The Secret did a great service for us all by making the Law of Attraction mainstream. It opened millions of people’s minds to the possibility that they actually can work with the universe to manifest their deepest desires. But it was a movie and it was simplified to make it palatable. Another movie, What the Bleep Do We Know, released in 2004, covered the topic in far more detail. Its extended version, Down the Rabbit Hole, went even further and included interviews that explained some of the science behind the Law of Attraction.
Don’t get me wrong! The Law of Attraction will work no matter what you do. In fact, it is working—24/7—whether you believe it or not. Whether you dismiss it as hooey or faithfully spend twenty minutes every day visualizing a new relationship entering your life, the Law of Attraction is affecting your life all day every day.
It’s very simple really. The Law of Attraction means that whatever things, people, events, opportunities and situations you think about, focus on and feel strongly about, you will attract into your life.
I bet you think you are doing that right? After all, what about those twenty minutes of visualizing the man of your dreams knocking on your door joyfully proclaiming, “I’m here?” If you are spending the rest of your day thinking about how lonely you are and feeling jealous of your happily married friends, you are going to continue to see singleness and loneliness showing up in your life. You see, the feeling part of the equation is the most powerful part of the equation. So if you try to think one way but feel another way, the attraction power of the way you feel will trump the attraction power of your thoughts.
I know, I’ve done it all wrong too. In fact, I still have to be careful. It’s so easy to drop your vigilance and let negative thoughts or worrying thoughts take over.
For example, recently I was talking with a friend about falling. I had fallen a few weeks before and I had a small injury in my shoulder as a result. I was joking about how klutzy I’ve always been and we compared falling stories. I mentioned that I do worry about falling since I’ve had two knee replacements and I expect that it will really hurt if I fall on them. The very next day, as I was stepping up onto a curb, it suddenly became two feet high and I tripped over it. Okay, perhaps it didn’t physically grow two feet but it sure seemed like it. I flew out, sprawling face first, right there in public. Luckily, I didn’t land on my knees but I couldn’t help but remember how focused I’ve been on not ‘falling’, worrying about it and talking about it. Falling being the key word here. So of course I fell. And I know better than that.
A long time ago I wanted to lose some weight, so I bought a poster of a very obese naked woman sitting surrounded by a feast of food and stuffing it into her open mouth. I hung it on the fridge so that every time I was tempted to eat, I’d see it and be repulsed and refrain from eating. Of course, I took it down when I was expecting visitors because it really was a horrendous looking thing. Guess what happened? I continued to eat and I gained weight. Even a new student of the Law of Attraction can see where I was going wrong. I was focusing on my weight and eating rather than on my real goal, which was to be fit and healthy and slim.
Here’s another example that might ring a bell for you. You want to get out of debt. You decide that you want to win a million dollars in the lottery. That will definitely get you out of debt. Every day you close your eyes and recite, “I am getting out of debt” exactly twenty-one times. Yes, I learned that at a seminar. According to that expert, reciting your affirmation exactly twenty-one times is the key. The problem is, that is a bad affirmation. You want your debt to diminish – key word ‘debt’. You wait for some unexpected windfall. You start to doubt and wonder why the Universe isn’t coming through for you. And after a week of affirmations, you wake up late one morning and rush off to work without doing your daily twenty-one and that is the end of that. Sound familiar?
The Law of Attraction does really work. It’s not even hard or complicated. But you do have to understand how it works and work with it. That’s a key piece. The Law of Attraction is really about co-creating your life with the Universe. It’s not all up to the Universe. You can’t just decide what you want and then send an order out to the Universe and wait for it to show up at your door like a parcel from UPS, the Universal Postal Service. You are a partner with the Universe and you have to do your share of the co-creating. You have to actually take some action and do some work on your end too.
Then there’s another key part of the equation that is often forgotten—Allowing. You have to be home when the parcel from the Universe shows up. You don’t know how and when the Universe is going to come through on its end and you have to be patient, trusting, and persistent and learn how to recognize and accept the Universe’s help.
Allowing is the part of the Law of Attraction that I used to have the most trouble remembering and applying. I am what a friend has called an ‘over-eee-er’. When I start to think that things are going sideways and I forget that things always work out as they should, I start to ‘eeeeee’. I go, “Eeeee, why didn’t I get that job?” “Eeeee, what’s that noise in my car engine?” “Eeeeee, what if it rains tomorrow when I have my deck party planned.” What a waste of worry and energy!
