Manifestation is a funny business. There are a gazillion books on the self-help and’spirituality’ market that urge us to take a disciplined and consistent approach to identifying, illustrating (as in “vision boards”), affirming, “journaling” (Uggghhh, I detest that non-word!) with a focus on what we to manifest in our lives. I suppose I should endorse that approach because it does make a certain amount of sense but my experience with ‘manifestation’ has been very different: it is more the result of having passionate conversations with people about things I really care about, rather than a systematic targeting of what I ‘want’. Maybe it’s because the “wanting” part gives me particular trouble. I’m better at identifying people’s needs than my wants and I’m never entirely certain that concentrating my energy on wanting something is the best way to get it. ‘What you give attention to, grows’ is a cliche of the New Age and, again, there is some logic to that idea. But, like most people, my attention switches from second to second depending on the needs of the moment. What seems to happen in my life is more along the lines of simply letting what I love take over my consciousness when it presents itself or someone else draws my attention to it. Basically, things I care about seem to lead to synchronicities which result in manifesting something I feel strongly about.
“Tiger Tiger burning bright...”
One of my friends cherishes a wish is to spend time in a Tiger Reserve, perhaps in eastern India. Tigers are a passion for her as elephants are for me. She is a highly organised and very disciplined person who approaches things systematically. This works very well for her and has brought her both the success and the recognition in her field that she enjoys. If anyone has a shot at actively manifesting her dream to spend time amongst tigers, it is my friend. One of the steps essential to deliberate manifestation is Visualisation, a process of imagining your goal in fine detail using all five senses. The visual image is easy for me to conjure… I can see it now: she is in India dressed in a gorgeous sari with a dashing-looking guide atop an elephant. They are moving along an ancient path redolent with scent of jasmine and sandalwood. Monkeys screech as they approach sending flocks of birds racing into the sky and away from whatever danger the monkeys warn of. My friend takes advantage of each moment, photographing the exquisite detail of the whole scene. As her party travels deep into the forest, the guides signal for silence so they can concentrate on listening and tracking. Eventually they are rewarded; as the sunset Indian sky mirrors her sari in shades of persimmon and purple a tell-tale movement in the underbrush brings the elephants to an abrupt stop with their trunks elevated to catch the scent of any animals nearby. Scanning the green shade under palms, first one then all the guides point silently at enormous paw prints just ahead. The tigers are awake and it is time to hunt. My friend grips her camera and records the emergence of an ochre shimmer from the shadows, her first wild tiger. I would love to see her manifest her tiger dream.
Manifestation would take a rather less exotic but no less intense form in terms of what I would love to have happen in my life. So whilst my friend is swathed in an elegant sari proceeding in stately calm to track a tiger, I am wearing khaki from the top of my head to the tips of my rubber-clad toes. I have a dim torch to find my way in a smelly, hay strewn boma in South Africa. Not
your everyday boma, however. This boma is a huge structure – more like a gigantic barn or perhaps an elephant ‘hotel’ -gigantic enough to house elephants in various stages of maturity and a few loveable babies settling down for the night. On an upper tier of the structure are beautiful accommodations for certifiably mad humans like me who want to spend the night observing these divine creatures with just enough distance for them to be able to ignore us but close enough to satisfy our palpable longing for communion. The venue is the Knysna Elephant Park outside the artist’s haven of Knysna, South Africa, site of many very happy encounters with the behemoths who live peacefully and safely in the Park. I have fed them, walked with them, stroked their leathery skin, and silently tried to link my consciousness to theirs. I have sat beside them as they silently passed within centimeters of my parked car, thrilled as an old matriarch – eyesight failing her – approached us and inspected the silvery grey car bonnet, sniffing and feeling the remnants of heat from the engine, lowering an eye to inspect us through a car window, tentatively pushing against the door and, at last satisfied that we were not threat, ambled after the rest of the herd already disappearing into the acacia. I have watched herds for two hours at a time at their watering holes, laughed as the babies lowered their bums onto the cool mud and made slides that carried them with much splashing and trumpeting into the deeper water then had to be rescued by adults only to run straight back to the slide and do it again! I have stood stock still whilst a young female sniffed my face and neck and searched my jacket and gloved hands in hopes of finding just one more orange from the 10 kg bag I had fed her. I felt the sandy wet coolness of the tip of her trunk on my face and received it with enormous gratitude as a unique blessing. I have been incredibly fortunate to experience all that but the one thing I haven’t done is to stay with them over night under the African sky locked in the intimacy of sleep. That is my elephant dream. Manifesting it would make me a firm believer in the “Law of Attraction” as an instrument of manifestation.
I guess I’d better review those steps to manifestation again…
© Delia O’Riordan 2014
Photo credits courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons and Knysna Elephant Park.