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No, we’re not talking here about setting your alarm clock. You’re probably thinking, “Obviously, I’m already awake, or I wouldn’t be reading this right now!” You might not be actually sleeping, but as we start a brand-new year, it’s time to ask yourself: Are you fully awake and aware of the life you are creating for yourself at this very moment?
How do you create your life and your future? You do it through the thoughts and feelings that you hold in your mind consistently over a period of time. We have tens of thousands of thoughts a day, but many of them are random and fleeting and don’t have much impact. What does matter, though, are our dominant thoughts — the ones we dwell on consistently, the habitual thought patterns we follow on a regular basis. Those thoughts of today are what draw the events, situations, and people that will form our tomorrow.
What we don’t realize is that what we think consciously and believe subconsciously affects how we act and react to the world around us. It sends out a signal that in turn has an effect on other people, drawing those of like mind to us. This is great if our thoughts are positive and constructive – who doesn’t want to be surrounded by people and situations that lift our spirits, encourage and inspire us to be our best selves? But what if our thoughts are sad, gloomy, bitter, angry, fearful or anxious – do we really want to draw people to us who will just perpetuate this negativity? Please don’t invite me to that party!
Our thoughts also influence our future, because when we are steeped in negativity, we do not make wise choices or take constructive action. We are too reactive, act too hastily without sufficient reflection, respond to others with negativity, try to control or manipulate people, or force events and situations in such a way as to sabotage our own goals and progress.
There is a lot of buzz in recent years about the Law of Attraction (LOA), which is based on the theory that “like attracts like.” Personally, I firmly believe in this law because I have seen it manifest over and over in my own life – for both good and bad, depending on the way I was thinking, feeling and acting at the time. Although the LOA has become very popular nowadays, it has been written about for the last 100+ years by various “New Thought” authors, and these principles actually have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. They form a part of virtually every major religion, and are mentioned by many great thinkers and spiritual leaders and in many religious texts, including the Judeo-Christian Bible and the teachings of Buddha. They may not have called it “the Law of Attraction,” as that is a relatively new term, but in principle they were teaching the same truths. We may have heard their words hundreds of times, but just never truly understood or “got it” on a deep, basic level.
Utilizing the Law of Attraction is just another phrase for unwavering faith in Divine Power to manifest those things to which we aspire. Although many modern LOA proponents use the term “the Universe,” I prefer to use the “G” word — God — or Divine Power, instead of “Universe.” This is because I believe that God is the supreme intelligence that created all things, and the Universe is simply a creation through which God works, using the power of love. But it doesn’t matter what you call it, and you don’t have to be a particularly religious person to utilize it; it is only necessary to have an open mind and to believe in a Power greater than yourself, a Power which is the Source of everything and the loving Force that is present within you and everything else in the Universe. You can refer to this Power by any name that resonates with you.
Even those who are not of a spiritual or metaphysical mindset would likely agree that our subconscious beliefs affect the way we act and appear to others, and that they definitely have an impact on our own bodies and mental/physical health. Many medical professionals today acknowledge the mind-body connection.
Many people who are proponents of LOA talk about using it to acquire weath and success. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting material things — as long as we don’t put them above everything else — I believe that the LOA’s greatest power lies in allowing us to open ourselves the the gifts God wants to bestow upon us, but which our negativity and feelings of unworthiness prevent us from receiving, or even requesting. As it says in James 4:2: “You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”
Image courtesy of kittijaroon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This is the first article of several that I’ll be posting periodically over the next several months, which will explore in simple steps how to change your life for the better, how to experience more joy, happiness, serenity and abundance. The first step is “waking up” by becoming aware of the quality of our thoughts. Awareness is the beginning of changing things for the better, because if we walk around unconscious of what we’re doing, we will never change.
The next post of this series will present some questions to help you identify your own habitual thought patterns.