Are we really able to manifest our desires?
A lot has been said about “the power of manifestation” and how you can create your own reality just through your thoughts and imagination. The idea is that whatever you believe subconsciously will be attracted into your life and cannot help but manifest in the outer world. Many books have been written to teach people how to think, visualize and wish “well” in order to manifest the life of their dreams. If it doesn’t work, meaning you are not able to manifest the money, love, health, body shape, state of health… that you desire, or simply the parking spot in front of your door, there must be something wrong with your thinking or wishing skills. Maybe you were not precise enough and confused the Universe. Maybe you used words like “no” or “not”, which the Universe does not “understand” and thus at best “neutralized” your wish and at worst asked for exactly what you did not want. Maybe you doubted your wish once it was made and thus canceled it out. Maybe you had some negative thoughts or feelings and failed to immediately change them into positive ones…
The notion is that YOU and only you are responsible for EVERYTHING that manifests in your life.
There is definitely some truth in that: Beliefs translate into thoughts and feelings, which in turn lead to actions.
- If for example you believe you are worthless, you might feel insecure and have thoughts like “I will never get that job” or “I don’t deserve a loving partner”… , and you will act in ways that will likely fulfill those prophecies, i.e. by not showing your true potential at your job interview or allowing disrespectful behavior in your partner.
- If you don’t believe that you will always have “enough”, you might feel constantly anxious to lose what you have and have thoughts like “I will never find this same kind of job / house / partner again”. Your anxiety might make you so tense and irritable that you actually end up chasing your partner away or losing your job…
- If you believe that Life (or your body) cannot be trusted and is only waiting to punish you, you will be in chronic fight-or-flight mode and have thoughts like “I am certainly going to get cancer at some point” or “My body is not capable to get pregnant without assisted fertility”. The constant stress you feel might then create the exact biochemistry that prevents you from getting pregnant or staying healthy. You might also choose to adopt “preventive” medical measures that might (in some cases) actually put you at a higher risk of getting exactly what you do not want (i.e. repeated mammographies are controversially discussed if they do not actually increase the risk to get cancer).
Change your beliefs and you will change your thoughts, feelings and actions and thus the reality of your life. Since beliefs are more difficult to grasp because they are often unconscious, it is easier to start getting aware of your thoughts, feelings or behavior, look what lies beyond them and (if appropriate) modify them, which will then – hopefully – slowly transform your beliefs. You can also get an idea of unconscious beliefs, thoughts, feelings, actions… by reading in your body or using other people as your mirror.
If you plant a tomato seed, you will get a tomato plant. If you plant a rose seed, you will get a rose. If what you want are roses, do not plant tomato seeds. The same is true for your beliefs and thoughts. If you plant a thought of lack, you won’t harvest abundance. If you carry a belief of hate or fear, you won’t harvest love. If you plant an infertile thought, you won’t harvest fertility. If you behave in a way that is not in line with your values, you will not harvest high self-esteem. If you want to create love, abundance, peace, beauty, harmony and fertility – if you want to participate in the creation of your life actively and consciously, you have to indeed be aware of your thoughts.
However, note how I say “participate in the creation of your life” and not “create your life”.
If you believe that you just have to think “right” or visualize what you want often enough and in every possible detail in order to manifest it, the risk is that you drop into blaming yourself when you are not able to get what you want – or worse – if actually “bad” things happen in your life. You certainly must have done something “wrong” and might become so afraid of “negative” thoughts or feelings, that you start pushing away anything that is “negative” back into your subconscious and repeat “positive” manifestations instead. This is a real danger, since denying or suppressing negative thoughts or feelings (incl. the fear and guilt you feel for having failed at manifesting) does not make them go away, but instead allows them to operate out of the dark, out of your conscious control.
Such a perspective also lacks humility – before other souls’ freedom and before a Higher Power, call it God, the Universe, Life or however you would like to. You do not actually hold the power to manifest concrete things with your thoughts – for example a baby, or a relationship with a certain person – IF THEY ARE NOT IN YOUR AND YOU ARE NOT IN THEIR BEST INTEREST, OR IF IT IS SIMPLY NOT MEANT TO BE. If you don’t get what you think you want, you are not necessarily “doing it wrong”. Maybe what you think you want is not actually what you need, or in your best interest, at least not at this point in time. Or you are not what THEY need at this point in time (remember, they also have the freedom to create the life THEY want – you cannot impose your vision on them). On the other hand, if it is meant to be and in your mutual best interest, you might not even have to make a conscious effort to attract it, it will simply come… Of course, you do play an important role in creating your reality, but you should not forget that you are merely a co-creator. Do not get lost in tunnel vision, focusing so much on a concrete outcome (i.e. THIS specific job, THIS specific person, THIS specific house…) that you completely miss the bigger picture and other opportunities that would actually serve you much better on your soul’s journey.
Also, you have to be careful to not deny reality and over-emphasize the “sunny” side in the name of “positive thinking”:
- If it is winter, you can think “it is summer” as much as you want to, it won’t change the season. This is not because you failed to think “correctly” or because you didn’t believe strongly enough in your vision. It’s just because right now it is time for winter, which is neither good nor bad, but simply what is. There is no summer without winter and summer will come back, whether you think about it or not.
- If right now you are overweight, looking into the mirror and stating “I am in perfect shape” won’t change the fact that right now you are overweight. In fact, it denies reality and a part of you knows that and will oppose “but it is not true!” – followed immediately by the voice of the positive thinking advocates: “don’t doubt yourself or you’ll cancel out your wish and it is your fault if you stay fat!”. If on the other hand you state: “I see that right now I am overweight, I accept and own the fact that right now this is my reality, even though I do not particularly like it, but I still love and accept myself fully despite of this AND I know that I have the power to get in shape”, this is still “positive” without denying reality.
- If you are afraid or sad or angry, putting on a fake smile and stating “I am happy” does not change that you are actually having those feelings of fear, anger or grief. By denying those “negative” feelings you actually lose an important opportunity to explore them, to learn what is behind them and to ultimately heal and release them (see article “Feel it – Deal it – Heal it“).
You only have control over what is conscious to you. Thus, the first step is to allow anything that is there – the “good” and the “bad”, the “negative” and the “positive” – to show itself to you, to come to the surface and to simply be there. It is there anyways, so better that you are aware of it! If you can hold that space for all that you are, observe your fear, your anger, your sadness, your joy… allow all of that to express itself to you, without judgment, unedited – be it in written or through unstructured movement, sounding… you can learn from it and attend to the necessity behind it, thus resolving it at the root instead of simply suppressing it until it is triggered again next time. If you can simply be present, own and accept ALL of you, you actually increase your ability to choose your response consciously rather than to react unconsciously – and thus you have much more control over the life you create (within the limits mentioned above). In a second step you can then work with affirmations and visualisations to consciously breathe, relax and to transform your fear into trust.
My approach to positive thinking is thus first and foremost focused on helping you to find your inner anchor, to develop a feeling of worthiness and trust. Trust in yourself and your capacity to deal with whatever comes your way. Trust in that whatever happens is in everybody’s best interest. My goal is to help you see how things are actually happening FOR you, not TO you nor AGAINST you. With such a foundation based on love, freedom and consciousness, your thoughts will automatically be positive and abundant, while allowing Life to fill in the concrete details of how, who, what, when and where.