I’ll be the first to admit that I am not always exactly on trend when it comes to the latest fashionable craze (and my children would be nodding their heads in agreement if they were reading this). However, I have picked up on the talk about ‘manifesting’ and so Arwa Mahdawi’s recent piece in the Guardian caught my eye (read it here). As she points out, often the latest craze is just a new name for something you’ve always done and, in many ways, this is the case with manifesting. While Arwi’s article is, I hope, fairly tongue in cheek, I have to admit that I was sorry to hear her dismiss manifesting as being, “daydreaming while being deluded that those daydreams might come true”. Because I actually, passionately believe that there is something in it and that often those dreams do come true. In my world view, positive thought and belief can and actually do lead to physical change, as René Descartes said, “Cogito, ergo sum” often translated as, “I think therefore I am”.
Gandhi was of a similar opinion. He is often misquoted as saying, “be that change you want to see in the world”. What he actually said was:
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
And there is a powerful lesson in this for both us and our children. A positive mindset can go a long way, particularly so in strange times like these. The more we focus on the positives and look at our world through optimistic eyes, the more that we will see the manifestation of that in our everyday lives. In just the way that Ghandi believed that we but mirror the world, I also believe that the world but mirrors us.
And while I’m no Michael Jackson fan, perhaps he had a point when he sang:
“I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)”.
John F Gilmour