Riches, and mansions, and luxury vacations, oh my! Today I’m talking about the truly fascinating topic of manifestation. The practice of deliberate manifesting will open you up to a crazy, exciting, strange new frontier. But, fair warning, once you start learning about manifesting practice, you may find it highly addictive. It’s nearly impossible to turn back after you’ve started down this path. Once you know, you know!
I believe you’ve found your way to this article for one reason: you’re ready to take deliberate control of your natural power to manifest. So welcome and buckle your seat belt, because life is about to get weird, wild, and awe-inspiring!
Manifestations are thoughts that take physical form. Manifestations can be physical things like a car, house, or pet. You can also manifest experiences in the physical world, such as getting a promotion at work, climbing a mountain peak, or finding your dream romantic relationship.
I feel like Bob Proctor (author of the book You Were Born Rich) sums it up best when he says, “Thoughts become things. If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.”
When you practice the art of manifestation, you subscribe to the fact that the mind is the root cause of everything physical. You also accept that the universe is ultimately an energetic or vibrational reality. Every person has an equally valid point of view and point of attraction. Every individual has an ability to draw things and experiences to herself via thoughts and emotions.
We’re all manifesting all of the time, but few of us have conscious and deliberate control over the manifestation process.
There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level. – A Course in Miracles
How Does Manifestation Happen?
Our entire world is the result of manifestation. What gives rise to an entire world seems to involve an overwhelmingly complex manifesting process. In actuality, though, the manifestation process is very straightforward and simple.
In fact, it’s possible to condense the entire process into three simple steps:
Step 1. An individual has an experience of lack or desire. We’re only able to feel a sense of lack (also called desire) because we perceive ourselves as bodies that are separate from one another. We could call this an “illusion” since we’re actually one being/mind/energy/vibrational field. But as long as we believe ourselves to be separate individuals, we’ll experience a sense of lack. Therefore, desire is the basis of manifestation.
To put it simply: The first step in the manifestation process happens automatically: you’re going about your life as a human being, and you realize that you want something.
Step 2. The universe (you could also call it the collective consciousness or the universal mind) instantaneously responds to every desire. Every time you experience desire – from a monumental sense of lack to a minor irritation – the universe answers in that very instant. This step can be very challenging to accept and it requires faith. For example, if you’ve lived all of your life struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills, you may have really strong feelings that a lifetime of hard work is required for you to experience financial abundance. That’s completely understandable. But the manifestation process requires you to place your faith in a higher power (or a higher self). A key to mastery is absolute faith that the universe always answers every call, immediately.
To put it simply: The second step in the manifestation process is not your work. The universe simply hears your every desire and answers immediately.
Step 3. In the final step, you receive your manifestation. However, you first have to bring yourself to a state of mind where you release all resistance and allow the manifestation into your experience. This is the step that requires tons of practice and, ultimately, mastery. I could write several posts on this topic alone (and I plan to write more in-depth articles in the future). Skill and deliberate focus and attention come into play in Step 3. In order to successfully receive your manifestation, you have to notice and care about how you feel. And you have to deliberately choose better-feeling thoughts. This involves a process of releasing judgment, completely letting go of your past, and allowing yourself to receive and be guided by intuition/higher self. Lack of understanding step 3 is the reason why so many people seem to be so far from getting all that they want.
To put it simply: The third step is the step that requires practice, deliberate effort, and faith. This is the step where you receive your manifestation once you’re able to release all resistance and allow it into your experience.
What we speak becomes the house we live in. – Hafiz
Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -Mark 11:22-24
What’s the Process to Successful Manifestation?
When you experience Step 1 and you know what you desire, there’s a simple and deliberate process you can put into place to bring your manifestation into your life experience. Here’s the process:
Set Your Intention: This is where you get really clear and specific about your desire. Maybe you’ve always felt a lot of joy and peace at the beach, but now you’ve realized that you want to live in a beach house. Once you know that you want to manifest a beach house, adjust your thinking to match. Grab a journal each morning, write about your dream house, and read it out loud. Create a vision board on Pinterest, with all of the details of the dream house, and add to it each lunch break. Put sticky notes around your office with positive phrases about the beach house becoming yours.
