Chances are you’ve heard of it. And chances are, you may have also written it off as a bit “woo-woo”, or some quack concept exclusively embraced by tarot-reading, moon-loving hippies.
It’s a term that can throw off even the slightest sceptic – and it’s a word author and mentor Jordanna Levin avoided using for years to describe the work she does helping people create their dream lives. But now, she’s proudly taking manifestation mainstream. And thanks to her ultra-pragmatic and totally logical approach – outlined in her book Make it Happen – the movement is gaining momentum.
It’s being cautiously explored, and then quickly embraced, by ladder-climbing corporates and goal-setting high-achievers. The same people who consider themselves fiercely practical and analytical. The same people who proudly scoff at the notion of star signs or horoscopes, and break into cold sweats at the idea of relinquishing control. This is because manifestation – under Levin’s teachings – is much more than channelling positive vibes, pinning up vision boards or wistfully dreaming.
It’s also much more than simply writing down goals. She has spent decades looking into the facts and science behind why some people achieve their dreams, and others don’t. And she discovered it comes down to a simple equation. Maths if you will. To prove it isn’t hocus-pocus, each part of Levin’s Manifestation Equation is governed by a universal law – and when you look at it, laid out below in four clear steps, it makes perfect sense.
“The Manifestation Equation isn’t a mystical mantra or magic spell. It’s a self-empowerment tool that, when used correctly, enables you to create anything you damn well want,” Levin says.
“Manifestation is essentially about taking ownership of your future. Full stop. Period. It’s about waking up to the fact that you are the creator of every single thing in your life.”
Realising this fact completely transformed Levin’s own life. Once discovering her thoughts and actions were creating horror outcomes – bad relationships, repeatedly dislocated shoulders, even toxic bosses – she worked out she could use the same process to bring in what she wanted. A new car, a $20,000 windfall (twice), dream clients, sell-out-events and a book deal.
“I didn’t win the car – I manifested the means to buy one. I didn’t find $20,000 in a briefcase on the footpath – I manifested job opportunities worth that exact sum of money,” she says. “And here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter whether you’re manifesting a new car or a parking spot, the energy you put behind it is exactly the same.”
No matter the target, the same four-step equation applies:
- Set an intention (or goal or dream)
- Feel the feelings associated with it, imagine it’s already happened.
- Take action (the crucial step many leave out)
- Have trust it will happen when it’s meant to, and let go of attachment.
“The Manifestation Equation isn’t a mystical mantra or magic spell. It’s a self-empowerment tool that, when used correctly, enables you to create anything you damn well want.”
Step One: Thoughts
This is a pretty powerful place to start, because according to the Universal Law of Attraction: Positive thoughts attract positive outcomes. Negative thoughts attract negative outcomes.
We’ve all experienced the repercussions. When you dwell on your bad luck with men – or the fact you’re always getting sick – guess what keeps coming your way? Instead, work out what you WANT in your life, and focus on that. But Levin says the over-simplification of this one concept (mainly through the juggernaut book and film The Secret) is what has given manifestation a bad rap in the past.
“Call it the Hollywood effect, mass marketing or an epic game of Chinese whispers, but somehow the expansive, grand and intricate concept of manifestation got boiled down to this: thoughts become things,” she says. “And all of a sudden, a bunch of people were under the impression that simply thinking about the million dollar mansion they were going to live in… while not thinking about their unpaid bills, would be enough to manifest a big fat cheque.
“If living the good life was as easy as thinking the good thoughts and feeling the good feels, don’t you think we’d all be driving around in sports cars and working remotely from idyllic beachside bungalows by now?”
Clearly, this didn’t happen. Leading to a lot of disappointment among the believers, and a lot of eye-rolling and sneering among the sceptics. While the concept of setting intentions and keeping them positive is highly important, Levin says it’s only the first small piece of the puzzle.
Step Two: Feelings
Levin’s second step, feeling the feels associated with your dream, is governed by the Law of Vibration. That is: Everything in the Universe vibrates on its own frequency, and things of a similar frequency are drawn together.
And once again, we’ve all experienced this first hand. Just like thoughts, if your vibes are bad, what sort of experiences are you likely to attract? Often we can’t help the way we’re feeling, but Levin suggest these fail-safe techniques for lifting the vibrations you’re sending out:
- Get moving, ideally outside in nature
- Play upbeat music
- Lift the energy of your home or desk by cleaning and de-cluttering.
Step Three: Action
Backed by the Universal Law of Action, Levin says this is by far the most important step of the equation – yet, bizarrely – the one often overlooked. It sounds obvious, but it’s not enough to just think positively and imagine your ideal life. You need to take action towards making it happen.
“There really is no secret formula when it comes to taking action, you just have to do it,” Levin says.“My advice is to start small. And if that feels too big, then go smaller. I have found that doing a minuscule something is ten times better than doing absolutely nothing because it feels too overwhelming, too scary or too risky.”
Step Four: Faith
And finally, this one is often the trickiest, especially for the non-spiritual control freaks among us.
Step four is about loosening the reigns – once you’ve taken all the action you can – and letting go of the white-knuckled attachment to the outcome. We can’t always be striving, forcing and “doing”. Sometimes you need to trust that you’ve done all you can, get out of your own way and allow space for whatever it is you’re seeking to come to you.
Levin says the Universal Law of Rhythm – which states all energy in the universe is like a pendulum – can help with that. Look at the seasons (we need the slower, barren winter to allow the renewal of spring), the lunar cycle (every month without fail the moon waxes then wanes, impacting weather and tides) and the breath (as long as we’re alive, an inhale will follow every exhale).
And if that doesn’t work, Levin suggests using her “This or Something Better” mantra, which is all about trusting that if what you thought you wanted or needed hasn’t materialised, it’s because there’s a bigger plan at play and something even better is coming your way.
So it’s as simple as four steps? Well, almost. Levin’s manifestation manual also sets out common stumbling blocks and how to overcome them. That includes limiting beliefs – like low self-esteem and not believing you’re worthy of said thing you’re trying to manifest. It also includes the need to create space in your life for the new job, new relationship or new opportunity before they can materialise.
She spells out the subtle differences when manifesting career opportunities versus financial windfalls; the dream relationships you’ve been waiting for versus your ongoing relationship with yourself – all the while baring her soul by providing examples of what she’s managed to manifest in each area herself.
For example, beating her struggle for self love and acceptance after only one breast grew in puberty; attracting two freelance contracts worth exactly $20,000 after calculating that was how much she needed to clear her credit cards and student loans; and landing dream job after dream job, as a journalist, writer and recipe developer, working for various celebrity foodies.
These are all fairly significant achievements, but she says manifestation newbies can just start small: “As with most new endeavours there are two principals that work every time: baby steps and practise. And here’s the thing: manifesting little things like car parks, chance encounters, free coffee and books you’ve been meaning to read is bloody easy because you’re not attached to the outcome. Without even being conscious of it, you’re practicing non-attachment.” She adds: “I’ve seen even the most sceptical would-be manifesters surprise themselves, so come on, what do you have to lose?”
Levin says her greatest manifestation to date will be to teach as many people as possible that the concept doesn’t have to be “woo-woo” and her practical, logical equation and steps can be understood and applied by anybody – “you, your ultra-pragmatic dad, your sceptical sister and your yoga-loving, mung bean-eating cousin – the whole motley crew”.
“Manifestation is not a massive spiritual undertaking,” she says. “It’s a little shift in perspective and energy expenditure.”
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