Updated: Sep 11
What’s your higher conscious up to these days?
Many years ago, a concept we know as the Law of Attraction might have originated from the teachings of a mentalist named Phineas Quimby. Mr. Quimby taught us that we tend to place value on our own minds according to our perception of their worth. Today, the Law of Attraction basically says that our thoughts attract our things; positive thinking brings positivity, and negative thinking brings the bad juju.
Mr. Quimby caught tuberculosis.
He talked the talk, but did he really value the cool ideas in his head? As creatives, valuing the worth of your brain is beyond imperative. It’s downright necessary.
Let’s take Loud Coffee Press as an example. We are super positive about this magazine/blog/artist-lifestyle-hangout. Every day presents a new opportunity for ideas, discourse, and discussion, and because we thrive in this atmosphere, we naturally create here. Which leads us to a question on the Law of Attraction…
…is it simply a self-fulfilling prophecy? Do you work harder, smarter, and more diligently to go after the foremost goal in your beautifully artistic, entrepreneurial mind? Do you surround yourself with inspiring Instagram authors and lively literary magazines and brilliant blogs so the universe has nothing left to do but to say, “well, all I did was stand by and watch you succeed?”
We’re taught to keep our eye on the prize. There’s something to be said for visualization, but if you really want to make something happen, you have to be positive, and you still have to do the work.
That thing you want? Keep it in your visual cortex. But, it’s not going to be handed to you on a pretty silver platter.
The more intentional you are, the more likely the thing is to materialize, whether it be a book, a website, an album, etc. Take this parable, for example:
There once was a very hungry writer. His belly growled and growled, but it didn’t want the food in the cupboard.
“What will satisfy you?” He asked his rumbly tummy.
He sat down at his desk, in front of his to-do list. When he read the item, “become a huge bestselling author,” his belly growled louder.
He picked up his fountain pen, and the growling quieted a bit. (Dinner didn’t help at all.) The next morning, he joined the 5AM writer’s club. His belly calmed. Three months later, he finished a manuscript over coffee. His belly sighed in relief.
The tummy knew what he didn’t: if he finished a book, he was more likely to publish a book. If he published publish a book, it’s more likely to sell. The desire became satiated.
I have a friend who likes to tell me, “Annie, the universe may listen and provide, but the universe is impartial.” Next-leveling this concept says that “good” and “bad” are humanistic applications to unbiased events. That same friend says things like, “your little parable stories are utterly ridiculous, Annie. Get a snack.”
Are you familiar with the concept of “amor fati?” It’s a Latin phrase that roughly translates to the “love of fate.” Often associated with the writings of Marcus Aurelius and Frederick Nietzsche, amor fati is the concept that everything in life can be viewed as necessary. Every moment is needed and perfect, even in its perceived imperfection, as it’s all a contribution to the overall lesson. If it’s all necessary, we can learn to love all of life.
Amor fati links hand in hand with the thought that happiness can be gained by believing that perceived setbacks are not “out to get us” because we live in an impartial universe. Rather, if we perceive a setback as a punishment, that is our human tendency to do so, and thereby, we are self-imposing unhappiness. On the flip side, our ability to frame, or reframe, a situation can also determine situational happiness. Reframing techniques are often used in cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients look at a situation from a slightly different angle.
Being a writer and not a therapist, here’s my attempt to reframe the 3 Laws of Attraction into something creatives might find useful. I like to think of them as the 3 Laws of Creative Attraction, and they equate to the power we have as artists.
1. Like attracts like.
There’s no creative change to this tenet. If you surround yourself with other successful creatives, you’re going to find inspiration and camaraderie. If you publish in literary journals, write with the WriMos, travel to conferences, and take part in the much-celebrated literary community, you’ll likely be rewarded many times over. Personally, I can’t even begin to identify the ways that I’ve benefited in this regard, and some of them have resulted in amazing friendships.
2. Creativity abhors a vacuum.
Why is it hard to stay the course on only one project? Because your brain is not a vacuum. Ideas multiply, and one great idea begets another, and so on. Once you get into your master project, offshoots are going to happen. Empty space in the creative realm isn’t likely to be the norm, so good time management and focused work will benefit you in the long run.
3. Now is the right time.
Don’t put off working because you’re waiting to get better. Don’t put off happiness because you’re waiting to be happy. Working on and through your artistic endeavors will make you better. That’s how you grow. So, by the principle of now, it’s always the right time to create.**
It’s a circular process. Now is the right time to attract your like and multiply your ideas.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that books like “The Secret” put a lot of emphasis on attaching strong emotion to thought in order to achieve a desired outcome. If we spend too much time obsessing over what we don’t want or can’t have, we are more likely to achieve the negative outcome; because, whether it’s the “universe” or not, that’s where we’ve unknowingly invested our most precious asking power. This is another great place where all the key principles come into play:
-think positively about your worth and your work
-value the beautiful shit in your head
-visualize glory but put in the time and effort
-love the life you’ve got
-focus emotion on the good.
It’s up to you to think about where you want to be creatively, and ask yourself: “am I living in the positive or negative realm in terms of my creative goals?”
If the answer isn't where you want to be, reframe your perspective.
The universe may be impartial. You shouldn’t be.*
In a world of stars, be an asterisk.*
**Artistic maturity is knowing when to hit the publish button.
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