What Is Manifestation 2.0 And How Can It Help You Become Your Most Authentic Self?

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If you believe in the power of manifestation, you might think "Under the Tuscan Sun" (2003) is the perfect example of the law of attraction. In it, newly divorced writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) buys a derelict villa in Tuscany on a whim, with the hope that it will give her the life she wants. She is blessed with more than what she desired by the end of the movie — new love. Frances makes space for the life she wants and it happens for her.

But, according to neuroscientist and author of the book "The Source: The Secrets of the Universe, the Science of the Brain" Dr. Tara Swart, manifestation goes beyond the principles of the law of attraction (put out positive thoughts to gain positive results in your life) and the viral TikTok trend of #luckygirlsyndrome. Unsurprisingly, it goes beyond knowing the best nail color for manifesting abundance. In fact, somewhere along the way, the concept of manifestation has gotten mired in a somewhat simplistic idea that, if we want good things for ourselves, all we need to do is write positive affirmations on our walls. 

Swart explained that manifestation is a combination of positive thoughts and deep inner work. She told Byrdie, "Manifestation happens when you combine strong intentions (feelings and beliefs) with sufficient action to make a desired outcome real." Former mental health professional turned consultant Meadowlark Monaghan called this evolved definition of manifestation "manifestation 2.0." Here's what it's all about. 

Manifestation 2.0 has to do with rewiring your brain

From the time you were born to the present, you've accumulated traumas, beliefs, heartache, and experiences that make you who you are. The idea with manifestation 2.0 is to go back to your most authentic self. As podcast and media director for To Be Magnetic, Jessica Gill, shared in Byrdie, "We actually manifest based on our subconscious beliefs — beliefs we picked up in childhood and throughout our lives. For many of us, these beliefs are limiting, negative, and rooted in low self-worth. The incredible thing is that we can change these subconscious beliefs."

Changing the subconscious — otherwise known as rewiring the brain or neuroplasticity — is where the key to manifestation 2.0 lies. Going a step further than vision boarding and affirmations, neuroplasticity is about training your brain to think differently. Some might even call this Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), where you typically work with a therapist to analyze your thoughts and behaviors to uncover if they're serving you or not. You are then given the tools to fix unhelpful thought patterns and create new and helpful ones. 

Swart wrote in her book (via Vice), that the human brain, "opts for instant gratification and the path of least resistance whether or not it is in our best interest to do so." This path is what we've known since childhood. If we want to change what's happening in our lives as adults, we have to alter this path. 

How to unlock the power of manifestation 2.0 in your life

The idea of going further inward to bring about the outcomes you want for your life doesn't have to be scary. It starts, quite simply, by learning to have a better relationship with yourself, shared marriage and family therapist Kim Egel for Byrdie. "Just as you would have to spend time with someone outside yourself to establish a deep connection, you must do the same with yourself," Egel explained.

Meditation is a good place to start. During your alone time, you can even try "scripting," a journaling technique that can help manifest your ideal life. Swart told Byrdie, "Commit to devoting a few minutes a day to meditate. This can give you a new clarity of perspective on what and who are your real priorities in life, supporting your 'higher level' brain regulation and improving your resilience, making you more considered and balanced in your approach."

Write down, if necessary, your limiting beliefs and how you got there. If it helps, think back to yesterday's challenges and use them as examples. Being in nature and exercising are two other powerful sources of connecting with your authentic self. Prioritize sleep and healthy eating. Surround yourself with people (and experiences) that enrich your life. Let go of practices or people that don't serve you. Manifestation 2.0 is about doing the mental work, so to speak, that'll bring the results you want to see in your life.