In the event that you missed Oprah's show a few weeks ago on this topic, or don't have a friend who's encouraged you to see "The Secret," and have not a clue what I am talking about, allow me to bring you up to speed.
The Secret introduces, in a 90 minute film, the notion of the Law of Attraction (LOA). In simple terms, what we think about and focus on expands, and draws more of the same to us, whether that be something we desire, or something we absolutely do not want.
I find myself muddling waist high through a sea of ambivalence in selecting this topic to write on. I could tell you that I've mentally written several post versions about The Secret since viewing it. Yet I'd much prefer to clean my bathroom than attempt to write this post. I'm torn between what I like about it, and the good it can do, and my skepticism with slick formulas (which says something about my take on it that I'm reluctant to go public with). Because I've been practicing this material for several years, I'm familiar with the challenges inherent with this tool.
In a nutshell: I saw this movie at a friend's home in late January, several months after it came out. Overall, I like it. In an entertaining way, it reinforced what I've been practicing. I felt more positive and upbeat after I saw it, in spite of the hokey title, and melodramatic beginning. In fact, I liked it enough to purchase a copy through their website (currently the only way to see it). I've viewed it a couple more times with my husband and a friend. I'll share it with my daughters the next time they come home.
Here's the caveat. The Law of Attraction is a tool, not a magic bullet. On the one hand, anything that helps me become more conscious, awake, and encourages me to proactively choose how to respond to life, and become a co-creator, is a good thing. It's not necessarily easy or automatic. Nor, in my opinion, is it the only answer. Meditation, prayer, and the practice of stillness are also tools that can produce similar results.
My primary annoyance with this film centers on how it feeds into our culture's insatiable need for the "one" golden answer to life.
From a marketing perspective, the film succeeds brilliantly in laying out the "one" formula to ensure you have everything you desire. Do this . . . and voila! Pul...eeze, life is full of mysteries, nuances, and things that may never be explained in one's lifetime.
And yet, the film puts forth a truth that resonates for me. It is this. We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. When we stop living on automatic, we have more choice in what we think, and as a result, what we feel. We can choose to become proactive in our lives, instead of blaming others. As we "condition" ourselves from within, we create space for our higher guidance to come through. We take guided action, leading us closer to desired results. Jack Canfield, of Chicken Soup fame, illustrated this in the film with examples from his early days as a new author.
Keep an open mind, while understanding everything in the film must be taken with some grain of salt, so to be speak - there is truth in the film, but not all truths. For example, in the film two people spoke of compelling medical miracles in their own lives through the practice of LOA. They impressed me. I also know that other people, using the same tool of the law of attraction, would not necessarily create the same results. Prior conditioning, belief systems, and other factors play a role.
Two careers ago, I earned my keep as an oncology social worker. I still cringe when I recall cancer patients who were expected, by family and friends, to "cure" themselves through positive visualization. While it's true that tools such as these can help, they shouldn't be used as sticks to prod or beat somebody with.
Therein lies the rub. Use the information presented in the film in a way that serves you. Take it light and easy. One of the things that sticks with me most in listening to the Abraham material (on the Law of Attraction) is the advice not take these "laws" so seriously. Rather, they encourage us to focus on what helps us to feel good. Have some fun with it!
Here's a mundane example from a couple of weekends ago. On our way home from Hilton Head, we stopped for gas along the Interstate. I got all bent out of shape because the gas cost about 12 cents more per gallon than the previous exit. Within a minute or so, I could feel my stomach tighten. Big clue for me. I realized I was focusing on lack. I looked at the messages I was sending myself. I made a conscious choice to shift. I chose to focus on the fact that we could easily afford to pay for gas at just about any price and how good that felt. I turned to the sunny warm day and how much fun we had enjoyed at Hilton Head.
The above example proved an easy shift to make. Yet 3 days later, I found myself in a very demoralized state over something else and found it took much longer to shift - like all day! And that's okay. Because even in that demoralized state, I was noticing my thoughts.
I give credit to the film for encouraging people to become conscious and mindful. In order to manifest, we need to start with the inside stuff - the thoughts we imagine and focus on. For this reason, I give the film the proverbial thumbs up, with viewer discretion. Just remember to pair the mental preparation steps with eventual action steps.
While this post was still in draft form, I rec'd an email from a friend. She shared a newsletter from a mutual colleague of ours who wrote about The Secret. With his permission, I've excerpted a piece of what Mark Albion (author of Making a Life, Making a Living, and True to Yourself), wrote because of his reminder of our interconnectedness:
"Again, like anything else, the Law of Attraction, if taken too far gets us in trouble, in my opinion. Taken in other ways, it can, and obviously has, been helpful to many people. Still, I suggest that life is not about you or me; it's about us. It is not about what you get, but what you give. It's about how we serve each other and an unearthly concept that all of us -- all of this - is more than just 'us,' but something we call 'G-d' that we do not control, but instead, we serve. Happily."
To view other comments about this movie, see Halina Goldstein's post. From there you can also click on additional links. Rick Cockrum has a short and sweet take on LOA in a recent post. Or you can read Steve Pavlina's latest post on a related topic, "The Science of Success." I dare say a google search would come up with innumerable links on this topic.
You can purchase the DVD here, or view it online for a $4.95 charge. In the end, it's your take on it that matters the most.