photo: Nanette Saylor on flickr

Have you ever been frustrated by affirmations and visualizations? Has your manifesting mojo ever been seriously stymied?

You know the drill:

You affirm it. You visualize it. You cut out little pictures from magazines and plaster them all over your face.

Okay, not your face, but your wall. And your mirror. And the dashboard of your car.

You envision this thing in your life again and again and again. And then again some more.

And what happens?

It doesn’t manifest. Not even a little bit.


photo: Casey Serin on flickr

When I first discovered the power of thought, I was like a kid with a new toy. At the time, I was in my twenties and did not have a car. So I started visualizing a wonderful new vehicle.

I was young and foolish, and the car of my dreams was . . .

A white Jeep Cherokee!

Why was I so fixated on this car? I have no idea. All I can tell you is I thought about it all the time. My thoughts went something like this:

I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it.

Beyond my pure, raw desire for this vehicle, I was also employing constructive methods to bring it into my life. I was visualizing the white Jeep Cherokee in my driveway. I was picturing myself behind the wheel. I was imagining my sheer delight as I drove my beautiful vehicular baby down the road.

Those of you familiar with the world of visualization will recognize this particular technique as outlining.

Outlining is when we tell the Universe exactly what we want, down to the smallest, most minute details.

Outlining can be problematic for two reasons:

1) Our use of such specific detail can block the manifestation, because we’ve detailed ourselves out of alignment with the Divine.

2) We manifest the detailed desire, but we’ve missed out on the even-greater manifestations that could have been ours if we’d opened to a bigger, wider view.

photo: Paul Bica on flickr

In my case, I was guilty of problem number 1.

Though I didn’t feel guilty, I just felt frustrated. In spite of hoping and pining and affirming and visualizing, my white Jeep Cherokee and I were still not an item.

What was I doing wrong? I didn’t know.

Finally, after years of pining and hoping, the time came for me to purchase my first car.

Being the hard-core nerd that I am, I did my research. And what did my research uncover?

My vehicular baby was nothing to write home about. She had issues. Expensive issues. Issues that could require men in greasy jumpsuits to spend hours of time under her hood.

In other words: She was not the one for me.

Instead, my research pointed me to finer pastures: Toyota and Honda. These were the dependable, reliable, cost-efficient choices. Not to mention seriously nerd-friendly.

I purchased a white Honda Civic hatchback and never looked back.

Yes, you could say that my affirmation and visualization techniques didn’t work, in that I didn’t get the-car-of-my-dreams. You could also say that my affirmations and visualizations did work, because I ended up with a car, just a different one than I wanted.

Or a different one than I thought I wanted.

And herein lies the reason that affirmations don’t always work.

photo: Nanette Saylor on flickr

When we don’t start with alignment with the Divine, our affirmations might be off-track. We might be claiming and affirming something that’s not in our best interest.

Or we might claim and affirm something that does come into manifestation, but it proves to be unsatisfying because it’s not in line with our greatest Good.

So before you give up and say This sh*t doesn’t work, take some time to sink into a Bigger vision:

Meditate. Pray. Spend time in nature. Allow yourself to let go of figuring it out. Open to the Divine’s idea for you.

Interestingly enough, aligning with the Divine will sometimes guide us to envision specific details. In that case, our outlining is divinely inspired, and it’s all good.

Other times the details of what we desire might change as we sink more deeply into the Divine’s ideas for us.

Bottom line, when we start with the bigger vision, we can’t go wrong!

photo: Graham on flickr

What’s your experience with affirmations and visualizations? When have they worked? And when have they not?


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