Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Law of Attraction and The Secret Criticism

You've probably heard about the independent movie "The Secret" which is all about the Law of Attraction. People are jumping on the Law of Attraction bandwagon without understanding the complex layers of wisdom that are bound up in this ancient metaphysical principle.

On the good side of things, "The Secret" is an inspirational movie just as "What the Bleep Do they Know" was. (I liked What the Bleep much better.) Both movies tickle our fancies about the amazing untapped potentials of the human mind and spirit.

On the bad side of things, whenever a complex metaphysical concept gets distilled and finds its way into popular culture, certain nuances are lost. And so when viewed from the outside, the cult-like following that "The Secret" movie has right now seems a bit silly. Is it REALLY true that simply by thinking positively about something, your reality can change? That's what the movie teaches.

The truth is that positive thinking isn't enough. You also have to take a hard, cold look at your shadow side, those dark emotions, ancestral urges, and genetic predispositions that you are carrying around at a cellular level. You need to do a lot of work on yourself, a lot of healing and transmutation of the darkness, before your positive thinking will begin to manifest huge changes for the better.

That doesn't mean that you can't make significant progress as you go along. Because once you start working with these principles, many amazing things start to happen.

And it doesn't mean that the Law of Attraction is bogus just because, in practice, it takes years of spiritual self-mastery to get close to the largest levels of success and well-being that you can create using this ancient principle.

It just means that there is no "instant fix" on the spiritual path. So beware any guru promising you instant enlightenment.

You CAN learn to manifest smaller miracles by applying the principles outlined in movies like The Secret and What the Bleep, and when you start to see these smaller things happen, you open up the floodgates so that you become ready to receive greater and greater levels of success.

I've been blessed to have manifested many miracles in my own life. I cured myself of serious heart illness after I had a heart attack at the age of just 28. I was living under very modest financial circumstances, working full-time as a psychic counsellor and doing much of my work pro bono to try to help the many, many people who were experiencing spiritual emergencies but who couldn't afford to pay my fees. And I had no health insurance at the time and did not seek conventional medical treatment.

Through doing a lot of hard, difficult work addressing my own shadow, learning to take responsibility for all of the negative thoughts I had thrown out at others over the years and seeing that this heart attack was caused by all of those things coming back to me in one huge psychic blow, I was gradually able to transmute serious heart problems that happened after the heart attack.

Two long years of working with some gifted healers and teachers also helped me. And two years after my heart attack, I could finally afford health insurance. At that point I went in for a battery of tests and there were no problems found on any of my heart scans. A bunch of heart specialists pronounced my heart to be completely normal and fine.

This was a true miracle that I directly experienced. After my heart attack I had two long years of debilitating chest pain of the type I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It made me learn compassion for others. It made me learn to love myself more. And mostly, it taught me to place my faith 100% in a loving Higher Power's hands. Because that Higher Power led me through the darkness and out the other side into experiencing full health and complete physical well-being again.

I'm in my thirties now, and having gone through such melodrama in my own life and learned to experience the magic of "applied faith" or power prayer, I know beyond any doubt that the Law of Attraction is real. The further you go on the spiritual path, the more important it is to refine your capacities for love and understanding so that the accumulated negative energy of your past negative thoughts and misdeeds doesn't hit you as hard as it did me when I had my heart attack. I had chosen an extremely melodramatic way of learning this lesson!

Since that time, I have learned to be 100% responsible for the energies I'm putting out and the vibration I set in motion each day through my emotional tone, my thoughts, and my attitude toward others. I don't always run around blissed out with love and light. But I do manage to keep my head above water most days and remain truly thankful for the adventures that life continually brings me.

On the spiritual path it's important to use discernment and to continually apply critical thinking processes to everything you are studying. A lot of people don't do that. I believe that by blindly following the latest New Age trend people are missing out on a much more nuanced, rich, and complete digestion of these important metaphysical concepts.

Dig a little deeper. Do your homework. Don't accept anything at face value. And always examine things through the lens of your own heart. Before accepting any guru's teaching, ask yourself if this path moves you closer to love and peace or turns you into a creature of chaos and imbalance.

Julian Walker is a spiritual seeker and writer who has written an excellent criticism about The Secret. Check it out here:

Criticism of The Secret

One of his main points is that you can't just "wish away" your negativity through positive thinking alone. He writes:

"Your so called "negative emotions" have value and meaning. They are communications from your psyche. Be curious about them. Compassionate. Follow a path of inquiry into what lies beneath the surface of your reactions, fears, anger-triggers, unsatisfied feelings, sadness etc. The way to be free of these is to embrace them and listen to what they might be telling you about your shadow - the part of you that you have disowned and disconnected from."

