Friday, October 5, 2007

10 Steps To Unlocking "The Secret"

You may have heard about it on Oprah or at the dentist's. Indeed, "The Secret," a best-selling self-help book and DVD, is out. As author and producer Rhonda Byrne says herself, the "secret"--that we create our reality with our thoughts--is nothing new. But it's not easy to digest that every person, thing, and experience in your life is there because, unconsciously or not, you brought it there. Yet using that knowledge to create a dream life is where the juicy fun begins.

1. Clear Your Mind

Find a place in your home to designate as your "intention space," suggests author Lynne McTaggart in her book about the law of attraction (LOA), "The Intention Experiment." You might want to set up an altar, or set plants nearby. Even when you're not here, you can summon this spot for future intention-setting. Then sit, quietly, comfortably, and breathe. Meditate for five to 10 minutes, writes Taggart, to help your brain slip into a relaxed, receptive state.

2. Decide What You Want

You need to get clear about what you actually want, or, say LOA experts, you'll attract mixed results. In their book, "The Law of Attraction," Esther and Jerry Hicks say that the thought "I don't know what I want" is really just the psyche's way of saying "I'm afraid of what I want." So get clear and dream big. You might need to confront some scarcity demons, but don't dwell on them, just keep focusing on your desires, whether it's a law degree or a million dollars.

3. Ask For It

Write down what you want very specifically, says philosopher Bob Proctor in "The Secret." And, he says, write it in present-tense, as if you've already gotten your wish: "'I am so happy and grateful now that...' And then explain how you want your life to be, in every area," Proctor says. It's also crucial to ask for it in a way that's positive-the Universe, say LOA experts, responds to every word. For example, instead of the potentially self-sabotaging "I want to get out of debt," (the Universe will "hear" debt and keep on sending more your way), say, "I am living a life of abundance and wealth."

4. Visualize Having It

Every day, close your eyes for several minutes and imagine yourself standing inside your dream home, embracing your soul mate, standing in your ideal body. Keep focusing on what you want and imagining it so clearly that you can see, feel, smell, hear, and taste it.

Recent brain imaging tests show that imagining doing something is almost exactly the same to the brain--and the body--as actually doing something. The idea is to have your thoughts and feelings "vibrate" at the same frequency as what you want; if you desire stupendous wealth, raise your emotional bar to bring that in--expand, expand, expand.

5. Express and Feel Gratitude

Make a list of all that you're grateful for. Gratitude will further magnetize good things to you. It will also open your heart and assure your unconscious that you are capable of having a beautiful life, because in fact, you already do.

In "The Secret" book Byrne writes: "With all that I have read and all that I have experienced in my own life using The Secret, the power of gratitude stands above everything else. If you do only one thing with the knowledge of The Secret, use gratitude until it becomes your way of life."

6. Release Control

You've cleared your mind, decided what you want, visualized those things and experiences, and expressed gratitude for what you already have. Now, see your request going out to the Universe. It will sweat the details, the "how" of manifesting your request.

7. Stay Positive

Be aware of your thoughts. But, as author Marci Shimoff says in "The Secret," it would be impossible and exhausting to watch every single thought-we have about 60,000 a day. Instead, be aware of your thoughts by monitoring your feelings.

If you're tilting toward sad or angry, re-calibrate quickly. Read a beloved book, walk in nature, listen to a stunning piece of music-anything to stay up, light, and inspired. If you start doubting, replace it with knowing, with that feeling of having it. The more you saturate yourself with having your desire, the higher your positive vibration becomes.

8. Be Patient

As metaphysician Joe Vitale says in "The Secret" film, there's no guaranteed timeline for these sorts of things. But don't give up. If your wish or some version of it doesn't manifest in a few, or even 30, days, worry not. Just keep on believing and sending out positive thoughts and feelings. The important thing is to keep doubt--and negative feelings--at bay.

9. Invite It In

Really receive your gifts and enjoy them. And remember to send out gratitude and love for this magical-seeming process based on the connectedness of all matter. Also, continue to steep in it--surround yourself with photos of what you desire, say your desire aloud, go to an open house, a test drive. Do what it takes to let it enter your life.

10. Share the Wealth

Though "The Secret" doesn't specifically address using this manifesting power to help the world, the Law of Attraction is a perfect tool for that. As Jack Canfield, founder of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, says in the film, Mother Teresa said she wouldn't attend an anti-war rally, but if there was ever a peace rally she'd be there. Along those lines, see Iraq and other troubled places filled with smiling, calm, peaceful people, bustling markets, sweetness, and inspiration. Feel peace in your body, send your love.

And enjoy the secret: "If it ain't fun, don't do it," Canfield says.