law of attraction

The Solitaire Experiment

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I enjoy playing Solitaire. Okay, sometimes, I don’t really enjoy it, but I play anyway, usually to kill a little time. [We're all killing something.]

This morning, I was in a bit of a foul mood, after reading something in the newspaper. It doesn’t really matter what created the mood, but let’s just say I was cursing in four-letter-words under my breath, over and over, incredulous and ticked off at the same time. I was even adding in religious curse words — that’s the kind of mood I was in.

So, to use up a little time, I started up a game of Solitaire. Only, this time, I decided to do an experiment.

The Experiment

In the past, I have noticed that my overall mood seems to affect the way my game of Solitaire goes. If I am in a crappy mood, I don’t seem to get any of the cards I need and it never takes very long before I’m stuck with no moves. If I am happy and looking forward to the future, it usually goes pretty well and I am able to win. So, with me cursing-in-my-head, I started a game. (To help you count ‘em, I’ll tag them like this: [1].) I’d never played in that state before, so I was curious about what would happen.

It went terribly, to say the least. I was only able to make 1 move from the starting cards, and I didn’t get a single ace in the face-down cards. In about 6 moves, I was stumped, although I kept cursing away and going through the dealt cards, hoping there was a move I hadn’t noticed.

So, I decided to do take-two of the experiment. I actually had to laugh at myself, cursing and clicking and cursing some more! So, my mood had lifted and I felt more-or-less “pleasant.” [2] I focused on this idea — being pleasant, having a pleasant day — for a moment before starting a new game, and kept that word and general mood humming along as I played. The game went quite a bit better. I had about 7 starting moves from the cards dealt, and by the time I had gone through all the face-down cards once, I had made several more moves and had all 4 aces up. But I wasn’t able to win. I made quite a few moves, but in a typical way, I got stumped later on.

I wondered why I didn’t win when I was “pleasant?” I decided that the underlying mood was more of boredom than happiness. So, I decided to try the “boredom” vibe [3] for round three and see how it compared.

It was very similar; I made a few moves off the start and had 3 aces before the face-down cards were done. I made quite a few more moves, got a couple of chains started, but I just wasn’t getting the cards I needed. I was so bored!

A little bit of time passed — I started writing up this article — and I started round four. I mustered up the most positive, eagerly-anticipating-all-the-awesome-things-to-come feeling, [4] sat with it a moment (the same amount of time as I had for round 2 and 3 preparation), and started up. I had one ace in the first lay-up, which is always a nice bonus, and about 3 initial moves. After that, for the first 10 face-down cards, I was able to play each and every one. I tried to keep the positive vibes going. It was going quite well! But, for some reason, I still wasn’t able to win the game.

What was going on? Why couldn’t I win with those amazing vibes I had going on? Maybe they weren’t real? Maybe I was fooling myself? Maybe it was just too far to go from cursing up a blue streak to pure positivity in less than half an hour, or from boredom to chipper in ten minutes.

I took a break, and did something I enjoy (knitting), and let my mind relax. I realized I was actually kind of tired and a little hungry, and my overall state could be described as tired-but-okay. [5] So, another round.

It went moderately. Not nearly as smoothly as my positive round; it was very similar to “pleasant.” By the time I was stumped, I only had one ace up, 4 small chains underway, but I was just not getting the cards I needed. My mind had wandered to family illnesses and conversations from yesterday. I was pensive, not positive, and my Solitaire game showed it well.

Was I playing badly? Not particularly. Was I making mistakes? No. The cards just weren’t coming up right. Something that by all accounts should be random wasn’t — the cards were worse when my mood was poor. I decided to try one last round, with the best attitude I could muster without faking.

I gave myself another break. I really spent some time appreciating the day — the sun, the clouds. I had some chocolate, sat in a sunny window, and did a few light exercises to get my blood flowing — all the things that I know help my mood improve. I was feeling pretty good when a friend called. He always makes me laugh and we have such great banter, I decided to play a game with that light-hearted, appreciative feeling going on. [6] While we were chatting, laughing and teasing each other, I started up a new game. Can you guess what happened?

