Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day and the LOA

The great thing about the Law of Attraction is that it has changed my perspective on a lot of different things.  

In case you've been living under a rock, today is Valentine's Day.  Depending on the status of your relationship, this can be anywhere from a mildly amusing day to absolute hell.  

The rage I have witnessed over this silly holiday never fails to amuse, because it's so out of proportion.  There's no obligation to buy a boat load of gifts for people you can't stand, you don't have to cook a big meal, there's no traveling involved, no mandatory religious ceremonies to attend, and yet, people act like they have just been falsely accused of grand larceny.  Typically, Valentine's Day means flower deliveries at work and an overpriced dinner out.  

Sure, it's corny, and everything is marked up 175%  for the day, but is it really worth all the indignant shouts of disapproval?  The fiery debates, the sheer hatred for a holiday based on the concept of love?  The blithering, self-righteous proclamations of "Fuck Valentine's Day!"  I swear, some of these Valentine's Day haters could moonlight as jihadists.

I'm tempted to ask these people, "What's the problem?"  But I won't, because I understand it.  Also, because they're usually armed with pitchforks and flaming torches, and they've got nacho cheese stuck in their teeth.

When I was single, I used to hate this holiday just like everyone else.  If you professed to like it, you would be the butt of jokes and subject to ridicule, so I got sucked into the mob-mentality and went along for the ride, but it always felt "off".  

These days, there aren't many things I find myself saying that I "hate."  That word has changed meaning for me, particularly because I understand the power of love vs. hate.  Love makes good things happen.  Hate breeds more misery.  Which would you rather have?

It's usually single people who complain the loudest about this holiday, and it is a reflection of their own self hate.  They see themselves as unlovable, and can't stop to imagine a better life for themselves.  They think that the world hates them.  They have spent the last 364 days complaining about how bad their lives are, so they think of this day as their excuse to vent even louder.

I know this, because I used to feel this way myself.  

I've struggled with self esteem most of my adult life.  I used to think, "There are so many groups that I could be a part of, yet those people seem to shun me."  I didn't understand why I didn't "fit in" with any group that I shared things in common with.  I felt like an outcast, and this just left me feeling crappy and unworthy.  I blamed all those people for shunning me, for making me feel like an outsider.  Residual damage from high school days that I'd sooner forget.

And then, one day, it hit me.  It's not them... it's me.   As much as I fought off this initial realization, it made perfect sense.  Unless I was a serial killer who preyed on newborns, the odds of being singled out for shunning by so many different groups of people was pretty damn slim. 

It was me, my negativity, my self loathing (which I somehow believed to be a part of me).  

So, if you find yourself complaining about being single on Valentine's Day, maybe it's a good opportunity to take a good long look at yourself.  Are you angry all the time for no reason?  Do you hate everyone and everything?  Are you stingy?  Selfish?  Rude?  Petty?  Vindictive?  Do you make excuses for your failures?  Do you blame others as soon as something goes wrong? 

All of these are symptoms that you are stuck in a pattern of negativity.  You can get out of it, but you have to believe that you can.  Manifest a better tomorrow for yourself.  Starting right now.  

And remember: candy will be on sale tomorrow.  See?  Things are looking up already.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Manifesting Sales

In addition to blogging, I have a little side business.  I sell arts and crafts that I make myself.  For a while, this was my focus, and I sold a lot of items to friends and family.  It was new and fun, and I was upbeat about it.  There was nothing to worry about, because I didn't know what to expect.  I just needed a creative outlet.

When friends and family first saw what I made, they began to ask, "How much?"  I didn't set out to make money with this at all, so I was caught off guard.  I just enjoyed making them, and if I made a few bucks, that was just gravy.  I was making people happy, and this made me feel good.  People would encourage me to take it to the next level, but I didn't think I could make enough money off these to support myself.  Starting a business, especially right after the recession, was a massive risk.  I didn't see the need because I liked my day job (and having health insurance).  And besides, once something becomes "work", it's no longer fun.  I didn't want to see it end like that.

After a while, business leveled off, then stopped.  I still worked on my craft, but I began to doubt myself a bit more each day.  I would design something and then delete it.  I would second guess new ideas or niche products.  I would look at my old designs and cringe.  In my head, the lack of business meant one thing: I suck at this.  I stopped production.  I didn't care.  I felt like a failure.

The longer I went without a sale, the less I enjoyed it.  I would think to myself, "Nobody's buying anything!  I suck!  Look at how much better the competition's items are doing.  Look at all their sales!  I should just hang it up.  I'll just wait until I run out of supplies and go do something less time consuming."  

