Awesome Lais asks: “Lately I’ve been working on being in the NOW because I used to always be either thinking about the past or imagining the future. From everything I’ve read so far about the importance of being in the now, including some of your blog entries, I’ve learned that we can manifest and be in alignment while being in the now. But the law of attraction clearly states that we have to feel as if we already have what we want and visualize the things we wish to manifest, which means thinking about the future and anticipating something we don’t have yet. Doesn’t one thing contradict the other? How can I be and manifest in the now if I have to visualize and feel something that’s not in the now yet? How can I simultaneously be in the now and create my reality that’s in the future?”

Dear Awesome Lais,

This is a question I get a lot, and something most students of LOA struggle with. The answer is actually quite simple, though. So just relax and let Auntie Melody provide you with some clarity.

Feeling as though you already have it

First, I’m going to get a bit sticklerish about the semantics of the much repeated but usually misunderstood sentence: “You have to feel as though you already have it.” You’re told to visualize what you want and get into the feeling of it, but if you’ve never been a rock star, how can you possibly know exactly how that will feel? There seems to be something missing here. There is. Let me rephrase that sentence a bit:

In order to line up with what you want, you have to feel the way you would feel if you already had it. This might seem like the same sentence, but it’s not. Here’s why:

If you were rich, how would you feel? I don’t mean about money, I mean in general? Would you be worried about your future? Would you freak out about small things going wrong? Would you feel powerless? Or would you feel safe, free and empowered? I’m guessing that your vision of having money includes the latter set of emotions. So, to you, having money is a representation of those feelings.

If you can find a way to generate those feelings NOW, whether or not you have money, you’ll line yourself up with the frequency where the money is. Instead of wanting money so you can feel the way you want to, feel the way you want to, and as a consequence, everything that represents that feeling, including money, will come to you. It has to. That’s how the law of attraction works.

Do you have to visualize what you want?

Most of these types of questions stem from the fact that a lot of people have gotten the wrong idea about visualization, what it is and what it does. I’ve written about this before (several times, like here, here and here), but let me give you the gist: Visualizing is NOT part of the creation process. You don’t have to visualize what you want in order to get it. If you did, you’d never, ever be surprised by anything (having had to visualize it exactly before it could come). Visualizing is a tool we can use to ferret out resistance (active thoughts that contradict what you want and get in the way of you receiving it). It’s a very useful tool, but it’s by no means necessary and it certainly doesn’t suit everyone. Some people, for example, can’t visualize; they’re not floating about in a vacuum, unable to manifest their reality, are they?

When you visualize, you’re doing your best to point yourself in the direction of what you want, getting as close as you can to it (i.e. you generate the best feeling about it that you have access to in this moment). As you do that, you’ll naturally start to hit any obstacles that are in the way – those contradictory thoughts. So, you might be seeing yourself on stage, rocking out with your band while thousands of adoring fans scream your name and throw their hopefully clean underpants at you (this is the main reason I’ve never wanted to be a rock star; my fear of being hit in the face with a skid mark laden pair of tighty whiteys. Well, ok, that and the fact that I don’t play an instrument). As you envision this delightful scenario, your “helpful” mind begins to morph the fantasy and bring in some unwanted elements. These are representations of the contradictory thoughts and fears which are currently blocking you from being the next Mick Jagger.

So, you might see yourself arguing with the band (fear that you won’t all get along, or that you’ll have to make artistic sacrifices to get where you want to go), or overdosing and ending up in drug rehab (belief that this is just part of the lifestyle and that you’ll lose control and be unwittingly sucked in somehow). You might have a very hard time seeing yourself playing to that many people, and trying to do so might make you really uncomfortable, because you’re afraid you’re not a good enough musician. If you give your visualization free reign, it might well take you down a dark road before you know what happened. This is not a bad thing. All that’s happened is that your mind has visually shown you where your current vibration (your current, active thoughts and beliefs) is at. You can then use the tool of visualization to deliberately change that negative picture to a more positive one, gently and incrementally shifting the fantasy into a more positive place until you’re completely comfortable with the vision of being on stage in a huge stadium. This is a wonderful and very effective way of contradicting and shifting those resistant thoughts, but it’s just one tool of many that are at our disposal.

But doesn’t visualizing make us focus on the future?

