Manifesting Abundance: The Science Behind The Law of Attraction

Link to the Episode

Anshu Bahanda: Welcome to Wellness Curated. I wish you all a very happy new year. Before we start a whole new season, I want to bring you the best of what we’ve created so far and show you how you can use it to lead your best life. For this series, we’re going to approach our episodes with a scientific lens. Today, I want to talk to you about a concept that’s intriguing and empowering— manifesting abundance. 

Now, how does one manifest this abundance? The answer lies in the intersection of psychology, neuroscience and quantum physics. So where does psychology come in here? We know that psychologists have long studied the power of the mind and the way that it affects our reality. When you believe that something is truly possible, when you believe that you can actually achieve abundance, then your mind begins to notice and create pathways to actually make this happen. So let me give you an example. So if you were going food shopping and you decide to get some chocolates. You might be tired. The chocolates are one thing amongst a long list of things. You might forget it, but if you were told that if you find a golden, glittery chocolate, you would win a million dollars, then of course you would single-mindedly be focused on those chocolates. This heightened awareness is akin to the psychology behind manifesting. When you’re manifesting something, you set out a clear intention of finding, say, that golden, glittery chocolate. In your mind, this attention focuses your awareness and activates a part of your brain called the reticular activating system, or the RAS. The RAS acts as a filter and it helps you notice opportunities and resources that align with your intention, much like you would notice that golden, glittery chocolate because you’re so focused on looking for it. This principle is backed by the science of selective attention and cognitive psychology. By consciously focusing on specific goals that you desire, you’re more likely to recognise the actions, the people and the opportunities that will bring you closer to your goals. So it’s your brain working in a targeted way, influenced by what you’ve defined as important, what you’ve defined as rewarding. This is where goal setting and visualisation comes in, and these tools are used by corporates as well as by athletes to achieve peak performance. [Novak] Djokovic is an example of this. He talks a lot about goal setting and visualisation in his book. Experts on my show talked about these techniques and what it takes to manifest the life that you want. Step by step. Here you go.

Luigi Sciambarella: Affirmations are a real hot topic right now, especially as they use a lot of affirmations in manifestation work. And very often what people don’t realise is that when you’re trying to use an affirmation for your benefit, then you need to look at the affirmations that you’re using to your disservice. First, there’s a part of you saying, “Yeah, but that doesn’t happen to me. I’m not lucky.” That is an affirmation. “I don’t get things, others get things. I don’t benefit. My life is hard,” then that’s the stronger affirmation you see. Whereas when we come into the understanding that actually the universe is abundant, how can I live a more joyful life? For instance, it can be a question that you ask. Then the affirmation can align with that. So you actually start from a position of abundance, you start from a position of gratitude. 

Shreans Daga: And gratitude is a feeling which just comes naturally, right? Because everything that we do in our life is for emotional payoff. If I get this, then I’ll be happy. So most of the time we wait for that happiness to come or something to happen in our life, to feel grateful. But the truth is that happiness is already within us and all we need is to connect to that inner being, to that inner treasure or the inner sanctuary within. And when you connect to that inner being, you can’t help but feel grateful. And like in our practice, I teach meditation, I teach breath work— all that is to help you connect to your inner being, to help you to release all those fear-based emotions, survival-based emotions, which is blocking us from connecting to our source energy. But once we connect to our source, that source becomes our ultimate resource. So the moment you feel grateful, you change your emotional state. When you feel grateful, our brain releases two powerful chemicals, two powerful neurotransmitters— serotonin and dopamine. These are the reward chemicals, these are the happiness chemicals. And all of a sudden, you feel happy. And the way the law of attraction works is that our thoughts are electric, our feelings are magnetic, right? Thoughts send the signal out, but it is the feelings which draw the event back in our life, because when you’re thinking, you’re only in the asking mode. Only when you’re feeling, you’re in the receiving mode. And then that’s how you change your vibration. And your vibration always precedes manifestation. And then when you’re grateful for what you have in your life, the universe will give you more of the things that you can be grateful about. So gratefulness is a great tool, even for manifestation.

AB: Luigi, I want to ask you about affirmations and the visualisation technique. How do they tie in together?

