Manifesting is a big topic right now, thanks to Tik Tok stars and other trend-makers. The reality is manifesting has been around forever, and if you’ve not been using it before, midlife is the perfect time to start.
What is Manifesting?
Manifesting is from the Latin word manifestus, which means to make “plain to see.” It allows you to transform your thoughts and dreams into a reality. You can manifest:
- travel opportunities
- business opportunities, and so much more.
How does it work?
Manifesting sounds very woo woo magic, but has a foundation in the way our brains scan the world to find opportunities to keep us safe and connected with others. We all have a Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is a bundle of nerves at the base of the brain that filter the information collected from our senses before it hits the brain’s processing center. The world can be a pretty overwhelming place in terms of the amount of information around us and the RAS filters out what’s important. We are hard-wired to spot danger since that’s what kept us alive for thousands of years, and your RAS system is biased to send warning signals your way and filter out the good things in the world.
Thankfully, you can train your brain to look for opportunities too. Your brain is kind of like a radio and if you switch the station to focus on the good, your brain is attuned to take in those things through your senses.
We get to decide what we tune into and watch it appear.
The truth is, it’s been there all along waiting for us to see it. So tune your brain into what you want!
Give it a try!
As an experiment, think about something like pink flowers or white dogs or Teslas and then go for a walk. See how many pink flowers or white dogs or Teslas you see. (No fair, if you live in the middle of the woods and it’s winter. That’s a whole different discussion around making sure you live in an environment that supports your dreams.)
How do you practice this?
Your central nervous system regulates how much control you have over your RAS and what your brain takes in. If you think you are in danger because you are having a difficult conversation with a friend or a stack of bills arrives, your brain will focus on warning you about potential danger and not allow you to see opportunities. My midlife, we can have a lot of baggage that interferes with our manifesting abilities. It’s important to have a relaxation practice in place to help you operate in your window of resilience where your nervous system is calm. If you have a history of trauma, it can be harder to see the world as a positive place. Working with a trauma-informed licensed therapist or joining a therapist-led support group can be life-changing in terms of the ability to manifest, as well as improving your life in general.
Can you manifest a million dollars this afternoon?
For some people, shockingly grand results are instant because they believe that they can be achieved. If you are Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, creating a million dollars in an afternoon is no biggie. A lot of people find early manifesting success with things like finding a good parking spot because they believe it’s possible. As you start to call more and more good into your life, you’ll be able to manifest bigger and better things.
How do you start?
Gratitude practices, such as keeping a gratitude journal or having a gratitude meditation practice help prime your RAS system focus on the good. It’s also important to get enough sleep and eat well so that you feel good. Whenever you feel good, your brain says “I want more of that” and the RAS looks for more good things.
So often, people give up right before the manifestation occurs.
I’m a naturally skeptical person, but I was able to push through my own manifesting journey by telling myself that the worst thing that happens by continuing to believe in my dreams and look for the positive is that I believe in my dreams and look for the positive! There really is no downside. Eventually, a manifesting mindset becomes second nature. Surrounding yourself with other manifesting types is really helpful.
Manifesting does not mean that you don’t do the work. I pivoted my a business from one that no longer felt energetically aligned with what I wanted long term, to a coaching practice helping midlife women seeking new purpose. As I focused more on creating content that made me feel excited, that content found its way into the hands of women who are ideal clients. I always ask clients how they heard about me and many of them said they really couldn’t remember. It was sort of an ambient awareness, which was likely a combination of my marketing efforts and the universe doing its thing.
You are co-creating with the universe so you have to do your share of the work, but the work feels easy and in alignment with who you are.
What is the correct mindset if you want to manifest?
Your mindset should be one of joy and ease. We often get the message that success only comes through hustling and toiling and burnout. Manifesting does involve work, but it’s not something that feels forced. The universe (and our RAS) recognizes when we are in a state of joy and flow and ease and tries to bring more of that our way. The universe wants what’s best for us, so we can succeed and then, in turn, help others.
Manifesting is a powerful tool that is available to you at any age. In midlife, we often know what we want and have the bandwidth (and sense of urgency!) to start focusing on our goals and dreams. If you’d like to get started, here are the steps:
- Start to process any blocks you have from past trauma through therapy or somatic work so you can believe that the universe is generally kind and supportive.
- Create a manifesting practice that focuses on calming your central nervous system through breath work and feeling gratitude. Journaling is a particularly powerful practice as writing by hand activates the RAS. It helps you connect with senses and feelings – both of which the brain loves – as you recall or imagine positive things
- Tap into the power of your feelings. The more joyful you are, the more you reward your brain for focusing on the positive by flooding it with feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. A happy RAS allows good opportunities through the filter so you can see them and use them to get what you want.
- Be clear about what you want. It’s hard to manifest something that you only feel lukewarm about receiving so it’s good to do some vision boarding and day dreaming so you are clear on what you desire.
- Have faith in the process. The universe is not Amazon Prime: it has its own timing. Just keep being grateful and imagine how happy you will be when you receive what you desire. Use your intuition to guide your next steps in terms of your role in creating the life you want. Good things will come your way!
- Embrace the idea of flow. The universe is in a constant state of flow: ebb and flow, wax and wane, give and take. When I manifest something, I make sure I give back in some way. The key is to embrace abundance and the idea that there will always be more than enough. The brain and the universe love that.