- Think about what you want.
- Feel what it will be like to achieve it.
- Believe that you really can manifest your dream.
- Act accordingly.
Thinking and Feeling in Manifestation
In essence, the concept behind the Law of Attraction teachings is that our experiences are directly related to what we think about. What you focus on, you attract, so focus your attention on what you desire.
The idea that our thoughts and imagination contribute to what we manifest in life has been around for ages, and in popular literature since at least the early 20th century. Napoleon Hill published the classic “Think And Grow Rich” in 1937. Wallace D. Wattles wrote “The Science of Getting Rich” back in 1910!
With the launch of the movie “The Secret” in 2006 (and the book The Secret), which was inspired in part by those older classics, came a sudden popular interest in the Law of Attraction phenomenon it featured. Related books on the topic sprung up filling the New Age and Self-Improvement sections at Barnes and Noble, and Oprah interviewed related author and speakers on her epic daytime show. Esther and Jerry Hicks book titled “The Law of Attraction” became a #1 bestseller and Esther continues to have an enormous following over a decade later.
Many people, however, seemed to miss the key ingredient to the “thoughts become things” magic. You have to get into the vibration of what you want to manifest, which can take more than simply thinking about it. Conveniently, the action part of successfully manifesting with the Law of Attraction also was lost on some individuals.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”—Napoleon HillThinking in specific terms is usually your best bet. If you are able to describe in detail that which you wish to manifest, you are more likely to get into alignment with that goal. Note: write it down! Those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
As you begin to think in more detail about what you desire, it also helps bring you into the feeling of it. Feeling is the key! You get into the vibration of what you want by feeling it.
If you are feeling positive emotions, you will resonate with and attract more positive experiences that align with those positive feelings. If you’re thinking about what you want, yet having feelings about the not having it, your focus is actually on the lack of abundance. Consequently, you will continue to attract things that align with the vibration of “not enough.”
What about the seeing part of visualization?
Doesn’t visualizing have to do with literally seeing something? Well, yes, one definition of visualize is to literally “make something visible to the eye.” The primary definition, however, is “to form a mental image; imagine.”
“You can’t do it unless you imagine it”—George LucasWhat if I’m not a visual person? You may be the type of person who has difficulty being able to picture things. Some individuals have a vivid visual imagination; others not as much. It’s okay either way! Really the most important sense you use in imagining is in the feeling of it.
Regardless of whether you visually imagine it— seeing the picture in your mind’s eye — simply think about what you want. Then, pretend as if it’s already happening. Think about what it will be like to be in that dream situation you want to manifest. Now, as you’re in that imagining place, notice how you feel. Do you feel happy? Joyful? Free? Satisfied? Fulfilled? Adventurous? Excited? Grateful? Notice those positive feelings and just allow yourself to feel them now.
There is a time to be more general in your thinking. As you get more specific in your visualization process, if you notice doubts start to creep in, back up and be more broad in your focus. Think of the broad feelings and general outcome you desire until you feel more positive, allowing whatever details to emerge naturally.
*Note: if when imagining your future self in that successful manifestation, you feel anything negative arise, you will need to shift your mental blocks to manifesting. Check out the Emotional Freedom Technique as a great method to clear any blocks!
Do Vision Boards Work?
Along with The Secret came the vision boards trend. If you’re not a “visual person” in terms of your ability to “see” things in your imagination, then a vision board can also help you add that visual element to your manifestation process. There seem to be two different approaches to creating vision boards, and two different approaches to what you do with them once completed. With either, typically the process involves finding pictures and/or words to cut out of magazines and paste onto a poster board.
One approach to creating the vision board suggests just looking through magazines and cutting out anything that catches your interest, stirs positive emotion or desire. For example, it could be a cute picture of a monkey and you cut it out and paste it somewhere on your board. In this approach, you don’t choose the picture because you literally would like to have a pet monkey! It just feels fun or invokes some positive feeling for you so you include it.
The other approach to vision boards I have seen people take, is to have goals in mind and then search out pictures and words that best match those desires. For example, you specifically want to manifest an orange jeep wrangler so you look for an ad that has that image in it. You want to manifest a life partner, so you look for happy couples in a wedding magazine.
Once created, some people like to hang their vision board somewhere they can look at it daily for inspiration; others simply make it and then put it away, out of sight, to revisit in the future and discover what unfolded. In the latter method, take the monkey image example mentioned previously. Someone may put that board away and revisit a few years later having forgotten about the monkey picture pasted, only to realize it aligned with a trip they ended up manifesting in which they thoroughly enjoyed interacting with monkeys it the wild!
Which approach is correct? I would say either, as long as you are in that feeling place when you make them. Whether you’re searching for specific types of images, or letting an image grab your spirit, it’s how they make you feel that matters most. As for after you make it, if looking at the vision board regularly continues to evoke that positive feeling response and helps you stay in the manifesting vibe, use that as a tool to remember to get into that feeling place daily.
The Power of Belief
Believe that abundance exists and that you have access to it— that you can attract it into your personal experience.
“Within all of us is a divine capacity to manifest and attract all that we need and desire.”—Wayne DyerMaybe part of you doesn’t believe that you can attract the degree of abundance you desire. If that’s the case, start from your present truth. Look around your current environment and circumstances for examples of abundance. Abundance is all around us.
Perhaps you are looking for material abundance and your focus is presently on the lack thereof. Shift your focus to other types of abundance first. Affirm the abundance that presently surrounds you. You can always begin with nature— are there trees where you live? Grass? Water? Notice and think about the number of leaves on the trees, or blades of grass, or drops of water in your surroundings. Consider what other areas you already have in abundance— friends? Health? Family? Love? If you can attract abundance in one area, why not another!
The other misstep reported by those who initially got excited about the Law of Attraction was the lack of action. If you sit on your couch visualizing and then never leave your couch, do you really believe your dreams are just going to fall into your lap? Life is about movement and flow. You typically need to leave your living room to get the energy moving and allow the energetic aspects that support your dreams to come into your experience.
“Those who find courage to pursue their dreams, manifest gladness of their souls.” ―Lailah Gifty AkitaIt can take courage to choose to be in your power and own your ability to consciously use your energy to manifest positive things in your life. It’s worth it. It’s about the pursuit of experiences that resonate with you from a place of joyful imagination.
When you consistently practice this art of visualization, and get into alignment with your joyful journey of manifesting your desires, you can trust your intuition. Take actions accordingly. Do the next natural thing that keeps you on that path.
Acting in accordance with your dreams doesn’t mean spending money you don’t have or making wild irresponsible decisions; it means starting to make little lifestyle changes that align with that ultimate dream. If how you feel when you visualize is a sense of freedom, find actions during your day that support that feeling in your current situation. “Roll down the windows and let the wind blow back your hair!” (Fellow Bruce fans know where that comes from.)
Bottom line: Enjoy the journey. Keep visualizing and follow your dreams! Remember that happiness is not a destination. Successful manifestors understand that happiness comes from enjoying the now, regardless of which phase you are in. Have fun with your visualizing to manifest what you desire. In the process, if you are focusing on the positive aspects you have already manifested into your experience, you will not only create your own happiness in the now but also be better poised to attract what you are visualizing to manifest in the nows yet to come.