Difficulties prepare you for victory. Failure prepares you for success. Poverty prepares you for prosperity. Ignorance prepares you for truth. God is the one who sends whatever it is you need to be prepared."

-Iyanla Vanzant

The answer is yes and no. From a mystical perspective, the answer is yes, but in our day to day lives, it is very often no, due to the number of karmic blockages and lessons we need to get through in order to evolve. Call them soul lessons.We incarnate to learn soul lessons and to evolve our soul within an earthly plain of experience. We choose certain circumstances in our lives, for example being born premature, being born blind, losing a job (etc.), to learn and evolve. We choose our parents, and the type of circumstances, timing and community we would like to be born into. We choose major events in our lives, opportunities, disappointments, and tragedies. Within this experience, there is a range of possibilities. We can always choose how we respond to our experiences. We can always be free, whatever the events of our lives.

Even in prison, we can be completely free spirits. Nobody or thing can deprive us of that. We can choose which type of job we have, and where we go on holiday. Some choices are already made for us, some choices are up to us, but always it is the quality of experience that we can actively create. However, because there are existing structures and events we need to experience, we cannot ask for things and receive them willy-nilly. We can choose how we feel, and how we respond, and our emotions will affect our experiences. In fact, shifting our thoughts and feelings can have a profound affect on our lives. This is a soul lesson though, which we have to engage with, and master.It is not as simple as manifesting exactly what your ego demands. People have it all wrong, as they are serving their egos when they say “I want I want I want”, and go on to describe their desired shopping list of items – a tall, handsome man who loves them unconditionally, the latest car/phone/xxx, a house overlooking the ocean, etc.

That being said, anything is possible - and dreams are there for a reason. Active meditation brings your dreams and desires closer. But is not magic. Manifesting what your ego wants requires action, and circumstances to meet opportunity, and it needs to be a part of your soul desire and have God’s blessing. The ego is not the entirety of your experience, and when you die what will you take with you? New age egotism is still egotism.

All the great spiritual teachers have highlighted living a life of service and a life of peace. When you serve people, your soul rejoices. That is the ultimate reward – you will feel great joy in the moment and it will be a joy that lasts forever – this is what you take with you to Heaven. Helping people makes you at peace, for what could you have done greater?

The missing link in many people’s healing journeys at the moment is the lack of transcendence – the lack of giving up the need to know, the lack of prayer, the lack of forgiveness, the lack of giving up reason and meaning (the admission that although everything has meaning and purpose, you may never know what those reasons are, and does it matter?), the lack of happiness and rejoicing, and the lack of living in the now (being present), not the lack of manifesting. It is the need for stillness that most souls crave most in our modern circumstances.

Stillness provides an even keel for your soul, a sense of rest and solace, and dwelling place for your soul to gain sustenance.

Manifesting is the active side of being, which requires getting in touch with the energy and flow of life, and embracing change. These are all positive qualities. Yet, when we use these tools to focus only on massaging our egos and producing material results, we lose touch of our soul, and the soul of life. The mystical tradition teaches us that serving people is for our highest good. Living a life of service is what makes us happy.

This is not to say that money or fast cars are “bad” – they are wonderful. They are not the only things, and if that’s all we think we need to be happy, then they are false Gods. Like anything else money is just another energy form. When we use it to expand our service, imagine the consequences. The more money you have, the more difference you can make to others, the more you can move physical reality, the more you can help people (not to say that the Mother Theresa’s and Nelson Mandela’s of this world cannot make an enormous contribution without money – don’t let a lack of money stop you). Oprah Winfrey is an example of this principle in motion.

Take home message is this – life is not just about acquiring accessories for the ego. p>