Manifestation — What is it without the BS?


I am sitting at my desk in my magic room staring at a vision board I made last year in August. I have manifestation on my mind— did this board actually help make my wishes come true? There’s such a strange idea behind manifestation sometimes — like if you don’t get what you want then you don’t want it enough, your background or struggles don’t seem to be taken into account, or you’re not saying the right words or using the right tools. The misunderstanding of manifestation also shows in what these guides seem to show you how to get — money, success, romantic love. Have you done the self-work to fully receive it? What in your world makes you think you don’t already have it? Who’s standards of success, love, and romance are you basing this off of? Is what you are “manifesting” really what you want, or what you think you ought to have?

I don’t think manifestation is “woo-woo.” It is just knowing what you want and taking the first baby step to get there. The journey will guide you to be fully able to receive and understand it. Crystals, vision boards, and prayer refine what you are wanting and increase your own willpower and energy to get there. They serve as a tangible reminder of what you are creating and infuse faith and connection with something higher.

A phrase I read somewhere, “align over hustle,” still sits with me. My mom always says “flow over friction,” too. Manifestation is a blend of knowing what you want, being able to work with something higher to keep you clear of what doesn’t serve you, and being able to surrender to that higher force if things don’t go as planned.

Human beings are bratty. We think we know exactly what we want and when we don’t get it we throw a fit and question everything. At some point we realize that it was all perfect and it worked for our highest good.

So practical manifestation is:

Step one: get a general idea of what would truly make you happy

The hardest part is not getting what we want, but really figuring out what we want. So much of the time, manifestation is painted in the form of attracting a new car, loads of money, and romantic love.

This is a deeply flawed way of teaching and understanding manifestation, because it does not pose the question as to why someone would want that. It doesn’t touch on the fact that maybe you want the wrong things to fill the holes of what you truly want.  Maybe instead of romantic love without necessarily doing the self-work that involves being in an empowered relationship, you want to attract experiences, people, and opportunities that guide you deeper into your truth and make you  get to know and fall in love with yourself so then you can attract the right person. Think it through, get to the core.

Step two: write it out, journal it, vision board it

Do whatever to make it tangible. Get sensual. Ground out this reality in your body. Engage with the senses and the elements to make the intangible, tangible. Hold on to the feelings that come up when you think of this new reality, because when you start to feel even the slightest hint of that feeling, you can follow it and let it be your guide. Think about it this way — how can you accept and recognize something you don’t even know?

For example, I really wanted to manifest confidence and authenticity. I wanted to be okay with bearing my soul and being unapologetically me. So I picked a muse — Janis Joplin. I would write out every morning that I am radiating authenticity, realness, and strength and listen to Janis Joplin do the same in her music. I channeled her throughout my day when I wanted to rock myself and would repeat my mantra. It then became a tiny act of daily freedom. I started off small and every day it came more naturally to me. I grounded it out with words and music because I felt it — find what makes you feel and incorporate it.

Step three: Choose your higher power.

Maybe it’s love. Maybe it’s your God/dess. Maybe it’s the cosmos. Maybe it’s the best, most loving, unadulterated version of yourself. Whatever it is — surrender. Surrender isn’t throwing your hands up and saying “screw it” — that’s giving up. It’s using that higher force as a lens in every single thing you do and say. Constantly ask yourself “does this align with (insert higher force here)?” Then, you are not alone. You become a conduit for good. Pretty badass if you ask me.

Step four: Really, really, really understand that you are a human being right now.

You don’t have all the answers. You don’t know what going to happen. And that is half the mysterious fun in life. Chances are, your desired outcome is infused with bits of romantic comedies, other people’s experiences, and song lyrics. Like when I was younger and wanted to manifest a love like any John Hughes movie ever — now, not so much. In other words, the things we witness influence the way we think our path should be. Your life is as unique as your finger prints. Let the divine do their magic with you. Chill out so that the magic can find you and lead you to something your human brain couldn’t even imagine possible. Laugh when you get there.

Step five: Take. Action.

Every single religion says something about a higher power helping those who help themselves. It can seem overwhelming, honestly. If you want something so (seemingly) far away, these steps seem more like a hike up Everest. So — take it day by day. One baby step at a time. Think nourishing, solid, strong, tiny, sustainable steps. Don’t burn out and run with swords blazing, because honestly if you have your head down and you’re charging, who knows if you’re even going in the right direction. Then all of a sudden you’re in a place you don’t truly want to be, fried and frazzled. Slow and steady. Nourishing and sustainable. Align over hustle. Flow over friction.

When manifestation is done this way, it takes out the fear and pressure in my experience. I constantly worried that I was creating something I didn’t want, or that if I feared something I was bringing it to fruition. Or if I experienced any negative emotions I was fucking up. Well, I say that’s BS now. We are human, we feel things, they need to be felt. Our emotions are superpowers that when used responsibly, can guide us and give us hits of intuition.

You were born in this time as you are with everything you have because you’re on a mission. You’re not just a dreamer and you’re not just a doer. You’re a dreamer who can do. So what if magic and manifestation was doing what you want to do in your own, unique way? And you were not fearing that?

So I guess the question now is, what do you truly want to create?