Recently, I was listening to a talk by Michael Losier, author of Law of Attraction. He was explaining how law of attraction works – how this science allows us to have what we want in our lives.
I started to think about how this might apply in the recovery process and will share my thoughts in this post.
Law of Attraction Explained
First of all, what is law of attraction and how does it work? The most basic component of law of attraction is vibes. Have you ever walked into a room where other people were – and felt a “vibe” — maybe excitement, tension or happiness or discomfort? Somehow, you just knew something happened before you arrived. Or how about when you are with a friend and their behavior makes you feel like something is wrong? Or when you see someone and they look really happy? At these times, you are picking up on “vibes” – the vibration of a mood or feeling.
You Get What You Put Out
So here’s how it works. The law of attraction is impartial. It doesn’t care what your hopes and dreams are – or anyone else’s for that matter. It serves to mirror or reflect the vibe you or another person is putting out. So if you have a negative “vibe” or mood, you may notice negative things happening in your day. Have you ever had a day where you “woke up on the wrong side of the bed?” On those days, it seems like everything goes wrong. You keep asking yourself if it could get any worse. This becomes your focus for the day and that’s what you vibrate — based on law of attraction, you get what you put out. The vibe you created (mood or feeling) is negative, so that’s what you get.
On the other hand, when you get good news – you won a contest, you aced a test – you may become ecstatic. You see your friends and you happily share the news – all day, you may feel like you are floating on air. Your mood or feeling is happy and that is the vibration you put out. In turn, you may notice that you walk around happily all day, things just seem to go your way.
You Get What You Focus On
What generates your vibrations – moods and feelings? The thoughts you think and the words you use. If you become aware of your moods and feelings, trace them back to the thoughts you are focused on – and how you use words.
Three Little Words
Michael Losier recommends that we remove 3 words from our vocabulary:
He explains that as babies, we heard these words all the time. In fact, a lot of our conditioning from babies to age 3 is learning what we should not do through don’t, not and no. Then he gives this example:
Right now, don’t think of a black cat. What happens? Most likely, you thought of a black cat.
See, what happens when you tell someone don’t, not or no, their mind immediately goes to the thing you don’t want them to do. In this way, they are using the powerful capacity to visualize just the thing you don’t want them to do. How do you change this? Tell people what you do want them to do. Think of an orange cat, for example. Instead of saying, “don’t spill your milk,” you could say, “drink your milk carefully.”
How This Applies To Eating Disorders
So I thought about my own situation. What was I telling myself most of the time? Well, before I started really working on my mind and my thoughts, I’d tell myself things like this:
- I’m not going to binge & purge today.
- I’m not going to have that xyz food.
- I don’t want to be this way.
- No more, I won’t do this anymore.
- I don’t want to be fat.
- I don’t want to feel this bad.
These were just some of the negatives I used – along with a whole host of other negative thoughts I carried around. It’s interesting to think that in fact, by focusing on what I didn’t want, I was visualizing the result I did not intend – and not visualizing the result I wanted.
If you find yourself having these thoughts, you can replace them with positive affirmations. Even better, you can replace them with positive statements about what you want. You increase the power of these statements when you use your senses, like visualization, along with them.
- I choose to eat healthy foods each day.
- I choose to be healthy, happy and peaceful.
- I accept where I am right now and I am open to creating new, healthy habits.
- I am perfect, whole and complete, just as I am.
- I trust my body to guide me to health and my ideal weight.
Now, if I say, think, believe and visualize these things, I am vibrating positively. My moods and feelings are positive and the impartial law of attraction brings positive experiences into my life. I was pretty skeptical when I first learned about positive thinking and affirmations many years ago – and I have to say that now I’m a believer. As I create a better connection between my mind and body, I realize how I feel when I have negative thoughts.
Michael Losier’s Formula for Deliberate Attraction
Recognizing that we don’t change overnight – that it takes practice — Michael gives a formula for making this work in our lives:
- Identify your desire (it’s about what you want, not what you don’t want).
- Give your desire attention – raise your vibration. If I give attention to my desire, I’m raising my vibration. As Michael Losier says, “law of attraction is not checking your sock drawer, it’s checking your vibration.” When you make a list of what you want, put attention on it. Read it every day, visualize it, feel it and say it out loud.
- Allow it (allowing) – trust that it will happen and let it be. Often, we run around doing things, making all kinds of effort, when really – if we just slowed down and tuned into our true selves, we could achieve more of our goals. Allowing is letting something come into our lives. It’s about trusting that it will come to us. Allowing means trusting, rather than doubting. When you have doubt, you slow down the process of attracting what you want. If you doubt you can recover from an ED, you slow down your recovery.
Step 1 & Step 2 Seem Fine, But What About Step 3?
My biggest fear in my recovery was trust. I didn’t trust anything or anyone, including myself. I felt like I had to work really hard to have anything happen in my life. And in my recovery, I found myself working really hard. I kept asking myself, what can I do? Maybe if I meditate 2 times per day for at least 20 minutes. Maybe if I do yoga at 8:00 each morning. Maybe if I eat 5 small meals instead of 3 larger ones. I was doing and doing and doing things. Rather than allowing.
