Crash Course: Manifestation

Happy Halloween/Blue Moon/end of the month, y'all! 

Not only is today the one time of year to dress in whatever fun costume you'd like, but with the Blue Moon making its appearance today, it's time for all of those habits that you barely do to finally happen! Of course, there's nothing wrong with indulging in things every blue moonright?

Speaking of things that happen every blue moon, I know that I've seen the topic of "manifestation" pop up on my social media timelines every once in a while. Because I made the assumption that manifestation was more of a spiritual practice, I've never really tried to learn much about it. But as it became more popular in my friend's common conversation, and I saw it as an increasing part of discussions about relationships, academic goals, and aspirations for future careers, I started to wonder: what exactly was manifestation? Did I have to be particularly religious/spiritual to participate? And why is it able to apply to so many different aspects of someone's life?

Well, today we're going to dive right into the basics of where manifestation came from, how it originated, and a general idea of how to do it. Welcome to Crash Course Manifestation. *cue Crash Course music*

Historically speaking, the general thought process behind manifestation has been around in many ancient teachings, commonly found in the eastern hemisphere. It's been referred to in many religious practices, like Buddhism and Christianity, but it's most commonly seen in Madame Helena Blavatsky's Law of Attraction research, who was a philosopher in the 19th century. During this era ,often referred as the New Thought Era, she proposed that it is our own self-thoughts that define us, as well as our capabilities. Now, while we won't get too far into Blavatsky's work, because she was a fan of occultism (the study of the supernatural), we will give her the credit in starting some of the most important thought processes that lead to the concept of manifestation. From this initial starting point, manifestation has grown in popularity, becoming especially prominent in the 20th century. Around this time was when the idea of using self-love, self-compassion, and self-affirmation to achieve your goals became popular. It's thought that by doing this, one could boost their concept of self, and therefore increase their ability to create a more positive outcome for themselves. 

Now at this point, you may be thinking, "Hey Amber, this seems kinda odd in origin. How do I just learn how to have a more goal-oriented mindset?" And to that I respond, yeah. It's a little intense to think about the origin, as manifestation was initially brought to the Western world through philosophy and other mindsets that require looking at ourselves and changing our mindset, or "energy." But let's dial it back in for a minute, and I can walk you through the basics.

Manifestation, in all actuality, does not require thought that is that intense, especially if you're just trying to put a little bit of pep in your step. If you choose to incorporate it into any spiritual or religious practices than I am sure that you can extract a deeper significance or purpose to manifestation, and there are plenty sources out there that can help you. But for the TLDR version of what manifestation is, it is basically a process that you can go through in order to give yourself more ambition and/or forethought to accomplish your goals. 

"So... how do you do it?"

Good question.

Manifestation can take effect in a lot of different ways, but the most common form is through writing or journaling. In order to do this, it's important to focus on things that you actually want to see take place in your life, and be specific. Take some time to yourself to think about some goals that you'd like to see; do you want to be able to go through an entire cardio workout without quitting halfway through by the end of the month? Are you trying to successfully knit a sweater that can be worn in public? Write it down in detail and keep it somewhere safe; bonus points if you can make sure that it's somewhere that you'll constantly see it. Keeping a written version of your goals is a way to keep them in your memory, at least subconsciously. That way, you're able to remind yourself of where you'd like to be at a certain period of time and work hard towards it.

Another form that people might not directly associate with the term "manifestation" is the act of speaking affirmations or setting intentions aloud. Going back to the deeper meaning behind manifestation, the act of speaking positively into your life, whether it be related to your appearance or your position in life, is a way to increase your self-concept, or in the spiritual terminology, increase your energy/vibrations. By using affirmations to remind yourself of where you want to be or how you want to be, you will in turn make changes in order to ensure that you are acting the way that your higher self would act. Affirmations are simpler, yet more consistent; if you want to work on your self image, you could make it a habit to say "I am beautiful" to yourself every time you look in a mirror; or, when struggling with work, stating "the hard work is worth it; it is contributing to my success as a (insert goal profession here)" can encourage you to work through the hard times in front of you.

To end, let's not forget that whether this is spiritual, goal-focused, or otherwise, one thing is for certain: you will also have to put in the work to accomplish your manifestation goals. You can't go around saying "I am a loving, compassionate being who is surrounded by love," and then curse out your sibling for looking at you funny during a family reunion. It doesn't take any form of goal setting to understand that if you want results, you need consistency and discipline to see your goals and aspirations through. Let's make sure that we keep this in mind while we're praying, writing out our lists, or performing our monthly rituals.

What are ways that you practice manifestation or goal setting? How does this contribute to your self-progress? And what can you do to improve/continue the progress that you're making?

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(And when you're done reading/commenting, go ahead and check out my blog for some other cool topics, including but not limited to wellness)