The Myths, Magic, and Science of Manifestation - How To Materialize The Things You Want Most In Life

Manifestation is a pretty sexy concept, right?

Like, if you simply think about the thing you want hard enough, the Universe will just hand it to you.  

But, I can’t help but think that if that were true, we'd all be sitting like fat cats, longing for nothing. 

Instead, we're here, firmly rooted in reality, with a head full of hopes and a heart full of dreams. 

So, I think the question begs to be asked, why is manifestation so popular if we seem to be living proof that it doesn't always work? And I say, 'doesn't always work', because while the vast majority of folks are living without their manifestations coming into fruition, there DO seem to be people who actually ARE manifesting some pretty awesome things. I, for one, having been one of them. 

So, in today's post we're gonna dissect the ever-trending fetish...manifestation. 

We’re gonna learn about what it is, and what it isn't.

We're gonna get into the science of something called, the law of attraction. 

And we'll go over some pointers for materializing the things you want most in life.

CRYSTAL MCLAIN CREATIVE PATREON DREAM TEAM SELF CARE LOVE EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITYWelcome to the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource dedicated to sharing creative care for the mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul. 

If you’d like to know more about all that I have to offer you can visit me at And if you enjoy the content I offer, and would like to support my work, you can join the The Dream Team at Patreon and score some sweet perks in return. Memberships start at just $5/month.

Hello my friend, I hope you’re doing well, and if you’re not then I hope you find this episode inspiring. AND, if you’d like to read along while you listen, I offer that feature at my website: You can find a direct link to this episode in the show notes below. And, if you want to make sure you never miss an episode, you can either sign up for my newsletter, or subscribe to my podcast wherever you like to listen most. I’ll leave links for you in the show notes below.

Alright. Let's get to it.


So, before we begin, I need to be straight with you...I am NOT a manifestation expert (though I feel like I should be by now since I've done enough research on this topic).

But yeah, I am not a certified manifestation coach. I am, however, super curious and annoyingly persistent. I'm also driven AF to level up my life. And if I’m honest, I’m pretty sure I’ve manifested a thing or two. 

And I’d like to do a bit more of that.

So, if you're like me, and you are READY to move along to the next level, knock out some goals, or bring some juiciness into that life of yours, strap in, 'cause we've got some ground to cover.


So, in the words of my grandfather, Bampi, "you can wish in one hand and sh*t in the other, and see which one fills up first."

I use this quote because I feel like when folks are trying to manifest something into their lives, what they actually end up doing is just making a bunch of wishes, and sadly, turning up empty-handed. So I think it's important to first understand what manifestation actually is. 

Manifestation is the ACT of bringing anything you want to have or feel into reality. 

Since "manifesting" is a verb, that means it’s an action, which leads me to believe that we must be an active participant in the doing of said manifestation.

And while this is completely logical, there’s a lot of pie-in-the-sky theories about how we go about doing this. And I’m not saying that these practices are wrong, but we need to understand why they may or may not work. 

For instance, some folks on TikTok would have you believing that if you share the latest trending manifestation sound clip, you'll get all your earthly desires. 

Books like The Secret and The Power of Positive Thinking will tell you that if you raise your vibes high enough, your wishes will be granted.

And yes, I'll admit, even I offer a candle called Manifestation. ...and while it does smell intoxicatingly delicious like dreams coming true, simply lighting said candle will not materialize your fantasies.

Like I said earlier, if it were that easy we'd all be sitting like fat cats, longing for nothing. 

But, the truth is, it's not that easy. It takes a bit more than that to manifest something into your life. BUT, ironically, that said, we must NOT discredit the TikToks, the books, or even the candles. Because they all have the potential to play a role in your personal manifesto.

I know, this sounds like a total contradiction to what I just said, but hear me out...

After COVID first struck, and I got over a two-month-long panic attack, I learned how to become a self-care coach. And I did this because I wasn't certain as to when I could get back to my regular face-to-face gig as a massage therapist, and I wanted to be able to offer folks a service that would empower them in adopting the set of skills it takes to tap into their own health and wellness mojo.

