The Law of Attraction has risen in popularity over the past couple decades, similar to the philosophy as I learned: Thoughts are Creative. This is a beautiful, powerful, direct way of working with energy. What you focus on, you attract. What you think about, you create. Sounds simple, right? It’s true – partially.
Having high anxiety? You are likely to co-create your fears, or live like they are real, anyways.
Feeling poor and repeating how broke you are? You betcha, you’re broke. It sucks. More broke coming at you now.
These are examples of how we can shape our reality with our thoughts. If we focus on the contracted feeling and words about being broke, our contracted energy field can’t allow in an unexpected source of support. We develop tunnel vision of “this is the way it is, and I must struggle with it.” It may or may not be money, but it might just be what we need. If we’re focussed on being broke, we may not even see a gift placed right in front of our faces. Our energy field is too contracted to let in the opposite – abundance.
Many of you may have seen the movie The Secret, and I know it inspired many people. It fell a little flat for me, because it only told part of the story.
We can’t simply change our thoughts, and have them stick. That’s a little bit like saying I am the center of the universe, and all the planets revolve around me.
We’ve all got this thing called… the personal unconscious. The conscious mind can work with affirmations, focussing on goals, and making our thoughts more positive… but if there is a massive cram-packed basement piled with boxes such as self-loathing, lack, despair, self-critism, self-doubt, insecurity, fear – you get the picture – affirmations don’t re-write the whole basement. Affirmations try to close the door and lock it and write love notes and stick them on the door. Its not really facing what’s down there, and sooner or later if we don’t address what’s in the basement, the damp, mold, and spiders will crawl up the walls and into our conscious living abode and wreak havoc on the lovely life we’ve tried to create for ourselves!
It’s far better to get some support going down into the basement, to work on clearing it out, and that is what I do with people. I help bring light to the old wounds, trauma, or misaligned belief system so you can heal. When we turn towards these dark places within, we actually can discover where you might have cut yourself off from love and acceptance.
Not to mention, self-help affirmations that are too big and beautiful are a stretch for some and can actually hurt the people that need help the most – people with low self-esteem. I discovered this in my own practice over a decade ago, after becoming a certified Clarity Breathwork practitioner. Giving affirmations that were too advanced or not felt as a truth were sometimes too much to integrate and take in. This was also unearthed in an article by Dr. Joanne Wood at the University of Waterloo. Focussing on affirmations can actually trigger the wound meant to be “re-written” in people with really low self-esteem. It can actually trigger feeling worse about themselves. Far better to take baby steps and have a totally reliable rock solid foundation being built each step of the way. This is where a highly intuitive support person can come in handy to navigate that potential precipice.
The power of the unconscious is far greater than our conscious mind. Its like a boat on a lake. Which has more power, more presence?
We can look to the heavens for a mirror of the size and power of the unconscious, in the emerging understanding around “dark matter”.
According to Christine Pulliam of the Smithsonian Magazine,
In our universe, dark matter outweighs normal matter – the everyday stuff we see all around us – by a factor of 6 to 1. We know dark matter exists only from its gravitational effects. It holds together galaxies and galaxy clusters.”
Hmmm… dark matter? And why ever am I bringing up dark matter in an article on the Law of Attraction?
And Ron Rosenbaum of the Smithsonian says in Lisa Randall’s Guide to the Galaxy:
…[Lisa] and her Harvard physics colleagues have found something new. What she is excited about is “dark matter,” which—along with “dark energy”—makes up the vast majority of the known universe. The current estimate is that 70 percent of the universe is dark energy and 26 percent dark matter. Which adds up to 96 percent. Meaning that what we see and know adds up to a measly 4 percent.
Four percent! The invisible 96 percent apparently keeps the universe in gravitational equilibrium, preventing it from collapsing on itself or dissipating into virtual nothingness. But we know almost nothing else about it. The problem has been that the dark stuff doesn’t seem to interact with the 4 percent we know in such a way that gives us a clue to its nature.”
It’s my speculation that perhaps the dark energy that scientists are detecting is a lot like the unconscious within us – vast, necessary, and so powerful it holds stars in their constellations.
