Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Secret Behind The Secret

As The Secret streaks across the planet with dizzying speed, this seems like a good time to revisit this thing called 'The Law of Attraction'.

Clever marketing aside, 'The Law of Attraction' is real and is operating in our lives at all times. It only takes paying the slightest bit of attention to see that. Why then, is it such a problem for so many people to achieve what they want in life?

Almost everything written about 'The Law of Attraction' has focused on thoughts as the primary means of attracting or repelling. That's true too, but it's not the whole story.

If it were that easy to create financial abundance, happy relationships, great sex lives, and unlimited creativity, don't you think we'd all be doing it by now?

Yet every book on achieving your goals and attracting what you want continues the story line about thoughts...that's it...change your thoughts…gain a new perspective, and it will all come around, right? I don't think so!

Here's the rub...changing your conscious thoughts is not enough, because what's got you down are your unconscious thoughts, feelings and beliefs. This unconscious part of our psyches plays us like puppets and will sabotage conscious thoughts every time...guaranteed.

The key here is to understand the power of unconscious thought. In Jungian psychology, the shadow refers to all thoughts, feelings and beliefs residing in the unconscious...not just the 'bad' stuff as commonly believed, but whatever has been relegated to the unconscious, for whatever reason.

This is the real's this stew of unconscious ramblings that are at the root of our ability to attract what we want or not.

Jung also said that something like 95% of the human shadow is pure gold when brought to light. Unfortunately, most of us are still afraid of the dark. We assume what we'll find in any mining expedition into the unconscious, is sludge, so most of us expend vast amounts of energy avoiding the journey when, in fact, that's exactly where we need to go.

It's when we begin to mine the thoughts, feelings and beliefs, lurking below the surface that we can dramatically change our lives. By examining this material, we can decide what to keep and what to toss. We can decide how to make meaning out of our life experience, and we can bring our conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings and beliefs into alignment instead of playing an ongoing game of tug of war.

By making the unconscious conscious, we diffuse the conflict between the two. The impact is like charging up 'The Law of Attraction' with rocket fuel, allowing us to break free of the gravitational pull of the unconscious beliefs and fears that hold us back.

Are you ready to really get what you want in life? If the answer is yes, then it's time to take a little journey below the surface, so you can fully embrace The Secret.


Some useful tools for the journey are...

1. Pay attention to your dreams.

Dreams provide a snapshot of what's really going on in the psyche. Yes, understanding them can be tricky because they use symbols with multiple layers of meaning. Writing down your dreams and writing about what they mean to you can go a long way towards demystifying their meaning. Keep a notebook and pen beside your bed and write them down in the morning. If you don't remember dreams, ask for them to reveal themselves before you go to sleep.

2. Meditate.

Meditation allows us to listen deeply. Frequently intuitive insights emerge in the quiet of meditation. Meditation teaches us to observe without judgment whatever emerges in our consciousness.

3. Write.

The process of writing informs our thoughts. It's not uncommon to begin with a germ of an idea thinking we're going in one direction only to find ourselves landing in a completely different place. This is true whether we're doing stream of consciousness journaling or writing fiction or essays. The process of writing sheds light on many thoughts that are sitting just below the surface.

4. Make art.

Art is the ultimate process to make the unconscious, conscious. To a very large extent, that's its inform us about ourselves as individuals, as societies and as a planetary culture. This is true whether you think of yourself as an artist or not. It does not it matter much what medium you use...crayons, paints, pencils, collage, dance, all serves the same bring the unconscious into the light.

5. Use affirmations.

Yes, affirmations are positive thoughts that don't work very well unless there is a feeling connected to the thought, so I'd encourage you to use positive feeling statements as your affirmations.

This use of affirmations is totally consistent with The Secret, but I would suggest you take it a step further. Pay attention to the critical reactions coming up in response to the affirmation. In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron calls these responses "blurts" and suggests you take the blurts and turn them into positive statements. Using this technique, you're able to drill down deeply into the thoughts, feelings and beliefs that are keeping you stuck.

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