Some people approach manifestation using detailed lists, where they write down exactly what they want, how much of it they want, exactly when they want it by… listing it all out in as much detail as possible.
That can work. I’m not saying it doesn’t work. But sometimes, if you use this method, you can get more than you bargained for.
Let me explain by telling you a tale of two manifestations. Based on true stories.
In our first story is a wonderful lady who wanted to manifest the perfect husband. She’s someone I knew many years ago.
In order to manifest this husband, she made a very detailed list… because she thought that’s what you do.
On her list were several non-negotiable things:
She made her list, put a time limit on this man showing up in her life, set it aside knowing that the universe would take care of it, and sat back and waited for him to arrive.
A few weeks later he did.
He was VERY tall, 6 foot 7 inches actually. Almost too tall…
Yeah, she realised she hadn’t put an upper limit on the height thing. Oops. But hey, it wasn’t a deal breaker, so, on she went down the list to the second criteria.
He was a gifted guitar player and was super excited about writing songs with her, and happy for them to perform them around town. Perfect! Check.
Conversation flowed between them like a gently flowing river. Not hurried, not frantic or exhausting. Just in a very pleasurable way, and they were never short of things to talk about. Perfect. Check.
His temperament was very sweet. He was such a kind soul, she couldn’t imagine him ever hurting a flea, let alone her. He treated her so well… in fact he seemed to almost have a sixth sense about how, as a woman, she wanted to be treated. He made her feel special, he listened to her, he respected her and never talked down to her or tried to control her like those other ‘macho’ guys she’d known before. Perfect. Check.
He did indeed seem to understand and respect her femininity extremely well, so that must mean he was in touch with the feminine side of his nature, right?
This was definitely her dream man!
They got married. For seven years they were very happy. Or so she thought.
Then one day he confessed that he’d actually been feeling suicidal. For some time. And he couldn’t bear it anymore, so he’d finally decided to tell her the truth.
The Truth Revealed…
He was feeling suicidal because he was transgender. He really wanted to transition his gender, to become a woman, and he didn’t know how to tell her. At times he almost thought it would be easier to end his life than to burst her bubble and hurt her.
He knew he’d lied to her… by omission at least. He’d never told her about his true inner feelings, and he realised he probably should’ve done that before they got married.
She didn’t get angry. She actually did her best to support him in his transition. She loved him through it until ‘he’ became ‘she’.
They tried to stay together, but in the end they couldn’t make it work. It was sad to see them break up despite the great love they still shared between them.
She told me that she realised, after the fact, that maybe she’d not been able to predict the full ramifications of her manifestation list.
The Universe had delivered exactly what she’d asked for. And, also more than she’d bargained for.
Was the Universe playing a trick on her?
I’ve experienced some manifestation ‘issues’ like this in my own life in the past, when I’ve been too prescriptive in what I ask for. I’d get the manifestation… but then it might turn out that I didn’t really want it after all, because of something I’d failed to factor in.
Why does this happen?
Genie in A Bottle
Maybe it’s like this “Genie in a Bottle” joke:
A married couple in their 60’s find a Genie in a Bottle who grants them both a wish.
“I want to travel around the world with my darling husband,” says the wife.
*Shazam!* … suddenly 2 tickets for a luxury cruise magically appear in her hand!
Her husband then says “Sorry love, my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.”
*Shazam!* … suddenly the husband becomes 92.
Let’s assume for a minute that you are an all-seeing, all-knowing, Higher Power that definitely has the ability to grant wishes… and yet as that Higher Power, you also know that the real purpose of this world, this realm, is more like a classroom where the beings in it get the chance to advance and grow spiritually… to participate in lessons that will allow a dawning of true wisdom and inner freedom.
Then, some ‘student’ comes along with limited knowledge, vision or insight into what’s really going on here and tries to tell you how to do your job… tries to tell you that they know EXACTLY what they need, and in fact they have it all written down on this handy little list.
“Could you please just grant the wish-list? Okay? By next Tuesday. Thanks.”
