COLUMN: Relationships flourish or whither depending on the kind of energy we send to it. Most of us know on some level that applying the right energy to our relationship is the key. Learning to use our energy well is one of the keys to the Secret and Law of Attraction. Subject of much debate, the idea is to use your thoughts and positive energy to create abundance and wonderful relationships. The concepts make sense, even if you don’t believe in the mystical and spiritual principles within the Secret and the Law of Attraction. For those who have been living on a distant planet for the last couple of years and haven’t heard of these methods, let me explain.

A group of folks took the Law of Attraction, a book by Abraham-Hicks and turned it into a great self-help documentary called the Secret. This movie is about as hot as it gets, filled with slick marketing strategies that are a cross between Tony Robbins and the DaVinci Codes. The movie has had multiple exposures on the Oprah Show which has also helped. So, what is it all about? Well in very simplistic terms (lots more in the 3 step process), what you send out in your thoughts and feelings (Ask, Believe) comes back to your life (Receive). If you are getting lots of negative stuff, then examine how you are framing your thoughts. How you are projecting your feelings, attitudes and what you feel you deserve to get. We used to say many years ago, what goes around comes around.

author Shirley RyanPut even more simply, what you believe is what you get! From a relationship point of view: if you believe in your heart of hearts that all men are jerks, the only men that come to you are jerks. If you believe that relationships are hard, all of your relationships will be hard. If you believe that marriage is a “ball and chain- kind of lifestyle,” guess what? You’ve got it–you will feel constrained no matter how liberated your mate. That is what you expect out of life.

Now let me back up a minute and say that even though the Secret and Law of Attraction has breathed new life into some old concepts, these notions and concepts have been out in public view for several hundred years. Some of the concepts are seen in Think & Grow Rich, which was written in 1928, and the Science of Getting Rich, 1910 or As a Man Thinketh and Master Key System to name only a few.

In my therapeutic practice, some that come to mind is cognitive reframing (CBT); neuro-linguistic programming (NLP); and of course Carl Jung (Jungian Psychology). From a CBT point of view, frame your statements to others and to yourself as what you want to see happen. In the process, eliminate all of the negative energy around the statement. Turn your hot thoughts into cool thoughts and you are going to get more out of life. Negative energy turns simple tasks into hard ones.

For example, twenty years ago I was doing some executive consulting in another state. The Executive Director and I were discussing getting employees to work independently on their tasks. I had observed many times employees coming to her with long drawn out discussions on this problem or that problem and this person or that one. Each time the discussions seem to get longer as well as more negatively and emotionally charged. So I asked permission to do a positive intervention and she agreed.

The Director asked Mary to come into her office and when she was seated, I simply asked Mary to, “tell me exactly what you want to see happen.” She blinked back her surprise, thought a moment and said “Well, I want the red team to lead the exercise I put together.” I mustered a warm smile and said “Great, go back to your team and ask them if they feel comfortable doing that.” She replied “what if they don’t want to do it.” I responded, “What if they do want to do it.” She sputtered a bit and left the room. The discussions took 30 seconds, and guess what, the team wanted to lead the exercise. The Director was stunned that we were spared all of the negative stories about who did what to whom and she found a strategy that gave her more energy to do positive things with the staff. The scenario was a win-win from anyone’s perspective.

The key is to eliminate the negative emotions behind the statements, along with saying exactly what you want to see happen. Another client once said to me; “If I have to tell Johnny one more time, “don’t slam that door, I am going to scream.” You could feel the anger behind her voice. I empathized for a moment and then said “Change your perspective Amy.” I continued, “Smile, get at eye level to him and say “Johnny, I would like you close the door softly.” I continued, “The important thing here Amy is to feel the smile from the inside out and believe that he will respond.” The next week in our teleconference, she excitedly told me that “It worked; I had to practice it a lot before I used it, and I had to do it a couple of times, but it did work. I am going to use this approach with everything!”

Case in point, the reason Amy had to practice a lot was because she was just as used to starting off harshly and saying “don’t” as Johnny was used to ignoring her requests. If I could give you one great tip, it would be to eliminate don’t, no, and not from you vocabulary as much as possible. For the parents out there, we all have heard the statements, look with your eyes; use your ears; feet on the floor; sit in the chair; use your indoor voice from a variety of resources. Now is the time to make your own behavioral message, but don’t forget the positive emotions behind them.

Reframing words and the energy beneath the words empowers you to get what you want for yourself regardless of who you are talking to. The right attitude evokes a quiet self assurance that we know we will be successful, this projects a positive emotion out all around you and it permeates your environment. When we know that we are going to get what we want, we supply the energy to draw what we want to us. This magnetic and powerful energy attracts the objects of our desire. ~I offer you permission to believe~

“All that we are… is the result of what we have thought.” ~ Buddha

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[tags]Law of Attraction, the Secret, Shirley Ryan, Soul Moments Publishing[/tags]