4/16/07

ParticipAction & the Law of Attraction

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

That thought came to me as I woke up and wiped the sleep gunk out of my eyes. It's not an original thought, but it is for me insofar as I tend to awake, most mornings, with a sense of fight or flight panic, dread, resistance, and/or all of the above.

But this morning I woke up, walked over to the mirror stretched my arms and said to myself, you are a chrysalis in the transformative process of becoming a beautiful butterfly.

Sounds hokey, but if you knew what I normally mumble to myself in the mirror when I awake, you, too, would opt for the hokey.

This first day on a journey paradigm has newfound meaning for me quite simply because while on a course I'm auditing this weekend, it came to me, as we were identifying our driving needs (things you absolutely have to have in life apart from basic needs) and how those needs manifest themselves negatively/destructively, that my driving need for newness and adventure has been behind my compulsion to move every couple of years. It was a bit of an epiphany to realize that instead of uprooting us every couple of years, I can actual manifest this same restless energy and drive for adventure in smaller, more productive ways. Like a holiday or a new, adventurous hobby, for example. :)

Even though I'd been there, done that with this course before, I think it took me being in my 40s and knowing myself a wee bit better than I did at age 29, to dig deeper into what really makes me tick. Fast forward ten+ years for my next insight.

ParticipAction
The program I'm auditing is called Advancement of Excellence (see "course" link above for details). It's an 8-10-week program designed to advance graduates of the previous two programs (Pursuit of Excellence and The Wall) to the praxis level, where theory meets practice. I use the term "graduate" because that's their lingo. I still think of "they" as being Context Associated, a San Francisco based organization now focused exclusively on leadership training, although Context has since closed their branch offices throughout Western US and Canada and have opted to franchise the intellectual property and rights instead.

Quite literally, this course work transformed my life back in the early to mid-90s. I know so because I can even remember the hotel locale and room of when I attended my first introductory seminar. This from the gal who has a hard time remembering what she did the day, week and month previous.

So anyways, long story short, I took the first two, and then Hubby was so intrigued with my positive changes (ie. less nagging), that he followed suit. And then we took the Advancement together.

But much has changed since those days. An overseas move, starting my own business, having two kids, moving cities, finding my birth family, and last but not least, realizing my long-term vision goal (first formulated at The Wall session on Orcas Island in December of 1993) of us living on the west coast with our two kids (who weren't even in the making at that stage).

And lo and behold, our west coast dream came true. The only thing missing is the timber frame home and water view but alas, we are still house hunting.

Anyhoo here I am, back in The Advancement 13 years later to the month, working on my schtuff. And it is mostly the same schtuff, although I have worked my way up the self-actualization ladder a tad since then and am not as preoccupied about career concerns as I was back then. But it' s refreshing to know that I have realized many of the dreams and goals I listed 13 years ago (go to university, have kids, travel overseas, etc).

One of the coolest things about the program is that anyone who goes through the programs (course fees range from about $700 and go up incrementally a couple hundred from there), may audit the programs free of charge for the rest of their lives. So the investment we made way back in the day has repaid itself a few times over.

We've had the privilege of "auditing" Pursuit programs as well as assisting as logistical support team members for Pursuit and The Wall. And now the audit privilege pays off hugely because the value of Advancement is truly priceless. There's a tremendous amount of what they call "space scrubbing" that goes on in the two months of AOE so that participants can rocket through their various life "to-do" and task lists - both big and small - and work at completing "incomplete" and things that have been weighing on them.

For me, those things include getting my Canadian taxes done (capital Y yuck for dread but capital V in vitality for relief), finally writing my Washington State driver's test, purging closets and organizing a garage sale, to name but a few.

Each participant goes in with an area of focus. I've chosen Vitality, which is a necessary benchmark for me in knowing if my life is working or not. If I don't have a feeling of vitality, then basically, life sucks for me.

So I'll be working on kick-starting my vitality again by focusing on my physical health and getting at all those incomplete tasks in my life, which have been weighing most heavily on my psyche.

Growing up in Canada in the 70s, I and others of my generation learned all we needed to know about physical achievement and physical health from the good folks at Health Canada because of our mandatory participation in a school program called Participaction. I don't remember the entire drill, but essentially, every kid - short/tall, big/small - had to go through a mini-circuit training drill which included chin-ups, sprints, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. and depending on how fast one went or many one did, each kid would be awarded a bronze, silver or gold embroidery medal. I remember that I only ever earned bronzes - never a Silver or Gold - I hated chin-ups more than anything on earth in those days.

