Yes, there’s more than one.
Recently I’ve reconnected to variations on what some call the Law of Attraction, as espoused in the book and movie, “The Secret” and Lynn Grabhorn’s, “Excuse Me … Your Life is Waiting,” and many other writings in what many would call a New Age philosophy. In summary the theory is that we attract what we feel and think: if we feel abundant and healthy, we attract abundance and good health; if we feel the world is unjust and we are sick, we will attract unjustice and illness in our lives, and perceive more of it in the world. Many years ago, I embraced this concept, and although I appreciated its validity in many ways, I found that for many people, including myself, when unexpected events occured, it was too easy to fall into self-blame and potentially subsequent shame. I suspect there are a lot of jaded ex-New Agers out there.
However I still believe that we have a lot of control over our what happens in our lives. For “The Secret” to be more effective, I add a couple of bits and pieces.
1. Forgive yourself. Balance the Law of Attraction philosophy with the reality that many (if not most) people’s behaviour is influenced by patterns created in childhood. These patterns served to protect the child from harm, like not speaking up and telling what they felt as they would be shamed or invalidated if they did that. That child deserves appreciation and respect for finding strategies to protect themselves. But those patterns rarely serve us as we grow into adulthood. Some call them shadows, or familiars. Whatever the label, when the temptation to blame and shame arises because I believe I am not attracting what I deserve, I can instead go to a place of appreciation and gratitude for those old patterns, then let them (and the shame and blame) go. And as Grabhorn points out, it’s not about being perfect and thinking pure thoughts all the time. Just turn them positive. And once in a while it’s quite fine to decide to feel completely miserable/angry/frustrated. Go through it, then move on.
2. Ask for help in self-understanding. For some folks it does have value to understand how these behaviour patterns were created, and so some kind of therapeutic work has value. Ruling this out and focusing just on the Law of Attraction may create internal turmoil that won’t help flow those positive vibes. For some, in addition to this better self-understanding, many benefit from going through a grief process to let go of the past.
3. Acknowledge the role of Mystery. Whether to you that be God, a Higher Power, karma, the Tao of Pooh, or whatever, I believe that there is much that we (certainly I) don’t understand about life. However the more I trust the process, the more I trust that if I think, feel and behave positively (regardless of apparent outcome), the more positive I become, and the more likely that events will flow as I would like. The reason the Law of Attraction works may be that if I feel good about my myself, and behave and feel that way, people may pick that up just from communication queues (tone of voice, body language) and want to work/be/play with me. It doesn’t really matter how it works.
4. In that same line of thought: discard the pieces that don’t work for you. For example all of the Law of Attraction descriptions I’ve seen explain the theory in terms of “magnetism” and “vibration”, stating that the “law of the universe” is that like attracts like. Well, it ain’t. In magnetism, opposites attract. Electricity flows from positive to negative. So I just put aside all this explanation as well-meant and unnecessary justification. Because some of the theory is (to me) contrived mumbo-jumbo doesn’t mean there isn’t validity in the essential message. If you don’t believe (as I don’t) we are to all ascend in 2012 with the guidance of the Pleiadians, then put that bit aside.
5. Complement this philosophy with more traditional methods in whatever way works for you. For example, on health issues, I think that rejecting Western medicine for a combination of Eastern medicine and positive feelings is throwing out a lot of really good stuff. Use the Law of Attraction, see your Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and see your doctor.
EDIT: someone dear to me said that the term, “Law of Attraction” can be a turnoff itself to some. She calls it “manifesting”.