This afternoon I came across “The Secret” – the popular self help DVD released in 2005 by Rhonda Bryne.  You remember – it promised we could think our way to health, wealth, and happiness by simply changing our thoughts.  This was based upon principles of new thought and positive thinking that found their way into our culture beginning in the 1830’s.  Psychology, philosophy, religion, and science came together in a fascinating alchemy that brought a new way of understanding our human experience – it brought to the forefront “The Law of Attraction”.

I wondered how this glossy documentary would resonate with me almost a decade later.  I remember when I first saw it back in 2005 that it struck me as an incredibly slick marketing maneuver, appealing to the pervasive narcissism in our culture.  Sorry.  The film was interesting and entertaining.    It provided some sound information about how our minds work in relationship to cause and effect.  But the predominant tone wasn’t focusing on people attracting world peace, equality, or restoration of the planet.  It promoted a formula that any ole average guy or gal could use to attractive the jewelry, house, job, relationship, or car most coveted.

Okay – fast forward almost a decade.  In 2014, only 1 out of 8 is now living the modest American dream of middle class.  So what has happened?  What happened to all of those people working “The Law of Attraction”?

Not sure, but later today a colleague of mine, Zoilita Grant, posted the above photo on Facebook.  I began to reflect on the concepts shared in the movie/book and the above photo – “Please Don’t Feed the Fears”.

It seemed a simple message for today made sense.  Here it is.

The most powerful thought/feeling process that can shift our state of mind is – gratitude.

In a culture suckled on the fear-full milk of media, we have to deliberately turn away from that which frightens us and focus on that which we appreciate.   (This is hard to do when media infuses our brain with thousands of images every week, eliciting repetitive trauma responses in our nervous system.)

However, when we wake up to the hypnotic effect of these images – when we choose to do re-direct our focus from fear to gratitude, we literally alter the chemistry of our brain – allowing it to become brighter and more relaxed.  We feel more open, receptive to hope, and more safe.  We feel more in control of our inner state, thus allowing us to consider all that is other than our fear.

When we begin to consider all that is other than our fear, we realize there is SO much more than our fear.  The ever expansive possibilities of ever-changing uncertainty are no longer fear-full.  Rather, the ever expansive possibilities of ever-changing uncertainty provide opportunities to create change from a point of cause.  Choosing to be grateful moves us away from magical thinking and/or fear-based thinking  to the inner state of hope – thus restoring our resilience to continue to take the necessary actions to create the change we desire.