Let’s talk manifestation. It’s a buzz word that has found its way onto t-shirts, mugs, and a host of other cultural paraphernalia as of late. Many people consider it a fun part of the often intangible world of personal growth, meditation, and modern-day spirituality. I will not deny that it is fun to manifest things into your life, but it’s very easy to think of manifestation as something you “do.” Instead, I want to show you how it’s something that you “are.” Manifestation is a state that you embody which then ripples out into waves that you experience in your life.
I’ll begin with a story about a 23-year-old young woman (spoiler alert: it’s me) who had just learned how to meditate at Deepak Chopra’s Wellness Center and was transformed in and out. I found meditation while I was working in the music industry and I was having a hard time managing the stress in my life, both personal and professional. My therapist suggested meditation and after googling “wellness Southern California,” I took a leap of faith and hit the road to learn about meditation, yoga and ayurveda. After participating in programs at the center over the next year it was clear to me that I wanted to work in wellness, whatever that meant. I felt deeply committed to helping people transform their lives the way mine had been transformed.
About a year and a half after starting on that journey I decided to quit my job in music to pursue this deep desire I had to aid others’ healing and transformation. I started to explore opportunities and, like any 25 year old woman in LA does, I applied for a job at Lululemon. After all, I didn’t have any contacts in wellness and I lacked experience or much education in that field that could lead to opportunities. While taking these initial steps toward the new life I wanted to manifest (you know, casual stuff) I realized that I needed to order more ayurvedic herbs from Chopra’s center.
When my order arrived, it was all wrong. I had not received any of the items I ordered and was “forced” (thanks, Universe) to call their product support team. What should have been a three minute call to process a return turned into a 25 minute conversation with the woman who used to be my main contact when I was signing up for retreats at the Chopra Center! Upon hearing me express my desire to help people heal and transform their lives she quickly said, “there’s a job here that you’d be perfect for.”
Without hesitation, I picked up that spiritual breadcrumb and asked her if she’d pass my resume along. Two days later, I drove down to interview and was hired on the spot. Three days after that, I had signed a lease on an apartment and embraced what the universe had effortlessly guided me to. That job, which I had no experience in (and whose salary I might add had a lot to do with how well I ended up performing) became a fractal of growth in so many ways. I sit here 12 years later as a full-time Chopra-certified meditation teacher, a published author of a book on meditation and a speaker, all while still having a relationship with the Chopra Center. It’s one of those things that looks impressive on paper, but I admit time and time again that it’s one of the “easiest” things that ever occurred in my life. It played out effortlessly because of the qualities that I embodied throughout the process. The majority of the work is an inside job, loves.
Let’s break down those steps of manifestation so that you can easily apply those qualities in your life!
Step 1: Meditate.
Connect to what you really want and why you want it. You’ll notice, I wasn’t saying to myself “I want to get a job working at the Chopra Center.” I was connected to my desire to help people transform and heal. The underlying “why” is the best place to start, in my experience. This also helps keep you from getting in your own way by watering down your desire. It’s easy for our minds to demand practicality which has no place in “dreaming.”
Mindset used: Intention
Reflection: What do I really want? Why do I want it?
Step 2: Move in the Direction of Your Desire.
Be in the current of energy that’s in alignment with what you want without being too attached to what it looks like at the end. One of my favorite practices (usually to check my ego) is to say to myself, “What if I don’t know what’s best? And what if what’s unfolding right now is perfect?”
Mindset used: Detachment
Reflection: What is one thing I can think and do today that will move me in the direction of my desire?
Step 3: Stay Present and Active.
As you are swimming in that current, be present and look for spiritual breadcrumbs. They will synchronistically start to show up in your path. It’s not your job to architect every move. It’s your responsibility to be so present and available that you notice them.
Mindset used: Presence
Reflection: What do I want to look for evidence of today through everything I experience?
Step 4: Act.
Once you find them, you have to pick up the spiritual breadcrumbs. I could have easily told that woman that I had no business applying for that job. I could have focused on the challenge of moving to another city or future-paced insecurities about not succeeding. It would’ve been easy to go to all of those places and leave that breadcrumb on the ground.
Mindset used: Trust
Reflection: If I wasn’t assuming things weren’t going to work out, what would I do next?
Step 5: Keep Meditating.
The major muscles that I had to flex in that story were not always easy. It’s through meditation that I built up the internal strength that showed up to support me even when it didn’t “make sense” to. Manifestation is an ongoing practice, and it requires commitment to keep returning.
Mindset used: Stillness
Reflection: What is the mindset that I want to empower today to sponsor the thoughts I’m going to believe, the words I’m speaking and the actions that I’m taking?