I am a woman of strong opinions. They are particularly strong about people I believe are falsely representing, well, anything. Like manifestation. Or prosperity.
Let’s start with prosperity. It means economic well-being. Thriving. Prosperity does not require you to drive a luxury car, live in a huge mansion or drip with diamond jewelry. That’s not the definition. But that IS the way some “manifesting gurus” define it. People who are unscrupulous at worst and unthinking at best.
Taking advantage of people
A whole lot of televangelists get rich off preaching the “prosperity gospel,” which is they present as the idea that God wants you to be rich, drive luxury cars, wear big diamonds and have huge mansions. (Note: that is NOT prosperity. It’s wealth. Different things.)
And these preachers — who live ostentatiously large — say they reason THEY have all this stuff is that they are faithful stewards of God. They tell their naive flocks that all of these things are within reach if only the faithful contribute to the church (aka, the preacher).
As if God has anything to do with it.
Poor people who can barely put food on the table believe this and give money they badly need, themselves, to high profile evangelists. Men and women who live high off the blood, sweat and tears of these people.
What does prosperity really mean?
Isn’t it interesting that the mark of prosperity, happiness and success to these evangelists (and through them, their flock) as well as “manifesting gurus” are luxury cars, boats, jewelry, mansions–and not being happy and content, doing good in the world, treating people well? Most organized religion has always been problematic about walking the talk but this makes me see red.
Success and happiness do not lie in “stuff” but in contentment, having “enough,” kindness and good works. That is the mark of a successful life.
Prosperity to me means “enough.” Abundance enough to be comfortable. When you don’t have to live hand to mouth, but can relax it bit. It’s not necessarily basking on a yacht, driving a luxury car or sitting in the countinghouse.
But I realize mine is not the common definition.
Which bring me to some high-profile people who work in manifestation. They write books, make videos and personal appearances claiming that you, too, can have a Bentley, a mansion, a cigarette boat–all of the trappings—if only you affirm that you have them.
How affirmations really work
Well, a) that’s not how it works and b) the focus is off kilter. Affirmations aren’t magic. They are means of focus. Nothing supernatural happens when you envision something except that it becomes your focus. It’s science. Quantum physics tells us that focus can change matter. It’s for sure science.
I go a bit further: A plan must go along with it. You can not manifest good health just by affirmations. You must take care of yourself, eat well, exercise, take meds, whatever. It’s unlikely to happen by simply chanting affirmations and eating junk.
Or by donating to a televangelist.
Wealth works the same way.
It distresses me to see so many “manifestation gurus” telling the gullible that simply affirming for wealth will make it happen.
The hard truth is that “wealth” is within reach of a very small, minute portion of these people–if at all. Having it all? Very, very rare. So rare. A gazillion people manifest yachts but very, VERY few make one appear. If any.
Because manifestation is a combination of many factors, including how well they are prepared to get what they think they want. It is not going to happen with just affirmations and vision boards . No.
The only people making money? Those collecting book royalties, personal appearance fees and workshop registrations.
What would happen if these famous people suggested we affirm for good health, for happiness, for contentment, for “enough.” For world peace. An end to hunger in the world. For an end to any kind of abuse.
We don’t hear that. Because people want STUFF more than they want these things.
A young professional I know sent me a link for a $20 million house the other day and commented that despite his high earning power it is unlikely he would be able to afford it. My response was along the lines that it wouldn’t make him happy. And if it did, I’d worry about who he was.
Now, seriously: is a $20 million mansion the right thing to aim for?
So look. I make and market affirmations that help with grief and healing. I will never write an affirmation to help someone drive a Jag or wear a Rolex. No.
A different view of manifestation
Manifestation is not magic. It IS scientific. It’s 0% magic, 50% science and 50% preparation. Or some percentage. Just not magic.
My husband and I made decisions early on to prepare for careers that both made us happy and allowed us financial security. We worked hard. We focused on our goals. We never affirmed for wealth or status. We just lived our lives in ways that made us happy with an eye toward the future. Neither of us were concerned with having “stuff.” We still aren’t. As a result, we live great lives and are really happy.
This is what I think is most important to remember: Life is all about making decisions that satisfy us, make us happy and support our emotional and physical well-being— and that rarely involves material things.
Start working toward that life young, if you can.
But even if you’re older, don’t make your life about a wish and a promise. Make decisions that support your quality of life no matter what your circumstances.
Find affirmations for health and recovery in my Etsy shop here.