And yet, no one ever said these things to me.  No one ever told me, "You suck, hang it up, loser."  I did this to myself.  We can be our own worst enemies.

The Universe heard my bitching, and responded in kind.  No sales (or creative inspiration) for me, for a long, long time.  As long as I held onto my negative thoughts, it would remain that way.  But I had no idea that I was causing this.  I just thought that my designs were boring, or that it had run its course.  I made excuses to make myself feel better for failing.  "Well, if I had more friends, I'd have more sales...If I wasn't being interrupted so much I'd have more inventory...If it didn't take so long for them to dry I could make more intricate designs...If supplies weren't so expensive, I could a profit..." 

After I started practicing the Law of Attraction, I looked at my little hobby in a different way.  Nothing had changed in the way I made my products.  In fact, I had developed ways of speeding up production, so there was no excuse for not having anything to sell.  My excuses were just a way for me to justify my laziness and self doubt.

I would look at my online store and point to an item and think, "You're going to sell."  I would imagine opening my email and seeing the words "Payment received."  I did this without worrying whether or not it could happen.  I knew that it could, because it had happened before.  I had faith (which is a huge part of the Law of Attraction), and I detached myself from the results.  When you practice detachment (not worrying about the outcome and trusting it to the Universe), you get what you want even faster.  Detachment can have a very calming effect, if done right.

I ended up selling more items in the next three months than I had the entire year.  I ventured into the oversaturated jewelry market with some success.  (But of course, I started to doubt myself and that's currently on life support.)

If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's this: if you want something to happen, stop worrying about the outcome.  Stop worrying, period.

Positive things happen to positive people.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yesterday, All My Troubles Seemed So In My Face

Yesterday, I was not in a good mood.  I wouldn't say that I was in a bad mood, because I don't recall any temper tantrums, but it was just one of those days.  And yet, I didn't understand why that happened to me.  In my mind, all should be fine, now that I am practicing the Law of Attraction.  I'm rubber, you're glue, your negativity bounces off me and sticks back to you!

But looking back, I see how things went wrong.

1. It was a Monday.  That alone is enough to put most people in a sour mood.
2. It was raining.  Even though this meant that all the snow would be melting, I still couldn't shake my mood.

Then the problems began to creep in.  I won't get into specifics, but I started worrying about a few problems that seemed to surface all at once.  It's like they all ganged up on me and I tried to fight them off with smiles.

"No, thank you, silly problems.  Go away, now.  Scram."

I tried to think positive.  I tried to get rid of them.  I tried everything I could think of, but it was as if I had a mental block.  Did I not get enough sleep?  I thought I did.  It was like a cloud over me (sorry for the lame cliche) that would not move.  Was it the lack of sun?

All day, I felt this stubborn mental "block", and I didn't know what to do.  So, I decided to check out one of my favorite LOA blogs, Deliberate Blog.  I always find it helpful to read what other people are experiencing.  It's like a group  therapy session but without the awkwardness of watching someone cry.

So, I left work and tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  I walked home and still felt mostly the same.  When I got home, my SO wasn't in the best mood and I thought of how easily this tension could have exploded into a huge fight.  I could see the fight so clearly in my head.  I knew all the awful things that might come out and I knew it was not where I wanted to go.

A pointless fight over a missing navigation device charger would just send me plummeting into a worse place.  So, I distanced myself and lay out on the bed.  I had to think.  What's wrong with me today?  Why is everything suddenly bothering me at once?

...bothering me at once. once.

AT ONCE.  That was it.  I was taking on all these problems at the same time.  I had no focus.  It was like trying to fight off three kids who all wanted my attention at once.  I decided that I had to say to myself, "It's okay.  Let it go.  Just let it go."  Instead of focusing on one problem and trying to feel better about it, I diluted my feelings and everything just became a mess inside my head.  It was like trying to butter three pieces of bread with one pat.  I love a good food metaphor.

I felt so much relief after that.  Did the problems go away?  No, but I realized that I needed to take each one on one at a time.  That's key, even if you're not into the Law of Attraction.  This is why we feel overwhelmed most of the time.  We take on all our burdens at once, even when they're not that pressing. So I let go and accepted things as they were.

