How To Manifest What You Want In Your Life
Do you daydream about the life you want to create for yourself? While that’s a good first step in defining what you want, it isn’t enough to make it happen. You have to then create, or manifest, it. So often I hear clients say, “Oh, I daydream about doing ‘X’ with my life.” But when I ask them what they are doing to make that daydream a reality, the answer is usually that they aren’t doing anything or a list of reasons why they can’t do anything at this time.
Now, of course, there are some valid reasons why people can’t pursue their dream at a given time. Perhaps they’re caring for an elderly parent or have a newborn. Maybe there is value hanging on at the current job for another year for the stock options to fully vest. I get it and don’t want anyone to feel like they are not living their lives well if they do need to focus on something else given their current situation. But that being said, even when someone is caring for an elderly parent or a newborn, or waiting for those stock options to vest, there usually is something he or she can do to start moving in the direction of their dream.
I’ve found that manifesting brings together “being” and “doing” to create what you want. Books like The Secret and movies such as “What the Bleep?!” made the concept of manifestation much more mainstream, which is great. However, many people walked away from these with a slightly distorted view of what manifestation is. Manifestation is not just simply daydreaming about what you want. When we are randomly daydreaming, we are not focused and we are not immersing ourselves fully into the experience of “being” and “living” what it is that we want to manifest. The truth is, we are manifesting at all times. Manifesting is when we create something in our lives through our thoughts, focus, and actions. So, when we go through life thinking over and over again, “I have the worst luck, nothing good ever happens to me,” we bring that into ourselves. Conversely, if we go through life thinking over and over again, almost like a mental mantra, that everything falls into place, then we bring that into our lives.
The Power of Our Thoughts
Most of us can see this as we look back on our lives. We can see how our thoughts become our reality. For example, I have a client who firmly believes that everyone is out to get him. He is convinced that the people he hires steal from him or take advantage of him somehow; maybe by not working as many hours as they say or by giving him bad information. What has happened is that this belief comes true in nearly every relationship he has (I am an exception to this). So his lawyers give him bad advice that ends up costing him lots of money and puts him in some pretty tough situations. His workers have stolen from him and have lied. His builder (he is building a house) has stolen materials, not completed the necessary paperwork, resulting in some huge delays, and has done some of the work incorrectly. He sits around and wonders why everyone does this to him.
The reason why this happens, and the reason why manifesting works is because we are all energetic beings and what it is that we are looking to create is also energy. This means that we can connect easily with what we desire. Our thoughts are extremely powerful. When we are manifesting and creating in our lives, we need to harness the energy of our mind to visualize, feel and attract what it is we want for our life. We need to visualize it and see it in its full glory. We need to feel as if it is in our life and act accordingly. And when we do that, we can begin to attract it into our lives.
Let me give you an example. When I was first moving to San Francisco, I didn’t have much time to find a place to live, and I had some pretty specific needs — I wanted a 2-bedroom apartment so I could have a separate space for working, I wanted something in a safe neighborhood, I wanted an apartment that was high up (I like having views), and I needed a place that would take my dog and cat and have secure parking for my car. Everyone told me I was crazy and that it was impossible — especially when I told them I had one weekend to find it. Their voices could have easily become the voice in my head, telling me it was impossible and not going to happen.
But I chose to ignore them and believe that it was impossible. Instead, I knew in my heart and every cell of my being that it was not only possible but that I would find the perfect place for me. I held onto my vision of what I wanted, and didn’t just daydream about it, but felt it. I felt how it would feel to live in such an apartment in San Francisco. I felt how it would feel to come home to that apartment every night, and how I would arrange my furniture in it. I felt how I would celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in the apartment. I hadn’t found the apartment yet, but I knew it was out there and that I was going to find it. I even felt that the apartment was looking for me and wanting me to live in it; and, by doing so, was drawing me in like a magnet. As you can probably figure out, I found that apartment. I actually found 3 that weekend and had the luxury of choosing the one that I liked the best, which even had features that I hadn’t even considered.
One of the first things to help you manifest is to recognize and believe whole-heartedly that what you want is already out there. It already exists, and it is just a matter of time before it falls into your lap. I did this with my apartment, but you could do it with anything you want to create in your life. That boyfriend or girlfriend that you want? He or she is already on the planet. That very specific job or career you want? It already exists, you just have to find and connect with it. That dream vacation? Guess what? It’s there, waiting for you. The car, home, wardrobe, or toy? You can go online and find it because it already exists. When you know that something already exists — even when you can’t find exactly what you want online — you take away the stress and burden of creating it and can focus instead on bringing it and its energy into your life and the many opportunities or options that exist for you.
Which brings me to a second aspect that you need to keep in mind when you are in the process of manifesting. You may have heard the statement: This or something better. We are limited in what we can imagine for our lives. If someone had told me that I would have a house in Guatemala and would be doing shamanic work focused on helping people live courageously authentic lives a couple years ago, I would have laughed at them. It was beyond my scope of comprehension at the time. So while these things existed, they didn’t exist in my realm of possibility.
When we visualize what we want to manifest and attract in our lives, adding “this or something better” to the end of our visualization helps us be open to receiving something that we wouldn’t otherwise have focused on, but that is aligned with our highest good. So, looking back at my San Francisco apartment example, if I had been locked into just the things that I said I wanted, I might not have recognized, manifested or brought in the apartment that I ended up in, which was so much more than what I asked for. When we are open to other things that the Universe, wants for us, we often end up getting something even bigger or better than we asked for.
