Re-Thinking the Law of Attraction: A Mini Manifest-o


Principle of Attraction Blog Image   Re-Thinking the “Law of Attraction”: A Mini-Manifest-o

 –by Dr. James Michael Nolan

I am a Psychologist, and Life Coach, and have been for over twenty-five years.

I am hoping to share something that will be useful to you, and to my clients.

The Law of Attraction is not a “Law” the way people sometimes take it to be.

I am guessing you have already kind of figured this out by now.

It took me a while.

Let’s talk about it…

Developing a More Accurate Understanding of the Principle of Attraction

I have come to believe that we have not accurately interpreted statements like “Thoughts are Things”, “Ask and it is Given”, or “It is Law.”

My experience is that SOME thoughts become things, and SOME things we ask for are given, but we have to consider our Life Context, our Realms of Influence, and how the universe actually seems to work (however that is—I have my own thoughts, but no definitive answers, of course…) These have to be taken into account too, among other things. Otherwise, we are just a bunch of people in Facebook groups telling ourselves we are all going to win Powerball, or whatever. Nothing wrong with that, but there might be a much more efficacious way to use this Principle.

I want these Abraham teachings, and the Principle of Attraction, to be more relevant to the lives we actually live. That is how I can be most useful to my clients, and to myself, for that matter.

Thoughts Become Things? Always? Are We Sure About That?

Let’s just be silly for a minute. “I want a golden palace with elephants and flying monkeys on the planet Jupiter.”

According to some interpretations of Law of Attraction (which I call the Principle of Attraction, for reasons that will become more evident), that palace already exists, now, because I asked for it, and it is up to me to align vibrationally with it. This interpretation or understanding of the Principle of Attraction  declares that if I align vibrationally with that palace, then it HAS to be part of my experience, because “It is Law.”

Well, my experience is that that is simply not the way the universe, or the Principle of Attraction, work, or ever will, and I think we all know it. At some level.  There is no palace with elephants and flying monkeys on the planet Jupiter, waiting for me to align with it. There’s just not, and that is TOTALLY OK… (That’s a goofy thing to ask for, anyway…)

My belief is that there is much we can do with the Principle of Attraction, but it has to be an informed use of the Principle—it is not a magic wand; there is no genie coming out of this bottle.

Backtrack: My History with Abraham, Esther, & Jerry

I love the Abraham-Hicks materials, and lots of other New Thought materials that espouse similar world views. I have listened to them for years and years (even back when they were on cassette tapes!), and am probably as influenced by them as by any teachings I got in my PhD in Psychology training, and the thirty seven years of continuing education since then. Jerry may be one of my favorite people of all times.

So I am not a naysayer, or a cynic, by any means. I want that to be clear. I am trying to move us toward a clearer understanding of this Attraction business. I don’t want to sit around wishing for stuff that will never happen, and then feel like a loser because I must not have aligned properly.  I see that every day from folks in Social Media, and even sometimes on the Abraham CDs. It kind of breaks my heart.

“I want everything there is. How soon can I expect that, Abe?”

I Do Believe in Vibrational Alignment

Actually, to complicate matters, I often believe that it is a matter of my not aligning correctly, but not when it comes to wishing for a trillion dollars, or a fleet of Rolls Royces in Madagascar, or the winning Powerball ticket. There are contexts. I perceive myself to have a lot of power in many realms or contexts of my life, like work, relationships, money, happiness, hope, and physical fitness. I believe I have a huge say in how I choose to FEEL about events in my life, or the meaning I CHOOSE to give them. These things are all part of my immediate Life Context, and my Realms of Influence. I really believe I can manifest a lot in those realms. This is HUGE. It really is.

But to believe that I can make things come into being by just having thoughts about them, when they are wildly outside the realms of my Life Context, feels off-base, and probably keeps us from actually exercising REAL influence where we truly can. I have no influence on the Powerball tickets (Neither do you, and neither does Esther). I believe I am connected to the whole universe, in some way that is well beyond my capacity to understand or articulate, but I do not believe I can get Madagascar to make me their king because I set an intention for that to happen. Yet I see people make such “Asks” every day, regarding things that are WAY outside the realms of their Life Context, or Realms of Influence.

My hope is to really help people use a VERY powerful tool, and to not waste their time, and feel bad, because they are using the Principle of Attraction in a way it was never meant to be used.


I have manifested a whole lotta stuff.  My life is an embarrassment of rich experiences and prosperity. Seriously. I wouldn’t trade it for anybody else’s life. And I am not even a great Abrahammer, to be honest. I know people who are much, much better at this than I am. I can get caught up in anxiety, negative thinking, judgment of the Other Guy, and so on, all too easy. So it is even MORE amazing (to me, anyway), that I have managed to manifest this much when I am still such an unskilled learner and practitioner.