I have to say that I am a big proponent of experimenting with things, which can include doing things. However, what really helped me the most – was just allowing. Letting it happen. Trusting. I finally surrendered. I realized that “being in control” and doing a zillion things was just more of the same – just like being the workaholic I used to be. Instead, I took a bunch of things off my “to do” list and slowed down – even with my gazillion recovery actions. I picked two or three and focused on them – and trusted that I would recover. That I’d find the answer. That’s when things started to change for me. Trusting allowed my mind to surrender to my body’s wisdom.
Allowing Is The Absence of Negative Vibration
Trust is foreign to us when we have an eating disorder. See if you can be open to trust. Be open to allowing – to step 3 – and see how this creates the trust. Allowing is important, according to Losier. He says, “The speed at which law of attraction will manifest your desire is in direct proportion to how much you are allowing.” I wholeheartedly agree – in my own words, the more I surrendered to trust, the more peaceful I became. The more peaceful my mind, the more I allowed my body to be my guide.
How Losier Describes Step 3…
- Allowing is the absence of negative vibration.
- If I have strong desire and strong doubt, I can expect no manifestation or slow.
- Strong desire and no doubt – manifest instantly.
- The most important part of the formula is removing doubt.
In order to remove doubt, surrendering to trust is the ultimate key. In the meantime, Losier recommends looking for “proof” everywhere in your life – that law of attraction is working. He contends that many good things happen in our lives, but we pooh-pooh them because they are not the ideal perfection of what we want. So if we want $100 and we find $1 on the ground, we might feel like it’s not good enough. Losier would see this as being $1 closer to the $100. This is a reason to celebrate!
Celebrate Each Step Toward Your Goal
Basically, he’s saying to celebrate every step you take toward what you want. It might be that you are looking for the perfect soulmate and you find someone who is close – you may end up not dating that person, but the fact that he was close to what you want is a reason to celebrate. In celebrating, you are thanking law of attraction for showing you something close and trusting that your ideal will be coming along as well.
In recovery, each step you take is proof that you have the strength and ability to recover. Each time you get back up again is proof that you have resilience inside of you. Each time you choose to go do something else instead of engaging in ED behavior is a celebration that you have the ability to recover. Celebrate each step, no matter how small. Even if it’s a relapse that results in you learning an important lesson about how to prevent it next time – or something more about your inner self.
Some Final Thoughts – “Triggers”
We’ve often heard the word “trigger” for eating disorders. This word, as you know, describes things that create a desire to engage in disordered eating. How do triggers apply to law of attraction? Law of attraction doesn’t care if you are thinking the thought, reading about something negative, talking to someone else or observing something negative. Your focus on the negative can create a negative vibration in you. Same with a trigger. A trigger could be something you read (maybe in a forum or a blog that focuses on negative content or feelings), something you watch on TV or in the movies, a conversation with someone, having a bad day, fear of a food or eating, etc.
If you think about it, often a trigger flips a switch in our minds that gets us thinking about engaging in addictive behavior. This is why, most responsible ED forums and treatment programs aim to keep us from focusing on triggering things. The idea is to keep our minds focused on recovery. If you are aware that certain things trigger a desire to engage in ED behavior, consider what was in your mind before, during and after. Look to see what you were vibrating. See if you can catch your thoughts and start to be aware earlier in the process. Consider replacing them with one or two of your affirmations. What happens when you do this?
You may also want to consider removing triggers from your life. For example, I’ve stopped watching certain TV shows for that reason. I stopped watching the Sopranos – it’s a great show, great acting – but very depressing. I started to realize that I felt down after watching it, so no more Sopranos for me. And I don’t miss it either – having a happier, more peaceful state of mind feels better than a TV show. Many reality TV shows and other TV shows really focus on desire for beauty and perfection, comparisons based on physical appearance and other belief systems that only feed ED thinking.
I’ve been traveling out of the United States for awhile, in a remote location. Not watching TV or reading women’s glossy magazines has been the best thing that ever happened to me. When I get back home, I am not watching TV or reading these magazines again. It won’t be easy, because they are compelling – yet they do nothing for my thought process but make me focus on outside, surface beauty. The beauty I am focused on now is inner beauty, inner peace and my appreciation for radiant health. Most TV and magazines don’t support that focus. Many books do, thankfully! I recommend some of my favorites in the resources section of my blog.
I created this blog to have a more positive focus – to provide honest, yet uplifting content to read. This doesn’t mean that we don’t share our struggles, but it does mean that we recognize our abilities to continue forward. We have the ability to take action. To change our habits of thought – and to learn how to set our spirits free.
The more loving and supportive communities we are a part of – whether they be in our day to day lives or on the Internet, the more we will create vibrations – feelings & moods – of love & support. What would it be like if you turned some of that love & support toward yourself? Take some time and breathe in the feeling of love, let it fill your body. When you breathe out, see any fears and doubt leaving your body. Breathe in love & trust and feel it surround you. You deserve it!
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