Have you tried manifesting what you want?

In an ongoing pursuit of zen, Holly O'Neill tries the most pseudospiritual theology in the book – manifestation.

When I was seven years old, there was nothing I wanted more on this earth than Tia, the Diva Starz doll with permanent blue eyeshadow, a head the size of a grapefruit, and a body the size of your thumb. You could snap plastic clothes onto her body and accessories into her permanently outstretched palm. If you knew someone with one of the other Diva Starz, when they were together, they could speak to each other.

Dreams of having Tia in my possession and the places we would go took up all my seven-year-old thoughts, but I didn’t ask my parents for her because there was no occasion for me to receive a gift on the calendar. Without the possibility of Christmas or a birthday coming up quickly in which to beg for a present, I took the only other road offered to a little girl in desperate need who grew up on musicals and Disney movies: I wished on a star outside my bedroom window.

The next day, apropos of nothing, I was presented with Tia. Maybe my parents heard me and realised their daughter was a sap. They say now that they have no recollection of it.


This is the only experience I can think of that lines up with the beliefs of manifesting, or what is more commonly known as the Law of Attraction.

To put it simply, it is the belief that you have the power to use your thoughts to get everything you want in life. Buckle in. As always with this column, this requires a very open mind, so bear with me.

“Manifesting comes into everybody’s life when they’re born, and they scream and they scream until they get what they want – to be fed,” says bestselling author and healer Abby Wynne (abby-wynne.com), who is gloriously BS-free for someone who teaches something that sounds so utterly unbelievable. “The problem is, when The Secret came out, they made it look like a formula. What manifestation actually is, is creating something that wasn’t there to begin with."

Manifestation exists in different iterations throughout history around the world, but Abby breaks it down like this: “The overarching spiritual law is that you’ve come into your body, into your life, for specific reasons. There are lessons and learnings you have to have. They take precedence over every other thing that you might want in life. Manifestation is you being in alignment with what is supposed to be for you.” Or, to use a common phrase, what’s for you won’t pass you by.

So if your destiny is unchangeable, how can manifesting work? “You have to believe you can have it,” says Abby. What this does not mean is thinking positively that you have a yacht until you’re blue in the face and then the yacht will come. “Deep down in the pit of your stomach, you know you don’t own a yacht or feel unworthy of ever having it. That’s what blocks you from it, but people have no problem getting a parking space, because they believe they deserve it.”

This is how it’s done practically. “Sit down with yourself and say, what is it that I really want? What is it about what I want that I am afraid of? There’s always a bit of a reason why you don’t want the thing you think you want.” For example, perhaps you’d like to switch jobs, but deep down you’re afraid of rocking the boat. “Once you recognise what the fear is around having what you want, you work on clearing it. Next step is to make the space for it to show up in your life. You can use visualisations, whether that is the cheque coming in, or getting the offer you want. Keep clearing the fear, then finally, you let it go. Because it’s not up to you, it’s got to be in synergy and alignment with the universe. You put your full focus and will and attention on the thing you want in that moment, and you let it go. If the timing’s right, if it’s for you, it will show up.”

Clearing your fear is where Abby comes in. She works with her clients to help them clear what is in their way. She has a meditation on SoundCloud called “Clear Your Financial Fear”, helping people to clear fear around money and to believe they can get the money in. If this seems like too much of a reach, Abby puts it in a simple exercise for me: “Think about somebody who’s not contacted you in a long time, or maybe you sent them a text and they didn’t reply. Visualise them and say, ‘I’m here and I’m waiting for your text.’ Then let it go and see what happens.”


Having now spent a short spell trialling Abby’s method, I don’t have a yacht just yet, but I’ve manifested plenty of parking spaces.

Photography by Getty.

Read more: Have you tried the Wim Hof Method?

Read more: Soundbaths are the meditation method for those who can't meditate

Read more: I tried the Shakti acupuncture mat for 2 weeks – here's how it went

The image newsletter