And then of course, later when things do work out as they should, I look back and think, “Darn, I did it again!” I wasted so much time and energy worrying about things when I should know by now that it all works out for the best in the end. I have learned that if you relax and trust, stay focused on what you want to happen–the big picture rather than the small details–it really does work out in the end.
Our Universe is not one of uncontrolled chaos. There is an underlying orderliness and purpose and it applies not only to the great big Universe but even to each of us individuals. We are never subject to luck or the whims of fate. There is a reason and a purpose for every turn in our lives. We just may not necessarily know what that reason or purpose is when we are experiencing it. Often it is revealed to us later, when we can appreciate it. But it takes trust to allow it all to unfold as it should.
A few years ago, I presented that point of view in a workshop. One man commented, “Isn’t that just positive thinking; looking for the best in things?” I could tell by the way he said ‘positive thinking’ that he didn’t necessarily see that as being very positive. I asked him, “What kind of thinking would you recommend, if not positive thinking?” He stated, firmly, “Realistic thinking.” However, whether you choose negative or positive thoughts, what you are thinking is going to turn up as your reality. If you choose negative thinking, you will end up with negative reality. If you choose positive thinking, you will find positive reality showing up. So, since I have a choice, I choose the positive.
I choose to believe, when things are difficult and I start to wonder why, that there is a reason and a season for everything and that if I trust and relax, that things really will work out for the best. And that eventually, down the road, I’ll understand why. Does this sound like I’m looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses? Perhaps I am. But like I said, I prefer that to the alternative. I like Susan Bissonette’s words, “An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
There is a Zen koan that I think is the perfect example of the wisdom of trusting and allowing the Universe to unwind as it should.
“A man lived in a small mountain village. He had a son that he loved more than life itself. He also had a horse. He was proud of the horse and loved it and cared for it. But one day the horse ran away.
As the man sat on his stool outside of his hut, the neighbours came by and said, “How sad that your horse ran away.” And he replied, “Maybe.”
Then his son went out looking for the horse and he found it. It had teamed up with a beautiful stallion and they were out galloping over the mountains and enjoying their freedom. The son captured the horse and the stallion and brought them both home.
As the man sat on his stool outside of his hut, the neighbours came by and said, “How wonderful that you have this beautiful new stallion and your horse. You are a very fortunate man.” And he replied, “Maybe.”
Then as his son was trying to train the stallion, he had an accident and fell off the horse and broke his legs very badly so that he was bedridden for quite a long time.
As the man sat on his stool outside of his hut, the neighbours came by and said, “Oh how sad about your son. You must be so upset over the accident. What bad luck.” And he replied, “Maybe.”
As the man continued to sit on his stool outside his hut, a group of soldiers came by. A war had started and they were coming to draft all the able-bodied young men to go to fight. Of course, they had to leave the old man’s son at home because of his broken leg.
This story perfectly illustrates that we may not always know the big picture. We are limited in our perceptions. We can’t foretell the future. Believing that there is a purpose and order to the Universe helps us to remember to go with the flow and wait to see how it will turn out.
I’ve seen this approach free people to make major decisions without fear. As a career coach for thirty years, I’ve often worked with people who are paralyzed by indecision over a career choice. What I try to impress on them is that we cannot predict the future. All we can do is make the best decision that we can, based on the information we have right now, and then trust in the flow of the Universe. When you have a Perspective of Unlimited Possibility, you are willing to allow that anything may happen. When you accept that there is order and purpose to the Universe, the fear over making the wrong decision is reduced and you are open to accept all the wonderful adventures that may be just around the corner.
If you’ve used the power of Future Pull to create a compelling vision of the life you were born to live, have set clear intentions, and are taking inspired action as you travel your life path, then the Universe will take care of the unknowns. You just need to allow.
When it comes to the Law of Attraction you’re in the game whether you believe it or not and whether you want to be in it or not. In that case, you might as well learn how to work with the Law of Attraction rather than against it. Perhaps ‘work’ is a misleading term. Perhaps we should call it ‘play’. ‘Play’ on the same side as the Law of Attraction and you’ll be on the winning team.
Addendum: Now I’m wondering. It seems that most people know about the Law of Attraction to some extent and many actually give it a try. But I also hear many people say that it hasn’t worked for them, at least not to the extent that they want. Now I’m wondering where they are getting hung up. From this point on in Future Pull, I talk about the ‘how’s’ but now I want to find out more about people’s perceived experience. I think tomorrow I will write about that and ask a few questions, which, if you’ve read my other blog, you know I am good at.