Here is where the Law of Attraction makes you feel powerful.  Look around you.  Are any of those problems in the room?  If not, then you're already ahead.  A great way to get rid of a problem (or improve it), is to visualize how you want it to turn out.  Close your eyes and put yourself right there, like you are directing a movie based on this event.  Imagine the sights and sounds in the perfect way.  Imagine the best possible outcome - a happy ending.  Make it as realistic as you can.  This is just like day dreaming, but you need to have faith that it's going to happen for you.  Let your imagination run wild with it until you're smiling.  I've done this to the point where I'm laughing to myself in the street.

And then, let it go.  Let the Universe take over.  And trust that it will happen.  And it will.

Imagine your life the way you want it to be - and set it free.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Negativity - the Beast Within

Some people are naturally bubbly, happy, and optimistic.  As a pessimist, I did not care for these people.  I thought they were phonies - or on drugs.  In fact, I hated these people.  Sure, hate is a strong word, but that's what I felt.

But I was wrong to feel this way.  Had I paid attention to them, I would have learned something.

I used to be extremely negative.  It got to the point where I lost all of my friends.  Now I never had many friends to begin with, so it didn't hit me right away that I had begun alienating them with my nasty attitude.

I know now, that I drove them away.  I'm still not clear on just how, because no one ever told me.  It's not as if I got an email that read, "You sir, are a dirt bag, and I shall have no further lunches or Facebook commentary with the likes of you.  Good day."

Now, this will sound a bit insane, but when it came to cynicism and negativity, I used to think, "This is who I am.  There's no changing me."  I assumed people wanted me to be this way, because of the things I'd say when I was in a bad mood - the snappy comebacks, the sarcasm, the snark.  I thought they enjoyed my complaining, because it made for good stories and blog posts.

See, I have blogged before.  I had one blog where I made fun of products (and almost got sued), and another where I just bitched pretty much non-stop.  I told stories about my neighbors, my coworkers, strangers I'd encounter, and so much more.  If I couldn't bitch about something, I'd have no story.  My dominant thoughts were negative, so bad things happened to me almost daily.  "Write what you know!!" they say.  Well, I knew how to create misery for myself.  I also thought that being nice was a sign of weakness, that it was "wimpy."  Looking back on my life, I understand where the cynicism came from.  It evolved over a period of years, slowly.  I wasn't always like that.  I became that way as I reacted negatively  to the people and circumstances around me, creating more events by attracting them to myself.

I also noticed that my negative blog attracted people who shared the same cynical outlook.  The "nice, happy" people never seemed to read it, no matter how funny I thought it was.  They'd glance at it, but tell me that they didn't "get it."  I recoiled at this.  "What's not to get?  My neighbor got on my nerves and I plotted to kill her!  What the hell is wrong with you?"

I think the turning point was when someone said to me (paraphrasing), "I kind of wish bad things would happen so you could write about them."  I felt a little used (yet flattered) when I read this.  Doesn't this person want to hear good things come out of me?  I'm not always getting into fights with strangers or bumping into idiots from high school.

I never asked.  I just stopped blogging.  I saw, somehow, that I was causing these crappy (yet blog-worthy) things to happen to me, time and time again.  Disastrous trips, subway delays, and nasty grocery store cashiers plagued me.  I could barely keep up with the barrage of sitcom-worthy calamities that defined my life.  I enjoyed having so much material, but I grew weary of it, like a clown who's been getting pies smashed in his face for too long.

I became depressed after this, because I thought, "There's something really wrong with me.  Not everyone should feel so shitty, day after day.  This can't be normal.  Look at how much better other people are living.  Why can't that be me?  Why can't I be happy?"  I thought I was cursed.  Little did I know that I cursed myself. Good job, stupid.

Part of me thought that if I didn't bitch, the people who enjoyed my blogging would go away.  You know what?  They went away when I stopped blogging anyway.  They didn't start calling me up on weekends and begging me to hang out, and they didn't ask for more blog entries.  They moved on.

At my lowest, I decided to blog once more, but this time, I would embrace the negativity and self-hate like never before.  I started a new blog.  I called it, "New York Cynic".  I was so pleased with this catchy, pun-tastic title, but deep inside of me, I knew it was the wrong way to go.

I wrote one miserable, whiny post for this new blog.  It was just me whining about not having a social life.  It was a pathetic cry for help that would surely have backfired had I posted it.  There was no wit or humor in it, it was just a bitch fest.

