I am not a big proponent of the Law of Attraction. In my mind, too many people discuss it in a simplistic manner to make the listener believe that it results in a steady stream of magic cash. So it may be surprising that this month’s Life Adventure Notes is centered around the Law of Attraction.
In my counseling office, I have had the privilege of sitting with hundreds of individuals as they explored their own thought patterns. Many times the process of therapy is looking at how you think, trying experiments of thinking differently and looking at the results. I have been shown repeatedly that profound changes in your life can occur from the shifting of your thoughts.
This is the core message of the Law of Attraction: that what you think about and how you think about it does matter. The Law of Attraction is not about creating piles of cash, it is about creating happiness and joy in an imperfect world. A very personal example occurs to me as July is my birthday month. This year I am deep into my fifties and realizing that somehow I am no longer young.
As I age, I listen to others around me talk of the problems of aging. It seems like those who are talking this way are having lots of trouble. Then I look to a dear family friend whose birthday is just before mine. She turned ninety this year, living alone and still having a wonderful time most days. She has always been one of the most positive and cheerful people that I know.
I truly believe she has thought her way to a long, happy existence.
I intend to approach aging as another mysterious miracle of life. Even as I see some possibilities and abilities waning, it takes just a shift of my outlook to see others rising. I see opportunities for experiences, relationships and fun that haven’t been possible in previous stages of life. Moving ahead, I’ll be thinking my way to a life of peace, joy and freedom regardless of what else life brings.
Please read our main article this month, What Are YOU Thinking, to explore more about what your thoughts mean for your life and future.
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
I watched the movie “The Secret” earlier this week. The movie is about the law of attraction: that like attracts like. The law of attraction, say the scientists and philosophers and scholars interviewed in this movie, ensures that what you think about is what comes into your life.
I have read a saying that states, “Your present is a result of your past thoughts. If you want to know what you future is going to be, look at your thoughts today.” Many people will tell you that if you focus on the negative, you will attract that into your life; conversely, if you focus on the positive, that is what will come into your life.
There are a lot of sayings that reinforce this school of thought. “Bad things happen in threes.” Well, yes, and so do good things. And both happen singly or in twos or even in fours. There is no magic to how things happen except for our focus on them.
That’s because what you focus on grows in your awareness. For example, if you are considering buying a new car, once you choose the model you want, it seems they appear everywhere. Many women say that they don’t notice pregnant women until they themselves are pregnant or are focusing on becoming pregnant. What are you noticing that is prevalent in your surroundings?
What you focus on grows. So focus on what you want to happen, not on fears of what might happen.
Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want. There are certainly things that you are concerned with in life: the health and well-being of those you love, financial stability, etc. But focusing on your fears of what might happen only enlivens those fears. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.
One hero of peace is Mahatma Gandhi. And he wrote, “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” Many great philosophers and thinkers have recognized the power of the thought.
You are surrounded by the inclination to fear – we all are now. Whether it is an orange alert for air quality or terrorism, whether it is higher unemployment or higher gas prices, the world seems to feed on fear.
To focus on the positive is swimming upstream. And it is worth developing those muscles.
This is not to say that you should not pay attention to what is going on in your world. Nor is it meant to advise you to ignore prudent measures in your life. But once you have considered how you can create a more positive future (in whatever terms speak to you) and taken the steps towards that future (making a plan, setting goals and then following through), then focusing on the fears does no good. It only detracts from the good thoughts you’ve put towards your hopes and dreams.
One of the most difficult lessons to learn in this life is that you are not in control of everything. In fact, you are only in control of yourself. That doesn’t mean you don’t offer advice, support, and caring to others. It means that worrying about your fears only detracts from your positive energy and grows the fears in your awareness. And, according to the law of attraction, like attracts like, and you open yourself to your own fears. And in this process it happens that by being in control of yourself, you are controlling everything that matters.
Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears. What are your dreams? How are your fears stopping them? What if you gave more time to focusing on your hopes and dreams and consciously stopped yourself from focusing on your fears? At least your present would be more pleasant with less worry and fear. And most likely your future will be more joyous, too.
What worries you most in life and what dreams do you have about that same subject?
Where have you been letting negativity get in the way of having the positive things in life that you crave?
How can you remind yourself to focus on the positive ideas you have for your future?
Chasing the Butterfly~From The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
Once when I was six, I chased a butterfly halfway through the reservoir before cupping it in my boyish hands. I had the beautiful thing, but couldn’t see it. To see it, I had to let it go. I kept my hands cupped as long as I could, past nose itch and leg jiggle, and then the dark flitting against my palms made me open and magnificent plates of color lifted against my will.
It was too delicate a story to tell over dinner, and soon there were books and assignments and model cars to glue and arguments and anger, and I forgot there ever was a butterfly. It’s only now, some forty years later, that it awakens in me like a revelation placed in the hands of a pilgrim long before he knew enough to believe. Now chasing the butterfly seems a way of life: afraid to lose or be left out, we chase and cling, and clinging, we are lost. It seems so obvious once living it.
Now I can see that during my illness, this was the difference between fear and faith, between terror and the presence of God. Landing in a hospital bed, I chased the beat of everything I faced into my heart and tried to cup it in my boyish hands, burying my head. Of course, I had the beautiful thing beating like that butterfly, now trapped inside me. As long as I kept all of that beauty and power of raw life cupped – in my chest, in my face, in my hands – I couldn’t see it. To see it, I had to let it go.
Just as when a boy, I held it as long as I could, until the pounding made me open and this magnificent sense of life lifted out of me against my will. I now know that what I held so tightly within was the presence of God, which held in felt like pain and fear and terror.
Over forty years to learn this vital lesson: that the deepest things beat within, made dark and fearful by our holding, only uplifting the instant we let go.
INDIVIDUAL COACHING BY PHONE
Want to stop that feeling that life is passing you by?
Would you like to able to experience your life as an exciting series of adventures?
Would you like to feel more joy and achieve more success?
That is what I help my clients develop in their own lives. Working with a coach helps you overcome the challenges that can keep you from a successful life. Coaching gives you a companion on the journey; someone with whom to discuss events as they unfold and to help you move toward joy in the adventure. Developing clear goals, focusing intently and staying committed become possible.
If you aren’t sure and would like to explore whether coaching is right for you, please send an email to Janet@lifeadventurecoaching.com or call me at 828-691-4655 for a complimentary consultation.