As the old Hermetic saying goes:
As it is above, so it is below.”
The microcosm and macrocosm is present in all schools of esoteric thinking, according to scholar Pierre Riffard.
And, if the universe is mostly dark energy and dark matter at 96% – perhaps we are likewise 96% unconscious energy – because most of the time we are unconscious of our thoughts, our bodily functions, our reactions from complex to simple, our instincts, the source of our emotions, unconscious of what we dreamed last night, and our inner drives or demons. We’re unconscious of the energies we came into this life with, and how we were shaped by our upbringing.
This ratio is a pretty big pileup, and so if the 4% is the known universe of matter, paralleled with our small ratio of conscious thought, how could changing our thoughts, rewriting the way we word things, our perspectives, or otherwise shifting consciousness on that level alone, create the results we are looking for?
How can only 4% of our being rearrange the other 96%?
The only way we can understand the mechanics of star constellations is to enter the territory of dark matter.
Likewise, to understand our deeper natures, is to enter the territory of our unconscious. And, the collective unconscious, likewise a massive field between all of us human beings. There are many parallels here.
My caution flag goes up when I hear of approaches that are designed to manipulate energy. “Fake it til you Make it” is one. “Just change your thoughts around it.” Is another.
YES there are times this can be employed. Like just about everything in this magnificent universe, the truth resides in paradox. YES change your thoughts. YES more positive thinking creates a more uplifting experience and draws to us the things we seek. YES prayers of gratitude bring ease and joy. YES sometimes the source of pain comes from negative thinking that we are stuck going round and round with like a rat on an exercise wheel. YES sometimes we need to learn to shift our perception and focus our mind and thinking.
HOWEVER, that’s not the whole story. It will only carry us so far. It only carried me so far, it only carried my colleagues so far. I could offer countless examples where this notion of just “changing our thoughts” falls short.
There comes a time when deep inner yearning wants to be met, when soul loss from the past will interfere with simply thinking and focussing on what you want. In those cases we need to go back to where the wound is, and meet those places, and regain the trust of those parts of the soul so they will join us in present time. When you are whole, and familiar with that young doubtful voice inside, you can address him/her when the doubts come up – or whatever the emotional, contracted energy, fear, or response is – so that you can truly create what you want in this life, without being constricted by old beliefs of the inner child.
And its not just about thinking upon what you want to attract. It’s feeling it. It’s energy. So if you want to attract a certain energy into your life, you have to change your resonance. It has to be embodied. Certain kinds of breathwork are very good for accessing and embodying your truth. Many other approaches out there to changing our energy are primarily mental, thought-based approaches. We have to access it from the ground up – from our souls. It’s a different calling card. It’s not catching the spiritual high – its the willingness to go so deep within that our soul’s truth has to burst up like an ancient spring offering our wisdom and truth from such a deep place, that we are no longer subjected to potential buzz kills or being knocked off the magic carpet ride of the spiritual high that can be achieved by changing our thought vibrations. Its just a wee bit delusional, if we’re not feeling it in our bones.
I’m not a big fan of trying to manipulate energy with affirmations only, as you can tell, but this snuck up on me in a real life-or-death situation. I’m relatively new to the world of horses – and my first trainer was Parelli style. Loved her. And, her method for dealing with my horse liking to buck, was to ignore it. Good behavior was rewarded with praise. Bad behavior ignored. Until it goes away. Theoretically. Focus on what it is you want to create. And I got a horse who was allowed to express himself in ground work by bucking, the behavior simply ignored.
Fast forward two years and I got bucked off. Hmmm… not so effective early training. He genuinely appeared very sad when I got hurt. He didn’t know. His unconscious drive had not been sufficiently addressed.
When do we need to look at the difficulty, the “bad” part, (which right there indicates a judgement or rejection of a part of ourselves which would need some healing!) and when do we focus on what we want?
For me, the movie The Secret was mostly “Manipulate your Powerful Inner Forces to Acquire the Stuff You Always Wanted.”