And now to the heart of your question: If we’re visualizing something that’s in the future, aren’t we taking ourselves out of the NOW? Nope. You see, here’s the thing: You can’t really take yourself out of the NOW. There is only NOW. The future doesn’t exist yet and the past is over. When you remember something from the past, you’re doing so NOW. If that memory makes you feel sad, you’re feeling sad NOW. When you worry about the future, you’re anxious NOW. It’s always NOW.

So, when we talk about being in the NOW, making peace with the NOW, feeling good NOW, etc., what we’re really talking about is stepping into a state of awareness and allowing. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging without an explanation of what, exactly, THAT means.

Being aware in the NOW simply means being conscious of how you feel, instead of ignoring your emotional state as most people do. When you worry about the future, it doesn’t feel good. But most people will be willing to sacrifice feeling good NOW, in order to “safeguard” themselves against all possible negative outcomes (hint: this doesn’t work. Read my explanation of why not here). In order to be able to bear that, they have to effectively ignore how they feel NOW. You can’t consciously focus on the fact that you’re feeling bad and not want to do something about it. The only way you can accept feeling negative emotion for any length of time, is to NOT focus on it, but to distract yourself with something else instead. And boy, have we become masterful at distracting ourselves in this society. So, another way of saying “Be aware in the NOW”, is “Be honest about how you actually feel, you know, for a change.”

Being in a state of allowing can be explained in many ways (each teacher has their own definition). Here’s the really simple one (admit it: this is why you freaking love me): Choose to feel good. Now. Even if you don’t yet have what you want. Feel good anyway. I know, I know, this is much easier said than done. Only, it really isn’t, once you really make the decision to make feeling good your ultimate priority (the idea that it’s hard is only a belief).

So, if you start paying attention to how you feel (NOW, since there is only NOW), and you decide to consciously (since you’re paying attention now) feel good (instead of faking it while you ignore how you really feel), you are in the flow, at peace with the NOW, in a state of allowing, etc. If you could maintain this state long enough, everything you’ve ever wanted would start flowing into your reality. Yes, it really is that simple.

Bottom line

When you’re using the tool of visualization, you’re not projecting yourself into the future. You’re simply focusing on what you want (NOW), in an attempt to fish for and release resistance (catch and release. Get it? Ha. Yeah, I’m a dork). In order to do that, you have to consciously notice how you feel (NOW), and then deliberately focus in such a way that you feel better (NOW). Essentially, visualization and other tools like it can help you to ferret out some negative emotions that you’ve been feeling for so long that they’ve become so “normal” that you’re not aware of them. These tools help you to amplify and become aware of how you truly feel NOW. They help you become consciously aware of your vibration. Because, let’s face it, if you knew that you were feeling bad NOW, you’d stop it. No one makes the fully conscious decision to suffer. No one deliberately chooses pain (note, I’m not talking about pain for pleasure, but painful pain). These decisions are always made while in the fog of unawareness. So really, when we talk about being in the NOW, we’re speaking about becoming more and more aware and conscious of how we’re truly feeling. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most succinct statement on the Law of Attraction and all the related “work” we do that I’ve ever offered. I guess I can take a nap (NOW). My work here is done.

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  • “So, if you start paying attention to how you feel (NOW, since there is only NOW), and you decide to consciously (since you’re paying attention now) feel good (instead of faking it while you ignore how you really feel), you are in the flow, at peace with the NOW, in a state of allowing, etc. If you could maintain this state long enough, everything you’ve ever wanted would start flowing into your reality. Yes, it really is that simple.”

    I agree, Moonsparkle, this is an explanation that is awesome in its awesomeness. I got so happy and had such a breakthrough moment, I just had to “what’sapp” it to my husband.

    Thank you Melody, you make everything so clear and simple (what did I ever do without your insights (and I only just discovered you a few days ago)? I also grappled with the apparent contradiction of visualisation (ie, looking at a future experience), and being in the now. But all is clear, NOW.

    And now I must go because my cat (slave-mistress whom I adore), calls, and she must not be denied. LOA works for her, every time!!!

  • melody,
    i understand what you are saying. However, how would you reframe the issue of money and feeling good if you had etc. but how do you feel better about debt, like credit card debt. it feels good if i had all the money now, i would feel light and free, but then i open the mail and see the bill. how do you recoincile the two? thanks

  • Another peice of the puzzle fits perfectly thanks 2 u :)…….Once u believe and accept the rest is auto pilot, its always been there the first step is the biggest!

