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Troubleshooting The Manifesting Process
by Stewart Blackburn

The process of manifestation is a fairly simple one on the face of it. You find a desire that is meaningful to you, you imagine it happening it and feel the intensity of the imagination, you get ready to receive it, and then you act in whatever way is appropriate to help it happen. That's all there is really. Certainly there are a myriad of techniques and styles you can use, but these are the basic elements. Most of the techniques are there to maximize the emotional energy and focus used in the imagination. The technique doesn't really matter, it's the emotional charge and the maintaining of focus that counts.

So why do people have trouble with this? It's an individual thing and there is no one simple answer. We're dealing with a subjective process, not an objective one. One useful model is that of an inner reality that we can access which creates the templates for our outer reality. Another model is that of a computer and the manifestation process is akin to changing the operating program. However, you want to look at it, it's clear that the inner conditions need to be right before anything useful results.

Looking at movies like The Secret and books on the Law of Attraction, one might get the idea that anyone at any point in their lives can manifest anything they want right now. And when things do not happen as they expect them to, they usually choose to be disappointed and frustrated, rather than consider that this is a simple but subtle process. It requires a little more finesse that at first appears.

Now let's look at some common problems and their solutions.

What's your motivation?
Do you really know why you want what you want?

If you don't fully understand your motivation for what you want to manifest, then you are not likely to manifest what it is that you truly desire. A vague sense of what you want, as in "I want to feel better" or "I want something grand to happen in my life" isn't the kind of focus that brings good results. At the most fundamental level, everything that you want is based on a desire to feel better than you currently do. And not being clear about your desire leaves huge room for interpretation. Something grand happening in your life may end up being a close encounter with a very large piano.

Remember, your life is all about feelings. Underneath each desire that you have is a desire for one or more specific feelings. You want to be clear what feelings you are looking for. Feelings are the object of manifestation as well as the engine for that manifestation.

Is your desire borne out of fear or love?
This is a very tricky point about motivation. Yes, you want to feel better and you have decided that obtaining such-and-such will make you feel better. However, if your desire is really about reducing your fears, then the best results you can expect will be around a reduced level of fear. For example, if you are afraid of not having enough money, then that energy will be what you are manifesting with. It will be a low-grade energy and you will likely bring something into your life that will indeed make you feel a little better for a while, but it won't take care of your problem. The problem isn't that you don't have enough money. The problem is that you keep manifesting the lack of money that you are so focused on.

The more successful approach is to be meticulous about keeping your focus on the things that you anticipate will bring you good feelings, and that you really do want. So check in with yourself and ask, is this something that I am manifesting that will bring me joy and add to the love around me? If it is, you will have all the energy you will need to bring it about. If it isn't, you will simply compound the unhappiness you are trying to get out of.

Will it violate anyone's free will?
The manifestation process is very powerful and the things that come about as the result of using it well can be truly magical. But it is not more powerful than free will. You cannot get someone to do something that they don't want to do. Sorry.

Suppose you want someone specific to love you. Seems reasonable; there are an awful lot of songs written about this idea. But you need to be aware the other person is living in his or her own world, essentially their own Universe. Your subjective world isn't and never can be the same as theirs. If, in fact, you could get them to love you against their will (or even just respond to your no-doubt generous love), then they would be something of a slave or a dog, certainly less than a fully empowered human being. I doubt that you'd be satisfied with that for long.

More importantly, what is your real motivation here? Are you looking for someone to love you in a way that makes you feel complete and vital? That's not anyone else's job. That's your job. You are the one who needs to be loving yourself unconditionally, generously, and with adoration. No one else will do a good job of that for very long. The great love of your life is a do-it-yourself project. Other people can show you how good it feels to be loved deeply. But then it's time to love yourself completely. At that point, relationships with others are enjoyed without neediness, dependence, or expectation. I would guess that that is what you really desire in the first place.

Can you feel the pleasure of anticipation?
Your feelings are your experience of energy and when you feel intensely, you know you are highly energized. So if you aren't feeling pleasure of some sort as you think about your desire, you aren't putting much energy into the manifestation process. The manifestation process requires emotional energy; without those strong positive feeling you don't get very far.

If what you desire doesn't excite you in some way, why should it come to you?
When you think about what it is that you want to manifest, look at how the desire makes you feel. If there isn't some sort of excitement, some part of yourself screaming "Yes!" then you might want to look at that desire. Very often we think we want something, particularly something that we think will solve a problem, and yet there is no excitement there for its manifestation.

