The science of woo-woo? The last resort of amorous teenagers, or even part of a self-actualization journey to achieve one’s professional goals, the act of “manifestation” has become more mainstream in recent years. Bernadine Evaristo claims that she used positive affirmations and creative visualization to win the Booker Prize, even though it was “almost invisible” in the literary world at the time. On winning it in 2019 for Girl, Woman, Other, she says, “I started it all those years ago.”
The American industrialist Henry Ford liked to quote Confucius: “He who says he can, and he who says he can, is usually both right”, before adding: “Which one are you?” And many other business leaders claim their success is due to a deep-rooted sense of self-confidence. “Spanx started long before I cut my feet off my pantyhose,” says lingerie creator Sara Blakely, who visualized her future brand – recently worth $ 1.2 billion – while selling door-to-door fax machines. .
“There’s nothing in my life that I have not revealed,” says Roxie Nafousi, a London-based British-Iraqi manifesto expert whose new book, Manifest (Michael Joseph), is being published this month. Nafousi, who uses a seven-step strategy to achieve one’s goals, defines the practice as “the ability to create the life you want, to draw in anything you desire and a master, not to become a puppet, of your own story “. As Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 self-help book The secret and her three-step process of “ask, believe and receive” comes to me, think again. “It’s just the surface level of it,” says Nafousi. “The true art of manifestation comes from being proactive, fearless, taking risks and stepping outside our comfort zone. It comes from our subconscious beliefs about what we deserve and from our self-worth. ”
Nafousi discovered that it manifested at a “rock-level” moment in her life, plagued by low self-esteem, drug addiction and unhealthy relationships. She says her life has changed completely since then: she fell in love, became a mother and enjoyed career success. She already marked everything on 2021’s vision board in June last year. “I dream big because I know that absolutely everything you put in there will make you happen. And it’s not just material things, but also self-confidence and satisfaction. ”
Nevertheless, there will be many who stumble upon Nafousi’s admonition to “trust the universe.” Religious people may put it down to God’s work, others may call it serendipity or happiness. Skeptics may dismiss such events as pure coincidence. Evaristo talks about the mysterious “gap” between what you are trying to create in your life and the end result.
Dr Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and former NHS doctor with extensive experience in psychiatry, understands that “advocates make the whole thing sound like a manifesto for magical thinking”, but she argues that there is some legitimacy in the claims may be. In her book The Source: Open your mind, change your life (Vermilion), she investigates the role of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to bend and change. In short, we bring relationships or situations into our lives by focusing, visualizing, and directing energy through our actions.
“There’s so much skepticism surrounding manifestation and I understand why,” agrees cosmetic acupuncturist Sarah Bradden, who began the practice in an effort to recover from a “whirlwind of illness” associated with stress and a undiagnosed stomach problem. Inspired by a holistic clinic in Germany, where patients learn to use visualization and meditation to aid the healing process, Bradden began to feel better within weeks. “I stopped looking like I was dug up from a grave,” she says. She can not explain how. “But when those doors start to open, you just have to go with it. Because they will, faster than you can believe. ”
Bradden now uses manifestation as a daily tool, using “old school” vision boards covered in newspaper and magazine clippings to outline future goals. “When I think back, everything in my life is on that board,” she says. It has inspired her to help others improve their health: her wellness brand, The Bradden Method, offers facial acupuncture (a 30-minute “Boost” treatment at Hershesons Belgravia is £ 120, sarahbradden.com) and other treatments to “relieve lifestyle stress”.
Is the manifestation of the antidote to feeling powerless a way to regain some control over our lives? Nafousi’s book is definitely a road map for a more positive way of life. “If you look at a lot of CEOs and successful business leaders,” says Nafousi, “they manifest even when they do not use the word. They have clear vision, rituals, a strong work ethic. They take action, they persevere, they handle challenges in a way that does not derail them or lowers their confidence. They follow the seven steps; they just do not know. ”