your life. Image Credit: Shutterstock
Manifesting requires a positive mindset shift, says Connell. In order for it to work, you need to let go of “lower vibrational energies” such as fear, doubt, she says. “As you focus on what you do want to manifest into your life, you begin to align your frequency and increase your vibration to match the energetic version of your desires,” adds Connell.
In order for you to swap being stuck in the same cycle of lack and not receiving what you want and need, it’s really important that you become aware of your thoughts, says Cassie Watts, a Dubai-based life coach. “Thoughts feed your actions and habits. Let’s say for example, you don’t sleep well and all day you’re thinking similar thoughts to ‘I’m so tired, I just need to rest but I can’t because I’ve got so much to do, but I’m never going to get anything done, because I’m so tired. This isn’t fair, why can’t I just get a good night’s sleep? What do you think is going to happen? I’ll tell you. You’re going to have a low energy, impactful day and probably another restless night’s sleep. You’re also more likely to make poor health and lifestyle choices too. Awareness is the first step, without it you will stay the same,” she says.
Sit down with yourself, and try to understand what exactly you want from your life. How do you see your life several months or a year from now, asks Dahlman. If you wish, you can use a vision board, or journal. “Create your vision board, if you have to. Ask yourself difficult questions, on what you are surrounded by right now, and what you wish to be surrounded by in the future. What did you not have before, that you want now? What do you wish to contribute to the universe,” she asks.
Create your vision board, if you have to. Ask yourself difficult questions, on what you are surrounded by right now, and what you wish to be surrounded by in the future. What did you not have before, that you want now? What do you wish to contribute to the universeFollowing this self-interrogation, write a letter from your future self to your current self, she suggests. As you put it into words, you are unearthing intentions in your subconscious mind. It also tricks your mind into believing that you have accomplished your goals. Make sure the details are vivid and convincing. “For instance, you can tell yourself how you are living the dream, and what you have achieved in the future,” she explains. As you gradually keep expressing these emotions and feelings, it will push you to the right decisions that can lead to the future that you have imagined.
“The key is to act as if whatever you desire is already happening, be specific about your wishes, and always practice gratitude,” says Connell. Watch your phrasing carefully. “If you say ‘I want, I hope’ that means you don’t have it,” she says. Use words like ‘I am, I have, I experience’. This helps in reprogramming your subconscious as you feel more motivated to achieve your goals. Journaling is another helpful manifesting tool, as you can see the progress you’ve made.
Manifesting is not just about the future, as Dahlman explains. It’s also about being grateful for the present. You need to reflect on what you are really grateful for, and what makes you happy. This also helps in manifesting the future that you want.
Manifestation is also about being grateful for the present. You need to reflect on what you are really grateful for, and what makes you happy. Image Credit: Pexels.com
How to work through trauma blockage
Sometimes, our past experiences that are particularly traumatic, make it difficult for us to manifest anything good for ourselves.
“When we begin to focus solely on the life we want and stop obsessing over the life we don’t, we are able to shift our energetic frequency into one of allowing,” advises Connell. “Being in a state of allowing lets us release energetic blocks we may have that prevent our manifestations arriving with ease,” she says.
Healing past traumatic experiences creates positive energy and space for successful manifestation, explains Ayat Mekki, a wellness expert. “The best way to break through these blocks is through mental and emotional clearing work. Healing, prayers, meditation, journaling, sharing with trusted people and therapy are good examples,” she says.
The best way to break through these blocks is through mental and emotional clearing work. Healing, prayers, meditation, journaling, sharing with trusted people and therapy are good examples
This healing involves rewiring and reprogramming the subconscious to release trauma blockage, as Connell explains. Look at all the things on your list. Is there something that’s making you upset, or even slightly uncomfortable? If there is, you need to address that. Sometimes these blockages could be the result of childhood experiences, or constantly rejecting potential opportunities out of fear.
As manifestation involves believing and willing your dreams to reality, you need to uncover root causes of your trauma before you proceed. You need to see what’s holding you back and why so, through journaling, and self-reflection, in order to manifest correctly. So, we need to keep practising saying positive things to ourselves before sleep and when we wake up, particularly in stressful situations, like before speaking publicly or an office presentation. A simple numerology method of practising affirmations, includes writing down what you want to manifest, three times in the morning, six times in the afternoon, and nine times in the evening. This is how you keep in touch with your intentions throughout the day.
In some cases, we fear changes, even though we know it will be beneficial for us. So, we subconsciously don’t work towards our goals, though we convince ourselves we are, says Connell. After acknowledging this, make small changes to constantly keep stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on challenges.
Some of us don’t practise gratitude either, as the negatives in a situation outweigh the positives, or so we feel. For instance, you want a new job, but you dislike your current one and keep complaining about it. You get the new job and you find yourself in a similar situation again. You’re not pleased; you’ve carried the same negative energy there. Instead, you can focus on what you do like about the new place, and look at even the tiniest beneficial aspects. That can help in changing your mindset.
The more effort you put…’
It’s not enough to just flood your room with countless paper affirmations; you need to take action.
“For example, think of manifesting a job as a radio jockey. Your manifestation will be a lot more effective if you take inspired action,” explains Connell. “You can make a vision board that you look at everyday and write countless affirmations to attracting your dream job, but if you don’t network or apply for any radio jockey positions, it’s going to be tough to get that job.”
Quoting the law of attraction theorised by Quimby in 19th century, Connell states that what you put out into the universe, you get back. “The more effort you put into bringing your manifestation into your reality, the easier it will come,” she says.