In addition to believing and knowing that what you want is out there already (and therefore that you don’t have to create it, just attract it) and being open to receiving something even better than what you are asking for, another tip is to be flexible. When you are flexible, you allow the doors of opportunity to open for you. You are not locked into one thing or even one way for that thing to come into being. Instead, you can recognize that there could be many ways that something could come into your life and you say “yes” to all of them. This further increases your choices and ability to select exactly what you want.
Another thing that is important when manifesting is to live and act as if you have already received what it is that you are looking for. Our minds don’t know when something is real or when something is just being imagined. Every one of us has experienced this truth when we think about an event in our past that caused us to feel hurt or angry. When we relive that memory, we find the same feelings come up inside of us, as if the event was happening right now. Of course, the reverse is true as well. If we relieve a memory that brought us great joy or happiness, those feelings are evoked. When we live as if we have already gotten what we wanted, it sends out a powerful message and powerful energy into the universe about what it is that you are looking to attract. The adage of “like attracts like” is at play here, as well as the belief that it is true. My visualizations about my first San Francisco apartment are an example of this. I was mentally living in my apartment before I ever found it. I saw and envisioned how my furniture would be arranged. I felt the energy of the apartment at the holidays as well as the sense of peacefulness that it brought me every day.
How does this look for other things? Well, if you want to attract a life partner, you could do things like make space in your home (empty drawers, make space in the closet) and go through your day feeling the feeling you envision yourself having when that special someone comes into your life. If you want to manifest a certain type of job, you could do the same thing. The adage “dress for success” comes into play here. You could dress the way someone in that position does, take any necessary courses you might need, and again, envision yourself doing that type of work. If you’re dreaming of a fitter body, buy the clothes in the size you want to be.
The key to this is feeling as if you have already gotten whatever it is that you want to manifest and supplement with other things (such as clothing, confidence, etc.) so that it becomes real to you now, not when it arrives. And then be grateful for what you currently have, for what you are creating, and for the opportunities that begin presenting themselves to you. You may not know how things are going to arrange themselves to bring you what you want to manifest, but as you say yes to each opportunity that comes forward, you will open the next one.
Bringing Your Energy in Alignment with what You Want to Manifest
Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Vision boards. A vision board is a large piece of poster board or an area of your wall where you put pictures, words and other things that represent what it is that you want to create with your life. The idea is that by going through the process of defining and getting clear on what you want, and then seeing it through the pictures and words, it becomes more real to you and serves as a starting point for you to feel what it would be like to have or be the vision. Post your vision board where you can see it several times a day to reinforce what you want to manifest.
- Another thing that can help you feel and vision what you want to create is to envision yourself from different perspectives — your own and those of others. So, for example, when I decided that I was going to write a book, I didn’t envision myself writing, I envisioned myself on the book tour. I started by envisioning myself sitting or standing behind a podium/table, but then also I spent time visioning myself from the perspective of the people who would be going to the book tour. I saw myself through the eyes of others, seeing me as a successful author on a book tour. This helped me manifest on several levels: 1) I was able to feel what it felt like to be in front of an audience of book lovers and 2) I was able to connect to the energy of the people who would be interested in my book. It was a win-win since I was not only helping to manifest my book but also manifest the people who would want to read it. The other thing this did was help me to incorporate more than just the sense of sight into my visualization. I could feel the smooth, cool surface of the podium, hear the sounds of the people in the audience…and myself talking, and smell and taste the wine that I had envisioned being served. All of this helped make my vision (from both my perspective and the perspective of the people who would be attending) even more real and believable.
- One other thing you might want to try is to take a cue from Dr. Masaru Emoto, who did a variety of studies on the impacts of words, music, and emotions on water. He found that when he wrote a word, such as love, and placed it on a glass that held water, it changed how the water crystalized. Words focused on love, healing and higher purpose caused the water to crystalize beautifully, while words such as hate or kill would cause the water to be unable to crystalize. Since our body is predominately made of water, what we think impacts us at the cellular level. And when we drink water infused with the energy of these words, it helps change us at a cellular level. I have written the words ‘love and gratitude” on a piece of paper and put it under my water pitcher in my refrigerator for years. You can do the same thing with what it is that you want to manifest. Write your desire on a piece of paper, in the present form, such as, “I am a successful author,” and wrap it around a glass of water. Let the energy of the words infuse the water. You can amp it up by saying the words out loud while you hold the water, and then drink it.
- Another thing you can do to hold onto your vision is to find something small that represents your dream that you can carry around with you. So, perhaps you carry a business card that you printed up at home that has your name and the job title you want with you. Every time you see the card, it reminds you of your vision and makes it more real for you..
Jim Carey tells the story about how he wrote himself a check for $10 million when he was just starting out on his acting career and dated it for 5 years out. He made it payable to him for acting services and then carried it in his wallet. Five years later, he was earning $20 million. The interesting thing about Jim Carey’s story is that his focus was not on the money. His focus was on becoming a successful actor and being recognized as such. The dollar amount was merely an indicator of his success. In fact, here is what he said about it:
“I would visualize having directors interested in me and people that I respected saying that ‘I like your work’ or whatever that is. I would visualize things coming to me that I wanted or whatever, and I had nothing at that time, but it just made me feel better. At that time all it really was for me was making me feel better. I would drive home and think “Well, I do have these things; they’re out there and I just don’t have a hold on them yet, but they’re out there.”
Once you have your visualization in mind and can feel it, the next step is to be open to receiving the abundance that the universe starts bringing your way. This includes looking for and acting on the opportunities that begin to present themselves. Say “yes” and then take action!
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