For instance, suppose you want to bring in more income and you heard that the local restaurant was hiring. You figure that you are sufficiently qualified and so you try to manifest that job. But if your deeper self doesn't really want this job, you're going to have a hard time getting it. And that's just as well. You don't want to set up new internal conflicts; you have more than enough already.

If it's not for fun or love, why bother?
Basically what you want to be doing is loving things into being. This comes back to motivation. Remember, it's the feeling that you're after, so you need to start with that feeling that you're looking for. You want to generate that feeling within you.

If, for example, you want to manifest a new home for yourself and your family, you would first picture the home in your mind and then you would sit with the feeling that you want to be having in that new home. Love the new home as fully as you possibly can.

Once you have done this, don't just let it go. The end of many prayers is something like amen, meaning "so be it." If your belief is absolute, you have done your part by deciding what you want and energizing that desire. Now you can let the Universe (or whatever you call the non-physical powers that be) do its job. But if there is the slightest shred of doubt, you want to repeat the process at least once a day to reinforce your belief.

How are you resisting your success?
If you are not succeeding in manifesting your desire, it's not because the system doesn't work. It's likely that you are holding things back for some reason. There are many ways that we resist our own success, and hoping that the process can overcome our resistance is a fantasy. The common feature of all of the ways we resist is that they are beliefs that we are holding. Below are some of the common ways we resist our own success.

Do you have a belief that you shouldn't have what you desire?
There are lots of variations on this. Basically it is a belief that, somehow, you are different from everyone else. Beliefs like these are insidious and undermine every effort that you make towards anything. Most likely, you have accepted someone else's opinion of you or what they have told you.

Fortunately, these beliefs are held just under the surface in the subconscious and can be changed rather easily. But changing beliefs does require some trust in oneself and a willingness to be the authority in one's life. You have to decide that you are the one in charge of what you will believe and what you won't. A conscious effort to change beliefs, plus some practice and patience, can be quite rewarding.

The main trick to this is to first identify the limiting belief. If you find that things just aren't manifesting the way you think they ought to be, and you're not seeing why not, then ask some of the following questions:

Do I not deserve to have it?
Am I not good enough for this?
Is there something wrong with me?

These beliefs stem from a core belief that there is some standard (usually quite vague) that you need to measure up to in order to deserve or be good enough. Ideas like perfection or righteousness seem nice, but they always make you "less than." They are ideals that are not fully achievable, and thus can leave you with a sense that in the great scheme of things, you don't cut it.

In order to change this belief or one like it, you will need a new belief that feels right to you. A new belief like, "I don't need to be perfect; I just need to do the best I can and be true to myself" can be much more effective. A belief like, "I have come to Earth to learn many things. In doing that I will make many mistakes, but that's how we learn and I am just as good a student as anyone else," will not only help you feel better about yourself, but also help take the shame out of the necessary mistakes made in the course of everyday learning.

You can believe anything you want to. In the course of your life you will change your beliefs many times. The trick to beliefs is to hold onto the ones that work well for you, those that make you feel empowered and loved, and let go of all the others. Beliefs aren't set in stone; they are your operating system that needs to be kept up to date and functioning properly.

Are you concerned with what other people might think about your desire or its fulfillment?
There are lots of variants of this one. All of them involve giving your power away to other people. We usually do this sort of thing when we are not feeling safe and are afraid we won't be loved. Safety comes from trusting oneself, that no matter what happens, you can handle it. And as we noted above, the love we're looking for can only come from ourselves.

How can it be okay for me to have whatever (abundance, love, a good home, plenty to eat) when there are so many others who don't have these things?
If you are a compassionate person, and you probably are if this question comes to you, then what you want is for everyone to be as happy as possible and well taken care of. You will have to decide for yourself what belief to hold in this regard, but I would suggest that you work on making the world a better place starting with yourself. If you want to help others and you want them to have whatever abundance, etc. they choose, then find out how to make things work for you so that when you're ready you can then help them. There is no value in holding yourself back because they can't or don't have what you have. Go for your desires and then be of whatever assistance you can to bring them up to your level.

What if my desire violates the ideas of those I respect or fear?
Here again, you have to choose what beliefs you will hold. If you respect or fear someone else, and you want to believe that their view of the world is more likely correct than yours, then you will need to accept the results of those beliefs. If, at some point, you decide that your view of the world works better for you than any other, then you can adopt whatever beliefs seem best for you. This is the nature of self-empowerment and is essential for mastery of the manifestation process.

Can I trust the Universe?
In the manifestation process, trust is an essential element. Trusting the Universe means that you are going to stop worry about whether you will get your desired something or not. It means that whether or not it actually manifests, you know that you will be okay. Yes, this is the famous leap of faith. There may be no good reason to have this faith or trust. It's just that things seem to work much better when you have it.

Learning to trust is often a gradual process that goes from choosing to trust a little bit to wholesale trust that everything is working out perfectly. But it's always a choice. It is the choice to relax and let things happen in ways that are out of your control. When you do relax, things come about much more easily for your wellbeing.

It's like swimming; when you relax and move the water consciously with your hands and feet, then you can go where you want to. But if you become tense and panicky, then you lose control of the situation and things become dangerous.

So choose to trust the Universe, if for no other reason than it works better than being fearful. And expecting that what you desire will be fulfilled, one way or another, is what allows that desire to be fulfilled.

Am I holding onto my desire with a tight fist?
This is closely related to the last one. In the manifestation process a light touch is much more effective that a strong grip. Another way of saying this is that if you have decided that what you desire must happen within certain rigid parameters, you are saying to the Universe that you won't accept any substitutes or deviations from your stated desire. There may be a great many reasons why your desire can't or shouldn't manifest exactly as you have envisioned it. You may have conflicting desires for one thing. It's very hard for the Universe to give you the great cake you so crave and to help you lose weight at the same time.

If you are longing for a powder blue BMW and will only accept that, then you may be disallowing the light green Mercedes Benz that is coming to you. The point is that when you relax and are willing to accept the nearest equivalent to what you envisioned, then you are much more likely to be happy with what you receive.

This is, of course, related to the trust we were discussing above. Everything about you, from your body to your mind, works better when you relax. It may be counterintuitive to be more laid back when there is so much on the line, but that's when it's important to remember that relaxed expectation is part of what makes this process work.

Are you ready for the changes that success will inevitably bring?
When you change one part of your operating system, everything else changes to some degree. In initiating the manifestation process you have effectively said, "Universe, I want to change my life in this direction." And the Universe will do the best that is available in this reality to make that happen. But there are always other secondary factors that will come with the fulfillment of your desire.

For instance, if you are looking for a fun, loving relationship, that's likely to come with being with someone for most of your free time. That will affect your sense of freedom and spontaneity. Are you willing to accept the changes your life will experience?

Some of these types of considerations are in the back of one's mind when we are trying to manifest something and lead to a resistance to that manifestation. Another way of putting this is: Is this what I really want? That's always a good question to ask in this manifestation work.

What if it doesn't come immediately?
One important aspect of this process is that we are always creating our outer experience from what is happening inside. Put another way, the operating program never stops. So we have to remember that there are many other things that we have said we wanted and we are living with many of them still. Even if we have eliminated all the other things that hold back the manifestation process, like emotional resistance, lack of effective emotional energy, or lack of a clear vision, our realization of our desire may not happen in the timeframe we're asking for. Our conscious minds can get so focused on one thing that it overlooks the vast array of factors happening simultaneously in our lives. Add to that complexity the more subtle influences from the Universe and we have a situation akin to being in a rowboat on a swiftly moving stream. We can try to go back upstream but that's pretty useless. We can put a lot of effort into trying to go faster, but the results aren't worth the effort. Or we can choose to move our boat around in the stream to avoid rocks and get closer to the shore when that is appealing. But no matter what we choose, we are still in a flowing stream in which we have only limited control. Learning how to master our boat is much more effective than trying to control the stream.

Sometimes we simply need to accept that the timing of the fulfillment of our desire is not in our control and our energy is better spent enjoying something else while we expectantly prepare for the eventual fulfillment.

Mastering the manifestation process is a process in itself. The more we work with it, the easier it gets and the more fun we can have with it. There are few things in life that have such great rewards for the effort expended.

May all you dreams come true and may you help others fulfill theirs.

Copyright 2017 Stewart Blackburn

Stewart Blackburn is the author of The Skills of Pleasure: Crafting the Life You Want. His website is:; email:

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