There are many words that become misconstrued over time due to misuse. Manifest definitely falls into that category. The way I understand the term manifest directly relates to how to create one's reality. From my own experience, I know that what is happening externally to me (my experience of reality) is based on what is happening internally (my emotional reality).
I caution that in my way of thinking, I don't buy into victim blaming. Shit happens. Bad shit happens to good people. Nothing of value comes from saying to a person that they caused their cancer or their car accident. Or that there must be a reason they called the cancer or the car accident into their lives. No.
It's about understanding the blocks that created a dam and skewed the path. What are the blocks that prevent your life from flowing easily? Let’s look at those.
When a little baby is born, it is born without shame or apology. A baby is a little drop of spirit-life who spits-up and poops and without knowing they should apologize for having such human needs. As the little drop of spirit-life grows, the world (via parents) soon teaches them that they do in fact need to mold their self around expectations. This is an experience that their value of belonging is contingent on their rearranging their Self to meet the needs of others. This harsh reality is the beginning of internalizing: "something is wrong with me!" The implicit messages become internalized: I need to be a certain way to have value. Don't cry too much. Don't have big feelings. Don’t be __[fill in the blank]___ or I won’t be accepted. Don’t have needs that are inconvenient for others. And so we grow from the unashamed little drop of spirit into a shame-based human.
Some of the messages that lead to this idea of needing to mold around people, to the point of denying our own Self, include:
-Productivity leads to personal value (you are of no value on your own sitting around, you have to do something)
-There is a lack in the world: don't take up to much space; don't take too much food; don't be too loud. Stay small. (Brene Brown refers to this idea as the culture of scarcity.)
-There is suffering… and an obligation to keep going anyway. Life sucks. Suck it up. Keep going.
-Meet the needs of others even it means your needs aren't met.
You can argue about whether you got these messages growing up or not. You can probably relate to a couple of them. There are unique messages you got in your family, too. These messages are both explicit and implicit through an adult’s responses to events in life or from your observation of family relationships.
How do any of us know who we are without the mirror of relationships to show us? Our first mirror is our family of origin. The way we are looked at from the beginning, is how we grow to see ourselves. Our self-talk grows out of the way we were talked to early in life.
Let's use a more extreme situation for the purpose of example. A child raised by a depressed mother or a violent father is going to carry messages of: "I'm not good enough"; “The world is unsafe"; "I can't trust that I'll be okay." As this child grows, the messages might become less apparent and more buried within a way of being. Perhaps the child continues to engage in difficult relationships as an adult or perhaps the child becomes highly successful and achieves great things. It's not about success or failure and what that means. It's about how the self- talk continues.
If there is no room in my own Self for acknowledging my feelings or meeting my needs, then I am not likely to bring good things into my life. When I set out to create a fortune or to find love, I will be doing so from a place of low worth. How can I manifest wealth or acceptance, if I carry in my own self-talk: "I don't deserve good things."; "I am not worthy of being loved."
These messages are not on the surface most of the time. There can be an internal emotional experience that isn't filled with negative self-talk, but there will be emotions. The underlying emotions are often fear, shame, sadness and grief.
So, how to manifest?
1. Get an alignment between: 1) how you think about your Self; 2) what you want; 3) how you live.
2. Cast out your intention of what you want through writing it out. Be specific in the description of the future picture that you want. (Do not write out the steps to get there. Manifesting is not goal -setting.) In this picture, how will you feel? What will it look like?
3. Let go of attachment. Manifesting requires we practically forget about it. We don't work actively to think it through or to worry about how to get what we want. We just let it go. Like a stone into the water and we stand back and notice the ripples, but the stone is gone.
4. Live in the alignment.
Here’s an example. If I want to lose weight, I must first think of myself as "a healthy person" despite my current state of health. Then I cast out the intention of being a healthy person. Then I live like I am a healthy person. The alignment is between perception of Self, a clear desire (want) and the actions or behaviors based on that.
That might seem oversimplified or ridiculous, but once the blocks are cleared out, manifesting an outer world is this easy. First, you need to understand the blocks. Why can't you get what you want? What are the specific hooks in beliefs that are holding you back? They are the messages that you were given. They are the legacy that you are carrying around from your family and early experiences. Unpack these untrue messages and the emotional logic that weighs you down and you will create a life of wonder! You will feel like a hungry human who has found a free buffet! Your life will be yours to live freely.
The world is but a canvas to our imagination
~ H. D. Thoreau