Manifesting: How to Find Your “Word” and Live It Into Being

It’s early Spring, that time of year where many of us can get discouraged by abandoned New Year’s resolutions, and find ourselves doubting that the practice of “manifestation” really works. I love how Amy’s guests on her podcast “Intention & Receiving: Two Keys to Powerfully Unlock the Life You Want (in 2020 or Whenever!), Willow Bradner, Tamara Ross & Erin Breeze, remind us that the New Year is somewhat of an artificial construct in time. It’s not that on January 1, we’ve failed if we haven’t realized our goals from the year before, or that magically we have a clean slate for the year ahead. 

At any time in your life, you can pause, take a deep breath, reflect and reset – without guilt or beating yourself up for perceived failures. Let your greatest challenges be transformed into wisdom, and take a moment to accept where you are. Can you see that what life’s thrown at you so far has been there to grow you, and give you the opportunity to remember that you and your children are limitless beings? 


Troubleshoot Your Manifesting Practice

Here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you reset and begin again in creating your best life. As Amy says, when you create your best life, you are a powerful example for your kids in creating theirs. 

First, let’s talk about “intention” and clearing out the old beliefs that block us from our true desires. It’s so powerful that in the episode on intention and receiving, Amy and her guests talk about setting a word for the year. Why? Because many of us start off the new year – and our manifesting practice – with a list of things we want. A lot of times the items on our lists are actually fixes for the stuff we don’t want. And what we don’t want, is based in the energy of fear and lack. I’m going to show you how to use that fear and lack list to find the heart – and energy – of your true soul’s desires, and transform the energy of “I want” into an empowering word that attracts abundance.

Let’s do a deep dive on a typical New Year’s Resolutions list: “I want to lose ten pounds,” can be a fix-it for a body we don’t like, let alone love. “I want to make six figures,” is another statement of lack, and fixing something that we perceive as wrong. “I want to be more loving and “spiritual” with my child,” carries with it the energy of not being a good enough parent. “Buy a new, bigger house,” while perhaps on its face could seem driven by necessity, and a growing family, could be a grasping for more and better. When I took an honest look at my list (yep, this is my list), I began to see how nearly everything on it was driven by “not enough.” 

Transform Scarcity with Gratitude & Acceptance

I started to see that gratitude and acceptance were missing. Without those two things, I could never be open to receive the true gifts all around me. I sat with my list in a moment of quiet, and what started to show up was the opportunity to love my mommy body for its new, juicy curves, and the miracle that my daughter, who took three long years to conceive, really is. 

I started to get choked up thinking about how my new “back-to-work-after-baby” career gives me the opportunity to do the one thing that’s always brought me so much joy – writing – and get paid to do it. I saw that my frustration with the little townhome we live in, could offer the chance to give thanks that our mortgage is also small, and allows us to send our daughter to private school, travel and experience other life luxuries. 


How the Big Ugly Gives Access to Freedom

I realized that, growing up with a single mom who was always struggling to make ends meet, and moved us from place to place, generated a deep insecurity in me. It doesn’t sound pretty to say, but I find that I never feel like I’ll make enough money to be safe. I have a little-girl insecurity, that if I don’t live in a big house on a golf course like the most popular kids in school did, I won’t be worthy of friendship. 

I saw how I’ve had a habit of hiding my perceived shortcomings by not making myself available to people or experiences that I label as “too good for me.” I noticed that as I’ve started to experience a level of freedom and success that isn’t in alignment with how I grew up, my Midwestern ethos of “not getting too big for my britches,” showed up, along with the nasty question, “who do you think you are?” And then, the other awful, scarcity-based feeling of knowing I didn’t deserve to be so happy bubbled up, and I realized that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop – for all the wonderfulness to be taken away by some inevitable disaster, or by a God who decided it was time to put me back in my place. (Btw, if you are serious about taking this practice on, I have found Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map to be an incredibly helpful tool.)

Clear Limiting Beliefs

I’ve learned from years of practice with manifestation that it’s really tough to clear old stories. It’s not enough to know they’re there and to try to be different. As I like to say “you can’t put lipstick on a pig” and expect that your pig is now a princess. 

So how do we get unstuck from ourselves? This is where the magic of true manifestation starts. It’s not about vision boards and wanting something so much that you call it into being. All this wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ just reinforces the energy of “I want” (believe me, I’ve tried). And, the Universe in its great wisdom will say, “Ok, you want to feel what it’s like to want? Sure, here’s some life circumstances that will always leave you wanting.” 

