Shani Silver
Aug 9 · 9 min read

Your subconscious would like a word with you.

“Hi Shani, Thanks so much for thinking of us for this. Unfortunately it’s not the best fit for us, so we’ll have to pass this time. Best of luck with the piece, though!”

The stories I read in Lacy Phillips’ private Facebook group typically end the same way: “This shit works.”

People say it after turning down a job offer for too little money and getting the exact salary they want through an offer that comes in a week later. Or they’ll really want a new yoga mat and a month later they’ll get one for free in a swag bag, things like that. I wonder how long I should wait before I use the word “manifestation.” I don’t want to lose you.

Lacy Phillips is a manifestation coach who offers workshops online. It’s a simple premise: You pay for her workshops, you do the work inside them, and then you manifest everything you want into your life. Her website is called To Be Magnetic. And while I lived 36 years as a weapons-grade skeptic, I immediately liked the sound of that.

To be clear: I believe in ghosts and hauntings and I’m almost genuinely sold on the wizarding world of Harry Potter but for some reason woo-woo shit never tracked. I had a hard time thinking crystals were good for anything other than decoration and “The Secret” always seemed to good to be true. Vision boards felt like adult collage. Then one day, someone read one of my columns on Refinery29 and emailed me, saying she thought I should check out Lacy Phillips. I read the word “manifestation,” rolled my eyes, shut my laptop, and went on about my life. For three days.

There is no logical reason why I opened that email again, the closest thing I’ve come to an explanation is that I was really tired of being a cynical, jaded asshole. I wanted to not only have hope for my future, but to act like I did, too. Either that or we all have “why the hell not” moments and this was one of mine. I clicked the link and there was Lacy, telling me that everything I wanted to have was possible, everything I wanted to be was possible. And here’s why I gave her my credit card number: She told me I was allowed to have all the negative thoughts I want.

Lacy’s premise centers around manifesting the things we want in our lives from our subconscious—not our conscious—minds. So take that “think positive” shit and neti pot it out of your head. Think positive all you want. Your subconscious literally has a mind of its own, and when it comes to manifesting the life you want, its the one in charge.

Our subconscious self worth is everything we picked up from ages 0–14 that shaped who we are today. These experiences potentially pushed us further and further away from our authentic selves, shrinking our self worth so that we could stay safe and accepted in our families, friend groups, and society. Every memory taught us something, whether we realize it or not, and all of those memories are looping in our subconscious, manifesting what’s happening in our lives. I for one was terrified of this concept, given the bullying. Does adult me still subconsciously operate like an unlikable, emotionally abused twelve year old? Yikes.

Even if I do, Lacy’s whole idea is that we can reprogram, or “fix” those memories, changing our subconscious looping, increasing our subconscious self worth, thereby manifesting into our lives everything we want. If you’re still reading, I get the skepticism—believe me. But this time last year I lived in a shitty apartment, had a dead-end job that I’d lose a month later, had nothing professionally or personally to look forward to, and in general felt like I couldn’t see my own purpose in being here, and couldn’t see a future that I wanted. None of those things are true today.

When we are our authentic selves, when our self worth is high, we become magnetic—the things we want come into our lives. So by reprogramming what’s constantly circulating in our subconscious that we picked up as kids, we increase our self worth, and increase our magnetism. Then we manifest what we want. And if you told me I’d type this paragraph exactly one year ago I’d have told you to put your bullshit back where you found it.

When I first watched a video on her site, Lacy told me it was okay if I had negative thoughts, because my thoughts have nothing to do with what’s manifesting in my life. Did you hear what I just said? My “attitude” or the negativity I couldn’t help but seethe after 11 years of online dating and 11 years of horrific treatment in startup jobs and a lifetime of feeling like society’s shlamazel wasn’t the reason good things weren’t coming to me. So everyone telling me to just think positive or nothing good will ever happen can go eat a dick. I manifest from my subconscious mind, not my conscious thoughts, so my conscious curmudgeonry has nothing to do with why I don’t have a book deal yet. Middle school might have a hand in it though.

The easiest way I can explain it is this: Imagine if you were eight years old and you told your parents you wanted to be a sculptor. You always loved playing with clay and play-doh, and you blurted out at dinner one night your genuine, honest desire. Your parents completely negated this, telling you artists never make money. They weren’t harming you, they weren’t doing anything “bad,” but now your eight year old brain now has a memory locked inside it that’s repeating to itself over and over, “artists never make money, artists never make money.” Subconsciously, it’s still in there, even if you grew up to be a sculptor anyway. If we manifest from our subconscious minds, how much money do you think you’re going to earn if you have a subconscious belief that artists are broke?

