The other day I was talking with a friend who is at an interesting point in her life, with all the cards up in the air, wanting to know where they might fall. Holding her back are some financial considerations, and us both being of a somewhat spiritual inclination, we got talking about how to manifest abundance in our lives.

E Squared, by Pam Grout
E Squared, by Pam Grout

I mentioned E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality, a book by Pamela Grout presently climbing the charts in the Mind, Body, Spirit category (and you can also find it on Scribd). Being hailed as the new The Secret, it sets out to prove, yes prove, that we draw from the field of infinite possibilities according to our beliefs and expectations. In other words, ask, and ye shall receive, as the Bible so succinctly put it.

“I tried it,” my friend said. “And it didn’t work. So now I feel like a failure.”

There are several possible explanations for her disappointment. In ascending order of cynicism:

– My friend had a blockage. On some level, even subconsciously, she didn’t truly believe that she would receive abundance, and the universe could sense her ambivalence so it didn’t deliver.

– The universe will deliver. It’s just waiting for the time to be right, which it knows better than she does. She should keep the faith and be patient.

– The universe has delivered. She just didn’t recognize it. Look at all the wonderful privileges of the Western lifestyle that she enjoys. If she wants more, maybe her expectations are too high.

– The universe has something better in mind for her. What she thinks she wants is not actually what is best for her right now.

– She needs to hone her mindfulness practice, and will access the abundance that is waiting for her only once she has reached the requisite standard.

– She needs to get off the sofa and do her part. While everything comes to she who waits, it comes a lot faster to she who gets off her backside and does something about it.

– Books like this create lots of abundance – for the people who write them (I did warn you it would get cynical). They prosper by offering a lifeline to a struggling and vulnerable reader. In an era when fame can be conferred overnight by Big Brother, or a fortune by the Lottery, we are especially susceptible to the offer of a minimum-effort, maximum-results, instant-gratification option that takes, as E-Squared says, “absolutely no money and very little time expenditure”.

Creating our world?

Okay, so maybe that last explanation was a little too cynical, and I am certainly not accusing Pam Grout of any such devious manipulations.

I certainly do believe that there are things that exist in this universe that are beyond the paltry five senses of humankind, and that strange and seemingly magical serendipities can arise when we have absolute clarity of purpose. I have witnessed this myself. Sometimes I have had an incredible run of good luck, and felt like I was surfing a wave of good fortune.

But sometimes we fall off the wave, and have to swim hard to get back to the surface, even while the full force of the wave is pounding us back down under the water. Even those who seem to live blessed lives, and everything they touch turns to gold, have mostly had to put in the hard graft too.

Magic and manifestation only get you so far. At some point – before, after, or during your ride on the wave – you will need to draw on those invaluable human strengths, of determination, discipline, and dedication, to succeed.

So go easy on yourself – just because you can’t manifest, doesn’t make you a loser.


  • In the Pagan world you also get back 3 times whatever you send out. I interpret that as you need to give a bit first before you get something good back.
    Manifestation is like writing your life goals and having a positive attitude towards making it happen. It doesn’t happen on it’s own though. You have to do/give something positive along the way to help it happen.
    It doesn’t happen overnight though and can sometimes takes a different form as you point out. So yes go easy on yourself, winning takes many different forms and timescales.

    • Just thought of an example. A couple of weeks ago I went to Glasgow to see a Jack Vettriano exhibition. While I was going around the gallery I wondered if Jack ever showed up as it would be a nice bonus to meet him. A few days later I was at work, busy but bored, and checked his website and saw a last minute ad for a private viewing with him. The next day I was on a ‘plane back to Glasgow. I got my wish.

      Manifestation? Possibly, but I also put in my effort by checking his website and ensuring I took advantage of what was being offered.

  • What a thought-provoking post, Roz! I would add that not expecting to manifest our desires is a sure way to avoid the manifestation itself. I had Pam as a guest on my radio show, as well as Greg Kuhn, who is an expert in quantum physics applied to day to day life. Greg brought up how our expectations determine our reality, and sometimes those expectations are not what we want them to be because of the programs we hold in our subconscious. I think this is fascinating…Thank you for the post!

