Archive for February, 2010

21
Feb

My Law of Attraction Story

   Posted by: Britt    in My Story

I do have some heavy and intense emotional connections to LOA.

The short version of my story goes like this: My husband and I took a financial “education” course taught by an old friend and her business partner. Both at the time claimed that they were “financially free” meaning that their investment income surpassed their expenses (which, btw turns out to have been true at the time of the course but their claim had no longevity; one of them for sure is no longer “financially free’; the other, I don’t know). I had known this woman for about a decade and trusted her. We took this course and followed their recommendations (buying their investment products). For about a year, we were considered their star pupils: we were held up as a glowing example of students putting our education into action.  I was even asked to speak to another graduating class about our strategies. These days, they barely talk to us, let alone glance in our general direction.

Now, prior to this course, I had never heard of LOA. It trickled into the education (they included the viewing of “The Secret” as a side component of their course). And the duration of the course was salted with magical thinking. (These are people who learned from the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, Jack Canfield and T. Harv Eker.) Your thoughts create your reality. End of sentence.

By the end of it all, we had our vision boards, our strong emotional beliefs etc all in place. And in good faith and with a tonne of positive thinking, my husband and proceeded to leverage what we had. We “diversified” our investments from what this same company offered, ten thousand here; forty thousand there. Our biggest investment was one hundred thousand, and our smallest was two thousand. This diversity, we believed, coupled with the expertise and guidance of people who were living the life, would secure our fortunes as investors.

And one by one, over a two-and-a-half year period, almost each and every investment failed. One investment that we secured outside of this company is thriving; another secured from this company might be salvageable. The others are lost.

It was not just our investments that failed. These educators were offering ongoing courses, and many of their students had invested in their products. They are taking a beating, but thanks the the Law of Attraction tenements, they are keeping a happy face and thinking positive thoughts. They persist in selling investment strategies (somewhat diversified, but still incredibly risky and still the same sketchy track record). Their philosophy and game plan? To continue believing. Stay the course. Keep positive. Stick with the vision. Eventually,  if you just keep the right mindset and the right thoughts, it will all pan out.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my husband and I had leveraged everything (past, present and future) and assumed a significant debt . Out of money, “maintaining steady” and persisting with our thoughts was no longer an option. We are now in the process of finding a way to crawl out. And that is really the least of our challenges, for my husband had to move to a different province to find work that pays enough. He’s seen our daughter twice this past year. And our relationship is in shambles.

Of course, the snake-oil salesman would tell us that we are just not thinking the right thoughts. The folks over at landmark would have us believing it is entirely our fault too, whether it’s our thoughts or our actions. Byron Katie would say we need to “turn it around” and own it all. Yes, we are accountable. We learned, we leveraged, we invested, we plunged in. No one did that for us. But we need to only be accountable for our actions. As with abuse, the “subject” needs to own her part, and then distinctly draw a line where the actions of others end and hers begin. We’ve called upon this so-called education centre to take a second look at what it is that they are teaching. I personally think it is unethical to promote what it is that they are doing. (I also think that the source of education should never be the source of action. Learn here, graduate, and apply it there.) They provided us with the teaching, the understanding and the tools; we took those tools and turned them upon ourselves. We are responsible for our stuff, and they for theirs. They have yet to own their part. But then, they’re too busy thinking positive thoughts to get their heads out of their buns and look around at the havoc they have and continue to reap.

I’ve paid a very expensive tuition to learn this. Closing my eyes and putting my hands over my ears while chanting positive incantations over and over again will not make everything all right again. Anthony Robbins talks about flexibility as one of the four critical components in his Ultimate Success Formula. The blind chanting and assuming things will all work out because my thoughts are entirely positive is the exact opposite of flexibility. ***If you have a rigid grip on a false reality, no matter what you believe, you’re not going to succeed***.

I do believe in the power of thought, and it is in its ability to provide a mental context wherein the power lies. If you can’t conceive it, you definitely won’t achieve it. But there is no easy street. It’s like the Buddhist story about the tigers and the strawberry that I have included in my book.

You are walking through a forest when all of a sudden a tiger jumps out at you. You run as fast as you can, but the tiger gains ground quickly. You find yourself cornered at the edge of a cliff. The tiger has slowed to a menacing prowl, sensing that you are now an easy prey. You look over the edge. It’s a drop of 50 feet. Your demise is inevitable. The tiger nears. Then you notice that halfway down the cliff there is a small outgrowth from a young tree, providing you with something to grab. A possible escape. The tiger is almost upon you now. You jump down and lunge for the young tree trunk. You grab it. Hanging there you contemplate the possibility of escape, it being now only half the remaining distance. You glance down. And to your incredible dismay, you see three other tigers down below, awaiting your inevitable descent.

And then you notice it. There, just past where the tree has taken root in this small patch of earth is a strawberry. If you let go with one hand and reach as far as you possibly can, you might be able to get this one strawberry.

(Excerpt from The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman.)

Anyone who tells you that their teachings will let you taste that sweet once-in-a-lifetime succulence of that last strawberry you’ll ever taste all the time and without risk is taking your wallet for a (possibly very expensive) ride. It is the very context of the tiger above and the tiger below that gives the strawberry its divinity. Without the context, that strawberry is a strawberry just like any other.

The self-help industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and it’s the likes of James Arthur Ray that teach false messages (though, I believe with the genuine best of intentions) for the cost of $10,000 to $30,000 (T. Harv Eker’s tuition for the full meal deal) and beyond (Rich Dad seminars can take as much as you can leverage on credit) that keep the tap of debt streaming into their pockets by activating the basic human qualities of greed and fear to motivate their students into “action” (that’s a sentence that’s worthy of Nathanial Hawthorne!).

