“If you knew the power within yourself to be truly happy, to be truly whole, then you would never ask another to become the image you desire for yourself, in order to be happy and whole.” 
– Stephen Richards

I never studied “The Secret”, Law of Attraction, Abraham Hicks, or any number of countless resources currently available on manifestation. When exposed to them I appreciated much of what they offer, but felt slightly rankled by how they seemed to miss the point.

If manifestation were about getting a bunch of stuff that won’t last, billionaires would be the most enlightened, happy people on the planet. Instead, well, they’re not.

My approach is slightly different. My learning on the subject came from the study of internal martial arts and the neutral observation of how energy works. As such, I would describe manifestation as the art of becoming conscious.

I’ve spoken many times about how the urge to do things is a hard-wired instinct born out of survival, meaning we tend to tense up and experience stress when thinking about goals and activities. Even planning a trip to the beach can be stressful as ideas about everything that needs to be done pile up.

It’s this mindset of getting something done that’s often applied to manifestation, which invites new insidious levels of tension. People become obsessed with thinking positive, avoiding negative feelings, and proving that it works.

What if manifestation had nothing to do with how you think and feel, and everything to do with what you give?

The world is a mirror, not a resource. It operates with the innocence of a child, simply reflecting back to you whatever you show it. If you practice acceptance and gratitude for your thoughts and feelings (be they “positive”, or “negative”) you offer acceptance and gratitude to the world, which reflects this energy back to you.

Even better, as you relax the tension around thoughts and feelings, you invite a sense experience of ease into all aspects of your life and your focus is no longer dominated by striving to do something. An exercise for this approach to manifestation is presented below, at the end of this article.

Manifestation is the practice of raising consciousness. The world constantly and ceaselessly gives you feedback about what your energy is really up to, never mind what you thought you were doing. Your task is to fully accept whatever shows up as your teacher, and to listen to and learn the lessons it offers.

As you do, you become more conscious, which is the state of ease itself and life ceases to be a struggle.

On February 26th I am teaching a class  that goes more fully into these concepts, with additional practices that build on the exercise below.

Exercise for Manifestation

Think about a goal you have for something you would like to achieve or experience in life. It can be as big or small as you like.

Observe your goal with soft vision, as though you were looking out over a vista. Notice any stress that comes up in your body or thoughts as you do. Do you begin to tense in anticipation of effort? Do self-judgments come up for not having it already? Is there a level of despair that says it can’t be achieved?

Observe neutrally the stress as one observes clouds passing. Slow and deepen your breath, and consciously relax any point of tension that arises in reaction to your want.

As you relax while remaining centered on your dream, you unlock the unconscious habit of striving or effort in your life, allowing for the inherently creative nature of ease to work for you.

Continue this practice for half an hour a day, and you will train in a feeling sense of ease associated with this dream. Opportunities related to it will then not only seem obvious but easy and fun, and it will most likely show up on its own.