If you were that Higher Power… maybe you’d compassionately grant those wishes (exactly and to the letter) in a way that shows them, yes, they CAN ask for whatever they want…
…but at the same time teaches them that they don’t necessarily know exactly what it is that really serves their highest good.
You might do that because you want them to learn to trust you just a little. Because you want them to learn how to surrender, and be guided towards their highest good without necessarily knowing exactly what it looks like in advance.
Because, what’s truly for their highest good might not look like what they expect. They may not even be able to imagine it, or see the perfection of it, from their current level of awareness.
That’s why they need to learn to TRUST you.
How might THAT kind of manifestation work?
Here’s another story, to illustrate. This story is from Florence Scovel Shinn’s wonderful book called “The Game of Life and How to Play It”.
This is a book that was written in 1925, mainly at the request of Florence’s students, who would come to her for help in manifesting their desires. (I reckon it’s one of the best bargains in the world, because it’s a great little book and last time I looked you could get the Kindle version on Amazon for about one dollar!)
In it, Florence recounts the following case:
“A woman came to me and asked me to ‘speak the word’ that she would marry a certain man with whom she was very much in love. (She called him A.B.) I replied that this would be a violation of spiritual law, but that I would speak the word for the right man, the ‘divine selection,’ the man who belonged to her by divine right.
“I added, ‘If A.B. is the right man you can’t lose him, and if he isn’t, you will receive his equivalent.’ She saw A.B. frequently but no headway was made in their friendship. One evening she called and said, ‘Do you know, for the last week A.B. hasn’t seemed so wonderful to me.’ I replied, ‘Maybe he is not the divine selection – another man may be the right one.’ Soon after that, she met another man who fell in love with her at once, who said she was his ideal. In fact, he said all the things that she had always wished A.B. would say to her. She remarked, ‘It was quite uncanny.’
“She soon returned his love, and lost all interest in A.B. This shows the law of substitution. A right idea was substituted for a wrong one, therefore there was no loss or sacrifice involved.”
So… What is Surrender?
Surrender is about accepting the idea that when you’re asking a Higher Power to help you manifest your ideal life, this Higher Power might know something more than you do about what is actually for your highest good. This Higher Power might have a ‘higher’ perspective than you do. It might be able to see a bigger picture.
It wouldn’t be a ‘Higher Power’ otherwise, would it?
If you’re overly prescriptive in your manifestation process, in the way that you ask, then there’s not much surrender going on. Not much humility. And in my experience, if that’s where you’re coming from, you’re kind of asking to be taught a lesson.
(That’s not a bad thing, by the way. The lessons in my experience are always compassionate and enlightening ones, rather than punishments).
Here’s what I’ve found to be true for me: when I let go of my ideas about how things should go, and I open up to an unfolding process that is directed not by me, but by surrendering to a wonderful and benevolent Higher Power – a power that loves me completely and unconditionally – and I work on allowing that Power to direct the way that my life lessons unfold… that’s when my unfolding really accelerates. That’s when the amazing happenings in my life start to exceed my wildest dreams.
I don’t want to limit myself. So much of what I teach is about how to break through limitations. When it comes to manifestation, I’ve found that the best way to transcend limitation is by surrender.
That can feel like a paradox. But it’s not really, it’s a powerful secret.
The Square of Life – The Game Completed
The secret, the key point, is this: my small imaginings are just a fraction of what’s possible for me. When I surrender, I can bypass that limitation… because my Higher Power has a better plan and bigger dream for me than I can ever conceive of with my tiny little mind.
When I release my need for control; when I surrender, and tap into my intuitive guidance system; when I maintain a faith that all is well and unfolding as it should be… what manifests in my life is truly a wonder to behold.
I don’t have to make overly complicated lists of what I want to experience. All I need to do is to ask for the continuous unfolding of that which serves the highest good in all aspects of my life – in Love, Wealth, Health and Perfect Self-Expression.
THAT is next-level manifestation.
It’s what Florence Scovel Shinn calls ‘The Square of Life.’ The game completed.
Let me know in the comments if this post has helped you!
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns