Have you read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? It is a best-selling self-help book written in 2006, based on the law of attraction. It’s premise is its claim that positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness.
I haven’t read it, but there was quite a lot of controversy swirling around this book. Some thought the ideas were bunk. Others called it pseudoscience. Still others claimed it to be a manipulative marketing tool.
If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your opinion.
You’ve guessed by now that this isn’t a book review, right?
The reason I’ve brought up the topic of this book is that I’ve believed in the law of attraction most of my adult life. Why?
It works for me.
I find more often than not, people are positive thinkers. I think I inherited my optimism and positivity from my mother. She never sees the glass half empty.
The Law of Attraction is more than positive thinking, though.
The idea that “like attracts like” was conceived long before the book, The Secret, was written.
It’s earliest manifestation was likely religious beliefs. ‘Pray to God to receive his grace and everything you need’, for example. Prayer is a form of mediation–focused concentration on a particular thought. Thousands of stories of miracles ‘prove’ the power of prayer and positive thought.
In the early 19th century, The New Thought movement began. According to Wikipedia, “adherents of New Thought believe that “God” or “Infinite Intelligence” is “supreme, universal, and everlasting”, that divinity dwells within each person,…and that “our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living”.
One influencer in the New Thought Movement, claimed that thought precedes physical form and that “the action of Mind plants that nucleus which, if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form.”
What do you think about this concept?
I have two life-changing examples to share with you.
About 15 years ago, my then husband lost his business and, consequently, we lost everything, except our family and our belief that things would work out, somehow. In order to raise money to move cross-country for my husband’s new job, I had the biggest garage sale of my life. I had been holding very successful garage sales for many years and hoped this time would be no different.
The first weekend I chose was perfect weather, but in two days I had 5 customers who spent a total of $20. I planned to hold the sale again the following weekend. All week I focused on what we needed — to sell everything we could part with to raise enough money to move and to buy groceries that week, too. I made a list (no surprise there!) of all of our expenses and of every item I needed to sell. I read the list every night before sleep and fell asleep imagining my garage and my house empty of all that was for sale. No sales at all on the 2nd weekend, not even a friend or family member came by.
3rd weekend. It poured rain. Buckets. I sat there anyway, garage door up and snuggled into a warm jacket–focusing all the while on what we needed. Hours went by and not even a car drove down the street. At 3 pm, I was chilled from the dampness and ready to close the door til the following weekend. The rain let up a little and, from across the street, a neighbor I’d never met ran toward me carrying her umbrella. I stood to greet her and thanked her for coming over.
Over coffee, she asked why I was selling so much. I gave her the short version of our plight as she looked around at my offerings. It turned out that her son was in the process of moving out of her house and into his own, but had nothing but his clothes to take with him. I brought her into the house to see what furniture I had for sale. Two hours later she was hugging me and offering to do whatever she could to help, then she ran home through the rain. I stood there in awe and holding $2000 in cash. This angel of a friend helped me a few more times before and after we moved away.
You can call this coincidence, but I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe the power of visualization and positive focus, letting no negativity into my thoughts, were responsible.
Several years later, I was a single mother trying to support my two kids alone. I managed financially, but emotionally I was having a difficult time. I was so damn lonely. I joined a club, started going to church again, smiled and tried to appear outgoing whenever I was out on my own.
Finally, I screwed up the courage to try online dating. That was an experience for another blog post. Suffice it to say, it was fruitless.
I joined a group for folks over 50 online and had a great time making friends. This wasn’t a dating site, but a place to meet people all over the world for online conversations and to travel together.
To shorten what could easily be a very long story, I’ll jump to the good part. I met a man from California (I live in New York). We’d talked on the phone for several weeks, then he decided to fly out to meet me. He was with me for 24 hours. When he landed in California he called to say he wanted to be just friends because, if this went any further, one of us would have to move across the country. He didn’t want to come east and didn’t feel it was fair to ask me to go west. I was very hurt and gave up any hope of ever having a relationship.
For the next few months, I did a lot of soul-searching and realized I was satisfied with my life for the most part. Yes, I was lonely for the company of a good man, but I had some great friends, a good job and wonderful kids. I started going to a gym where my son acted as my trainer, I read more, I painted, I started a website. My life was filling up with things that made me happy.
I came to realize that I would be okay if I never met a man and fell in love again. I could manage to make a good life without a man in it.
I felt refreshed and more enthusiastic about what may lie ahead for me. I had regained my optimism. I still wanted a relationship so I made a list (!) with 100 requirements for my perfect man. My list covered everything from being honest to not wearing socks with sandals. I read that list every night. I began to have dreams about this man. Whenever I wasn’t happily busy with all my activities, I visualized my life with this man.
Two months later, I met him. He found me online, we spoke on the phone for three consecutive nights. He lived 2 1/2 hours away, but he wanted to take me to dinner. I finally knew what the term “soulmate” meant. He surely is that. We married two years exactly after our first phone conversation. He met every single on of the 100 requirements on my list.
My visualization, my positive focus, worked. Be aware that a negative focus is just as powerful.
Click here for more description of the law of attraction from life coach, Martha Beck.
I invite you to dish it up in the comments. Do you believe in the power of thought? Do you think it’s all just coincidence? Is it all just a little to Woo-Woo for you?
(Disclaimer: This is my opinion based on my experiences and those of people close to me. In no way am I attempting to sway the beliefs of any reader, but hope to instigate a healthy discussion.)
Don’t forget to stop over at the Life List Club today. The lovely Sonia Medeiros is posting today –go see what she has to say about wasting time.