Although I’ve explored many ideas associated with alternative reality, I never really got on the manifestation bandwagon. Manifestation – the idea of visualizing something we want and attracting it to us – seemed wrong to me, as if somehow I was trying to cheat at life. I always thought that hard work, struggle and, yes, at least a small amount of pain were all necessary steps to succeed. If we could get what we wanted by wishing for it, how would that make us worthy? Isn’t life supposed to be hard? After all, I wouldn’t want to bother God with all my petty little desires.
Can you tell I was raised Catholic?
But, slowly, I’ve been revisiting my attitude. We are all co-creators of reality with God/Source/the Universe. Choosing the path of struggle to fulfill your desires does indeed produce a specific type of reality – one in which a person needs to struggle. Choosing the path of manifestation could open you up a reality which teems with abundance and wonder.
I’m not going to run over the basics of manifestation in this article – there is a considerable body of literature that explains it much better that I. That said, I can give you a couple of real-life examples and an explanation of how my own understanding of manifestation is developing.
A couple of months ago, the host of my first Airbnb showed me the manifestation board he had made a couple of years previous. While my host had experienced progress on achieving all the items he had on his board, two things – a successful change of career and a used car that he could afford – really stood out. He now worked at his dream job (he replaced his full-time work as a nurse with part-time work as a counselor with no loss of salary), and the car in the photo that he had put on his manifestation board was now sitting outside his house – the very same make, model, year and color. (He had used a photo of a Mini Cooper to represent a car that would be both useful and affordable – maybe he should have used a photo of a better car!)
A friend, Sarah, told me the story of how she manifested her current position. She wrote down, with photos, detailed specifics of what she desired – Sarah wanted to work for a firm located on Bermuda (she lived in the UK and was tired of the chilly weather) doing a certain type of work (accounting) with co-workers she would love, and with a specific view (water and boats) from her office window, and a specific salary, etc. In her experience, making a specific request to the Universe (this job/this salary/this location) always met with greater success rather than just harboring a vague longing (better job than the one I have now) – sort of like the difference between ordering a specific dish at a restaurant and just asking the waiter to bring you some food. It was also important to have a good sense of humor and keep one’s attitude playful.
Sarah was thrilled to get it all – the view from her office window was exactly the same as the photo she had put on her manifestation board – but she also laughs at how she messed up by not being specific enough. She neglected to specify that she wanted to have weekends off, and she rarely saw her very lovely co-workers face-to-face because they were based in a country 4,000 miles away.
Sarah recommended that I read the book E² by Pam Grout. I wasn’t going to (I was still a bit hesitant about wishing vs working for things in life) but the subtitle was “Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.” Since I’ve always supported the idea that we should conduct experiments to see whether psi claims can hold up to scientific experimentation, I bought the book.
Like all of those who promote manifestation, Grout emphasizes that we need to focus on what we want in our lives, rather than focusing on what we don’t have (yes, there’s a fine line between the two, but it’s a really important difference), and to hold the expectation that what we want will be delivered. Grout additionally claims you can prove it to yourself by running a couple of experiments. My test of the first experiment is below.
The first experiment in E² was designed to prove to the reader that the basic principle of manifestation, “There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities,” is true. The premise of the exercise was that there is a 24/7 energy force equally available to everyone, and that we can access it at any time simply by paying attention. Furthermore, if we ask for a blessing/gift within a specific time frame and giving clear instructions, we will receive that blessing/gift. The time frame to be used was 48 hours.
I kept looking for my gift/blessing (the experiment did not have the reader specify in what form the gift/blessing would be) for the next 48 hours. During this time frame I was told that my ailing iPhone would likely last another two years (that’s $1,000 I didn’t have to spend for a new phone) and found out that I didn’t need to keep lugging around the cumbersomely large suitcase I had because my wooden flute actually fit (albeit awkwardly) into my carry-on backpack.
Were these my gift/blessing? While I welcomed both of these developments, maybe it was just a coincidence – or normal life. I wanted to know for sure so I told the Universe I would need confirmation by the end of the day – and my confirmation had to come in the form of seeing purple feathers.
Over the next few hours I saw lots of feathers, but no purple ones. Then I spied an oversexed fairy figurine in a shop window – with purple wings. Was this my sign? I hoped not; it was just so …tacky. An hour later I saw another oversexed fairy with purple wings in a different shop window – nose-to-nose with a friendly wolf.
The friendly wolf figurine actually meant something to me, so I realized that, yes, this was my sign. And instead of being happy about it, I was a bit grumpy. Why did my confirmation from the Universe have to be so tacky? Why couldn’t it have been something more elegant, something like – for example – purple feathers on the label of a suitcase (I was on a quest to buy a smaller, more manageably-sized suitcase to replace the overlarge one I no longer needed)?
A bit later I arrived at the discount department store where I had been told I would be able to find suitcases at a good price. And there I found one that was officially carry-on size – and it’s label featured an elegant purple-grey feather.
And when I returned to my lodging, I discovered that my wooden flute fit into the new suitcase, even though the official dimensions indicated it would not.
Maybe there’s something to this after all.