Slacker Manifesting with Abigail Steidley

On her monthly Good Vibe U call, faculty member Abigail Steidley introduced us to slacker manifesting, which we loved so much we begged for a guest post.  Here’s Abigail:
frog in alignment, effortless manifesting

I have been a life-long tryer. Whenever I wanted something, I would really go for it, chase after it, make it happen, and generally put forth several million watts of energy. I’m not sure there’s an English language word for what I do, so I’ve coined the word, “over-efforting.” Over-efforting could be defined as:

Trying really, really, really hard to make something happen by using way more energy (both mentally and physically) than is necessary while also putting huge amounts of pressure on one’s self to do whatever it is “right,” perfectly, or really extremely above averagely.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the law of attraction. What? Here is this natural law in place that brings things to me? I don’t have to chase after them? I can just sit back, align my energy into a place of peace, and they show up?


At first, I tried to apply my usual over-efforting approach to the law of attraction. That was a little counterproductive, to say the least.

Trying and being peaceful don’t exactly co-exist. It was kind of like using a flame-thrower to lightly toast a slice of bread. A wee bit of overkill.  On the very rare occasion, I have a tendency to do that. (Insert husband rolling his eyes, here.)

In case you’re thinking of trying the over-efforting law of attraction approach, let me assure you right now that it is a giant waste of time.

I quickly saw that I’d need a whole different approach to manifesting. This coincided with me realizing I’d need a whole different approach to life. I was experiencing a level of fatigue akin to what one might feel after swimming across the English Channel, twice. I imagine, anyway.

My over-efforting was taking its toll. You wouldn’t think mental over-efforting would be so exhausting, but it truly is. I was trying to think, analyze, and intellectually figure out everything in my life. It was awful.

It was time to start letting my inner wisdom take the lead.

I began to practice trusting my intuition, gut feelings, and instincts. From this was born a completely new way of being. Instead of forcing my mind to work hard, try, and think, think, think, I started the radical practice of lying down and doing nothing.

I started doing nothing first thing every morning. Sometimes I did nothing by lying on the floor and breathing. Other times I did nothing by walking or doing yoga. My only nothing requirement was that it involve a deep awareness of my body, because the body is the conduit for inner wisdom.

For a perfectionist and over-efforter, doing nothing was a really unusual experience. Luckily I was so tired that doing nothing was kind of all I could do. Thus, I stuck with it.

It didn’t take long before interesting things started to happen. Stuff started showing up in my life. As in, things I’d been trying to manifest. In fact, in my state of “who cares” exhaustion, I was pretty much ignoring everything, and pretty much everything was flourishing. (Except, I will admit, my houseplants. I think those need actual water.)

Maybe it was just the visceral learning that happened from this experience, but I started to really catch on. The more I un-tried, the better things worked. It felt a bit like falling backwards on a giant trampoline, arms and legs totally relaxed, and finding it not only supported me, but bounced me delightfully upward.

I used this image (falling back on the trampoline) in my mind anytime I wanted to manifest something. I would fall back into nothing, and ignore whatever I was hoping to manifest. Then, when ideas and inspiration came out of the nothing-ness, I took physical action on them.

This is the interesting twist to slacker manifesting: it’s actually mental slacking more than it is physical slacking. If I want to, say, write a blockbuster blog post or informative ebook, it starts with doing nothing. Then I ignore the project.  Eventually, a slew of ideas flows in, which I write down. I keep up this cycle until one of the ideas is to start actually writing. I physically sit down and write, but everything I need is already there, mentally speaking.  I move my fingers, but my mind is doing nothing. It’s the easiest thing in the world.

I use this approach with everything (albeit not perfectly, mind you! Sometimes I forget and start over-efforting).

  • Do nothing.
  • Ignore it.
  • Listen for ideas.
  • Take action on the ideas.

It’s the recipe for instant manifestation. I have learned not to put one ounce of mental or physical effort into anything until I have done nothing, ignored it, and listened for ideas. Yes, this is the exact opposite of everything we learned in school.

Recently, I’ve really gotten the hang of this. It’s the who-cares, whatever school of manifesting. It’s strangely relaxed. I’m always quite delighted when I do manifest things, but I’m also oddly detached. I feel like a partner with the universe, which always delivers amazing and completely unexpected treats with each new manifestation.

For example, I slacker manifested around a group coaching exercise I was leading a few weeks ago. I wanted it to be really fun and useful, so I applied the slacker techniques. Did nothing. Ignored it. Listened.

On the day of the group exercise, I took action on all of the ideas that had surfaced. I felt pleasantly calm. I trusted that the ideas would lead somewhere great. My mind did absolutely nothing. In the end, several people went away weeping, laughing, and utterly transformed from this experience. I could not have figured out, planned, or orchestrated anything that happened during that group coaching exercise. I was just the listener and the doer of what the brilliant universe concocted. I was blown away, too, and I was the facilitator.

I have this experience pretty much daily – sometimes in small ways, other times in big ways. I am happily manifesting all kinds of fantastic things both in my personal and business life. I’m having so much relaxed fun with this that I plan to continue slacking into the indefinite future.
Abigail Steidley, slacker manifester

You can find Abigail doing nothing, ignoring things, and listening for ideas regularly at www.
She is currently ignoring a new website design and giant new audio product about the mind-body connection, due out … well, whenever the universe says so.

  • July 27, 2011
  • Sher bear says:

    Loved this post as well. Just wanted to mention that Eckhardt Tolle’s book THE POWER OF NOW has been very helpful in terms of how to actually ‘do nothing’ successfully.
    He talks about being in the moment, in the ‘NOW’, and ways to do this. Interestingly, he says that ‘when you become friendly to life (i.e. slacker manifesting) life becomes friendly to you.
    I love how the truth of it all flows together!!
    Love your site and blog.

  • kim says:

    LOVE it…reminds me of a scene from the movie “What About Bob, you have to check it out! Talk about trying too hard. Enjoy.
    Wake up, Bob! COCK-A-DOODLE-DO! (From “What About Bob?”) – YouTube

  • Mitch says:

    This is fantastic. And it makes so much sense! And at the same time, no sense at all, but I totally get it. LOL It also sounds like a huge relief. I, too, have applied over-trying to LOA, and it’s exhausting and ineffective. I see some serious slacking off in my near future.

  • mike says:

    Brilliant article, just come across it whilst research one of my favourite films Slacker (1991). Hit the nail on the head with the over-effecting philosophy! Brilliant stuff

  • I LOVE all these comments from fellow tryers and natural slackers! Man, you natural slackers have NO idea how lucky you are to be born with that talent. 🙂
    Donna Rae – the funniest thing is that I used to try, try, try to lose weight. I would run, lift weights, etc. and diet like mad. My body HATED it. Then, I picked up the slacker idea. Now, I just do exactly what my body wants for exercise. Some days that is a walk, some days it’s nothing, other days it’s a visit to the gym. I find I am quite fit from this, and I do very little hard cardio (almost NONE) and mostly things like gentle weight training, yoga, and walking. I also just listen to what my body wants to eat, and when. I TOTALLY slack off and do not try any kind of “diet” now. I am effortlessly at my natural weight. My advice? Stop trying, stop expending energy, and just ask your body what it truly wants each day. (If it says an entire bag of chips, then you know you are likely BS-ing yourself a bit, so that’s when you say, hmmm….why do I want to override my body with comfort/emotion eating? What am I feeling, emotionally? That plus the above idea is the TICKET!)
    I’d suggest you are likely expending WAY too much MENTAL energy. Just let your body be your guide, and let it guide you to what it likes to do, eat, and weigh. Trust it – it’s smart!

