Hello on this cold and snowy Sunday. There was a time when a day like this would send me into a negative orbit… “WHY does it have to be so cold? WHY do I live in such a God-forsaken place?” I live on one of the Great Lakes (a glacial lake, by the way). Our area gets about 90 inches of snow every year. And here’s the clincher. I HATE SNOW, COLD, AND WINTER. So, year after year, I’ve complained, whined, and told everyone I know how much I hate winter. On the flip side, I’ve tried stoicism, pretending I didn’t absolutely abhor winter, smiling in a gruesome way while I uttered completely ridiculous things I didn’t believe, like, “Oh, well, it’s not so bad. Spring will come soon. Anyway, this kind of weather is important so that we really appreciate warmer days!” All said in a yippy-skippy tone while gritting my teeth, loathing every snowflake, every wind gust, and every bodily shiver with a hatred reserved for serial killers and those human anomalies who abuse puppies and kittens.

Why do I tell you this, you ask? Well, it’s to illustrate one example of my tendency to be simultaneously negative and long-suffering. Maybe I caught this negativity from my culture. Maybe I caught it from my family. Who knows? Masters of psychology might say I have a tendency to repress my emotions, pretending everything is going well so I don’t have to take risks and face my fears. In any case, feeling negative while pretending things were going fine was proving to be a recipe for a mediocre life, at best. And it’s… well, lying, right?

I’ve long savored positive-thinking sorts of books, trying to apply them to a life where I often feel very small and powerless. The books helped but, soon after I would close the back cover, I would forget the wisdom I’d so recently learned and fall back into my old, negative habits. The most recent of these books, however, which I’ve been listening to in it’s audio version, has been powerfully changing my life for the better. This book, The Secret, is really sticking. The message is coming at me at just the right time. I’m ready to believe, I’m ready to change, and I’m ready to chuck the negativity habit for the power of positivity. I’m ready to start believing in myself in a genuine way. I’m ready to stop pretending chirpily that everything is fine, fine, fine and start asking for what I need.

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The Secret, written by Rhonda Byrne, promises a perfect life if we simply follow one simple little rule… the Law of Attraction. In The Secret, Byrne tells us that we only need to figure out what we want in our lives, and then ask the Universe for it.

It’s as simple as that.

The book teaches us to visualize the future we want, the house we want to live in, the work we want to do, the relationships we long for, and even the money we’d like to see manifested in our lives. As we visualize the life of our dreams, the Law of Attraction will draw the things we think about to us like a magnet.

But what happens if we think negative thoughts? Then the Universe will manifest the very negativity swirling in our minds like a disease. We think, “I wish I wasn’t so fat.” The Universe hears, “fat,” and helps us heap the weight on. We think, “I hate when people treat me badly,” and the Universe hears, “people treat you badly” and keeps people around us who see us as punching bags and treat us accordingly. We think, “I will never have enough money, time, or energy,” and the Universe gives us poverty of pocketbook, steals hours from our day, and bestows on us a fatigue worse than any we’ve known.

I have seen it work both ways in my life. I’ve had positive periods and I’ve had negative periods. During the positive periods, I’ve been able to raise amazing kids–and this is perhaps my grandest accomplishment since I focus so much positive energy on them and about them. I’ve also used positivity to run successful events, (almost) start a community garden, plan a family sabbatical, and write a book. During these times, I found that my energy for the project at hand was contagious. The work involved in these projects seemed effortless. People I needed to talk to appeared miraculously in my path and bits of information fell into my lap at exactly the right moments. The Universe was hearing my thoughts that radiated positivity and can-do attitude. The Universe was seeing the vision I was seeing of a dream completed in the best and most awesome way, and it was helping me along my way. Those were times in my life when I couldn’t wait to jump out of bed in the morning.

These days, I have goals and dreams just like anybody else, but things seemed to be stagnating. After listening to The Secret, I suddenly realized why. I didn’t believe that my dreams could really come true! I wasn’t visualizing the success I wanted. Instead, I was being stoic, thinking I was being a martyr and suffering through until it was time for my big break. I was willing to wait.

But what do I want?

Exploding Universe

Well, I want a lot of things, but here’s one of them: I want to sell the hell out of my book, Exit Normal. If you want to know the real truth: I want to sell 500,000 copies. But did I announce this intention to the Universe? Did I scream it from the rooftops? No. Instead, I stayed humble. I said to anyone who would listen, following the unassuming script inside my own head, “Oh gosh, it’s just a little book I wrote about Little Ole Me. I wrote it for myself, mostly. It’s a niche book, so I know it won’t be that successful. I just hope to gain back what I have invested in it.”

Um…. ahem… that’s BULLshit. I don’t want to sell only a few copies, I want to sell a million copies! I didn’t write it for myself; I wrote it to be read! It’s not a niche book; it’s a book with an important message that I want to share with the world. I didn’t write it to break even; I wrote it to make money. Lots of money.

So there, Universe. There is is, in black and white. I want your abundance to explode in my life and I’m willing to tell you what I want in order for it to happen.

What are your dreams and what do you tell yourself about them? Are you minimizing them in your own head, thinking you’re not good enough to have them come true? Are you sinking into negativity, letting your thoughts swirl into a downward spiral of humility and hesitancy, or are you voicing your positive intentions to the Universe? Do you believe anything can happen, if you want it enough? Do you believe your life can rock in the coolest way you could ever imagine if you just think it can–and really believe it?

Maybe you want a promotion at work… or a new house in the country, away from the chaos of town. Maybe your dreams are simple and you’d settle for a few extra thousand dollars a year to spend on things like new furniture or a long-put off vacation.

Whatever you’d like to see manifested in your life, pick up a copy of The Secret. And let’s try to think our perfect lives into being, together. Who’s in??