I won. It wasn’t the absolute best game I ever played, but I had all four aces by the end of the first run through the deck, and a few good chains on the go. Almost every card I flipped over was playable. I had to do a little fiddling to get to the last few cards — if you play Solitaire, you know what I mean — but it wasn’t hard. It was play!

The Results

My Solitaire experiment showed that my mood has everything to do with the “random” way the cards are dealt, and I am far more likely to win when I am upbeat and positive. I can even use Solitaire to gauge my mood — a “mood-o-meter”of sorts — as the progression of the game is directly related to how I am feeling. When I am bored or bummed-out, I won’t get far. When I make efforts to feel better, the game goes better. And lest you think I am a totally crappy scientist, drawing conclusions from only 6 samples, let me say that I have actually noticed this trend over hundreds of games over the last year or so. When I feel better, the cards come up better and I play better.

Can you see the profound wisdom that comes out of this experiment?

  • Things that you think are random are not.
  • You affect everything in your surroundings and your life.
  • Your mood indicates where you’re at and what kind of things you can expect to come your way, from random things to proactive things.
  • You can change your mood and therefore change your life at any time.
  • Your mood is not a result of what happens to you; it causes what happens to you.
  • In scientific terms, your mood is an independent variable. You pick how you want to feel.
  • A playful attitude is crucial to being successful and happy!

This is the Law of Attraction at work, yet again! How you feel, or in metaphysical terms “vibrate,” is the direct cause of things that happen in your life. The Universe brings you what you ask for, whether you are asking in words or, more importantly, in vibration. You can’t fool the Universe, as was evident when I tried to muster up “pleasant” but was really stuck near “bored.” The game went accordingly. You have to play your way to a truly better mood to see the results!

I can’t help but recommend my good friend Darlene Navarre’s book Play is the New Way (which I edited). Go buy a copy and see how it changes your life!

Want to read more? Try these related posts!
Getting Out of a Funk
Create Your Own Universe
May the Force be With You

What’s the Best Super Power?!

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Remember the last post about super powers? (Go read it now if you haven’t yet.) I didn’t tell you what Darren wanted — it’s awesome and totally original. He wanted the power to pull the exact change out of his pocket each and every time he needed to pay for something. We nick-named him “Exact Change Man” and although we laughed a bit at first, it didn’t take long for us to realize the REAL power in this super power.

First of all, no more picking through change or counting cash. You just reach into your pocket and pull out exactly the right amount. You probably got that right off the bat. Doesn’t sound too profound eh? We don’t count cash much anyway, because most of us use debit or credit most of the time. (The other day, I was glad I had cash though, because the interac machine at the gas station in Enterprise was broken. Enterprise is a key gas stop for me on my way to Fort Simpson, and without topping up the tank, I would not make it all the way.)

Okay, getting back to Exact Change Man. What about if you want to buy something really expensive? Reach for your credit card? Nope. Just put your hand in and voilà — you have every dollar you need. Want to buy something else a minute later? Reach in, and presto, instant money. It’s the BEST super power I’ve ever heard of! Over and over again, you can pull out the exact amount you need!

You know, when Law of Attraction enthusiasts go on and on about how you can manifest wealth, I don’t exactly jump up and down. I don’t have a fear of money or success, but money for the sake of money just doesn’t grab me. Reaching into your pocket infinitely to pay for whatever you need at any moment does! I guess for me, wealth is not about money or numbers in a bank account — it is about having the freedom to travel and have really neat experiences because you were at the right place at the right time. In our society, it takes money to travel and do things, so the more you have the more you can do. (I still dream of a money-less society, but more on that another time.)

So ya, I want to be Exact Change Woman. Maybe it’s a silly dream, but hey, don’t they say we should aim for the stars? We won’t exactly reach them but… it just means to dream big.

Not the Captain

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I’m back after a week on the York boat, this time as a simple crew member instead of Captain. What a difference it was to not have to make every decision and feel the weight of responsibility for everything that happens on the boat. I felt so much more relaxed than I did last year and it really was like a vacation. Jae was the captain, and it was interesting to see him act almost exactly as I did last year – a bit like looking in a mirror. I could see him considering the best place to come ashore, the best way to set up the oars to be bridges to shore, the best route in the river, looking for the best current and making a hundred other decisions about things that happen over the course of the day.

