Manifesting a Blue Feather
Have you ever heard of the blue feather test? Author Richard Bach is credited with this test in which he tells participants to think of a blue feather. "In your mind's eye", he says, "notice the color, its weight, and its beauty. Do this for 3 minutes, holding it out in front of you. Now, forget about the blue feather. Go about your normal daily routine." Bach's claim is that you will encounter a blue feather in 3 to 48 hours. It might be on the ground, tied to a gift, or even painted on the side of a bus. And remarkably, it seems to happen for just about everyone who attempts the test by imagining a blue feather and then forgetting about it.
Sounds remarkable, doesn't it? What if I told you the reason the test works is backed by science?
The human brain takes in 11 billion bits of information a second. But the conscious mind can only process a mere 40 to 50 bits per second.
The brain has a built-in filtering system so that our conscious mind isn't overloaded by so much information. Called the Reticular Activating System, it filters out information that has no relevance to you. But where does it get these filter settings? Our past, of course! The brain is a record of the past. Every event, emotion, experience, and reaction we've ever had dictates how we see and interact with the world. Without any new filter settings, the brain shows us evidence that usually confirms our lived experience to that point.
But if you give it NEW information-- for instance, about a blue feather-- your brain will show you the evidence of the new information. So, the test-takers didn't see blue feathers because they lived in an area with a lot of bluebirds. They saw them because the brain was doing its job!
A real-world example of the Reticular Activating System at work is when you've been shopping for a new vehicle. Let's say you've settled on a Black Jeep Wrangler. Suddenly, everywhere you look there are black Wranglers! Did Jeep's assembly lines pump out more black Wranglers this year? No. Your brain is showing you evidence or confirmation of your decision.
So how does this relate to manifesting?
Many of us go through life, day in and day out, with the past as our brain's only filtering criteria. But if you clarify what you want to see more of in your life-- A better job, a larger home, stronger friendships-- your brain will get to work filtering billions of bits of information to show you evidence that those things are available to you.
This is why vision boards work so well. If you do the process well, spending time identifying what you truly desire and how you want to feel without attachment or resistance, you essentially give your brain a roadmap to your dream life! Just like Google Maps, it needs to know your desired destination. And although there may be more than one viable route to get there, it will set you on the course!
How much time this year will you devote to updating your filtering system now that you know about the blue feather test??