The science of intention and manifestation

“When you want something, the whole universe conspires in order for you to achieve it.”
— The Alchemist

This quote stands out for me as I recently listened to a podcast by Dr Tara Swart, an expert on neuroplasticity who was discussing the topic of manifestation.

For her it is simple, “no matter how old, how stubborn, or how set in their ways, everyone has the capacity to change. Based on real science.”

This from her book, The Source: The Secrets of the Universe, the Science of the Brain, which I highly recommend reading.

In her book she shows, from a scientific perspective, how ‘The Law of Attraction’ is an effective tool for self-discovery, how the brain can process and prioritise information, how it can be retrained to attract what we want and how we can change our destiny, reinvent ourselves simply by reshaping our minds and practising manifestation.

How is this possible? The answer is through neuroplasticity.


Neuroplasticity is as the word describes, is that your brain is plasticised, it is flexible, it can change, grow and be reorganised. It can be rewired to function differently.

In our younger years, our brain automatically changes a lot as we learn to walk and talk, then as teens and early adulthood we question and think critically.

After 25 years, brain growth drops to some degree and we have to make a more conscious effort to use our brain’s flexibility to learn and grow. Included in that, we can train our brains to be comfortable with change whether planned mindfulness or not.

According to Dr Swart, modern scientific scanning techniques, not available before, are able to show spiritual changes. She says that abundant thinking and mindful manifestation (mind over matter) were seen as intangible before but now proven through science to be tangible. So science and spirituality go hand in hand.


To see how science and spirituality intertwined, Dr Swart says look at manifestation.

She says the spiritual side of manifestation is when you desire something, you visualise it to make it happen, and when combined with science it trains your brain to act in the way you desire. To bring about a desired outcome. Like the law of attraction, it is scientifically sound and totally accessible.

The 3 aspects of manifestation are:

  • Clear intentions (feelings and beliefs)
  • Strong focus
  • Taking action

You can manifest your environment, your health and your relationships. Your situation and perhaps even material things are a direct result of how you think, your subconscious beliefs.

It doesn’t just happen though, you have to get into action and work on your vision, your intentions.


Research shows that you can prime your brain for all sorts of possibilities and opportunities. It will bring you closer to the things you have identified you want in your life.

These techniques can help retrain your neural pathways:


Studies have demonstrated that just a few minutes a day of mindful meditation shows neuroplastic changes in the brain. It also brings about more clarity, perspective, awareness and reflection which is essential in our lives. Meditate using either your own version, an app or do a walking meditation – go with whatever works best for you.

Gratitude practice

This can even be included as part of your meditation. Research shows that it can be radically transformative. Together these practices support ‘higher level’ brain regulation and improve resilience, making us more considered, intentional and balanced in our approach to life. Gratitude each evening and first thing, you can express gratitude for the simplest of things – even if it’s just for your pillow!

Vision board

Dr Swart encourages a vision or action board. She suggests you only use images and possibly numbers to create your board because our brains are visual, imagery can help us identify opportunities on a subconscious level, and to find a balance of both literal and metaphorical examples.

She says to create a collage that represents everything you aspire to or would like to experience and attract, notice how these images make you feel. Find a good home for it so that you can look at it once or twice a day. And all you’ll need are a few magazines or some print outs, scissors, glue, tape and a blank canvas of your choosing.

By creating an action board you are identifying your innermost dreams, making decisions that serve your intentions before you even realise it and strengthening your neural networkd to support it.

I have created many vision boards over the years – and what has struck me is that the actual process of creating the board has it has helped me to drill down to what it is that I really desire – rather than getting lost in the noise of life.

It can seem daunting and overwhelming to have another ‘to do’ but if you want change, want to live your ‘best life’, then I encourage you to give it a try.


It is also important to support your brain to improve neuroplasticity, so consider these natural brain supporting tips:


This is where rejuvenation happens. It allows our brain to complete its emotional and psychological processing. Work on 8- 9 hours of restorative sleep with consistent bed and wake times.


Aim for nutrient rich, colour filled, seasonal whole foods with good quality protein, good fats and ample clean pure water for hydration – I love this question ‘ What can I eat today that will make me feel my best?’ Ask yourself, your brain will love you for your consideration.


It oxygenates the brain, regulates blood sugar, works the lymph system and boosts mood. Try ways throughout the day.


Find ways to do this. When we’re stressed, we tend to hold our breath so check in on ourselves regularly. Breath and be still, meditation will help with this. Studies have shown that just twelve minutes a day of meditation can significantly increase your mental resilience.

I love this podcast as well. Dhru Purohit with a 102 year old doctor, Gladys McGarey, who shares her longevity tips for keeping a sharp body and mind.

Everything is a thought and a thought can be changed.

Stay stimulated, keep learning, be curious, be open to endless opportunities.



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