A while back the term “manifesting” came into vogue in the Spiritual community. The Secret and some other voices told us the time for this idea had come. People got excited – they dreamed about what they wanted, held that picture in their mind and tried to proceed with their lives as if it was only a matter of time.

But I still haven’t come across anyone who’s saying “It worked!”

Now, I want to be really clear. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, or that there isn’t anyone who claims it worked for them, or that I know why it does or doesn’t work. I just know there seemed to be a LOT of disappointment and disillusionment.

Instead I would like to speculate about what might have been missing from the concept as it was presented. To begin with, I wonder if the way it was presented didn’t appeal to the wrong part of us. We heard “You can have whatever you want” and most of us went straight to ego.

Whether it’s: I want to be rich and famous and have a yacht and know important people and be treated like I’m really significant.

Or: I want to be out of debt and making a reasonable income doing what I care about and no longer have these health problems and find my soulmate.

Neither of these is wrong. They are not bad things to want, but where did they come from? It’s easy to spot the self-serving/aggrandizing desires, but the most complicated and elusive ego traps – the harder ones to spot — are the saintly ones. How can we argue with the person who just wants to heal the world?

Well, where is that coming from, and why? If it’s a way to disguise your unwillingness to heal yourself or a need to be seen as the next Mother Theresa, then the energy of your actions is loaded with complications and contradictions. The intentions behind your selflessness and generosity have significant caveats and stipulations.

Ego isn’t always arrogant and self-promoting. It can also come in the form of the illusion of purity and love. But underneath, hidden even from the person who is trying so hard to be good, is Need and Compensation and Woundedness.

So what are we supposed to do when we are trying to fulfill our purpose or claim our power and create the life we desire?

Here’s what I suspect: “Manifesting” happens when we are aligned with the Universe. When what I want lines up with the gifts I have been sent. That means the “want” is not being chosen, so much as recognized. A teacher of mine calls it “what is wanted for me”.

I think what we want, in this case, is something we carry with us and requires clarity and deep listening to reveal. What we want is to be who we are in action. Not who we think we are, or wish we were, but an expression of our true self, which cannot be separated from the All. That is why it doesn’t come from (ITALICS) us, so much as through (ITALICS) us.

That is why the feeling that can come with it can be joyful, but also scary and overwhelming. It’s why we might unconsciously choose to avoid it or block it. It can be a lot to contend with and sometimes takes a lifetime to prepare for.

It’s why when we’re asked what we want, often it’s easier to focus on a corner office or winning the lottery. Don’t get me wrong – I do not rule out the possibility that what the Universe wants for you is a 5-bedroom house in Malibu and a Maserati. Somebody’s gotta have it!

Is there more to Manifesting than this? Probably. But this in and of itself is no small thing.

This is the kind of Spiritual terrain that I help people navigate. If your Spirit is prompting you to have a conversation like this, I encourage you to get in touch with me.

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