Today I'm going to discuss alpha reflections and how they relate to your intentions and manifestations.
I've seen these referred to as "driftwood". I don't think that's the best term for it, frankly, because it carries the connotation of something that should be ignored or discarded, and that isn't always the case. I like "alpha reflection" better because it's at least neutral.
An alpha reflection is something you receive or notice in your experience that either almost matches what you asked for, or has some connection to your intention in some other way. If you ask the universe to become financially free and independent, an alpha reflection could be some money that you find on the street. It's the universe's way of saying your intention's been received. It often comes within a week of you setting your intention. I've had several of mine come within 24 hours.
Now, when an alpha reflection is almost what you want but not quite what you want, that's often when people get tripped up. An example of these could be a job that is suited for you in every way but it doesn't pay you quite enough, or a potential partner who is just what you asked for except they're married, or coming out of a messy divorce, or not ready to be exclusive with you. Many people settle and take these things anyway, because they mistake the alpha reflection for their manifestation, even if it doesn't fit the criteria they indicated in their intention. (This is why it is ever so important to write your intentions down!) But why would someone take something less than what they asked for, unless they truly didn't remember what it was? I think many people who work with this model still have problems believing they can have better than less than what they desire. Or sometimes they think they must have messed up their intention somehow, and so they received only partially satisfying results, which leads them to believe they'll never master intention-manifestation.
Then there's the other scenario. A person intends something, experiences an alpha reflection (though they may not know that's what it is), sees that it's not what they asked for and lets it go, or sees how it's a small little something that's related to their intention and accepts it. Then they see no signs or indication of their real manifestation, for perhaps weeks (or even months) on end. It's at this point that they begin to doubt their intentional abilities. That's when they start wondering what they're doing wrong, getting anxious and attached, and concerned that they're not able to "let go" sufficiently. (There are probably more of these types of questioning, doubting posts on PI than any other type of post!) And all of this suffering is needless, really, because all they're experiencing is what others have referred to as "the calm before the storm". It's normal for there to be a significant gap between the alpha reflections and the manifestations, especially the newer you are at I-M. Ironically it's at this point that most people give up and try something else (a different method or re-doing their intention, or saying "to hell with I-M" altogether), when really, as long as they spend this period feeling good about their intention and life in general, it's bound to come.
So, to sum up, here is some advice:
1) Write your intentions down.
2) Notice your alpha reflections. Feel good when you receive them, even if they don't match your desires. It means that which does is coming.
3) Maintain your joy in the in-between period.
4) Learn how your mind works. Experiment with this model! It's the only way you'll "get it" enough to feel confident in your ability to create.