We’ve all heard of the Law of Attraction by now, and been bombarded with memes on social media telling us how it works.
As a yoga teacher of 15 years and meditation teacher for even longer than that, I know all about energy and vibrations, and I know deep inside that the Law of Attraction is real and true and we can all benefit from it.
But what about you? Do you think it’s a whole load of nonsense or do you live by it?
Do you use affirmations and set intentions and express gratitude on a daily basis? Do you remain ever positive and always look on the bright side? Do you blame others for things that go wrong in your life or do you blame yourself for attracting these things? Do you think that always being positive is healthy? Do you think that blame is healthy? Isn’t blame wrong? Isn’t blaming and criticising, yourself or anyone else, going to attract more reasons to blame and criticise into your life?
Well, let’s break it down a bit.
Firstly let me say that blame gets us nowhere. There’s a big difference between placing blame and accepting responsibility where it’s due. Also, being positive all the time can lead to a distorted view of reality and a denial of the behaviour of others or even of our own emotions, preventing us from processing and dealing with them. This, my friends, is unresolved trauma, not positivity.
Of course I know and accept that we are the masters of our own destiny. We must live our lives and make choices in a way that aligns with our values and will help to lead us towards the lives we want for ourselves. But sitting at home, avoiding risks or challenges, denying reality, and merely repeating affirmations about what you want, is not going to make things happen in your life. There must be action too.
Gabor Mate says: “With our thoughts we create the world. But as much as with our conscious thoughts we create the world, even more so with our unconscious thoughts we create the world…No amount of affirmations will ever, ever penetrate to the unconscious beliefs.”
This really made me think. Each individual has a unique life experience – family dynamics and trauma, minor and major life events that effect their view of the world around them, ancestral trauma, different values, different cultures, different social conditioning, different beliefs about their own value and place in the world. You can’t magically affirm your way past all of that stuff.
Plus, we can’t control the actions or behaviour of others, so that’s another spanner in the works. Sometimes shit just happens and that’s all there is to it. It may not be your fault. Maybe there’s nothing you could have done do avoid it.
But does that mean the Law of Attraction will never work for you? Because you can’t be positive all the time and can’t control the many other factors involved in living on this planet?
I really believe the more real you can be about your ‘stuff’, the more you can heal. You have to first acknowledge your stuff before you can accept it. You must accept it before you can process it and you must process it (in one way or another) to heal it. Having emotions makes us human. All of the emotions are valid, not just the ones we feel comfortable with. Denying them is just that, denial, it’s not positivity. Unless you want to call it toxic positivity. And toxic it is.
So what can be done? Do we just give up and think that this stuff works for other people, but not for me? Or maybe it’s all a load of nonsense anyway? Well, you can do that if you like, we all have the right to choose our own path in life. But how about this instead:
Step 1: Forget about everything you’ve seen on social media about the Law of Attraction.
Step 2: Start (or continue) a daily practice of gratitude. It shifts your focus to the things you DO have in your life, the things you can truly feel grateful for. It can be as simple as being grateful that you had a bed to sleep in last night. I love sleeping, I love bed, I can really get into this one, I’m extremely grateful for every night that I get to sleep in a comfortable bed, feeling safe and relaxed enough to sleep well and not feel exhausted every day. I’m so so grateful for this. see Step 5 for more examples.
Step 3: Write these things down. We put a bit more energy and focus on things when we write them down (see also step 6). Create a list, watch the list grow and you’ll probably realise you have more to be grateful for than you thought.
Step 4: Baby steps – if you’re in a difficult place right now, don’t expect things to change over night. Take one step at a time. Put one thing on your gratitude list if that’s all you can manage right now.
Step 5: Make a conscious effort to look out for things to be grateful for. The food you ate today, the cup of tea, the chat with a friend, the stranger that smiled at you, the ability to pay a bill (yep, even the money going out, express gratitude that you were able to get the money together to pay it). Anything you can think of. Because over time we physically change the neural pathways in the brain and we begin to look for/notice more of the things we are focussing on, i.e. the things to the grateful for.
Step 6: Set intentions. Make a list of things you’d like to attract into your life. I prefer not to make it too specific, because if that very specific thing doesn’t materialise it feels like a failure, plus it could make us reject other options that would be just as good or even better for us. For example, you might set an intention to attract more laughter and joy into your life. Who doesn’t want more of that? And then don’t worry about how exactly that will come about. It works like this, if you want more laughter in your life and you’ve consciously decided this, when you choose a movie on Netflix you’ll go for a funny movie rather than a horror, because this is more in alignment with your intentions. Do you see? Simple! Boom! You’ve only just started and you’ve already achieved what you intended, more laughter. Keep it up!
Step 7: Creating what you want. Creation is as simple as putting pen to paper. Think about it (no pun intended), you have something in your head, it’s just a thought, it’s not tangible, it’s not physical. As soon as you write it down on a piece of paper you are creating, you have physically created the words in ink on a piece of paper. Now it’s in a tangible form, albeit words on a piece of paper. But it’s now in the physical realm as opposed to just in your head. Does that make sense? In that way, writing it down already begins the process of creation. Get it out of your head and onto a physical piece of paper. Draw it if you prefer. Whatever works for you.
So, don’t over-complicate it. Call it the Law of Attraction, call it common sense, call it focus, attention, intention, call it whatever you like. But do it. Don’t just let the thoughts float around in your head and ignore everything I’ve written about here because you don’t think it works. Try it. Start small. Like the comedy movies versus horror movies, daily choices that bring about what you want in your life. But if you haven’t consciously decided what you want, how will you make choices aligned with that?
Give it a go, and as always, I’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on this.