Manifesting is a hot topic now, with social media videos aplenty teaching you how to conjure up anything from the perfect boyfriend to a new Beyoncé album. Fun fact: I wrote this article two days before Queen Bey announced Renaissance, her first album in six years (!!!). Now, I'm not going to take full responsibility for this, but please think of me kindly as you jam on your hot girl walks this summer.
But manifesting is far more than a TikTok trend. It’s a centuries-old practice spiritual experts swear can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. And all it takes is a mindset shift.
What is manifesting, exactly?
Simply put, "manifesting is the practice of changing your thoughts, words, and feelings to attract something you want into your life," says Juliette Kristine Conner, a manifestation coach. Manifesting is also called the Law of Attraction for this reason—you are attracting things into your life.
In essence, this practice is all about being the creator of your own reality (Plot Girl Summer anyone?). It’s about taking the big swings and embracing whatever stumbles you inevitably experience as part of the process. Your life is literally a choose your own adventure novel, and the sooner you realize that the better off you'll be.
For first-timers, this can all sound a little abstract and "woo-woo," but when it comes down to it, changing your thoughts can truly change your life, says Conner.
"Manifesting moves you from a victim mindset to one of personal empowerment," she adds. Imagine this: You’re on your lunch break at work, and you go to Starbucks for a delicious iced mocha when the inevitable happens. A crack in the green straw leaves you with mocha dribbling all down your new Zara top. You could (and I certainly have) let your thoughts spiral. Maybe you think "This ALWAYS happens to me" or "They really should have better quality straws."
But instead, think of this minor setback as you might if it were to happen in your favorite rom-com—full of opportunities for excitement. Your stain may lead you to strike up a conversation with a coworker when borrowing Tide to Go, which leads to an impactful new friendship. Or perhaps, on your sprint home to change, you run into your next great love. This type of thinking can wake you up to endless possibilities in your life (a.k.a. manifestations) and stop you from blocking them with your Negative Nancy attitude.
"This simple shift can make you more optimistic... leading to a happier life," says Conner. "You start to see the control you have over your life, instead of feeling helpless."
So how do I manifest something I desire?
There are many different ways to manifest—the 369 method, visualization meditations, and vision boards are among the most popular. (More on those techniques in a sec.) But ultimately, whatever practice works for you is what you should stick with.
Still, a few things remain important across the board, says Adora Winquist, who has spent over twenty years supporting others to find physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing.
Go ahead—get emotional. To be successful you must have an emotional tie to whatever you are trying to manifest, says Winquist. "Our emotions are the most powerful sculpting tool we have," says Winquist. "Feeling your manifestations is even more important than thinking about them."
Be specific. It’s not enough to think "I wish I had $10,000," according to Winquist. You have to act as if it is already yours, and truly believe the money is coming to you. Before you max out your AmEx, hit your journal. Write down how you'll invest the money you manifest (e.g. stocks, properties), or detail a budget that includes this influx of cash. Not into math? You can also write about how it feels to have this money (self-assured, carefree, excited), the impact it has on your life (finally paying off your student loans!), and even where you would keep it. From there, it’s all about taking subtle, but powerful actions, like *actually* adjusting your budget to save more or setting aside money to invest. This emotional buy-in makes all the difference, Winquist says.
What are some common manifestation methods?
1. Vision Boards
This is Conner’s favorite manifestation method and the most beginner-friendly, she says. Although it is much easier to create a digital vision board (shout out to Canva and Pinterest), Conner recommends breaking out the magazines, scissors, and glue for this one.
"You can throw together images online quickly, and without intention," says Conner. Not only does working with real materials force you to slow down and be more cognizant of what images deserved a coveted spot on your vision board, but a physical board—something concrete that you can hang wherever it'll be seen regularly—is far more powerful.
Because a vision board serves as a daily reminder of your desires, "this is an anchor bringing you to your future manifestations," says Conner, who manifested a trip to Bali with a vision board. In her twenties, Conner created a vision board with a photo of a person getting a massage at a spa overlooking the ocean in Bali. Less than six months later, her now-husband got a job offer in Bali and invited her to come with him. Not only that, but his job was actually at the same resort the photo on her vision board was taken. (Is it cold in here, or does everyone have goosebumps!?)
2. 369 Manifestation Method
The 369 manifestation method is simple to DIY: Write down the goal, desire, or feeling you want to call into your life (ex. "I am wealthy" or "I am at peace") three times in the morning, six times in the afternoon, and nine times at night. Repeat daily until you succeed in your manifestation.
All you need to do for this technique is make sure you have a piece of paper or a notebook, and a writing utensil of your choice. May I suggest a gel pen? No one said manifesting can’t be fun, people!
But just FYI: While the 369 method might make you feel like you're harnessing some magical energy (because you are within yourself), it doesn't work like magic. The method works because repetition keeps your most important desires at the forefront of your mind, so you're more inclined to take the necessary steps to achieve them.
Beyond being consistent in this manifestation practice, Winquist also encourages her clients to keep an open heart and to make sure their nervous system is at ease while they are writing. This can even be used as an extra step in your existing meditation or breathwork practice.
This option is great for the avid meditator or a more ~advanced~ manifestor, says Conner. It is exactly what it sounds like: sitting and envisioning your life with the object or the feeling in it already.
Conner recommends pairing this technique with a vision board, so you can look at something before you close our eyes and really drop into the feeling with meditation. Btw, you don't have to go it alone—many guided manifestation videos already exist on YouTube.
Winquist has another excellent tip for this type of manifesting that plays on our natural inclination for negativity. Because the mind tends to attach more easily to negative thoughts, why not use that to your advantage?
If you are manifesting a new designer dress, for example, you might think about bringing it home and finding a small stain on it. "[That visualization] occupies our inner Debbie Downer," she says. "When we give the mind the tiniest bit of negativity to focus on, it gives it a hook to the experience."
What do I say when manifesting?
It is important to remain in the present and positive, Winquist says. She recommends starting all of your affirmations with "I am" so it is as if your work has already been a success.
What is the fastest way to manifest something?
Speaking of affirmations... incorporating those into your day is one of the fastest ways to change your mindset and get what you really want, says Conner. You can think of them as a manifestation jet pack.
Affirmations, or positive statements, repeated slowly and consistently could be the extra push your life needs.
But make sure you make this a regular practice. "Just like going to the gym once isn't going to give you a six-pack, saying affirmations a few times isn’t going to work," says Conner. Flex those mindset-changing muscles!
Is there anything I shouldn’t say during manifestation?
Some people believe that you can manifest negative things in your life, but Conner says not to worry about it. Don't even let it cross your mind (seriously). After all, it’s the thoughts you think most frequently that will create your life.
BRB, I've got some manifesting to do...
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