So, where am I going with all this?  Well, you can't be a negative, whiny complainer and expect results from the Law of Attraction.  It starts when you get yourself into a better mood, and sometimes that's easier said than done.  One of the first things I did was write a list of what I call "Mood Shifters" and I kept it in my wallet.  On this list, I wrote things that make me happy instantly.  You can do this to.  Maybe there's a certain scene from a movie or TV show that makes you laugh every time you hear it.  Maybe there's a concert you saw where you had the time of your life, or maybe it's as simple as writing down the name of your child or pet.  Do you like cupcakes or Starbucks coffee?  Write that on your list if it makes you happy.  Most of the things that we get upset about are temporary nuisances.  The trick is to get past them as quickly as possible, because if we let them pile up, they weigh us down.

Like anything else, this takes practice.  I am now able to shrug my shoulders and move on a lot quicker than before.  In the past, hearing bad news or getting into a fight with someone would ruin my day, that night, and spill over into the next day.  But now, I can shrug it off, and go look for something that makes me happy.   I know this sounds a lot like I'm sticking my head in the sand, but hear me out:

Let's say a coworker just finished the last of the milk, and left the empty carton in the fridge.  Your instinct might be to find that person and mash it into their forehead the way James Caan mashed that burned manuscript into Kathy Bates' mouth in Misery.  But before you pin them to the commercial grade carpet yelling, "Eat it til you choke!" you need to stop and ask yourself, "Is this worth it?"  Nine times out of ten, the answer is, "No."  Once you realize that, you'll feel a little stupid, but you'll also feel so much relief, because you've just avoided making things worse.  Plus, you've got one less worry on your mind.

At the end of the day, you are in control of your fate.  Once you realize that you have the power to affect your own future, you'll be amazed.  You deserve to be happy, and no one can do it but you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You Are in Charge Now

via Flickr (Sean MacEntee)
Welcome to my new blog!  My name is Chris, and I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction.  I am here to share with you my experiences in applying this amazing concept to my own life.  

The Law of Attraction is a universal law that "like attracts like" and that our "thoughts become things."  Simply put, if you're always in a bad mood, then bad things will come to you.  Bad people, bad experiences, bad news, bills, ... it's a never-ending cycle of misery that can end in tragedy.  

But if you're in a good mood, the same will happen, but you will get more of the good things that make you happy: more money, more fun people, a better job.  The more this happens, the happier you become, and the more you want to keep this going until the day you die.  

The best part of this is that YOU are in control.  Yes, you.  The girl who thinks everyone hates her because she's not as attractive as the other girls.  Yes, you, the guy who thinks that his weight makes him the butt of jokes - and thinks that there's nothing he can do about it.  Your race, your sex, your age - none of these superficial things matter.  As long as you have a brain in your head, you can have a better life.  Better beyond anything you could have ever imagined.  You just have to learn a new way to think.  

There are a lot of people who say to me, "That's just the way it is," or "Just my luck," or "It wasn't meant to be,"  and my personal favorite, "There's nothing you can do about it."

Just listen those whiners!  Nothing you can do about it?  That's bullshit.  We are a cynical, victim-based society, and I'm sure this is no accident.  If you want to control people, convince them that they have no power. Just watch the news or pick up a newspaper and see.  Rapes, robberies, murders, scandals, war, drugs, disease.  Every single night, you have to endure a ridiculous amount of other people's problems just so you can get to the weather report.  I'll get into this, too, but for now, turn off the TV and turn on your mind.  

The reason that I believe in LOA so strongly, is because I have experienced it first hand.  Even when I wasn't aware of its power, it was happening to me - and you.  It was happening to your neighbors, your cranky coworkers, and that jovial doorman who seems happy all the time, despite having to hold doors open, hail cabs and accept your latest shipment.  It was there from the day you were born, and it was with you when you were in high school, whether you were getting bullied or becoming a track star.

What really drove it home for me was when I started looking into my past.  Now, I normally hate it when people go into the past and dwell on things, but if you want to know how the Law of Attraction will affect you, it's best to understand how it has affected your past.  You don't have to go far, you can think about how your day unfolded yesterday.

For example: think about a time when you had a crappy morning.  Maybe you found a hole in your sock or realized you were out of coffee.  What happened next?  Did you shrug your shoulders?  Or did you bitch?  Most of us will bitch (at least most of us New Yorkers will bitch), until we spiral into hostile monsters that, by the end of the day, are snapping at people for no reason until we finally collapse from exhaustion.  But that's part of life, right?  Nope.  It doesn't have to be.

In this economy, I'm sure you've heard some poor bastard complaining, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer."  This is true, but there is a reason for that, as you will learn, and it has more to do you with you than you'll ever know.  The Law of Attraction takes the concept of "personal responsibility" to a whole new level.  

I hope you will stick around as I continue my journey.  Remember, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.  Make it a great one.