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Guest Blog by Erica Rodefer Winters SpoiledYogi.com

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” — Roald Dahl

I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone seriously talk about the concept of manifesting. It was many years ago at one of the first yoga trainings I’d ever been to, and several yoga friends were lounging around outside during our lunch break. The teacher, a lovely woman who I admire and respect, shared that when she decided she wanted to be a mother she had meditated to find the man who would father her children. Up until this point, I thought everything this woman said and did was nothing short of brilliant—her teaching techniques, her asana tips, her posture, all of it—but this particular comment made me raise my eyebrows. Really? You just “meditated on it” and it happened? Like magic? She swore it worked for her, but I didn’t buy it.

Recently, it seems like everybody in the yoga and self help communities seem to be doling out advice on how to make all your dreams come true by simply believing that it’s possible. Need more money? Believe in abundance, and watch as your business soars or unexpected bonuses comes your way. Want to find a life partner or a new job, get a book deal, buy your dream house, become the next Instagram celebrity? Put the intention out there, meditate on it, trust in the universe, and really REALLY believe it’s possible. Trust. Banish negative thoughts. It WILL happen. You'll see!

In some ways, it’s an inspiring message. It sounds too good to be true. But also easy enough that it’s worth a try, right? Believe me. I've tried it off and on for years. I visualized. I meditated. I daydreamed (every night as I drift off to sleep). I've believed with all my might, damn it! But something didn’t click.

For a long time I thought I was failing at manifesting because I didn’t believe things were possible for me or I didn’t believe in myself enough, and it was frustrating because I didn’t know how to make myself BELIEVE more.

Was I missing something? After lots of reflection, I came to this conclusion: I was doing lots of meditating, visualizing, and daydreaming (call it whatever you want), but I was stopping there. And when the miracles didn’t start happening, I threw up my hands and determined that this manifesting stuff was nothing more than woo-woo bullshit that sold lots of books and gave people false hope. But I'm nothing if not persistent. I began to use my vision to motivate myself to TAKE AN ACTION to move myself toward my dreams. When I started to turn my manifestations into action items that helped me to learn, grow, and try new things, I started to see shifts—and fast. Things finally began to HAPPEN (sometimes as a result of my own work and sometimes things just came to me organically, exactly at the right time.. What?!)

Is manifesting bullshit? No way--it’s a powerful tool to help you figure out what you want in life, try it on for size, and give you some direction so you can go LIVE the life you want to live. Just don’t be fooled into thinking things will fall in your lap. As powerful as manifesting can be, it’s not a substitute for old fashioned hard work, knowledge, skill, talent, drive, and, yes, a little bit of luck, too.
Erica Rodefer Winters is a Charleston, SC area writer, editor, yoga teacher, and professional daydreamer. She's obsessed with how her yoga practice can make her more productive, creative, and efficient and spends her days sharing her tips with anyone who will listen. Read more of her writing and connect with her at SpoiledYogi.com.
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