By Vera Remes
I love poet/writer Shel Silverstein and the quirky wisdom found in his “children’s” books. I put the word “children” in quotes because adults read his books too, and appreciate his unique view of the world, people and what’s important in life. One quote about manifesting and wishing and those who make wishes, is one of my favorites and led me to write a blog about wishes creativity and manifestation. Titled Invitation, this quote comes from Silverstein’s book Where the Sidewalk Ends:
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Not thinking about what he was trying to say when I first read this quote years ago, I enjoyed the lilt to his phrasing and the picture it brought to mind. I thought a lot more about the meaning as I wrote this blog. It seems clear that quote reflects Silverstein’s preference for the company of creative people in whatever form. For him creativity started with wishing, letting your mind wander to consider what might be.
The difference between wishing and manifesting
I never “wish” for things, except on my birthday while blowing out my candles. It feels frivolous and denigrating considering my quest to “manifest” my destiny. I work hard at manifesting what I want. It’s almost a job for me, because being and staying positive does not come naturally to me. Reading books on manifestation, watch the videos online, sign up for the courses. Or I recite daily affirmations. Also I signed up to receive a daily quote from the Abraham-Hicks website on the Law of Attraction to give me inspiration and, just to cover all bases, a daily bible verse. But Silverstein’s quote opened me up to the concept that wishes are fodder for creativity. For a writer, a wish may be the nugget he weaves a story around. A philosopher could build a life around wishes. Wishes can form the basis of a farfetched business plan that may pay off big time.
If manifesting for me (to clearly see where I am heading, visualize it, and making it happen) is like a job, wishing is more like a vacation, a short respite from reality, dreaming of what might be, perhaps invigorating the imagination. Wishing is thinking, unfettered by reality. I have started wishing for something that is so ridiculous I’m not even going to write it down here for fear of ridicule. Suffice to say, if my wish ever comes true, the world will know, and I’ll even give you an autograph. I dream about it. I don’t consider it a manifestation exercise because it’s so absurd. Wishing permits me to dream about it, awake and asleep. For this reason, I am glad to have stumbled upon the Silva Method. I plan to try this with this wish of mine.
Manifesting and wishing: The Silva Method
Although I recognized the name “Silva Method” that was the extent of my familiarity with it. When I did some research, I found many famous people have used the Silva Method. Dr. Wayne Dwyer, Russell “Bucky” Dent a then young baseball player with the Chicago White Sox, Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and several others have espoused the Silva Method as a simple and practical tool for concentration and relaxation.
The Silva Method is comprised of several relaxation techniques including the Glass of Water Technique, supposedly guaranteed to make your wishes come true. Apparently, if you use the Glass of Water Technique, wishing can make it so. These “formula-type techniques” can be used to solve problems and help you accomplish your goals. Here are very short descriptions of just seven of the key techniques based on a list contained in a blog on YouMeWorks.com. The brainchild of authors Klassy Evans and Adam Khan, they focus mostly on helping you feel good more often:
1. The Workshop of the Mind.
You create a workshop or laboratory in your imagination, complete with any tool you can imagine (literally), and it includes a giant screen on which to visualize things.
2. Dream programming.
Dreams can be a good source of ideas and solutions to problems. The “Glass of Water technique,” which I’ll go into in more depth later, and “dream programming” are the two Silva techniques that can help you utilize this relatively ignored fountain of creativity.
“Mrs. Thomas A. Edison has said that each evening her husband would go over in his mind those things which he hoped to accomplish the next day,” wrote the author, Maxwell Maltz. “Sometimes he would make a list of the jobs he wanted to do, and problems he hoped to solve.”
In the book, The Psychology of the Inventor, Joseph Rossman wrote, “When stumped by something, he [Edison] would stretch out in his Menlo workshop and, half-dozing, get an idea from his dream mind to help him around the difficulty.”
Maltz also wrote, “…Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Brownies,’ which he said gave him all his plot ideas while sleeping, are … well known.”
3. Mirror of the mind.
On your mental screen (in your mental workshop) visualize a specific problem you’re having or a situation you need to deal with, and visualize it in a mirror — see the image like a reflection of a mirror directly in front of you. The mirror has a blue frame. Then move the mirror to your left, change the frame to white, and visualize your problem resolved. From that point on, whenever you think about your problem, only think of the “solution image” framed in white. This is one of the most useful techniques in the Silva Method.
4. Three fingers technique.
At your level, suggest to yourself that you’ll be able to quickly reach the alpha level by putting the thumb, index finger and middle finger of one hand together. This technique brings the power of the Silva Method into your wakeful activities. I saw it used on the TV series “The Americans.” The Russian spy mother teaches her daughter to use the technique when she is tempted to share the fact that they are spies with her boyfriend. I thought it was a “made for TV” invention. But, a skill handy for spies to master, Silva says doing this will calm yourself when you feel stressed or upset, getting into in a good frame of mind to remember something, or help you concentrate your attention when you need to focus.
5. Envisioning goals.
Imagine what it will be like when a specific goal is achieved. Envision it in detail. You can do it with something small, like a meeting you have tomorrow with your boss (imagining it turning out the way you want), you can imagine a big goal five years in the future, or anywhere in between. Envisioning goals is a central principle of the Silva Method. This reminds me of my Future Life Progression exercises I do with clients to help them ask their future successful self how they got to where they are.
6. Simple suggestion.
You can use the Silva Method to give yourself “post-hypnotic suggestions.” This helps you program new behaviors and new thought-habits.
7. Cancel cancel.
One of the post-hypnotic suggestions you can give yourself is that when you hear a negative comment or a pessimistic point of view, you say “cancel cancel” to yourself, and when you do the negativity will have no influence over you. It’s kind of like a mental cloak of protection. Like when my husband says “you’re getting older” after I tell him my back hurts. From now on I’ll think to myself, “cancel cancel” so I remain unaffected by such a ridiculous belief.
If you’ll like to dig deeper into the Silva Method and learn more about the Glass Water Technique, tune-in this month for another article all about it.