I get asked a lot about what “manifest” means since my company is called Manifestation Yoga. Manifesting means “Making Sh*t Happen.” Deeper: If you want to have something show up in your life you must first be able to imagine it.

For a long time, this wasn’t an option for me. I simply could not un-see myself as unworthy. After thirteen years of working in the same Los Angeles restaurant, I decided to take a yoga teacher training course. Was teaching yoga my gift? Not necessarily. What I always knew was my gift, even as a child: I could connect with people. I provided a space for people to heal.

I allowed myself to imagine what was possible. I started to believe in myself. I started to take risks. I smiled more. I got into a healthy relationship (with my now husband). I healed from an eating disorder. I accepted my hearing loss. I admitted I actually had no desire to be an actress. I finally was able to say I love what I do, and I do what I love.

Manifesting is not about sitting in a corner and wishing for something and then having it appear like some kind of fairy tale. It takes work. But before the work, there must be imagination. Einstein says that imagination is more important than knowledge. So, I started to use my imagination. I changed my tape. It used to be: I am nothing. Now: I am powerful. I am on purpose.

In my Manifestation workshops I have people do an exercise called “I Am-ness” with a partner. I ask them to finish the sentence: I am ____. Go ahead, you do it, too. It can’t be, “I am broke” or “fat” or “I am tired.” (I know from experience that these “I Am’s” didn’t get you very far.) I ask: Who would you be if nobody told you who you are? Participants must fill in the blank after I am, sharing it with their partner. After each has spoken, they stare into each other’s eyes for three minutes in silence. They sit and witness the “I am” within themselves, and in turn, in the other person.

It takes not only imagination to declare your new “I am.” It takes courage. And a willingness. Some laugh, some cry. Most have a profound revelation about what is possible when they decide to imagine who they are and declare it as their own truth. They then watch someone witness them in that very truth. This is what manifesting is. Looking into someone’s eyes, especially your own, and declaring who you are. It is being with that truth. It is acting from that truth, and no matter what, and no matter who tells you different, absolutely living from that assumption of who you are.

Imagination, action, and gratitude. What are you manifesting?

Jennifer Pastiloff was featured on Good Morning America. She travels the world teaching workshops and leading retreats. When Jen’s nephew, Blaise, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Wille Syndrome (PWS), it prompted her to start GAME Yoga—“Gifts And Miracles Everyday: Free Yoga for Kids w/ Special Needs.” She is partially deaf and wears hearing aids. Her first book will be out in 2013.

Visit Manifestation Station at www.ManifestationYoga.com

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