This morning, I woke up with 2018 on my mind. What do I want out of it? How would it compare to 2017? What should I focus on and what should I let go of? I'm a huge fan of actively noting things down (I am a writer, after all) and for the last year and a half, I've been asking for the things I want, by putting pen to paper and writing it in a letter. To the universe. But, why? And what's more, does it actually work?
Putting it simply, manifesting is making things happen. It's being clear about what you want and believing in it enough to the extent that it will come true. Sound a little airy-fairy, a little hippy-dippy? Maybe, but in reality, we halfway manifest all the time. That's what wishes are. The times when we say, 'I wish I could get a job at XYZ' or 'I wish I could go to Australia'. The difference between empty wishes and manifesting, is making sh*t happen.
The first time I came across it was in 2014. My flatmate had been house-hunting for ages and had continually been outbid or let-down. She'd just got back from a viewing and was in love. She wanted that house. As far as she was concerned, it was her house. She drew a very simple picture on a scrap of paper, depicting herself in it. She noted down the things she'd do to it - clearing out the jungle of a garden, the colour she'd paint on the walls. She drew herself living in it. A week later, her offer was accepted. After that, I tried it too. I sat down and thought about what I wanted. After a summer of (albeit) fun dating, I wanted a strong relationship, with someone who was emotionally intelligent, open and intuitive. I wanted to have my novel published. I wanted to travel. I wanted to earn enough money to be debt-free and to help my family. I folded the paper and popped it into my purse so that it was always with me. And you know what? It totally worked. I wrote that list in August 2014 and by December, I'd attracted a top-drawer agent and signed a two-book deal with more money than I'd ever had. I flew to India where I met my current partner, who is all the things I wished for and more. All that within 4 months. I've continued to do it ever since and if you haven't tried it yet, you really should. What have you got to lose?
So, how does it work?
- Gratitude. First up, you don't have to address the 'universe'. You don't have to address anyone. Do whatever you're comfortable with but do take a moment to reflect on what you already have. A little gratitude goes a long way.
- Be clear about what you want. If you don't know what you want, then how can anybody else (universe included)? Take a few moments to really think about it. It might be one thing, it might be five. Just be clear. I want to get a promoted. I want a new car. I want a holiday. The clearer you can get, the better.
- Visualise. This is the fun part. Close your eyes and really picture yourself in the situation you want to be in - in that job, driving that car, chilling on that beach. Visualise what it feels like, how you feel. Feel it as strongly as if it were really happening in that moment.
- Write it down. Some people draw, some write. It doesn't matter how, the important thing is putting pen (or pencil, crayon, whatever) onto paper. It doesn't have to be in a fancy journal, it can be on a post-it note. I would always recommend doing it by hand but if that's not available to you, why not make an email account where you can send your letter to? The idea here is to get what you've asked for out of your head and into the world.
- Release it. Click send on the email. Or if you've jotted it down by hand, fold it and stick it in your purse or a drawer. I put all of mine into a pretty tin. You can burn them or bury them too. And then, forget about it. Go about your daily life but be open to seeing what comes your way.
I should point out here that simply doing the above steps doesn't mean that what you want will fall into your lap, exactly as prescribed and straight away. You have to do the work, too. I'd written two novels and I'd submitted and submitted to agents. I booked a flight out of London. You have to be a little proactive, too. Rarely would a job offer just magically appear from nowhere. You have to apply for it - send your CV, prepare the for the interview.
If, like me, you're someone who keeps your letters, it can be so much fun to look back on them a while down the line. True, it might not have looked exactly as you'd wished for. That promotion? Maybe it was a new job in a different company with a higher salary. Maybe the car was given to you by your uncle (it might not be new, but it's new to you). The holiday might have been to Skegness rather than The Seychelles, but that's where the fun happens. When you start to realise that manifesting works, you become a lot more invested in it. You take the time to really drill down into what you want, to be as clear as you possibly can be.
There are endless explanations as to how and why it works: Energy from the universe. Guardian angels. The law of attraction. Magic. Straight up coincidence. For me, the question shouldn't be why does it work?. It should be why would anybody not do it? Know what you want, and be open to the possibility of it all. And once you're open, well, anything can happen.