Are you manifesting what you want in life?
"I think about it as gardening; you plant your vision in your imagination, water and feed with enthusiasm and care along with persistence and hard work. You have to be patient and keep the faith, and you will bear the fruits of your labor." - Dalia Kenig, on Manifesting
No one had to tell me you could manifest what you wanted in life. I was born knowing that. At one point in late elementary school, I decided I wanted bigger lips and was going to make it happen with my, um, brain powers.
Now. As an adult, while I am quite happy with my lips, I realize there is no way to prove whether they became fuller with age or with my rudimentary, naively vain version of manifesting. Or just as plausible is that they were always full and I couldn't' see it in the mirror staring back at myself. Ugh, the human condition!
Ultimately, it doesn't really matter because the end result was exactly what I wanted it to be, and therefore, in my perception, it manifested.
What I do know is that if growing up in Central Pennsylvania, where veggie burgers weren't a thing and neither was spiritual psychology, if I was born with the inherent knowledge of manifesting, then so. were. you.
I keep coming back to this notion that we're sort of born with what we need to know. Then at some point, we lose it. Taking the 'life that happens to you' with all its ins and outs and other humans who imprint on us, and still getting back to who you are truly meant to be? Moana's grandma would be like "Yup, that's your job".
It's our job to get back to "it". Back to our true selves, back to what makes us happy, and back to relishing in our human-ness and all-the-things we love about life, including ourselves, kumbaya, kumbaya.
My husband, who is a walking Encylopedia, rooted in research and a tad skeptical, offered up another example of manifestation in my life: “well...you have gotten any job you’ve ever wanted”.
That's true. Every single one. I just knew I'd get it. And I did.
Now, um, how to keep doing that...
Here for her second appearance on Polite As Fudge is my mentor and therapist, Dalia Kenig, who has more than 20 years experience in holistic psychotherapy and who answered all of my questions on the truth about manifesting and how to actually do it. Let's get to it:
Q + A with Dalia Kenig, Licensed Psychotherapist
Polite As Fudge: Psychologically speaking, what kinds of ‘things’ can we manifest?
Dalia Kenig: When it comes to manifestation, people can manifest many different things. In essence, we are agents of change in our own life. We have the ability to create the life we envision and transform into it. From material things like money, a house, a trip or new career, weight loss, good health and more. We can manifest things like creative abilities, compassion, love, and deep caring for others. We can manifest small or far-reaching intentions and goals. Whatever it is, it requires more than just wishing and having a desire. This is a process of aligning our psychology, physiology, our energies, perceptions, and beliefs.
Many tend to associate manifesting with positive outcomes but it is important to recognize that it doesn’t always work. If we don’t put the right energy into our intentions they will probably not manifest. Worries, doubts, negativity and self-sabotaging can make any manifestation fail. You have to be ready to manifest with positivity, passion, persistence and the correct action. Our beliefs are very powerful. We manifest what we affirm!
One thing we can’t manifest: doing it for others, even loved ones, family or friends.
Manifestation comes from within ourselves. We can help by aligning ourselves with the desires and goals of others and support their journey towards their own manifestation with love, acceptance, and inspiration.
Polite As Fudge: What’s your experience with manifesting and why is it so important?
Dalia Kenig: I learned the hard way that we can’t force manifestation to happen. I can remember times in my life when I wanted to have and do things that I was not ready for no matter how much I tried. Manifesting differs from just being driven to achieve. It requires our authenticity. What we manifest is a mirror of our fundamental energies, values, beliefs, intentions and true desires. I have learned that when my manifestation didn’t happen the way I wanted I had to look beyond the disappointment and learn from it. One of my favorite quotes is “there are no mistakes just lessons”. Isn’t it so easy to fall back to a place where you think that whatever you want is not possible or that you are not good enough? I say you have to dare to believe you are worthy and deserving of all the best life has to offer, then you can attract all sorts of wonderful experiences. I think about it as gardening; you plant your vision in your imagination, water and feed with enthusiasm and care along with persistence and hard work. You have to be patient and keep the faith, and you will bear the fruits of your labor.
In addition, there is the spiritual dimension. Many scientists have explored the crossing of science and spirituality and the role they both play in the phenomenon of discoveries and manifestations. I believe that we create not just out of our personal consciousness. We co–create with others and with the divine assistance of the universe to manifest our best for our highest good and for others as well.
Polite As Fudge: What are some common misconceptions about manifesting?
Dalia Kenig: Let me be clear, manifesting is not wishful thinking and we can’t just pray our way into manifesting in our lives. We can’t just sit and visualize a stack of money and expect it will show up on our doorstep. It has been my experience that the more you shift from focusing on the outcome to focusing on the being and doing, the better it is. Getting in touch with our true intentions, developing a vision and being proactive in expressing it in our actions is the way. Another misconception that is common to overachievers is that they can force things to happen the way they want it and choose the timing for manifesting. Often, their ego and insecurities can get them stuck on an agenda, thinking “this is what I want now, this is what I need now”. Believe me, I have been there myself and it didn’t work for me. When we try to force a specific outcome, it usually backfires leading us to pain and disappointment. It is great to have the warrior energy within us but manifesting also has to do with allowing things to happen, surrendering to the natural flow of things. If not, we often struggle and end up creating unconsciously what we do not want. Negative beliefs about ourselves, others and unresolved pain can activate stress, sadness, anger, doubt and insecurities that will inhibit the creative self from making desired changes. Our beliefs, thoughts and feelings are powerful energies, like wireless messages that are broadcasted to our body, the self as well as outside of ourselves, to the world.
