March 14, 2007
I hadn't heard about The Secret or only in terms of Victoria's until just two weeks ago. Once it was first mentioned to me it seemed everyone I knew was suddenly talking about it. In hushed tones over lunches or at cocktail parties, the question, "Have you heard about The Secret?" was on many lips. Described to me as some sort of manifesting principal, it piqued my interest.
By chance when I visited Los Angeles, my friend had just been given the DVD of The Secret as a gift and she, I, her nanny and her beautiful daughter sat down before the plasma TV to be enlightened. Or at least the nanny and I, since clearly she was doing pretty well at the manifesting thing. While it was somewhat hokey in presentation, somewhere between Knights Templar and Dr. Phil, The Secret's guiding principals are right on.
For anyone who has studied any of the many offshoots of the power of positive thinking, the material is not new. However it is a wonderful reminder that thoughts are energy forms and that energy acts on ourselves, the people around us, and the universe. It is true that we spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on what we don't want, miring ourselves in fear of credit card debt, the rising price of home heating oil, the conflict we're having with our boss or spouse, and our botched effort at Oeufs a la Neige (there is good reason you may never have heard of this fancy French dessert because it is impossible to make.)
With over 60,000 thoughts a day, the program points out, it is impossible to monitor all of them. However, even a bit of consciousness can change around the general tone of your interaction with the world. In an email I was writing down all my unhappiness with a certain situation and lack of any solution. Instead I deleted the sentiments and said, "I'm sure there is a hidden silver lining here which will make itself known." I felt really good about my new take on the situation or at least until the recipient wrote back, "Don't count on it."
How do you break the habit of negative thoughts and statements? You could try sniffing ammonia as they suggest for sexual predators as soon as they have an inappropriate urge. Or you could try speaking and behaving "as if" everything was grand and going exactly as you wished. What I took away from The Secret was the power of gratitude for what you do have and the peaceful feeling produced from a heartfelt belief that all you want is available to you with a focused, visualized, positive outlook and belief in an abundant universe that has enough for everyone.
The question is: how exactly do you define what you want? Sure we can all say that we want a beautiful house, a fancy car, great vacations, a loving romance, but then what? Who do we want to be in the world?
As I was stuck in traffic and late for my flight out of LAX, I thought I didn't want to be the woman in the world who missed her plane. Instead of focusing on the traffic and my increasing panic, I visualized a flowing freeway, quick rental car return, and time to relax and purchase a wonderful meal at the airport before my flight. Okay, well, clearly the wonderful meal was delusional, but the rest went just as I had seen it, and I arrived at the airport stress-free in plenty of time.
The beauty of The Secret is that even if you don't manifest all your desires, with your abundance of positive feelings and statements, you will be darn pleasant to be around in the process. For me, I will be happy as can be while the universe prepares my hugely lucrative, emotionally rewarding writing job and funding for the Heather Buchanan Center for Stray Dogs and Maltreated and Misunderstood Women.
You can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.