There’s (at least) one reason I walk down 21st Street between 9th and 10th Avenue with my morning coffee whispering the word ‘Manifest, manifest, manifest’ to myself as I look at the townhouses. But the main instigator is that I recently read through one particularly omnipresent little orange book. Roxie Nafousi’s best-selling and social media-famous self-help guide, ‘Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life,’ has become an accessory of sorts, with her fans including Bella Hadid, Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Shanina Shaik, and Jay Shetty. Despite the dizzying success of her aforementioned book and a follow-up, ‘Manifest: Dive Deeper,’ life wasn’t always so chill and zen for Nafousi. In fact, having struggled with her fair share of personal chaos and harmful drug dependency in her 20s, she was just the person to put pen to paper and help her generation get a handle on their own hopes, goals, aspirations, and dreams. Having seen the way that manifestation turned her own life around, the mom-of-one has been on a mission to spread the word. Notebooks and pens at the ready, class is in session!
What kind of kid were you, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
I went through many phases as a kid but I was always academic. I enjoyed learning and being in class, and I actually always loved writing; essays were my thing. But I actually really wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger!
What were the early days of your career like? Were you satisfied with where life was taking you?
I had really just discovered and understood manifesting as I began my career, so I was full of excitement and motivation. Manifesting gave me so much hope and self-belief, and so many tools that enabled me to step outside my comfort zone and create opportunities for myself. I remember the beginning as being the most exhilarating time, because everything was new. Whether it was my first talk or a first mention in press. Those firsts always felt so special. Even when I was told no, or I faced rejection, I wasn’t phased or put off by it because I saw it as a ‘test from the universe’ (Step 4 in my 7 Steps to Manifesting). I honestly think if I didn’t have my seven steps to manifesting, I wouldn’t have navigated that time with so much drive and excitement.
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What were some initial steps you took to discovering more about the power of manifestation?
I immersed myself in all things self-development. Manifesting is really the umbrella of self-development, so anything I listened to that had to do with self-help or healing, was also actually about manifesting. I read books, listened to podcasts, watched documentaries, and spent hours on YouTube watching inspirational videos.
When you became more passionate and committed to manifestation, and found that it worked for you, were you always considering it as a career or how did that come about?
Not at all! At the time I was doing a small advice column on Instagram just helping people in general with their daily dilemmas. I wanted to be an inspirational speaker, but I didn’t have manifesting in mind at that point. The first workshop I did was ’self-love.’ Then, I said to my Instagram audience, ‘I’ve been doing this thing called manifesting and it’s changed my life, shall I do a workshop on it?’ They said yes and so I thought, ‘Ok I’ll put it into 7 steps for the workshop.’ That’s all I was thinking about at the time. But when I saw the effect the steps had on the lives of those that attended, I knew I had to spread the word on it. I kept hosting manifesting webinars over lockdown, along with other webinars such as Self-Love, Relationships, Body & Mind. Then, in 2021, I decided it was time to write my book and I knew I wanted it to be on my manifesting steps.
Take us back to the moment where the penny dropped about what this next chapter for you could be like.
It’s a tough question actually, but I do remember one particular moment. The orange book wasn’t released yet, it was due to come out on 5th January 2022, and on New Year’s Eve, I got a DM from a lady called Rach @ms_rach. She sent me a picture of her holding a stack of my orange books that she found in a shop in SINGAPORE! I didn’t know that Singapore was going to stock the book, let alone release it early! She said she had wiped the entire shelf to give the books to her friends after she began reading it in the shop and was unable to put it down. Before that, I had no idea how that book was going to be received or if anyone at all would read it. But when I read that, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this book might just go global.’
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We’re intrigued about the process of writing a book! How did you find penning your first best-seller? Did it come easy?
Writing a book is, without a doubt, the most challenging thing I have ever done. I had no idea before I started. I thought it would be like writing essays or writing an article, which I did a lot of. But I totally underestimated it. I had told my publishers I could do it in eight weeks not knowing what I was in for. I sat at my kitchen desk and wrote night and day, over weekends, and the pressure was a lot. The first few chapters I wrote were complete sh*t and it was a lot of back and forth and self-editing. There was no help on the writing process, which I didn’t expect. But I was equally very grateful for the opportunity to write my first book. After I handed in the manuscript I got really sick—I think I burnt myself out! I vowed never to write a book again, but after seeing how it was all so totally worth it, I did it all over again a year later!
What kind of rituals help you focus, when you have a big task at hand, like a major speaking appearance or writing a book?
With writing a book, I learnt when my brain performed at its best, and that helped me. For example, I know I write best first thing in the morning—they are crucial hours. So my morning workouts move to lunchtime as I prioritize that time for writing instead. I also take regular little mind breaks, such as a quick walk. For speaking appearances, I use affirmations and Breathwork a lot to calm me down and get me feeling excited and motivated.
Apart from manifestation, what are some other ‘wellness-adjacent’ non-negotiables for you?
Sleep!! I need eight hours as often as I can! Also eating well, drinking enough water, taking my daily supplements, exercising, and drinking functional mushroom tea (I use DIRTEA). The basics really, but being consistent is key!
How has social media helped you in the years since your books came out? What does having that community mean to you?
I wouldn’t be doing any of this without my community. I write these books for them, and when I hear how it’s helped them, it keeps me going daily. While they might tell me I help them, they help me. I’ve been through some seriously dark times, and sharing it with my community was such a huge part of my healing process. They are there for me in the good times and the bad. When I do my webinars and I see the women supporting each other and making friends, it is the best feeling in the world! Life can be lonely for a lot of us, and bringing people together is a gift.
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Speaking of—tell us about your new webinar series!
Ah, I’m so excited for these! So, whenever I do workshops and webinars, the Q&As are my favorite part of them. I love hearing from people and seeing other people in the audience also joining in, giving their advice or support, or relating to the experience. I think it brings the community together, it shows us that we are all going through so many similar experiences and we aren’t alone. The Ask Roxie – LIVE Q&A is going to happen every month so we can meet more regularly, and I’ll answer as many questions as I can, plus guide people through a meditation at the end. I can’t wait!
If someone told you they were skeptical about manifestation, what would you tell them?
Read my book 😉
For someone who is in a low place right now and trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel, what advice would you offer?
Everything always passes, and after every rock bottom there is a reward. You will reach a new level of happiness at the other side of this—I promise. Make small changes to your daily routine and then read, listen, and learn. Slowly, you will start to feel yourself again. Trust the process!
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Honestly, I don’t know. I’m at a point where I’m not manifesting ‘more,’ as I am so happy with everything that is happening and how far I’ve come. And I have some exciting projects coming out in the next few months, so I’m just enjoying the ride and letting things unfold as they’re supposed to!
Sitting down with Oprah!! How do we make this happen?
Editor’s note: Purchase Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life here
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