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The art‚ science and cringe factor of manifesting. AKA saying "no" to what doesn't work.

Law of attraction. The Secret. Change your thoughts, change your life. Think positive. You’ve heard them all.

If you’re a seeker, student of life and personal growth practitioner (and you are since you’re here), you’ve heard of, maybe read about and possibly even tried the methods and ideas that come from the “create your reality” schools.

I certainly have. I’ve visualized, made appreciation lists, worked to stay in the “vortex,” and focused on the better feelings and positive thoughts. I’ve bought books, listened to mp3’s, watched YouTube videos, and even gone to seminars. I’ve covered my old school manifestation bases.

And I’ve learned a lot. Some ideas and practices have helped me, are practical and pass the test to qualify for my life learning toolkit. For all of it, I’m deeply grateful.

Like everything else I try in my life, it doesn’t all work. In fact, some of its downright counter-productive. For me, anyway. That’s the thing with any model of growth and development, especially an esoteric one like manifestation – not everything is going to, needs to be or should be a home run for you. Or even a decent fit, let alone a match.

I’ll give you an example. Positive thinking makes me cringe.

Something about the language & culture of “think positive” enthusiasts rubs me the wrong way. It smacks of denial and emotional and/or spiritual bypassing, meaning it tries to (and magically thinks or wishes it could) sidestep negative thoughts or feelings of anger, envy, shame, or sadness.

Now I love feeling good and I’m down for a positive spin. I love a good silver lining. In fact, I can sometimes have too low a tolerance for the normal parts of life that don’t feel good. Believe me, I want to think positively and choose good feelings at all times. Sign me up!

That’s not how my life works though. That’s not what resonates with my soul. Or my temperament, personality, nature, or lived experience for that matter. I’m wired for intense emotion, moodiness, deep and dark (love me some shadow) thoughts, and sensation seeking.

And I grew up in a family impacted by alcoholism, divorce, and financial uncertainty. I’ve survived developmental trauma, depression, a range of moderately disordered coping behaviors, the death of my mother when I was only 37, and I recover daily from the insidious, pervasive stress of living as a gay man in a homophobic culture.

My personal growth journey and that of almost all my clients, has called much more on every ounce of courage, grit, fortitude, and determination I could muster than it has on positive thinking.

I struggled for years to make ‘think positive’ and ‘focus only on feeling good’ work. And time and time again, I felt frustrated, not good enough, broken in some fundamental way, and in capable of “staying in the vortex.”

The worst part was that I’d end up feeling bad about myself for not being able to think and feel good on demand! I’d get myself in a mental mind fuck worrying I was “attracting negativity.” Oy.

Start saying “No” in order to say “YES.”

Eventually, I said “no.” No thanks. I stopped listening, put down the books, changed the YouTube channels, unfollowed, and unsubscribed.


Not to all of it, just to what wasn’t working for me. I let myself say “maybe this works for you but it isn’t for me.” I started with where I was, with who I was. I started trusting my experience.

Trusting our own experience is a profound act of self-love. And self-love is the heart of manifestation.

Trusting where I was led me to my deep, unresolved grief. Trusting my own experience led me to acknowledge the pains, grieve the losses and heal the wounds I needed to in order to step fully into the life I want – a well-lived, wholehearted, and real one. An authentic, soulful and deep one.

Saying no to what wasn’t for me allowed me to say yes to what was. To what is me. Saying yes to what works for me.

And that’s where the energy of sustainable manifestation begins. In fact, it’s the secret sauce of manifesting.

The key to successful manifestation or living your best life or realizing your vision – for me and quite possibly for you - isn’t feeling good and thinking positive. It’s about being real. Being true. To yourself.

And being true to yourself means being with all of yourself. And all of yourself include loads of good and no limit on positivity AND it includes a lot shit too. Hurt, pain, anguish at times, maybe despair. The light and the dark.

The dark, the “negative,” the shadow - these don’t block you from having what you want in life. What blocks you is trying to block them! They’re a part of you. They’re a part of your experience and your story. They need acknowledgement & your attention. Not so you can hang onto them forever but so you can transform them. So they become your magic, your superpowers and for sure, your path to having whatever you want.

So say no to anyone or anything that says they’re not. And start saying yes to all of who you are and to what works for you.

So what does work? For me anyway. I also happen to know this can work for you too but only if you make it your own.

The manifestation/personal growth/optimal life framework that works

for me looks like this:

Heal + Act + Connect + Trust = Have the Life I Want

Heal aka feel, grieve, reparent, believe

Act aka practice, habits, show up, do the work

Connect aka relationships, love, care, support

Trust aka surrender, letting go, faith, release the outcome

When I organize my life – my mind, heart, body, and spirit – around these, it works. I work. I get what I want. My life looks how I want. I feel how I want. I have what I want. And I want what I have.

Stay tuned to the The Journal next week for more on my Heal, Act, Connect, Trust model, how it works for me, for my clients and how it can work for you. It’s the cornerstone of my offering to clients through Life Lab Coaching, Insight Sessions and counseling.

Interested in learn more about the model? Want to dive into it and find what works for you? Ready to manifest the life you want? Let’s talk about working together.

Supporting you in saying no…then YES!



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