It’s a very sad state of affairs that something as powerful as manifesting, is now plastered on tote bags and journals, sometimes laughed out of a room with eye-rolls and inner whispers of ‘here we go’. I’ve been manifesting for 17 years, so I’ve been waiting for this mass moment where everyone would be practising. However, as is often the case when we turn something into a trend (a very profitable one at that), things often take a turn for the nonsensical. I don’t believe in the ‘I did it, so you can too’ approach when it comes to how to manifest. Manifesting and well, any wellbeing, spiritual or other practices, are so deeply individual, that just because something works for one person, it may not work for others. We live different lives, so working with approaches that we can all find a place to land in, makes more sense to me.
So, here’s some notes on manifesting if like me you’re sick and tired of hearing about it, but interested in working with it. Consider it a permission slip you can give to yourself, to add some more ease into your practice.
LIVE YOUR LIFE
I promise you, it’s just not that deep. It really isn’t. Why would the universe test you? Life is not one big exam, that you fail or pass depending on how good you are and the choices you make. Repeating that you’re a millionaire 444 times a day, does not a millionaire make; if you haven’t looked at your actual relationship with money. Cutting pictures from a magazine to put on your vision board, without asking yourself what you really want from life and how you want your life to feel; is just a glorified art project. If the so-called manifesting rules you’ve been adding to your life are making you feel awful or even worse, that you just need to ‘work a bit harder’, it’s time to rethink what manifesting is and how it can work better for you. Rules, practices and techniques are not magic-makers, they’re designed to shift your perspective or aid in faith and belief, so never feel bad if one technique doesn’t work for you. Even if a book or teacher says it’s the only way to do something, I promise you it isn’t. Trust yourself.
WE CAN’T IGNORE REALITY
There are too many systemic issues that have an impact on our lives. From lack of access to mental and physical health services, racism and transphobia to violence against women and girls, food insecurity and climate change. The work we do on ourselves always has to take those into consideration, as well as our own unique personal experiences and trauma. It is impossible and pretty harmful to live in a state of ‘high vibes only’ when we are encountering all of this. Yes, we can find amazing coping mechanisms, strategies and support to alleviate all of it and find ways to be with what is difficult, but ignoring it is not a vibe. That’s why there is never a one size fits all approach to this. It’s also why we have to remember that yes, we can believe we can do something but because of the barriers or lack of resources that some of us face, our routes into it will be extremely varied. We are all starting off from different places and manifesting practices need to take that into consideration.
MAKE IT (UN)INTENTIONAL
If you’ve read my book Take It In, you’ll already know this but my definition of manifesting is as follows:
‘(Un)intentional manifesting occurs as a side effect of doing the inner work. It’s where you change how you see and respond to the outer world and receive the opportunities that will most benefit you; almost without asking for it. The manifestation isn’t always a tangible thing, but life feels limitless, rich with potential, where you can move through whatever you’re going through. From here, you can be intentional about your human experiences, as you have power and agency to create. Intentional manifesting is when you define the tangible stuff that affords you pleasure, ease and purpose.’
Everything I do within The Philosophy of Doing Less, Being Present, and Feeling More, is (un)intentional manifesting, it is you living slowly and being a witness to life. It is quiet joy, quiet rebellion, quiet healing and quiet revolution. It’s you being in the world, stopping to chat to the neighbourhood cat, taking longer to eat your morning pain au chocolat and sharing what you’re finding difficult within community. It’s just a way of being and existing and life feeling so good that you feel like you’ve manifested it all.
THEN, GET INTENTIONAL
When you know who you are, you know what you want. It’s that simple. When life feels absolutely delicious because you’re being present, reflecting and slowing down. When you are able to just be with yourself and witness all the beauty that exists in nature and life, then we have such a great base to be intentional. We can then choose from a place of unlearning cultural expectations, which are the things we think we want, but we don’t actually want (thanks to good old late-stage capitalism). We get to choose the experiences we want from a foundation of knowing we are enough without them. So if after the inner work and finding joy in presence, you desire a Birkin or Bremont watch, because they’re pretty, then do your thing! I do. The intention behind why we want it has been beautifully explored.
But, when we bring all our focus to manifesting from a place of ‘my life isn’t good enough without this material thing’ we always set ourselves up for failure and needless pressure. Create a life that feels good for you to be in and then see what will make your stay on Earth more comfortable and pleasurable. Whether you’re using your imagination, scripting or some of the other exercises in the book, do it because it feels good. Do it for your future because you’re so in love with your present.
Take It In is out now if you’re looking to go into more depth on the role that inner work has on manifesting.