Perhaps you’ve heard about The Secret?
Perhaps you’ve heard about The Secret? Oprah is talking about it. Ellen is talking about it. People everywhere are talking about it. The Secret is a best-selling, sometimes hard-to-find book and DVD that is sweeping the country. In a nutshell, Rhonda Byrne’s book is about the “Law of Attraction.” The book contends that people’s thoughts and beliefs actually can attract things to them. For instance, if we live in negative thoughts and fear, we will see only negative things in our life. If, however, we look for opportunities, are grateful for what we have and search for positives, we will attract good things into our lives.
The Law of Attraction suggests that the power of your mind brings to you what you hold in your awareness. For instance, if you awaken and believe that this day will be awful, you will discover hundreds of incidents throughout the day to prove you correct. You’ll notice people who aren’t friendly, get caught in traffic jams, experience people who belittle you and stand in long lines at the grocery store. But the Law of Attraction states that you can “manifest” a different reality if you choose.
Imagine waking up and lying in your bed, spending a moment to contemplate all the things for which you are grateful. Think of those who love you, the security of your home and your job and all the beauty that surrounds you. Before you move from your bed, you take a moment and visualize the wonderful experiences you will have throughout your day.
Without the slightest effort, you will find that your day is filled with pleasure, joy and happiness because you have “attracted” those things to your day. You will be watching for things which prove that your intuitive thoughts were correct. You have experienced The Secret—bringing to yourself what you believe in your mind.
The proponents of “manifesting” such changes believe that life is in your hands. You can choose to see life as threatening, non-accepting and scary, or you can focus on the possibilities and bring positive change into your life.
Why is this philosophy a “secret?”
- People believe in the principle of scarcity (there isn’t enough for everyone).
- People believe they must look at what needs to be fixed vs. what is going well—or the power they hold within.
- People are unwilling to face their destructive and negative thoughts and beliefs.
- People do not view their own personal power to create changes.
What are the techniques of The Secret?
- Ask. You are asked to clear out limiting thoughts and become aware of what you bring into your life. It is impossible to have what you desire unless you really ask for it to become part of your reality. So if you want healthy relationships, you must ask and acknowledge that you want this type of relationship. It will not happen without your awareness and your desire to make whatever changes are necessary to access this goal.
- Believe. What you believe is what you create. We are not talking about magical thinking, but about believing through your own actions that you can create changes which are consistent with your goals. Utilizing our example above, you must believe that you are worthy of having healthy and happy relationships and be willing to take the steps necessary to eliminate unhealthy relationships and create positive changes in yourself.
- Receive. If you are ready to create the change, you must be willing to act as if you will receive what you manifest. You must open your eyes and do your part to watch for your goal and be ready to act when it arrives. If you want that healthy relationship you must be ready to receive someone who presents herself/himself in your life.
Is this a new concept?
No. Many teachers and philosophers have taught these concepts in many different forms. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Buddha, Louise Hay and many other inspirational figures have told us about these principles of manifesting. These tenets have always been the real “secret” to manifesting happiness, just stated in various forms and descriptions by different scholars.
Here is another format that was used years ago by the inspirational master, Wayne Dwyer, Ph.D. He calls his philosophy “The Three Principle of Manifesting.”
- The Principle of Creative Thought. The premise is that what we believe is what we will create.
- The Principle of Mental Clearing. We must be willing to clear our mind of self-limiting and destructive self talk before we can manifest new beliefs.
- The Principle of Vision. In order to manifest our goals or dreams, we must have a clear vision of what we want to create. Without that vision, we will not be focused on a specific change.
The philosophy is not new, but the revitalization of its tenets has returned in a way that is easy to understand and easily accepted by the general public. Many of you may know intuitively that your thoughts and beliefs create your destiny. Sometimes we just forget to act upon our inner knowledge.
So is this a reality or a hoax?
The reviews are mixed, as you might imagine. People from all over the country are firm believers in the concepts of The Secret, and there are those who say it is nothing but magical thinking and hopeful wishes. Some say it is just a magnificent marketing and great hype to sell a book. What we do know for sure is that thoughts do create reality. We know that negative thoughts do affect your psychological well-being.
Here’s a challenge: Utilize the three techniques (ask, believe and receive) of The Secret and do a little experiment. Tomorrow morning when you awaken, before you leave your bed, imagine how you want your day to be. Visualize different parts of your day, and see it in a positive light. Then believe you can make today just as you visualized. Start the day and see if it mirrors your manifestation. The decision is yours, but you just might be amazed by what you discover! TPW
Dr. Miller is the founder and director of Peoria’s Joy Miller & Associates. She is an internationally-known licensed psychotherapist, professional trainer and author. A part-time instructor at Bradley University, she has been professionally involved in the mental health field for 25 years. For more information on mental health, visit www.joymiller.com or www.joymillerblog.blogspot.com.