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Intention, Manifestation and The Law of Attraction January 7, 2007

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Intention and Manifestation.
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Modern concepts of personal development might have more followers benefitting from the ideas if some of the writers on the topic would present a number of their thoughts in a more practical manner. An example is one of the more popular aspects of personal growth these days — intention and manifestation, and the Law of Attraction, sometimes described with the older and lesser used phrase “cause and effect.”

Anyone following writings on this concept knows the basic principles. You focus on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want. The idea being that whatever you focus on is more likely to manifest itself in your life. In other words, with the Law of Attraction, or intention and manifestation, you become your thoughts, or you are your thoughts. Focus on what you have to be grateful for in the present and focus on success and abundance in your future, and these positives will appear in your life. Alternatively, focus on what’s presently wrong with your life and envisage the future in terms of scarcity or more problems and negativity and that’s likely what you’re going to get.

However, some writers in this genre over-emphasize the idea that absolutely everything in your life has been manifested or made real through your thoughts or intentions. I am not saying that this is not true, I just think people like you and me would find it more productive, if the focus was instead on positive scenarios. One example I read, for example, proposes the idea that a person is in debt because essentially, they want to be a debtor. They have manifested the debt through their conscious or subconscious intentions. While this may be true in terms of the actions or lack of actions that the person took, it is difficult for many people to fathom the idea that they are the authors of all of their misfortunes, including illnesses and personal tragedies. I’m not saying that the concept of intention and manifestation or the law of attraction is wrong, but I am saying that some writers are driving people away from valid personal development processes by explaining the idea of intention and manifestation in a way that many people cannot relate to.

For example, you and I may be facing some financial difficulties and we know why we are in this position. If we were to take some writings on intention and manifestation literally, it would be hard for us to believe that we intentionally created this situation. We may indeed have created the circumstances, but some literature on intention and manifesting tends to give readers the idea that we deliberately or consciously chose financial difficulty as opposed to financial abundance, and that stretches credibility. What we may have done was to have made some key decisions that did not work out well from a financial perspective. We consider them a result, not an intention.

A better way to present the concept of intention and manifestation would be to concentrate more on the positive aspects of the technique. Instead of trying to explain the principles by emphasizing that the negatives in our lives have been essentially self-directed through intention resulting in bad outcomes. It would be more effective to show us how intention and manifestation can build a better present life as well as a favourable and dynamic future. In trying to build a better financial future for ourselves, for example, one technique I read about and have found useful is realizing that whereas we can visualize and write out positive intentions about a secure financial future, it is difficult to avoid thinking about the negative aspect of our current financial situation and thereby inadvertently intending and manifesting a continuing negative financial status. The answer is to always think of negative situations as being improvable in some way.

You can preface your thinking or written intentions about a negative situation you want to change to a positive scenario by reinforcing the idea in your mind that the situation is, in fact, improvable. You may not yet know “how” to improve the negatives, but the outlook of believing the situation is fixable will give you an overall more positive outlook and gradually build the confidence to take the appropriate actions to improve the situation.

There should also be a strong emphasis on the need for concrete actions towards the positive outcomes we want. Intending and manifesting and the Law of Attraction, are simply intellectual exercises in “wishful thinking” if they are not coupled with actions. Even though we may not know the necessary actions, we must have at least a recognition of the need for action and a commitment to develop a plan towards achieving the desired goals. Personal development presupposes activity and actions being taken towards either self-improvement or to the improvement of situations.

One of the techniques often used in intention, manifestation, and Law of Attraction effort is the concept of visualization – we couple our intentions with visualizing positive outcomes to achieve the manifestation of what we want. In fact, I used this technique in a primitive way to achieve many of the earlier desires in my life. In other words, until I became interested in the Law of Attraction as an intellectual concept I did it intuitively. My method was essentially daydreaming about things I wanted, particularly in the area of specific goals I was setting my sights on. One example is being successful in getting a particular job.

My career has been entirely in communications, particularly the written word and publishing. I am currently an independent communications consultant and have been so since the late 1980’s and tackle pretty well any communications project or contract that involves writing in any way.

One of my earliest ambitions was to be an editor of one of the specialty magazines in the publishing company I was working for at the time. So, not being familiar with formal visualization techniques, I simply daydreamed about being an editor and imagined what it would be like, while at the same time, through my work as an editorial assistant, I was developing the skill package I would need as an editor.

After a few years, I achieved my ambition, and then started daydreaming about being a publisher, which in turn happened a number of years later. I followed the same pattern for years. Wanting something, daydreaming about what it would be like having it, and then getting it. It was a somewhat primitive approach, but essentially without realizing it I was applying some of the basic principles of intention, manifestation, and visualization, each one of the concepts being key to success with the Law of Attraction. If I had concentrated and visualized on all of the negative reasons standing in the way of becoming an editor or publisher, I doubt that I would have made the progress that I did.

I’ll close this with a comment from Claude M. Bristol, author of The Magic of Believing: “Happiness is wholly independent of position, wealth, or materials possessions. It is a state of mind which we ourselves have the power to control – and that control lies with our thinking.”