We need to talk about privilege

Deep ✨

As you know, I am a big fan of manifestation methods and the law of attraction. I like books like Psycho-Cybernetics, and meditate on my goals daily. But one thing we need to remember is that manifesting doesn’t work for everyone, and this has nothing to do with putting in the work or skill. It has to do with the mere fact that many people don’t have the privileges to ‘just manifest’ a dream job, relationship or home. And we don’t talk about this enough.

‘I just made it happen’

I think this is because we like to think of manifesting as some kind of magic, or control. We love to be able to say that we just made it happen. We often feel like life is hard and we need to struggle to get what we want, so how great would it be if we can just think or meditate certain conditions into being?

I do often point out that certain effort must be put in as well, but overall I whole heartedly embrace the law of attraction and manifestation theories. You know why? Because they work for me.

Why manifesting works for me

But the reason they work for me is not only because I have a ‘go with the flow’ mentality, set and work on my goals daily, and slowly but surely master the art of meditation. The law of attraction also works for me because I am from a pretty wealthy family, I never have to worry about hunger or homelessness, I live in a country with hardly any problems and am born with pretty good looks and a smart-ish brain. Life is simply easier for me than for many, many other people.

And so I’m privileged enough to say ‘I want X, so I’m going to manifest X’. Because to me, it often is this simple. To a woman my age born in Africa, struggling to feed five children and dealing with a lot of disaster and poverty, it is not that simple. She can’t ‘just manifest’ a safe home, healthy children and plenty of food one the table. No matter how hard she works, wishes and meditates.

I am lucky

It makes me think of a comment someone posted as a reaction to a famous inventor of a meditation app. It said something like: ‘Of course this works for you and you are happy, you have everything going for you and nothing to worry about. It would be weird if you weren’t happy.’

The inventor interpreted this as an accusation of not being self made, and replied that she never used her parents money to get where she is, that she used to work 3 jobs to pay her rent, and that she build her whole life and business herself.

And of course, this is all true. But I think the point of the comment was to nuance how unlikely the chances are that everyone can benefit from her meditations the way she does. She is her own biggest example of how far these meditations (and of course some necessary work) can bring you in life, but she seems completely blind to how privileged and comfortable you have to be to begin with in order to truly change your life for the better. Because no, her parents aren’t super rich and never gave her money, but she does seem to have had a pretty good basis for life to build on.

Who has time to manifest?

This is probably also why Plato said that many people only start their interest in philosophy and larger life questions from the age of 50. Looking at Maslow’s pyramid – who really has the time and space (and energy) to think about self-development, manifestation, and life in general?

Right: the person who has their most basic needs met. Someone who has the time and money to spend on not much else but their own personal dreams. And who probably also has the brain to comprehend these things and can take a risk because they have the social network to fall back on when things go wrong. Which (surprise!) are indeed people like the app inventor and myself.

What I’m trying to say is: don’t pride yourself or ‘magic’ too much when it comes to how much you are able to meditate, manifest and reach your goals. The truth is that you actually need a lot of privilege, good circumstances and mere luck to be able to ‘just manifest’ something. And not everyone, unfortunately, is in this position. So let’s stop the toxic spirituality and let’s stop telling people that they are completely in charge of their own life and happiness. Life is not that simple.

xx Coco

‘And then let go’

Deep ✨

The more I learn about different spiritual theories, the more I realise that they all essentially say the same about the last phase of manifestation. From when I learned about The Energy of Attraction, to The Law of Attraction, to Psycho-Cybernetics and Dispenza or Oprah – an essential part of their teaching is about ‘letting go’ in order to get what you want.

You don’t have to struggle

What interests me about these theories is that they all argue that getting what you want, becoming who you truly are, or acquiring your dream life does not require struggle. We often learn that if we ‘work hard’ or ‘keep fighting’ we will be rewarded with what we dream of. Many parts of our society work like this: life is a race, and if you put in everything you have, no matter how hard or tiring it is – you will get there eventually.

This idea portraits life as a high mountain we have to climb in the burning sun or freezing snow, and we only can get to the top if we suffer and struggle. Moreover, we often believe that we deserve the top because of the struggle, implying that the one who suffers the most has the highest chance of reaching it.

However, these spiritual theories paint a different picture. Yes, you have to know what you want and really want it. Yes, you have to work for your dreams. Yes, you have to put in the effort. And yes, you have a huge say in how your life will play out. But there’s no need to struggle to get in line with your destiny. After the work is done, you have to let go.

Let’s take a look at the steps manifestation theories generally follow, with a special focus on the last (most interesting πŸ˜‰ ) one.

1. Get clear

The first step in many theories is to be sure about what you want to manifest. This can be really big (a dream job) or quite small (a new bag). What really matters is that you are crystal clear on what it is that you want, and what this looks, feels, smells and tastes like.

Envision whatever it is that you want to manifest. Think about this often, stay clear on this vision, even if it changes over time. Visualise the details, the impact reaching this goal will have on your life and how you will change because of it. Also think about why you really want this certain thing, why is it important to you? This has to be a good reason (in your opinion).

2. Put in the work

Now, plan out what you can do to attract what you want into your life. Think of all the tiny changes you can make, and all the little steps you can take towards your goal. This can be improving who you are as a person (‘become the type of girl who has what you want’) or planning specific actions in your agenda.

Whatever it is you need to do, an essential part of manifestation is that you do what you can. You have to start the right motion, have to have the right mindset, perform the right actions, look into the right direction. This doesn’t mean you have to work towards your goals 24/7 or you have to work your butt off. You do what you can, but you do have to do it.

I truly believe that whatever is meant for you, will find you. But it is your job to be open to it and this often requires some work on your end. I truly believe the universe will work in your favour, but there’s no way attracting what you want if you aren’t doing what you can to actually attract. πŸ˜‰

3. Trust the universe

Now, the next step sounds contradictory and irrelevant: trust your destiny and let go of all expectations. But if you know what you want, you work towards it and you’re waiting for the end results, why do you have to let go, and trust the universe? If things are working out for you, wouldn’t they do that even if you still care, even if you don’t let go, even if you don’t trust the universe?

Well, you would say so, but no. Letting go and trusting that whatever outcome follows, is what’s supposed to happen, is actually really important, and quite hard to do. Your attitude towards the outcome (after visualisation and putting in the work) is essential in reaching your goals. The ideal attitude is one of trust, calmness and neutrality. You know what you want, but your happiness is not dependant on getting it.

Why not care?

This attitude towards the outcome is so important, because we don’t always know what’s best for us. Sometimes, we get saved by NOT getting what we want. Manifesting, in that sense, is more about getting in line with your true destiny and becoming who you truly are, than getting the specific things we think we want.

Another reason is that we don’t always recognise the doors that lead us towards our goals as such. If we’re to focused on the outcome of our effort and we’re trying to watch our dreams come true, we don’t always take the chances that lead towards our dreams, because they look different than we expected.

Very often, we only realise that our dreams came true days, months or years after we actually did. Life works in mysterious ways. And this mystery is simultaneously the reason we don’t always see our doors opening, and the reason we don’t always know what our true destiny really looks like.

So: knowing what you want, working towards your goal, trusting the universe to give you what’s yours WHILE being happy no matter what happens is the ultimate sweet spot. It seems really difficult to let go of your expectations after figuring out exactly what you want and also putting in a lot of effort to get it, but really – once you truly trust that what is yours will find you, this gets a lot easier. πŸ™‚

Let me know what you’re going to manifest next!

xx Coco