Feel Strong Emotion: When it comes to manifesting, words and pictures aren’t enough. We have to feel strong positive emotion to bring the manifestation into our experience. So as you journal and create vision boards and repeat affirmations, try to feel yourself in a beach house. Envision the relaxation and contentment as if the manifestation has already happened. As Abraham-Hicks says, “Joy is the key” to manifesting.
Take Action: In order to experience our manifestation, we also need to embody it. In other words, we have to take physical action to move in the direction of our desire. For example, if you want to manifest a beach house, start taking road trips to various beaches near your current home to see what’s for sale. Call a realtor to ask some initial questions. Start a few home improvement projects to get your current home ready for selling. Each action takes you one step closer to the Future You that lives in a beach house.
Eventually, everything that you want will come to full fruition. And how you feel is the only factor that determines the length of time between now and that manifestation. – Abraham-Hicks
Believe in its reality and it will become your experience. – Neville Goddard
What’s the Ultimate Purpose of Manifesting?
The ultimate purpose of manifesting is to help you understand the power of the mind. You learn to care, above anything in this physical world, about the way that you think and feel. Manifesting techniques teach us that thoughts and emotions are the true source of all physical manifestation.
Here’s what happened to me as I began to successfully manifest things and experiences in my own life: I proved to myself that I’m not a victim of the world, but rather the powerful creator of my life experience.
All that exists is but the manifestation of the Supreme. – Ramana Maharshi
How Can Manifesting Help Us?
Like it or not, we’re all manifesting and creating our life experiences. However, the vast majority of humans on earth are unconsciously manifesting a lot of experiences and situations that cause pain and suffering. Because no one ever helped us to understand the principles of manifestation, we believe that we’re just unfortunate victims of a cruel world.
Learning how to be skillful and deliberate with manifestations can empower us and help us to create an abundant, kind, healthy, and loving world.
Mind is the creator of everything. You should therefore guide it to create only good. If you cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form. When you are able to employ your will always for constructive purposes, you become the controller of your destiny. – Paramahansa Yogananda
Is Manifesting All About Getting Promotions and Winning Lottery Tickets? Isn’t That Superficial?
When it comes to manifesting, a lot of people think it’s all based on selfish ego goals. And that’s totally understandable. Generally speaking, in spirituality, we aim to dissolve attachment to the physical world. So when we fixate on manifesting beach houses and expensive cars and luxury vacations, we seem to move in the polar opposite direction. I was raised in the Catholic church and I heard this bible quote so many times, I still have it memorized, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” [Matthew 19:24]. So I definitely understand the tendency to want to put judgments and labels on manifesting. While spirituality is often portrayed as “transcending” the physical world, manifesting seems to be about obsessing over everything physical.
From my personal experience, though, I’ve found that manifesting techniques have only helped me to make progress on the spiritual path. When I first stumbled into the world of manifestation, I was really interested in material things. And I had success manifesting them too! Some of my early manifestations included a:
- dream home
- 25-pound weight loss
- healthy pregnancy/baby
- life filled with travel
Manifesting those things helped me to understand that lasting happiness, inner peace, and deep fulfillment don’t come from physical things or even physical experiences. So now I’m more focused on manifesting a peaceful life and livelihood based around spirituality and inner guidance.
My personal experience is that there’s ultimate truth to be found in the art of manifestation. I’m certain that the mind is the cause of everything physical, and I learned that in part due to manifestation practice.
In other words, manifestation techniques always meet you exactly where you are. And they help lift you up to the next level of self realization. As I’ve already mentioned, we’re all manifesting our physical life experience. We can’t help but manifest. So there’s no reason to judge it or label it in any way. Manifestation is what you make of it; you can manifest a luxury car or a backyard garden or a care center for injured animals or a bestselling book. What you manifest is completely in your hands.
I’d also argue that one of the greatest spiritual techniques any person can employ is the practice of releasing all judgment. So if you feel curious about manifesting, I’d encourage you to release all judgment around the topic. Instead of judging and calling a practice “wrong” or “selfish,” etc., perhaps try to open your mind, let go of resistance, and be guided by your feelings and intuition in determining what’s best for you.
Manifest the divinity within you and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it. – Swarmi Vivekananda
Does Manifesting Feel Scary or Overwhelming at First?
People often feel fear when they first begin studying manifestation techniques. I definitely did! When I started learning about the power of the mind, I felt overwhelming fear about many of my own thoughts. As I became an alert observer of my mind, I realized that a lot of my thoughts not only weren’t serving me but were actually moving me in the opposite direction of what I wanted. Worse, I realized that the majority of my thoughts were so habitual and deeply ingrained, I felt powerless to change them. I felt like my thoughts were thinking me, rather than the other way around! In other words, I felt like a victim to my own thought system.
If you experience any of this, please know it’s very common. Also know that it’s just a phase along your awakening path. Finally, know that a major practice of manifestation is to release fear. So you’ll get better and better at acknowledging and then dissolving fear as you become more skilled at manifesting. We do have the power to choose our thoughts, and we can improve with consistent practice.
Another really reassuring thing to remember: we’re living in a physical world where thoughts don’t automatically manifest, and that’s a really good thing for us! Fear thoughts always involve heavy resistance, and heavy resistance slows manifestation to a crawl. For someone to manifest a disease in her body, for example, might take years and years of victimhood mentality.
Here’s some more reassurance: good-feeling or loving thoughts have more power than fearful thoughts. One of my teachers, Mike Dooley, says that joy is the “turbocharger” of manifestation. So take comfort in knowing that just one uplifting thought has the sway of many fear-based thoughts.
We’re sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine. – Ram Dass
Can Manifestation Cause Guilt?
We talked about fearing our thoughts in the question above. Now let’s address the other tricky problem that tends to arise as we practice manifestation: guilt.
Here’s what happens: as you slowly wake up to and recognize the power of your own thoughts, you start to feel responsible for everything (and I mean everything) that happens to you and around you. As this realization starts to dawn on you, one of two things can happen. Sometimes, you might feel empowered as you realize that you are the creator of your own reality. Other times, you may feel overwhelming guilt over past choices you’ve made and current struggles you’re living through.
In order to cope with this, I think it really helps to understand that guilt is a universal human experience. We all feel guilt and shame, and manifestation practice is not the cause. In fact, manifestation practice will help you to notice those awful feelings of guilt and choose better-feeling thoughts instead.
I’ve also found this mantra extremely helpful: “we’re always doing the best we can from our current state of consciousness.” This is so true. If you got up this morning with the sun and did yoga and meditation, you’ll surely be a better driver on the road than on one of those days where you slept through the alarm, scrambled to get ready, burned yourself when you spilled your coffee, etc. When we understand that we’re always doing the best we can, we realize that guilt isn’t helpful. It only leaves us stagnant. When we can look clearly at guilt and see that it doesn’t serve us in any way, it will begin to dissolve.
It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe, do not call it the work of God. They call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universe as a play, as a sport, as a kind of dance. – Alan Watts
What’s The Major Roadblock to Successful Manifesting?
There’s plenty to cover here, so I’ll talk more about manifesting challenges and difficulties in a future post. For today, let’s talk about the most common roadblock: conflict in the mind.
A conflicted mind keeps us from allowing our manifestation into our experience. Conflicts are simply opposing thoughts that cause a ton of resistance and slow our manifestations to a near standstill.