I think it’s a trap. Yes, people do need to find out how money works. The banks invent an amount which is signed off by government, and it’s is then loaned out to the people. 100 dollars is invented, 900 is loaned out and 27,000 is owed back. But the 26,000 of that money doesn’t exist (and the first 100 is invented as there are some suspicions that the Federal Reserve has no gold left on which to secure its monetary system), so the system perpetually places its citizens into servitude (or, as some would call it, slavery).  And yes, I do think that people need to actively pursue their dreams. You have one life (my belief), so live it as though it were the most precious commodity that you have. Because it is.

I’ve paid a tremendous tuition for a tremendous education, and it would be a shame to keep the learning to myself. That’s leveraging other people’s experience at its finest.  The readership may learn their own lessons and experience their own pitfalls, but they needn’t tread where I have gone.

Some claim that the universe exists for each of us. It is here to serve.

When contemplating this, I use the metaphor of the human body. In one way, my entire body exists for each and every cell. My body exist for that one brain cell, for that one white blood cell, for that neuron, for that gene. And at the same time, when I clip my fingernails or when I get a hair cut or should I get a limb or internal organ removed, that/those cell(s) for which my body once exists are gone. Yet, my body continues to exist. It is without feeling, without animosity, and without remorse that the various cells and entities that comprise my body come and go.

Likewise with the universe. Stars come and go. We see a shooting star (actually a meteor burning out) and we count ourselves lucky to have witnessed an entity transform from being into non-being. This time, we are but a witness. But I can only imagine that the universe too lets go of this entity without feeling, without animosity and without remorse.

Same here on earth, with our incredibly sacred yet transient human lives. When I die, the bulk of the remaining people/plants/animals in the world will be without feeling, without animosity and without remorse upon my death.

So, yes, on one hand I do think that the earth/universe exists entirely for us. And when we die, our particular view of the world dies with us. It, too, ends. And on the other hand, it couldn’t care in the least. Stars burn out, cells drip off our body every day, portions of us are surgically or cosmetically removed, and so too shall we die.

There is a story of one monk who was asked how he can retain such calm. He said that in one pocket he keeps the thought that he is everything, that his is the definitive purpose of the universe; in the other, he keeps the thought that he is nothing, that he will ultimately be returned to dust, that his existence with ultimately cease. And it is through the embracing these impossibly-co-existing opposites that calm/serenity can be entered into.

The problem with many LOA “teachers/gurus” is that they are teaching the one pocket thought without the other. This is dangerous, misleading, and incredibly inconsiderate of the student. It leads to a sense of Entitlement, the belief that the universe actually OWES you success/wealth/the perfect lover/skinniness — whatever it is to which you are applying LOA principles. It doesn’t owe you/me/us/we anything. It’s up to each of us to pursue our passions. And if we encounter the tigers, look for the strawberry. If we sit in a corner all day and vehemently believe the universe owes us this sweet strawberry, and we persist in sitting there and believing with all emotional intensity you can screw up, all odds are in favour of your end result being you in a room sans strawberry.

On my other blog, I have a YouTube video of Gabrielle Bouliane, the woman I hope to dedicate my book to. In four minutes, she demonstrates this perfectly. Diagnosed in September with a rare form of cancer, this vibrant young woman (43, one year younger than me) died four short months later. She knew. Life doesn’t owe you. It’s up to you to take life by the horns. You can shape your life, to some degree. I don’t have the answer to what degree. And without being the active agent in your own life, no amount of thinking will get you there.

The universe doesn’t owe you. You owe the universe. And even more importantly, you owe it to yourself.

Don’t let any LOA guru teach you only from one pocket. Don’t let anyone tell you the universe owes you something. Yes, it is abundant; yes you can try to tap into that abundance. Who knows, you might even succeed. There are no guarantees, and if they argue there indeed are, take your wallet and walk away. Or run.

15
Feb

Is it a Law?

   Posted by: Britt    in General

On the fantastic site of Lord Matt is an article questioning the logic of the name, “Law of Attraction.”

In brief, he makes these points of the flaw in logic on the name, Law of Attraction or LOA as it has become to be known.

  1. A law is either enforced by a governing body (criminal law, civil law, etc) or it is an immutable fact (at least here on earth, like gravity). As such, it is not something that you could choose to deny even if you wanted. According the to terminology, if I think I shall be rich, I shall be rich. There should be no safety lag time between those two points as claimed in the movie, The Secret. The apple falls, and I get my wish.
  2. It’s for sale. If it’s not working for you, it must be you. And I have the answer, right here, I wrote it down. You can look if you pay me exorbitant amounts of money. And if you still don’t get it, then it’s still you.
  3. It’s a Resurrection of hippie speak for “hey, mannn, YOU are god.”
  4. It does work. If you’re selling the idea to others. Where the buck stops, nobody knows. But stop it will.
  5. It plays nicely on human greed AND laziness. You can have it if you can only learn how to think right. You can be rich, be thin, be eternally young forever. Peter Pan.
  6. It conveniently works with our fears too. If you fear it, it too will come to pass. But, look, over there waaaay off in the distance is a chap who has no fears AND made millions and is skinny and eternally young. And if he did it, so too can you.
  7. Cause and effect come as a result of pure mental effort.

Think, dammit, think. Just think right. Okay?