Don’t believe me? During one Shabbat dinner with my family I said out loud that I wanted to be a writer. My grandfather said “Writers don’t make money. You’re going to be a doctor, or you’re going to be a lawyer.” I stopped wanting to be a writer. Until I became a lawyer. I couldn’t keep a job as a lawyer to save my life, was profoundly miserable, and then became a writer anyway. Since I’ve begun Lacy’s work, I’ve taken my writing career a step further by building a freelance business where I am able to support myself well, and am currently working on manifesting work and money to do much more than simply support myself. I am a writer, and I am not broke. I had a word with my subconscious and we’ve come to an understanding. Would have been nice to avoid the law school debt along the way, though.

For me it’s not about manifesting “things.” It’s odd, but the reasons why I started this have turned into nothing more than awesome side effects. The real reason to look into Lacy Phillips is to like who you are as a person.

Seven months ago, I started doing Lacy Phillips’ workshops almost daily. I had never been able to meditate before, was never able to work on any painful childhood memories before. Just the opposite, I considered myself accomplished and emotionally evolved because I never let anything that happened to me as a kid dictate who I am now. But my subconscious and I had never met—and everything I thought I was “over” was still down there. Many things still are. But just seven months of this work have shown me what self worth really feels like, and you guys…holy shit.

Below is a list of things that were true before I started:

  • I was unhappy
  • I was settling for low paying freelance jobs because I was terrified more jobs wouldn’t come
  • I spent 11 years on dating apps and never once had a relationship result from them
  • I wanted to create more, and work more, and felt blocked from doing so
  • I lived in the cheapest apartment of anyone I knew, a run-down, amenity-less building where I couldn’t see the sky.
  • I was, in general, in last place. I describe it as always letting the friend I was dining with have the good seat on the booth side, and never asking for it for myself. I was less than everyone around me, in my own mind.

This is a list of things that are true today:

  • I am happy
  • I say no to freelance rates I don’t agree with, and I negotiate up. If clients won’t pay the rates I want, I walk. More jobs keep coming.
  • I deleted all of my dating apps in late January of this year. They’re still gone.
  • With the time I used to spend swiping, I launched a podcast that achieved 20K downloads in its first three months, and there are 499 people in its Facebook group as I type this, who have commented, posted, and reacted over 30,000 times since the group was created on April 8th. My friend who works at Facebook describes this level of engagement as “insane.”
  • I live in a brand-new building with an elevator and I can see sky to the horizon line. This is a big deal in Brooklyn.
  • I say no to things I don’t want to do. I do more things that interest me.
  • I sit wherever the fuck I want.

Lacy’s focus is on repairing subconscious programming that we all picked up in childhood. Experiences big and small that brought us shame, pain, and trauma, pushing us away from our authentic selves as we grow up, because at some point being who we really are was discouraged. By reconnecting with who we are authentically, we subconsciously increase our magnetism, thereby drawing in the things we want to us. It’s a process much like hypnosis that revisits childhood memories and “reprograms” them, together with a few other tools. I revisit old memories, I imagine them differently, and I create a new subconscious loop where I am entirely in my self worth. Essentially, I’m meditating the pain away and I like it. You don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to, I certainly didn’t, but…y’all.

Yes, people flock to her because they want a husband, a better job, a new car, a vintage Louis Vuitton bag — whatever. Manifestation is quite often centered around getting things we want. But I love doing Lacy’s work as it relates to getting what we need — self worth. And I love talking about Lacy’s work, too, because after seven months and a complete life overhaul I would have never undertaken before, I know it’s the damn truth.

In the last seven months, I’ve become a potent negotiator who won’t accept low offers. Someone who says no to things she doesn’t want to do rather than shoulder the burden of the feelings of others by saying yes. I’ve eliminated things that no longer serve me and replaced them with things I enjoy. Sometimes I think it doesn’t sound like much, until I realize I’ve been doing the opposite for two decades. I have a self worth now that I didn’t know was even a thing before. But for my impeccably self-trimmed bangs and I’d be all but unrecognizable to myself and friends. I get it now. I understand that I matter as much as other people — after living 36 years subconsciously believing the opposite.

I want the things, believe me. I want the manifestations that first prompted me to give Lacy $24.99 a month in the first place. And yes, I have a new podcast, a new apartment, and one time I manifested an aisle seat on standby. But even if I never manifested another “thing,” what I’ve gained for sure is a sense of self worth that can’t be undone. A sense of bravery and trust in life itself that can’t be taken from me. And a sense that the future isn’t something I have to fear, but instead an adventure I get to experience. I’d pay her double, if she asked.

My referral code for Lacy’s workshops is here, you’ll get $20 off, and I’ll get a $20 referral credit.

The Pass

Publishing what other editors reject. Show me your noes. Email rejection letters and pitches to thepasspub@gmail.com.

Shani Silver

Written by

NPR called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Author of Refinery29’s “Every Single Day” series, host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

The Pass

The Pass

Publishing what other editors reject. Show me your noes. Email rejection letters and pitches to thepasspub@gmail.com.

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