Looking back, it was pretty cool stuff - I'm glad to see it's been resurrected and I sort of wish they did it here. Kids here only have to attend gym once a week for 40 minutes. Whenever I peek in on gym class, I only ever see them skooting around on weird little but skooters or some other lame non-active activity. How pathetic is that? It's why I'm starting a jump rope and hoops club at our local school. After-school sports aside, kids today do not get as much exercise, especially proportionate to today's high-fat dietary realities.

And surprise, surprise - neither am I getting enough exercise. My chin-up dread has stayed with me. I still hate working out. It's bound up in a deep-seated belief I have that I am strong. So whenever I do anything that jeopardizes that belief, I stop doing it (weight-lifting, jogging, squats, lunges, etc.). I just give up.

Not this time though. It's the last area of my spiritual triad (Mind, Body, Spirit), I have yet to work on and gosh dang it, I'm determined to make this work.

Our course leader reminded us this weekend that it is the little steps taken over a long period of time that produce results. For those of us impatient types who except big results now, that's a profound paradigm shift.

So baby steps and slow and steady it is then. I am a tenacious ninja turtle.

And this time, I'm going for gold.


Law of Attraction
Needless to say, I'm excited, once again, about this program. It's cool to be auditing it post-Secret hooplah. Naturally, all personal development training seminars have capitalized on the law of attraction buzz and absolutely all of them - from Anthony Robbins to Joe Schmoe, will assert that they were teaching this stuff long before Rhonda Byrne clued in down under.

Case in point, one of the first notions we were introduced to in Pursuit was this concept of attraction - ie. I attract to me that which occurs. This statement is not about right or wrong, good or bad - it is simply a workable position from which empowerment and reactive choice can foster.

So I can choose to get caught up in fault and blame in a series of bad-luck car accidents, and go into oh-woe is me, victim mode, which is what I've noticed a certain awol blogger doing, or I can look at it and go, OK, so I attracted this into my life, what am I going to do accept this and move on, or deny and stay stuck? It's trickier still when issues like abuse, serious illness, and death , factor in, but tremendous empowerment can come from using the law of attraction to work through these obviously-unwanted incidents.

We discussed the Law of Attraction quite a bit this weekend and were even provided a great little book (way better than The Secret people, check it out!), called none other than The Law of Attraction. It's written by Michael J. Losier, a Context graduate in Victoria, BC, and he takes all the best elements first revealed mainstream by the likes of Ernest Holmes, Jerry & Esther Hicks, et al, and repackages them into an engaging yet simple and practical format.

Losier defines the law of attraction as, "I attract to myself whatever I give my attention, energy and focus to, whether wanted or unwanted." Case in point, I have been busily cyber-shopping for a home and I have been singularly focused on building a list of things I don't want in a house - I don't want a split entry (we call them bi-levels back home), I don't want an ugly kitchen, I don't want a house that needs a ton of renovation, etc. You get the point. And guess what seems to have flooded the market in our area and price-range? Yup, heaps of tired, fixer-uppers. Methinks it's time to change my mental language.

Anyways, through some agreement Losier has cooked up with Excellence Seminars, all of us participants got a free copy of his books. It was almost like being on the Oprah show ~ (well OK, minus the Armani handbag and free car).

All that said, I have a good vibe about this chemical marriage between attraction and participAction. Thinking good thoughts is one thing - putting my time, money, energy where my abundant and harmonic wealth thoughts are is quite another.

Stay tuned for updates!

15 comments:

Natalie said...

Funny how we both posted about how we awakened this morning. As usual, we are hanging by common threads. :)
So, which TMNT are you? I'm thinking Donatello. I like to think of myself as more like Michelangelo 'cause of that "Cowabunga Dude!" thing.
I read that entire link for the chemical marriage. Interesting, indeed. (Your Law of Attraction link wouldn't work for me; JSYK)
It is difficult to weigh between decision (confidence) and indecision (humility?) yet both have such profound effects.
That ol' "careful what you wish for" stuff comes up a lot... and I, like you, am being very careful about what I put out there... in terms of specifics and the consequences of those specifics.
I've had two interviews in the last week where I thought, "They can't afford me." and it was true; they couldn't and they didn't.
I'm changing that little thought process right now!
Too bad we couldn't have had coffee together this morning. Seems as if we would have had a slew of things to talk about...

HOLY said...

that is weird Nat....

