Going as far back as the early centuries B.C.E. people have tried to control their thoughts to reduce suffering. It’s natural, and when we look at the story of the Buddha, there’s an aspect of “If I can do it so can you”, which has carried forward to our modern times. However, there’s also been a shift. Originally belief in controlling our thoughts and energy was seen as an egalitarian way to liberation.

In our modern era, the liberation has been taken out of the control, and it’s become all about manifestation and attraction. If you cannot control your thoughts and feelings, then you won’t be able to attract what you want. And if that’s the case, then it’s on you, because you weren’t the ones to do the control. This impacts our wellness, not just because financial wellness is part of the wellness wheel, but also because it imparts the message that there’s something wrong with you.

Individuals who have difficulty manifesting begin to believe that it’s their fault. They weren’t focusing hard enough, or they were too negative about things. Except, the truth is, the fault doesn’t fall with them, it falls on the belief that what we manifest and how we work with energy is solely under our control.

News flash: there is nothing in our life which is wholly under our control

Honestly, this is where CBT therapy and other behavioral-based therapies fail people, too. Their belief that whatever is happening is completely, totally within an individual’s control if only they think about it in the “right” way.

Control is not the hallmark of energy work or manifestation. A belief that we must intricately and unflinchingly control our thoughts is like telling someone they can never eat chocolate anymore. Pretty soon, eating chocolate is all they can think about, and if you work to restrict your thoughts, then those “negative” thoughts will start to overwhelm the mind.

Energy work and manifestation is as much about surrendering to the process and being aware in the moment as it is about specific thoughts or rituals. We cannot control the energy of the universe anymore than we can control a tornado. Instead, we must learn to work with the energy, to know what we can and cannot manage, and also what the limitations, especially in terms of money, socioeconomic limitations, we deal with and need to work to change, if possible. And also, we need to know when it’s not possible to change these things.

Wellness doesn’t mean controlling everything. There are too many things outside of our control. Instead, we need to have the wisdom to understand what situations we’re facing and make choices based on what’s possible.