The Law of Attraction

A few weeks ago I talked about the books on my nightstand, but I realize I left out something else very important that I also keep there – my tablet.  Right now I’m so addicted to watching inspirational videos before I fall asleep and my secret hope is that they will subliminally propel me towards success with little to no effort by the power of my subconscious mind alone. I’ll keep you posted…

Everyone has heard of The Secret and that’s a great place to start for motivation and learning about The Law of Attraction, but it’s only part of what’s out there. If you like The Secret, I suggest you research some of the teachers a little further – Lisa Nicholls, John Assaraf, Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield all have their own individual messages about success and achieving your goal and they’ve each got some great ideas.

Another related series is called, simply, The Law of Attraction, which is facilitated by Abraham Hicks. You might expect to see a bearded, sage-like man in a brown robe. Instead you’ll find a rather well-dressed, middle-aged woman with a cute, crooked smile, referring to herself as “we”.

The premise is that Esther Hicks is meditating and channeling “source energy” which she has named, for lack of a better word, ‘Abraham’. It seems a little far out there and it is as weird as it sounds but somehow the messages she or “they” convey are not only motivating and informative, but witty and completely fascinating. Even more fascinating is how well the messages are articulated and they easily resonate with you. Honestly, the fact that the messages are so clear and so powerful is what will give you goosebumps – even more than the fact that this woman is claiming to be possessed by a walking, talking universal energy.

I recommend at least a look, for interest sake and, of course, if you’re in need of more guidance for getting what you want and achieving all your goals.

I know that sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that we’re all grown up and we don’t need anyone else’s help. Sometimes I think that just because I can decide to eat my dessert first and dress myself most days it makes me a fully functional adult.   But it’s a whole new ballgame when you become a real grown-up and it’s not realistic to think that you’ll ‘just know’ how to create the life you want.

We also have to remember that it’s possible that in our thirties we need more help than ever, and just because I am the go-to guy for all that is success in your thirties (haha), doesn’t mean I don’t get advice, instruction and motivation from anywhere I can.

Hope you enjoy the recommendation and, as always, let me know what you think!

My Personal Everest

My yearly trip to the Adirondacks is usually with my mom. Usually, I struggle to keep up with her experience and expertise on the hike and just dream of when it’s all over and I can enjoy the warm eats and margaritas in local Lake Placid. At first, I really couldn’t understand the appeal of hiking all day – putting my body through such pain just for bragging rights and a view. I only went to hang out with my mom and hit the shoe sales in the U.S.

But this year my adventurer mom had dreams of bigger mountains and has headed to Nepal and so our trip together wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t think I would care about missing her special brand of torture…but I did.

Just before we lost our cabin reservation, something inside me spoke up and urged me to get my butt to the mountains any way I could. I put out the call and found someone who was also crazy enough to put her body through a weekend of hiking and roughing it at the chilly end of season. Surprisingly, such a person exists and so we set off.

My mom left me all her maps and instructions but I still got pathetically lost. Even though I’ve been there countless times, I had never driven there myself, which made everything seem like a foreign land. I felt so stupid and ridiculous like my mom was still kicking my butt at this trip from thousands of miles away!

The first morning I couldn’t light the stove and we had to eat breakfast at a diner in town. Then we misread the map and couldn’t find the trail we wanted for almost an hour. Because of our late start we even had to cut our hike short so we weren’t hiking back at night, like I didn’t feel enough in the dark already. Frustrated, I almost wanted to shout from the mountain top, “I want my mom!”

By the second day, though, everything sort of snapped into place and I started to recognize things. I lit the stove and made breakfast easily. We mapped out our hike early and found the trail. I even felt confident enough to go off-trail to get my dog over some huge rock walls.

No offense to my mom, but it was actually one of the greatest times I’ve spent there. The sense of achievement really set in and I actually “got” the hiking part. The exertion was wonderful and the view was somehow more beautiful than ever.