  • Hi Roz, new to your site having heard your radio interview with Claire Balding in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Loved it by the way and just got your book today.

    It’s a funny thing – manifestation. I’ve learned that you can actually create out of nothing and literally mold reality how you want – but you really need to go all out for it. So you would take these qualities of dedication, discipline and determination apply it to what you want to manifest. To the actual manifestation process. Even if you leave the slightest door ajar, it ruins the recipe. I say this with some confidence because I successfully managed to manifest the love of my life (sorry for sounding corny but it really is true!!) and we are now happily married. But I really did need to go for it, without deviation, or wavering.

    At roughly the same time I also got my first book published. (It was some year!). And I really wanted that to be a bestseller. It was my dream. But for whatever reasons, I didn’t apply the same principles as I had to manifesting my partner. I just didn’t go for it enough. And so it hasn’t happened yet.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that even manifestation takes dedication and also I think the principle is different for personal goals like attracting a partner, and those that obviously need some hard graft – like career success.

    Finally, I think we know some mutual friends – Rosie & Mike Sinclair – who incidentally came to my wedding! I’d posted on FB about your interview and Mike popped up and said he’d met you in Hawaii. Pleased to be connected to your vision and inspiration. Hannah. 🙂

    • Hi Hannah – good to hear from you. What a small world!! Yes, I met Mike and Rosie in Hawaii – lovely couple.
      Congratulations on manifesting the love of your life. Funny – I found mine too, at exactly the perfect moment, even though I hadn’t known I was looking for him. 🙂
      Good to be in touch, and I hope you’re enjoying the book. xx

      • Yes small world indeed, but a marvellous one all the same. 🙂 They are a gorgeous couple.
        And congrats to you too for manifesting the love of your life. They always do seem to turn up at the right moment.
        Haven’t started the book yet but it has safely arrived. Am saving it for the inbetween xmas & new year break so it fires me up for 2014.
        Have a wonderful Christmas.

        • And a very happy Christmas to you too. I hope the book inspires you to some wonderful and life-enhancing goals for 2014!

  • Agreed! I think the best approach is to see our relationship with the universe as a ‘dance’ with the it — a synergistic, cooperative and mutual interaction where we do our part and it does its part, and we try to make the best of it by staying awake and paying attention on the task in hand!

  • I’ve been wondering about the whole tapping into the abundance of the universe thing! It’s inspiring and can also sometimes insulting (bad things happen because of the thoughts people are having – way to simplistic in my humble opinion)! Here’s a good example though… At the petrol station the other day the guy greeted me like a long lost friend when I went to pay – within seconds, in response, I find myself being upbeat, warm, friendly, jokey and seeing the best in him (and myself). He attracts this response by the way he is. I was really impressed!

    Roz heard you on Good Morning Sunday and went to buy the book – LOVED it – inspiring, honest and challenging and loved the feeling of being out on the ocean.

  • Hi Roz, Gillian here. We met at your talk during the West Cork Literary Festival last July when the county was a blazing coloured jewel in the oh-so-glorious sun. Re the above….at your workshop I asked an internal question and the immediate answer I received was ‘skydive’. I have yet to do the physical aspect of this (that’s the easy part and one I look forward to with excitement), the difficult part is a total letting go of a different order. Recently when meditating on that I heard two words, very quietly, “Trust me”, and really, now I simply have to follow through even though I’m terrified. I either trust God/the universe/myself, or I don’t. I’m at the edge of that cliff with trust as my parachute. Whatever happens it’ll be an adventure….

    Thanks for the post and well done with the website.

    • Hey, Gillian, great to hear from you, and congrats on an amazing decision!
      I know that feeling of asking a big question, and being somewhat surprised by the reply, but hey…. universe knows best! 🙂
      When is the big day? I’ll be thinking of you!!

    • Gillian, I just read your entry and acknowledge you for honoring the message you received and deciding to trust. A year out, I am very interested to hear what has transpired. I wish you a continued journey of grace. Joelle

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