  • Matty says:

    Hey Jeannette and Abigail! First time commenting here, but I love this blog!
    I love this post, and this way of doing things. I get so much done when I try to do nothing. I have difficulty sticking with it a lot of times though, and often find myself picking up the oars again. Social conditioning I guess. It kinda goes in cycles, but I’m moving towards being a full time slacker:)
    I’ve had “I’m only sleeping” by The Beetles in my head all morning after reading this;
    “Everybody seems to think I’m lazy
    I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy
    Running everywhere at such a speed
    ’til they find, there’s no neeeeed”
    Written by John Lennon, who was kinda on the creative side. A little bit:)

  • Donna Rae Riddel says:

    I love, love, love your slacker attitude. I see myself in so much of what you wrote. Although I am quite good at manifesting most things, the issue of my physical body weight is one that I’m expending an enormous amount of energy (not calories) with no obvious result. Any ideas? Thank you and keep the good words coming.
    Love, Light and Blessings,
    Donna Rae

  • Katy DeBra says:

    Absolutely fantastic post! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have been doing this more and more, but sometimes the “over-efforter” me still chimes in with how “unproductive” I’m being. So old school at this point!! I’ve been wanting to jump into this pool, and there you are in the water saying: Come in on! The water is warm, feels great!
    I also love the image of falling back on the trampoline. I spent a lot of time as a kid actually doing that. I often took homework breaks on the trampoline and returned to study very refreshed. Thanks for reminding me of that. May be time to get an actual trampoline back into my life….

  • Fawn says:

    Abigail, this is a secret of creatives! I’m soooooooo excited to apply this to the law of attraction because I do this ALL THE TIME.
    I’m a graphic designer and have found my best work comes from:
    1. Starting a project
    2. Getting time away from the project
    3. Allowing the ideas and solutions bubble up from my subconscious (or the universe?)
    4. Complete project with ideas informed by the time spent on steps 2 & 3.
    Thank you for this!

  • Nicole says:

    Thank you Abigail! This is so awesome, and I completely agree! For me, it seems like the projects that are forced into creation do not do as well. This line of thinking is complete alignment with your slacker philosophy.

  • Jordan says:

    This post came at a perfect time! I’ve been slacking–but not a good slacking–lately with my manifestations (more like not keeping a positive focus). Now I’m ready to slack positively! haha love it 🙂 Thanks for the breakdown.

  • LivingbytheLOA says:

    Wow! Just wow. Loved this. Now heading over to your blog to read more…

  • Nikky says:

    I loved this post.
    It reminds me of this video that Ruby G just sent me.
    You see as I understand when you stop being the observer and just relax and do nothing then the universe sends you so many Ideas and possibilities that you would not have even thought of otherwise. Its like the electrons that display a different pattern on the board when observed as compared to when they are not observed.
    So this philosophy of just doing nothing really resonates with me.
    Thank you Jeannette and Abigail.

  • Jessica Earl says:

    Yay!! Makes me think of some phrase/quote that said something about “showing up” in life. I got that from your post “Just show up!” Meaning, no effort.
    I am known to flip flop between the two ends of the spectrum: over-efforting vs. effortless! So I can relate to everything you share!
    Thanks for this! I’m inspired!

  • Sensuality Coach Lisa says:

    Whoo hoo!!! Great article Abigail! As a fellow-former-over-efforter (well…still INTENDING the “former” part!)…I am SO on-board with this approach!!
    In fact, I think this has inspired me to add an entire new section to The Art of Deliberate Sensuality, aptly called, Sensual Slacking! Hehe…;)
    Thanks for the encouragement – and yes, SLACKERS UNITE!!
    Sensuality Coach Lisa

  • Laura Gates says:

    OMG I love this! I want to do this! I am yearning for a slacker manifesting life! Just reading this makes me feel the need to lay on the floor. SO much effort has worn me out and when things show up, it’s usually the things I put no effort into.
    OK gotta go lie down now…

  • Joy says:

    FANTASTIC!!! Totally explains why I get writer’s block every time I start doing, thinking, doing, thinking, doing, doing, when working on my dissertation! Also, totally explains why paragraph after paragraph popped into my head as soon as I woke up from the NAP I decided to take yesterday! It’s very unlike me to ‘slack’, but now that I see how it works … Hello Fellow Slackers! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Joy, Slacker in the Makin’!
    Thanks for this fantastic post! 🙂

