I watched a disturbing documentary called Enlighten Us. It’s about the rise and fall of the motivational speaker, James Arthur Ray. He was in The Secret and talked, along with others, about the Law of Attraction (positive thinking attracts positive things and experiences).
He ended up being convicted of negligent homicide – three of his clients died in a sweat lodge in Sedona on one of his retreats.
In the documentary, here was this man who had everything and spoke of reaching for success but lost it all. He seemed more upset about losing everything and yet didn’t acknowledge the lives that were lost because of his actions.
It made me rethink this whole Law of Attraction – the need for wanting more keeps us grasping (like there’s this hole we have to fill) and it can have consequences – impacting other’s lives, impacting the environment and leaving us unfulfilled. It doesn’t leave room for grief or so-called “negative” emotions that gives us lessons. And it doesn’t necessarily make us a better, kinder person.
I used to have this vision board with all the things I wanted in life … a big house, a nice car, etc. I learned along the way that if I wanted something I needed to put it up on the board and envision it. The funny thing is – I thought I had everything and lost it all.
Now I live in a small apartment. After the initial grief of losing my partner and everything I had, I’ve found more ease and peace of mind living in my apartment, with my dog … less cleaning, no garden to maintain, never thinking about renovations, etc. I’m happy with what I have.
Some elements of the Law of Attraction are interesting – the power of the mind, the power of direction and purpose. But I think it forgets about the love that exists in pain and grief, it can also make us attached to material things and constantly searching and yearning for more.
Maybe the aim is to simplify and be content with what we have. Maybe we need to put on our vision board how to be a better, kinder person to others, our friends, our partner and the world. Maybe we need to be more grateful for what is right in front of us.
Maybe that’s the key to happiness.