LS: Okay, so there are several things there. You can certainly try this on your own. What I tend to do is first of all come into how I feel right now. So I do some sort of centering meditation, just noticing what I notice without interfering with it. And then the visualisation typically can go in two directions— in the past or in the future. I go into the past to find a resource. So when is it that things were really flowing well for me and it could just be a very small amount. I know some people will say, “Oh God, I never had anything happen.” That’s because you don’t remember it. There’ll be a time where if you can walk now, there’ll have been a time when you were a baby and you struggled a lot. So the biggest learning experiences that we had were often before we could even remember. So I say to people, if you can tap into that, then just know that that was there because it must have happened. The fact that you’re talking right now means that that must have happened. Lots of failures before successes or lots of feedback before success. So I try to tap into the energy of that. What would it have been like? And can I remember an event or a situation where I tried a lot of things and then there was a success, bring it into the present moment, because that will be my compass for manifesting. And then I do a future pacing. So I will say, ‘What would it look like? What would I be like? What environment would I find myself in when I’m in that kind of thriving situation?’ And that’s where the visualisation and you’re engaging your imagination, you’re using all of your sensory imagination to align with that affirmation, essentially.

AB: So can you give us a simple step-by-step process that our listeners can use to manifest the life that they want, whatever it is that they want? 

LS: Yeah, Okay, step-by-step process. So sitting meditation, essentially what we want to do is there’s lots of ways of describing meditation, so I’m not going to get into that too much. But the idea here is to get into a receptive mindset, that is a relaxed, open focus. With the receptive mindset, we start with meditation also because it makes it a lot easier to be able to focus on what’s going on internally when you shut out the outside world a little bit. I normally start with what’s called the three diamonds meditation, in Buddhism, or the three brains of the body. We know that there’s a brain in the head, but we also know that there are neuronal- like structures in the heart and in the gut. 40 million neuronal- like structures in the gut. That’s the size of a cat’s brain. Huge amount of thinking, intuitive thinking. So when you have that alignment, and that’s what you’re gently going for, a rough alignment. Then when you do the affirmation work, so when you say a message to yourself, like, ‘I understand that I can grow through joy,’ you’re listening to what your head’s saying, you’re listening to what your heart’s saying, you’re listening to what your gut’s saying. If there’s disagreement, then I just sit with that a little bit and I find that space where there’s an affirmation that I get my head, heart and gut aligned with. Once I have all three in alignment, that affirmation will work beautifully. 

AB: Now, neuroscience also offers a second part of the puzzle. So our brains are malleable, and this trait is known as neuroplasticity. And tell me, Arnie, what about neuroplasticity? Can you give us a quick explanation of neuroplasticity?

Dr Arnie Gotfryd: One sentence. It’s the brain’s ability to change itself. So you’ve got 1000 billion neurons with 1000 trillion connections. Your brain is changing all the time. 

AB: And every time we either learn something new or we visualise or envision our future, our brains are literally getting rewired. And this is called neuroplasticity. As I had said earlier, we create new neural pathways, and these lead to innovative thoughts and actions. And it has tremendous and wide applications and it gives tremendous hope for transformation. And anyone can benefit. By focusing on positive, abundant outcomes, we can train our brains to focus on opportunities which might have been unnoticed otherwise. So manifestation is not just about goal setting and visualisation, it’s also about doing.

There’s a great manifestation story about Jim Carrey. He was a struggling actor and he made himself a cheque for $10 million. And he dated it— Thanksgiving 1995. He did this five years before. And close to Thanksgiving 1995, he did get a cheque for $10 million for the movie Dumb and Dumber. How amazing is that? So you need to take concrete steps to manifest your goal. Whether it’s your dream job, you need to go get the skills required to get that job. So the action is absolutely imperative. Let’s take an example of, say, a chocolate cake recipe. Say you have the best chocolate cake recipe in the world. You know that if you were to enter it for a competition, you would get the first prize. But you need to enter the cake for a competition. You’ll have to go and bake that cake there, and then it will get the prize. 

Now, let’s discuss quantum physics; to try and explain it simply. So imagine classical physics or Newtonian physics, where imagine the earth is going around the sun, right? You can see it, you can observe it. And it goes in a predictable motion. It goes around the sun. When you think of very, very minute subatomic particles, these particles actually move to energy and back to being the particle. This process shows you that if you affect the energy, you would actually affect matter. So by affecting something in the quantum field, you would make a difference to your life today. And while this is frontier science, it aligns with the idea that our focused intention might interact with the universe in ways that we’re just about beginning to understand. You know, the concept of synchronicity, which I’m sure you’ve all experienced at some stage in your life where you’re thinking about a friend and he or she will call you and you’re like, how did that happen? We’ve all experienced that. And we all understand that somewhere our intentions can affect the events that happen in our life. So there’s no doubt that intentions do affect outcomes. And I hope our episode has helped you understand that. And it’s helped you understand that you can make your dreams a reality. You can make things happen, set your goals, visualise it and manifest it. Do something about it. Thank you for listening. I hope you’ve learned something new. I hope we’ve got you a little closer to leading a healthier, happier, more hopeful life. I will see you next week and I would love to hear all your manifestation stories. Thank you.