As I prepare for a a 200 hour yoga teacher training, I wanted to share my thoughts on a book I recently finished for the journey.
To prep for the training, I was sent a list of required reading. There are three focuses: 1) books on yoga, 2) books on personal development, 3) books on health.
I recently finished a book for personal development, called The Secret. It’s well known but I had not heard of it prior to receiving the required reading.
It first, I thought the book was totally absurd. After reading the first 5 pages I believed the authors were unrealistic and very privileged. They ignore the plights of the unhappy, the poor, and the unlucky, who experience these issues due to unfair systems of power and culture. I Googled it and easily found similar critiques. Seek and you shall receive? Exactly the point.
Regardless of these initial feelings, I persisted with the reading because it’s part of my training and I knew that my teacher found value in it.
FYI, The Secret IS The Law of Attraction.
The book focused on the mantras “Like attracts like” and “Ask, believe, receive”. Your thoughts manifest your destiny. To control your life, control your thoughts. The book discussed infinite energy from within you and throughout the universe. How all goals are possible, but it depends completely on where you choose to focus your thoughts, energy and attention. Hmm…have I lost you yet?
“The Secret” tells the reader that if you’re consumed with negative feelings toward another person, place or thing, those thoughts will simply project back and only serve to hurt you. The way we perceive ourselves is the lens through which we perceive the people and world around us. Apparently, everything we do is to receive love in all it’s different forms, such as wealth, happiness, or knowledge.
The only way we can get love, is to give love, starting with ourselves.
This book can be helpful. It encourages you to pay attention to your thoughts in order to achieve awareness of the time and energy you expend toward negative or positive things, and recognize how life manifests itself in response to this. The law of attraction tells us that the more you focus on the things you want, the abundance you seek will naturally flow back to you.
Post update March 18 2018: I stumbled upon this article and I thought it was great input to add to the whole affirm and manifest all your problems away approach. From the article, “Positive affirmations are for people with already high self esteem. Assigning a positive affirmation such as, “I love myself” to someone with a core belief they are unlovable can lead to confusion, shame, guilt and sadness. Its important to work on getting neutral before getting positive.” Click here to keep reading: Why Affirmations Don’t Always Work and What To Do Instead: An Optimism Expert Explains.
I’ve grappled with this book and similar ones where the ultimate message touts personal improvement as a solution to all the problems of the world, like power and poverty.
At the same time as being a strong believer in science and evidence-based solutions to big problems, it’s also seems logical that underlying roots of larger issues are intertwined in the way we choose to treat ourselves. We know there are countless reasons for the problems that plague our communities, so an essential step to correcting them would be to unravel and understand their origins. I believe that can start with cultivating a better awareness of ourselves, how we individually act and think about the communities we belong to.
It’s a short read and maybe worth it. While sometimes a little repetitive, it’s easy to skim and discover advice that apply to you personally.
It inspired me to let go of things I can’t control, send energy to activities that bring me joy, and focus on manifesting my intentions through awareness of thought.
A few favorite quotes are:
“Where your attention goes, energy flows.”
“What you think, you create. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you become.”
“What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi
“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” – Buddha.
Even if you’re not planning to be a yoga instructor, this book is good for anyone who needs a nudge to learn about the power of positive thought and how to focus on the things you truly desire in life.
Cheers to finishing books and sharing ideas. Feel free to share yours.