This topic emerged for me in a workshop I was co-leading this past weekend around the topic of manifestation in a way of getting hit over the head and the urge to share it more widely was palpable. It also comes forward at a time when I’m planning a wellness/spiritual retreat in November that covers the topic of bringing forward one’s authentic self to shine more brightly through the Holidays and into the New Year and this seems like an apt time to illuminate this topic. I also just read Peter Schulte’s blog post at Kindling.xyz titled Thoughts & Prayers and it hits upon some of the same energy of this post and other dimensions, which I would encourage you all to check out.
Getting back on point, I have noticed that words get a buzz in our society and people just run with it without really understanding the meaning or they get stuck on a pattern and don’t deeply think about what they are wishing to communicate. One such word I’ve been hearing a lot in the last five or years and which I feel people have more or less gotten on automatic pilot around is the word “intention.” I’d like to talk about the root meaning of this word and why I feel we are at a time of honing in on the word “manifestation” to entertain for people moving beyond just aspirations, but action.
To begin with, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attended a yoga class or other wellness/spiritual workshops that start off with “what is your intention for this session.” It is a wonderful practice to consider an aim, which invites our state of being to an elevated place rather than encouraging what so often happens in our society around “what do you want to do or focus on in this session?” It certainly has a different flavor when a teacher begins a class from the latter question and evokes a functional mind that sets a tone for coming away with certain goals realized such as stretching out a hamstring or mastering a certain pose instead of one’s being state transformation that is promoted through intention setting that casts the net for leaving the class feeling more flexible, relaxed, calm or whatever.
The root of the word intention comes from the latin word intendere which means “to stretch out” or “to intent, purpose, aspire; will or thought.” For me from a spiritual perspective, the word intention connotates a sense of focusing one’s mind, aligning with deep held internal aspirations and connecting with more ways of being other than the often intellectual center we navigate in our society. This can happen in terms of deciding to set an intention for desiring to feel more flexible from a yoga class and this play out by going through the class focusing on the body opening or constricting to poses, how deeply the body connects to a pose, recognizing emotions that may be dominant and inviting more flexibility in feeling a whole range of emotions or noticing any thoughts that you also want to relax around or invite greater openness.
I’m not dismissing that it’s important we put forward intentions before beginning a class, endeavor or even one’s day. However, I feel we have gone a little too far in the health & wellness fields to encourage intentions as an exaggerated means for counteracting the functional lives many of us lead that define and have us compute and sequence our lives around what we do for work, what we eat, what activities our kids engage in, how many hours of sleep we are getting, etc… Intentions have the following gaps that I feel we all need to be mindful about so we can more effectively harness our power from within:
- Because most of us lack ongoing personal/spiritual education, we do not have a process for really connecting with our inner selves to capture a whole perspective on ways we want to align ourselves and steward ourselves to grow. What follows is that our intentions can come from an off the hip place or moved by whatever we may have read or what we may esteem as a societal ideal at the moment, rather than from our essence and uniqueness that lies within and what we wish to build capacity around.
- We can “feel good” casting forward intentions, but we may become more inclined to aspire for change in a passive way and we may not be making a greater commitment to pursue steps to make the change, grow our confidence or will to do so as well as carry out the work to develop the energetic blueprint to allow for that said thing to come into fruition. This whole process unfolds a lot more elegantly and holistically when approached in a thoughtful, direct & multi-faceted approach.
All this lays the groundwork for why I believe we stand a lot to gain from embracing the word manifest in a larger way into our vocabulary. Manifestation goes beyond intention – to a place of igniting transformation. The word manifest is defined as “to make public”, evident to the senses, distinctly perceived, apparent to the mind. It is taking what is imaged or sensed in one’s mind (really one’s energy field) and bringing this blueprint into physical reality. Through my clairvoyant program and other spiritual readings/teachings as well as my own lived experience I’ve come to understand some pivotal components for invoking manifestation:
- Self-assuredness – deep held belief that you deserve said thing and that you can nurture the thing after it is birthed into physical reality. It is the outright confidence and belief in one self that holds quite a bit of power in the manifesting process. Manifestations actually start in our energy field even though many of us think we just dream them up in our mind (there’s magic happening all the time!)
- Ability to have – There needs to be a certain level of selfishness and a deserving feeling of whatever it is the person wants to bring forward into their lives. At the Berkeley Psychic Institute we would often clairvoyantly read a persons “havingness gauge” to support them in raising it to allow for whatever they want to come into their lives.
- Embodiedness – Likely the one component that is least understood, but the point is that one can cast forward an intended manifestation, but if they are not energetically grounded within their body, that manifestation will appear in the ethereal realm and won’t take shape in the physical world. This happens because we need all levels of ourselves to root a manifestation into the world and be able to match the frequency of it in a rooted fashion so the “new baby” has legs and is nurtured.
- Letting go – the universe always desires to bring whatever said dream to you, but often not it will not come to us in the exact form/timing or other variable that we had desired. That is why whenever one puts forward a manifestation, we must get clear on the key elements we want in that image and then let go of it for the universe to work it’s magic to color in certain details.
I find guided meditations or meditative states people can get into serve as powerful vehicles for calling forth manifestations. However, we are creative and powerful creatures and can cast forward intentions in many different ways. We just need to be in a relaxed, present and focused mind/body place to invoke manifestations – which can happen on a walk through nature, a lovely dinner with friends in which one has a calm and clear moment, a yoga class, or a physical place that feels very alive to someone, or many other places.
With all this said, my challenge to you all –students/teachers/wellness practitioners and/or educators – is to go beyond certain intentions that you put out into the world and think more deeply about what you absolutely want to call into your life (or lead others to do so), and what you want to align yourself in the form of manifestations. Please by all means, continue to (or prompt others to) cast out intentions for yourself or for those that you teach and even consider taking the prior step to evoke intentions in a more holistic manner as well as I invite you to begin playing with the energy of manifestation. The world needs a fuller you, your friends need a fuller you and you need a fuller you as your sparkly essence and unique self in the world.
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All in all, Marisa holds spiritual and personal development as pivotal shaping forces in her life. She grew up highly sensitive and intuitive and from a young age began exploring Buddhism and later Taoism to better understand herself and the world. She received the label of dyslexia in her childhood, alongside a very smart and capable twin sister, which prompted her to persevere and demonstrate fearlessness in developing herself, a trait she has carried throughout her life. An avid athlete by nature, she plays soccer regularly, dances, snowboards, runs and practices yoga. She also has a heightened sense of adventure and loves trying new things and consistently challenging herself and others around her to grow.
Marisa believes we each bring unique gifts and intelligences to the world and that through spiritual and personal growth, we each hold the key individually and within groups to unfold and blossom so as to serve ourselves and the planet in beautiful and harmonious ways.