Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Law of Attraction Steps 1 and 5 (Be Very Clear What You Don't Want and Letting Go)

The other day I was talking with a fellow coaching trainee and I discovered a point of confusion between the two of us within the five steps to the Law of Attraction.  In other words, he was telling me about his line items from Step 1.  "I don't want this and I don't want that."  While I was thinking, "but look what is happening to Step 5!"  The following day I listened to Therapy Training: How To Make Any Therapy More Effective by Chris Milbank and he made this very good point.

People who hate dishonesty really love honesty.  We need to treat our excess love of something as well as the opposite issue.

Used at their most advantageous and effective, I believe the five steps to the Law of Attraction work together and give you a greater picture about what is going on in your life.  Why you haven't been attracting the life of your dreams.  It can be tricky, though, if you don't consider each step in relationship to the other steps.  For instance, my friend was telling me that he had received a job offer and had declined it because he didn't want to work for a W2; he wanted to work for a 1099.  In other words, he didn't want to be a direct employee for the company; he wanted the company to hire him by retaining his business as a consultant.  He wanted the transaction to happen in that fashion because he saw it as giving him tax write-offs for his business.

I saw some conflicts in my understanding with what he was saying.  So I spoke up and asked for clarification.

Throughout my training and in the materials I've read, I've learned:

1.  Money is a form of appreciation.  Money will flow to you as appreciation for the services and work you have performed.  It may flow to you from other sources than you were expecting, but to the degree of which you have removed limiting beliefs or blocks, money will naturally flow to you.

2.  The Law of Attraction presumes a world of abundance.  If you are begrudging someone other than you the money he or she receives in appreciation, you are operating from a position of scarcity.  You are more in alignment with abundance when you are happy for other people's wealth as well as your own.  In other words, in a world of abundance, someone else's wealth takes nothing away from you.  I don't have to compete with you for that dollar.  There is plenty for all of us.

3.  Step 3 to the Law of Attraction is to "Let go."  This means to let go of any expectations you may have as to how you will receive the things you manifest or listed that you wanted in Step 2 (Be very clear about what you do want.)  An example I have been given is people who say they want a million dollars and then go out an buy a lottery ticket.  You see, when you buy that lottery ticket, you are dictating the terms rather than letting go.  I want a million dollars.  I want to receive it via the lottery and since this ticket is for next Tuesday's drawing; I want the million dollars next Tuesday.

I saw my friend's desire to work for a 1099 rather than a W2 as coming from a place of scarcity and dictating terms rather than letting go.  He answered, of course, "but what about Step 1?  I know I don't want to work for a W2.  I know I want to work for a 1099."  Instinctively, I still felt like I was onto something with what I had said, but Step 1 is to be very clear about what you don't want and I couldn't dispute that he was.  I knew we were in danger of slipping into a impenetrable logic loop.  It seems to me our only way out is by diving deeper in.  When you are centering in on what you do or don't want, you are supposed to be very detail oriented.  I've noticed the details from Step 1 can point you towards limiting beliefs you may need to clear in Step 3.  While the details from Step 2 (Be very clear about what you do want) can point you towards the emotions you would like to tap into in Step 4 (Nevillize or feel and behave as if you have already received what you want.)

Now, how would my friend feel if he worked for a 1099 rather than a W2?  As I see it, he would make more money.  Nothing wrong with that, but why not simply ask for a greater salary?  Why not just list in Step 2, X = the amount of money I would like to receive.  After all, whatever amount he visualizes himself as receiving as a result of the 1099 rather than a W2, couldn't he just receive that in the first place and allow for his employers to get the tax write-offs?  While we were discussing it, my friend began to talk more in terms of life purpose.  It turned out that the work he was talking about was, in his words, "soul crushing work."  He felt that way because, although the work is something he is good at performing, it isn't his first choice in terms of what he would like to be doing.

That is where we get lost in the details.  While we're talking 1099's and W2's and their tax benefits, the essence of what he wants has less to do with the money than something more elusive to pin down but is probably somewhere between appreciation and control.  I think when you find yourself listing details of what you do or don't want and they are beginning to read more like dictating terms, a good idea would be to return to steps 1 and 2 and detail how you would or wouldn't like to feel.  For example, in my friend's case.  "I don't want to earn a living doing work that feels 'soul crushing.'"  Perhaps even write it out in a sort of a beginning to something like an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Script.  In the past I have found my work to feel soul crushing.  It felt that way because x.  I would like to perform work that feels soul uplifting.  In order for me to feel that way, (a b c d) would be present.