He's right. Without plumbing the depths of your own shadow, all you're doing is putting a temporary Band-Aid over your own negativity. Only through purging, probing, and transmuting your darkness can you emerge into a reality where positive thinking is as easy and as natural as breathing.

Until you reach that point, be patient with yourself!

You can also check out Julian's blog at:

Julian Walker Yoga

Monday, January 22, 2007

Releasing Negative Thoughtforms and Energy Blocks

People often ask me about negative thoughtforms and how they affect our lives. Can our thoughts really have that much impact on what we are experiencing down here in the world of 3-D? Yes, they can!

Think of your thoughts and emotions as a frequency of energy that is constantly streaming out of you. You're broadcasting this stuff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although there can be some fluctuation, most of the time we have a relatively consistent "tone" to the energies that we are putting out.

The "negative" thoughtforms are those loops of self-talk that are going on which have a self-sabotaging tone.

You know which ones I'm talking about. They run along the lines of "I'll never have enough." "I'll never be enough." "There's never enough to go around." "I'll never find a soulmate." "I'll never have a job that makes me happy."

While some of those negative feedback loops might only kick in strongly for a day here and there when we're feeling especially tired or stressed out, we all have some ongoing self-sabotaging programs that are broadcasting negative frequencies. "I'm afraid of being hurt by someone, so I'm going to push that nice person away. " "I don't really believe I'm worth a lot of money, so I will sabotage things so the boss doesn't give me a raise."

It can be quite a challenge to uncover these self-sabotage programs and negative attitudes. But it's important to do so, because our nervous system is like a radio. If you're putting out a frequency that is screaming "Poverty! Loneliness! Despair!" that is going to drown out happier frequencies that are coming in all around you. You'll miss out on the Joy Channel or the Abundance Station because your system is locked into a more negative vibration.

Think of it this way. Have you ever tried to tune into your favorite radio station, only you're driving beyond that radio station's range? You might hear little bits of the broadcast, but maybe it doesn't come in very well. You're trying to listen to jazz, but all that's coming in is salsa music. Why is that? A competing signal from another radio station is overlapping that same frequency.

In our spiritual lives, if one frequency of thought or emotion is drowning out all other possible signals, preventing other "programs" from reaching us, we'll never hear all the cool stuff happening on the Happy Station. We're too busy spinning those "Death, disfigurement, and depression!" songs.

It's up to US to learn how to flip the radio dial and tune into an entirely new level of energy and possibility. The first step is to start being more aware of what station you're stuck on, noticing what frequency you're putting out all the time. Then start experimenting with a different tone, and things will begin to shift and to break open.

It's important to stop what you're doing when you find yourself stuck on the negative "station." Take a deep breath, shake it off, and consciously make the shift to a frequency of greater light, bigger hope, and enormous possibility.

You CAN do it! It gets easier with practice. I promise!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Affirmations and Encountering Resistance

It can be a real challenge when you start working with affirmations. Suddenly you realize all the crazy, counter-productive thoughts you have running around your brain that tend to sabotage the things you are affirming.

So there you are, working on "I am financially prosperous and secure," and your brain is going, "I'll never have any money! WAAAH!" like a big old cry baby. You can have thousands in the bank and still find that strong resistance surfaces in your mind when you begin to work with an affirmation.

Or there you are, focusing on, "I am my ideal weight and I'm in perfect health," and about the time you finish this affirmation, you hear the voices of the Oreo cookies sitting downstairs, calling to you. "Come and eat me!" they sing to you seductively.

Resistance is a part of any affirmation work. You are going to encounter it, period. Just as athletes encounter resistance while they are training for a big event, trying to get their muscles into perfect shape, there is going to be some soreness, some need for ointment, and some crankiness as you push through to the next level. That's just a part of it all.

What you're really doing when you work with an affirmation is setting the intention that you are going to retrain your brain not just at the conscious level but at the subconscious level, too. And the subconscious mind is one unruly, lawless place. It's a zone of criminality, dark foreboding and collective, genetic fear.

The subconscious is the collective mind of humanity, with all its weirdness, flaws, and inadequacies. And it is an ancient and terrible beast. Within the subconscious lurks all of the survival concerns that we've carried forth since caveman times. We have an ancient genetic memory of pain, struggle, and fear, and all of that bubbles through the subconscious mind like a primordial stew.

But it is our destiny to heal the subconscious, to remind it that we aren't living in the Dark Ages anymore. We live in a global society now, and a lot of the subconscious mind's prime directives no longer serve us in this current world. The whole fight or flight reaction our ancestors felt when they encountered the unknown isn't working for us anymore.

Today's concerns over terrorism are stirring up ancient racial hatred that are stemming from a deeper, darker place, going back to humanity's past. In ancient times encountering members of a different tribe was a scary thing, because it meant competition for resources, potential violent conflicts, and it threatened the survival of your tribe. These fears are exaggerated within us.