I like Michelangelo too...same reason.

I've been paying careful attention to unconscious don't, won't, etc. thoughts and language creeping into my day to day. (ie. I sure don't want this to happen, etc.)....again, thinking that if the universe can't process the negative, I'm hooped...and all that).

Something wicked your way will come...deliciously wicked.

You may even have to duck, so many good things will be flying at ya.

I'm going to turn up my radio on this end (seeing as how we're attuned to the same frequency)...just to see if I can telepath something your way....ie. the job I can't attract for myself, visa-restriction speaking, but know you're more qualified for anyways.

Cheers!

PS - met a gal from Abq this weekend - almost asked her if she knew you but I was afraid she might take my question seriously and innocently answer no and then she'd know I was joshing her.

Natalie said...

LOL... yeah, 'cause I DO KNOW everyone in ABQ. And it's weird, they all look alike. *snicker*

Well, then, okay... I'll send radio waves (Did you ever see the movie "Frequency"?) and you can channel efforts and we'll both stop, drop, and roll into something wicked this way cometh... via Seattle/ABQ.
Hey, I've got GPS... it could work!!
;)

Jungle Mama said...

I look forward to your update. I've been doing some major soul searching lately and soaked up a few of your comments. I hope to get a little more focused on life, I seem to be running from one to-do list to the next these days. Hmmmm

KC said...

This is by far my favorite of all your postings and that is hard for me to choose... simply because I am very much applying the laws of attraction in my life. Way before The Secret - I had been reading and learning about The Laws - understood them - but the mind-heart connection didn't really occur until last spring when I had had enough of ME. I preached and preached to everyone that would listen - you attract what you project and your thought patterns create your experiences - but I really didn't get it.

I am still learning each day how to manage my mindset and I applied the principles taught by Jerry & Esther Hicks and voilĂ  - my house materialized in front of me... within a month of putting in writting (my blog) the house I wanted vs. not wanted. And I got it all. Seeing that made me realise just how simple but how true this is and I am bound and determined to apply this in all areas of my life - health, work/financial and romance - in that order.

So thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject today Holy! You are inspiring!

Ciao bella,
KC

The Beast Mom said...

Oooh, thanks for the detailed info on the seminar. I was very curious when you mentioned it. And kudos to you for starting physically active clubs at school. I'm glad my kids are pretty active even without p.e. since it's nearly non-existant nowadays. Good thing schools are putting junk food/soda machines in the cafeterias since they've eliminated p.e. ha.

Anyway, just wanted to say hi mostly. :) I'm back to regular life from being on spring break. Catching up on everyone's posts and stuff.

Have a nice day, Holy!

We should get coffee sometime, just you 'n me without the kiddos. :)

-bm

Jeri said...

Hoo boy... you triggered a whole counterpoint blog post of my own from me today. And we're usually much more in agreement on religious/philosophical issues. ;)

But I am glad this is giving you the challenge and jump start you are needing right now in your own life! It's great to hear.

Vitality is something I could use some work on myself, I'm feeling very middle aged lately. (She says as she types LYING DOWN on the sofa, computer on lap pillow.)

Happy learning!

Jeri

Simply Hollie said...

First wehn I saw that Participation symbol on your blog this morning it brought back dreaded memories of gym, ugh, I never could do chin ups either, so you are in good compnay...I also only ever got a bronze!

As for the law of attrachtion many have taught the princples LONG before the Secet really, you simply have to look for the connections. I am glad you are getting much out of auditing this time around...

Natalie said...

I'm just stoppin' by to say hi and then I noticed the Britney Spears quote and almost blew coffee out my nose. That cracked me up!
I guess Disney tutors don't teach geography, eh? Maybe she thought she had a geography class and can now speak about sedentary rocks, or something like that.
Poor, bald-headed dear that she is...
I wanna know why you and QofD (Queen of Dysfunction/link on my blog) both have such complicated word verifications. It's weird. Everyone else has simple weirdness while the two of you have at least 8 letters for each word. It's like its own little language.
Today my word verification is fahliajup
Oh, what does it all mean?
;)

Jeri said...

Actually, Beast Mom's word verification (Captcha) is THE WORST. It took me about five tries to get past it when I switched computers and had no cookies/saved passwords. Not only is it long, but it's just a little TOO distorted for my middle aged eyes.

