The basic premise of manifestation, or making our wishes come true, is to match our energy level to that of our desired outcome. We have been conditioned to believe that this can be accomplished with positive thinking, abundance meditations or learning how to raise our vibration. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Shifting energy is all about personal growth. A new vibration comes with new beliefs. New beliefs can only be adopted once the old ones have been resolved…and pretending they aren’t there isn’t enough.

When you declare that you want something greater than what you already have, the Universe is happy to oblige with one condition – you’ll have to make some changes. And here’s the catch – you don’t have any say in what those changes are.

If you have asked for a new reality with a level of conviction that the Universe can recognize, it then starts delivering an obstacle course for you to follow…one step at a time. From above, you would see that it leads you through a windy yet necessary path through the parts of your life that are inconsistent with your wish. Every step is essential, and so is the order.

These obstacle courses are full of the magical synchronicities that we love to discover. A book will somehow fall in your lap, a chapter in the book will grab your attention and you’ll take on a new habit. The habit will lead you to a new friendship with someone down the street who is reading the same book and just so happens to know your cousin Claire. The new friend will invite you to a spiritual gathering and you say to yourself “There are magical signs everywhere! Wow this is fun!”

You’re so excited about your new journey that you accidentally stood another friend up and left her to move to a new apartment all by herself. Oops. You have let the other friend down so badly that the friendship falls apart, and you’re shocked. Your life was going so well, the magic was happening, and it seemed like you were headed toward all of your dreams. Then you say “Losing my friend didn’t feel very magical. I’m not sure I’m on the right path.”

You question the process, you grieve your lost friend, and you grudgingly adjust to the change.

With some hindsight, though, you realize that the friend you lost reminds you of your sister. Growing up, your sister would cause dramas and stir up trouble, but she was also a lot of fun. You hated her behavior but loved her silliness and put up with her because she was a middle child who never got enough attention. Losing this friend was hard, but losing the drama was a relief. This change was necessary for your growth into the person whose energy matches your wish and you would not have done it on your own.

This confusing, magical obstacle course continues to inspire you one minute and knock you off balance the next, and your new reality develops as you go. One day you look back and realize that all your wishes did come true. They just showed up in a woven Indian basket rather than the white box you expected.

The message here is to embrace the rest of the manifestation process. Trust that the Universe has heard you and has put you on the right path…then have the courage to follow it blindfolded, even when it gets ugly.

Be willing to balance your wishes with some work, and believe that your dreams are still out there. Keep asking, keep growing, it will all be worth it.