In the Suburbs: Finding ‘The Secret’ to positive thinking
I don’t profess to completely understand “The Secret,” first a movie and then a popular self-help book with additional short books featuring exercises and activities. But author Rhonda Byrne has identified a process that I believe can help us change our lives.
In a few words, “The Secret” revolves around the law of attraction and how each of us can attract negative and positive feelings and attitudes, and eventually realize money, happiness, better relationships and other aspirations by adopting an ongoing attitude of gratitude. The process is easy to follow and doesn’t involve paying money or joining a “Secret Club.”
I had been aware of “The Secret” for several years, but never really knew how the process worked until our social studies teacher at the charter school where I work as a teaching assistant decided to introduce “The Secret” to some of students. His goal was to help the students recognize how they could change their lives if they adopted an attitude of gratitude and started to recognize how the law of attraction could open new doors for them.
According to Byrne¸ “The tenet of the film and the book is that the universe is governed by a natural ‘law’ called the law of attraction, which is said to work by attracting into a person’s life the experiences, situations, events and people that match the frequency of the person’s thoughts and feelings ... The book argues that thinking positively can create life-changing results, such as increased wealth, health and happiness.”
I’ve already noticed that our students are beginning to focus on the messages the secret is sending out. They’re beginning to understand, for instance that being grateful lifts one’s frequency and helps the person believe he or she will actually receive the wishes he or she desires.
Our social studies teacher shared that to really make positive things happen for him, he created what the author of the secret calls a visualization board. The board, which can be assembled on a piece of poster board. For him, the board contained travel destinations he still wanted to visit, a house he wanted to buy, a luxury car he aspires to own and a few other things.
Just seeing what the teacher has done inspired me to begin working immediately on my own visualization board. My board will focus on travel to a great destination for our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary this summer, adding dollar bills marked with larger amounts to show what I hope to receive for my gratitude, and posting pictures from our thinner days to give us the incentive to lose some weight before we travel.
The three-step process that “The Secret” applies is based on a quote from the Bible: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22).” The process involves Asking, Believing and Receiving. Another critical element of “The Secret” is gratitude rocks. According to a piece I read called, “Gratitude Rock Adopting the Power of Gratitude in ‘The Secret,’ ” Lee Brower described how he used a gratitude rock. He explained that in the morning as he dressed, he would pick up his rock to place it in his pocket, and as he did, he would pause and remember the things he was grateful for in his life.
A gratitude rock can be as simple as a pebble one finds next to a stream or a small rock on the grass. The importance of the rock is to carry it all the time to remind the person about feeling grateful everyday.
“The Secret” has already started working for me in new and unusual ways. I’m waking up more refreshed and grateful for being alive. I haven’t won the lottery, but some money and monetary opportunities are coming my way. And among my school colleagues, we’re sharing more of our learnings from “The Secret.”
I’m definitely going to buy the book, but for now, I’m trying to follow the practices our social studies teacher has laid out for us. I am plugged in and anxious to keep this new process going.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.