Holy, the funny thing is that I'm the furthest thing in the world from a devout Western stream believer. Most accurately - I'm a constantly questioning pantheist, with a slight bias for the Western Judeo-Christian religious culture of my birth. I tried and discarded two churches already this spring when they featured neocon screeds from the pulpit. (which I didn't expect given the denominations)

Onward and upward!

HOLY said...

JM: To-do lists are good as long as they include grander, bigger, bolder to-dos on them as well. I hear you - it's so difficult not to get caught up in the day-to-day with young kids, family life, etc.

KC: Your house purchase is the poifectomundo example of how channeling that positive vibe can work. Something is definitely holding me back on this purchase - I'm trying to pay attention because my issue is very much that I'm not clear on what I want. ie. Do I really want to buy a house? I need to commit full-steam to the endeavor so the one I want can show up in my life - otherwise I'll be stuck in goldilocks mode...this one is too big, too small, too ugly, too old, too expensive...I will find the just right one.

I love the order of priorities you've chosen for yourself - donning your own oxygen mask first. That's great! PS - have you gone private again? I can't access your site.

BM: It's a cool seminar. You'd love it. And I'm glad my kids are active too...my son was talking about the cafeteria at his new middle school - he can't wait - I seriously need to pay it a visit so I know what kind of nutrition choices he'll be making for himself - I sure hope it's not pop (soda).

Weird you should blog about a coffee date - I was just thinking that I need to come your way on a morning or afternoon when Claire & Bryant are at at school..she's pm school, right?

Jeri: great counterpoint blog entry. So funny about your horizontal blog entry...you are talented. And re: the word verification, I really should ditch the word verification - should is schmidt tho as we all know.

Perhaps I'll try it. With the eclectic topics I blog about and the quirky language I'm known to use, however, I'm fearful I'll be spammed by an erectile dsyfunction disorder drug co. And that's hardly what I want.

Hardy har har. Our worldviews are similar - I'm a constantly questioning panentheist still trying to let go of my need to know the hows and whys of good & evil and just trust in the process. I'm a control freak so that's hard for me but it's happening.

Nat: I hope you're not suggesting there's a correlation between the blogger and their word verifications and their level of weirdness (ie. simple weirdness vs. complicated weirdness ....thats too funny. I think you're supposed to try to use fahliajup in a sentence today....perhaps as a way to confound a stranger, impress a loved one or amuse thyself. Cheap thrills but someone's gotta do it.

And speaking of poor, bald-headed Britney Spirits (that's what my son used to call her for years), said son's teacher remarked the other day in class that such an d such a girl looks like Britney and he piped up, yeah, with hair and everyone burst out laughing. Her life will be forever defined pre and post head shave. Not a bad thing if she really does mean this to be a clean slate.

Natalie said...

So, if she shaved her head so she wouldn't have to have her hair plucked for a drug test, do you think they could wax her eyebrows and get enough for the CSI'r?
(LOL... I actually asked S that question, out loud, in front of company, the other night.)
word verification:
exgpyty
I think that's pi for Egypt.

manda said...

Head for the hills! We're one day older than we were one day ago!

Seriously, good for you. More people should go for all the gusto they can grab.

alison said...

Holy...

I had just as much fun reading the comments as I did the entry.

I fondly remember Participaction. And I do mean fondly. As in how I fondly remember Play Days on the last day of school where I would be forced to do things requiring skill and coordination and a competitive spirity while wearing a smile and calling it fun. I hated play days almost as much as I hated Participaction.

As a parent and adult, I do see the need for that program again. And that is even considering that kids in Ontario are required to have 30 mins of strenuous physical activity each day at school.

I was so involved in this post, Holy. For you and for me. I found myself thinking how incredible it must have been to wake up feeling that way and then to continue on the day recognizing the power in being able to order up the kind of life you want. I hope you have more days like this!

I also found fascinating your theory on why you don't like to work out. Need to ponder that one a bit. You are so clever...

A word about word verification. Well, I can never make a point with just one word, so let me just say that it often takes me 2 or 4 tries to publish a comment here. Each time I write down the letter combinations and spend about 3 hours looking for what I am mostly certain is the secret to the Universe hidden inside the jumbled letters.

Thanks for the entertainment!

SAAM said...

Hey there:
Thanks for stopping by!
I still have my embroidered Participaction medals. Two bronzes and one silver. Now adays, Ontario schools have DPA (Daily Physical Activity) which is separate from gym class. DPA is only 15 minutes a day but the kids have to move, even if they just walk around the school yard.
The whole program seems great.