  • Julie Masters says:

    Wow Abigail! I feel like my entire life just got explained and validated! I’m a slacker (even effortless intentions–LOVE THAT :))and what wonderful company to be in! It’s hard to believe that you used to over-effort!
    Thank you so much for this great post!
    Julie Masters

  • I love all these comments, you guys! Wahoo! Slackers unite! 🙂 Yes, I do set an intention that is clear, but honestly I don’t really think about that anymore. I know what I want, and when I don’t know what I want, I stop and listen, which reveals to me what I want. 🙂 So I actually see it more as listening to my inner wisdom/the universe and then letting intention flow from there. If that makes sense. It actually makes the intention part effortless, too! We wouldn’t want any hard work to slip in anywhere in Slacker Manifesting! 🙂

  • Julie B says:

    I love this post… read it again and get such ease just reading this! And then an Abe blurb popped up on my desk today:
    The statement that we like to make that’s very powerful is this: “When you are looking at the problem you’re resistant to the solution because when you’re looking at the problem you’re vibrating there.” So the Energy of the solution cannot come to you. It wants to because within you there is the desire, but it cannot come to you because your vibration of resistance is there because of your attention to the problem.
    Duh!!! Have a good day everyone!

  • Noel says:

    Yes! Yes yes yes. I find the harder I fight a certain problem, the more tangled up in it I get. We really do know the answers, we just have to learn to be quiet and listen as they present themselves. I hope we continue to shift in this direction, because as our work changes more into knowledge work vs. productive work (in which you make a specific product that can be weighed, measured, and valued), we need to have this mindset. Knowledge work cannot be put into a box and set by certain parameters, as Alexander Kjerulf says so well here:

  • LovelyMe says:

    Abigail! This is wonderful! This definitely makes sense to me, and I feel like I really need to apply this to myself, because I get overwhelmed and worried.
    You are really onto something!

  • Sue says:

    This is just want I needed to hear. FABULOUS! Love the feeling of the trampoline bouncing me back up, what a fun image, so easy to feel. I too try toooooo hard mentally, it’s usually what sends me to bed.
    The universe KNOWS our intentions and desires, so, that’s done……… Just fall back LOVE IT!
    Thanks a bunch!

  • Julie B says:

    Love this! What a great post – thank you Abigal! I so over-effort things. What a refreshing perspective and one I will adopt… I felt much more relaxed and had a nice big exhale “aaahhhhhhhh” reading this!
    Tell me please… am I right to assume you first set a clear intention about “X” and then you relax, slack, and let inspiration come? Where does the whole intention/decision part come into play?
    Thank you again Abigal – this is a great (and very witty) piece.
    All the best! JB

  • Kati says:

    Wow! This is a very, very, VERY good post!!! I’m soooo gonna focus on slacking from now on! =)) Brilliant!! Thank you! ♥

  • Summer Jessee says:

    Love the ‘husband rolling eyes comment’… the ‘perfectionist and over-efforter, doing nothing is an unusual experience’ (SO true)… the ‘houseplants needing water’… hahahaha can’t they just water themselves (I have like 25 plants so I know how you feel)… ‘listening for ideas’… this is what it’s all about, we just have to PAY ATTENTION… also, love your group exercise story. How awesome!
    I was SO over doing it a couple years back and the universe told me to take a journey to the other side of the world, so I did ( and it was amazing, eye-opening, life-changing, etc. Now the universe is telling me to do it again (sometime soon, perhaps South America this time where I can enjoy a new culture w/ my fam and slack off daily)… but we are dealing with a “over-thinking husband” so this will take time to manifest. In the meantime, I will ignore it and slack off drinking wine, making yummy food, and letting my laundry pile up on the couch:
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Abigail 🙂 We slackers need to stick together!!!

  • Elisabeth says:

    I absolutely love this post!
    When you talk about the slacker way, it makes me think that you are totally detached and not even worried about the HOW.
    Over-efforting was my way for a long time. No more. I have found my manifesting take off by focusing on feeling good and having fun which is so slacker! =)
    Thanks for this post!

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