Polite As Fudge: Walk me through it - I would like to manifest a smooth transition for my family on our move. Do I start with one aspect or can I think in general terms? What sorts of things (and how often) do I have to think, feel, etc. for the manifesting to take shape?
Dalia Kenig: In order for manifesting to start taking shape you want to stay engaged with what you want to create and energize yourself. Focus on one thing at a time. You can use active visualization in your mind, journal, craft a vision board and practice the use of mantras and affirmations. There is no one way to do it. You can choose to focus on a specific goal or a general attitude and pursue it with passion, determination, and action.
Here is my road map to manifestation:
1. Become clear on what you want to manifest and connect with the intention behind it. Connect with the meaning of why you would like to manifest the specific thing you chose. Visualize. This is a powerful vibrational booster. Reality is created twice; first in your imagination and then in reality. Most people start with a general idea and work towards creating vivid details of what they want to manifest and how. Imagine achieving your goal and embrace the good feelings that come with it.
2. Align your conscious intentions with your belief system, emotions, and thoughts especially the subconscious ones. No matter how much you try to adopt positive thinking, as long as you have hidden limiting or negative beliefs, it will activate anxiety and ineffective patterns that will sabotage your ability to manifest. We all have some disabling fears and blocks that have become our interior landscape. We want to clear them out of the way. It’s about creating a positive and vibrant space you can manifest from. Surround yourself with experiences, people, and knowledge that will inspire and support you on your journey to manifest.
3. Be greatly proactive. Change doesn’t happen overnight or on its own. Be open to any opportunity that shows up your way and continue to work toward your goal until you get there.
4. Pay attention to small shifts. Even small manifestations can be signs you are on the right path to manifest. Practice strengthening the gratitude muscle. It can positively affect your state of mind, increasing your ability to achieve.
5. Cultivate a habit of being present in the moment, every day. We can be easily distracted. Let go of trying to control the outcome and you will have more freedom to create with joy. Don’t put deadlines for manifesting, trust it will happen to you when it’s the right time.
Polite As Fudge: What’s the difference between ‘Law of Attraction’ and ‘Manifesting’? Is one thought to be more “scientifically proven” than the other?
There is a wide spectrum of ways to account for manifestation. From spirituality, higher power, energy psychology and quantum physics to positive and cognitive psychology.
There are numerous versions to the law of attraction approach to manifestation. They focus on universal laws that govern the process of manifesting. They have gained growing popularity and following in popular culture.
Many scientists have also explored the intersection between science, physical laws and spirituality, and a lot of research is being done in this area currently.
There is also a mounting body of research in the area of energy psychology and quantum physics that validates the concepts that thoughts are energy and magnetic vibrations and the role it has in the process of healing, transformation and manifestation. Positive psychology research makes the case that positive thoughts and feelings expand our perspective so we can notice and tap into possibilities already there. Barbara Fredrickson spent 20 years researching this topic and wrote the renowned book called Positivity. Cognitive Psychology research also has found that when we reconstruct our confined cognitions, aka our beliefs, and using thought shifting techniques we can change our brain responses that shape how we think, feel and perceive the world. This process affects what we believe is possible to achieve and helps us manifest it in reality.
Polite As Fudge: What’s the best manifesting story you’ve ever heard?
Dalia Kenig: The actor and comedian Jim Carrey, known for his roles in movies like Ace Ventura and the Mask has an amazing manifestation story. He experienced homelessness at 12 years old after his dad lost his job. After running out of money they lived in a van. Carrey had to quit school and worked as a janitor to help support his family. He started doing comedy acts and made a little bit money here and there. In 1985, a broke and depressed Jim Carrey drove his beat-up Toyota up the Hollywood hills. There, sitting overlooking Los Angeles, he dreamed up his success. To make himself feel better, he wrote himself a check for $10 million for "acting services rendered," post-dated it 10 years and kept it in his wallet. The check remained there until it deteriorated but Carrey eventually made it: he earned millions from successful movies. He used creative visualization and abundance checks and lots of dedication to manifest a new reality for himself.
Polite As Fudge: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dalia Kenig: It is a great experience to manifest dreams and goals but I would like to point out that candid talks with people from all walks of life in my practice as a psychotherapist endorse the notion that getting what we want doesn’t always make us entirely happy. Too many people believe that getting what they want, especially material things like lots of money, the house of their dreams, the perfect mate, will make them happy. But it isn’t so. Those things only account for a smaller part of our overall happiness and they can uplift us for a short time. There are many other things that make us happy that don’t require a lot of money or material things. They are powerful in different ways. They nourish our souls and fill our hearts with joy. What’s in your (life) wallet?
Check out our past collaboration on Mommy Guilt and let me know what your experience is with manifesting in the comments section!