  • Moonsparkle – yes, you can’t fake it LOL. Picture attempting to trick the universe into thinking that you feel differently than you really do!

  • Oh, man, awesome, as always. Just . . . awesome. Amazing how you can go along thinking you understand something, then read a blog post like this and just stop dead and say, whoa!!

    Well, that’s what just happened to me. I can visualize like crazy, but there are two scenarios I’ve almost stopped working on because in both of them, I almost always have these negative things come up and it’s been bumming me out no end.

    Your explanation not only makes perfect sense, but also tells me what I have to do — look at the negative aspects of my “dream scenes”, ferret out the fear/worry/concern I’m being shown so I can release it . . . and let the good stuff flow! Wow. I’m so excited I’m vibrating! LOL!

    Thanks, Melody. As about 6 people have said so far, you da bomb!

  • Good job U Melody. I think it’s easy for people to think of visualization as a picture when it’s actually about using your imagination to create the ‘full’ reality of having or being whatever it is that you desire. You bring ‘there’ to ‘here’ as though it were so and feeling, feeling, feeling is the blooming secret. There should be a saying, feel it and you’ll see it.

  • Hey Melody,

    As usual, the Universe delivers exactly what I needed. Your statement, “As you envision this delightful scenario, your “helpful” mind begins to morph the fantasy and bring in some unwanted elements. These are representations of the contradictory thoughts and fears which are currently blocking you from being the next Mick Jagger,” explains PRECISELY what has been happening to me.

    I went to an intuitive healer to get some assistance with my dry, sandy, desert of a love life (going on 18 years now). To say I’m a little frustrated & impatient now is putting it lightly especially since I’ve been visualizing having that wonderful loving relationship I want and trying to feel that safe, secure, loved feeling. Have been doing this for quite some time, but nada, nothing, zilch has happened. I explained to her in my visualizations I saw myself exerting boundaries for the first time in my life whenever I felt myself being disrespected in any way. I felt I needed to practice doing so in my head so I would be ready to do so in real life. She responded with, “Funny that you’re putting up boundaries before you even have the relationship”. What a “doh” moment that was. Haha.

    Since then (last Sat.) I’ve tried visualizing again but as usual my mind just naturally puts in some sort of hurdle in my imaginary relationship. And now, because of you, I understand why and what I need to do. THANK YOU! (Damn those ornery false beliefs. Allowing myself to truly & honestly BELIEVE a man can love & cherish me as much as I do him, that’s not coming easily.) It’s odd I can believe I can be filthy rich even though I’ve never been close to that in my life (and my money situation is slowly improving because of this), but believing a guy can honestly want me for me just feels like a joke. I’ve got some major work to do. Any suggestions?

    Thank you & kitten hugs,

  • If you have to wait for something in the future to happen in order to you feel good, then you will be craving NOW and very likely to be craving tomorrow as well. You’re betting your happiness on something that may or may not happen in the future – that’s gambling.
    Apply LOA into this situation and you could be forever waiting and craving.

    A much better strategy is to simply appreciate what you already have NOW and what make you feel good NOW. That’s your small pond of happiness that you already have access to. You can always bath in it whenever you need it. Obviously, we all want to expand our pond to include more things that make us feel good. The question is how.

    Let me share a few tips.

    If you look out to the world, then
    1. look for the lesson
    2. look for the daily gift – something that make you feel better.
    3. be grateful when you receive them.
    (At the start, it tends to work intermittently but will become regular after a while. Took me 2 weeks. It’s totally ok if you have 2 gifts in 1 day and 0 the next)

    If you look inward, then be still and
    1. listen to the inner voice.
    2. wait for the inner vision.

  • Great Stuff. This is sooo true and sometimes it easy to get confused about how your applying LOA. Thanks Aunite Melody!!!

  • You’re the best, Melody! Simply the best that has ever incarnated. Thank you!

