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God moves in mysterious ways, they say (or if you’re a Simon Drew fan, it’s cod). My friend Jane, in her more cynical moments, puts it another way, saying: “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”
If you’re a believer in the Law of Attraction – as I am – the universe, or God, or collective consciousness, or whatever name you prefer can seem frustratingly obtuse sometimes. You put a request out to the universe and it delivers exactly the opposite of what you asked for.
A couple of years ago I got so pissed off with this phenomenon that I mentally declared war on the universe. I decided that I didn’t trust it to support me any more so I was just going to press on by myself without it. I told myself that I didn’t believe in Law of Attraction anyway and wasn’t going to bother with any more attempts to manifest what I wanted because I always got the opposite of what I asked for. (Sound like a temper tantrum from a grounded teenager? Yes, that’s pretty much how it was).
To the uninitiated, the Law of Attraction says you get more of what you focus on. So, by rights, if you’re focusing on manifesting that perfect job or relationship or bank balance or whatever, it should show up in your life. The trouble is, it’s not quite that simple. Nothing ever is. Because if, having asked for what you want, you begin to focus on the fact that it hasn’t yet turned up, your point of attraction inevitably becomes the absence of the desired thing. And then, guess what, you attract more of that.
This so-called “lack consciousness” is insidious because we don’t notice we’re doing it. We think we’re focusing with all our might on what we want and turning ourselves into a mega-magnet to pull it towards ourselves in double quick time but, actually, the opposite is true. The anxious little voice inside our head is saying things like “Hm, that’s another week when the job/guy/million pounds didn’t show up. I’m obviously not focusing hard enough. Better try harder next week.” And the next week it doesn’t show up either because our focus is still on the lack of what we want.
My personal frustration with this whole process turned me into a hard-bitten cynic until very recently. The first thing that changed my mind was watching What the Bleep Do We Know. This reminded me, in a powerful and compelling way, that our thoughts create our reality. Shortly after this I met up with two master manifesters, Jenn and Martin, who asked me what I was hoping to manifest this year. The conversation with them – which I wrote about in this blog – reminded me of some of the basic principles of successful manifesting. In essence, these are to set your intention (ask the universe for what you want), to trust that it is on its way even when the evidence suggests something to the contrary, and then to turn your focus away from what it is you want and towards what it is that you are grateful for in your life. Keeping your focus positive in this way prevents you from developing the lack consciousness that holds the stuff you’ve asked for at bay. It ensures that you continue to feel good even in the absence of the thing or things you desire, which then smoothes the way for these things to turn up.
The last bit is the killer because when you don’t have the thing that you want it can be hard not to notice the absence of it from your life. And the frustration and irritation of this can make it very difficult to feel gratitude for all of the other stuff in your life. This is where I had got to with the whole thing and it becomes a frustrating cycle of disappointment and negativity. I guess it is why people who think they are unlucky are and people who think they are lucky are. Henry Ford said: “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
I was shaken out of my cynicism by the infectious enthusiasm of the master manifesters I met up with, coupled with my renewed interest in the power of our thoughts after watching What the Bleep. These two events convinced me to reassess my attitudes, to make my peace with God (or the universe, or collective consciousness etc) and once again to begin setting intentions for what I want to happen in my life.
I have a tendency to slip into unhappy thoughts the moment I become conscious in the morning. I’m sure you’ve done that yourself when life is challenging and it is a horrible sensation to feel your heart sink as soon as you shake off sleep. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to do something different. I’ve noticed that my day turns out muchbetter if I can grab hold of my thoughts when I wake and prevent them from sliding off into the pit of gloom. My practice now, when I remember (and I don’t always), is to focus on a few positive outcomes that I would like to experience in my day, rather than picking over all of the events from the recent past that have brought me to the point I’m at now. I spend a few minutes before I get out of bed in the morning setting my intentions for the day.
My friends, the master manifesters, reminded me to be specific in my requests to the universe so I recently put out two specific requests. One felt big and the other smaller. The big one was to achieve an ambition that I’ve had for more than 10 years. It is something that will challenge me and take me way out of my comfort zone but it will also give me a platform in a way that I have never had before. Two weeks after setting that intention I am closer to achieving it than I’ve ever been before. I made contact with the relevant people, I wrote a proposal and I went and presented it. There are three stages to the process. So far, I have cleared the first two and I’m working on the third. I can’t tell you what it is yet but, if it happens, you’ll be the first to know.
The second thing was that I needed to do something about my car, which is old and has become increasingly unreliable. The universe threw me a bit of a curved ball with this one because last week my car failed its MOT and the bill to repair it came to £550. That was more than the car was worth so I told the garage not to proceed with the work while I considered what to do. I had no idea what to do, to be honest. I have very little money to buy a new car and had no idea where to start looking. My last car came from ebay so I started looking on there and felt daunted by the whole idea. “Please sort this out” I said to the universe.
The garage had lent me a courtesy car – a sporty little MG. I called them back later in the day to get a comprehensive list of the stuff that needed fixing on my car in case it could be done cheaper somewhere else. Out of the blue they offered to sell me the courtesy car for not much more than the cost of repairing my old car. I was amazed. The mileage was exactly half that of my car, the car was comfortable and sporty and, most importantly, reliable. It had been well looked after by them for the last three years. They offered to MOT it and service it. They didn’t even want my car as part exchange, which means I can sell it on ebay for spares or repair. The last time I did that I got £400 for my broken down car.
I was pretty taken aback by the offer and really delighted, as you can imagine. I went from a sense of frustration and helplessness to relief in less than three hours! I had to smile. It reminded me that the universe doesn’t always give us exactly what we want (If you’d asked me what I wanted I’d have said I wanted my car to get through its MOT without too much trouble) but sometimes what it gives us turns out to be much better.
I can’t help imagining God to be a bit of a practical joker with a penchant for winding people up. I found myself laughing along with the joke this week rather than storming off in a huff. That’s another principle of effective manifesting, I’ve noticed, the ability to be light about things and not take it all too seriously.
Let’s talk about clothes. I found some great bargains this week, including this amazing langenlook top by Layers Paris for £2.50 which has fabulous braiding down the front and a wildly complicated shape. I am wearing it over a quirky black jersey balloon dress by Wall and a black shrug by Lindy Bop. The shoes, by Clarks, were £5 from Totnes market. They have never been worn.
The hat and necklace are the most expensive parts of the entire outfit. The hat is by Salt Cellar Hats in Porthleven and the necklace, which is actually a zip decorated with crystals and embroidery, came from a contemporary jewellers in Athens.
I loved wearing this outfit today, it felt dramatic and deliciously quirky. The photos were taken near to the Babbacombe Cliff Railway in Torbay and on Torquay seafront.
Shrug: Lindy Bop
Top: Layers Paris
Hat: Salt Cellar Hats