SOMETIMES in life, things just seamlessly slot into place with little intervention. Other times, you want something so badly that you spend hours dreaming of the outcome, and when it finally comes to life, it almost feels like you willed it to happen.
According to some, this pure psychological ‘magic’ isn’t luck or coincidence. It’s known as manifesting — and there’s a long list of books, essays, workshops and retreats dedicated to the skill of reprogramming your subconscious beliefs in order to make things happen.
“It’s basically the ability to draw in anything you desire into your life. It’s defined as the ability to create the exact life that you want,” says emotional health advisor Roxie Nafousi (roxienafousi.com), who hosts manifesting workshops in London.
Describing it as an “inner power”, she discovered manifesting when she was at “one of her rock bottoms”, having battled with depression throughout her 20s and been on a long journey of self-development.
“It was often a case of two steps forwards, one step back. I was utterly fed up and at a loss as to how to really change my life. My best friend told me I should listen to a podcast on manifesting, which led me to research the practice,” she recalls.
“Within a week, I met my partner, a year later I had my baby boy, and two years on my life is unrecognisable in all the best ways.”
Rhonda Bryne’s 2006 self-help book The Secret — and the associated film — catapulted the idea of the ‘law of attraction’ from a niche interest into a mainstream concept, with views and teachings from a wide range of spiritual practitioners. The movement posits that setting goals, learning from negativity and tapping into positive thinking can help you to achieve everything you want in life.
Today’s millennial manifestors take Bryne’s ideas a step further though, using tools and therapy exercises to help unlock their self-worth and access their most authentic, vulnerable and magnetic selves.
“The most important thing people should know is that true manifestation is not just the law of attraction; you cannot simply visualise or think of something you want and then wait for it to happen,” says Nafousi.
“Most confuse the two concepts and that’s why they are often unsuccessful at it. We do not manifest from our thoughts alone; we manifest from our subconscious beliefs about what we deserve.”
Intuitive manifesting is all about working on your confidence and self-esteem, says Nafousi — concepts that are rooted in traditional psychology and widely used in CBT practices.
Although the idea of picturing your dream life might sound like spiritual woo-woo, it’s a type of psychological skill we can all practice and master, she says.
“Everything is energy — thoughts, emotions, feelings — and people who manifest believe energy attracts like energy. To put it simply, we attract to our lives whatever we put out. When we learn how to raise our energetic frequency and learn the secret to manifesting, we can attract anything we want.”
So how can you harness the skill for yourself?
“Work daily on self-worth and self-love,” says Nafousi.
“A great way to do this is to practice gratitude — a gratitude journal every evening is a great place to start. You could also listen to positive affirmations [Nafousi has some available on her website specifically designed to help clients manifest] or vision board your future.
“I recommend writing regular love letters to yourself — it’s a simple tip that really works. Start to take care of yourself and say no to things you don’t want to do.”
Talking to yourself lovingly, exercising and nourishing your body with the right foods are all part of learning to love the skin you’re in, she adds.
Nafousi says, ultimately, manifesting is all about allowing yourself to believe and trust in the universe and its magic.