So when an act of terrorism happens or someone of a different skin tone or religion does something unpleasant, the subconscious mind kicks in with its fear response and its tendency toward violent over-reaction.

The subconscious mind NEEDS to be healed, its primordial wounds needs to be transmuted. It's up to each of us to do our part in this species-wide proces.

When you begin working with affirmations, whatever you focus on is going to bring up resistance from the beast of the subconscious.

Don't let the beast scare you. Sure, he's hairy and has no manners and likes to roar and complain and act all fierce, but ultimately, if you are patient with him and take him firmly by the collar and give him lots of rubs under the chin and tell him he's a good beast, you love him and are going to help him, he'll stop getting in your way.

And then the things you are working to manifest through your affirmations will rapidly show up in your life.

When you encounter the beast of resistance, try not to be scared or freaked out. Give him a big hug, feed him a biscuit, and tell him that the two of you are in this together.

And together, focusing on the energies of healing and transformation, you can make it work.

Jeff Staniforth's Affirmware software is a great tool to help you retrain that beast of the subconscious and get him to work with you instead of fighting against you. If you've hit a wall with your affirmations and need a boost, working with this software for just ten minutes a day for a ten day period can truly change your life.

Boost your affirmation power with Affirmware!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How Affirmations Can Help You Keep New Years Resolutions

The New Year is a wonderful time to make fresh starts. January’s cold weather and long nights encourage us to sit still, look within and take personal inventory. What have we achieved in the past year? Where did we fall short of our goals? How can we do better in the New Year? Asking these questions can be a rich and productive process.

Most of us can come up with a list of things we want to improve. After all, who doesn’t want a better relationship, increased cash flow or a more rewarding career? These are just a few hot button issues that can always stand a little “tweaking.”

Tackling these areas requires energy and focus. On January 1st, we are full of enthusiasm. We’re convinced that we’ll be able to stick with our plan to lose weight, find a new job, or meet a romantic soulmate.

But too often our commitment to meeting those goals drops off. Oh, we usually stick to our plan for a little while. But after weeks of denying ourselves sweets, sifting through Want Ads or scrolling through endless online dating profiles, we’re burned out.

In the meantime, temptations beckon. Surely, one little cookie won’t do any harm? Taking a quick break from sending out resumes will reduce stress levels, right? And with all of those “looking for love” ads blurring together, there’s no hurry to find a date.

If we give ourselves enough reasons to slack off, we lose momentum. Discouragement sets in and those New Year’s resolutions are soon tossed out the window.

This is the point where most of us give up. It’s usually around January 15th – long enough into the New Year to have given those resolutions a good try, but not so far into the New Year to have fully established healthy new habits.

Changing behavior isn’t easy. Psychologists have found that it takes at least 30 days of sticking with a new behavior before we can begin to recognize that this behavior is the norm and permanently move away from the past behavior. New behaviors don’t feel “real” to us until they have been established for at least 30 days.

And if we want to manifest external changes in our circumstances like finding a great job, this requires some sweat, too. A 2005 study found that it takes an average of 5.62 months for a US worker to find a new position. It sounds daunting, doesn’t it?

The good news is that there is one primary reason why people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions. And by understanding this common booby trap, we can stop sabotaging those resolutions. Then we can gradually build up the necessary personal history (a minimum of 30 days of maintaining the new behavior) to create a brighter future for ourselves.

The main trip wire responsible for sabotaging our New Year’s resolutions has to do with our perception of time. The number one reason why New Year’s resolutions fail is because, from our vantage point, an entire year is a long, long time!

If we’re trying to overcome an addiction that we’ve had for years, the prospect of denying ourselves access to that thing (sweets, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) for a whole year can be intimidating. A year can feel like an eternity. So to master our addictions and to keep our resolutions, we need to shift the way that we are looking at time.

12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous encourage people to just focus on controlling their behavior today. This allows people to bring their attention to the present, which is where we have the greatest power.

If you want to stop sabotaging those resolutions, shift the time frame around. Don’t pledge that you’ll avoid certain behaviors for the whole year. Promise yourself that you will keep your resolution today. Then, renew this commitment to yourself on a daily basis. This way, you will be breaking the time period down into workable “chunks” of time that will be much easier to handle.

French psychologist Emile Coue was the father of the world’s most famous affirmation: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Start each day with this affirmation. Then focus on keeping your intended resolution today. That’s all you need to do. Keep your resolution today and let tomorrow take care of itself.

By shifting your attention to the present and focusing on short 24 hour periods, you’ll feel better. You’ll get instant gratification, knowing that you successfully kept your resolution for an entire day. And this confidence will carry over to the next day, making it easier to keep your resolution that day, too.

Before you know it, a year will have passed, and you will have kept that important resolution all year long. Just think of the positive changes you will have achieved!