Sunday, April 22, 2007

THE HEART OF THE SECRET: Happiness & The Law of Attraction

"What we all want most deeply is to be what I have come to call 'happy for no reason' - a lasting neurophysiological state of peace and well-being that is not dependent on circumstances. When we are happy for no reason our desires manifest more quickly and effortlessly than ever." - Marci Shimoff

by Marci Shimoff

Imagine your fairy godmother is standing before you, ready to wave her wand and make your wishes come true. Suddenly, the world appears a different place, full of possibilities and magic!

Well, it turns out that this imaginary scenario is actually how the process of manifestation works—and is based, not in magic, but in science. The film The Secret vividly explains this powerful universal principle called the Law of Attraction, which simply stated is: like attracts like. Whatever we think, feel and put our energy into, whether positive or negative, we magnetize to us. The universe, like a good fairy godmother, simply responds.

Sounds easy enough. So, why don’t we all have everything we want?

The answer lies in my favorite formula for applying the Law of Attraction that was given to me by my good friend and advisor Bill Levacy. It has three simple, easy-to-remember steps:

1. INTENTION – Be clear about what you want

2. ATTENTION – Experience the thoughts and feelings of already having what you want, AND take the action steps to manifest your intention.

3. NO TENSION – Let go. Relax. Shift from being tightly focused on your specific desired outcome to being wide open to all possibilities. Trust that your highest good will come to you, and feel the happiness of that.

A lot has been written and spoken about the first two steps. Many of us have mastered them, but have stopped there. We end up holding on to our desire like a terrier chewing on a bone. We have to take action towards our goals, but when we push and struggle and hold on too tight, we get in our own way.

The problem is we haven’t taken the last step. We haven’t let go. Surrendered. Said, “Okay, this or something better.” The third step, “no tension,” frees our minds, opens our hearts, and, most importantly, lets us be happy in this moment. If we skip this step, it’s like having a closed fist; how can we receive anything when our hand isn’t open? In our “gotta-get” culture, this is the step most people miss or dismiss.

When we let go and trust that all is ultimately working out for the best, we feel happier. And happiness attracts more happiness.

When I first heard Bill’s formula, I had an “a-ha moment.” I realized that every time I had succeeded in manifesting my desires, it had happened only after I’d done step #3, let go, relaxed and felt happy. In fact, one of my greatest successes is a perfect example of this.

In 1994, I had been working for ten years as a corporate trainer and a professional speaker focusing on self-esteem for women. My career intention was clear (step #1): to inspire and empower millions of people around the world to live their lives to their highest and best potential.

My attention was focused on thinking, feeling and visualizing BIG success (step #2). I was the queen of persistence and had taken all the “right actions” to further my career. Although I had achieved a good degree of success by then, I knew I wanted to take my work to a higher level, and it just wasn’t happening. I had done everything I knew to do and was burned out.

Needing to take a break, I decided to go on a seven-day silent meditation retreat. After a few days of silence - no easy feat for a Chatty Cathy like me - the most amazing thing happened. I began to tap into something deeper in myself, and started to feel peaceful, relaxed and fulfilled. I moved into that state of no tension, where my grip on achieving my goal melted away, leaving me with a feeling of deep contentment.

Then, on the fourth day of silence, while I was sitting quietly in meditation, a light bulb went off in my head, and I clearly saw the words Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul in my mind. This was back in 1994 when only the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book had been published, so the idea of spin-off books for different niche markets was a breakthrough. As soon as the idea came, I knew it was a winner. I was so excited that it was all I could do to sit silently for three more days without shouting the idea to anyone in earshot!

The minute the retreat ended, I ran to the closest payphone and called Jack Canfield, who had been my mentor for the past six years and was the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I told him my idea and he loved it. Before long I had a book contract to create what would be one of the first in the now legendary series of over 150 titles. Within a few years, I had co-authored six New York Times bestsellers in the Chicken Soup series, with over 13 million books sold. I had finally, and thrillingly, fulfilled my original intention of touching millions of people’s lives.

I am absolutely certain that it was by using all three steps of this powerful formula - intention, attention, and no tension - that I was able to realize my dream. Any two of the steps would not have done it.

So, did I live happily ever after? Not right away. After using this formula for many years to attract extraordinary situations, people and things that I wanted, I eventually realized, like many people before me, that having the things and circumstances you want in your life is wonderful AND it’s not enough. It was then that I discovered another essential key: there is more...

Having things and circumstances - money, success, relationships, health - brings a certain happiness, what I call being “happy for good reason.” Unfortunately, this temporary experience of satisfaction or joy soon fades and we have to hurry up and fulfill the next desire to get a new high. To experience true and lasting happiness, we must be free of the need for any external reason to be happy. As Deepak Chopra has said, “happiness for a reason is just another form of misery.”

What we all want most deeply is to be what I have come to call “happy for no reason” - a lasting neurophysiological state of peace and well-being that is not dependent on circumstances. I’ve spent the last few years researching the latest findings on happiness and interviewing truly happy people for my upcoming book, Happy for No Reason. The good news is this is an achievable state.

Ironically, we seem to have things backwards. True happiness isn’t a result of getting what we want; getting what we want is a side effect of happiness. Why? Because, when we are happy for no reason, we have mastered that tricky step #3, no tension, and then our desires manifest more quickly and effortlessly than ever.

Perhaps we need to focus a little less on getting what we want to make us happy and a little more on creating a deep inner state of happiness. When we are happy for no reason, all else is just icing on the cake.

That is the ultimate secret!

Marci Shimoff, one of the nation's leading motivational experts, has shared her illuminating message about the infinite possibilities that life holds with audiences across the world. Marci is the New York Times #1 Bestselling Author of Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul.

Now she shares her message as part of the life-changing film, The Secret and at The Law Of Attraction Prophets Conference at UCLA July 20-22 along with eight other outstanding presenters from The Secret, and at The Heart Of The Secret Conference in Santa Cruz, California, where Marci will be joined by Howard Martin and Dr. Joe Dispenza on August 3-4. These will be exceptional events that you’ll want to experience.

July 20-22, 2007

August 3-4, 2007

MARCI SHIMOFF earned her MBA from UCLA and holds an advanced certificate as a stress management consultant. She is a founding member and on the board of directors of the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of 100 top leaders serving over ten million people in the self-development market.

A celebrated transformational leader and one of the nation's leading motivational experts, Marci has inspired millions of people around the world sharing her breakthrough methods for personal fulfillment and professional success. President and co-founder of the Esteem Group, she delivers keynote addresses and seminars on self-esteem, self-empowerment and peak performance to corporations, professional and non-profit organizations, and women's associations. Highly sought after, she is a powerful keynoter who consistently receives rave reviews and standing ovations. She has been a top-rated trainer for numerous Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, General Motors, Sears, Amoco, Western Union, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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