    Sometimes I stay in the NOW and it’s the best feeling ever. I stop to smell the flowers, watch birds fly, children play, simply smile. And when I don’t, I wish I could pull out my brain and smack it. It’s like a spoiled child, I’ve given it too much candy. Now it’s time for some discipline and persistence. NOW. NOW. NOW. IS ALL WE HAVE.
    Your blog post reminds me of a Buddhist concept of Metta or Maitri I read about which basically translates to loving-kindness, friendship etc. In the Buddhist concept case, it relates to the notion of loving-kindness towards oneself, though I suppose it could apply to one’s love toward other people as well. To understand the concept, I imagine a mother bird feeding her new born hatchlings in a nest. The hatchlings are these tiny, puny things who sit there with their mouths open constantly craving food… completely helpless if not for their mother. To her, they are these beings that she devotes her life to taking caring of. Now, if I imagine myself as that… As the entire image. Not just the mother bird, not just the baby birds, but both. The kinda ugly, helpless, needy birds, and the capable graceful mother bird who can take care of them. The mother bird is easy to love, all giving and graceful and strong and the baby birds are needy, but the mother bird doesn’t judge them or abandon them, she just loves them, that is loving-kindness. Extending the metaphor in time, her actions help them to grow so that they leave the nest but I think that extending the metaphor past that one moment in time, leaves me open to the risk of thinking that at some point that the baby birds (my vulnerabilities, needs, weaknesses) will be gone–so, instead I think of it in that freeze-frame moment. I will always be BOTH, the mother bird and the baby birds always in the NOW. A strong capable person and a frail vulnerable person….in the NOW. I don’t know if I’m mixing LOA with this Buddhist concept but it felt like the same thing. Only, your blog post uplifted me and this concept brought me to thinking that I will always be in the NOW as both capable and needy(which makes me a little sad and I should probably switch to a better feeling thought. LOL). I might always need to be uplifted but I can always uplift myself. I don’t know if I’m making any sense but your blog post reminded me of this concept. Perhaps they are both similar in some ways and so different in others. Thank you for the post! I can’t wait to read the next one!

    Tight hugs,

    • I totally agree! Thanks for sharing this example. It totally resonates with me. “I am
      In need of uplifting, but I can always uplift myself” sorry if I misquoted. Thanks again!

  • Thank you for the post. I like this bit best:

    “So, if you start paying attention to how you feel (NOW, since there is only NOW), and you decide to consciously (since you’re paying attention now) feel good (instead of faking it while you ignore how you really feel), you are in the flow, at peace with the NOW, in a state of allowing, etc. If you could maintain this state long enough, everything you’ve ever wanted would start flowing into your reality. Yes, it really is that simple.”

    It’s a simple but good explanation. 🙂 I’ve just been re-reading Ask and it is Given and they suggest meditating to release your resistance to get what you want. I’ve never been that keen on meditation, so maybe another method would be better for me, since the point is to feel good and enjoy what you’re doing!

  • Brave! Bravo!
    I have been teaching this kind of thing for 40 years, (but new to your site) and you have put it in a way that many can ‘get it’ in a few short paragraphs.
    Bravo, Melody!

  • It is amazing how the Universe can bring you the answer, lickety split! Thanks for this post melody. I’ve never really been a “daydreamer”, and for the past few months I’ve been channeling in on a certain amount of money; imagining myself spending it like I want to, the thrill of being financially independent, etc.

    But when you read Joseph Murphy’s books (any of them), they all seem to purport that it took the aspirant only 1 month to 45 days for their creation to materialize on the screen of space. Of course, me being at day 90 made me rethink the entire process- was I “doing it” right, because I wasn’t “seeing” so clearly.

    So I’m glad to know that you don’t necessarily have to crystallize the images of what you want in your thoughts, because, whew, I was like I feel good just thinking about what I want and imagining having it as close as I could to “reality”; but I’m having problems holding the vision.

    Thanks for another great post!

    • Hi Newly and Thank You Always, Melody
      Newly, holding the vision is nice, but it sort of locks you into believing something can happen only one way. What if your manifestation is a gazillion times better because of ALL the ideas you’ve ever had. I think Melody is saying hold the feeling when you’re in the vision.
      Choice is the key, thank you for handing over the keys Melody!

  • LOL! I have actually been thinking about emailing you and asking this EXACT same question. I was confused about how I can be in “the now” while dreaming about the future. This makes me feel so much better and a lot less anxious. I don’t know if it’s age or what, but in the last few years, I have mellowed out a lot and worry a lot less anyway. Of course since studying the law of attraction, I have become even more mellow and even more relaxed. So I feel like I’m well on my way to some major manifestations soon. So more clarity! (no surprise there :)) YAY!!!!
    Thank you so much!!!!

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