This is the last of a series of posts in which I've been focusing on The Secret, the DVD which has done so much to publicize the law of attraction, the idea that we can create our own reality through the power of positive thought. I've been discussing the three elements of The Secret which I believe to be the most important, and the third technique is perhaps the most valuable of all.
This one appears on The Secret DVD but does not, in my opinion, receive sufficient emphasis. The message is a simple one: give gratitude. Give thanks for all the good things in your life.
There may be many such things in your life or there may be very few just at the moment, but everyone - at least, everyone who is reading this - has something for which to be grateful. So make a list of your blessings - however short it may be! - and give thanks for them.
You may find that, as with the second technique, this is a valuable exercise in itself. It makes you feel good just to do it. But I think you will also find that it triggers the law of attraction. The way this works is obvious really. If someone gives you something good, they're more likely to do it again if you show that you're grateful. So why should the universe be any different? If you don't show that you're grateful for something, how does the universe know what you like? How does it know what to send you next? If, on the other hand, you give thanks for what you receive, then it may send you more of the same...
This is an idea which resonates with me, and I think it may be the reason why religions seem to stress the importance of giving thanks. I used to wonder about this. Why does God need all that praise? Does he have a personality disorder or something? Why should this omnipotent being need the emotional crutch of having its ego stroked all the time? Why should something so powerful be so needy? But now I realize this isn't about what's good for God after all, but about what's good for us. We're asked to give thanks because this is the way the universe works. If we give thanks for what we like, we receive more of what we want in our lives. The exhortation to praise is simply telling us this.
If you aren't convinced by this, I can only suggest what I usually do: give it a try and see. There are two things to watch though. First of all, the gratitude has to be genuine. If you concentrate only on what you're going to get out of it, it won't work. But don't worry - I think you will find that as you practice gratitude, you will find it is such a pleasurable experience that you will be happy to do it for its own sake, instead of focusing on any rewards you may get.
The second potential problem is that those old familiar negative thoughts can rear their heads. You may find yourself asking why you have to be thankful for A when you have to put up with B. And for that matter, what about C and D, which are also a pain in the butt?
The way I deal with this is to tell myself that I can think about B,C, and D later. For the time being, I'm focusing on how good I feel about A. I can think about that other stuff when the gratitude session is over. This tactic seems to work for me, so I hope it will work for you.
The Secret suggests that this gratitude technique is particularly useful for relationship problems. If some things about your partner are annoying you, stop dwelling on them and make a list instead of the things you do like about them. Practice gratitude for these positive things and you will encourage more of them, while those annoying habits you are now ignoring will fade away.
Quite apart from the spiritual dimension, this seems like a good common sense idea to try. Law of attraction or no law of attraction, we see what we focus on most...
And of course, we don't have to concentrate just on ourselves. The same technique can be used to manifest peace and joy for the world. It is all too easy to focus on what is wrong with the world. Spend some time focusing on what is right with the world instead - and give thanks for it.
These, then, are my top three tips for 'law of attraction' techniques to practice - especially if you find that negative thoughts tend to get in the way of your imaginings. The first of them (described in Walk Before You Run!) is simply a beginner's version of the classic 'imagine what you want and so attract it' technique. The other two (described in this post and the previous one) may be less specific than the idea of summoning up a fast car or a dream house, but they are delightful exercises in themselves. And who knows? - perhaps it is better not to be specific. It may be that the universe has a better idea of what will bring you happiness than you do...
(To read the Heart Of The Secret posts in sequence, please start here.)
This may also be of interest: