Create The Life You Want
Many may not know this, but I am a big fan of the Law of Attraction (LOA, for short). I know: E-gads, she’s woo-woo! Really, I’m just a gal who wants what I want when I want it!
I am resourceful. In the 8th grade I liked a big, strong and cute boy named Gary on the cross-country team. But Gary didn’t like me. Well, to be clear he hadn’t even noticed me. So, as a good, resourceful Catholic girl, I found St. Joseph’s Prayer, an ancient prayer which illustrates one of the first applications of the Law of Attraction, that is, before LOA became reinvented through The Secret and the modern day masses. (Check it out: http://prayertostjoseph.org)
In order for this prayer to work, it is said that you must ask for your heart’s desire and then repeat the prayer every morning for nine days in a row. After that you will receive what you are praying for. What can I say? At the end of my nine prayer days—Gary liked me. But when that happened, I didn’t want him anymore. I know: Fickle girl!
Be Very, Very Afraid
LOA folks often imply that if you have a negative feeling you’d better be aware that you are going to create bad things. Always stay positive! So of course, being a good student, I tried this when brushing up against negative emotions in myself like anger, fear or sadness. Frantically, I would search for something to make me happy, like listening to an inspirational tape or reading a self-help book. Then I would feel happy, though a bit high and buzzy, like I had just eaten loads of cotton candy on an empty stomach.
Along with some good old-fashioned hard work, I lived like this for many years and was able to manifest amazing things. I went to the Olympics as a rower even though I was the smallest and lightest person in my event. I was the top of my MBA class and got the pick of the prestigious consulting firms after graduation. I found my perfect house for a song, and then sold that perfect house right before the housing crash. (I utilized old St. Joe for real estate transactions, too!) Again, along with hard work, all of these things are amazing examples of my experience with the LOA.
What helps my manifestation ability is that I am someone who has big feelings and emotional expression, which puts a big punch behind my wants. Early on, however, I got the message that my emotional expression made those around me uncomfortable. As a result, I shut down as much as possible. By age thirteen, I was adept at suppressing and repressing, and to compensate, I focused on achieving instead. By seventeen years of age, I was having back problems. By nineteen, I was highly allergic to the outside environment. Plus, as an athlete, I had all sorts of physical injuries.
What You Ignore Shows Up Somewhere
Nowadays, I subscribe to the belief that what I don’t feel, shows up in my body. In his book the Mindbody Prescription, Dr. Sarno describes this linkage quite well. Instead of dealing with my discomfort with anger, sadness and all those icky-ucky feelings, I focused on solving my physical ailments by looking for the answers outside of myself. As I result I wound up choosing:
Relationships that I didn’t want because I didn’t think I had a choice.
Careers I didn’t want because I didn’t think I had a choice.
Friends I didn’t want because I didn’t think I had a choice.
I had developed a habit of listening to people outside of myself and not making my own feelings matter. I focused on achieving and making others happy in order to gain approval and success in life. And succeed I did. On the outside it didn’t look bad at all. I had a successful consulting business. I lived in a great house. I was acting in the community theater and had a great relationship. However, I found myself saying, “I hate my life,” which I didn’t understand.
So what was the problem?
Ring of Fire
Rather than pretend that everything was okay or look for answers outside of me from yet another doctor or guru, I went through a mind-body program and looked inside. There were two main things I did (and still do):
I learned how to slow down and land or grounded in my own feet. Yes, energetically, I am constantly out of my own body and focused on my environment. I developed a practice of brining my energy back into my own shoes. As I do this, I usually take a deeper breath.
Then, I get curious about: What am I feeling, now? This may sound simple, but when I first started doing this, I did it about 50 times a day, because I didn’t know how I felt. I was so used to not knowing, having ignored my feelings for so long.
Doing these two things repeatedly, took me through what Martha Beck, author of Steering By Starlight, calls the “Ring of Fire,” which is a hellacious catch-up process where one experiences many of the repressed emotions they have been avoiding. I remember one weekend, we were at a horse workshop in Phoenix and for no apparent reason, I just cried and cried and cried. It was fairly embarrassing, but, as it turns out, I was with a great group of life coaches who didn’t blink an eye.
I realized I was fairly unhappy with some things in my life. I was working way too much, had a dog that I could not manage, a friend whom I didn’t feel comfortable around and a business associate who wanted more control over me than I was comfortable submitting to. Over a course of about nine months and lots of feelings, all of those things have changed. But they would not have changed had I not been willing to feel just how miserable I was and get clear about what I did and didn’t want.
Your Feelings Matter
So my point here is, don’t be so quick to dismiss what you are feeling, especially if it is “negative.” I believe emotions and body symptoms are here to give us guidance. They are a way we connect to our higher selves; and they are our navigational systems that say, “HEY PAY ATTENTION. YOU ARE OFF COURSE!”
Emotions are just energy in motion and are always on the way to shifting into something else—if we allow them to flow. When we stop their flow, meaning we don’t allow ourselves to feel our “negative” emotions, then we actually keep them stuck. It is paradoxical.
The quickest way through emotions of anger, fear or sadness is to let it move through you. We tend to think that if we actually let ourselves get angry or cry it will never stop. That has not been my experience. By giving myself permission to get really hopping mad or sob, it may last two to five minutes. That’s it. By letting it out in dribs and drabs it can go on for a LONG time.
Take Home Tools
So many of my clients are busy taking care of their kids or families, building their businesses or just managing the daily hectic schedule. As a result, they have ignored their own bodies and emotions. They claim they just don’t have time. My argument is, if you don’t take the time, you won’t like the results.
So slow down and land in your own body. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling now?” and make what you feel on the inside matter more than what is on the outside, even for just a minute. See if you get any information that you can use to take care of yourself more effectively.
Then when you respond to someone on the outside, you’ll be more clear about what you really want to say or do. In addition, if you are a fan of the Law of Attraction, you’ll be a lot more clear about what you do and don’t want to attract in your life.
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.
Interested in coaching? Check out CrisMarie’s executive coaching and personal coaching, or Susan’s personal coaching and equus coaching.
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