You know, it was stressful to be Captain. Responsibility weighs heavy on the person in charge. But if no one was ever willing to take that on, who would lead? I suppose the people with the most ambition or the most nefarious plans would be happy to take it on, and they would probably not even feel the responsibility of making good decisions, leading the group to the best possible outcome and with the most safety. I am really glad that Jae was willing to take this responsibility on when I couldn’t, and I know it was a heavy burden and a lot of work!

In a similar way, we can sometimes be unwilling to take responsibility for what goes on in our own lives. We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that things happen because of fate, or the government, or for no reason at all, rather than admitting that we have made the bed we lie in, and if it’s lumpy and uncomfortable, we have no one else to blame. The responsibility for our lives doesn’t have to be a heavy weight – we can consider it a great honour, a puzzle or interesting challenge, or game — it’s fun to think of creating our designer life! And it is easier to stay lighthearted if you take it in small portions – one day at a time, or even just the morning drive, the morning at work, the afternoon, and the evening. What would you like your day to look like? Smooth flowing traffic? Interesting work? Productive times and good interactions with coworkers? You can think about what you would like, and when you believe it is possible, it’s a good deal more likely to occur. If you can focus on it so intensely that it’s all you see, and there isn’t any way for it to possibly be different, then it is as good as done – it’s only a matter of time!

Anyways, just a few ponderings for now! Pictures from the York boat trip will have to wait while I find the cable to my camera… Go have some adventures!

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

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I should be in bed sleeping. Or sending important emails, or working on other aspects of this huge project I’m managing, but I just got a flash of insight so clear, I had to blog it.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Because they expect it to happen.

Watching a mere five minutes of the news will convince you that the world is full of terrible people, all your neighbours are criminals, war is breaking out everywhere, all policemen are corrupt, and Mother Nature is punishing us with natural disasters. And we are all pretty sure we know why — we deserve it.

Here’s an example of how the news has affected a lady I know. The evening news was filled with serious reports about forest fires raging through Slave Lake, a medium-sized town in Northern Alberta. There was a strong wind pushing the fire, causing it to spread faster than they could put it out, at least initially. The whole town, around ten thousand people, were evacuated and a whole neighbourhood, about a third of the town, burned down — a serious situation, even a tragedy. The Premier, being interviewed for the news, looked like he might cry.

One of the first comments I heard this particular lady make was “oh, there will be looting! With all those homes empty, there will be LOOTING!”

What?!? The town is empty! The only people there are fire fighters, and even if there were others around, that is the absolute LAST thing that would happen. I know this town, and it just would not happen. But years of living in a big city, listening to the radio news every hour and watching TV news throughout the day has completey skewed this woman’s view of the world, and also her expectations.

She expects the worse. Wherever she goes, whatever is going on around her, she sees crime, tragedy, illness, and other newsworthy stuff. I’m afraid to say that this is what she will attract into her life, because the Law of Attraction is ALWAYS at work.

You ever heard of the lawyer’s house that gets broken into repeatedly? The woman who continually has car trouble because she is always worried about her car? That man who gets ripped off because he’s always trying to cheat the other guy?

We each get what we THINK about most, especially if there is strong emotion involved, and what we EXPECT. It’s sometimes also what we WANT, but sometimes we get the opposite of what we want because the thinking and expecting are so strong.

Except for today, I have not watched the news for weeks. It’s a good thing, because I am working on focusing only on positive things, and I gotta tell ya, I get courteous drivers around me, holes in the traffic, mostly green lights (but red lights let me check my map or change my music), and I believe it happens because I know it’s possible. It is not only possible, it’s virtually* guaranteed when I focus on good things, and look for the best in people and situations around me. I have started expecting to have days that go smoothly.

Sometimes it’s hard. With the fires in Slave Lake, all I can think of is that this is a chance for our fire fighters and emergency co-ordinators to shine. And shining they are.

* only “virtually” because I’m sill practicing!

I’d love to hear your comments on this!