Doesn’t sound particularly enlightened to me.
Where was the piece about helping to manifest what’s really important? Like peace and harmony and love and that kind of stuff?
If thought is creative, what exactly am I creating? What other factors are involved in what I want to create? Much as the child believes he or she is the center of the universe, and forms opinions and decisions based on early experiences, the Law of Attraction philosophy puts us right back into the center of the universe. The sun does not revolve around you, or me, sorry. Your thoughts are not keeping the stars in the sky. There is far more at work here! And you can limit what you see by choosing a belief system – and that’s all it is – a belief system, it isn’t the Truth. Doing this actually squashes the ability to work on expanding into soul consciousness or connection to all things (aka Oneness). In part because rejection is built into the belief system – and whenever we have something we won’t look at, we have denial. Down in the basement it goes! (And that’s on a societal collective level just the same!)
If we are hampered by a belief system (and believe me do people get ruffled if someone messes with their belief system!) we can’t open up to the much bigger picture of the great unknown – that which we do not yet know anything about. (Refer back to that 96% vs 4% thing) So perhaps there is a crossroads here – we get to decide if we just want things to come our way more easily (basic manifestation skills are great by the way) and create a life of our dreams, or to know the truth. The truth may touch why we are here, our purpose, who we are really, deep down, beyond the job, the relationship, the house… Caution: might threaten one’s belief system.
“What you can plan is too small for you to live.” –David Whyte
I encourage people to focus on creating the relationship, the job, the family, the house they want. Absolutely. We have to focus our powers of intention to manifest. This is powerful stuff! And it works – IF you do the healing work too!! We have to dive into the unconscious to create lasting results. We have to bring all of ourselves up to resonance with what we’d like. And, we’d do well to keep the door open to surprises – what may unfold may be much richer for our soul than what we think we want. If we do not know all of our own soul, how can we know all of our divine plan or what we’re here to do?
When we start digging around in the unconscious, growing aware of and releasing old beliefs, it’s quite possible that what we thought we really wanted to manifest wasn’t so important afterall. Who wants to manifest it? The ego, or the deep self?
Our culture is over-emphasized on wealth and material gain. Sorry. I know we all enjoy it but it isn’t the guaranteed path to joy. That happens from within. I personally would prefer to live a fulfilling life, a joyful life, a meaningful life, rather than just have stuff. And money. Stuff and money don’t buy deep connections, friendships, love, belonging, truth, or lasting fulfillment.
Don’t get me wrong! The pathway to opening to creative freedom and deeper self-love is also the pathway to nurturing your own ability to be successful. However, if we start by focussing on the successful bits we want, we end up teetering if we don’t have a solid foundation in place – if all of our being hasn’t arrived there yet.
This is what I’m getting at: the parts of you left behind in the unconscious. They want to be found first, and brought on board, before a truly solid foundation inside can be built.
It’s the wounded child parts of ourselves. Sometimes we’ve suffered soul loss, and parts of our soul are literally not inhabiting our bodies. We first need to recover these wounded or frightened parts of ourselves so that we may be more whole. These wounded parts are filling our unconscious thoughts with fears, feelings of rejection, unworthiness, you name it. Whatever the limiting core beliefs are, they’re in there, a little different for each person but not dissimilar. They want to be addressed.
Better yet, those parts want to be healed. The soul reclaimed, brought forward to live in present time and space.
This step cannot be skipped!
Otherwise no matter what we are telling ourselves we can create, there is 6 – to – 1 of our unconscious vs conscious mind believing we can’t have it. (Referring back to the macrocosm of dark matter)
Denial doesn’t cause things to disappear. We have to get real with what is, and find within ourselves the healing to be able to accept what is, and then make a choice from an unreactive place. A place of deep acceptance. I have witnessed this denial in many Law of Attraction and Thought is Creative adherers. Many actually refuse to even discuss the homeless, the sick, dying, poor, the ills of our society and the wastefulness on this planet. Human life on our planet is in danger but there is no discussion on it, because the solution is to focus on what you DO want to see happen. This DOES help the energy field move into a place of love and light. However, it allows suffering to continue. The answer I received from my teachers way back is that is the life their soul needed to incarnate into, it was a choice. In the Western understanding of the Hindu belief system, its called “karma”. Aka, “Not my problem”. Tied up with a bow.