I think I just needed to do it on my own. Now that I have, I feel like I’ll love it forever – with and without my mom. I still owe it to her for getting me started but I guess that’s true of all things in life. You might need a push to do something that maybe you won’t really like at first, but you could be surprised with how much you could fall in love with it in the end.

Stay open to new ideas and experiences and you may surprise yourself!

I’d love to hear if you’ve had a similar experience. What did you try on a whim but now can’t live without? Leave a comment or send me your story!

ashewoodz@gmail.com

How To Have Thanksgiving Every Day and Not Gain a Single Pound

This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada but instead of being with my family I will be trekking the Adirondack mountains enjoying the fall scenery and keeping a lookout for bear scat. I have a family who understands that this is important to me and will save me some stuffing.

Of course Thanksgiving is the time we should remember all of our blessings in life and be grateful for all we have but it should also remind us to try to be grateful every day.

Everyone from Deepak Chopra to Maya Angelou says that gratitude is an important key to achieving all your dreams.

My favourite quote about gratitude is a simple one. It comes from Meister Eckhart, the German theologian (I am grateful for Wikipedia, by the way, because I had no idea who he was).

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”

What this means to me is that gratitude is so basic but without it you have no hope of receiving any answers to any prayers, no realization of any dream.

For us Canadians, we are reminded to think of all we are grateful for this weekend. American readers, well, you have about a month to think of something good to say at the table. Still, I challenge all of use to begin now to be reflect on what we are grateful for every day so we can be sure to achieve everything we have our hearts set on.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada and Happy Columbus Day, America!

The Thirty-Year-Old’s Nightstand

I recently had a great conversation with a bunch of friends about what we’re all reading at the moment. As we kept bringing up more and more of our favourite reads this year, I realized that everything we mentioned could be found in basically two sections of any bookstore: self improvement and spirituality.

Donning my research hat for more information, I asked my friends when and why they thought their tastes had changed. This is the same group that read all the Harry Potters and Twilight Sagas, right?

“This is for your blog thingy, isn’t it?” said one friend. “You think we’re all going to say we turned to self-help books once we turned thirty.”

I shrug and smile slyly.

Yes, unsurprisingly, a need to learn more about spirituality and our true selves starts to bubble up around the big three-oh. My friends all agreed that as they’ve gotten older, they have been interested in more than just the newest fiction fad.

One of my more insightful friends played along with my interview and said she thinks it could be because in our teens we define ourselves by our clique. In our twenties, we are defined by our major. Then we get to thirty and simply don’t want to be defined by our job or our age. We’re looking for something more to define us and we need help to find it. Hmm, I think she’s on to something.

My most literary friend chalks up her desire to read more self-help to her simply needing to read more than one book at time – one self-help on the nightstand and maybe a crime thriller for the commute.

“University really groomed me for reading multiple books at once for different classes. Now I kind of crave that all the time so I read one fiction and one non-fiction at the same time for most of the year.”

I can totally relate to having more than one self improvement book on my nightstand – everything from Deepak Chopra to The Joy of Juicing. I also read a lot about aging and success, and sometimes a trashy thriller for my subway ride; I guess I’ve got the right group of friends.

But another thing that interested me was how we all lumped spirituality in with the genre of self help and self improvement. A couple of my friends (including myself) have been seeking out religious literature out of a desire to get back to the religion of our childhoods. Perhaps this is about looking for the power of faith again but it’s maybe also a search for a key into a deeper part of what makes up who we are now.

Whatever the reason, it’s obvious that the desire to discover more about the self is a spiritual one, perhaps because that’s where a spiritual journey begins. I couldn’t help but be inspired by our similar quests for something beyond ourselves that simply wasn’t even on the radar of our conversation in our twenties. I guess we’re really growing up.

What is it about turning thirty that turns us on ourselves looking for something more? And what’s on your nightstand? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

On my nightstand:

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind– Deepak Chopra

The Joy of Juicing – Gary Null, PhD

Zealot:  The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth – Reza Aslan

Writing is My Drink – Theo Pauline Nestor