Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Presence and Intention - Why Bad things Happen to Good People

I've been following with interest the phenomena of The Secret and the stories and philosophy behind the people featured in this movie. Although the movie is, as one friend put it, "Over the Top" - over-dramatized (or melodramatized) the principles behind it seem to fit nicely with the principles of intention, presence, and action behind my work and with the explanations I've found for how these work in the areas of second-order cybernetics, and radical constructivism.

The biggest point of heartburn that people seem to have with The Secret and the Law of Attraction (besides the somewhat hokey woo-woo mystical presentation) is the notion that, in some way, we each have drawn into our lives the experiences we have had or are now having. The objections are usually framed as "What! So you say that those people who were victimized by Hurricane Katrina deserved it or intentionally put themselves in harms way?" This link to the Masters of the Secret Blog featuring Bob Doyle, one of the featured "Masters" in "The Secret" link provides a very nice explanation of this objection - one that tracks perfectly with my own experience. I invite you to consider this idea in your own life and in the lives of those around you.

Bob's explanation of how the Law of Attraction works - at a cultural and societal level - resonates deeply with my own understanding and experience with creating change. Having seen the invisible power of family systems and business systems as contexts that elicit unconscious individual behaviors (unseen by the individual without some outside perspective), I am convinced of the power of these invisible and unconscious patterns and attractors in the small and in the large. Each of us is literally shaped by the environment into which we were born - both biologically and physically. Coming to terms with those originating patterns - not with blame and victimization but with awareness and acceptance - allows us to more consciously choose our steps, learn from our choices (and our context), and move with intention towards the life we want from the life we've had.

As for erasing or changing the originating imprints (the subject of the prior post), I think our original imprints are important to acknowledge - as point of fact, informing our present, not as defining our future. We each begin where we begin which leads us to this moment now. Only in this moment can we access the choices that will influence our future. The fact of any past experience is just that, a fact.

That said however, when we find this moment's choice and access it, we have an unlimited ability to change the meaning of past experience - by first acknowledging that we have choice over that meaning and choice over our relationship to that past event. It is first a full acceptance of our past - including the meaning we've ascribed to those events - that provides a solid foundation to consciously use that past as a resource towards what we want - not just as an invisible trajectory to everything that we experience.

The hard work for me is constantly noticing and accepting my unconscious, invisible patterns as they arise, integrating them consciously into my story of who I have been up until now, and using that awareness to inform my next step.

Anyone who has had a partner or spouse point out some odd family patterns at a wedding (especially those that elicit strong emotional or uncharacteristic behaviors) knows the importance of having an outside supporter lovingly point out these 'quirks'. You probably also, should you reflect for just a moment, have experienced the difficulty accepting the testimony of someone sarcastically, unkindly, or critically pointing out these same patterns.

Finding a trusted counselor, someone to provide that extra-dimensional perspective to help you see what would otherwise be invisible - in your work, in your life, or in your family - can be a powerful ingredient to moving towards what you really want. Even better, finding someone to help you transform those difficult, but often very available, messages (sarcastic, unkind, or painfully critical) into a useful perspective to help you identify your most powerful choice points, could be truly magical.