Reading my friend Marq’s words last week sent me into a place of reflection about the power of manifestation. I’ve talked about manifestation through the power of words here on TUC before. Your words give life to everything in your life, regardless of your belief it in it or not. Psychology calls it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Christianity calls it Proverbs 18:21. Spiritualists call it law of attraction. The power of manifestation is real, regardless of what title you assign to it.
The Downside of Manifestation
The thing is, the power of manifestation works even when your visualizations are negative. It’s easier to speak positively when you’re in a fairly peaceful space in life. But…what happens when shit undoubtedly hits the proverbial fan? Before I let go of my long held pessimism against manifestation practices, my chief complaint was that it’s easy to be positive when things are going well. Yet when life comes at you fast, it’s hard to have the level of consciousness required to be positive enough to manifest positive change in your shit storm of a situation. If this describes you just know that I get it, I understand. But I think you should know that you too can begin a positive practice of manifestation even in your darkest places.
You Don’t Always Know Where Your Happy Place Is
I was first introduced to the concept of law of attraction in early 2015 in the midst of a long and fruitless job search. Though I was gainfully employed, I was not happily employed. One of my best friends was reading Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires and encouraged me to do the same. To be clear: I thought it was a crock (and I sorta still do). This book was telling me that I created my own reality, that I get what I think about, and that I must match the vibrational energy of my desires to my beliefs. After developing a headache from the amount of eye rolls I gave at each page turn, I threw the book to the side never to read it again. I wanted nothing more than to get that new job. If I created my own reality, then why were my unfailing job search efforts yielding only automated rejection letters in application after application?
There were two things wrong with my approach. One is that when we tend to want something, we become very attached to that specific outcome. For me, I wanted another job and I was very specific about what and where that job was to the point that I was not open to any other possibility. When we’re attached to a specific outcome, anything less is a frustration. The second thing is that when you are trying to manifest a “fix” to the storm in your life, the frustration it creates only puts your further away from your desired outcome. Manifestation is less about fixing a current issue in your life and more about being open to what will bring you the core desires of happiness, peace, love, and security.
When Things Fall Apart
I finally landed the job after a year of hunting in September 2015. It was the exact title, industry, and job I wanted with the international exposure and salary to boot. I was ecstatic to get the fix from the bad situation I was in at the old job. But, you know what they say about jumping from frying pans into fires? Yeah, I pretty much Olympic vaulted into the fire with this decision. In the two months I worked there, I cried commuting to and from work each day. I was one of two Black women in the entire company of over 140 employees in 5 countries–and we didn’t even work in the same office. Two weeks into my tenure, I was already looking for another job. Despite the craft beer on tap, the Google-like office environment, the frequent paid company lunches, the casual dress code, and a $10K salary increase, I was miserable.
But I’m not a quitter. I wanted to give it an earnest go and try to make the best of the opportunity. My bestie told me that I should create a job proposal plan. This plan would detail the kind of work that I wanted to do. I was pessimistic that it would work, but I did it anyway. I created a dream role that best reflected all of my talents. I presented it to my manager and, as I expected, was met with high resistance. One week later, I was fired without cause by the US Director of the company when he flew into town.
Fires Don’t Always Cause Destruction
The moment I got terminated, brief shock was almost immediately replaced with inexplicable peace. Yes, I knew I had bills. No, I didn’t have a huge safety net to carry me forever. What I did finally have was the peace and happiness that I thought the new job would give me. What I didn’t know was that my firing would give me the opportunity to spend the last two months of my Dad’s life with him without interruption.
“But Danyelle,” you say. “If you got fired, doesn’t that mean your manifestations didn’t work?”
That’s where you’re wrong. It did work. Like I said earlier, I was reaaaaal specific about my desires and required those exact things to manifest. And regardless of the ending, the “new” job showed up exactly as I specified for it to do. The problem is, my mind was so narrow on what I thought would make me happy that my specificity worked against me. To better explain this, I’ll borrow from Kelli Cooper:
If you are in a bad situation right now, there are likely some very specific things you are hoping will manifest for you because you view them as being the key to solving the issue. If you really want things to change more rapidly, there has to be a willingness to release on the insistence that certain things need to happen for you, no matter how much your mind is insisting that you do indeed require them.
If I’d just loosened my vice grip just a bit on what I believed was required to make me happy and secure in my career, I may not have gone through that experience. Yes, all things work together for good but some things we put ourselves through needlessly. For me, this was one of them. I ended up back at the “unhappy” job as a contractor until I landed my current job one week after my beloved Daddy’s untimely passing.
Life Doesn’t Just Happen To Me
I keep a vision journal where I write out vision/manifestation statements about different areas of my life. It is the same journal that I wrote out my dream job in. I try to update it at least monthly and before I write new visions/manifestations, I read the old ones to see where I am. My current job? Well, I wrote it into existence in December 2015, weeks before I interviewed for it. Everything I wrote, from the management style down to the location of my work station being near a window, came to pass.
I remember telling my bestie how worthless that job proposal felt and she told me, “it may not be for that job, but don’t throw away your plans. It will have a purpose.” I felt compelled to go back and look at the proposal after reading Marq’s words. The job that I wrote out? It was equal parts creative visualization and data analysis. My current leader told me she hired me because I brought both creative design and research prowess to the table. The proposal that I wrote included corporate social media management, employer branding, and improving employee experience with emphasis on diversity. One of the first major projects of my current role includes sitting on a cross-divisional employer branding initiative team. My first major research piece involved the impact of diversity and inclusion in the long-term employee experience.
This is by no means a humble brag. In fact, I’m actually in awe when I objectively look at these things. I allowed myself to be open enough to build a professional life that I loved. Even in the middle of two incredibly hard life storms (job and parent loss). The job is just one example of things I’ve manifested. To be honest, I’ve manifested more than I ever expected to in the last year. For example: while I shopped for materials for my vision board, I was strangely drawn to a Philadelphia sticker. I didn’t know why but I bought it anyway and included it in my collage and thought no more of it. It wasn’t until after I booked my June 2016 trip to Philadelphia that I made the connection with my manifestation.
Life Happens Through Me
It’s not necessarily me but the power that works in/through me (Philippians 2:13) that manifests my desires. For the #DeepSaints who are too saved to believe in the power of manifestation, it’s time to take the spook out of your spirituality. You [should] know as well as I do that the text tells you to write the vision that is yet for the appointed time (Habakkuk 2:2-3). In one of my favorite books, The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, Mark Batterson states:
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Why? Because they don’t require divine intervention.
You are an active participant in what manifests in your life by what you put your faith and energy into. Things don’t happen to you, they happen through you. I worried about the specificity with which I wrote my first vision statements. I felt like they were too audacious and possibly limiting. I was willing to settle for the “almost-fit” rather than the right fit. What I learned is that when you choose to hold back on your desires because you fear the improbable, you’re shortchanging yourself.
You have nothing to lose by choosing to dream big. As they say: if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.
Dream big. Then manifest that shit.
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