Om magazine March 2011

The Law of Attraction Om magazine

Whilst certain popular Law of Attraction books have been useful in introducing millions of people to a spiritual truth- the truth that we have a choice in responding to life- they can also encourage a huge misinterpretation. Many people got the message that life was all about accumulating as much stuff as possible in the quest to be ‘better’ than who you are (implying you are not good enough right now). This suggestion that more material wealth is the answer is obviously not true, as we all know of materially rich people who are miserable. Plus, of course, there are many people who have read similar ‘self-help’ books and are left wondering why they are no happier, no healthier and have not ‘manifested’ their stuff.

Just as yoga is about experiencing the bliss within, enjoying the perfection of the present moment; the philosophies that talk of the Law of Attraction have the same purpose. Like all authentic spiritual and religious approaches, this purpose is the achievement stillness of mind and an enjoyment of your life- right here and right now-which leads to a union with your higher power; with God. Though, as with yoga, the Western world has become overly focused on the material results and the ‘outcome’ rather than the experience within

What is The Law of Attraction?

A lot of people think the idea of the Law of Attraction is a new concept. But one of the first people to use the term was English philosopher Thomas Troward in the late 1800s, who talked of it in books such as “The Law and the Word”, which was inspired by his studies of world religion and ancient philosophies.

The Law of Attraction says that ‘like attracts like’, which means that similar thoughts, people and events are brought together. In practical terms, the philosophy is all about lifting your mood or attitude. In short: It’s about feeling good. And then, in this attitudinal space, you will be in the ‘likeminded’ vibration to meet with your dreams and desires.

“Birds of a feather flock together” is a commonly-spoken phrase that speaks of the Law of Attraction. And nearly everyone will acknowledge that happier, more optimistic people seem to have happy lives and seemingly more luck. The secret so-to-speak is to be found everywhere- from contemporary music lyrics and movies to ‘old wives tales’. We all have that feeling that if we appreciate our lives they will become better (even the word appreciation means to ‘positively increase’).

The missing link

I co-founded The Law of Attraction Centre several years ago. Feeling a discontent in the spiritual groups I went to, I wanted to start a community where people were ‘living’ what they knew rather than talking about it; I wanted to witness people’s lives changing for the better. Since then, I have seen people from all walks of life come to us. I think what people love is how open and non-judgemental our approach is- with no dogma.

What we are all looking for is more joy and more peace; to really enjoy our life experience and then share this with others. Regardless of the spiritual, religious or atheistic path, that seems to be our collective aim. Yes, one-off classes or retreats or seminars can give us a moment of a ‘high’ and a refuge from our daily lives, but my intention is to take it further providing a new way of life; inspiring people to change on a day-to-day level.

I had seen many people go from self-help book to self-help book searching for the answers ‘out there’ and making little effort to change their own beliefs. I was one of them. Along my personal journey and from facilitating workshops, I have learnt that it takes rigorous practice to change our beliefs- and I do believe this is do-able for all.

What I teach is processes, including meditation, to surrender into the flow of this power; to relax and calm our minds to allow ourselves to receive. As trite as it sounds, ‘Feeling good’ is, ultimately, what it is all about. But there is a deep practice that goes into achieving this state of mind consistently.

The problem with manifestation- and the secret of appreciation

What I have found through my experience is that if people can’t be happy with what they’ve got, they won’t be any better off when their dreams come to them; they will take their attitude of discontent with them.

Oprah Winfrey told in an interview how she began writing lists of appreciation years before she found huge success. She made this a daily habit, and explained: “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life”.

As you appreciate your life now; you tune yourself to the flow of life. This is where inspiration, insights, healing, and all of the other ‘good stuff’ comes from.

We always have a choice in each moment: to complain or to appreciate. And that is the only real choice we do have. We may not be able to change our bodies instantly, or instantly get the dream job this second, but we can change our focus and therefore our emotion.

In the West we are looking for the immediate; we are looking to getting everything right now and we often find journeys boring. Yet once you ‘get there’ there is always another ‘there’ to get to. You will never truly reach a fixed state of ‘finished’, so you might as well enjoy the journey. Your journey is your life.

Trusting Life

For us to really believe that it is enough for us to enjoy our life, we must begin to trust that Life ‘has our back’, so we can relax into appreciation without wondering who is going to ‘make it happen’? Just as the Earth doesn’t need our intentions for it to keep revolving on its axis, or Nature doesn’t need our input to fulfil its cycles- it is the same with our lives. The less we ‘do’ around a subject, the more happens: Trusting life means trusting that manifestation is not your job; it is the job of the Universe or of God (or whatever word appeals to you to describe the Source). Trusting Life also means trusting the people around you to be who they are; it means basking into the knowing that everything is on your side and everything is working out for you, no matter how things may appear.

Trusting life is the opposite of control and it means taking it easier, making peace with where you are and being light-hearted about things. It means trusting that everything that is happening to you is supposed to be happening. It’s all for you and it’s all a blessing.

Accepting where you are

Of course we don’t always feel like appreciating our lives- and putting pressure on ourselves to ‘feel good’ can make things worse. In those moments of feeling not so good, it is best to embrace where you are and try to relax into it. Repeating soothing statements to yourself like “I have felt this before and have got through it”, “this too shall pass”, “nothing has gone wrong here and everything is working out” will help you distract yourself while Life brings in a solution. It is also about accepting what comes to us and trusting that everything is sent as a gift. It may not be what we think we want at the time, but later we will see it as a ‘blessing in disguise’.

From theory to practice- and the power of community

Doing a regular process to ‘practice-in’ a habit of appreciation is a life-changing decision that I see creating miracles in so many people’s lives in the groups and workshops I facilitate. As I’ve said, we all know that being an optimistic person is a good idea: Many of us have read at least one ‘self help’ book telling us to be grateful or count our blessings. And many of us have seen Disney films, where the hero is always optimistic no matter what is going on around him or her (which results in a wonderful ending, of course). So we know that- but do we practice this regularly? That is the primary difference with someone like Oprah and much of the world: she does the daily work. Over the years I have interviewed many spiritual teachers and people the world see as ‘successes’ with few exceptions, they all have a daily practice.

I also recommend getting together with like minded others. That is the purpose of the groups I run in London and across the country. It is very inspiring to hear real-life testimonials of how the Law of Attraction is working for others. You can get more details about my groups at the end of this article.

Be kind to yourself

Just as you wouldn’t scold a baby who couldn’t walk on his first attempt; or expect someone to be a perfect driver after getting into a car once- this is a gradual journey of daily practice. You can do it and you will do it. And the journey to ‘there’ will be incredibly fun, when you allow it to be.

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