There is another aspect to consider.  My friend felt the work was 'soul crushing,' but he was willing to do the work if he were allowed to dictate the terms.  Why?  Presuming a world of abundance, where there are myriad things you could do to earn a living, why would you want to do work you felt was 'soul crushing?'  Everything I'm saying is pure speculation based on a few comments between friends; but if I were examining my own Law of Attraction Vision Board or worksheet, I would consider two things.  First, why the work felt that way.  Is it because of how I have been treated by specific employers in the past?  Is there a chance simply working for a different employer could change how I feel?  Or do I just really hate doing that sort of work?  Second, do I have a limiting belief that the only way I can earn a living or be gainfully employed is by doing work that I secretly hate?

Now it is all well and good to take a page from a friend's Vision Board and dig in and say perhaps he needs to go back to the drawing board, but to be fair, maybe I need to put myself on the spot a bit.  At least my friend has a list of goals and what he wants, frequently I find my own vision, particularly in terms of relationships, much more vague.  A starting point could be a statement I made on a Vision Board very early on.  "I would like a romantic partner who makes me feel loved."  That stemmed from a Step 1 item about a former partner.  (In other words, a complaint about a former partner.)  "Being loved by "x," is like sitting in front of a fire which casts no warmth."

On the surface, it seems very straightforward and simple.  I didn't like that former partner's style of loving, so I would like a partner with another style in the future.  Do you see the glaring problem that stands out like a sore thumb, though?

I would like a partner who makes me feel loved.

Was it on while we were on the schoolyard that we first voiced, no one can make you do or feel anything.  You are the boss of you.  How you feel is an inside job.  Seems obvious that my choices in steps 1 and 2 in this instance point directly to a limiting belief.  Perhaps I need to clear on the belief that I need someone else's love, affection, or approval in order to feel loved?  Perhaps I need to examine whether or not I love myself?  And, if all that is the case, how does that change the shape of who I'm looking for in a romantic partner?

Now what does this have to do with Chris Milbank's assertion that we need to treat our excess love of something as well as its opposite?  He goes on to say that if we really love freedom, we will always recoil at feeling trapped.  It will happen again and again.  In other words, the Law of Attraction is an attraction of energies.  By being overly attached to one side, we naturally attract the opposite due to our extreme aversion and resistance to it.  Actual freedom comes from being in a situation that could cause us to feel trapped and being confident we are still free. 

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of  human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search For Meaning

Letting go of attachments is also Step 5 of the Law of Attraction and I believe it is important for a couple of reasons.  First, those attachments are probably also tied to limiting beliefs.  Consider the lottery ticket example.  Perhaps you focused on receiving the money through a lottery ticket because you had a limiting belief that you could only receive the sum of money you wanted by winning it.  Keep in mind what that limiting belief could also be saying about your own opinion of your self worth.  It is a Law of Attraction constant that you will receive love or money or any other form of appreciation consistent with the amount you believe you are worth.  In the case of my own example, how can I ever find a partner who will make me feel loved, if I don't love myself?  If I am not worthy of my own love, how can I be worthy of anyone else's?  

Second, we tend to behave as if things will all work out swimmingly if we just get these limiting beliefs we have cleared and get on with manifesting things.  Life doesn't work that way.  For one thing, most experts in the field agree that once a limiting belief is cleared, another limiting belief will surface in its place.  At the same time, change is inevitable and integral to the system.  For example, I had a later partner who did make me feel loved, but the relationship still ended.  I believe being truly clear on a limiting belief is very much like this quote by Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron:  

Nothing ever really goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

In other words, as long as we are attached to A, we will hate B.  The strong attachment naturally creates an energy of aversion and that energy will continue to draw the circumstances we dislike.  Or more precisely, it will continue to draw circumstances which cause us to feel and react in an opposing way.  I think to truly clear on a limiting belief that is associated with an attachment, we have to find that place where we can be like Viktor Frankl.  We have to be actively able to choose a different response or reaction than the one that has been dictated by our attachment and subsequent aversion and resistance.  

Honestly, as I have told my clients, I can't really say why your life becomes happier when you choose a positive outlook.   Does it actually become happier or does it seem like it is because you have chosen that filter through which to view it.  To me, it doesn't matter because the end result is the same.  I am happier.  The same is true with "nothing ever goes away."  Perhaps it never really goes away AFTER it has taught us what we need to know either.  Perhaps it is just a question of it no longer disturbing us.  We are no longer attached to its opposite.  We are no longer resisting.  

Why, if it all is simply a state of mind, do I even want to bother?  Because when you have cleared away the cobwebs of attachment, aversion, resistance, limiting beliefs or data, as Dr. Hew Len (the therapist I have mentioned in this blog before who healed a ward of mental patients using Ho'oponopono) would call it, that is when you tap into the flow, which is a sort of pure intuition.   The flow is like being immediately connected to the Law of Attraction.  The flow is when writers and artists describe their work as having almost written or created itself.  The flow is when athletes become the ball, the race car, or simply the thing itself instead of someone playing it.  The flow is when you don't question what you are doing; you just do it.  The flow is being truly alive.

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