How Do We Need and Also Manifest?  A Spiritual Redux

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I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately.  I’m struggling with my beliefs, my practices, my faith…  So I figured I’d share some of my thoughts with y’all and hopefully you’ll share some of your thoughts with me.

The Law of Attraction

The Back Story

In the fall of 2011, I had to withdraw from the nursing program in which I was enrolled and walk away from my plan to change careers.  I no longer wanted to be a college professor, especially because I had been living in poverty as an adjunct professor for nine years at that point.  I believed nursing would be a more stable and financially sustainable career.  But I could no longer afford tuition despite taking classes at the college where I had taught for six years and I discovered that I was smarter than most of the doctors at the hospital where I did my clinicals and I wasn’t willing to keep my mouth shut and do what they told me to do when I knew they were wrong.  Nurses are supposed to keep their mouths shut and never—NEVER—question the doctors.  Nope.  I wasn’t going to let them kill or harm my patients.  So I walked away and resigned myself to the fact that college teaching was the only option I had.

I had been an adjunct for nine years, largely because I had promised my son that we wouldn’t move again until after he graduated from high school.  We had relocated to the DC metro area four weeks before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  Because of the attacks, my contract wasn’t renewed at the college where I had been hired and I found myself unable to secure a permanent position with any of the colleges or universities in the area.  But I had made a promise to my son and I wasn’t going to break that promise.  We had already moved four times in his short life at that point and I believed he deserved a stable education and life. 

The Implosion

He graduated from high school in 2009.  A month before his graduation I was in the hospital for a suicide attempt.  My life had just imploded… again.  Not only was I the person he was dumping all his emotions on (end of high school, end of his athletic career because of an injury, etc.), the college where I had been teaching informed me they wouldn’t be inviting me back to teach.  When I asked why, the Dean said, “Your colleagues don’t like teaching with you.”  I again asked why and he replied, “Because you make them look bad.” 


“Wait, you’re punishing me for being good at what I do instead of encouraging them to step up their game?”  “We’re not inviting you back,” he said dryly.  It was while I was in the hospital that I decided to switch careers.  One of the nurses told me that I’d make a great psychiatric nurse because of the natural teaching ability I demonstrated during our group sessions.  And so I ran with that.  But then I realized that I wouldn’t make a good nurse.  I should have stuck with my original goal to become either a cardiovascular surgeon or a neurosurgeon, both options I entertained while in high school.  Instead, I double majored in Theatre and Astronomy/Astrophysics and completed the Theatre degree.  With which I did absolutely nothing, except it benefitted me in front of the classroom.  That’s a discussion for another day.

My Manifesting Success

The point is, I manifested the job.  I also manifested my husband.  I created a list of my ideal partner, what I would and would not tolerate, and created a vision.  And then I let it go.  I had already been single and celibate for thirteen years, though not by choice (single motherhood and a Ph.D.), so I didn’t really have anything to lose.  I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?  Nothing.  I’d still be alone.  So what? 

My husband and I have been together for nearly nine years.  I met him my first year in New York City while teaching at the ideal job I had manifested.

I believe the Law of Attraction is real.  But there are lots of things I question.  For instance, it’s easy to manifest things when I’m not invested in the outcome, when I’m willing to play with it and see what happens. 

But what about manifesting the important things? 

The Gurus

I didn’t have a golden umbrella.  I still don’t have a golden umbrella.  Although I had eight years of relative stability, I again live in poverty.  I have a roof over my head because I received emergency rental assistance.  I don’t know how I will pay February rent, though, because the rental assistance only paid through January.  I have been unemployed since August 2020, partly the result of the pandemic and partly the result of my Ph.D. and my age.

I dream of a successful writing career.  I have always loved writing, even when I was in high school.  I submitted a book proposal to a publisher last summer but it was rejected.  I tweaked the proposal and submitted it to a new publisher in November but haven’t yet received any response.  I have a Patreon but I only have four patrons.  I have never earned a penny from my blog.  But I still write because I love it. I also send out job applications nearly every day. 

The Elephant in the Room

The meme I posted at the top came across my Instagram feed the other day.  And it pissed me off.  Because here’s the thing… There are certain things we need in life.  Like money to pay rent and bills and buy food. 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs very clearly demonstrates that at the most basic level, we all have a need for food, shelter, water, clothing, and sleep.  Without these basic needs being met, we cannot evolve intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. 

How do I stop needing money so I can manifest it?  Rent is due in a week.  It’s a legitimate need.  Am I desperate?  I’m trying not to be.  But I also can’t just play and hope that I manifest the money to pay my bills and let go of the outcome.  My life literally depends on my ability to earn or acquire money.

As if THEY put in the work and the rest of us—well, we’re lazy and avoidant and not magical and not strong. We are somehow magically low vibing our way to poverty or illness or what have you….while they’ve leveled up (never revealing the safety net they have or the social privileges they inhabit or the predatory courses or memberships or sales pages they use to generate all that money which they proceed to then show off….).

~Lisa Marie Basile, Instagram post, 01/17/2022

Is It All About Mindset?

I ended up in worse financial distress as a result of all these attempts to manifest the life of my dreams.  When I raised this issue in the various groups associated with these programs, I was told I’m not thinking positively enough, I’m not trusting, I’m stuck in lack mentality and poverty mindset. 

Of course I am!  It’s the truth of my reality.  It was then and it is now. 

No, No… It’s All About Gratitude

The block where I live in the Bronx. I live in the tall apartment building.

So what do I do?  What do any of us do?  How do we manifest the life of our dreams, lives we love living, when we struggle to meet basic needs, when we don’t have a safety net or resources like a golden umbrella?  I’m being told that I’m manifesting needing money because I need money.  Does this mean that the wealthy will continue to be wealthy and manifest whatever they want because they don’t actually need anything, and those of us who struggle to meet our basic needs will continue to struggle because we actually need the means to meet our basic needs? 

Sounds pretty fucked up to me.  I believe that there is an intelligence in the Universe.  I refuse to believe that this intelligence is a punishing and petty intelligence.

Who I Am & What I Believe

Me, April 2021

People look at me and see an incredibly strong woman who perseveres, who is resilient, who has accomplished so much, and who has been so successful.  But they only see what I let them see.  I don’t let people see the struggle.  I don’t let people see what’s going on inside.  I don’t let people see the truth of my life.

My son’s doctoral graduation, December 2017

I believe everything is energy.  I believe that with every fiber of my being.  Albert Einstein allegedly said, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”  Whether he did or didn’t isn’t the point.  Given my background in Astrophysics, I believe everything is energy.  I believe we can align our chakras with Universal energy and return our bodies’ energy to homeostasis, just as my son—a board-certified chiropractor with advanced certification in Chiropractic BioPhysics—is able to return the physical body to homeostasis through regular adjustments that allow the cerebrospinal fluid to flow freely and unimpeded through the body.

So how do I reconcile all this?  I really don’t know.  I’m open to ideas, thoughts, and suggestions.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to create my vision boards, to meditate, to balance my chakras, and to seek answers so I, too, can create a life I love living.

Published by Lisa R. Barry, Ph.D.

Life Story Coach, Shamanic Life Coach, Reiki Master, WomanSpeak Circle Leader, Tarot & Oracle Reader, Wisdom of the Serpent Oracle & Guidebook Creator, Witch, Chakra Healer, Crystal Junkie, Author, Scholar, Former College Professor (25yrs), Speaker, Crazy Cat Lady, Hippie Liberal Feminist

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