The Law of Attraction, part of the New Thought philosophy, states that whatever you focus on will necessarily manifest in your reality. It explains that when you focus on positive things, those things will come to fruition in your life - and when you focus on negative things, you'll attract more of those.
This is a law accepted by the spiritual community as the governing rule of the universe. For others, it's simply a different way of phrasing that "like attracts like". I like to think of it as the cousin of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Whether or not you're into spiritual jargon I believe that living with the idea of this law is truly helpful to peaceful parenting.
The psychological explanation for how this might work is pretty clear when we break it down: when you focus on a particular thing, you begin to skew your perception towards that thing - seeing signs of it everywhere. If you've ever dyed your hair, gotten pregnant or bought a bike - you'll know what I mean - you start seeing shades of blond, or baby bumps or handle bars everywhere! When you're focused on something - on anything - more of it appears because, like a magnet, you're attracting more of that thing into your life (or if you prefer, because you're now conditioning yourself to see more of that thing).
In parenting, the effects are doubly intense and can quickly spiral into a (sometimes vicious) cycle. If you're focused on your child's bad behavior, say, then you're likely to perceive more of it even if there isn't really more of it in reality - but you will eclipse the good behavior or exaggerate the bad behavior because of your focus. Life and people live up - or down - to our expectations. And so when we're expecting the worst of our children, they fully deliver. They have to.
Then, when we perceive that 'bad behavior' we use at is further evidence to justify our original thought: that the child behaves badly. Here's the proof! Thus strengthening our original focus and beginning the snowball effect that gets us stuck with one rigid thought pattern.
So how can we break this cycle? We use the powerful idea of manifestation:
Manifestation means that we deliberately take time to focus on the things that we want. The Law of Attraction will bring forth the things we focus on, right? So if we focus on connection, on pleasant behavior, on joyful times - we will begin to experience and attract more and more of those. Sounds good, huh?
If this is sounding hookie to you, I get it. But who cares? This thing really works.
How to manifest better behavior and connection? In the video above I guide you through a short meditation to get you started. In the meantime, here are some ideas. Take a few minutes to break away from the screen, the chores, the mindless thoughts and cultivate a space for the following thoughts:
- What do I so appreciate about my child?
- What am I so grateful for in my child?
- In what ways am I a wonderful parent?
- In what ways do I fulfill my child's needs, just perfectly?
- What do I love about my child's appearance? Behavior? Character? Personality? Goals? Dreams?
Focusing on these questions a few times a day will begin to trickle into our brains to become a new thought pattern. Positive psychology backs up the idea that optimists are happier, healthier and live longer - I'm pretty sure they're far more peaceful parents, too.
Do you use manifestation in your parenting life?