ANYWAY, the first and most important thing one learns when becoming a coach is that our thoughts are what influence our feelings. I'll say that again. Our thoughts influence our feelings. And our feelings are what drive our actions. Let’s say THAT again. OUR FEELINGS DRIVE OUR ACTIONS. And our actions are what create our results.

It's a pretty basic equation, really. And makes total sense. 

And it doesn't matter whether you're trying to create healthier habits, set boundaries, or fulfill a life-long dream, your thoughts and your feelings MUST support, fuel, and align with your actions, so that you can create the results you want. 

Like, you won’t acquire new skills if you think you're too dumb learn new things. You can't set healthy boundaries if you don't believe that you're worth the respect that boundaries demand. And you'll never achieve your goals if you think they're impossible. 

Trying to behave in ways that do not align with our beliefs is called, cognitive dissonance. And it causes emotional friction when our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or attitudes contradict what we’re trying to achieve in life. 

Anyway, the point is, the first step in coaching, and (turns out) manifesting, is to change the mindset. 

There are two types of mindset, fixed, and growth. 

The fixed mindset is limiting and restrictive, while a growth mindset is open to potential and possibilities. 

So, when you set out to manifest something you first have to believe that this thing is available to you. You have to trust that you are deserving or capable, even if that’s historically contradictory.  

A lot easier said than done, btw.

The trick to changing your mindset, though, is by actively changing your algorithm.  

Everything that’s happened in your life has programmed the way you think, feel, and believe. And if you recall, the way you think, feel, and believe affects your actions.

And your actions are directly linked to whether you'll manifest your shit or not. 

So, sometimes doing new things like making TikTok videos, reading self help books, and, yes, even lighting candles can be the little cues that help shift the mindset. But there’s a trick to it…

To make it really work, we MUST practice pairing intentional thoughts with deliberate actions, so we can create new sensory information that changes our algorithm. This is a magical thing called, neuroplasticty. Neuroplasticity is our brain’s ability to learn new things including new ways of thinking, feeling, and believing which are the key ingredients when creating new habits.

So, when you repost that TikTok sound clip, read the books, or light those candles, be sure you go about it with intention. Because every little act of intention we practice will add up and create new habits that interrupt old patterns. It will light the runway for what you're trying to call in. 

Anyway, when we shift our mindset, and start believing in ourselves and the things we're calling into our lives, it sets the ball rolling for something called the LAW OF ATTRACTION.

Now, the law of attraction is more of a pseudo-science than a hard-science. It's the philosophy that positive thinking attracts positive results. And while this basic concept seems hard to argue with, I want to bring up a REALLY important point. 

Sometimes we are dealing with challenging circumstances. 

One of my gripes about this whole manifestation trend, is that everywhere you look, people are oversimplifying the process. And my biggest beef is with the "good vibes only" people.

The truth is, folks are dealing with real life shit like depression, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, and a whole host of mind-fuckery. People are living in real poverty, have real addictions, and live in circumstances that aren't always safe, predictable, or supportive. And sometimes we even need to call on professionals to get us pointed in the right direction. There is no shame in asking for help from a professional. Get the meds, get the therapy, get whatever it is you need. 

You deserve to live your best life. 

Anyway, if you are a person who's living with any one of these circumstances, good vibes, or positive thinking is fucking hard, and manifestation can feel like a joke. 

I know, because I've been there. 

Trust me when I say, I have not always been a positive, proactive person. And I know how hard it is to conjure up the optimism for something like manifestation. It can feel really discouraging, and exhausting when you're trying to just make it through your day, let alone turn that day into one of your dreams. And when you end up empty handed, despite your efforts, it can feel like a confirmation that manifestation isn’t for you. It can feel like, yet, another sign, that you are undeserving of the things you want. 

But that, my friend, is bullshit.

And, it's exactly why I decided to write this blogcast. I wanted there to be a resource about manifestation that was encouraging, practical, and productive, but also real.

Anyway, I'm not handing out rose-colored glasses when it comes to manifestation. I want to assure you that you do not have to be a 'good vibes only Polly-Anna', sitting in a place of privilege, in order to cultivate your dreams.

Creating a positive, growth mindset for manifestation does NOT mean that you're not going to feel like shit when things don't work out. Failure, pitfalls, and set backs are going to happen. And you're not only allowed to feel every emotion that comes from that, but you’re supposed to. 

