Thought = creation. If these thoughts are attached to powerful emotions (good or bad) that speeds the creation.
~ Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret
Have you ever wondered why you meet certain people at certain times in your life? Of course it’s easy to fathom that the forces of fate are at work, but have you ever contemplated the possibility that it is you who are creating your own reality?
Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, advocates a theory called the “law of attraction.” The premise is that whatever is going on in your mind is what’s showing up in your life. “You can begin feeling whatever you want (even if it’s not there),” Byrne says. “The Universe will correspond to the nature of your song.”
This philosophy surely is an interesting take on our ability to act on our free will. It also serves as a rationale for why certain events and individuals may come our way. Happy feelings will attract more happy circumstances, and vice versa. When you let go of past hurt and feel at peace with where you are, additional positive opportunities will find their way to you. However, if you’re sifting through emotional pain and don’t wish to open yourself up to the possibility of love, you will meet someone else who is undergoing a similar journey.
The Secret quotes motivational speaker and author Jack Canfield, who asserts that our choices influence what we receive in return:
A lot of people feel like they’re victims in life, and they’ll often point to past events, perhaps growing up with an abusive parent or in a dysfunctional family. Most psychologists believe that about 85 percent of families are dysfunctional, so all of a sudden you’re not so unique. My parents were alcoholics. My dad abused me. My mother divorced him when I was six… I mean, that’s almost everybody’s story in some form or other.
The real question is, what are you going to do now? What do you choose now? Because you can either keep focusing on that, or you can focus on what you want. And when people start focusing on what they want, what they don’t want falls away, and what they want expands, and the other part disappears.
To understand Byrne’s point of view, you probably want to hone in on some healthy, positive energy. In Positivity, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson talks about how experiencing an “upward spiral” will affect your interaction with the outside world. Positive energy broadens the mind and fuels growth, creativity and resilience.
Fredrickson also discusses how positive thinking opens the heart, and specifically references the act of loving-kindness meditation. This is a form of meditation where you focus your attention first to loving yourself, and then extending that mindset to those around you.
Positive emotions stem from how you interpret ideas and events, and whether you can find the good within the bad. “There is particular power in the questions you ask yourself,” Fredrickson says. “Simply asking yourself ‘what’s going right for me right now?’ can unlock so much.” For instance, you can perceive your long walk to work from the train station as a hassle, or you can focus on all the interesting tidbits along your path, and even appreciate nature’s beauty on the way. The choice is ultimately yours.
If positive thinking can spark a helping hand from the Universe, I’m all for being more conscious of what thoughts I choose to inhabit on a daily basis. “Your power is in your thoughts, so stay awake,” Byrne notes. “In other words, remember to remember.”