Imagine that you’re driving along an empty, open highway. You’re completely free to just fly down the road at top speed, and it’s all so easy. This scenario represents a mind that’s completely open, with no resistance whatsoever. But now imagine that hundreds of cars start entering the highway. Some are swerving lanes, some are going really slow, etc. Suddenly, you find yourself in so much traffic, you’re at a near standstill. All of the other cars represent your conflicting thoughts. They literally stall your manifestation.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you realize you have a desire and you follow the manifestation process (described above) and state your clear intention:
You want to manifest financial abundance.
However, let’s say you decide to become a thorough and completely neutral observer of all of your thoughts for a week, and you discover all of these thoughts also lurking:
- You think that financial abundance requires extreme sacrifice and stress and late nights working. And you don’t want any of that.
- You think your friends like being on “equal footing” and might be jealous and abandon you if your financial situation dramatically improves. And you don’t want that.
- You hold a lot of judgments that wealthy people are often greedy, selfish, and superficial. And you don’t want to be like that.
- You grew up in a family with a poverty mentality. No one around you ever believed that they were deserving of financial abundance or that wealth was possible for them.
These conflicting thoughts create many splits in the mind. They’re the reason why so many people on the planet never manifest the things that they want. The universe always yields to the sum of all of your thoughts, so financial abundance is not going to come fully into your life when many conflicting thoughts are blocking the flow.
Beware the stories you read or tell. Beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world. – Ben Ori
What’s The Key to Successful Manifesting?
This is another topic that will require more in-depth posts in the future. There’s lots to cover here! But here’s one of the ultimate keys to successful manifesting:
When you think about something you want to manifest in your experience, try to be as broad and general as possible.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you’re going for a weekend road trip near the beach and you see the most amazing beach house. It’s your ultimate dream house; you’re in love! So you state an extremely specific intention to manifest that house based on that desire:
Very Specific Intention: I want to live in the stunning beach house at 33 Ocean Drive.
Here’s the problem: what if that’s the dream home of the family that’s currently living there and they have no plans to move for decades? While it’s true that anything is possible at any time, setting a goal this specific limits your chances of experiencing a manifestation anytime soon. There also may be a lot of characteristics to this house that you haven’t considered, and that you don’t want (maybe you didn’t realize it’s prone to flooding and has significant foundation issues).
More Broad Intention: I want to live in an open and airy home that’s located right on the beach.
To go more broad and general with your intention, try describing characteristics of the house that you fell in love with. What made that house so amazing? This broader intention opens you up to a vast number of possible homes in a vast number of possible locations. This intention is far more likely to manifest quickly and allows the universe to find a potentially even more suitable match than 33 Ocean Drive.
Very General and Open Intention: I want to live in a place that makes me feel free, abundant, and at peace.
To become increasingly more open to possibilities, try to describe the way you’ll feel in the dream house. What are the emotions you’re trying to reach for in your manifestation? Remember, your ideas are limited to just the small number of experiences you’ve been able to accomplish in your tiny little human lifespan. But the universe (the universal consciousness we all share) knows all possibilities. When you’re willing to be fully flexible and open-minded, you allow the universe to bring new guidance and inspiration that otherwise would never have occurred to you.
None of us is as smart as all of us. –
What Are Some Helpful Resources on Manifesting?
- My favorite book on manifesting is Ask and It Is Given by Abraham-Hicks. If you only make time for one resource, this book has everything you need. You can also find hundreds of live recordings of Abraham-Hicks on YouTube and follow Abraham-Hicks on Instagram.
- Gabrielle Bernstein has a podcast, Instagram account, and a book, Super Attractor.
- Aaron Abke has a complete Law of Attraction video series on YouTube.
- Mike Dooley has a website, an Instagram account, and a series of online classes on manifesting.
In addition, here are some classic books on manifesting:
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (also made into a movie)
- E-Squared by Pam Grout
- Trust Life by Louise Hay
- Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
- The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
Every thought we think is creating our future. – Louise Hay