The power of letting go and the art of manifestation are abstract concepts. On some level, you likely intuitively get them or you don’t. Your experiences and/or your imagination validates the concepts, or they seem a little “out there” for you. They are hard to explain and even harder to teach, so I’ll present examples from a case study of two clients with different approaches to life that illustrate both lessons. One client has a block about her job. Another client trusts the Universe more. It’s also an experiment…of using the life lessons of one client to benefit the other. Will it work? Stay tuned, but in the meantime, here’s what it means to let go and manifest your deepest desires.
Fundamental difference #1: Client 1 hasn’t achieved the career she desires and Client 2 has.
Client 1 is gorgeous, talented, intelligent, experienced, and has a rich and rewarding personal life, but she’s stuck on the career front. Circumstances and choices, as well as a highly competitive field, have meant limited opportunities and now she’s questioning herself. She’s very attached to the idea of achieving a particular role in her career and is consumed by the pursuit of it.
Client 2 is also gorgeous, talented, intelligent, experienced, and has a rich and rewarding personal life, and she’s relatively recently let go of the idea that a career is defining. Because she’s achieved a lot in her career, she’s unattached to a particular role and is more interested in exploring purpose, contribution, and life outside of career.
Fundamental difference #2: Client 1 hasn’t resolved her limiting beliefs from childhood and Client 2 has.
Client 1’s childhood was lacking. Intellectually she knows that she’s worthy, but deeply held core beliefs of being “less than” keep undermining her progress. Adulthood hasn’t been flawless (is it ever?), but it’s been wonderful enough and she’s created enough happiness to know that she can have it all. Yet she still doubts.
Client 2’s childhood was imperfect too (aren’t they all?), but she’s reconciled any doubts about being “less than” or unworthy and she trusts herself and the Universe to consistently deliver.
There’s power in letting go. You’ve heard that before, but what does it mean and why is it so important? The power of letting go is a significant step towards happiness and fulfillment and is a prerequisite to the art of manifestation. (Those should be college courses, no? The Power of Letting Go 101 and The Art of Manifestation 201 required for all majors at all universities).
In addition to being blocked about her job, Client 1, for reasons rooted in her childhood, is really attached to the struggle. She hates struggling, in theory and in practice, but cannot detach from it. One reason is that during her first 20 years (or so), she was drilled to work harder, fight harder, be better, improve, overcome, and strive. And during that same time, she saw the people closest to her work harder, fight harder, strive while simultaneously losing their freedoms and their spark. It was a war of the “haves” and “have-nots” and she was on the wrong side.
She doesn’t want to continue struggling or lose her freedoms (or her spark), but she doesn’t know any other way, so she fights. And although she’s fighting against the idea of struggling, the fight itself is binding her to the struggle, to lack of freedom, to extinguished spark. It’s self-fulfilling. By fighting what she fears, she’s focusing enough energy to fuel it, so it remains a threat and holds her back from achieving her true potential.
It’s kind of like getting a ring stuck on your finger. The harder you pull — the tighter it gets — the more you panic. Meanwhile, if you relax and figure out a solution, it would release. “I am not good enough,” and “I don’t have enough” are from her past and not consistent with her current reality, but she can’t see it, because it’s intrinsic. It’s a refrain that runs through her even when she isn’t consciously listening.
Client 1 has tangled up not having her dream job with the refrain of her childhood; and by being fixated on the idea that achieving this role will change everything, she’s giving away her power to own happiness now. The fear of not ever having this role is causing her to be hyper-focused, obsessed, and unwittingly block it from happening. And nevermind that the role is no guarantee of happiness. It’s a symbol of the things that she could already have, that she already has, if only she could see it.
That’s where gratitude comes in. Gratitude is essential to letting go and manifesting what’s next and it’s one way of untangling the dream job from the refrain of her childhood.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. — Melody Beattie
If detachment is freedom; then gratitude is fully accepting that freedom to create room for more. (#HappyThankYouMorePlease for those of you who’ve seen the movie.)
Think about it. When was the last time you simply allowed something to be without feeling you had to change it, improve it, fix it, or wish that it was something different? Client 1 has been searching for the perfect job for so long, chasing what she feels is her destiny, her deepest desire, and because it isn’t happening for her, yet she sees it happening for others, seemingly more effortlessly, it’s f*cking with her head (pardon the language).
And I get it, it is hard to stop wanting what you really want it. But sometimes, we want something so badly that we become so tethered to it that it’s restrictive. The paradox is that the act of wanting infers to the Universe that you do not have it yet, that you aren’t ready. It’s needy. By focusing so much on wanting something and spending additional energy wondering how it will happen, it reaffirms that it hasn’t happened, it screams unworthiness and affects your ability to manifest it. By asking repeatedly, we’re basically saying that we lack that thing over and over. We unconsciously magnify more of the absence which keeps it from happening and keeps the struggle a struggle.
At some point, you must let go. At some point, Client 1 will have to be ok where she is, grateful even with what she has now, and let go of the dream job, not because she’s giving up, but to allow the Universe to deliver. To be clear, letting go doesn’t tell the universe “I don’t want this role” or “I’m giving up on my dream.” Instead, letting go means releasing her need for the role, accepting things as they are, knowing that everything is evolving and fluid, choosing happiness and being open to letting the universe figure it out, while she enjoys life and takes care of what she can take care of.
When you practice healthy detachment, you can be more fully yourself and more fully appreciate your blessings. You can have more clarity, objectivity, and live life with intensity and depth unavailable when entangled by fears, unworthiness, and/or neediness. Once we untangle, we make room for better decisions, more love, evolution, higher living, and importantly, are ready to manifest what’s next.
