What Are You Going to Put in Your Magic Bowl?
Stop externally “manifesting” and start asking practical internal questions that move you forward
“Universe, please manifest for me a boyfriend with brown hair and green eyes!” “Universe, manifest for my son early admission to Cornell!” “Universe, I am using the law of attraction to manifest for myself fifty thousand euro in one month!”
There’s a lot of what is called “magical thinking” going on out there. But it should be called “counterproductive thinking.” Real magic is the process of visualising something, figuring out what you have to do to make this vision become reality, and doing it. What we usually call “magical thinking” is when people beg God to let them win the lottery (eventually God loses his patience and says, “my son, buy a ticket!”). Real magical thinking is taking this vision of what you want, going into the lab, and designing and then doing experiments, trying stuff, finding out what works, what doesn’t work, tinkering, hunting down resources, asking for help, making mistakes, trying again, and learning by real-world experience what you need to do to make the vision real.
God, aka, some heavenly white guy with a beard sitting on a cloud outside you, is not going to make your vision real. You, aka, the divine spark that exists within you, are. “God’s” job is not to give you answers, but to give you infinite material from which you create your own questions.
The questions you ask define your life. They make each step forward possible.
When we claim personal responsibility for our lives, we develop the power to choose our own adventure. We make life happen, instead of letting life happen to us. When we “manifest” (or “use the law of attraction”) we rescind personal responsibility and assume victimhood, even if we think it’s for a positive cause.
We throw away our internal power and hand over our lives to external forces.
It’s true that there are some things we can control and some things we can’t. Claiming personal responsibility over the things we can control is how we assume right action, how we flow with the current of our authentic selves to live our best lives.
One evening I had a talk with a friend. I suggested a possible reframe for one future she might consider, by repeating to her phrases she had told me were priorities for her and stringing them together into an image. If the image was there, then, when she was ready, she could ask herself what would need to happen and what concrete details she would have to figure out in order to make that future come true.
While walking home, I saw a give-away box on the street. It held two glass dishes covered with grapes and grapevines. I scooped them up. Such symbols of ripe prosperity, of sweet harvest, of juicy pleasure!
These were magic bowls.
I held them in my hands and thrilled with the obvious question:
“What am I going to put in these bowls?”
Then I started thinking about the fun things I could put in the bowls!
Life doesn’t hand you things to put in the bowl. Figuring out what you want to put in the bowl and how you’re going to get it is up to you. Life (or God, or whatever) hands you something much more valuable: the bowl itself, that makes you start asking the questions.
The bowl is the boundaries of your life. The stuff you can’t control. The hard limits of your existence. These limits define what is possible. How you understand the bowl, how you feel about the bowl, what you do with the bowl, that’s all up to you.
“Manifest” literally means to make the invisible, visible; to make the intangible, tangible. It’s something you do, not something you sit around wishing some invisible deity would do for you. So if you want to keep talking about “manifesting,” go ahead. Just use the word to mean, “I have an idea and I am integrating thought, action, and personal experience to help bring this idea to fruition.”
And then, your magic bowl will be on the right track toward filling up with real rewards!