You are a human with human feelings. That’s a good thing. 

What having a positive, growth mindset DOES means, however, is that you are willing to use these setbacks and emotions as tools for getting to your goals. It means you're willing to call on the power of your creative, problem solving brain, and find ways around your obstacles, instead of surrendering to them.

And I know that you can do this, because I have done this. And if I can do it, you certainly have every reason to believe that you can, too.

Alright, let's get back to the law of attraction. 

Positive thoughts attract positive results. Fine. Sure. That's great. For the rest of us, though, I want to talk about something called confirmation bias. 

Confirmation bias is the brain’s tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. 

In other words, the brain will twist things around in order for it to be RIGHT. 

And it’s REALLY important that you’re aware of this feature of the brain, because confirmation bias can be hell in the beginning of your manifestation journey. 

So, let’s say, hypothetically, historically, your perception comes from a place of lack and limitations. Well, if you’re trying to shift your belief systems to abundance and prosperity, your brain’s natural subconscious is going to look for evidence that supports otherwise. 

This is why we get stuck in a FIXED mindset, and fail at our manifestations. Because our default setting may be to look for the problems, instead of the solutions, the trauma instead of the growth, the obstacles instead of the opportunities…you get what I mean.  

Anyway, that’s why it’s REALLY important to remember that while you are completely capable of learning new things, those neuroplastic tricks can take some time. You’ve gotta be patient and consistent with your mindset and manifestation practices. 

But trust me, if you invest the energy, eventually you’ll start noticing things that feel like affirmations from the universe that you’re on the right path. 

Move over, Polly-Anna. I’ve got fierce vibes on the way.

Alright, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get to work. 

Grab a pen, grab some paper, and let’s finally do this…

Alright, so, anything you write down today is just a rough draft. In fact, you can expect the next several times you write this stuff down, that, they too, will be rough drafts. And that’s because if there’s anything that I’ve learned in all of this manifestation stuff, it’s that the vision, the goal, the dream, whatever you want to call it, it changes. Not only that, but the purpose behind it gets deeper and more meaningful. And sometimes what you thought you wanted to manifest, isn’t really what you wanted after all. 

If you keep up with these practices, you’ll see what I mean. 

Anyway, these are some prompts you’ll to want to go over on a regular basis. And by regular, I mean at least DAILY. After we get through these prompts, I’ll list a few more helpful practices for your manifestation. 


1. Figure out EXACTLY what it is you want to manifest.

This is really important for a couple of reasons, but mainly, because until you have a clear vision of what it is you want (or need), it’s gonna be harder for it to find its way to you. 

A lot of folks want something kinda big and vague like love or money. But these things are actually the results of what it is you’re trying to manifest. 

What do you need to call in, in order to receive your obtuse request? 

I have a story about a MASSIVE awakening to this concept, and I’ve shared it with the Dream Team at Patreon. But let me just tell you, it was a TOTAL game changer. It redirected my energy, I gained massive clarity, and consequently my confirmation bias is now aligned and supporting my manifestation. It makes it feel like the Universe is actually listening to me. 

It’s very cool. 


2. Figure out WHY you want or need this manifestation. 

Again, it’s super important to get really clear about the reasons behind your manifestations.

When you start figuring out the why, it will help determine the how. 

Write down all the benefits of this juicy thing when it comes into fruition. And look through a macro lens. How will this affect others, besides just your self? 


3. How would it FEEL to have this manifestation become a reality?

So, while you’re in the brainstorming phase, it’s okay to think about how it WOULD feel. But eventually you’ll want to get into a routine of imagining these feelings in your body for real. 

That’s right, don’t just conceptualize emotions, but use your imagination to to literally FEEL the sensations physically. 

This might take some practice to nail down. But a good tip is to remember a time you’ve experienced these feelings in the past, or, at least something similar. Is there a song, a movie, or place that recreates these feelings? Revisit those. 


4. Imagine HOW this manifestation unfolds. 

You know what you want.
You know why you want it.
You know how it will feel to have it. 

Now, what can you do to ensure it gets here?