Before you can get to a place where you are ready to identify what your life would be like your way, as Amy and her guests talk about in the episode, you’ve got to shift your underlying programming. One big way our subconscious does this is through experience, not thought alone. As Yoda says, “there is no try, only do.” This is where the rubber meets the road, people. And while it’s not easy, it’s the way to actually manifest in physical reality, the life you desire to live. Once your baggage is out of the way, you can see what’s underneath – your true nature: limitlessness. And then you get to practice that. Oh yeh. It’s scary and thrilling all at the same time. And you’ll fall down lot’s of times. But you’ll get back up again, and practice, over and over again until it becomes habit – this is your new way of being, and this is what shifts everything. 

Here’s how I created my new practices. I saw that when I stripped away all my self-imposed fears and insecurities, what really lights me up is this:

  • A loving marriage where trust is at the heart of our relationship. And my new to-do became making agreements with my husband, where we’re both a “yes,” for what we’ve agreed to – we stop trading “no’s” in order to compromise.
  • A relationship with my daughter where I’m kind and forgiving to myself first, so that I can practice being kind and forgiving with her. And I teach her, by example, to be kind and loving with others.
  • A commitment, with my husband, to what matters most to us right now: the freedom to take adventurous trips, eat amazing meals at really good restaurants, shop for fine clothes and shoes without worrying we overspent, and to soak up all the pleasures of life that abound around us. To be patient and trusting that as our family grows, so will our living space. And in the meantime, to take the opportunity to practice generosity by giving away all the stuff we haven’t used in the last year to create spaciousness. To teach my daughter generosity by helping her pick out toys to donate to kids in need.
  • A focus on being a strong, healthy woman, who drinks a lot of green juice and rocks her J-Lo butt. I’m going to stop trying to cram myself into the ski pants I wore when I was 25, and get a really great, stylin’ new pair.


Finally, Your Word for the Year is Here (And Ready for Action)!

It was time to set my word for the year. My word is Abundance. And before you groan at the cliché of it – as Tamara Ross says in the podcast episode – WTF is abundance, anyway? Here’s how this word can work, and how you can practice manifesting abundance (or whatever your word is) in a way that will bring you results

I took the time to identify the blocks to abundance in my life. Then I rewrote my list as commitments and agreements, not wishes and wants. 

The next step, is to align my thinking and my doing with this list. So the last step in bringing your desire into physical form, is to start getting courageous and audacious. Yes, it’s time to go into bold action! Here it is in two clear steps:

  • Notice the words coming out of your mouth. I find it’s easier to notice my words, than to try to sneak up on my thoughts – they’re so automatic and they’ve been repeating themselves for so long, I don’t even hear them anymore. In my case, I stopped myself every time I heard myself complain, or say “I’m so stressed,” or “But what if this (terrible fear-based projection) happens?” I now pause every time, and I flip it into a gratitude statement, and say to myself “I’m seen, I’m heard, and I’m loved.” You’ll have your own mantra that works for you.
  • Every time you feel yourself holding back – not asking to be paid what you’re worth at work, not going to that party because the found of Tesla is hosting it, choosing Chipotle over a sit-down dinner on date night, not asking for help because you don’t want to be a burden, whatever your what stops you is – you do it anyway. I am not saying to rack up a bunch of credit card debt spending beyond what’s available to you. I’m saying look at why you’re choosing what you’re choosing and look for the bigger available possibility. Reach for the light. All plants do it, you can do it too. It’s your true nature. 

I love how Sam Dogen explains why penny-pinching won’t generate wealth, in a recent article for CNBC, “‘It’s hard to frugal your way to early retirement,’ says self-made millionaire who retired at 34.” 

“Eating $0.69 ramen and skimping on $8 avocado toast isn’t a bad idea … if you’re a broke college student,” says Dogen. “Once you’ve graduated and hit your 30s, however, it’s hard to frugal your way to early retirement. Why? Because a couple hundred bucks isn’t a life-changing amount.”

“In the realm of abundance, everything — money, happiness, prestige — is plentiful. More importantly, those with an abundance mindset make decisions based on the Big Picture. They know that wealth is a byproduct of what they do with their time and money, whether it’s investing in real estate or the stock market, working harder so they can get paid more, refinancing their mortgage or starting a side hustle.”

So get out there and start living your Word. You don’t have to wait for permission. You don’t have to earn the right to have what you want, your way. 


Marsha is an award-winning journalist, content marketer, entrepreneur, and mother to a preschool-aged daughter. She loves diving deep into spiritual practices, while maintaining a light heart, and self-effacing sense of humor.

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