“Once you have planted this seed in your imagination, do not uproot it by being anxious about how it will be accomplished. Each seed has its own appointed time. Some seeds take a few days; others a little longer. Feel confident that what you have planted will appear in your world.”
– Neville Goddard

Manifestation takes time and work. While it’s far more fun to talk about all the good things that happen once you’ve manifested something, the truth is, the beginning of the process is far more important. This is when you roll up your sleeves to plant seeds and place your trust in the process.

It’s also the part of the process where most people are discouraged or impatient. How do you build trust in the universe? How do you remember Neville Goddard’s words, “Each seed has its appointed time”?

The first thing to do is get extremely clear about what you want to manifest. In other words, make sure you are selecting the correct seed to plant. When you’re generating your intentions or goals, try as hard as you can to avoid words like “want” or “need” and use language like “choose” and “have.” For example, instead of saying “I need to publish a book,” say “I have published a book.” It might feel odd to talk about something that hasn’t happened, but this is a critical shift in thinking at the beginning of your manifestation process.

Once you’re clear, it’s a good idea to make sure your figurative soil is in good order. This means you need to consider the things that will block your seeds from growing. Are there any habits you need to leave behind? Maybe there’s a relationship that isn’t serving you anymore. Whatever it is, be sure that you’ve prepared you’ve tended to your fields before moving into the next phase.

Now it’s time to plant—getting your hands in the dirt to create your future. The planting process can take many forms. Visualization is very powerful. You can spend a few minutes each day visualizing a scene in which your goal has already occurred. You can also journal from this place as well, or even say things out loud that reflect your goal.

Vision boards can also build positive thoughts around manifesting your wish. Cut pictures out of magazines or use online options like Pinterest to build your board. Don’t forget to go back to it from time to time to tune your mind back to manifestation.

Since spring is upon us, you can also take inspiration from the rainclouds and sprouting greenery. Pick up a pot, soil, and seeds to plant. Keep the pot in a place you’ll see every day. This is a great reminder that even though you can’t see your progress, important growth is happening beneath the surface—much like seeds grow strong and healthy in the soil before breaking through.

You’ve gotten clear about what you want to manifest and planted the seeds. But what if nothing happens? The best thing you can do for yourself is to alleviate your worry and frustration as best as you can.

Meditation, as always, is key to centering yourself and clearing your mind. A walking meditation that takes you outside and around all the germinating and blooming plants is a perfect way to find your breath and remind yourself that beautiful things take time.

Exercise is also a great way to work out frustration and get your blood flowing. Don’t forget self-care practices like stretching, drinking water, and taking breaks to read a book or catch up on your favorite TV show. Growth takes energy and if you’re not tending to yourself, it’s easier to get upset.

And if you are feeling really frustrated, don’t force it. It’s always okay to let yourself wallow for a short time; in fact, it can help reset your mind to come back to the manifestation process refreshed and recommitted. Allow yourself to feel your feelings then return to the work.

During this planting and growing time, be sure to eat enough and get lots of rest. It’s also a good idea to find “fertilizer” for your mind and spirit. This could be inspirational books or podcasts as well as creative outlets like drawing, singing, or dancing. Don’t worry about whether you’re good or not; the goal is nourishing your spirit.

And don’t forget to celebrate forward momentum. For most manifestation goals, there are many steps on the way to bringing the goal into your life. For example, if your intention is to manifest more romantic love, take time to congratulate yourself on a good date, even if the relationship didn’t go anywhere. You’re a step closer toward where you want to be. Plants don’t sprout from the ground fully grown.

Enjoy the process—every step along the way—and remember every seed has its “appointed time.”