As a person who will be living in this manifestation, your lifestyle needs to reflect as if you already are. This will help with the neuroplasticity, the confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance. 

And I don’t necessarily mean you need to live this life in a literal sense, but what thoughts and beliefs do you need to have as a person who lives in this manifestation? 

What habits and routines do you need to adopt?

How can you start opening the doors for opportunity?

5. Be grateful for EVERYTHING.

Now, something I’ve learned from life is that it will hand out all sorts of shit we don’t want. But, with the right mindset, we can find something to be grateful for in even the stinkiest of gifts. 

Early in this post I mentioned that there will always be challenges, pitfalls, setback and failures. I’d also like to mention that sometimes our manifestations don’t turn out how we planned, or maybe they take a long time. Like, a really long time. 

It is CRITICAL that you find something to be grateful for every. damn. day. Bonus points if you can somehow link it to your manifestation. 

Also, you need to practice gratitude for the things you ALREADY HAVE. 

Far too often our manifestations are driven lack. Right? That makes sense. Why would we want something unless it was missing from our lives? But that lack mentality will keep you in a deficit. Practicing gratitude, however, will help shift your perspective to one of abundance. 

6. Go easy on yourself. 

This seems like a lot of things to do, because, well, it is

If you're getting stressed out by the process, dial it back a little bit. Redefine your priorities. You don't need to put that kind of energy into your manifestation. It's okay to start small and to go slow. Give yourself some grace if you wander off the manifestation path. You're a human who's trying to juggle a lot of things. We want this to be a positive experience for you. 

Alright my friend, those are some important things to ponder. 

Real quick, I want to wrap this up by listing several activities to keep your manifestation hot and juicy, and coming into fruition.

  1. Journaling

    Keep writing about the thing(s) you want using the previous prompts.

  2. Affirmations or Mantras

    Consolidate your manifestation into a few words and preface it with something like: I deserve, I’m worth, I’m open to.

  3. Prayer or Meditation 

    Sometimes asking for divine intervention isn’t a bad thing (you know, if that’s your jam). Feel free to ask your spiritual source for a little extra TLC if you need.

  4. Visualization

    Instead of scrolling on your phone at night, give visualization a try. Kick back, close your eyes, and envision yourself living in your manifestation.

  5. Vision Board

    A vision board doesn’t need to be a big thing that you hang on the wall. You can actually make little vision flash cards that you stealthily hide in your bag or bedside. The idea is to fill your board (or cards) with all things manifestation including your thoughts, feelings, and vision. The trick is to not just make your vision board and call it a day, but, rather, look at it often and update it from time to time.

  6. The 369 Method

    For 1-2 months, every day, write down what you want three times in the morning, six times in the afternoon, and nine times at night. This is a fast and easy way to keep your manifestation percolating in your brain. [PATREON PERK]

  7. Write a Letter to The Universe or Future Self

    Pour your heart out. Don’t hold back. What does this manifestation really mean to you? How will it rock you to your core? What are you willing to do to get it?

  8. Small Acts of Intention

    Remember the TikToks, books, and candles? Follow content creators that are inspiring to you. Absorb information that supports your dreams. Create little rituals that indulge your senses and focuses on your vision. Everything adds up in the end.

Alright, my friend, remember…

  • Practice cultivating a positive, growth mindset without the pressure of  becoming a ‘good-vibes-only’ person.

  • Trust the science and process of your creative brain and remember neuroplasticity, confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance are real things that bridge the gap between wanting and having.

  • Get CLEAR about the what, why, and how's of your manifestation.

  • Be grateful.

  • Be patient, but proactive.

  • Be kind to yourself.

  • And know that you deserve great things. 

If you’d like to see how I'm personally going through each of these steps and practices, and would like to join group discussions, you can join me and the Dream Team over at Patreon. I'll leave a link for you below in the show notes.

And, I’d also like to note that I have two digital downloads to help give the mindset a makeover. I have a BASIC version that you can snag for free when you sign up for my newsletter, or, the DELUXE model for $3 at the shop, or free when you become a Patreon Member ...I'll leave links to those babies below as well. 

I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
And I’ll see you soon. 

Are you a member of the Dream Team? Snag your Patreon perks HERE!

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