Letting go occurs when you live as if the thing you already want is yours. It negates the neediness and so much more. How would Client 1’s job hunt shift if she searched from a place of knowing she already had her dream job? That it is one of the infinite possibilities already available to her? That it is inevitable?
Not everything has to be deeper than it is or harder than it has to be. It can just be. She doesn’t need to do anything, change anything, fix anything, or fight for or against anything. She can let go of the struggle.
Manifestation can follow letting go, it can be simultaneous, or manifestation and letting go can be intermingled, moving forward and back in stops and starts, a little dance of figuring it out as you go…
The art of manifestation in it’s simplest sense is believing something so thoroughly that it becomes real. It’s not wish-fulfillment so much as it is refusing to allow any evidence of the outer world to distract you from your intentions. It assumes a certain inevitability that you are who you want to be, and everything will work out alright, and that belief (of inevitability and positive results) offers fearlessness and hopefulness. It can be prayerful or spiritual, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s definitely an obsession toward what’s possible vs. what is. It’s a Jedi mind trick that lets you broaden your perspective and see many many options and outcomes, including your desired one(s), and knowing all are equally accessible to you.
Step One is being sure about who you are and what you want and being open about how it will happen. It’s having faith that it will happen but being patient while you wait. Those two ideas can feel a little incongruous though so let’s revisit Client 2 to see it in action. She knew with absolute clarity that she would get married and have children someday. So in her 20's she played, dated, explored, traveled, and focused on her career and basically let the Universe take care of delivering her partner. That’s not to say she wasn’t occasionally obsessed, because she was, especially when a close friend became engaged, or when another was pregnant for the first time, but she didn’t dwell. She wanted to remember her 20's as a period of self-discovery, not a time that she was searching for a husband. (Contrast that approach to the job search of Client 1 who is so focused on the outcome that she can’t accept the gifts of the present.)
Client 2 had a massive list of “must-haves” in her partner, one full page front and back, prioritized from “deal-breakers” to “nice-to-haves”, but it was an ideal, an exercise in specificity, a dream of sorts. On another page, she opened herself up to whatever means it would take to make it happen. Her playbook said simply, “fall in love, accept his proposal, live happily ever after.”
On one hand, she was cultivating what she wanted through clarity and faith, but on the other hand, simultaneously creating room for the Universe to reward her intentions by detaching from how and when (and even with who) it would happen. She was leaving some room for the Universe to offer up something (someone) even better. This part is important: It surrenders the idea that we always know best. We usually know a lot about what’s good for us, but rarely do we see the whole picture, and by letting the Universe fill in the gaps we can see how God’s plan (or Life’s plan if you prefer) is often even better.
Step Two is to visualize your desired result as if it were already true. Be specific as possible to imagine what it feels like, what happens next, and really embrace the celebration of actualization. This allows your subconscious to align with your consciousness, in effect doing the work to make it real. You don’t have to know how or why it works — in fact, the wondering can distract you from holding the vision — but you must take care of yourself, you must have pure intentions, and you must know that you already have and are enough. One of the reasons it happened for Client 2 is that she spent time on self-development, consistent improvement, handling her business, managing the day-to-day, being a good person, and focusing her energy on gratitude.
She didn’t lose sight of what she wanted, but she didn’t let her attachment to it minimize what she already had or restrict her other pursuits. She didn’t wait for X (to lose weight, to get a promotion, to make more money, blah, blah, blah) to happen before she could Y (be happy, exhale, be a better person, move forward, find the right guy, etc.). Her life was full and expanding at every stage. Then one day, her friend set her up on a blind date, and now she’s been married for 10 years with three kids. Happily ever after just happened.
On some level, it did seem like magic. That’s the most alluring part of the art of manifestation — its effortlessness, synchronicity, and ease. Effortless is this sense doesn’t literally mean “without effort”, it means natural, feels good, and worth it. It means doing the work for the sake of the work is the reward. It means by detaching from the outcome, you allow yourself the benefits of the process, and then to achieve your desired result and even more is so glorious that what it took to get there is insignificant.
Having children was as inevitable for Client 2 as finding the right partner, but was much more complicated. Her husband faced serious health challenges and as a couple, they chose IVF. You might assume there’s nothing effortless about infertility and in some ways, you’d be right, but in some ways, not.
Client 2 was grateful for IVF. She approached it as a non-traditional means of having a baby, yes, but a proven method nonetheless. She was appreciative of the playbook that had worked for many couples before them — do this, then this, then this to optimize your outcome — to have a baby. She loved that she lived in a time and location that allowed it to happen. She was grateful for the reasons it would work. She followed the instructions to a tee and was rewarded with three beautiful babies. It wasn’t easy, natural, or full of synchronicity, and it certainly didn’t feel good, but because it was worth it and the reward was not just in the outcome but in the process, it became all those things. It became effortless.
Here is the tricky part: Despite believing at a soul level that it was inevitable, she had to also accept the possibility that it wouldn’t happen, that she wouldn’t become a mother. It was devastating. But facing that fear head on, detaching to that level, then simultaneously seeing both realities and choosing the more desirable outcome gave her the power to manifest it. It meant existing in two realities at once, the reality of it not happening, and the reality of knowing it is going to happen with such absolution that it already has happened. She was a mother before she became a mother. That’s manifestation.
So, can Client 1 use this method to manifest the dream job? To accept both realities? I hope so. It remains to be seen. In the meantime, we’ll work together to optimize her chances. On one page, we’ll fill front and back with all the desired aspects of the dream job, prioritizing from deal-breakers to nice-to-haves. Then on another sheet, we’ll write “see the posting, accept the offer, be content and thrive through retirement.”
We’ll simplify and give it to God. Then she must do the work, handling her business, taking care of the moment, day-by-day, being a good person, developing herself, consistently improving, focusing on gratitude. It may be effortless, it may not, but the payoff will be so sweet.