So my month following The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is over and it’s been a weird one. I’ve written fake cheques, bought a dress that doesn’t fit me and cleared out half my wardrobe, in the hope that it brings my dream man. But I still haven’t really got my head around the whole Genie in a bottle stuff of asking for anything you want and believing that my wish is the Universe’s command.
As my friend Zoe says, ‘so can I ask for bigger boobs?’ Exactly! Would The Secret argue that the universe would increase Zoe’s bust to Pamela Anderson proportions if she just believed that it was so?
I do believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it – but I don’t think it happens by magic.
As David, a reader of the blog, posted – ‘By focusing Secret-style on what you want, you WILL see it everywhere because your brain will alert you to it. It alerts you to OPPORTUNITIES which can lead you to getting what you want. The basis is sound – it’s just that half of the foundation – the action – is glossed over in this book.’
That’s exactly how I feel. I want to believe in the fairytale but the talk of the Law of Attraction, energy, frequencies and metaphysics goes over my head.
That said, I did put a picture of a green smoothie on my Vision Board and then a day later got commissioned to write an article about kale smoothies (the editor had not read my post) so I am willing to believe that there are forces at work that I don’t understand. Am I contradicting myself? I think I am…but that’s what I’ve been doing in my head all month. I believe, I don’t believe…
Anyway, here are my high and low points with it:
I found it very useful to clarify what it is that I do and don’t want in life. Initially I thought I wanted the nice car, nice house, nice wardrobe stuff (basically being richer and skinnier) but when I did my Vision Board I realised that actually all those things stress me out. What I’d really like is freedom, health, time, peace of mind, travel and a life full of interesting people. That was quite an eye opener and I would totally recommend the Vision Board exercise to anyone. It was very revealing.
Also, I love that this book gives people permission to dream big. I would not usually allow myself to talk about book deals and hot men and six figure cheques on the grounds of a) who do you think you are? (Such an Irish/English thing – heaven forbid we get ‘notions’ or ourselves) and b) ‘how’s it ever going to happen?’ defeatism. This book tells you not to worry about how it’s going to happen because the trusty Universe will sort it out.
As I said, I find it hard to believe that the Universe magically sends that £100,000 cheque but I think we should all have the guts to aim much higher than we do. Perhaps then a combination or our actions and universal forces I don’t quite understand make amazing things possible?
The focus on cheques, houses, cars was too materialistic for my liking.
Finally the total glossing over of the work one should do in achieving one’s dreams made me uncomfortable too.
It’s hard not to get furious with talk of people in natural disaster being ‘on the same frequency as the event.’ As for the idea that food doesn’t really make you fat unless you think it does stuff, well… it’s all a step too far for me.
General self-help stuff
There are also other parts of the book that I haven’t written about but which have been good.
Like almost every self-help book out there The Secret focuses a lot on gratitude. It says that in order to have a happy life and to bring more into your life you must first appreciate what you have. One of the gurus in the book says that for the first 10 minutes of the day, from the moment he wakes up, brushes his teeth, has a shower etc, he will list in his head all the things he is grateful for.
I have been doing this every day for the last three weeks. The way it makes you feel is quite incredible. By nature I am somebody who wakes up in the morning worried about what the day might hold but this totally breaks that pattern and it’s fantastic.
The book also says to actively thank everybody in your life so I sent out emails to everybody who I love and care for to say thanks for the ways they make my life great. The responses were a) confused (are you sick?) but b) lovely. I think I’m pretty good at telling people how much I love them but it never hurts to do it again and to be specific about the ways they’re fantastic. A very easy feel-good thing to do for everyone.
Don’t have a negative thought
The book also says that same as Susan Jeffers, in Feel the Fear, which is that staying positive is absolutely the name of the game. If you think positive, positive things will happen. Think negative and bad stuff will keep happening – so that means avoiding watching bad news, excusing yourself from negative moaning conversations, and not saying a bad thing about anybody. The book says that when you say or think bad things about someone else it’s only you who is hurt.
By nature I am a big smiler but I do tend to dwell and ruminate on the bad/sad stuff in life. I watch sad movies, listen to miserable music etc. This month I’ve become more aware of that tendency and have tried to stem it but the truth is I quite like feeling sad sometimes. It makes me feel deep! Ha! That’s embarrassing to admit but I think that’s what’s going on.
However, I have been making a concerted effort not to moan or bitch about other people – I haven’t always succeeded but I’ve noticed that when I do it, I always come away feeling bad about myself. I have realised I criticise others when there is something bothering me about myself such as a) I haven’t checked my bank balance all week (I really need six months with that money book) b) I am behind on my work c) I ate too much/drank too much. Criticising can be a pattern, a conversational habit to fall into, but I’d like to break it.
The end result
As for the book deal and six-figure cheque. Well, it hasn’t happened – YET. The book proposal and chapter is with publishers now and we’ll see… I’ll keep you posted. Maybe The Secret has worked its magic because I have total faith that it’s all going to happen. Maybe not straight away but when the time is right.
MARKS FOR THE SECRET? 2.5 OUT OF 5.
A LOAD OF PUFF AND HALF-BAKED SCIENCE BUT THIS BOOK ALLOWS US TO DREAM BIG, WHICH I LIKE
[easyazon_link asin=”1847370292″ locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”hemebl08-21″]The Secret[/easyazon_link]
PS – THERE ARE OTHER BOOKS ON THE LAW OF ATTRACTION which a lot of people say are more convincing than The Secret. If it’s something you are interested in, try E2 by Pam Grout (which I am only half way through but which has DIY experiments designed to PROVE the Law of Attraction), google Abraham Hicks or dig out the self-help classic Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. I love that book – it’s based on the same idea that there is ‘secret’ shared by successful people, which is having a grand vision, but it’s must more thorough in advising you to have a goal, a plan, put in hard work, be persistent etc…
Sign up for sporadic updates from self-help land and life in general, including details on upcoming talks and events. Promise not to bombard you.