The individuals on this planet are akin to all the cells in our body. Each cell has a job to do, and each cell becomes critically important, if it falls out of alignment with its true divine nature. Having violence, sickness, destitute people in our society is a little like having a problem like cancer manifest in the body. Sometimes we can change our relationship with our bodies and energy fields and completely heal from cancer. And sometimes we just need to cut the cancer out. However, cutting out cancer alone is often temporary relief of a lifelong energy pattern. Something still needs to change, whether it be diet, attitude, environment, unconscious beliefs, suppressed anger, or many other options.
The poor and homeless people, those suffering, and violent perpetrators, are all like wayward cells in this organism called humanity who need help to remember who they are deep down. They are all our people. Who are we as a species if we are without compassion, if we don’t care about our brothers and sisters because they “chose” to incarnate into unsavory conditions? Or if they ended up there due to wounded energy fields knowing no other way? Most people do not know how to transform. Do we let them figure it out on their own? Could you or I figure it all out on our own? How many incarnations will that take? How will their souls learn to resonate differently if we don’t help teach them? Meanwhile we continue to live in societies of poverty and violence. It doesn’t go away because we turn our heads and look away.
I am that, too.
It’s the turning towards, being real with what is before us, that offers the biggest opportunity for change.
Unfortunately I have known a few Law of Attraction proponents who chose to end their own lives. It is sad to me that a person couldn’t admit the truth of their failings or emotional despair to their own community! No room for truth, only projected truth – what was desired to be created – but that isn’t truth! That is projected desire. That’s attempting to create reality, while side by side with denial about what is happening. An opportunity for deeper healing could be present, and it would involve going down into that dark basement.
A friend of mine was one such person, and I really wish he could have been real with the people around him who loved him. He was always sharing how wonderful everything was in his life, how successful he was. Imagine the shock to discover he chose to take his life rather than admit his failings and look for deeper healing.
I was changed forever on the day I learned of his suicide. And the day of his memorial, when I saw how the situation played out – it looked like more denial, the way nobody wanted to acknowledge the darkness. The pain. What he suffered and never spoke.
Did anyone even have a conversation about how someone so brilliant, kind, loving, generous, sweet, funny, and seemingly successful could simply one day decide to take his own life, leaving a young daughter to mourn in his wake? No one seemed to have a clue what just happened.
This is the shadow side of focussing only on the positive. It doesn’t make room for a reality check. And that is very dangerous.
There has to be room for both. The dance of light and shadow brings wholeness.
We need to do our homework so that we can learn to be with the difficulty (download my guide “Finding Self Compassion” by subscribing, if you haven’t already), allow ourselves to feel deeply, be truthful with and release pent up energy and emotion, recover soul, embrace the wounded parts of ourselves, and bring self-love to all the places in ourselves in which these are missing. We need to move towards “wholeness” not just the light, not just the positive.
This is a very potent and powerful space to hold, one that can look fully upon the shadow and expand into the light at the same time.
Only then can we truly manifest the powerful purpose and fulfillment that the soul desires for us in this lifetime.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.
If you enjoyed this article, and would like support on your own journey, reach out! I support people powerfully via online sessions and in my healing office
Mardi Storm is the developer of SoulCentric BreathworkTM and SoulCentric PaintingTM . She was trained and certified by Clarity Breathwork, Diamond Light, and Lightbody. She is a graduate of International Academy of Consciousness, and is trained in Intuitive Process Painting, Reiki, Clairvoyance, Shamanic practices, and more. Through many pathways, what has distilled is the love of finding and nourishing the inner compass for creating one’s own unique pathway. She helps others access their deep inner truth, and encourages action into the flow of fulfillment and purpose. She has a lifelong devotion to spirit, and offers healing sessions and spiritual guidance over Skype/Zoom and in person in Sebastopol, CA.