Do I have everything I think I want? No. Have I asked for what I don’t have, but think I want? Sure, like you, like everybody else. Of course I have asked for it. That doesn’t mean it just shows up, as you well know. Do I ever blame it on myself, for not being aligned energetically with the outcome I want? Yes, absolutely. But not all the time. Only when it makes sense—when it is within my Life Context, or Realms of Influence.

“Then what DOES this Law of Attraction stuff mean?”

Here is what I think it means, and this is not a final thought on the matter—I am just swerving the conversation a little so that it makes more sense to me and my clients, so that we can use it for real manifestation, and not as an excuse for not doing our own work and just thinking Abraham is going to deliver me the Taj Mahal for my backyard, j19if I can only align vibrationally with it. (Whoops–OK, so I was wrong on that one… LOL!)

I think that what gets called the Law of Attraction is not a Law at all, but a Principle, a Force, a Power, a Tool, a Trend, a Momentum,an Energy we can use for creating more experiences in our lives that we want.

  • What we focus on, put our energy into, is more likely to come into our experience
  • Our thoughts are really powerful, and when held with passion, and backed with action (internal or external/in the world), they have a good chance of manifesting something like the experience we want in our lives
  • Hanging out on websites, or in chat groups, or on Facebook pages, or with people, where negativity and cynicism is the primary vibe, is really likely to result in more negative vibes, or energy, or thinking—that I am pretty sure of.
  • Keeping a positive attitude, an optimistic point of view, trusting that the universe will work with us on getting what we want in our lives, believing that we are creators—ALL of these make it increasingly more likely that we will create/magnetize/attract/manifest—whatever word you like best—the experiences that we want in our lives.
  • I really, really, really believe that if we spend a lot of time on Monsanto, Global Warning, GMOs, Donald Trump, BP, the tragedies of so-called “Natural Disasters”, hating Fox News, worrying that Splenda will kill us, obsessing about the evils of gluten (if you’re not a true celiac), hating on Starbucks (or McDonalds, or Walmart, or Isis, or the Dallas Cowboys, whatever), we will attract a lot of negative energy into our field, and it will manifest in emotional states, and could even very well manifest in physical states, or illness. Negativity in our life field can affect the way we experience the world we live in, and NOT in a good way. I know–people will tell us that we are irresponsible if we do not keep up on that stuff, but I believe it is irresponsible to unleash all of that negative energy on the world, by griping about it, and Facebooking about it, and blogging about it, but not actually doing a damn thing to make the situation better, just making sure you know every little detail about all the awfulness, and then foisting that crap on your fellow humans.
  • Rant over.
  • See—I told you I was not a great Abrahammer…   (LOL!)

So, to wrap up for now…

Harnessing the tremendous force of the Principle of Attraction is possible, and a great benefit to our lives. The newer field of Positive Psychology now knows this, as do the Happy-ologists, the Abrahammers, the New Thoughters, the Seth-ers, and many others. Recognizing (and expanding!) our Life Context and Realms of Influence are great ways to direct the Principle of Attraction toward a real goal that we can really hope to attain. I believe this deeply. It is the work I do, with people who are looking to bring more joyous and prosperous experiences into their lives.

I hope this is helpful to somebody out there. It has been helpful to me, in my life, to stop thinking (well, I never really DID, but…) that when the UPS Guy does not show up with the Giant Pot of Gold, it is my personal shortcoming for not aligning vibrationally with that Pot of Gold. I choose instead to go general, and set an intention toward Prosperity and Abundance, without specifically naming what that needs to look like. Because actually, the Universe has a way of delivering Abundance in ways that I would NEVER have thought to ask in a million years. But if I say I NEED it to look like the Winning Powerball Ticket, I think I am in for disappointment, both in myself, and in in the teachings of the Law of Attraction. That kind of disappointment is not necessary, and it is not useful.

My invitation is for us to work with and within our greatest Life Context, and our ever-expanding (if you are working it) Realms of Influence, and keep bringing in the experiences of joy and prosperity we deeply desire in our lives.

Thanks for reading…

Dr. Jim Nolan

(I am a Psychologist and Life Coach, in private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I am thinking I might want to start working with eCounseling and/or Skype, because a lot of people who contact me are all over the world…Hmmm…any thoughts on that? Oh, and I am also going to start a Clinical Supervision Group for therapists, with a Principle of Attraction/Positive Psychology orientation…) 

To explore the connection between Law of Attraction, New Thought, and the Hermetic Teachings, check this article

#Law of Attraction, #Principleofattraction, #Life Coaching, #Santafetherapist

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